A Smoky Mountain local shares his favorite spots for all-day breakfast and brunch
Folks at the Pancake Pantry struck gold in the form of flapjacks when they came to the Smokies in the 1960s, and then pancake houses began popping up like weeds … if weeds were buttery and delicious, that is. But what’s that? You want to eat breakfast for dinner tonight? That, ironically, is a tall order. At least from my perspective. In fact, most of the classic breakfast gems in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg close up shop between 12-2 pm. However, if you’re in the mood, I do have a handful of options for finding all-day breakfast in the Smoky Mountains:
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1. Mel’s Classic Diner
If you want to stick to family-owned and local, Mel’s Diner has you covered for your all-day breakfast cravings. Mel’s Diner serves a variety of breakfast options all day long. The breakfast items include pancakes, eggs, omelets, bacon, sausage, french toast, biscuits and other Southern classics. They are a classic American diner with a classic 50s theme. If someone else in your party wants to skip the all-day breakfast, they also offer juicy burgers, huge banana splits, hot dogs and other classic treats. Mel’s Diner is open from 7 am to midnight and is located just off the Parkway at 119 Wears Valley Road, Pigeon Forge, TN.
2. Sunliner Diner
If you’re craving breakfast and a blast from the past, check out Sunliner Diner, conveniently located along the Parkway in Pigeon Forge. Breakfast is served all day and features items such as eggs benedict, pancakes, waffles, omelets and more. They have two locations in the United States, with the other location in Alabama. Sunliner Diner is open from 8 am to 10 pm throughout the week and 8 am to 11 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Sunliner Diner is located at 2302 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN.
3. Cracker Barrel
We are already mentioning a chain? I warned you when we began that your options for all-day breakfast in the Smoky Mountains would be limited. Regardless, Cracker Barrel is a staple for Southern cuisine, and as such, knows that some of us need access to good biscuits and gravy whenever the craving calls. If you’re a fan of breakfast food, which I am assuming you are if you are reading this, you are likely familiar with Cracker Barrel’s menu. But just in case, they offer a variety of pancakes and even specialties such as country-fried turkey with gravy. Cracker Barrel has four locations in the Smokies: Two locations in Pigeon Forge, one in Sevierville and one in Kodak. These locations are open until 9 pm throughout the week and 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. The Pigeon Forge location can be found at 2285 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863.
Yes, sadly another chain. But let’s be real – the folks at the International House of Pancakes know breakfast. And they know some folks really like eating it at all hours of the day. So when in doubt, you can always go with the sure thing. IHOP offers dozens of pancake combinations, breakfast samplers, french toast, omelets and more. IHOP is open from 6 am until 10 pm daily and located at 3636 Parkway in Pigeon Forge, TN.
5. Timber’s Log Cabin
We’re stretching a bit here because Timber’s Log Cabin closes at 2 or 3 pm on most days. But if you’re eating either a late lunch or an early dinner, you won’t regret checking out this locally owned-hidden gem. Timber’s Log Cabin is located in Gatlinburg, tucked away from all the chaos but certainly worth the trip. This no-frills restaurant will fill you up for an affordable price tag. They also offer burgers, shrimp and grits and other home-cooked, daily specials. Timber’s Log Cabin Restaurant is located at 600 Glades Road, Ste 10 in Gatlinburg, TN and is open on select dates, so check their operating hours before planning your trip. Pro-tip: Timber’s Log Cabin, like many other restaurants near the Arts & Crafts Community, is cash-only so come prepared else you’ll be stuck using the on-site ATM. Or possibly washing dishes. Timber’s Log Cabin is located at 600 Glades Rd #10, Gatlinburg, TN 37738.
6. The Pancake Pantry
Since we’re including places that close at 3 pm on the list, it would be a sin not to include the Pancake Pantry as well. The Pancake Pantry is king of breakfast in Gatlinburg: The original, the best, the undefeated. They are known for their 24 varieties of pancakes but they also have waffles, eggs, omelettes, and other breakfast staples. Like Timber’s Log Cabin, The Pancake Pantry closes at 3 pm. And just a heads up – The Pancake Pantry is one of the most popular restaurants in all of Gatlinburg. There’s a strong chance you’ll have to wait in line if you want to dine at this establishment. And they do not accept reservations or call-ahead seating. The Pancake Pantry is located at 628 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN.
Where is your pick for breakfast in the Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg area? Let us know in the comments!