7 Steaks You Should Try in Gatlinburg, The Smoky Mountains

steak and baked potato from cherokee grill

The Cherokee Grill offers a wide variety on the menu, including a delicious steak (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

A local ranks the best steaks in Gatlinburg, the Smoky Mountains

When you’re on vacation in a place like Gatlinburg, the odds are that you’re allotting a certain amount of your dining budget for steak. Certainly, you want to make sure you pick the right place to get the best steaks in town. The good news? In Gatlinburg, there are a lot of good places to pick from. The bad news? When you’re eating steak, there is no bad news. Here are your best options for a great steak when dining in Gatlinburg, TN.

The Peddler Steakhouse with a bite of steak
The Peddler is easily one of the most popular steakhouses in East Tennessee (photos by Daniel Munson and Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

1. The Peddler Steakhouse

When I want a good steak in the Smokies, I’ll go to The Peddler. They offer custom-cut steaks. If I want a rib eye or New York strip larger than 16 oz, I just tell ‘em, and they’ll cut it to size. But I almost always opt for the filet mignon. Another thing The Peddler is known for is the exceptional fresh salad bar. As a bonus, select seating options will offer beautiful views of the Little Pigeon River. The Pedder is located at 820 River Road. A small parking lot is available for guests, and they take reservations via Resy.

A bite of Greenbriar Steak
The Greenbrier Restaurant is more upscale than the other options on this list. And their meat is cut and cooked to perfection (photos by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

2. The Greenbrier Restaurant

There is a schism amongst me and some other writers of TheSmokies.com between The Greenbrier and The Peddler. The truth is you can’t go wrong with either. At The Greenbrier, the bone-in rib eye is king. It’s dry-aged Iowa beef with pepper and salt, and it’s perfection. In my experience, The Greenbrier has great food and excellent service. I’d say it’s safely one of the best restaurants around. It’s also probably one of the more upscale options on my list, which makes it a contender for a date night, romantic getaway or special occasion. The restaurant is located at 370 Newman Road and they take reservations via Resy. They also have free parking.

A bite of Alamo Steakhouse Steak
The Alamo Steakhouse in Gatlinburg promises to offer some of the most awesome food from Tennessee to Texas (photos by Bill Burris/TheSmokies.com)

3. Alamo Steakhouse

I am on record as being a fan of the Alamo, and I mean no insult ranking the place No. 3. With locations in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, the Alamo offers traditional steakhouse fare including filet, strip, T-bone, rib-eye steak and the impressive El Presidente Porterhouse, which is my personal favorite. The Gatlinburg location is 705 East Parkway. With its location, it’s easy to avoid the main traffic, and there’s plenty of parking available. Reservations for two guests for special occasions are available online or via phone by calling (865) 436-9998. Note that reservations are only accepted for two and only at the Gatlinburg location.

park grill restaurant next to steak
The Park Grill is a sister restaurant to The Peddler (photos by James Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

4. The Park Grill

The Park Grill arguably has just as good of food and service as its more popular sister restaurant, The Peddler. So why is it ranked fourth? Because it seems a bit unfair to give one company all the glory. Still, located near the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, The Park Grill offers a full salad bar (like its sister restaurant) and an impressive menu. I’m a fan of the hickory grilled rib eye (also available as a New York strip) and filet mignon. As an added bonus, the restaurant has free parking for guests and offers reservations via Resy. It’s located at 1110 Parkway in Gatlinburg.

howards restaurant next to cut rare steak
Howard’s Steakhouse has been Gatlinburg famous since 1946 (photos by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

5. Howard’s Restaurant

Howard’s has been a staple in Gatlinburg since 1946. They offer a delicious menu of soups, salads, burgers, sandwiches, side dishes and a wide selection of steak. You can order a ribeye, filet, New York strip or T-bone cut. I like to order the Steak for Two, which comes with an 8 oz. filet and a 14 oz. When a restaurant has been in business since the 40s, you know they are doing something right. Note that Howard’s does not take reservations or call-ahead seating. They are located at 976 Parkway in Gatlinburg.

cherokee grill next to steak and potato
The Cherokee Grill in Gatlinburg is more of a grill than a true steakhouse. Regardless, they still know how to prepare a good steak entree (photos by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

6. Cherokee Grill

While the Cherokee Grill is not exactly a “steak” place, it’s still a good restaurant where you can go when the rest of the family might not want steak for the main course. The Cherokee Grill does a lot of things and does them all quite well, including fried chicken, herb-crusted trout and crab cakes. When it comes to steak, they have a selection of traditional offerings and a selection of “artsy” steaks with various culinary liberties taken. I prefer the tasty Prosperity Steak which has olive oil, garlic and pepper and Worcestershire butter. You can make reservations online via their website. They are located at 1002 Parkway in Gatlinburg.

