The blink-and-you’ll-miss-it town of Bell Buckle is just 22 miles from my home and a place I found myself not once, but twice last week alone. And yes, there are reasons to go to Bell Buckle beyond Moon Pies and RC Cola—though the annual festival in June is definitely a great excuse to go.
Where to Eat in Bell Buckle
If you’ve been to Bell Buckle before it was likely to visit the famed cafe. It’s one of three places I like to take out-of-towners to eat for a true taste of Tennessee when they visit (the others being Miss Mary Bobo’s in Lynchburg and Loveless Cafe in Nashville). And if you haven’t been, well, let’s meet up next time you’re passing through! Aside from having an amazing array of down-home Southern dishes, it also bears the distinction of hosting a live music broadcast and having had huge names from Alan Jackson to Wynonna Judd as guests over the years.
Every trip to Bell Buckle should include a trip to the eponymous cafe, where I always get the pork sandwich, carrot souffle and the Moon Pie sundae. Healthy? Naw. Life-changing? Definitely.
For being a town of only 500 residents, Bell Buckle has some fantastic antiques shops, so clear off your credit card and plan on doing some spending.
We’re very close to being new homeowners, so did some preliminary furniture shopping. Antique pie safes, farm tables and tabletop decor, oh my! Bell Buckle is my kind of town.
And as long as you promise not to swoop in and steal all the lovely things I have my eye on, I’ll tell you my favorite two stores: Hilltop Antiques and Bluebird Antiques. As an added bonus, Bluebird even has an old-fashioned soda fountain and plenty of delicious homemade ice cream and fudge! You know, to help you fuel up while you shop tirelessly.
Ella pup is also a fan of the town. She loves anywhere that she can prance around at leisure and where everyone will stop and greet her and tell her she’s cute. Narcissist.
About RC Cola & Moon Pie Festival
Each summer, Bell Buckle multiplies 40 times in size when more than 20,000 people home in on the town for the annual RC Cola & Moon Pie Festival. Oh yes, that is very much “a thing,” and a popular one in these parts at that!
As you probably gathered, both nostalgic treats hail from Bell Buckle; as such, you’ll see RC Cola and Moon Pie paraphernalia for sale in every store.
Have you ever visited Bell Buckle? Is a MoonPie enough to entice you to this darling Tennessee town?
What a charming town – Bell Buckle has got to be one of the best names ever! I’ve never heard of moonpies – are they a Tennessee treat?
They’re made here but I’m pretty sure you can get them all over. SVV is from California and had eaten a Moon Pie before we met! They’re delicious; you should try one =)
Aw, I love small towns (obviously). I would LOVE to hit up those antique stores.
(I have no idea what moon pie is. Can we still be friends?)
You’re Canadian. You get a free pass on this one.
Such a cute town! Remind me about this place when I (one day) start my Southern travel blog!
you know, i haven’t been to bell buckle since i was 13 for the craft fair. i definately need to make a trip down.
That’s already on my calendar for this fall! I went once as a kid, but apparently it brings three or four times the number of people to town that RC Cola & Moon Pie does! Insane.
I almost feel un-American never having tried a Moon Pie. Shame on me.
Well then, you should probably just go ahead and plan a trip to Bell Buckle…
Ooo! I went to the Moon Pie festival once and sampled the fried Moon Pie. Talk about a gut bomb.
BB is definitely a charming Southern town, though!
I’m an atypical Southerner in that I don’t actually prefer anything fried. Though I will admit to liking the last deep-fried Mars bar I tried in Virginia (whereas while living in Scotland, I was more partial to the Nutella crepes as late night bar good!).
Super cute, small town!!! I love places like this.
They are all over the South! Even more reason I’m happy to be home again.
The reason I would be 500 [happy] pounds if I lived near you!
And you KNOW I’d insist on weekly dates over Moon Pie Sundaes, too! That’s just a given.
Fingers crossed about the house! Hope you get it. 🙂
What a super-cute town! I see all kinds of goodies I’d like to eat. Good luck with the house! Fingers crossed that the inspection passes.
Quaint little place. Can’t go wrong with moon pies. Hope the house deal comes through. Got me wondering if you’ll have a camel as a neighbor.
I feel like Bell Buckle is the kind of town you and your fifth wheel would love. Maybe Tennessee should be part of your next major road trip? =)
I love that under “Vegetables” on the menu sign they have listed “macaroni and cheese.”
(Definitely one of my personal favorite vegetables!)
Took the words right out of my mouth. Must be one of those southern things. ?
I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere in America that looks like this! I really need to plan a road trip someday…
More reason to come see me, my dear! =)
Great photos! I can’t wait t see what antiques you guys get to fill the new house. I did notice a nice Conway Twitty poster from a back in the day Moonpie Fest — treasures!
Did you guys ever go to Bud’s Sporting Goods in Truckee? Your description of Bluebird made me think of that place, since it’s an old fashioned sporting goods/hunting store that also has a soda fountain (with the best chocolate milkshakes).
No! Sadly, my time in Truckee was limited to one afternoon of meandering about with Ella while Scott was recovering from a migraine. Every time we were up that way, we spent the whole visit skiing at Northstar.
These photos are the reason why the USA is great. I’m from NYC, but it does not mean I don’t love the small towns that dominate our countries landscape. I have never been to Tennessee, but I hope to one day make it there, hopefully in some kind of Cross Country tour… The picture of the carpet with Louisa May Alcott really caught my eye. Little Women is one my favorite classics which makes her one my favorite writers 🙂
Hope everything goes well with the house hunting. I’m also going through the process here in NY, which is no easy task :p
Looking forward to stopping by again and reading more posts!! Hope you stop by my blog and travel with me on summer adventures 🙂
I cannot even imagine! Having lived in NYC, I definitely know that house-hunting or even finding an apartment rental is a full-time job.
Oh, I absolutely love the photos of Bell Buckle. This is exactly what I picture a small town in the South to look like, all the shops are so pretty! I am definitely moving a trip to the South up the list of places I want to visit next, I’ve never had a moon pie or an RC cola so this is the perfect place to start!
Fingers crossed for your house, hope everything goes well!! 🙂
Ella said should you come back to see her again, she will gladly plan a return trip to Bell Buckle.
Well if I get Miss Ella as my personal tour guide too I’m definitely in! She was very good at giving us San Francisco cupcake tips last time I saw her 🙂 Give her a head scratch from me!
It’s impressive because you have taken a seemingly boring small town and made it quite interesting through a great blog. As a fellow blogger, I know how hard it is to do something like that, and for that I commend you.
Thank you–that’s so nice of you to say!
First of all, best of luck with the house! And second, I was just chatting all about moon pies with my southern family over the weekend. Must have gotten your Bell Buckle vibe even though I hadn’t read this yet 🙂 Looking forward to hearing the news for your next big move!
So I take it you’ve had one before? I’m sure Mayhem would love her some Moon Pies!
I just discovered your blog, and was so delighted to read your article about Bell Buckle. I grew up not too far from that charming little town, and I really miss that area.
Really, where?!? I’m from Tullahoma!
Wow! Winchester. We were neighbors. 🙂
Oh, how funny! I went to Sewanee, too, so lived on both sides of you. And we actually just moved back to Coffee County in December =)
Welcome home & enjoy! It really is beautiful there…looking forward to reading about your new adventures.
What a cute little town! I always tend to think little antique stores in small towns or along county roads are the best.
No but I had two Moon Pie sundaes in one week earlier this month, ha. AND a strawberry grits cake. I really could just go there and have all desserts. My goal is to work my way through the menu, but I can’t seem to resist the Moon Pies!