If you find yourself in Northeastern Tennessee, and looking for the best places to grab a bite to eat in the area, we have the scoop on the best restaurants in the Tennessee Tri Cities.
Where to Eat in Kingsport, Tennessee:
Have Lunch on the River at Riverfront Seafood Company.
When I arrived in the Tri-Cities area after a super early start to my travel day I was starving. The Riverfront Seafood Company was the perfect place to sit, take in the surroundings and eat delicious food.
Situated right on the river, with outdoor seating, it was an incredible backdrop for a terrific meal. I had the crab cake grilled cheese with fried corn. FYI, this isn’t the type of fried corn I was picturing, battered and deep fried was the final result and it was surprisingly delicious.
Perhaps the most fascinating thing that I learned while having lunch was that Kingsport Tennessee is the actual original home of the Long Island Iced Tea. Read more about that story here, hint the unique ingredient is maple syrup.
Enjoy a cooking class and your cook your dinner at Atlas Culinary Concepts
I have talked about it before but about a million years ago, I went to culinary school. So I was beyond excited to hear that we were going to be participating in a pasta making class. From start to finish we made the pasta for the ravioli, the filling and assembled the ravioli. Then, we enjoyed the fruits of our labor along with a fresh salad and focaccia.
Beyond the absolutely amazing dinner that we enjoyed. Even better was the fantastic conversation that we got to have with the owners of Atlas Culinary Concepts.
Justin and Corrine Carrabello moved from California to Kingsport Tennessee to pursue their dream of opening a studio that allowed people of all ages (there are cooking classes for kids too!) to learn how to cook. Justin was a Chef in various restaurants for 20 years prior to starting in the world of cooking classes.
In addition to the cooking classes they also offer catering services, birthday parties as well as private events.
Where to Eat in Johnson City, Tennessee:
Eat a delicious lunch at Gourmet & Co.
Gourmet & Co. is a place that makes you want to call up all of your friends and make a lunch date, and frankly when I looked around it seemed that most everyone there had done just that. It is a cozy, elegant space while still maintaining a comfortable, welcoming vibe.
Fresh cookies greet you on the way in and a traditional and creative menu await your lunch (or dinner!) decision.
I opted for a tuna melt, which sounds pretty standard, right? The twist to the tuna melt was that it was on a cranberry raisin bread. It was outstanding! Tip: don’t skip the truffle fries. I’ve had more orders of truffle fries than I can count and hands down, these were the best I’ve ever tasted.
Get tacos at White Duck Taco Company.
In my super humble opinion, tacos are the best thing ever and can be eaten anytime. When paired with creative fillings they are practically works of art.
The White Duck Taco company is within the same building that houses Yee-Haw Brewing Company.
The tacos hit the spot after a day of white water rafting. We were told that usually people order two tacos but everyone in our group was starving and we all ended up ordering 3 which seemed to be the best amount.
Sip in the cool atmosphere of Yee-Haw Brewing Company
After your tacos, or while you are having tacos, move over to the Yee-Haw Brewing Company and hang while people watching.
Fun fact the Yee Haw Brewery (and White Duck Taco) building was the depot of the Tweety railroad. It has been redone in a totally fantastic way.
Have a beverage at the Watuga Brewing Company‘s rooftop bar
I am told, that getting a spot on the coveted roof top bar at Watuga Brewing Company was quite the feat for our group. It was a great spot to sit and have a cocktail and look out over Johnson City.
While we were at Watuga Brewing Company, the Fridays after 5 event was happening. Fridays after 5 is a free event with live music.
Eat fantastic barbecue at Southern Craft BBQ
Fair warning, on a Friday night (and I am guessing any other night as well!) Southern Craft is THE place to be. The atmosphere was electric and the food was memorable.
Admittedly I am a grits snob and they had the best pepper jack grits on the menu, cooked to perfection and I never turn down a chance to order burnt ends when I see them on a menu!
I still haven’t stopped thinking about the blackberry cobbler that I had while we were there.
Where to Eat in Bristol, Tennessee:
Have lunch at the Coffee Company
One of my most favorite jobs that I’ve had is working as a barista so I have a soft spot for local coffee shops. The Coffee Company appeared to be the place to have lunch in Elizabethton. Part gift shop, part coffee shop and part cafe, it was everything I love rolled into one fantastic place.
I had one of their sandwiches from the summer special menu. It was a Blueberry Goat Cheese Turkey sandwich and it was the perfect summer sandwich! I also, took advantage of lavender flavoring being on the menu and had an iced lavender latte.
Treat yourself to dinner at Bistro on 6th
Bistro on 6th is the date night restaurant in Bristol, it is a cozy place with innovative food. Bistro on 6th boasts delicious fare with an Appalachian taste. I mean, we had pimento cheese stuffed fried green tomatoes as an appetizer for crying out loud!
I had the shrimp and grits but the story of the evening were the chicken and waffles. It was a tower of perfectly fried chicken on top of a jalapeño cheddar waffle.
Don’t miss dessert at Blackbird Bakery
Don’t hold this against me but technically the Blackbird Bakery is in Virginia and not in Tenessee but, in Bristol, it is a matter of walking across the street that changes your state. Tennessee or Virginia? It all depends on the side of the street you are on.
From the moment I landed in the Tri-Cities area, I was told frequently, that no matter what I had to make a stop at the Blackbird Bakery.
It really was a special stop on our trip. Cases and cases of scratch made dessert greeted us when we arrived and we got lucky, because by the time we sat down to eat, there was a line out the door!
The best part? The prices weren’t so high that it would be a issue to get more than one treat to try! I ended up with a lemon bar and a chocolate masterpiece that the group voted as the best.
No matter what brings you to Northeastern Tennessee, be it adventure with your family, a music festival or just coming to town for the fantastic food, you’ll find something you love while you are in the Tennessee Tri Cities!