White Duck Taco Shop, Johnson City TN

For my lunch in Johnson City, we learned that a favorite place from Asheville has opened a location here, sharing a space with the local Yee-Haw Brewing Company.

It has been almost three years since our last visit to Asheville. One of the reasons we hadn’t gone in so long is that the plan, for ages, had been to move there instead of Chattanooga, and we just figured that we’d write about all sorts of restaurants there when we finally made it there. And one of the restaurants that we would start to visit regularly would be the wonderful White Duck Taco Shop, which I completely adored visiting on our 2013 trip. Since we kind of stopped paying attention to Asheville in anticipation of moving there, I had no idea that the restaurant has grown and opened new locations. There are now two White Ducks in Asheville along with locations in Columbia, Charleston, and Johnson City.

After Marie’s lunch at Freiberg’s, we walked around a few blocks of Johnson City’s downtown, which I like very much, and looped back to White Duck and its shared space with Yee-Haw. Since I had a couple of snacks earlier, I didn’t get the delicious salsa and chips that I’d enjoyed at their Asheville store, and just had a pair of tacos. I picked the Jerk Chicken, which comes with pineapple and perhaps a little too much purple slaw, and the Bangkok Shrimp, with cucumbers, a sesame glaze, and a light chili aioli. Both were delicious and, just like our fly-by to the original Asheville location, they left me wanting to come back several times over the course of a week and eat my way through their menu.

At $3.45 apiece, these tacos are not cheap and certainly not traditional, but they’re incredibly tasty and very fun. If we make it back by this location – or if White Duck were to open a spot in Chattanooga – I’d love to go with some friends and try lots of them.

I like Johnson City a lot. I’m a little baffled as to why ETSU chose to build its campus so far from downtown. It makes the city center a little less accessible for students unless they take a very long walk or a bus, and that’s probably a hurdle that keeps the city from becoming a classic college town like it certainly should. It absolutely has the infrastructure, the trendy restaurants, and if that farmers market is any indication, a very engaged young population who loves to spend their money locally. I’d love to spend more time here.

White Duck Taco Shop
126 Buffalo St
Johnson City, TN 37604

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