Home » A Taste of Kinston, North Carolina

Hand-crafted. Made from scratch. Outdoor fun. But kicked up a few notches. That’s Kinston. Here, cooling off happens after a two-story drop. Imagination comes with seven doors and even its own section of town. Playtime includes paddling down the river or sliding down a dragon’s back. History is something you learn about and something you pop in a bag and take home. Hotel stays can transport you back in time. Or make you feel rich just by walking into the lobby. And the food…oh, the food…. Biscuits as big as a cat’s head and barbecue that’s not just good…but best-in-the-nation good. Having a meal in Kinston isn’t just about filling your stomach. These are meals you savor with memories that last a lifetime.


In 2006, Chef & the Farmer helped create the farm-to-table movement which quickly spread across the country with fervor. For more than 15 years, Chef & the Farmer was the flagship of the movement.

In 2023, Chef & the Farmer reinvented itself as The Kitchen Bar, under the leadership of Chef Vivian Howard. Howard’s vision for Chef & The Farmer’s new methodology is to create an intimate experience one weekend a month. If you are lucky enough to get a table, Howard cooks the meal herself and 14 patrons get to experience a 7-course dinner and optional wine pairings, served right at the kitchen bar. The dedication to creating this experience is backed by Howard’s drive to locally source vegetables and meats, and a desire to interact with her patrons one-on-one.


A legacy has been built here. King’s takes the same old fashion flavor perfected in 1936, and brings it into the present, right onto your plate. Picture this: Tender, pork barbecue painstakingly hand-chopped daily and slathered in our secret family sauce.

You can taste the family recipes and traditional Southern cooking methods in every morsel of their signature vinegar-based chopped pulled pork and Ribs. How good is it exactly? Well, King’s BBQ ribs were voted best in the country on the Drew Barrymore Show’s Battle of the Bites. So, nations’ best is pretty good.


Social House Vodka is the place for vodka. It’s here that Social House has converted an old power station into a farm-to-flask distillery. Made in Kinston, this corn-based vodka is all locally sourced from North Carolina farmers. Their craft spirits are premiere in their flavor and presentation. Offering distillery tours by appointment, you can see the process of how Social House creates liquid gold from grain. The corn gives the Vodka a sweet, buttery, soft, subtle note suitable for sipping on the rocks or mixing into cocktails.

You can taste those cocktails at the PumpHouse 1906. The local speakeasy is owned and operated by Social House and it showcases small batch collections of craft spirits, infusions, syrups, and bitters. No one cocktail is quite like the other. Choose from their extensive menu options or ask one of their mixology specialists to create something special for you.
When you’re in Kinston, every meal has meaning. It’s about the experience of sitting at the table with friends and family. It’s about the sustainable practices that go into every sip. It’s about supporting local farmers. It’s about a culinary experience that you can’t find anywhere else. It’s not just food, but it’s memories. It’s not just southern, it’s southern with a kick. Consider yourself invited.•

Plan your trip today at VisitKinston.com

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