calhouns next to steak and baked potato
Calhoun’s is known for their delicious steak and BBQ (photos by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

7. Calhoun’s

Calhoun’s actually has two locations in the Smokies – one in Pigeon Forge and one in Gatlinburg. Like Cherokee Grill, it is not actually a steakhouse. Technically, it’s a barbecue place. For example, they have “Best ribs in America” right on the front sign. And even though I normally take a stance against gimmicky steaks – steaks covered in a bunch of unnecessary stuff – I make an exception for Calhoun’s “Ale” Steak, a 7 or 10-ounce sirloin marinated in olive oil, mustard, garlic and Cherokee Red Ale. It is topped with Worcestershire butter, and it is incredible. Make reservations online via their website.

What is your favorite place to get a steak in Gatlinburg TN? Let us know in the comments below!

RELATED VIDEO: 7 Best Steaks in Gatlinburg

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102 thoughts on “7 Steaks You Should Try in Gatlinburg, The Smoky Mountains”

  1. The Alamo is one of our most favorite steakhouses. Consistent flavor and quality matched with great service.

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  2. The Cherokee Grill in Gatlinburg has the best steak that we have had in our seven years of vacationing there at four times a year we have tried most of the others

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  3. The Grease Rack in Newport has one of the best Porterhouses I have had and the Sunset Grill in Newport has the Best Ribeye I have had from here to Michigan.

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  4. Looks like we all have a different opinion on the best steak in the smokies. I love the ale steak, eat one while I’m up there and take one home. Eat it cold and it’s great. Peddler was ok but just.. Howard’s was ok but can’t wait to try Alamo, and the others. Ale steak,yummy
    Wish they’d ship one cooked and cold..

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  5. I worked at Howard’s in Gatlinburg in my early 20s and they have the absolute holy grail of best steaks.

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  6. Greenbrier!!!! Gatlinburg
    No contest. I do not understand how Greenbrier has never even been mentioned.

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  7. I appreciate a great steak and IMHO Cherokee Grille has the best steak in the area.
    Very consistent and great atmosphere.

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  8. I love the Ribeye at Trailhead in Townsend. Impeccable attention to cleanliness, all of their health reports for the past several years are on display.

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  9. The Chop house is amazing! I need to try other places on this list. To everyone saying Alamo I have to disagree we had to return my husbands steak it was so poorly cooked and we aren’t complainers normally.

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  10. Greenbrier Steaks, amazingly seared but it hits your wallet pretty hard . Then there is Texas Road House oh yes!! Also love Holston Steaks, the ribeye is excellent too. Dont forget Longhorn Bone in Ribeye.

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  11. Alamo is the best place for beef, with a mighty fine selection of seafood, too. We usually eat lunch and dinner there, a few times
    while in town. In all these years, we have never been disappointed. It’s worth a trip to drive up just to dine there on occasion.

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  12. Alamo all the way! The one in Gatlinburg is slightly better than the one in Pigeon Forge. Don’t know why I suppose better chef? Their prime rib appetizer with horseradish is to die for…holy moly.

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  13. My husband and I weren’t impressed by Alamo at all. It was just an older dated steakhouse. Will have to try Peddler next time! I love Connors.

    The writer of this article is a joy to read, BTW. Love his style!!

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  14. We just returned to FL from a stay in Pigeon Forge. We eat at numerous restaurants, and our best steak experience was the Hawaiian ribeye at Holston’s

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  15. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a steak in Gatlinburg, but back several years ago you couldn’t beat The Park Grill and I’ve had one from The Peddler. Look forward to trying the others when I’m back there again.

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  16. I’ve lived here in Gatlinburg all my life 38 years. I really like Alamo they offer a free dinner on your birthday if yHolston, of anything on the menu. The local goat is good too. As well as Greenbriar,Howard’s, peddler, holstons,pottery house cafe,Tony Gores,all have really great food and places to visit while im my area .

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  17. We went to Peddler for our anniversary. It was the worst steak I have ever had in my life. The quality of cut was horrible and it was very badly over cooked. The fat In the ribeye was elastic and inedible. My wife’s steak was covered in blood (she ordered med well) she sent it back and it was burnt to a crisp. Salad was one of the best I’ve ever had guess that’s a plus. If you want a good salad this is your spot. If you want a good steak run!!! We were so disappointed we called it a night and headed Krispy Cream to drowned our sorrows.

