JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Johnson City has no shortage of great places to dine. In fact, many have been voted the best in the region.
As we highlight all things Johnson City on the 70th anniversary of WJHL, it’s important to note our Tri-Cities Best winners that reside in the city.
Each Tri-Cities Best winner is voted for by the public after being named a finalist by receiving nominations by viewers.
News Channel 11 asked the owner of Greg’s Pizza, Eddy Zayas-Bazan, what it’s like to win a Tri-Cities best category.
“There’s a lot of joy and pride in winning the best pizza and we’re thankful for our customers who voted for us and enabled us to win best pizza. We take a lot of pride, and we love what we do here. It’s a lot of fun,” he said.
With six decades of using premium ingredients, Greg’s Pizza solidified the top spot for a slice or even an entire pie. It’s one of the longest-running spots in town, but it’s not your typical pie.
Pizzas aren’t sliced; instead, they’re cut into strips, and the toppings are placed underneath the cheese. Zayas-Bazan said love and hard work are what makes it taste so good.
“How we differentiate from other pizzerias is the fact that we make just about everything here so it’s pretty labor intense. We make the Italian sausage for the pizzas; all the veggie toppings are cut up daily. We make the steak for the sandwiches… if you order spaghetti and meatballs, it’s all made here. Everything is homemade,” he said.
It can be found at the corner of East Market and South Roan Streets in the downtown area. For decades, Lorraine and Elmer Washington have been serving scrumptious homemade meals, but their chicken certainly sets them apart.
The owners said eating at Taste Budz is like having Thanksgiving every day.
Although in Appalachia, if it’s a taste of Italy you crave, it can be found right on Main Street in Johnson City.
The Black Olive won Best Italian restaurant, boasting three locations in the region. The most recent location can be found in downtown.
Authentic Italian eats and flavors are the goal of the spot, and it features a diverse menu and pasta that will have your mouth watering.
Margaritas, tacos and other Mexican classics can be found at El Charolais, the Tri-Cities’ best spot for Mexican food as voted by the public.
The staff told News Channel 11 tacos are a way of life, and they happen to offer 17 different kinds. The menu seems endless, and that’s a good thing because people can’t get enough of this spot.
It’s on State of Franklin Road in the Kroger shopping center.
For the Best Sushi, head to 3020 Franklin Terrace – that’s the address of Yuimaru Kitchen.
The name comes from a Japanese concept of mutual help and community, bringing that same spirit to their home here in Johnson City.
The owners said they’re honored with the title of Tri-Cities Best and have only the community to thank.
It opened around the same time COVID hit, and this spot has not only survived, it has thrived.
The best meal in the city might actually be on wheels. Alley Kat was voted Tri-Cities Best Food Truck.
The truck calls 216 Ashe Street home. It features loaded-down Philly sandwiches and sauced-up wings with new menu items always in the works.
Tennessee Hills Brewstillery
The first Tri-Cities Best winner, Tennessee Hills Brewstillery offers beer and cocktails on West Walnut Street.
The sequel to the Jonesborough distillery, Tennessee Hills has a wide array of craft beers that won it the title of Tri-Cities Best Brewery.
The Whiskey Kitchen food truck is also usually found at the brewery, serving up hot food.