A local’s opinion on who has great salads around the Smoky Mountains
If I’m being honest, I find that many of the best places to get a salad in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge are also the best places to get meat. I suppose if you have a menu that leans heavily toward carnivores, it pays to have some quality vegetarian or healthy options. So who has the best salad in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg? Let’s dive in.
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1. The Peddler in Gatlinburg
There is a science to a great salad bar. It isn’t just some random assortment of legumes to be slung on a plate and then doused in ranch dressing. It’s about balance, proportion, finding the right cauliflower-to-broccoli ratio, architecture and asset allocation. The Peddler gets it, and they give you the necessary tools with which to construct a masterpiece of a salad. The Pedder is located at 820 River Road. They take reservations via Resy. As a note, The Park Grill in Gatlinburg is The Peddler’s sister restaurant and also offers a similar salad bar. Like its sister restaurant, the Park Grill offers reservations via Resy.
2. Gaucho Urbano Brazilian Steakhouse in Pigeon Forge
It may seem odd to talk about the salad at a place known for roving bands of servers delivering a wide variety of meats to your table at semi-regular intervals. However, The Harvest Table at Gaucho’s is a salad aficionado’s happy place. But here’s my warning: If you’re looking for a salad because you’re a vegetarian or vegan for moral reasons, there is no salad bar in the world worth walking through the doors of a Brazilian Steakhouse. You’re just punishing yourself at that point. They are located at 111 Valley Drive, and you can make reservations online via their website.
3. Puckett’s Grocery in Pigeon Forge
I like the creative salads that Puckett’s offers. For example, I love the BBQ Taco Salad at Puckett’s which has romaine lettuce and cowboy caviar. It’s a bean and corn relish – tortilla strips and cherrywood smoked barbecue with a chipotle ranch dressing. I like that all of their salads have house-made dressings and are available in large or small sizes. Reservations are available via Open Table. Puckett’s is located at 2480 Parkway in Pigeon Forge.
4. The Local Goat in Pigeon Forge
Billed as a new American restaurant, the Local Goat has something for everyone, including a variety of salads that are meals unto themselves. I’m personally partial to The Southern, with hand-breaded chicken tenders served with a honey mustard dressing. The Local Goat also offers ways to personalize your Mediterranean or house salads with a variety of add-ons. It can be tough to get into the Local Goat, but if you can, it’s worth the effort. The restaurant is located at 2167 Parkway in Pigeon Forge. Parties with fewer than ten people can make reservations online.
5. Alamo Steakhouse in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg
I suppose “Alamo Salad House” would really not really park butts in the seats. But the salads (and soups) at the Alamo Steakhouse should not take second billing to anyone. I’m personally crazy for the Alamo Spinach Salad – which is just spinach, mushrooms and bacon with a poppy seed dressing as a side. The Alamo has locations in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.
6. Timberwood Grill in Pigeon Forge
Timberwood Grill offers a “taste of the mountains”, which means they have culinary creations with fun names with starters like the Loaded Potato Cracklins (fried potatoes) or sandwiches like Papaw’s Fried Bologna Sandwich. The salads are hearty as well. I’m a personal fan of the Salmon and Avocado Salad with grilled salmon, tomatoes, avocado, mushrooms and feta cheese. Timberwood Grill is located within The Island in Pigeon Forge at 131 The Island Drive. There’s ample free parking, but it may not be the most convenient location unless you’re already planning a trip to The Island.
7. Johnny Carino’s in Pigeon Forge
I didn’t want to necessarily include a chain restaurant on this list, but the Chopped Club Salad at Johnny Carino’s is undeniable. It comes with bleu cheese and vinaigrette dressing with grilled chicken, applewood bacon, pepperoni, pepperoncini, basil and gorgonzola and asiago cheese. It’s delicious. It also comes with the added bonus of Johnny Carino’s family-friendly Italian menu that will keep almost everyone in your group happy. The restaurant is located at 2425 Parkway in Pigeon Forge.
What are your favorite spots to grab a salad in the Smokies? Let us know in the comments!