- Best Mexican Runners-Up: Chez Guavera, El Charro, Soccer Taco Mexican Sports Bar & Tacos
- Best Cheap Meal Runners-Up: El Charro, Long's Drug Store, Pete's Coffee Shop
Be honest. If you'd never been to Knoxville, and were driving off Interstate 640 for the first time, would you be tempted by a sign with a sombrero-wearing, mustachioed taco—a place in front of a bowling alley parking lot? A place that is, moreover, called "Senor Taco"? If you wouldn't be, you'd be missing an experience Knoxvillians have grown to love. People drive far out of their way for a Senor Taco experience. We know certain downtown professionals who think of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame Boulevard, newly extended north to Broadway, as the "Senor Taco Expressway." We predict that name will one day be official.
It introduced the concept of the salsa bar, which is so good it's tempting to see if you can get away with enjoying a free meal of chips and a diversity of salsas—and offers a more authentic selection of genuine Mexican foods, with everything from la lengua (if you don't know, you don't want to know) to Menudo (ditto), and other surprising experiences that may challenge Gringo definitions of what constitutes Mexican. (Try the tilapia, or the seviche.) Editor's note: We might call Senor Taco reasonable, not necessarily cheap.