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  18. We love the Cherokee Grill sirloin steak as well as the atmosphere with hugh fireplace. Always eat there!!

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  19. Our favorite used to be the Alamo. Since the fire, however ….. well, it just wasn’t the same amazing flavor. I really miss it. We have been to Howards — very good.

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  20. I’m shocked Texas Roadhouse wasn’t mentioned. They have hand cut steaks and you can pick your own. They have their own in house meat cutters & their steaks are fresh and reasonably priced. I’ll take Texas Roadhouse any day over the Peddler.

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  21. The Whistle Stop located in front of Tusculm University in good ol’ Greeneville, TN they have steak that will make your tongue slap your face so hard you’d think your momma done it!! Second best would be the Butcher’s Block which is also located in Greeneville,TN, the Peddlers was just okay in my book but that Whistle Stop blew my taste buds apart!!

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  22. Steak Delivery and More in Gatlinburg! So cozy to be able to have your steak, loaded potato and salad delivered to your door!! (Sweet tea is awesome there, too)

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  23. I love a good juicy ribeye and my husband is a filet man.. we make it a point to eat at The Bullfish when we take our yearly trip to Pigeon Forge. The steak is awesome and so are the sides!!

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  24. In many visits to PF and Gatlinburg, Peddler only disappointed once. Alamo was bad first time so gave it a second chance and was terrible again.Goat is excellent for steak and anything else. Peddlers steaks and that great salad bar are generally the best.Thank goodness we all have the beautiful Smoky Mountains to visit.

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  25. Yep. Tried them all in the last 20 yrs. New fave is Chrerokee Grill. Texas Roadhouse is gone as it should be. Anybody like shrimp with their steak, nothing compares to Longhorns Wild West Shrimp with their filet!

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  26. Can’t wait to try Greenbriar, Howard’s, and the place in Newport, so I can’t speak for them.
    However, I feel like The Peddler has seen its better days, and is still trying to ride off of those. Their steak is good, and I would say top 6 worthy, but not top 3 worthy. I would put Park Grill in the top 3 though, and I agree with the others that Alamo should be on here somewhere.
    I love Calhoun’s, and yes, their Ale Steak is delicious. But, it is a sirloin, and a true steak lover is not going to want to make a special trip for a sirloin, so even though I love it, I don’t feel it is appropriate for this list. Otherwise, good job on the article, the writing style keeps it interesting.

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  27. Smoky Mountain Brewery. Their Ale steak beats them all. I’ve had steak at all the other places but the Brewery is the best. Bear Creek Grill was the best. So sad it closed.

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  28. Going to Gatlinburg in September for our Anniversary, my husband loveeee Steak so reading all the comments help me out where to try to eat at. Thank guys!!

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  29. The Pottery House Cafe literally has one of the best ribeyes I’ve ever eaten. If you try it, I think you will agree.

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  30. Went to Peddlers for first time. Reserved seats by window by creek! Hugh salad bar, Filet, Marinated Chicken (yum!), rolls, vegetables, cheesecake and strawberry shortcake were all fantastic!!! Service was Quick and efficient. Will definitely go again!!!

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  31. Ye Ole Steakhouse must have closed. Award winning since 1969. Only way it was not on the top of the list.

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  32. THE GREENBRIER is the best restaurant in Gatlinburg- best food & atmosphere!! Steak was cooked to perfection- off the beaten path but great break from touristy areas.

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  33. While in retrospect I agree with the editor on one thing, we love steak and honestly a well cooked, well seasoned steak need any type of sauce for dipping. Being a steak buff ourselves I’m the type of person that gives a hole in the wall eatery a chance and I hate saying it but out of all those places listed only two made our list…. 1.) being the Peddler (2.) being Fox and Hounds. With that being said let’s travel on up east TN backroad from Newport to Greeneville/Tusculm Our #1 is The Whistle Stop, the steaks are Amazing and they need no introduction but you will need to make a reservation. #2 Buchers Block again an amazing steak that will pick you up and make your taste buds wanna lick the plate! #3 The Peddler it’s a great steak but it’s not Ruth Chris #4 Fox and Hounds was a delightful steak full of flavor but just lacked the burst of flavors. All and all that’s about as far as my list goes but if you want a great steak it’s all in the Marinade, flavoring spices, and temp the meat is cooked on low temp and longer duration cooks the steak just right a grill that’s to hot will dry out the meat. I make a mean steak at home however that comes from asking questions about how the chefs cook things and the ingredients they use to perfect each steak.

