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About Us

Lynda Jones joined the Litton’s family in 1982. Upon Barry’s request for her to learn the art of baking, Lynda arrived at the restaurant armed with a mixing bowl, spoon, and cookbook. Beginning with decadent cakes, Lynda expanded her fresh baked goods to include a variety of homemade crust-less cheesecakes, pies and cookies averaging 5” in size. Litton’s Red Velvet Cake is famous throughout the Southeast as well as many of Lynda’s other award winning desserts.

Lynda now manages Litton’s full range bakery. Under her direction, bakers and ovens begin creating bright and early in the morning 6 days a week. Litton’s bakery prepares a weekly average of 6,000 fresh baked hamburger buns, 85-100 cakes and the many other favorite desserts that East Tennesseans have grown to love.

Lynda claims there are no secret recipes. Through the years she attended a few cooking classes including a course at the Greenbrier Cooking School and a one week course with a Master Pastry Chef at Johnson & Wales.

Most of her recipes are the fruits of hours of study and exploration through the cookbook collection at the local Fountain City Library. This self-taught Master Baker perfected her culinary art of exquisite baked goods and desserts by using only the highest quality ingredients and hours of dedication. The fresh homemade goodness Lynda provides with tender loving care brings diners back to Litton’s time and time again.

Lynda Jones graced the pages of Southern Living.


In 1946: Eldridge Litton founded Litton’s Market originally located in the small north Knoxville community of Inskip. Litton's Market became known for offering a wide range of groceries, produce, hardware, feed, and a full service gas station.

vintage photo
vintage photo

1955 Inskip: Local delivery and credit accounts were offered to station.

1953 - 1962: Eldridge Litton’s son Edwin grew up helping in the family business. In 1953 he became a partner with his father in Litton’s Market. A counter deli was added to the market in 1962. The very first “Litton Burger” was sold here for .89 cents. This soon to be famous hamburger would later launch the idea of a new direction for Litton’s Market.

vintage photo
vintage photo

Third Generation: Edwin’s two children, Barry and Kelly, the third generation of the Litton’s Market family, picked up where their father and grandfather left off.

1975 Fairview Grocery: Barry and Erik. After graduating from Central High School in 1969, Barry Litton joined the Marines and served one tour of duty to Vietnam in 1971. Upon his return to Knoxville he managed the family business for the next 7 years.

vintage photo
vintage photo

January 1980: Barry, a butcher by trade, opened a fresh meat market in Knoxville's charming neighborhood of Fountain City in January 1980.

1981: In 1981 a customer asked Barry to cook him a hamburger on the market's three-legged electric skillet. The next day, the gentleman returned bringing in 4 more customers. Barry sold his first 8 oz hamburger with bacon on a hoagie bun for $1.99. This rekindled the “Litton Burger” that had been a success since 1962. Two months later Barry was taking counter orders.

vintage photo
vintage photo

1982: Kelly Litton is passionate for fresh, well-prepared food and the culinary arts. Years ago Kelly wrote to her idol Julia Child telling the Master Chef of her dream to also become a chef. She received a hand written reply from Child that advised, “Just do it.” Kelly was inspired and in 1982 she received her Certificate of Accomplishment for Rich’s Cooking School with Nathalie Dupree in Atlanta. She attended the prestigious Cordon Bleu Cookery School Limited in London, England in 1983.

More About Kelly: Following her studies Kelly began overseeing the kitchen at Litton’s Market. The Litton’s reputation and business were growing. Barry expanded his once small meat market to a full service restaurant. In 1983, Litton’s Market and Restaurant was born. Sundays and holidays were always reserved for family time, the Littons continued the tradition of closing the restaurant to honor the commitment to church and family.

vintage photo
vintage photo

Perfection: During the 1990’s, Litton’s Market and Restaurant became a North Knoxville landmark known as the home of the “10” (“10” came from the Bo Derek era; a slang statement for perfection). Litton’s Market and Restaurant has been highlighted in the pages of Southern Living Magazine and is continually voted East Tennessee’s best year after year for their delicious hamburgers and desserts.

The Bakery: Litton’s Market and Restaurant opened their bakery in 1983. Under the direction of self-taught baker Lynda Jones, the bakery begins creating a wide range of delectable cakes, pies, cookies and brownies at 4:30 in the morning six days a week. Please click the picture for more information about Litton’s Market and Restaurant home-style bakery and the delicious choices from which you can have delivered to your door.

vintage photo
barry with his three children

The Family: Barry Litton’s three children, Erik, Ashley, and Elizabeth have grown up in the restaurant working their way through school by participating in the family business.

