Places To Eat
We’ll start by saying there are TONS of choices when it comes to dining in the Smoky Mountain area. These just happen to be some of our favorites – and were always trying new places so check back often. And if there’s a type of food you don’t see or a question you have – get in touch!
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Whether you’re looking to fuel up for a day of adventuring in the Smokies or you’re just in the mood for a good old fashioned gut-busting breakfast – we’ve got a few excellent options.
Folks line up for the pancakes at Sawyer’s but we recommend starting the day off right with The Mountain Man: Three eggs, home fries, biscuits & gravy with sausage, bacon, country ham AND three buttermilk pancakes – that’ll get you going!
Smoky’s Pancake Cabin in Pigeon Forge is known for their Pineapple Upside Down Pancakes but there’s way more than that to choose from at this breakfast staple for three generations.
Listen. Tennessee has some excellent BBQ and we just so happen to have a few amazing spots right here in the Smoky Mountains. Any one of these spots will leave your belly happy and a smile on your face.
Our go-to order at Buddy’s Sevierville location is their BBQ Fries with pulled pork, cheese and a generous portion of fries with a side of smoked wings and sweet tea! Another favorite is the Chili Dog! Saturday is all-you-can-eat Ribs day!
We recommend The Trio when you go to Calhoun’s with ribs, tenders and pulled pork accompanied by three sides – we usually go with the baked beans, corn pudding and baked potato. Saving room for the banana pudding is a must, though!
Bennett’s has Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg locations to choose from and we recommend starting off with some of their fried pickles then their Texan Sampler with all five of their smoked meats and two sides – we like the fried corn and green beans.
PIZZA & ITALIAN
If you’re looking from a break from the delicious country cookin’ we have here in the Smokies, a delicious slice of pizza or bowl of pasta might be just the ticket.
If you’re a “Meat & Potatoes” kinda person – or if you really just love a great steak – we have several spots to choose from that can check ALL the boxes for you.
If you want the perfect dinner order, you can’t go wrong with the Wedge Salad with bleu cheese dressing, Filet Tips and Shrimp with a side of creamed spinach – delicious! Also two locations in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.
If you’re looking for something familiar, you can’t go wrong with Texas Roadhouse in Sevierville. Those delicious buttery rolls and perfectly cooked steaks are always dependably yummy! photo: Texas Roadhouse
We love a good burger. We’ll leave the house to go on a hunt for them. That’s why we’ve got a big list of great burgers in the area we think you should try.
Looking for the BEST wings, burgers and appetizers? Look no further than Blue Moose for the perfect lunch or dinner spot – and all the sports to boot! Seriously THE BEST wings in the Great Smoky Mountains.
We’ve been known to eat at Graze in Sevierville twice in one week – it’s that good. We love the grass-fed burgers and are trying to eat every one of them on the menu! Not to mention the amazing hot dogs that barely fit in the to-go containers!
We have this Gatlinburg spot in the burgers section (Which are great!) but they’re also well known for their version of the “Sloppy Joe” called the “Sloppy Jethro” which is no joke and made from scratch!
The Apple Valley Mountain Village is a destination unto itself but their burgers and fried pies can hold their own. Try a Dad’s Double Stack and a Fried Apple Pie shake and thank us later.
This is by far our top choice for burgers in the Smokies. This spot in Sevierville has THE BEST burgers, whether you pick a regular burger or cheeseburger you won’t be disappointed. Don’t forget the crinkle cut fries and frito dog!
Sure, every one of the spots on these lists have some sort of dessert menu to finish up a great meal. But sometimes you just want something for your sweet tooth after shopping the outlets or hiking the trails in the Smokies. This list might make it hard to decide, though…
If you have a sweet tooth, we don’t have a recommendation other than: GO. Chocolate dipped cheesecake, fudge, giant caramel apples… so much to choose from and you won’t be disappointed.
