Tennesseans Invited to Choose Best of 2023

The Grind in Martin earned two Reader's Choice awards during last year's Best of ... event for Tennessee Magazine.

Tennesseans are encouraged to help choose this year’s “Best of …” in the annual Tennessee Magazine Reader’s Choice awards.

The “Best of Tennessee” contest event has been a fan-favorite since the early 2000s. Each year, the editorial team of The Tennessee Magazine enlists its readership and Tennesseans across the state to help choose the state’s best across its three grand divisions. Categories range from Best BBQ and State Parks to Best Festivals and Museums and many in between. Last year’s contest saw The Grind restaurant in Martin claiming the top spot in the West in the Best Milkshake and Best Desserts categories.

There is a catch when casting a ballot though. The Tennessee Magazine is only interested in “local” establishments – votes for chain stores and restaurants in the state will not be counted in this contest. 

“To celebrate the uniqueness of Tennessee, please exclude national franchises and chains (restaurants, coffee shops, hotels, etc.) from your responses,” The Tennessee Magazine representatives noted.

The 2023 Best of Tennessee Readers’ Choice Awards will recognize winners from across the Volunteer State in more than 25 individual categories. 

Those who make nominations for their favorites will be entered into a drawing for Tennessee-themed prizes. Winners will be chosen randomly from a drawing of all entries received. Three grand-prize packages will be awarded (one each from West, Middle and East Tennessee). Voters must cast a ballot in at least 15 categories to be eligible for the prize drawing.

Winners will receive a gift certificate, courtesy of Tennessee State Parks, to be applied toward a two-night stay at a park cabin or inn. There are 21 Tennessee State Parks with cabins and four with inns. Visit www.tnstateparks.com for a complete list.

Each winner will receive a basket of farm-direct and locally made artisan foods from Pick Tennessee Products, a division of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.

The Tennessee Magazine will also award $250 to each winner to spend while they are enjoying their state park visit.

Information from The Tennessee Magazine editorial team is as follows: 

“Vote in as many or as few categories as you feel knowledgeable, but keep in mind that only ballots with 15 or more categories with at least one vote will be eligible for the prize drawing.

You can vote for up to three ‘Bests’ in any given category. As an example, if you have a favorite state park in each region of the state — West, Middle and East — then you can vote for one in each. Be as specific as possible, and please include the towns where businesses or parks are located. Generic answers will not be counted. To celebrate the uniqueness of Tennessee, please exclude national franchises and chains (restaurants, coffee shops, hotels, etc.) from your responses.”

No purchase is necessary. One entry per person. Entry must be submitted no later than Friday, Sept. 1. To be eligible for the prize drawings, ballots must have a “Best of Tennessee” vote in at least 15 categories. Voters can cast votes in any or all of the regions. The drawing for grand prizes will be held on Friday, Dec. 15. Must be at least 18 years old to win. Grand-prize winners will be notified by mail.  

Best of Tennessee results will be published in the December 2023 edition of The Tennessee Magazine. Electric cooperative employees and their immediate families are not eligible for the prize giveaways. View the complete rules on the entry form, which can be found online at 

The Tennessee Magazine is published monthly by the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. It is more than an electric industry publication. The magazine staff strives to find the most interesting people across the state and spotlight their unique jobs, talents and interests. Award-winning recipes and Tennessee history are featured in each issue, as well as travel suggestions and events from across the state.

Electric cooperative and other energy news, suggestions to help you save money on your electric bill and important updates from your local cooperative can also be found in The Tennessee Magazine.

2022 Best of the West Winners:



Woodstock Bakery & Co, 80 Innsdale Cove, Jackson; 731-554-1969; woodstockbakeshop.com


Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous, 52 S. Second St., Memphis; 901-523-2746; hogsfly.com

Craft Beer

Hub City Brewing, 250 W. Main St., Jackson; 731-240-1168; drinkhubcity.com


West (Tie)
Bell’s Drive-In, 204 S. Church Ave., Henderson; 731-989-2816

Home/Country Cooking

Brooks Shaw’s Old Country Store, 56 Casey Jones Lane, Jackson; 731-668-1223; caseyjones.com


The Grind Mac and Cheese Burger Bar, 112 Lovelace Ave., Martin; 731-587-6912; thegrindburgerbar.com

Place for Dessert

The Grind Mac and Cheese Burger Bar, 112 Lovelace Ave., Martin; 731-587-6912; thegrindburgerbar.com


White Squirrel Winery, 4385 Highway 45 W., Kenton; 731-796-1713; whitesquirrelwinery.com


Chickasaw State Park, 20 Cabin Lane, Henderson; 731-989-5141; tnstateparks.com/parks/chickasaw

Golf Course

Chickasaw Golf Course, 9555 State Route 100, Henderson; 731-989-3111; golfatchickasaw.com

Sporting Event

Memphis Grizzlies, 191 Beale St., Memphis; 901-888-HOOP; grizzlies.com

State Park

Chickasaw State Park, 20 Cabin Lane, Henderson; 731-989-5141; tnstateparks.com/parks/chickasaw

Art Gallery

Dixon Gallery & Gardens, 4339 Park Ave., Memphis; 901-761-5250; dixon.org


Discovery Park of America, 830 Everett Blvd., Union City; 731-885-5455; discoveryparkofamerica.com

Performing Arts

The Ned R. McWherter West Tennessee Cultural Arts Center, 314 E. Main St., Jackson; 731-425-8397; thened.jacksontn.gov


Place to Take the Kids

Memphis Zoo, 2000 Prentiss Place, Memphis; 901-333-6500; memphiszoo.org

Weekend Getaway

Memphis, Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau, 47 Union Ave., Memphis; 901-543-5300; memphistravel.com

Antiques Store

Carriage House Antique Market and Cafe, 195 Carriage House Drive, Jackson; 731-664-6678; carriagehouseantiquemarket.net

Farmers Market

West Tennessee Farmers’ Market, 91 New Market St., Jackson; 731-425-8308; jacksontn.gov/residents/farmers__market


Arts and Crafts Show

Reelfoot Arts and Crafts Festival, 2595 Highway 21 E., Tiptonville (mailing address: P.O. Box 146, Tiptonville); 731-694-9283; reelfootartsandcrafts.com

County/Regional Fair

West Tennessee State Fair, 800 S. Highland Ave., Jackson; 731-424-0151; wtsfair.com


Chester County BBQ Festival, 111 E. Main St., P.O. Box 1976, Henderson; 731-989-5222; chestercountybbqfestival.com


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