I got an email last week that ended in a laundry list of eateries in Kingsport.

A Minding Your Business column reader emailed me asking for restaurant suggestions with outdoor seating that she and her out-of-town, virus-conscious friend could enjoy while in Kingsport. I sent her my list of places, but it got me wondering what restaurants Kingsport Times News readers might suggest. As one does this day and age, I asked our KTN Facebook followers for suggestions and have included the top picks below.

• Riverfront Seafood Company — This Netherland Inn Road seafood eatery tops the list, both for me and our Facebook users. Riverfront has outdoor seating and a picturesque view of the Holston River that cuts through a historic part of Kingsport. They are reservation-only at the moment due to the labor shortage, so you have to call ahead, which, I believe, is a good way to battle recent restaurant woes (for customers and employees).

• Fusion — Fusion on Stone Drive is also a popular suggestion for outdoor seating. The restaurant has a small deck out front. They offer Tex-Mex, Italian, American, a little bit of everything, or, a “fusion” of food genres.

• Stir Fry — This Asian food option tied with Fusion for second in our Facebook post. It offers a view of downtown Kingsport and half-off sushi on Wednesday and Saturday nights.

• Cheddar’s — This very popular option on Eastman Road has outdoor seating with a fountain — not to mention a killer spinach dip. It also offers just about any sort of food you could want from chicken pot pies and steak to ribs and salads.

• Pal’s — If a Kingsportian talks to you for at least five minutes and doesn’t mention Pal’s, is he or she really from Kingsport? This option received some passionate comments. Of course, they mostly specified the Revere Street location, complete with an outdoor seating area (that’s covered). However, no one seemed to mention the downtown Pal’s staple, the peanut butter milkshake you can only get at that specific location. (That note should get me some sort of Kingsport kudos.) This is also a good budget-friendly option as well and there is no waiter or waitress to tip.

• Santa Fe — This option was one that did not make my emailed list but was popular among our Facebook comments. Santa Fe is located on Stone Drive next to Texas Roadhouse and offers Mexican cuisine and a nice patio out front.

• Rush Street — This one also somehow didn’t make my list, but is a great option. It also offers outdoor seating, but what I specifically love about this old Kingsport favorite is the spacious building. It seems like there are so many table options and you don’t feel like you’re crammed in, watching strangers eat their food from a few feet away. The Saturday burger special is a favorite.

• Honorable mentions: McAlister’s Deli, The Chop House, Phil’s Dream Pit and Sloopy’s Diner.

This list offers all sorts of food genre options, from hot dogs and hamburgers at Pal’s to Tex-Mex and Italian at Fusion. But it also offers a different dining experience altogether. You can enjoy an afternoon in the shade at McAllister’s with your dog by your side. You can take in the intriguing timeline of Pal’s painted history on the neighboring building facing Pal’s downtown location. You could even grab a sandwich at Jersey Mike’s and head off to a local park. I recently ordered a Jersey Mike’s Philly cheesesteak and enjoyed it at Johnson School on a Sunday afternoon in the shade. A change of scenery and some sunshine can do you some good.

I hope you’ll enjoy this list of places with outdoor seating and maybe even give a place you don’t usually frequent a shot. And thank you to our Facebook followers for your great suggestions!

I’m always on the hunt for business anniversaries ending in a five or zero, and, as always, you can send your business questions and notes to [email protected]. You might see your note or anniversary in an upcoming Minding Your Business column.

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