Pigeon Forge is meant to be entertaining. Everything is bright and musical, designed to earn every tourist dollar, and the competition is fierce.
Dinners come with themes – sometimes even whole shows. Nothing is simple. Nothing is basic. Everything is over the top. Everything is more.
That is, until you get to breakfast. The truth is there are probably dozens, if not hundreds of places in Sevier County where you can get a darn good breakfast.
We got folks coming out the womb with a spatula ready to fry up some sausage or bacon and slap a pan of biscuits in the oven.
So, we’ll put on a show for you tourists over lunch. Heck, at dinner we’ll sing and dance.
Breakfast? Just sit down and eat, ya hear?
So with the caveat that it’s nearly impossible to eat at and rank all the breakfast spots in the Great Smoky Mountains of Pigeon Forge, here are some of my favorite places to get some downhome dishes.
Editor’s Note: We’ve also created a printable version of this checklist here for you to use on your next trip to the Smokies!
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11. Krispy Kreme
I hear you. After all that talk about a hearty Southern breakfast, and I’m opening with a chain donut shop?
But when that neon Hot Now sign lights up, that’s like a beacon from the angels. Change your plans and get yourself to Krispy Kreme for some freshly made doughnuts. You can get bacon and eggs for lunch if you don’t pass out from the sugar rush.
Hours may vary, but they typically open nice and early around 6 am.
Got a big day planned? Why not start it with the kids’ eyes spinning like pinwheels and the adults mainlining black coffee and sugar? You’ll be sprinting up the hills at Dollywood.
10. Mel’s Diner
A good classic diner is a great choice for breakfast.
Here, you can find favorites that include omelets, hash browns, grits, biscuits, country ham and more.
Of course, they have a variety of pancake offerings, which usually come with two pancakes and a variety of combos that include eggs, bacon or sausage.
This diner opens early – usually around 6 am – and stays open until about midnight.
9. Sawyer’s Farmhouse Restaurant
Sawyer’s Farmhouse is one of the most reviewed and highest-rated breakfast eateries in the Smokies.
Their menu features a variety of pancakes, French toast, waffles, crepes, breakfast platters, omelets, meats and even a small collection of healthier options like low-cholesterol eggs and whole wheat pancakes.
Miss out on breakfast? No worries, Sawyer’s is also open for lunch, until 2 pm daily.
8. Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen
I’m generally not the biggest fan of family-style dining in the morning. It encourages a heavy meal that might weigh you down for the rest of your vacation activities.
That being said, if you’re curious about trying Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen, breakfast is less expensive than its lunch and dinner options.
The Down Home Dishes include options like Chicken and Biscuits, Apple Cinnamon French Toast, Alrighty Then Scrambled Eggs and Ooey Gooey Butter Pancakes.
Meats – which you can choose one for the table – include black pepper bacon, country ham, sausage links or applewood bacon. Then, you choose two treats, where the options include hashbrowns casserole, fried potatoes, biscuits and gravy, cheesy grits or fresh fruit.
If you’re unfamiliar with family-style, the portions are unlimited, but your table has to agree on what to order.
7. Reagan’s House of Pancakes
The pancakes at Reagans are so good that there are two locations within two miles of each other along the Parkway in Pigeon Forge.
Reagan’s offers a buffet that features all-you-can-eat pancakes, eggs, hash browns and more.
They also offer many egg and omelet specials, pancakes and sides you can order separately. It’s a great option if you want a buffet-style breakfast.
6. Flapjack’s Pancake Cabin
Look, you can’t have six locations in the same county unless you really understand how to serve up some excellent pancakes.
Flapjack’s, as the name would suggest, are known for their pancakes. But they also serve up a variety of other traditional breakfast foods like omelets and skillets.
Overwhelmed by the flapjack selection? Give the chocolate chip pancakes a try and thank me later.
5. Lil Black Bear Cafe
I’ve spoken highly of the Lil Black Bear Cafe before. Honestly, it’s great. But it loses a few ranking spots only for its limited hours.
This small eatery is only open from Tuesday through Saturday. And honestly, I’ve tried to go before when it’s been closed for miscellaneous reasons. But if given the option, it’s a great choice for breakfast.
The breakfast options include hot pancakes, French toast, bacon, egg and cheese and a handful of omelet choices.
It’s not an expansive menu, but it is delicious.
4. Mama’s Farmhouse
If you’re in the mood for a traditional family-style Southern breakfast, another great option is Mama’s Farmhouse.
Mama’s specialties include pinwheels, chicken tenders, chocolate gravy, buttermilk biscuits, Belgian waffles and hash brown casserole. But they also offer traditional breakfast staples as well like applewood bacon, scrambled eggs, sausage and cheese grits.
Mama’s biscuits are so good that they even won a People’s Choice Award at the International Biscuit Festival in 2015.
And it’s all you can eat. You’re welcome.
3. Frizzle Chicken Farmhouse Café
Remember all that stuff I said about Southerners taking breakfast seriously? Well, every rule has an exception.
Frizzle Chicken Farmhouse Café is like someone took a 4-year-old to Krispy Kreme, gave them a dozen donuts and asked them to design a restaurant.
The walls of Frizzle’s Chicken Farmhouse Café are lined with more than a hundred animatronic chickens who perform a handful of times an hour.
It’s like the Tiki Room at Disney but with chickens and a significantly better breakfast menu.
Look, the Farmhouse Café won’t be for everyone. But this is the one breakfast from your vacation that your family will absolutely not forget.
And the food itself is actually quite good. You’d think the singing chickens would do most of the heavy lifting, but the omelets are tasty and the waffles are as good as anybody’s.
2. Brick & Spoon
Brick & Spoon is open for breakfast, brunch and lunch in Pigeon Forge.
The restaurant is a favorite of tourists and locals as well.
Brick & Spoon uses only the best quality ingredients, and it definitely shows. You won’t find a microwave in this kitchen. They offer an impressive list of delicious traditional favorites like omelets, pancakes, benedicts and beignets.
But one of the best parts of this restaurant might just be the cocktails.
Scratch your mimosa itch with a flight full of flavor. And best of all, their Bloody Marys are made with a signature Dumpling Creek-infused vodka – the perfect blend of spice that could turn anyone into a Bloody Mary fan.
If a breakfast cocktail isn’t the best way to start your day, I’m not sure what is.
1. The Old Mill Restaurant
The opening page of the Old Mill Restaurant says, “Wholesome ingredients, time-tested recipes, and well-honed home-cooking skills are the hallmarks of real Smoky Mountains cooking and the ones that keep the rambling dining rooms at The Old Mill Restaurant bustling all day and into the night.”
In other words, they ain’t messin’ around.
This is an authentic home-style breakfast served in a historic setting. The original mill was built on the spot in 1830 to service the community.
Now, the Old Mill is one of the oldest continually operating grist mills in the country and one of the most photographed mills in America.
Walk in and tell the waitress there ain’t no point in foolin’ around with menus. You know what they’ve got without even having to ask.
Specifically, they have classics such as eggs, biscuits, sausage, bacon and country ham. And of course, they offer omelets with cheese, onions and peppers, home fried potatoes, pancakes and cinnamon pecan French toast.
The pancakes are served with warm maple syrup and your choice of strawberry or blueberry toppings.
This is a serious breakfast for people who like breakfast. Indeed, this is the breakfast you drove all the way to Pigeon Forge to eat.
Where is your pick for the best breakfast in the Pigeon Forge area? Let us know in the comments!