Snail of Approval

Slow Food Tennessee Valley announces its new Snail of Approval (SOA) program, which honors local restaurants and food businesses that exemplify the principles of Slow Food and contribute to the quality, authenticity, and sustainability of food in our community. Awarded recipients are all located in Knoxville, TN and the surrounding East Tennessee counties. All show commitment to the three basic Slow Food principles: good, clean, and fair.


Current Snail Approved Businesses


Dale’s Fried Pies

Tootsie Truck

Old City Java

Savory and Sweet food truck

Wild Love Bakehouse

Knox Mason


Oliver Royale



Snail of Approval Criteria

In order to help guide people to food that is good, clean and fair, Slow Food Tennessee Valley awards the SOA to those eateries and artisans who contribute to the Quality, Authenticity and Sustainability of the food we eat and the beverages we drink in the East Tennessee. Only food-service related businesses (holding business licenses) will be considered for the award (i.e. restaurants, cafes, breweries, food trucks). Farmers and market booths are ineligible.

Quality is fundamental—food must taste good and be good for us. Quality includes: the freshness and wholesomeness of ingredients; the care and craft with which they are handled; the quality of life of consumers, producers and their neighbors. It is a standard of Quality based on food that is good, clean and fair.

Authenticity means that the food is true to its source. Natural products free of additives are true to themselves; local, seasonal foods are true to their time and place; heirloom varietals and heritage breeds are true to their evolutionary history; traditional foods are true to their cultural heritage. Authentic foods come from and contribute to ecological and cultural systems that are good, clean and fair.

Sustainability means that we must pay attention to the consequences of how we produce and distribute food. We must be good stewards of the environment in which we live; we must protect the biodiversity on which we depend; we must be humane to the animals we raise, fair to the people we employ, and we must insist that high quality food be available to all. Sustainability means reducing all the negative consequences of making food – it means using processes that are good, clean and fair.


Nomination & Selection
Anyone can nominate any business in the area of East Tennessee that contributes to the quality, authenticity, and/or sustainability of our food supply. Establishments can self-nominate. Recipients are not required to be members of Slow Food.

To nominate, submit a nomination form for consideration by the SOA. The Committee will vet the recipients (including an onsite visit if necessary) and evaluate based upon established guidelines and forward its recommendations to the Slow Food Tennessee Valley leadership for approval. Please allow a 30 day review period by the SOA committed.

Selected recipients will receive a SOA decal and will be listed, along with a description of their products and services, on the Slow Food Tennessee Valley website. In addition, selected businesses will receive recognition of the Snail of Approval in the Metropulse Local Food Guide. A member of the SOA committee will aid in the placement of the decal. If decals are lost or stolen, please notify the SFTV as soon as possible. The SOA designation is indefinite, however participating businesses must adhere to the criteria or the business will be stripped of the award and the decal removed from the business.


Nomination/Application form
Online application

*As we celebrate our local foods and recognize those who grow and/or prepare it, we invite you to get in touch and meet these dedicated individuals. This guide is growing and changing continuously. Every effort has been made to keep this information up to date and accurate but things do change. Please contact us with additions, comments, or questions about our listing.