When you’re on vacation, you want to try something new.
At least once per trip, I try to step outside my comfort zone and try something I can’t get at home.
But at the same time, you need fuel. You need comfort. You need energy to get you ready to try all those new experiences. And sometimes you just need a dang good cup of coffee.
And if you believe that good coffee matters, you can’t waste precious vacation dollars on something weak, bland or bitter.
So in the name of good coffee, we sampled several coffee shops around the Great Smoky Mountains.
So who has the best coffee in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville? Here’s our top picks.
5. Smoky Mountain Espresso (Sevierville, TN)
Smoky Mountain Espresso is a comfortable coffee cafe that offers a nice place to relax with indoor and outdoor seating, complete with a fireplace.
They offer a wide selection of iced and frozen coffee, tea and hot chocolate. If you’re in the mood for a snack, they also have tasty pastries.
The coffee here is a solid option, very rich and full of flavor. The only thing that kept it in its No. 5 position is the mild bitter aftertaste.
Still, it’s a local gem that is worth trying if you need to scratch your coffee itch.
Smoky Mountain Espresso is located at 1259 Middle Creek Road in Sevierville.
4. Dulce Nitrogen (Pigeon Forge, TN)
Dulce Nitrogen is best known for its use of liquid nitrogen. They offer liquid nitrogen ice cream, bubble tea and of course, coffee.
Most of the coffee at Dulce Nitrogen is served iced, but you can get a hot cup of coffee upon request.
The coffee here is also listed as “milk coffee”, which is quite sweet.
It’s smooth and delicious, but I would consider this to be more of a dessert coffee. If you’re a coffee traditionalist, it may not be your top pick.
But it earns a top five spot for its good taste and variety of options. Plus, the rest of the family will be happy to stop by and get a sweet treat.
Note that if you want to come here for morning coffee, they usually don’t open until around 2 or 3 pm.
Dulce Nitrogen is located at 2656 Parkway #3 in Pigeon Forge.
3. Gatlinburg Grind (Gatlinburg, TN)
The Gatlinburg Grind is a cute little coffee shop complete with a comfy nook located within the Arts and Crafts Community of Gatlinburg.
The drip coffee I purchased was ground right in front of me while I waited, which was a definite plus.
However, the coffee wasn’t quite as strong as I usually like. Still, the Gatlinburg Grind gets bonus points for grinding the coffee fresh.
Plus, the owner’s mom is known for making the best pimento cheese in town, and after trying that too, I dare anyone to prove otherwise.
They offer a small selection of pastries and sandwiches and bags of coffee as well. If all else fails, go try their pimento cheese on a croissant and thank me later.
Gatlinburg Grind is located at 680 Glades Road, Suite 3 in Gatlinburg.
2. Krispy Kreme (Sevierville and Pigeon Forge, TN)
As much as I don’t love putting chain restaurants on my ranked lists, Krispy Kreme just has good coffee.
The coffee is rich and dark, yet not bitter at all.
It’s robust java perfection. The coffee was piping hot and served quickly. Krispy Kreme has locations in both Pigeon Forge and Sevierville for convenience.
I believe there’s no shame in stopping by a chain restaurant on a trip. Just make sure you check out some local gems, too.
1. Honeybee Coffee Company (Sevierville, TN)
This is my number one choice for best coffee in the Smoky Mountains.
The menu at the Honeybee Coffee Company is simple with drip coffee and several iced coffee choices. The drip coffee is rich and dark, but not bitter. The iced coffee was smooth and rich and nicely sweetened.
The coffee shop itself is comfortable, with a couch and tables and wifi available. It’s a nice respite from the crowds.
Honeybee Coffee Company is located at 101 East Main Street in Sevierville.
Where is your favorite place to get a coffee in the Smoky Mountains? Let us know in the comments.