The Family Cont'd: Erik Litton represents the 4th generation of the Litton Market family. He attended Johnson and Wales University Charleston in 1992. Erik continues working in the family business preparing to one day take over management as did his father and his grandfather before him.

erik litton
jimmy and rosie

Jimmy and Rosie: Jimmy Tindell and Rosie Peralta. Several times Litton’s Market and Restaurant was awarded Employer of the Year by Goodwill Industries for their commitment to hiring men and women with disabilities for most of their 25 year history. Rosie, who washes dishes, has been with Litton’s Market and Restaurant for over 23 years. Her loyalty and hard work opened doors for many other disabled persons. Rosie has grown to be a part of the Litton family. Jimmy Tindal came to the restaurant a few years later and has been with Litton’s for nearly 21 years. They are a valuable part of the business and family.

Loyalty: Over the decades, Knoxvillians have come here to eat, laugh, argue and swap tall tales over lunch. The back room is a private lunch area for the regular customers who dine at Litton’s daily for over 10 years. Their stories run deep and a sign on the wall describes it “The truth according to Litton’s.”

six men at a table
autographed photo

Today: In 1983, a generation came of age at Litton’s Market and Restaurant. Loyal customers from all walks of life politicians, lawyers, business leaders, athletes, coaches, and popular entertainers, have made the restaurant their personal dining room.

Today Cont'd: Regional and national media coverage such as ESPN and Southern Living have enticed travelers to include Litton’s Market and Restaurant as a destination in their travel plans through East Tennessee.

vintage photo

Today Cont'd: Litton’s Market and Restaurant continues to offer the highest quality beef, seafood, and ingredients available. Delicious home-style food partnered with the staff’s genuine southern hospitality and excellent customer service keeps this unique dining experience at the top of food lovers’ lists of favorites.

Today Cont'd: Barry, Kelly, and Erik with their combined culinary and business talents maintain the character, dedication and integrity that have always underscored the “Litton’s Market” name for quality and excellence.

erik, kelly, and barry

What People are Saying Article, Kelly Litton keeps good company in NYC Click here to read more.

SOUTHERN LIVING, Tennessee's Best Burgers, Sure, everyone loves the burgers at Dyer's in Memphis, but what about the rest of the state? To find out, we headed east to Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Nashville. Click here to read more.

southern living

Todd's Taste of the Town ESPN special featurette on Litton's

Knoxville Magazine Article: Litton’s Thunder Road
Warning: All passengers might want to secure a handful of napkins before climbing aboard this ride. Click here to read more.

knoxville magazine
cheeseburger, onion rings and sweet tea

USA TODAY Article: "Get a taste of nostalgia at these classic American diners"

Though Litton’s offers a range of tasty lunch and dinner dishes, its burgers -- featuring freshly-ground beef and buns made in-house -- are a runaway favorite...
Click here to read more.

mickey gilley

Litton's is the best! Loved the food - Thanks!
-Mickey Gilley, 2008

ny times

NY Times Travel Section Article: 36 Hours in Knoxville. By ALLISON GLOCK, Published: June 8, 2008
Click the image to read more

monica abbott

To: Litton’s
The “BEST” burger in town.
-Monica Abbott

When I am in Knoxville I like to grab a bite to eat at Litton’s and see old friends.
-Peyton Manning

peyton manning autograph
bubba trammell

Bubba Trammell-
As I was growing up in Knoxville, I loved nothing more then eating a big juicy burger and homemade onion rings from Litton’s Restaurant. In 2004, I retired from the New York Yankees and moved back to Knoxville. Litton’s is still a favorite and I am usually here having one of the juiciest steaks that I have ever put in my mouth along with a huge piece of Italian Cream Cake!

Con Hunley -

Having been on the road many years, the band and I would seek out the best places to eat. Some were great and some were not so great. What we would do on our road trips would be to plan our travel time to and from gigs so as to allow us time to eat at the places where we really enjoyed the food and the people. That's how important it was to us considering out hectic schedule.

Then, in the mid 80s I discovered a place in my own hometown that is my favorite of all places. Back then they served the best hamburger that I ever had put in my mouth. It was called "The Big Ten Burger." Over the years, this place has transformed itself into the best eatery in East Tennessee. They now offer the best steaks and seafood you have ever tasted. They also have daily meat and three specials for lunch that are great. Oh! And if you have a sweet tooth, the desserts are to die for. My favorites are the chocolate cake, the Italian cream cake and the turtle brownies. There are many more great desserts to choose from.

So, if it's great food, great folks and interesting conversation you're looking for, please check out Litton's Restaurant and tell 'em Con sent ya.

con hunley