Washington, NC

Hot Dogs with an award-winning, hundred year-old meatless chili. James Beard nominated chefs preparing the fresh catch of the day. These are some of the tastes you can only find in the Original Washington. What are the rest? Well, that’s why we created this trail. Check below and put your taste buds on high alert.

Medium Activity

1 day | 12 stops

Day 1

STOP 1: Bill's Hot Dogs

TRY A HOT DOG WITH CENTURY OLD NO BEAN WHITE CHILI: Opened in 1928 by Bill Jackson. Hot dogs, chips and drinks is all Bill's Hot Dogs has ever served and we promise you won't be complaining about it. The legacy of this eatery is part of Washington's landscape and you can't beat the original. The chili is even the original recipe! Pairing years of hot dog history, everyone's favorite hands-only food, you get a winning combination here at Bill's Hot Dogs.

STOP 2: The Hackney Restaurant

COME FOR CHEF JAMIE DAVIS, JAMES BEARD SOUTHEAST FINALIST: Home to James Beard nominee Chef Jamie Davis, the Hackney offers visitors a true Sea to Table experience. The menu changes almost daily based upon the freshest produce and the catch of the day. From tuna and grouper to shrimp, oysters and the sweetest blue crabs, each dish is prepared with bold flavors, using different techniques to really let the ingredients shine and speak for themselves. Have one of those meals that you will be thinking about for years to come.

STOP 3: Val's Gourmet Baked Goods

ORDER THE CHEESECAKE CHEESECAKE: Some only dream of cake. Others bake it happen. One look in the display case at the three-tiered Cheescake cakes and you know you’ve come to the right place. Val’s Gourmet’s grab and go coolers have what you want for breakfast or lunch. Savory tomato pies and dreamy quiches, muffins and cinnamon rolls are some local favorites. But the real show stoppers are those mile high cakes in flavors like chocolate cheesecake, lemon, carrot, and, straight after a Southerner’s heart, a vanilla wafer lined banana pudding cake.

STOP 4: King Chicken

TAKE A BITE OF A CAT HEAD CHEESE BISCUIT: Start your day with some Southern soul food from King’s Chicken and Drive In. A Washington favorite since 1958, their breakfast biscuits come in buttermilk, sweet potato, cathead cheese, and with just about any sweet or savory thing you may want to stuff it with. Want to make sure you’re stuffed ‘til lunch? Opt for a breakfast plate with eggs, meal, grits, and toast. And, given the restaurant’s name, you know their chicken and waffles can’t be beat.

STOP 5: 1906 Bistro & Bourbons

ASK FOR THE OLD FASHIONED: How can you go wrong with pub food and expertly crafted cocktails to wash it down with? At 1906 Bistro & Bourbons, you'll find that your resident bourbon lover will be in paradise. Share a meal and a drink with friends or family, and enjoy the light ambiance of the lounge and the warmth of your drink.

STOP 6: Mulberry House

SIT ON THE ROOFTOP WITH A VIEW OF THE RIVER: Sun and breeze on your face, drink in your hand. Spend cocktail hour with one of the best river views in Washington at Mulberry House’s rooftop lounge. This place has it all: coffee shop, brewery, and restaurant. For dinner, leave the decisions to the chef and opt for the six-course Tasting Menu with optional wine pairing, or tempt your palate with something from their main menu including Japanese charcoal grilled skewers and Yakitori, local crawfish, or ginger braised pork belly. The food and views are unbeatable.

STOP 7: Down on Mainstreet

GET A PLATE OF SHRIMP & GRITS: This is the locals favorite lunch spot for a reason. Friendly, casual, and bustling with people, Down on Main Street runs a tight ship during its lunch service. Shrimp, fried green tomatoes, sandwiches stacked high and crushed ice in your tea make for a satisfying tasty, mid-day break. Don’t worry if there’s a line, it moves pretty quick.

STOP 8: Shep's Grill

TRY THE BRISKET OMELET: Need a good breakfast to get you moo-ving? Head over to Shep’s Grill. You’ll find a menu of all your typical breakfast foods prepared with a little history and flair. You’ll also find a local favorite: The Brisket Omelet. It is exactly what it sounds like. Tender pieces of beef brisket folded into perfectly cooked eggs with some of your favorite toppings. Pair it up with some fluffy biscuits biscuits or a side of grits, and you’ll be set for the day ahead.

STOP 9: Scoops Ice Cream

GRAB A SCOOP & HEAD TO THE WATER: What’s better than ice cream? Ice cream with a view. Conveniently located on the Beautiful Downtown Washington, NC Waterfront. Main Street Scoops serves hand-dipped Hershey's Ice cream, milkshakes, specialty ice cream treats, mini donuts, coffee, candy, and more, this spot is a child's paradise and an adult's reprieve. Sweet moments are hard to find, but at Scoops Ice Cream they come in small, medium, or large with a quick walk to the river to lick your cares away with an amazing view.

STOP 10: River Vibes

ORDER UP A SMOOTHIE: To bike or not to bike: That is not a question. One of the best ways to experience Washington is on a comfy cruiser bike from River Vibes. Single and tandem, these rentable bikes have wide seats and a rack where you can strap down any purchases. It’s a great way to see the town, shop, and let your body relax as you soak up the sun and cruise by the Pamlico. When you’re done exploring, pop back in River Vibes for a refreshing, 100% crushed fruit smoothie. Try the “Castle Island,” named after the island you can see from the riverfront boardwalk.

STOP 11: The Bank Bistro & bar

GET A CAROLINA JEWEL & PRIME RIB SPECIAL: The Bank Bistro & Bar is a place to sit back, enjoy an expertly crafted meal, and take in the ambiance with your date night darling. Start the evening off with a Carolina Jewel cocktail and finish it off with a Prime Rib perfectly prepared. Full hearts. Full bellies. That’s what we call a meal to remember.

STOP 12: Parle’ Riverfront Restaurant & Bar

GET THE OYSTERS ROCKEFELLER: Fresh seafood with million dollar views. That's what you'll get at Parle’. This local favorite has been a staple in Washington since it opened its doors a few years ago. Sit outside and enjoy a glass of Chardonnay. Order up some Oysters Rockefeller, locally caught that day. Or try their famous flatbreads, shrimp scampi, juicy steaks, and prime cuts. Any choice is a good choice.