Yes, there are some fabulous independently-owned restaurants in Washington. But even more importantly, there are hidden eatery ‘gems,’ those diners and ‘joints’ that might not pop up on your google or GPS when searching for restaurants. These are the places that have the time tested, old-fashioned, down home cooking that everybody loves to find in a quaint southern town like Washington. 


For breakfast, look no further than Pam’s Diner. Eggs, cooked to order, fresh waffles, and a bottomless cup of joe that will have you have you smiling and ready to take on your day.  Tell those ladies cooking and serving that you love Mrs Pam. 

Savory Cheese Biscuit at Mom’s Grill

Looking for a quick bite for breakfast while on the go in Washington?  The ladies at Mom’s Grill have you covered. Whether it’s a made-from-scratch ‘Cat Head’ cheese biscuit or a hearty bacon, egg, &  cheese biscuit, you’ll swear your grandmama sent you out the door with one of her morning meal creations. 


Just a hop, skip and a jump from the beautiful Washington waterfront is Dairy Palace. A drive-up and take-out institution in town, they serve breakfast sandwiches, burgers & dogs, and old fashioned ice cream treats. Be sure to bring paper money; the palace is cash only. 


A few minutes outside the city limits you’ll find Slatestone Grocery & Grill.  Customer favorites include hamburger steak and gravy, fried shrimp, and their traditional, southern banana pudding. A  convenience/general store that also has dine-in seating, you’ll want to sit down, relax, and slow sip some of the best sweet tea you’ve ever had. 
King Chicken Drive-In is also not to be missed while in Washington with their chicken, homestyle vegetable soup, sausage dogs, and fresh fried okra.  For something sweet, try their mini sweet potato pies. You’ll think you’ve teleported to the Thanksgiving table of your childhood. On warmer days, pick up some of their succulent chicken salad sandwiches and take them to the waterfront for a delightful picnic experience. 

Pork Chop Plate from Open Heart
Country Kitchen & Grill


Another hidden gem in Washington is Open Heart Country Kitchen & Catering.  Whether you order their clsssic southern fried chicken or the lean grilled fish, there is something that fits everyone’s appetites.  Round out your meal with homemade mac & cheese and fresh veggies. End with a piece of scrumptious chocolate pie. 

These places may not be the mainstream, most well-known eating spots in Washington, but you’ll find these lesser known eateries will give you the down home, southern fare that bring people back to Washington again and again. 

Pam’s Diner
607 John Small Ave
252-946-0087

Mom’s Grill
1041 John Small Ave
252-946-2260

Dairy Palace
120 Bridge Street
252-946-1894

Slatestone Grocery & Grill
2040 Slatestone Rd
252-927-3130

King Chicken Drive-In
601 Carolina Ave
252-946-4594

Open Heart Country Kitchen & Catering
421 Bridge Street
252-833-2305