Gatlinburg, Tennessee 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 area, it promises never-ending fun. All of that excitement and adventure is sure to work up an appetite, and that’s where these awesome Gatlinburg restaurants come in.
Gatlinburg TN is home to some excellent restaurants that serve everything from the perfect stack of pancakes, to mouth-watering, hand-cut steaks. You’ll find tried-and-true establishments, new restaurants, family-friendly spots, places to satisfy your sweet tooth, and more!
Ready to learn more about these Tennessee eateries? Here are 29 amazing Gatlinburg restaurants sure to thrill your palate and give you the energy you need to keep exploring.
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.
The Pancake Pantry. Tennessee’s first pancake house was Pancake Pantry, which opened back in 1960, so we made it our first pancakes stop as well. I loved the Swedish Pancakes with a side of bacon…I could have licked the plate clean. The boys ate every drop of their “Bear in the Sky” pancakes – bear-shaped pancakes with candy buttons and whipped-cream “clouds!” (We’re not the only ones who love it here). But they don’t only serve breakfast, so check out their lunch menu too!
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. We loved the menu that reads like a newspaper, with stories of the real Crocket character and other logging legends.
Peddler Steakhouse. This steakhouse not only boasts great hand-cut steaks, but its building’s story is great as well. The building 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 offer call ahead seating on the day you are dining, or you can stop by, beginning one hour before they open, to put your name on the seating list.
The Park Grill Restaurant. The Park Grill is owned by the same person who 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. My oldest tried steak here for the first time ever, and loved it!
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, with slow-smoked meat on season split hickory logs. Heading out for a hiking trip or back to your cabin? Try the “Family Pack.”
Smoky Mountain Trout House. A Gatlinburg restaurant dining tradition for over 45 years. 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 app 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. Found a favorite Smoky Mountain Brewery beer? Take home a six-pack or a growler.
Best Italian Restaurant. If you’re looking for NY-style Italian, this is it! I had the stuffed shells with a salad – so good. The kids’ menu works well also. The boys enjoyed pasta with marinara and a pepperoni pizza…offering two sets of thumbs up. Oh – and those garlic rolls. WOW!
Howard’s Steakhouse. Honestly, this was one of my favorite meals in Gatlinburg! It’s not a “fancy” steakhouse, but they’ve been doing it right since 1946. Based on a recommendation, hubs and I did the steak special for two — 2 steaks, 4 sides, 2 salads — all under $70! I had the filet mignon, baked potato, broccoli, and house salad…so so so good! Oh, and a whiskey flight, too! The kid’s meal was choice – the boys gobbled down their burgers. The music was great, the staff was friendly…we really enjoyed it here.
NEWER SPOTS 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, dumplings, creamed corn, and more…or pick up a bucket for the ideal Smoky Mountain Park picnic. Wings, salads, and kiddo options are also available. Mama’s Chicken Kitchen and J.O.E are next to each other as you head toward the Arts District. In 2021, they were awarded TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Award!
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 restaurant that gives a “beachy vibe” in the mountains.
Ole Red. Blake Shelton and Ryman Properties (you know, the Grand Ole Opry folks) opened their third establishment here. Imagine a two-story bar and restaurant with a dance floor, live music, and performance space! Expect BBQ, burgers, chicken & waffles, cold drinks, and other Nashville favorites.
Cliff Top Grill & Bar* Anakeesta features 55+ acres of natural family fun in Gatlinburg, and Cliff Top is one of their eateries, 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 Cliff Top Cubs menu for around $10. Your Anakeesta ticket is good for the day, so we recommend coming back for dinner and staying for a cocktail and the sunset, with gorgeous views.
Pearl’s Pie in the Sky* At Anakeesta, Pearl’s is a 50’s style gem offering homemade pies, sundaes, and scoops of your favorite ice cream flavors. Don’t let the name fool you; they serve more Bluebell that anyone in Eastern Tennessee.
The Summit Smokehouse* This steakhouse offers delicious dining with an even better view. Enjoy their in-house smoked meats, like pulled pork, brisket, and chicken, centered around a wood-burning fire for consistent temperatures leaving a juicy, smoked flavor that will take your taste buds on a delicious journey.
*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.
OFF THE BEATEN PATH
Have you heard of Gatlinburg’s Arts and Crafts Community? It’s on an 8-mile loop just outside of the main drag, and it is wonderful! There are several restaurants along the loop, perfect for taking a breather as you explore.
DeLauder’s BBQ. Voted Yelp’s Top 100 places to eat in the United States, plus Travel + Leisure’s Top BBQ for several years, this restaurant you don’t want to miss. And please, for the love of BBQ, don’t do what we did and miss out. They are closed Monday-Wednesday. They are open on Thursday from 4:00 – 8:00 PM, Friday and Saturday from 12:30 – 8:00 PM, and Sunday from 12:00 – 8:00 PM.
Split Rail Eats. This restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner options (and boy, did those breakfast options look delicious). We stopped in for lunch…the aroma drove us in. Yum! They have a series of Tater Bowls that looked outstanding – flavorful fixings atop a pile of tater tots. The sandwiches looked great too, but we opted for salads. Dan loved the Chicken Salad and I devoured the Greek Salad. The boys picked burgers, with a dessert (their treats are so sweet)! Plus they have cocktails to die for!
The Wild Plum Tea Room. They do require reservations at least 24 hours in advance for dine-in. This sweet lunch spot is an old-world-style teahouse serving tea, sandwiches & muffins. It’s not exactly a spot I felt comfortable bringing my rowdy guys, but I did insist we drive by. It looked like a special spot. If you can visit, make reservations for this Austrian Alps-style dining experience.
Glades Soda Shop. Ask the boys about what their favorite restaurant was, and Glades is what they’ll tell you. After lunch, we bellied up to the bar for old-fashioned malts, floats, and such. We all opted for root beer floats, and the boys loved seeing the 1940’s style soda jerk work his magic.
SWEETS & TREATS
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.
The Crazy Mason Milkshake Bar. Located along the main strip in downtown Gatlinburg, The Crazy Mason Gatlinburg is right next to the World-Famous Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Museum. Try their signature Meet Me in the Mountains shake – Smokey Mountain Crunch ice cream in a vanilla frosted Custom Designed Gatlinburg Jar with chocolate Teddy Grahams. Topped with a Smokey Mountain top Rice Krispy Treat, whip icing, cookie dirt, and a Moon Pie.
Maddogs Creamery & Donuts. Enjoy ice cream, donuts, milkshakes, and banana splits! 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 your sweet tooth, add on 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.
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!
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TENNESSEE VACATION
- YOUR TENNESSEE VACATION
- GATLINBURG CABIN RENTALS: 30 Captivating Gatlinburg Cabin Rentals
- THINGS TO DO IN GATLINBURG: 33+ Essential Things to do in Gatlinburg TN For Family Fun
- PIGEON FORGE: 12 Exciting Things to do in Pigeon Forge TN
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