One of the newest kids on the block in the Smokies, head to The Crazy Mason for an out-of-this-world milkshake. We have to recommend the signature shake for Gatlinburg called, “Meet Me in the Mountains” with too many ingredients to list!
If there’s one thing we know the folks in the Smoky Mountain area do well – it’s comfort food. Those meals that just leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy and thinkin’ about mom’s home cookin’. This is a list of some spots that might just leave a tear in your eye.
Oh geez, everything here is great! We’ve eaten here for years and can highly recommend just about everything! Ribs, fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, corn chowder, corn fritters, green beans…goes on and on. And if you’d like to have some Old Mill but the lines are long, consider a “Cabin Pack” to grab-and-go.
If you’re in the mood for some comfort food and feel like your hunger knows no bounds, give Mama’s a try for delicious all-you-can-eat fare for every meal: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Best cheese grits and fried chicken around.
During chilly weather in the Smokies, we crave the comfort food at Five Oaks like their potato soup, ribs and biscuits. Their red eye benedict and milk parlor omelette’s are amazing as well.
Folks often ask “What is a Must Do restaurant while we’re here?” We absolutely believe the Pottery House Cafe Grill across from The Old Mill is it. Try their Bacon Cheddar Dip, fried green tomatoes, bbq baked beans and their chicken reuben or Hot Brown.
Try the Cafe Pork Chops with pickled beets and potato fried apples at this great spot in Wears Valley, TN on Friday or Saturday dinner on your way back from Cades Cove. photo: Elvira’s Cafe
Paula Deen is a big celebrity name but the food here is just delicious. We enjoy Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen at the Island in Pigeon Forge for either lunch or dinner and we can’t get enough of the pork tenderloin and ooey gooey butter cake.
If you’d like to try something a little out of the ordinary (Or maybe have a meal you’re used to back home) try the folks on this list for some authentic cuisine.
If you’re in the mood for something a little different, or for more vegetarian fare, try Curry n’ More for some Masala Dosa or Paneer Butter Masala. And, yes, they have delicious meat dishes as well!
DINNER & A SHOW
Pigeon Forge is known for it’s great attractions, shows, and rides but why not combine the whole kit-n-caboodle! These picks are great places to fill your eyes, ears… and belly!
The entertainment is definitely a hoot, but the food is great, too! It’s an all-can-eat feast included with the ticket including fried chicken, pulled pork, corn on the cob and more. (Special dietary meals available as well)
This show from the Queen herself is located in Pigeon Forge and a four-course meal is included with the ticket including rotisserie chicken, pork loin, potato and more. (Veg and gluten-free options available, too)
Enjoy another four-course meal while watching the swashbuckling antics of Blackbeard and crew. Fried Chicken, soup, ham, corn on the cob and more as well as veggie, vegan and gluten-free options.
Whether you’re looking to celebrate a special occasion during your trip to the Great Smoky Mountains or you’re just in the mood to dress up fancy and hit the town in style – these upscale recommendations are serving up some seriously creative cuisine.
The menu changes with the seasons and what’s available here for fresh and creative choices. Try the Hunters Platter or Muscovy Duck if it’s available. And enjoy the rooftop bar at sunset. photo: Seasons 101
This could be part of the “Steak” section but there’s so much more to the Greenbrier. They age their meats in-house for some really amazing dishes. Try the Bone-in Ribeye with Herb Smashed Potatoes or the Joyce Farm Chicken. photo: The Greenbrier
SANDWICHES / DELI
Need something simple and easy? Looking to grab some munchies for a picnic at Cades Cove or in the park? Try any of these spots for some quick, easy and delicious food options.
This spot is a great place to pick up items for a picnic or if you want to grab a delicious sandwich to go, try the famous Super Reuben or the Hot Turkey sandwich.
photo: The Cheese Cupboard
Last, but certainly not least. These options are perfect when you just can’t decide what to eat. Try out these spots for plenty of options to satisfy the pickiest of the bunch.