July 24, 2017

Tastes of the Clinch Offers Guide to Local Eateries

Nearly sixty locally owned restaurants range from iconic hamburger stands to Appalachian regional dining

The Clinch River Valley, long identified as home to one of the most biodiverse river systems in North America, is also the setting for a wide range of authentic local dining experiences.

The collaborative Clinch River Valley Initiative (CRVI) unveiled today a new program to highlight locally owned restaurants in the four county region. Spanning from North Tazewell to the Tennessee line, the list tracks the Clinch River and its tributaries to create the list of nearly sixty eating establishments.

“Our restaurants are an important amenity for visitors enjoying the region’s outdoor recreation opportunities,” said Heart of Appalachia Tourism Authority Executive Director Kitty Barker. “When visitors come to Southwest Virginia, we want them to experience our place like the locals do.”

A committee of local leaders created the strategy and advised Heart of Appalachia staff in developing a map of the restaurants that is available online, and at hotels, restaurants, and visitor centers in the region. “We’ve got a good list, and it’s growing,” said Town of Dungannon Mayor Debra Horne, co-chair of CRVI’s Downtown Revitalization Committee. “As we work to care for the river, we’re creating economic opportunity by supporting existing businesses and encouraging new ones.”

The map shows communities in the region and the access points for floaters and boaters to access the river. The restaurants identified are all locally owned and each offers a distinctive experience. “Visitors expect something that they can’t get at home,” said Barker. “And we are very proud of our businesses who provide that”, said Barker.

Pick up a copy of the map or download it at to start your own food tour.

A grassroots, volunteer-based effort, the Clinch River Valley Initiative (CRVI) is working to shape the region as a visitor destination based on its unique biodiversity, natural beauty, cultural attractions, and outdoor opportunities. The collaboration will bring measurable economic, environmental, and social benefits to the region’s communities while protecting the Clinch’s globally rare species. Learn more about the initiative and sign up to participate at