Where Knoxville comes for

Latin–inspired tapas & cocktails in a modern interior with eccentric decor.

Located in the historic J.C. Penney building in Knoxville, TN, Babalu has become synonymous with Latin-inspired food, hand-crafted cocktails, and a lively, bohemian-styled atmosphere. Centered around a sustainably sourced menu shaped by local and seasonal ingredients, Babalu invites patrons into a warm, celebratory gathering space that captures the spirit of downtown and the energy of Knoxville itself.

Ba•ba•lu or “Baby, I love you,” reflects the belief held by Chef Jonathan Luna and our company that there are restorative effects in sharing good food and drink with those you care about.



Our extensive wine list invites the opportunity to try something new. It features hand-selected Spanish varietals hand-selected to complement our food.


We have enhanced our hand-crafted cocktails by incorporating fresh fruit and herbs. Each drink is carefully crafted to be light, crisp, and refresh any palette.


Our tapas are designed to be shared. We believe the best Babalu experience is achieved by sampling several tapas to enjoy many flavors, as each dish is unique but complimentary to the menu.


Our main entrees incorporate Latin and Spanish flavors by highlighting local and seasonal ingredients.


Whether you want to treat yourself or celebrate an occasion, each dessert highlights a special flavor that ensures a sweet experience.