Buddy’s BBQ is a fast food-style (but not fast food) BBQ restaurant that started in Knoxville. It’s a BBQ chain with many locations throughout East Tennessee with BBQ, desserts, and more. For this review, we visited the Farragut location.
- Fast Food BBQ
- Around $10 per person
- Date visited 8/14/2021
Location and Parking
The restaurant is just off Highway 11 (Kingston Pike) in Farragut in a peaceful area with lots of parking. We’ve never had issues getting in or out of this area. It also has a drive-thru if you prefer that option.
Buddy’s BBQ feels like a high-end fast food restaurant. You pay at the counter and take your tray of food to a table or booth to eat. You get your drinks from the drink machines or dispensers. The tables are more similar to fancy restaurants. it’s quiet and music plays over the speakers.
Buddy’s BBQ Menu Variety and Price
The BBQ uses a dry rub and they have regular and hot sauces to choose from. The sauces are in squeeze bottles on every table. Buddy’s BBQ has several types of meat to choose from including pulled pork, pulled chicken, half chicken, brisket, ham, wings, ribs, and more. They also have hotdogs and a few other things.
Sides include baked beans, corn on the cob, potato salad, coleslaw, green beans, baked potatoes, and french fries. Meals include hushpuppies or buns.
Desserts include hot fudge cake, cookies, lemon pie, and hot fudge sundae.
Drinks include tea, coffee, Coke, etc.
Food Quality and Portions
The food always tastes great and we’re always full when we leave. The all-you-can-eat ribs really are all-you-can-eat. They’re not stingy and they don’t care how many times they bring you more or how many times you ask for more. The family meals always last us at least a couple of meals unless we are feeding more than 4 or 5. It would be nice if getting corn on the cob as a family side included more than 2 ears.
The food always has a great flavor and it’s not too tough or chewy. The ribs are not extra moist and they don’t fall off the bone, but they are easy to eat. I “think” the sauce is vinegar-based.
The staff is always extra polite and they’ll even come around to check on you. They’ll get you drinks, bring around hush puppies, and see if you need anything. If you get the all-you-can-eat ribs, they either check on you as they’re walking by or they bring a tray of ribs around and ask if you want any.
I got the all-you-can-eat ribs with baked beans, coleslaw, and sweet tea. I had the regular sauce with half of the ribs. They gave me extra to start with and I was too full to eat anymore. They did ask, though. The tea is almost too sweet for me, but it tastes great. I sometimes mix in a little unsweet, but I didn’t this time.
Buddy’s BBQ is one of my favorite BBQ restaurants. I like everything I’ve had there, but my favorites include ribs and brisket. I also like the hot fudge cake.
Would you go back? Absolutely! I usually go a few times per month.
Buddy’s has some of the best budget BBQ. The pulled chicken with baked beans and either corn or green beans is what I order most often (though the ribs and brisket are good too). Their unsweetened tea is always good and I love their lemon icebox pie (though sometimes it’s so cold it is almost half frozen).
This is a dining-out option for those on a gluten-free diet. The buns, hush puppies, and desserts are obviously off-limits but everything else including seasoning and sauces is gluten-free. There is little chance of cross-contamination until they are actually fixing the plates. Fries are the notable exception. They are supposed to maintain separate fryers for the hush puppies but fast food workers occasionally slip up.
Would you go back? Of course, my entire family goes back to Buddy’s again and again.
Who Should Visit
Anyone that likes BBQ should try Buddy’s BBQ at least once. I won’t say they have the absolute best BBQ in east Tennessee (we still have a lot of restaurants to visit before we can make that decision), but it’s very good BBQ at an affordable price. Their family meals are great for something to take with you and their regular meals give you a good variety of choices.
For first-time visitors, I recommend getting the combo with pork, chicken, and ribs, or the family meal.
This is the BBQ restaurant I visit the most. By far. It’s available in many locations in East Tennessee and every one that I’ve gone to has the same good food.
121 West End Ave.
Knoxville, TN 37922
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