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  34. We love the Peddler and The Park Grill. Both are superb. Very Surprised The Park Grill didn’t make the list.

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  35. The Peddler is the absolute best. The Greenbrier is as good but much more expensive and not worth the price difference. The Alamo isn’t in the same league as them.

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  36. Nobody has mentioned Crystal Creek Cafe……very very juicy & divine. Atmosphere is casual & fine. Very clean. Cocktail bar is yum….back to the steak: trimmed up, lean marinated & cooked perfectly. Very particular about meats anyways; Calhouns isn’t that great nor is Texas Roundhouse or Long Horn. Chop House is meh. For the price of all those places you must must try Crystal Creek…..you won’t be disappointed!

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  37. Best steak first is Cherokee Grill, second The Alamo, third Greenbriar, fourth Peddler, fifth Howard’s, sixth Chop House

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  38. One of our soul purposes of a trip to Gatlinburg from Middle TN is to eat steak at the Alamo! Absolutely the best!

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  39. No one has mentioned Ye Olde Steak House on Chapman Hwy outside of Sevierville down toward Knoxville. I order my filets extra extra well done and they are so tender I don’t even need a knife to cut them!
    They have pan fried potatoes with onions (called wood shed potatoes), fresh-cut french fries and baked potatoes; and charcoaled mushrooms.They have fresh fish and chicken. And their dessert menu is absolutely wonderful; I don’t think there is any kind of dessert they don’t have! You will have to drive about 15 minutes outside of Sevierville to get there but you will absolutely believe it is worth your trip! On top of everything else it is in a rustic old log house so atmosphere is great!

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  40. Sunset Grille in Newport has the best Baby Medallions and Ribeye I’ve ever had! Hand cut in house a must try.

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  41. The Peddler.. #1 (please make reservations). The Park grill is own/operated by the same people as the peddler..so no surprise the comments on the park grill.. I’m sorry, the Alamo used to be outstanding back in the early 2000s.. today? they are hit or miss… haven’t been back in 5 or more years… we visit Gatlinburg twice a year for the past 30 years.. like a second home.

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  42. Old Mill Pottery House Cafe had the best steak I’ve had in the Smokies. Plan on visiting Cherokee Grill in a few weeks to try one

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  43. 12/5/21 – I was at the Peddler this past week and the servers were excellent. My water got filled after every three or four sips, the salad bar was amazing, the butcher took our order and it was AMAZING. The busing of the tables was so quiet you never heard one rattle of the plate. Everyone was in sink with their jobs and it was a wonderful experience!!!!

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  44. Oh my you left out one of the best places ever. In the “bad” place of Newport is an amazing small place called The Grease Rack. The service is on spot, ask for Susie!!! The steaks are great. The wait can be long on food but well worth the time you spend. Homemade soups, desserts this place is wonderful. I lived there for many years and know. If you don’t try it you are missing out on a great experience

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  45. By far…The Peddler. Have tried most of the others on the list, with the exception of the Greenbriar. And none of the others come close to The Peddler. Will have to try the Greenbrier out the next trip up.

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  46. Aubrey’s is very close to the best steak I have ever had. Coolest setting and a huge selection of food and beer on draft.

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    • Hi Michelle! Of course, it depends on what you order. Local Goat and Chop House are probably the most affordable. Most average about $30. Some cuts at the Local Goat / Chop House start in the mid-$20 range. Hope that helps!

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  47. Wow. How anyone can put The Peddler (ugh) above The Greenbrier for Gatlinburg restaurants is beyond comprehension. It’s not even close. Back in the day, perhaps, but not even close now.

    One- The Greenbrier
    Two- Cherokee Grill
    Three- Calhoun’s (Ale Steak and prime rib on weekends)
    Four- The Peddler
    Five- Alamo
    Six- Howard’s
    Seven- The Park Grill

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  48. Howard’s has been my go-to since ’79, consistently the best steaks in the area and I’ve had them all. Peddler is good, but I’d rather eat at Calhoun’s or Cherokee Grill (think they are owned by the same company). Imho, Alamo reminds me of Western Sizzlin’, I’ve never had a great steak there. Calhoun’s ale marinated pork chops are worth the 3 hour drive for us, but we’ll eat at Howard’s multiple times per year.
    1. Howard’s by a mile…
    2. Greenbrier (most expensive but not best)
    2. Calhoun’s/Cherokee Grill
    4. Peddler

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