These Are the 6 Best Seafood Places in Pigeon Forge, Smoky Mountains

a combo platter of fried chicken and fried catfish with green beans and a sweet tea

Your best bet for "Southern" style seafood in the Smokies is Huck Finn's. Pictured: Fried catfish and fried chicken (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

A Smoky Mountain local ranks his favorite seafood restaurants

I’m a bit of a seafood snob, a habit I picked up at my grandparent’s house in Florida. With his next-door neighbor being a professional crabber, my grandfather and a connection to the shrimpers and the fishermen as well. We got used to eating the freshest possible seafood at the best times of the year. That made it hard to return to my home in the Smokies and order seafood that hadn’t been in saltwater since Moses was a boy.

But over the years and with better supply chains, I’ve relaxed my standards somewhat, recognizing that you can find good seafood even if it wasn’t swimming in the ocean earlier in the day. To that end, visitors can certainly get good seafood in Sevier County. It may not be as readily available as a place near the ocean, but it exists.

But I want to set a few ground rules or really one ground rule before we begin: To be seafood, you must at least in theory have originated in the sea. So, for this ranking, any place with trout, catfish or bass in their name will not be considered eligible. After all, I did warn you at the beginning, I’m a bit of a seafood snob. Now, without further ado, let’s get to ranking the best seafood restaurants in Pigeon Forge and surrounding areas.

Best Seafood Restaurants in Pigeon Forge

RankFoodBest for …
1Chesapeake’sSeafood in a fine-dining setting in downtown Gatlinburg.
2Pinchy’s LobsterLobster rolls!!!!!
3Harpoon Harry’sSharable seafood buckets.
4The GreenbrierPeople seeking a unique, upscale atmosphere and appreciate speakeasy vibes.
5Huck Finn’sLocal catfish.
6Joe’s Crab ShackFamily-friendly dining.
Chesapeake's is, without a doubt, the best seafood restaurant in the Smokies (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)
Chesapeake’s is, without a doubt, the best fine-dining seafood restaurant in the Smokies. Pictured: A fresh lobster from the on-site tank (photos by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

1. Chesapeake’s

Tip: LIVE LOBSTER ON SITE

Chesapeake’s offers the best seafood in the region and for years it wasn’t even close – a fact that’s changed since Pinchy’s Lobster & Beer Company opened in Sevierville. Chesapeake’s is, in fact, a great seafood restaurant by any standard or any location. The crab cakes are as good as any I’ve ever had in Maryland. The pan-blackened scallops are divine but honestly, just close your eyes and point and the menu and whatever they bring out is going to be fantastic. Sides include creamy coleslaw and bacon and cheddar cheese grits. You can order seared Ahi tuna or a seared Ahi tuna salad. This excellence comes at a price. Chesapeake’s ain’t cheap but my God it’s worth it. Chesapeake’s is located at 437 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN and they accept reservations (a rarity in Gatlinburg) online. Paid parking is available in nearby lots. I suggest walking from your hotel or taking the trolley.

A classic lobster roll (foreground) and a Nashville Hot sandwich (background) from Pinchy’s Lobster & Beer Co. (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

Tip: TRY THE CLASSIC ROLL

2. Pinchy’s Lobster

Chesapeake’s and Pinchy’s take very different paths to get to the same place… excellence, an exacting attention to detail.

The Lobster roll – for instance – is perfection from the first bite.  From the crunch of the perfectly grilled roll to the creamy sweet lobster meat. If you’re going to eat at Pinchy’s, the lobster roll has to be the No. 1 draft pick.

This is the internet and so when ranking things ties are verboten. But I tell you this… I gave long and serious thought to putting Pinchy’s at No.1. I believe Chesapeake’s remains on top but they better be ready, someone is coming for the king and that someone is represented by a cartoon lobster. The Big Pinch Bucket and the Pinchy’s Clambake are also excellent options.

You can find Pinchy’s at 212 Court Avenue. You can reach them at 865-365-4168. They don’t appear to have online reservations, but you can do online orders for pickup or use a delivery service to have it brought to you. Free 2-hour parking is available in downtown Sevierville.

harpoon harry's sushi
Harpoon Harry’s is where you can find some of the best sushi in the Smoky Mountains (photos by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

3. Harpoon Harry’s Crab House

Tip: get a bucket for the table

Harpoon Harry’s motto is ‘It’s not just a restaurant, it’s an adventure.’ Easy there, Indiana Jones, we’re eating crabs here, not crossing the Himalayas. Despite this claim, Harry’s has two things going for it: The seafood is really good and it is one of the few places in the area where you can get really good sushi even though it has a disturbing number of options under the “Cooked Rolls” section of the menu.

