Today I decided that I’d do a top 10 list that ranks my favorite local restaurants in Kingsport. I wanted to recognize some places that I think are outstanding and deserving of your business.
For this list, I’m only including restaurants that are locally-owned (as far as I know), and that only have one location. Therefore, you won’t see restaurants on this list that are locally-owned but have more than one location (like Pal’s and La Caretta) or that are national chains (like Cheddar’s).
So, without further ado, here are my top 10 favorite locally-owned Kingsport restaurants:
10. Fisherman’s Dock: Until recently, it had been a long time since I’d eaten at Fisherman’s Dock. My family and I have tried it several times lately, and it’s quite good these days. It’s the only true seafood restaurant I can think of in Kingsport, aside from the national chain “fast food” seafood places.
9. Kingsport Grocery Company: I’ve only been here once since it reopened as KCG, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Those garlic knot appetizers are awesome, and if you like New York style pizzas, they’ve got you covered. When they say “large pizza”, they mean it. One of my personal favorite items on their menu is the black bean hummus. They have a wide variety of unique appetizers to try, such a sweet potato fries, which are very good as well.
8. Pratt’s: The only thing I’ve tried since Pratt’s reopened as a full service restaurant is the pulled pork BBQ, but it must be pretty good, because I’ve tried it several times. One of the best things about Pratt’s is that they have several different BBQ sauces to try. And their cheese biscuits are one of the best things I’ve ever eaten, but as of the last time I was there, they only serve them on Friday and Saturday.
7. Chef’s Pizza: If you’re looking for good pizza at a reasonable price, it’s hard to beat Chef’s. Their meatball pizza topping is particularly good. I’ve also heard good things about their soup and salad lunch buffet.
6. Nick’s: The restaurant once known as “Nick Nave’s” is still going strong. It’s a a traditional family-style restaurant serving burgers, steaks, fish, and specializing in broasted chicken and potatoes.
5. Sharon’s: As those of you who read my review of the “new” Sharon’s a few months ago know, I wasn’t too sure if I liked the changes they made to their restaurant or not. After trying it a few more times and getting used to it, it’s again become on of my favorite locally-owned restaurants in town. The burgers are some of the best I’ve ever had. They’ve added some photos on the walls of various celebrities enjoying their burgers, so the decor has taken a step in the right direction as well. I think I gave them a score of 6 out of 10 in my review a few months ago, but I’d increase that to a 7 or 8 now. If they’d ever get around to putting milkshakes on the menu, it might go even higher…
4. Molcajetes: I’m not going to beat around the bush – I love La Caretta. But Molcajetes is an excellent Mexican restaurant as well, and there’s no reason that a La Caretta fan can’t enjoy Molcajetes as well. The food is just different enough that I like eating at both places. The dish called “South of the Border” has quickly become my favorite – it’s 2 chile rellenos with a side of beans or rice.
3. Tomoko – Tomoko is a fairly new Japanese steakhouse that opened up in the old Wendy’s building in front of K-Mart on Stone Drive. The service and food are excellent, and it’s quickly become one of my favorite places to eat.
2. China Wok – China Wok is hands down one of my favorite places to eat, and not just among locally-owned restaurants, either. If I expanded my list to include every restaurant in the world, I still think China Wok would be #2. As you’ve probably noticed if you live in Kingsport, there are Chinese Buffets all over the place. China Wok is by far my favorite. The selection on their buffet is smaller than most, but the food is so much better that there’s really no comparison. They also have a huge menu if you prefer to order that way. If you like Chinese food, go eat at China Wok.
1. Plum Tree – After I spoke so highly of China Wok, you probably didn’t except to see another Chinese restaurant ranked above it, huh? Plum Tree doesn’t have a buffet, but their food is the best I’ve had at any Chinese restaurant I’ve ever eaten at. I had a hard time deciding whether Plum Tree or China Wok should be #1 – it was very close. China Wok is my favorite Chinese buffet, while Plum Tree is my favorite Chinese restaurant to order off of the menu.