This national restaurant is nevertheless a longtime local favorite, serving fresh Tex-Mex food and daily food specials to its loyal following. Plus, El Chico has a popular outdoor patio, a great happy hour (Sunday-Thursday, 3 p.m.-8 p.m.), and daily drink specials that last all day. Catering available.

From YUMMM!, the Metro Pulse restaurant guide:

For almost 26 years, El Chico has remained one of Knoxville’s favorites by delivering the same kind of top-quality Mexican food and fresh new specialties that made them popular in the first place.
Unlike a lot of places, there’s not a single microwave in El Chico’s kitchen. Everything is made fresh daily from beans to salsa, and produce comes in the door whole and fresh—there’s no such thing as pre-shredded lettuce for this place.

The freshness translates to table, especially in El Chico’s popular Top Shelf Guacamole that’s made tableside—so there’s no hiding old ingredients or less than fresh avocados. Freshness and flavor mean everything in quality Mexican food, and El Chico delivers. Their fajitas are distinctive because they use top-grade beef fajita skirt steak and butter-marinated chicken breast for a taste sensation that’s way ahead of the pack.

Speaking of Fajitas, El Chico features one of the best combo options available. Their Top Shelf Fajita entree not only includes sizzling beef, chicken, and shrimp, but it also comes with fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs that are a surprising but out-of-this-world treat.

And even though El Chico has been around for while it still brings freshness in thinking, too. The new Spring Menu will have all your favorites plus great new options like mouth-watering and tender Carnitas Empanadas, a Sizzling Chicken Salad, and a new option called “Burritos by You” that takes the made-to-order concept to whole new level. You can bring all your friends, too, especially now that there’s an entire menu section of meatless entrees.

Of course they feature great lunch deals—their great selection of Mucho Lunch specials is available from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. You can keep up with specials and more by tuning into El Chico via social media, both Twitter and Facebook. If you visit their website, you can join the El Chico Club. You’ll qualify for a free entree just for signing up, and then they’ll send great deals directly to your in-box. And when the weather permits, you’ll want to hurry to secure a place on their patio to enjoy their signature drinks—the first sip of the Grande or Bill automatically makes your day better. You’ll be even happier if you take advantage of their Happy Hour.

The folks at El Chico have been overhauling the restaurant inside and out to make your experience there the best it can be. One of the finest things about El Chico is that the staff is dedicated and long serving—they know what you want. And the original general manager, Girish Desai, has returned to help you remember why you fell in love with El Chico. Along with Kitchen Manager Brad Clevenger and Front of House Manager, Aaron B. Long, Desai promises a fantastic meal and a great night out. Whether you’re an old friend or a new one, you’re going love El Chico over and over again.

Restaurant Details

Locally Owned Wifi Patio Live Music Accepts Reservations Party Room (20+)
Kids Menu Delivers Buffet Waterfront Vegetarian Dishes Vegan Dishes


Day Opens Closes
Sunday 11 a.m. 10 p.m.
Monday 11 a.m. 10 p.m.
Tuesday 11 a.m. 10 p.m.
Wednesday 11 a.m. 10 p.m.
Thursday 11 a.m. 10 p.m.
Friday 11 a.m. 11 p.m.
Saturday 11 a.m. 11 p.m.
Day Business Hours
Sunday 11 a.m.
10 p.m.
Monday 11 a.m.
10 p.m.
Tuesday 11 a.m.
10 p.m.
Wednesday 11 a.m.
10 p.m.
Thursday 11 a.m.
10 p.m.
Friday 11 a.m.
11 p.m.
Saturday 11 a.m.
11 p.m.

Upcoming Events for El Chico

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