Harry’s offers an array of seafood buckets with crab legs as well as lobster, grouper, oysters, scallops and shrimp. Add-ons such as chicken, mahi mahi, crab and lobster tails are also on the menu. For the more adventurous, try some gator bites or fiery hot spicy shrimp for your appetizer. The menu also includes a variety of sandwiches and a lobster roll. Harpoon Harry’s accepts reservations via their website and is located at 112 Community Center Drive, Pigeon Forge, TN. Free parking is available on site.

seafood at the greenbrier
The Greenbrier Restaurant offers a seasonally rotating menu that features chef specials (photos by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

4. The Greenbrier Restaurant

Tip: MENU ROTATES SEASONALLY

Another Gatlinburg location, but hear me out. Like many high-quality restaurants, The Greenbrier offers excellent seafood options. Of course, Greenbrief is a relatively high-end restaurant so anything they do will be excellent. The Greenbrier menu includes stuffed shrimp, oysters, scallops and flounder, all expertly prepared. Fun fact, The Greenbrier also ranks on our Best Steaks in Gatlinburg list, just in case you’re in the mood for a little surf n’ turf. The Greenbrier accepts online reservations and is located at 370 Newman Road, Gatlinburg, TN 37738. Free parking is available on-site.

fried catfish at huck finns
If you want to sample Southern seafood while in town, I suggest Huck Finn’s. Pictured: Fried catfish (photos by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

5. Huck Finn’s Catfish

Tip: FREE VITTLES with ENTREE

I know, I said I wasn’t going to include lake fish, but I’m giving Huck Finn’s a pass as they have lots of seafood options on the menu including but not limited to multiple varieties of catfish including salmon and shrimp. Plus, game recognizes game. Their catfish is amazing. Look, many Southerners grew up on catfish. It’s a Tennessee staple. So if you do want to sample a little “Southern seafood” on your visit to the Smokies, we suggest dropping your anchor at Huck Finn’s. Plus, you can never go wrong with any restaurant that brings complimentary vittles to the table with every entree which features dill pickles, sweet onion slices, creamy cole slaw, made-from-scratch hushpuppies plus white beans and turkey. You won’t leave Huck Finn’s hungry. Huck Finn’s does not accept reservations but they do offer takeout. Huck Finn’s is located at 3330 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN. Free parking is available on-site.

joe's crab shack
Joe’s Crab Shack is also a chain, but if you’re craving seafood in the Smokies, it’ll do the job (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

6. Joe’s Crab Shack

Tip: It’s a chain, but it’s reliable

Joe’s Crab Shack, located directly across from Red Lobster, offers seafood buckets and sampler platters. If you are craving some fish & chips, hush puppies or tilapia, you can find them at Joe’s. Joes, like Red Lobster, does not normally accept reservations but they are often open on holidays, which is nice. Joe’s Crab Shack is located at 1605 Parkway, Sevierville, TN 37862. Free parking is available on-site.

What are your favorite seafood restaurants in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg? Let us know in the comments below.

Have a question or comment about something in this article? Contact our staff here. You may also contact our editorial team at info@thesmokies.com.

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11 thoughts on “These Are the 6 Best Seafood Places in Pigeon Forge, Smoky Mountains”

  1. Anxious to try Chesapeake. Came highly recommended. Had a bad experience at Greenbrier’s and they never responded to my complaints so I won’t be going back!

    Reply
  2. Love the oysters and lobster bisque at Crawdaddy’s in gatlinburg. My husband loved the seafood gumbo, says it is the best he’s ever had. Houston’s has great fish and chips, we’ve never had a poor meal there!

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  3. I absolutely agree about Chesapeake’s being the best. Granted, yes they are a bit pricey, but most definitely worth it. We had the scallops, crab cakes and shrimp. All were so amazing.

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  4. Ate at Pawpaw’s Catfish as well as Joe’s Crab shack last year in Oct. We’re impressed with Pawpaw’s right down to their house made roasted red pepper dressing. The catfish truly was excellent but there were 4 of us. We were all truly pleasantly surprised at how good the food was. We’ll definitely go back there. Joe’s Crab Shack was just ok. Of course we’re assuming Pawpaw’s being family owned is the one and only. Joe’s is a chain with numerous locations. I doubt we’ll go back to Joe’s.

    Reply
  5. Call me a redneck, really it’s ok cause I are one, but I’m a big fan of Huck Finn’s Catfish and Chicken. The atmosphere is genuine down home Mark Twainish, the catfish is crispy and breaded just right and if Colonel Sanders could taste their fried chicken he’d get up from his grave

    Reply
  6. Even though it’s in Maryville the Shrimp Dock is the best for seafood. My son loves the shrimp poor boy and my daughter loves the mahi-mahi.

    Reply
  7. My wife and I ate at Chesapeake in the late Summer of 2020. As you indicated the food is by far the best in the area. Oysters were fresh and succulent as were the scallops and crab cakes. The bisque is the bomb starter.

    Reply
  8. Even though it’s in Knoxville. Storming Crab is the best. Went to Joe’s Crab in January while staying at a cabin for my granddaughters birthday. It was the worst I’ve had. The food came out wrong not once but twice. Didn’t get our appetizers till we was done eating. Want go back.

    Reply
  9. Huck Finns Catfish there in Pigeon Forge should have been on this list. Oh my goodness I love to eat there. They have the best shrimp anywhere. And all the vittles they bring you before your entree. OMG it’s so delicious. We are heading there this coming week. We love Huck Finns !!!!

    Reply
  10. It’s certainly not a seafood restaurant but, the best salmon I’ve had in Sevier County was served to me ag Outback Steak House. Add sea potatoes and honey and I’m loving it.

    Reply

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