Who Has the Best Steak in Gatlinburg? 7 Steakhouses, Ranked

cut steaks on fork, side by side in gatlinburg tn

Find out which popular steakhouse prepared each of these delicious bites of steak below (photos by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

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Last spring break, I had the house to myself for the better part of a week.

What did I do? Well, I worked a lot actually. What didn’t I do? I didn’t cook. Not one single thing.

And Sunday night, after everybody left, I went alone to a steakhouse and treated myself to a mouthwatering steak.

I had so much fun Sunday, I did it again Monday.

On Tuesday, a friend wanted to meet for dinner so we made plans to get a delicious meal. Where did he want to go? Out for a nice steak dinner.

I was eating red meat like it was the only thing on the menu.

So what did I do Wednesday? Salad. I’m not a monster, I need vegetables occasionally, too.

It’s hard to go out for steak with a family of five for a couple of reasons, not the least of which is money. It’s expensive to take the family out to a real steakhouse. Usually, it’s a treat, a luxury. Steakfests do not come around often.


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What is Gatlinburg’s famous food?

Gatlinburg is essentially known for having classic Southern food staples.

This includes delicious BBQ, and in this case, it often means many places to find delicious steak.

Who has the best steak in Gatlinburg?

When you’re on vacation in a place like Gatlinburg, 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.

Read Also: Where do locals eat in Gatlinburg? Our top 9 favorite restaurants

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)

7. 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.

Fried chicken. Herb crusted trout. 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.

There’s a blue cheese sirloin with sundried tomato sauce. And also a Boursin filet – a filet stuffed with Boursin cheese.

In addition, they offer a tasty Prosperity Steak that is the cousin to Calhoun’s Ale Steak discussed below.

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

6. Calhoun’s

Calhoun’s actually has two locations in the Smokies – one in Pigeon Forge and one in Gatlinburg.

Calhoun’s, like Cherokee Grill, is not actually a steakhouse. Technically, it’s a barbecue joint. For example, they have “Best ribs in America” right on the front sign.

But they do know how to handle their meat, which is full of natural flavors and juices.

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.

The “Ale” Steak is 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.

I do not, however, make an exception for the Bar-B-Que Steak Calhoun, which is simply taking things too far.

Still, Calhoun’s is a great destination if your party can’t decide on what they all want. It has a nice variety on the menu. It’s good food, good steaks, a full bar and great service.

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. They even offer a Steak for Two, which comes with an 8 oz. filet and a 14 oz. USDA choice ribeye with two sides with each steak. At the time of this writing, it is only $68.

When a restaurant has been in business since the 40’s, you know they are doing something right. And steak is one of them.

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 (see below).

So why is it ranked fourth? 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 and an impressive menu.

For steaks, they offer a 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 call ahead seating.

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, but I don’t have it ranked as high as others on this list.

Certainly, I mean no insult, ranking the place No. 3.

There’s just stiffer competition for your steak dollar in Gatlinburg. You can’t just be great to secure the No. 1 spot. You have to be amazing.

With locations in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Alamo offers traditional steakhouse fare; filet, strip, T-bone, rib-eye steak and the impressive El Presidente Porterhouse. And you can’t go wrong with any of them.

The rest of their extensive menu – which includes items like pork chops, chicken and even seafood – is notable, but again, the focus of this article is steak so let’s not digress.

The Gatlinburg location is on the East Gatlinburg Parkway so you can avoid the downtown traffic. And it is also the perfect place for a date night.

Read Also: Romantic restaurants in Gatlinburg: 6 upscale dining options ranked

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 the staff at TheSmokies.com between the Greenbrier and The Peddler.

It’s not a massive schism – the truth is you can’t go wrong with either. But honestly, wars have been waged over less.

What I like about Greenbrier is the Henry David Thoreau of it all “Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity.”

Age the steak. Treat it well. Cook it perfectly. That’s all we need.

If you want cheese injected or the thing encrusted in whatever it is they use to encrust things, that’s fine. But for me? It’s about the steak itself.

At the Greenbrier, the Bone-in Rib Eye is king. Dry-aged Iowa beef. Pepper. Salt. Perfection.

You can make the argument that the Greenbrier is the best dining experience in Sevier County. Great food. Excellent service.

One of the best restaurants around.

It’s also probably one of the more upscale options on our list which makes it a contender for a date night, romantic getaway or special occasion.

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

The Greenbrier is great but given the choice, I’ll take The Peddler.

They offer custom cut steaks. Want a rib eye or New York strip larger than 16 oz? Just tell ‘em. They’ll cut it to size. The filet mignon is amazing. The prime rib is perfect.

They also have an exceptional fresh salad bar with the freshest ingredients, if such things matter to you at all.

The Peddler in Gatlinburg is culinary history. It’s a Gatlinburg icon. It’s the kind of place when you go back home and tell people you dined there, they should be jealous.

There are a lot of places to get a great steak in Gatlinburg. However, in my opinion, The Peddler is the best of them.

It’s one of the best steak restaurants in the region, and maybe the best restaurant in East Tennessee, among the downtown Gatlinburg restaurants – which doesn’t include Greenbrier or Alamo, it’s certainly the best. As a bonus, select seating options will offer views of the Little Pigeon River.

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

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John Gullion

John Gullion, Managing Editor at the Citizen Tribune, is a freelance contributor for TheSmokies.com LLC – the parent company of TheSmokies.com and HeyOrlando.com.

100 thoughts on “Who Has the Best Steak in Gatlinburg? 7 Steakhouses, Ranked”

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

  2. Holstons has a pretty darn good steak too. I do agree on your assessment of The Peddler, lol.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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..

  6. The Peddlar by far!!!!!! And when the had the salad bar, it was heaven!!!!!!!

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

  8. Good thing I live the 5minutes from Fox and Hound and yes there steak is to die for!

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

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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!!

  17. I cant believe The Park Grill in Gatlinburg isn’t on here? Their steak was amazing!

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Our family loves Alamo! Steaks are the best I’ve ate! Definitely should have been listed!

  21. 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 .

  22. 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.

  23. Longhorn Steakhouse is awesome. Surprised it wasn’t mentioned even mentioned as an afterthought.

  24. Greenbrier for steak or anything else! Knocked out of the park, over the top deliciousness!!

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

  26. 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.

  27. I love the steak at, of all places, a seafood restaurant called Chesapeake’s in Gatlinburg!!

  28. 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.

  29. 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!!

  30. 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)

  31. 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!!

  32. 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.

  33. 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!

  34. Cherokee grill is the best stake in town. Can’t beat the price and flavor is tops.

  35. We love the Alamo. We’ve never had a bad experience. Wonderfully cooked and flavored steaks

  36. 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.

  37. Alamo by far the best! Peddler was horrible both times I have been there. Tough poor quality meat.

  38. Fox and Hounds in Newport…the food is delicious, the atmosphere is fun, and the staff is friendly.

  39. 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.

  40. The Alamo is the best I think. It is soooo good. We eat at the the one in pigeon forge.

  41. 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!!

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

  43. 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!!!

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

  45. The hidden gem…the Greenbrier…is THE BEST! Food, service and atmosphere!

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

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

  49. 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.

  50. 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!

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

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

  53. 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!

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

  55. 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.

  56. 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

  57. 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!!!!

  58. 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

  59. 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.

  60. The Cherokee Grill!! Amazing Infinity steak! Great Spinach Artichoke dip!

  61. 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.

  62. 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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