Shortlist: Eight Restaurants In Brownsville (TN) That Locals Love!

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Last updated on December 1, 2022 by Wandering our World

Brownsville, TN delivers some awesome flavors and some great culinary experiences. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite to eat at lunch or a leisurely dinner to really take in what the town has to offer, there’s plenty on offer here.

As the region is known for its delicious BBQ, there’s many great barbecue restaurants in Brownsville to choose from. However, if you’re looking for something else, then there’s plenty other options too, from Mexican places to an extraordinary soda shop that brews its own soda!

Honestly there’s a ton of unique restaurants Brownsville, but here’s some of the best:

beef steak display
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The Best Restaurants In Brownsville, TN: Food Worth Waiting For!

1. Helen’s Bar-B-Q

A BBQ joint owned and operated by a town legend, with exceptional BBQ, great ambiance and outdoor seating.

When visiting a state known for its BBQ, it comes as no surprise that our top pick is Helen’s Bar-B-Q, a family-owned, locally-operated BBQ joint.

Run lovingly by Helen Turner and her husband Reginald, this 26-year-old establishment is truly an icon for Brownsville, TN. Helen not only cooks the meat, but she also makes all the sides and knows every local that graces the place by name. Helen was also the recipient of Southern Foodways Alliance’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient this year, making this eatery recognised as one of the best restaurants in Brownsville and the surrounding region.

Decorated all in red and black, the restaurant’s building is simple, but that’s to be expected when a place has been there for over two decades. And with numerous seating options, including indoor and outdoor, you can tell that the focus is all on the food.

Even when ordering you can see the big smokehouse adjacent to the sitting area and Helen being busy bustling around tending to everything. The place is spotlessly clean and always full, so make sure you join the regulars when you’re passing through town.

As far as the food goes, everything Helen touches seems to turn to gold, making her the Midas of the BBQ world. Seriously though, if you want to have some rich, flavorsome, melt-in-your-mouth BBQ that’s seasoned and grilled to perfection, Helen’s Bar-B-Q will enliven your tastebuds and satisfy your soul. Just what one needs when they’re visiting a new place!

We recommend trying the Pulled Pork sandwich, the ribs, and Helen’s homemade Potato Salad on your first visit and then returning back to try whatever else is left!

Helen’s Bar-B-Q is closed on Sundays and Mondays, it opens Tuesday – Friday 10 am to 7 pm. On Saturdays its open from 10 am to 5 pm, so don’t leave it for the weekend, try it out midweek!

Address: 1016 North Washington Avenue Brownsville, TN.

Full rack of BBQ grilled pork spare ribs on a marble board
Photo for illustrative purposes only ( Mironov)

2. Brownsville Burger Basket

A quintessential locally owned burger joint that makes its burgers from fresh meat not frozen, with a separate kids menu and outdoor seating.

Burger joints are an incredibly important staple in any American city. Not only are they usually a local favorite but they are also a tourist haven too, and Brownsville Burger Basket is just that place for the people of Brownsville.

So if you’re in the mood for a scrumptiously juicy and mouthwatering burger, then you’re search is over, head on over to the Burger Basket and prepare to be blown away.

The interior is classically done up in a diner-style atmosphere, with yellow walls and a ton of table and booth seating. Large windows make the space feel bright and open. There’s also a long island and bar-type table in the middle of the restaurant with the saying, “Our Community Table: Where burgers are better when eaten together” and we think that wonderfully sums up the loving environment that the owners have tried to create to bring everyone who eats there, together.

Brownsville Burger Basket’s food is on another level. Not only are the burgers absolutely fantastic but the sides are amazing too. With huge portion sizes and a wide array of menu options, you’re definitely in for a treat.

The place also uses fresh hamburger meat, not frozen, adding to the absolutely mesmerizing taste that they are known for. Amongst their most popular dishes are the Bacon Double Cheeseburger, Chicken Strips, and BLT sandwiches. Apart from this, their desserts are excellent too. Then try any of their pies and brownies to add the perfect level of sweetness to the end of a great meal.

Plus, they also have a kid’s menu with plenty of child-friendly items like nuggets and hotdogs, so you’re little ones will love the place too!

Find it open Tuesday through Thursday from 1o:30 am to 8 pm. Don’t leave it till the weekend because the place is closed Saturday, Sunday and Monday. When it comes to burgers, this is definitely one of the best Brownsville restaurants to check out!

Address: 1004 N Washington Ave Brownsville, TN.

3. Livingston’s Soda Fountain & Grill

Opened in a refurbished post office, this restaurant offers sublime custom sodas and a huge menu full of American favorites, there’s also a separate kids menu and Sunday brunch option.

