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Dec 23, 2004 01:40 PM

Eats in Bristol, TN/VA and the surrounding area (<75 mi.)?

  • c

I'm there with some frequency and I want to find some non-Ruby Tuesday's haunts. I'm looking for both upscale sorts of places and for places with a lot of character. Any suggestions?

Oh, and if anyone knows of a good place to watch the college football bowl games, I'd love to settle in front of a plate of chicken wings.

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  1. 1. Ridgewood bbq, Elizabethton TN, best bbq in the world. (only the bbq though).

    2. Starving Artist cafe Abingdon, VA great sandwiches.

    3. The Peppermill, Abingdon, VA upscale.

    4. Bella's Pizza, Abingdon and Bristol for calzones and Abingdon location for awesome non-pizza hut pizza.

    5. Troutdale restaurant Bristol TN upscale.

    3 Replies
    1. re: crhue

      Thanks - I've bookmarked this for my next trip to the region.

      1. re: crhue
        Critic Review

        Ridgewood is a must visit for BBQ, one of the best in the world. Starving Artist is good, but not THAT GOOO... Bella's is good for a quick business lunch, but not much else. The Peppermill used to be great now it sucks... The Troutdale is the biggest scam going, they are extremely overpriced for just ok food.

        Other places to look into:

        Cafe Pacific in Johnson City

        Stir Fry in Johnson City

        Cootie Browns in Johnson City

        Red Rooster Market in Blountville

        Chain restaurants really rule the Tri-Cities!

        1. re: crhue

          Ridgewood BBQ is in Bluff City, TN. Starving Artist (Abingdon) closed.

        2. Try the Town House Grill in Chilhowie, up I81 about 30 miles from Bristol. It is well worth the trip.


          1. There is a place between Abingdon and Bristol on the old highway next to Interstate 81. It has been around since the 50's but it is more a place you would probably want to get the food and eat it elsewhere unless the weather was warm. Its called HiLo Burger and if you are coming from Abingdon it is on your right. It is a small building that has fantastic burgers and shakes and various other food, but it has stuck around this long for a reason. It has a lot of character though the paint is fading.

            1. I have been to Hi-Lo burger- it has lots of character. Of course, a large part of the character is that it is a drive-in and you are eating in the car. So, character depends on your wheels. The Martha Washington Inn in Abingdon is upscale. A place I always wanted to go but never got to when it was open is a restaurant that is in an old house about two blocks from the Martha Washington Inn on Main St. It has old charm from the outside and I have seen the upscale menu but never eaten there since it has not been open when I have been down there. Bristol is virtually the only place on Earth where I recommend chain restaurants since, as a rule of thumb, there is no decent local food. Troutdale- okay but pricey; Ridgewood- fine but is off the beaten path. Even the Krispy Kreme closed in Bristol- now that is a low blow. I have strong feelings about "dining" in Bristol and I have never found a place that stands out. I know there is the saloon/tavern place on State Street- okay and you can get a beer; KP Duty- okay. Good luck in Bristol- every year or so someone realizes that they need a new restaurant in town but they rarely stay open long. The place that has the most character and been around the longest in the Burger Bar off State Street. Oh, oh, don't get me started about Bristol.