The tastes of Virginia and Tennessee collide in Bristol, inviting visitors to dive into the deep and rich culinary, brewing, and distilling history of the area.
For the Barbecue Fanatic
There’s nothing quite like homestyle cooking that hits the spot. Fill up on southern classics and daring new dishes at one of the barbecue joints in town.
At Bristol Gardens & Grill, it’s all about the smoked meats and fresh produce. You will have your choice of seating options between the deli, picnic table patio, and converted greenhouse. Enjoy a barbecue tray with a side of live music at Delta Blues BBQ. Order your favorites or try something new like the chipotle black bean burger and jalapeño-cheddar smoked sausage. Southern Craft Barbecue serves up mouth-watering delights all day, from mimosas and biscuits for breakfast to sweet tea, fried chicken, and brisket all day long. It’s truly southern cooking at its finest.
For food on the go, swing through Bristol BBQ’s drive thru where you can load up on sides or load up your baked potato. If you’ve got a big crew, a bulk order or the family 4 pack will feed everyone. Get your order in fast because supplies go quick. Buddy’s Bar-B-Q is a household name throughout Tennessee where you can order chili by the gallon and meat by the pound. Take advantage of Saturday special—all you can eat ribs with hushpuppies and your choice of sides.
For the Beer Lover
Head into Downtown Bristol for a variety of craft brewing options to quench your thirst.
Elderbrew has found their niche, producing small batches of hand-crafted ales and lagers one barrel at a time. This is one you’ll want to stop in as the beer is only available in their taproom. For the casual beer drinker interested in a little bit of everything, State Street Brewing Co. is a great post-adventure hangout for everyone. Or pack a cooler to go to open around the campfire.
Grab a seat in Bristol’s historic bus station for one of Bristol Station Brews & Taproom’s award-winning beers. The cozy atmosphere featuring an outdoor beer garden and fire pit, as well as their live music, trivia nights, and smiling faces, will have you coming back again and again. Try The Cascade Draft House for a rotating list of over 40 brews, ciders, sours, and seltzers on tap. It’s a place where locals and visitors frequent for excellent drink options and live music in an intimate setting.
For the Bourbon Enthusiast
Looking for a glass of rich Tennessee whiskey? Look no further than State Street with the borderline running right down the middle.
The hottest new spot in town is Lost State Distilling, voted the 2020 Best New Craft Distillery by USA Today. There you will find a locally-made gin, rum, or Tennessee whiskey to enjoy from a family-owned distillery. Located on the Tennessee Whiskey Trail, Lost State offers tours and tastings of their award-winning spirits.
For a wide selection of drinks, 620 State stocks over 330 different bourbons to pair with a delicious meal. Their extensive menu features stir fry classics, sushi rolls, burgers, and more to be enjoyed in a cozy atmosphere or to go.
Both locations are conveniently located downtown, putting you within easy walking distance to other restaurants, galleries, music venues, hotels, and more.
Pair your good eats and tasty drinks with an outdoor adventure in Bristol as you explore all the miles of trails and waterways the Virginia and Tennessee border has to offer. Steele Creek and Sugar Hollow parks are the perfect place to experience thrills or enjoy a quiet picnic outside. Hop on your mountain bike and ride miles of technical singletrack and challenging terrain. Hike the scenic trails for wildlife, waterfalls, and epic views of the mountains.
The whole family will love walking, running, or biking the Mendota Trail, a 6.2-mile rail trail with a gentle grade. Make plans to return when the full trail is completed, spanning 12.5 miles from Bristol to Mendota, Va.
If you prefer to be on the water, the South Holston River is a top-notch fishery known for its wild brown trout. Book a wade or a float trip to find arguably the best fly fishing spots in the country.
Easily accessible off of Interstate 81, Bristol offers an assortment of BBQ and drinking options in a beautiful destination.