As a child, Jack Pettigrew worked the soda counter at his father’s pharmacy back in the day and hoped that one day he could open his own restaurant. His dream came to fruition, and he was able to open Livingston’s Soda Fountain & Grill in one of the most iconic buildings in Brownsville – the town’s old post office!

Keeping the retro vibe that the place had, this vintage-inspired restaurant has some of the best beverage-making equipment known to mankind, capable of making any custom, milkshake, soda, or smoothie in the world, Jack and his family will truly transform your culinary experience and make you feel as if you’ve gone back into an actual old time soda shop!

The interior deserves a tour of its own, with multiple rooms, from a diner-style entryway to a walk-in safe that was used by the post office, back in the day, the place is a visual delight and will have you captivated with every step you take. There are many old antiques from days past too, so make sure you peek into all the showcases.

The food is remarkable as well, with numerous breakfast, lunch, and dinner specialties. Their Turkey Melt, Livingston’s Burger, and The Mindfield Wrap are amongst the most requested dishes. But with a delicious Sunday Brunch served from 10 am to 2 pm, you might want to add this to your weekend checklist.

Plus, they have a kiddie menu too, which will help out a lot of stressed parents in getting their child’s order just right. They are known for their soda and desserts so make sure you order some of their best offerings from that menu as well. Their helpful staff will gladly tell you which to pick, depending on your preferences.

Livingston’s is closed on Mondays and opens Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10 am to 4 pm, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 am to 4 pm, Saturdays from 7 am to 8 pm, and Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm for brunch.

Address: 60 S. Washington Ave. Brownsville, TN.

Closeup image of retro soda fountain nozzles
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4. Backyard Barbecue

Traditional slow-roasted American-style BBQ with a quirky ambiance and great staff.

Mentioning another spectacular BBQ place was bound to happen since there’s many family-owned BBQ restaurants in Brownsville that need to be highlighted and appreciated.

Backyard Barbecue is a great, family-friendly place that stands for flavor and quality. Known not only for its BBQ but a whole host of other foods as well, this traditional American eatery will have something for everyone!

The restaurant has a great rustic, old-school vibe that’s just done so well – it’s a real treat for anyone who appreciates superb attention to detail. From wooden seating and gingham table covers to the thank you notes taped to the wall by old patrons, this restaurant has a homey and welcoming feeling that not many nowadays have. Apart from this, their large windows and 50s and 60s-inspired wall art is truly exquisite and can take hours to fully roam through and check out. Definitely bring your camera to this place.

Their Pulled Pork, Ribs, and Shredded Beef are some of the most delicious entrees you can ever imagine. As are their sides like the Baked Beans, Potato Salad and Giant Stuffed Potatoes.

Whatever you get is sure to be infused with a lot of love, prepared fresh especially for you, making it super popular not only with locals but tourists alike. So, if you’re new to town, you’ll definitely want to hit this place up and interact with some local patrons.

Backyard Barbecue is open Monday – Thursday from 10:30 to 8 pm. On Fridays and Saturdays, it’s open from 10:30 am to 9 pm and it’s closed on Sundays.

Address: 703 E Main St Brownsville, TN.

Selection of bbq items
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5. Serendipity: Brownsville’s Venue and Resort

A restaurant with a view, open only 3 days a week, serving American favorites, with outdoor seating available.

A few miles out of town, you’ll find this great resort with a restaurant that’s worth driving a little extra for. Serendipity: Brownsville’s Venue and Resort is a great place to browse around, relax and unwind and also have some fantastic, freshly prepared food from some of the resort’s finest chefs.

The place also has a 2-acre water park, RV parking/ camping spots, and cabins to book, sounds like your next vacation destination!

The restaurant is right by the lake, so make sure you take plenty of pictures to send back to family and friends. The décor is trendy and chic, with exposed brick walls, wrought-iron details, and plenty of large windows to enjoy the serene view outside.

The best seats in the house have to be the ones outside so make sure to enjoy your meal with a view and leave your worries behind, like the restaurant’s name goes, it’ll be a magically serendipitous evening out.

With some mouthwatering entrees, this eatery is easily one of the best restaurants in Brownsville. In particular, locals rave about their Hamburgers, Crab Cakes, Shrimp Tacos, and Ribeye Steaks. They make a mean Beer-Battered Cod that’s only available on Fridays too, so if you want to try that, head on over on Friday.

They also have a great selection of food in their kid’s menu that you can check out before ordering.

Serendipity: Brownsville’s Venue and Resort’s restaurant is only open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 4 pm to 10 pm.

Address: 1249, Country Club Road, Brownsville, TN.

