How to Become a Foodie

Girls Eating Pizza


Easy and affordable ways for students to find good eats

It can be a challenge finding the motivation to boost your diet during your college years, but who wants to live off ramen noodles forever? Knoxville offers a diverse restaurant scene to satisfy any taste and compliment any budget. Platforms such as Pinterest, TikTok and Youtube are also great resources for finding cost-friendly, low maintenance meals all at just a click away. 

Here are some unique Knoxville locations and student friendly recipes you can incorporate into your daily life, on a budget: 

Suttree’s High Gravity Tavern 

Nestled on Gay street, Suttree’s is a unique spot with a menu and atmosphere to match. Quesadillas, steamed buns, sandwiches…it’s all there! Though the highlight of the menu are the delicious ramen bowls, a true antithesis of stereotypical college-kid ramen. With five different options, including vegetarian, you can’t go wrong. They also have rotating taps that feature all kinds of ciders, ales and more. You can expect to spend around $10 for your meal, but be sure to bring some extra cash for the arcade! 

Marble City Market

Located in what used to be the historic Regas building, Marble City Market is the perfect spot for when your group is feeling a little indecisive. I mean, why pick one restaurant when you can choose from nine! Set up food court style, patrons have their pick of southern favorites and international flavors. 

Try some vegan soul food at Kianga’s Kitchen, pickle fries at Stacked or a sweet treat from Bubbles & Cream. A Knoxville Business Owner, Tom Jones, has watched the building change a lot in the past twenty years. The market is “one of the businesses that guided the downtown area’s transformation from a severe inner city environment to an eclectic and progressive place,” Jones said. 

TikTok Made Me Try It

Preparing meals for yourself can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Let’s go ahead and squash the idea that cooking for one is pointless, as it’s essential in engaging with one’s nutrition.  Stamina for that chemistry test, long practice and aspects of mental positivity happen in the kitchen. 

Associate Professor at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, Sarah Colby, specializes in nutrition behavioral research. 

“Pre-planned nutrition is vital in student success and wellbeing,” Colby said.

Listed below are two recipes adapted from popular TikTok videos that can be made with little time and five ingredients or less. 

Feta-Chili Breakfast Tacos:

Start by sprinkling feta cheese and a drizzle of chili oil in the bottom of a frying pan. Crack an egg over the top and a few minutes later you’ll have the tasty filling for a breakfast taco. So as not to burn the cheese, scrambling the egg is also an option. Have leftover veggies in the fridge? Throw ‘em in and start your day off right!

Hummus Pasta:

In a pan, brown mushrooms and garlic in olive oil while boiling pasta (be sure to reserve a cup of the pasta water). Once mushrooms are done add hummus and water, keeping on low heat and stirring until the sauce is creamy. Add noodles and slices of chicken to the pan to complete the dish. Trader Joe’s has great pre-cooked, sliced chicken for when you can’t be bothered to prepare your own. 

Try any of these suggestions to rectify a monotonous student lifestyle and prioritize your health. Eating well should be the last of your worries, whether it’s an adventure to a new restaurant or a quick walk to the kitchen, don’t be afraid to get engaged with your diet. Find flavors and recipes that make you happy because anyone can be a foodie.