Top 10 Locally-Owned Kingsport Restaurants

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.

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4 responses

  1. I cant believe that my two favorite resturants in Kingsport arent on the list….Purple Cow and TK’s !!!

    I come down to Kingsport, just top eat these places. Sadly, Ive ate about 90% of whats on TK’s total menu and about 75% of what’s on Purple Cow’s ( which is saying a lot ). Before I started my diet, I would eat Purple Cow twice a week, from work. The fact that they deliver is a huge thing for me. If they didnt, I wouldnt have ate from there as much. And if anyone reading this needs suggestions of what to eat from either place, Id be more than happy to provide you with several.

    I do like Plum Tree. Its my favorite Chinese resturant thats non buffett, in the entire Tri Cities. We have a newer place in Bristol that is my favorite Chinese buffett though. Its called Min ( or Ming ) Dynasty. They have a chef that will let you pick what you want off a raw bar and then he will prepare it for you in the wok, for no extra charge….very nice. I ate there a few weeks ago. I like China Wok but the buffett is way too small to my liking. It may be the smallest buffett Ive ever seen.

    Now Molcajetes is AWESOME !!! I think its the best Mexican food in Kingsport, without a doubt. However, El Matador is JC is my favorite Mexican place in the Tri Cities.

    Chef’s….I love that place too. Me and SS used to eat there weekly while I was on lunch break from work. I love that they are very fast on delivery too.

    Nick’s….I used to love, but the last time I got something there, it wasnt good and was too pricey , for what I got. I could have eaten Chili’s for cheaper…

    I havent ate at Sharon’s technically since they changed over. I ate there while they were in transition to the change over and I didnt like it at all.

    Fisherman’s Dock, the owner is hateful…called me a liar…and everything I get there, has this wet, watery taste….doubt I will ever eat there again.

    KGC-sadly, havent ate there since it was open in the early 90s.

    Tomoko-havent ate there either. I dont think that Bristol has much of ANYTHING better than Kingsport, except Japanese food. We have two GREAT places..Tokyo ( off Euclid Ave/Commonwealth Ave area ), which is great….and Kobe ( off exit 7 ) which is a lot better than Tokyo ( which is saying a lot )Trust me on this one !!!

    And Pratt’s….classic….what else can ya say about a place where you can eat from a porch swing.

  2. I found out something recently, that I meant to share with you. I ate at Tomoko’s and I couldnt tell much difference from Moto’s at all. Maybe it was a tiny bit cheaper, but the taste was the same. I then found out from someone I work with, who is also in the food services business, that Tomoko took several cooks and other employees from Moto’s when they opened up.

    Also, SS noticed that three of your favorite ten resturants are in former Wendy’s buildings. I thought I had posted that, but I dont see it anywhere on here.

  3. Back to ya again, but did ya know Fisherman’s Dock has re-opened ? And you have forgotten about Riverfront being in Kingsport?

  4. Yes, we tried the new Fisherman’s Dock and really liked it. And I did forget about Riverfront. I’ve only eaten there once, several years ago, and I got chicken.

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