Chef adding drizzle to fine dining plate
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6. El Ranchitos

Authentic Mexican eatery full of flavor, plenty of traditional entrees, lively atmosphere and outdoor seating.

One of the most popular and celebrated Mexican restaurants in Brownsville is El Ranchitos – a place that serves up bold flavors with a hint of spice and some exquisite drinks and cocktails that you surely don’t want to miss. A trip to this area is simply incomplete without making a stop at El Ranchitos and enjoying all that this great establishment has to offer.

Wonderfully done up in different, vibrant shades of green, yellow and red, you feel festive the minute you step inside the eatery. With loads of Mexican elements and paintings being used as décor, this one-of-a-kind restaurant will ensure that you have a real fun time. Also, they love it when customers wear their Sombreros and take pictures in it, and if it’s their birthday they usually post them on their Facebook page as well! So, if your birthday is coming up, you know where to go!

Their steak fajitas are tender and mouthwatering, their burritos are full to the brim and bursting with flavor and their Platano Madura and flan are known to be some of the best desserts in town, so make sure you order any of those and you’ll be on Cloud 9. Apart from this, their serving staff loves to help out with orders and are extremely friendly, so you can always ask them for the daily specials.

El Ranchitos is open Monday to Thursday 11 am to 9 pm. On Friday it’s open from 11 am to 10 pm. On Saturdays, it’s open from noon to midnight and on Sundays it’s open from 11 am to 4 pm, so make sure you catch it on a day and time that it’s open.

Address: 500 E Main St Brownsville, TN.

Mexican food display
Photo for illustrative purposes only: Castillo Ramirez

7. Mr. Baby Back Restaurant

A homey, family-owned quaint BBQ place, full of love and warmth, open only 3 days a week.

One of the last BBQ places on our list, this spot deserved to go to locally owned and family-operated Mr. Baby Back Restaurant. Their name isn’t the only thing that’s unique and different because their BBQ is just as unique and flavorful, you’ll be taken to a whole other realm by the quality of food that you’ll have here!

Opened in part of the owner’s house, there’s no surprise this place gives off a very homey atmosphere to eat in. The owners are the hosts and they make everything from scratch, fresh daily. Which just goes to show how much warmth and love they have to share with their loyal patrons. So if you’re looking for a place that makes you feel like family then Mr. Baby Back will surely make you feel just at home.

Their Ribs, Brisket, and Catfish are some of the staple orders that everyone gets when they visit. They also have a great selection of sandwiches that incorporate all these things too, so if you want a great-tasting sandwich full of flavor, get that!

Mrs. Glenda’s freshly brewed iced tea is also a crowd-puller and pairs exceptionally well with all the salt and grease that goes with BBQ – we’d advise getting a huge helping of that too!

Mr. Baby Back Restaurant is only open Thursday to Saturday 11 am to 9 pm so make sure you go when it’s open.

Address: 1451 E Main St, Brownsville, TN.

close up of golden colored juicy roasted spare ribs on a wooden plate
Photo for illustrative purposes only: Janssen

8. O’Taste & See Restaurant

A small, unassuming eatery that’s big on quality and deliciousness, dine-in and takeout available.

This is Chef Vetrica’ Taylor’s brainchild, and this magnificent eatery adds a great level of diversity to the culinary scene in Brownsville. Not only does Chef V bake, but she also cooks some of the most delicious food the town has to offer. So a visit to O’Taste & See Restaurant is surely a must.

This small and unassuming place sure does have a lot of heart too. The inside might not be too much to look at but the flavors deliver and the quality stuns, so if you want to eat home-style American favorites cooked with love then Ms. Vetrica’s is where you should end up.

They have daily specials that are always fun to experience, like Taco Tuesday, Wild out Wednesday, Throwback Thursday, Seafood Fridays, and Saturday Specials, so if you just want to try the special of the day, then we don’t blame you.

Apart from these amazing themed days, the restaurant also offers the best Philly Cheesesteak sandwich, a great Surf, and Turf salad, and mind-blowing deep-fried cheesecake that’s just irresistible. So, make sure you order all of these too!

O’Taste & See is open Tuesdays to Thursdays 11 am to 5 pm, so make sure you make a pitstop!

Address: 35 S Jackson Ave Brownsville, TN.

Selection of tacos
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So that’s our favorite restaurants in Brownsville! We hope you have an incredible trip if you’re passing through town or if you’re thinking of moving down there, then rest assured that you’re moving to a place with some great food and amazing places to try.


  • Wandering our World

    Hi and welcome to Wandering our World! This article was written by one of the Wandering our World team - a team of travel enthusiasts who live around the globe.