This story is part of Tri-Cities Best, a viewer-vote-driven section of News Channel 11’s community coverage. Hundreds of nominations and votes placed several local businesses within reach of the title of Best Diner:
- The Just Bee Diner
- Pennyman’s Diner
- Telford Diner
BLUFF CITY, Tenn (WJHL) – After thousands of votes, the Tri-Cities has placed Bluff City Diner on the pedestal and given it the title of Tri-Cities Best Diner.
Owner Kristi Roberts told News Channel 11 the diner at 4267 Bluff City Highway is typically full of regulars who make their daily stop in at Bluff City Diner for fresh meals.
“Just hometown hospitality,” Roberts said. “Everybody comes and we usually have the same customers every day over and over. Occasionally, we get some new faces.”
Bluff City Diner stays bustling through the day, and the community feel persists through each service.
“Everybody just about knows everybody.”
Roberts has run the diner for coming up on 15 years and said she has seen highs and lows. A particularly tough time was during the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to the diner having to close on Mondays and Tuesdays.
“We found out we like it that way, so we’re going to stay closed on Mondays and Tuesday, but we’re open on Wednesday through Sunday.”
During her time as owner, Roberts said she has had the pleasure of calling several of the regular customers friends.
“I’m very fortunate to have such great customers and very loyal customers, and I have met so many friends,” she said. “And over the years, through the years, I get so much… I have seen passed away and it’s been sad. But we have new faces that come in too, and it’s just that I’ve always had loyal customers come in.”
Roberts credits the staff at Bluff City Diner with much of its success.
“My staff is great, and I really like that,” she said. “I’ve had a lot of staff that have stayed with me year after year.”
Some of the cooks have been at the diner the entire time Roberts has, she said, and several of the servers have remained for long periods of time.
The menu at Bluff City Diner features several diner classics, but the real calling card is the breakfast served all day.
“We have breakfast that is served all day long,” Roberts said. “We have anything from pancakes to tenderloins, steaks, omelets and we make our own biscuits and gravy here. It’s freshly made every day, and they’re not frozen biscuits. But we also, on the dinner side or lunch side of the menu, we have burgers that we pat out fresh every day.”
Roberts said the diner’s steak is another big seller, along with the made-in-house dressings.
With rotating daily specials like spaghetti, chicken livers, meatloaf and fried fish, the options at the diner are wide-reaching.