Gatlinburg is the ideal mountain town, with plenty to do for every age and every type of traveler. From hiking the gorgeous mountains to exploring the charming village, it promises never-ending fun. Regardless of how you explore though, you also have to eat!
These 21 delightful eateries serve everything from the perfect stack of pancakes to mouth-watering, hand-cut steaks. Take in Gatlinburg’s tried-and-true establishments, the newest restaurants in town, and the perfect prescriptions for your sugar cravings.
Iconic Gatlinburg Eateries
Log Cabin Pancake House. Log Cabin has been piling pancakes high for families for over 40 years. Breakfast options don’t stop there, though…try crepes, French toast, omelets, lunch specials, and more. Most likely you’ll encounter a line, but don’t fret. They serve the food quickly here, and you’ll be seated in a flash. On my wish list for our next visit: the wild blueberry stack.
Crockett’s Breakfast Camp. The Davy Crocket served in the Tennessee Calvary in the 1860s, and this breakfast stop honors his memory with unique and filling options. Try the corned beef hash, fried cinnamon rolls, or a breakfast scrambler.
Peddler Steakhouse. This steakhouse not only boasts great hand cut steaks, but its building’s story is great, as well. It was once the home of a 4th generation Gatlinburg merchant whose great grandfather established the first Gatlinburg grocery store in 1850! Pick from steaks, seafood, chicken…and a hearty salad bar. They don’t take reservations, but you can call ahead to get your name on the wait list.
The Park Grill Restaurant. The Park Grill is owned by the same person that owns Peddler, and it’s situated just a hair from the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We love this because, after a day of hiking and exploring, nothing beats a juicy burger or New York Strip. Expect the same great salad bar and call-ahead option.
Calhoun’s. Soon after they opened in 1983 the owners headed to Ohio for a championship, bringing home the title of “Best Ribs in America.” The recipe is just as amazing today. Heading out for a hiking trip or back to your cabin? Try the “Family Pack” and grab it on a Wednesday, which is when the brisket is available.
Smoky Mountain Trout House. It’s no-frills here, just delicious trout. Whatever you do, don’t miss the trout fritters. Yum! You know it’s going to be great seafood when the bread appy is hushpuppies! A line can form and they don’t take reservations, so come early.
Alamo Steakhouse. Another nod to Davy Crockett, the Alamo recognizes that the “Volunteer State” sent nearly 2,000 soldiers to the Mexican American War. Enjoy aged, hand-cut steaks cooked over an oak fire. They also grind their own hamburgers for amazing flavor. Check their website for a 15% coupon for lunch or early dinner.
Smoky Mountain Brewery. OK, sure. It’s a brewery. But they also have a full menu with burgers, pizzas, salads and wings. You can taste their enticing brews with a beer sampler while the kids sip on some fun non-alcoholic lemonades.
New On The Gatlinburg Food Scene
Mama’s Chicken Kitchen. Who doesn’t love a bucket of fried chicken like mama used to make? Grab a plate with green beans, slaw, dumplins, creamed corn and more…or pick up a bucket for the ideal Smoky Mountain Park picnic. Wings, salads, and kiddo options are also available.
J.O.E. and Pop’s Sub Shoppe. This place is part of the same group as Mama’s and Alamo. Subs, salads and sandwiches are the main characters here. The sides will blow your mind, too….mashed potatoes, baked beans, mac and cheese, and more. I cannot wait to try the Reuben. The Boxed Lunches for kids or adults include a sandwich, water, chips and a cookie…a great deal for a day of hiking.
The LandShark Bar & Grill. You might know Landmark as part of the Margaritaville collection of resorts and eateries. The colors are bright and the music is cheery. Try salads, sandwiches, burgers, and more. The “Little Sharks” menu is plentiful, as well. Don’t miss a frozen adult beverage at this “beachy vibe” in the mountains.
Ole Red. It doesn’t open until March 2019, but with so much excitement around it, we had to mention it here. Blake Shelton and Ryman Properties (you know, the Grand Ole Opry folks) are opening their third establishment here. Imagine a two-story bar and restaurant with a dance floor and performance space! Expect BBQ, burgers, chicken & waffles, and other Nashville favorites.
Cliff Top Grill & Bar*. Anakeesta is a beloved 55+ acres of natural family fun in Gatlinburg, and Cliff Top is their newest eatery, located in Firefly Village. Take the Chondola up for indoor or outdoor seating high in the mountains, with delicious burgers and sandwiches. Kiddos are welcome, with a menu that includes a Moon Pie and drink for only $6.
BONUS 1: The Bar At The Top Of The World* is Cliff Top’s watering drinking hole. Liquor, specialty cocktails, wine, and beer are only upstaged by the view.
Pearl’s Pie in the Sky*. Also at Anakeesta, Pearl’s is a 50’s style gem offering homemade pies and scoops of your favorite ice cream flavors. Like Smokehouse, you can reach it via the Chondola for spectacular views to match your tasty treat.
BONUS 2: The Summit Smokehouse*. Don’t miss the food truck with tasty BBQ treats like the Pork Belly Buster or Hickory Smoked Wings.
- These restaurants require admission to Anakeesta. If you want to check out more than one eatery, we recommend an annual pass. It pays for itself in two visits.
Sweets & Treats
Heavenly Delights. Cheesecakes, macarons, and cupcakes – Oh My! Grab the chicken salad croissant for lunch, and pizza for the kids, then treat everyone to something delicious from the bakery.
Donut Friar. While you’re shopping The Village, be sure to grab a snack at Donut Friar. Enjoy handmade donuts, or cinnamon bread with a delicious iced latte. Come early for the best selections, and be sure to bring you Washingtons- they only take cash.
Maddogs Creamery & Donuts. Enjoy ice cream, donuts, milkshakes, and banana spits! The donut flavors are creative, like red velvet with cream cheese icing or devil’s food cake with peanut butter icing. Pair that with one of the 24 ice cream flavors for the perfect snack.
Fannie Farkle’s. Famous for their “fair-like” corn dogs and cheesesteaks, there are plenty of fun lunch options. For a sweet tooth add on a Hawaiian shaved ice! The kids will love the arcade.
Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen. They’ve been making fudge and salt water taffy here since 1950! Buy it by the piece or the pound. I can’t wait to try a red candy apple on our next visit. Kids will love seeing the candy demonstrations, too.
Crust and Crumb Bakery. Ready for a delicious Italian bakery? Sample the savory bagels and breads like zucchini bread or pull apart rolls; or go sweet with cakes, pies or pastries. Everything is always fresh (day-olds are donated to local charities.)
Kilwin’s. Copper kettles and wooden paddles create traditional Michiganite Mackinac Island fudge, and you’ll be craving the caramel apples. Another can’t-miss is the maple ice cream in a waffle cone!
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Disclosure: We love this charming town, and we’re shouting it from the mountains. This post was created in conjunction with Galtinburg, TN. Opinions here are all our own – always.