Local Eats in Northeast Tennessee

We’re all familiar with the popular places to eat, but what about those hidden treasures that only the locals know about?


Bristol Bagel & Bakery offers breakfast and brunch options. With the cooler weather, this would be a great stop for tomato basil soup and a toasty bagel with maple pecan cream cheese – a lovely pick me up on a cold day. 

Bistro on 6th offers flavorful cuisine distinct on classics with a new twist. With a seasonal menu, your taste buds won’t want to miss items like pimento cheese-stuffed fried green tomatoes, pork bun sandwiches, trout almondine, and so many other delectable options.


Riverside Taphouse is a favorite hangout spot for families featuring an outdoor patio and a fun indoor space to kick back and enjoy some local brews and ciders. Join the fun with singo, trivia, or catch live music.  paired with Big Dan’s BBQ (known for homemade sauces and brisket) just next door.

The Coffee Company, located downtown, serves lunch and breakfast and specializes in drinks with their full barista bar. Employees joke that the business should be called Lunch Co. for how delicious the food is. After taking a stroll through town on a cold day, getting a warm drink, or stopping for a bite to eat – either way, it’s a great spot. 


Burnout BBQ & Grill is an unexpected stop on winding country backroads as you make your way to the infamous Beauty Spot on the Appalachian Trail. Housed with vintage cars, Burnout is one of the best places to stop in Erwin for some barbeque or a burger.

USA Raft’s Take-Out Bar is the newest year-round hot spot along the Nolichucky River. Now serving quick bites, appetizers, and local brews, it’s the best place to relax by the campfire.


Brumley’s is a luxurious lounge located downtown inside the Historic General Morgan Inn. Known for its flare on historic decor, and chef-prepared meals, Brumley’s hosts one of the best cocktail bars in the region. 

Whistle Stop is located in the nearby town of Tusculum, and is known for mouthwatering steaks and homemade soups and making you feel like home the minute you walk through Cheryl’s door.

Johnson City   


Hachimi is a sushi and ramen spot that offers a taste of a different culture. Hachimi is known for Japanese cuisine, featuring sushi, rice bowls, ramen, Japanese fried rice, and hibachi dinners. 

Tommy Thai, located near ETSU, serves traditional Thai dishes. Curry noodles, fresh spring rolls, stir-fried rice, mochi ice cream, and so many more yummy dishes are guaranteed to satisfy your spicy side.


Jonesborough Barrel House & Tavern is a southern smoked barbeque staple featuring live music. Staying within the barbeque theme Jonesborough Barrel House serves wings, burgers, ribs, sandwiches, and event non-meat options in the heart of the historic district.

Main Street Cafe & Catering has been serving fresh food since 1982. Specializing in soups and sandwiches, salads are also a popular menu item. You’ll want to check back often, as their daily specials often change. Located in downtown Jonesborough, this hometown shop sits in the middle of West Main Street. 


The Riverfront Seafood Company in Kingsport has a wonderful view of the Holston River River. There are choices of both seafood and American cuisine. This local staple even offers a fresh market, where you can purchase fresh seafood to take home and prepare yourself! 

Backwoods Burger, located in the downtown district, is known for over-the-top burgers  where you can “feed your growl.” Founded in 2018, Backyard Burger prides itself on serving flavors from all over the world. Mac and Cheese on a burger? Count us in! The menu includes a variety from barbecue to burgers and even pork rinds and homemade pimento cheese dip.

Mountain City

The small town of Mountain City is known for some of the best eats in Northeast Tennessee. Folks make a day trip to town just for a chance to savor the made from scratch dishes at La Cucina. BYOB is totally acceptable and reservations are recommended for this locally famous Italian eatery.

Another restaurant you’ll want to plan in advance for in Mountain City is Suba’s. Known for their desserts, Suba’s extensive menu ranges from perfectly prepared steaks, the best seafood in the area, pasta and chicken, to wonderful lunch sandwiches and salads.


Beer cheese and pretzels from McKinney’s Restaurant & Tavern in Rogersville, Tenn.

Located inside the historic Hale Springs Inn,  McKinney’s Restaurant and Tavern offers drinks and Instagram-worthy dishes from the lunch and dinner menu. Paring your meal with a stay at the Inn makes the perfect weekend getaway, even if you’re a local. 

The Hollywood Hillbilly brings a unique culture to Downtown Rogersville. They focus on serving fresh food that is familiar yet different, along with hosting an eclectic mix of musicians in their one-of-a-kind downtown space, including a 300-gallon fish tank as the backdrop. 


Another all-day breakfast (and more) stop is Maple Grove Restaurant. Ranging from a full plate breakfast or just a biscuit, this local hangout is sure to get you through the day. The crazy flavors of pancakes can range from pumpkin pecan to cinnamon apple. But perhaps they are best known for homemade pies you can only find in the southern Appalachian Mountains.