Finding good restaurants near campus and saving money is not difficult in Knoxville.
Once regarded as the city with the most restaurants per capita, Knoxville offers students a wide range of cuisine to choose from, and many restaurants offer discounts to cater to a student's budget.
Undecided freshman Caitlin Pasko is busy during the school year, but her hectic schedule does not prevent her from enjoying a good meal. Instead of cooking in the kitchen, she opts to settle her cravings by eating out.
"I don't have to prepare it (food) which is really convenient," said Pasko. "It's cheaper, but I don't have the time and the effort to cook my own meals."
Besides grabbing a burger from Cookout on Cumberland Ave., Pasko also enjoys Hibachi, a Japanese style of cooking where food is cooked over a hot open grill.
"Whenever we were bored we would say 'Let's go get ice cream!' or 'Let's go get dinner!' It's definitely one of the main staples of entertainment for my friend group."
David Bruce, manager of the Nama sushi restaurant downtown, said about 60 percent of the restaurants customers are students, with most stopping by on Mondays and Thursdays to catch the discounted sushi rolls.
The eclectic decor and laid-back atmosphere offers students an enjoyable experience by watching the sushi chefs prepare meals at the bar, he said.
Since he started working at Nama two years ago, Bruce said students have become more open-minded to different menu items.
"The more they come in, they get a little more adventurous. They get to venture out and try new things."
Ed Archer, manager at Copper Cellar on Cumberland Avenue, said many students are leaning towards meatless cuisine options.
"I think we see more students who are trying vegetarian, non-traditional meat foods," Archer said. "Our portabella mushroom sandwich has done really well and so has the turkey burger. But by and large, I think most people like to eat what they can get at home."
The restaurant has two floors, with the bottom serving more elegant menu items, such as steak, while patrons can enjoy more traditional menu items on the top floor.
On Wednesdays, patrons can enjoy $5 burgers with fries, an option Archer said offer students budget friendly option for entertainment during the week.
"I think for students it's a great deal. It's a good buy for the money. You can't beat that," Archer said. "To a lot of people it's sort of becoming an experience. It's the thing to do on Wednesdays."
Paige Hill, senior in sociology, frequents restaurants as they offer cheap entertainment options. The Memphis native said she enjoys the diverse cuisines available in the city.
"It's actually better in Knoxville than in Memphis because it's not so spread out," Hill said. "It's easier to pinpoint what you want."
Like other students, Hill said that during the school year she remains on a tight budget, but said there isn't much conflict finding good restaurants, including her favorite sushi dish.
"I think as long as you budget, anyone can enjoy good food here," she said.