Dining

These are the best restaurants in Gatlinburg TN: 37 top places to eat

In essence, Gatlinburg’s economy is built upon a three-legged stool of tourism commerce. 

Lodging. Entertainment. Food.

And it’s probably not in that order. 

People come to Gatlinburg to do a lot of things, but eating remains dang near the top of the list. 

As such, there is a cornucopia of options. Indeed, a plethora of choices. In fact, a smorgasbord of … well, smorgasbords. 

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The best restaurants in Gatlinburg by category

Over the years, we at TheSmokies.com have told you about many of the best places to eat in Gatlinburg.

But we’ve always broken it down into subcategories. Best seafood, best pasta, best pizza, best steak, best barbecue, that kind of deal. 

For a quick reference, here are some of the top-rated restaurants by category:

Best seafood Chesapeake’s Seafood and Raw Bar (437 Parkway, Gatlinburg)
Best Mexican foodEstrella Hondumex (109 Roaring Fork Rd, Gatlinburg)
Best Italian foodBest Italian Cafe and Pizzeria (968 Parkway Suite #9, Gatlinburg)
Best pizzaMellow Mushroom (903 Parkway Ste 103, Gatlinburg)
Best pancakesPancake Pantry (628 Parkway, Gatlinburg)
Best BBQDelauder’s (1875 East Pkwy, Gatlinburg)
Best steakThe Peddler (820 River Rd, Gatlinburg)
Best viewsCliff Top at Anakeesta (576 Parkway, Gatlinburg)
A list of best restaurants by category in Gatlinburg TN

Now as a disclaimer, there’s a bit of an internal battle among staff for the best steak. Some of us say it’s The Peddler, some of us say it’s Greenbrier. Really, both places are great.

But with so many places to eat, what do you, the discriminating diner, do when forced to choose between the best of the best of the best?

You’ve been out alone, in the cold, wandering with nothing more than a fork and your wits to discern the best place to eat. 

Well, my friends come on home, the water’s fine. 

This is, in fact, the definitive list.

This is the list of lists. You need nothing more than your appetite – and probably some form of monetary compensation to pay for your meals – and we will guide you home. 

Here’s a list of the top 37 best restaurants in Gatlinburg TN, ranked:

Chicken Guy
Chicken Guy in Gatlinburg has an on-site arcade (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

37. Chicken Guy Gatlinburg

A relatively new addition to the area, Gatlinburg marks the second Tennessee location for the Chicken Guy concept. The original is in Nashville. 

Chicken Guy is known for having unique, hand-pounded chicken with crunchy textures and a wide variety of sauces. In fact, they have more than 20 house-made sauces at the restaurant.

It’s a quick food spot that will satisfy hunger and entertain your kids with the on-site arcade.

Read Also: Chicken Guy Gatlinburg is now open in downtown: A look inside

Flapjack's Pancake Cabin
Pancakes are a common site in Gatlinburg (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

36. Flapjack’s Pancake Cabin

Flapjack’s has six locations around the Smoky Mountains, three of which are in Gatlinburg.

They make more than just pancakes. In fact, Flapjack’s serves up a variety of well-done breakfast staples. 

While breakfast food is almost always good, you can’t go wrong at Flapjack’s.

Read Also: Flapjacks Pancake Cabin review: Great pancakes, strange origin story

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co in Gatlinburg
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. in Gatlinburg is part of a motion picture concept (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

35. Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

Can I make a confession? For the life of me, I don’t understand why this restaurant concept exists. I mean, the menu is fine and the food is good, even really good, but the why really bugs me.

For instance, we were in Orlando recently at the Universal City Walk. And there, among a variety of really interesting and different dining options, was Bubba Gump, right there by the exit. 

And in fact, it was always busy. Just doing a bang-up business. 

Look, I was around for the Forrest Gump craze. Loved the movie, loved the book. 

Read the sequel, which was not great. 

I also listened to the soundtrack full of hits from the 60s and 70s. Great soundtrack. 

The fact of the matter is that I was a fairly big Forrest Gump fan. But never in a million years would I have thought to turn Bubba Gump Shrimp into a real-world thing. 

The website notes (brags?) that it remains the only causal restaurant chain based on a motion picture property.

It’s just perplexing on every level. Who demanded this or thought it was a good idea?

Clearly, that person was a genius. Here we are, nearly 30 years later and there are Bubba Gumps all over the country. So it must be a success, right? 

I keep trying to think of the next big thing in terms of motion-picture-based restaurant theming. But I’ve got nothing. There has to be another multi-million dollar idea out there just waiting to be licensed. 

Landshark Bar and Grill Gatlinburg
Landshark Bar & Grill in Gatlinburg is a cool place to grab a burger and chill (photo by James Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

34. LandShark Bar & Grill

Landshark Grill is the cousin of Bubba Gump’s.

I don’t get the whole Jimmy Buffet expanded universe. I get that Margaritaville was a whole vibe when it came out. Honestly, lyrically it’s probably one of the cleverest songs written.

It captures the ideal of beach life that so many people wish they could live. And I even like some of Buffet’s other songs. In fact, I have the greatest hits CD around somewhere.

But one day I looked up and Jimmy Buffet was no longer a singer-songwriter with somewhat limited range. He was a whole corporation. Restaurants, hotels and publishing. Jimmy Buffett was suddenly the biggest thing in the world.

And his restaurant? It’s fine. Specifically, it’s not better or worse. Fine. 

So, if that’s the life experience, the vibe you like on vacation, I’m not here to tell you any different. Get a cheeseburger and a big old beer and have a good time.  

To me? It’s basically like O’Charley’s with more novel theming. 

A meat platter at Bennett's BBQ
Bennett’s offers combo platters and pork platters so you can sample some variety (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

33. Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que

Part of the Johnson Family of Restaurants, Bennett’s is good but not necessarily life-changing hickory barbecue.

Sharing a place in Gatlinburg with Big Daddy’s Pizza, Bennett’s offers Southern staples like chicken wings, beef brisket and deep fried pickles. Nothing fancy, but it’s not supposed to be. 

On the menu, you’ll find everything from chicken wings to beef brisket to deep-fried pickles.

Big Daddy's Pizzeria in Gatlinburg
Big Daddy’s Big Kahuna is a favorite with guests (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

32. Big Daddy’s Pizzeria

I like Hawaiian pizza. You see a lot of folks out there in the world disparaging pineapple on pizza. Philistines. Little bit of ham, some pineapple, that’s a pizza of which anyone could be proud. 

I bring it up because Big Daddy’s Big Kahuna with pineapple, Canadian bacon and a goat cheese mozzarella-provolone blend is, I think, an especially good Hawaiian pizza – possibly because of the wood fired ovens.

I like a little adventure in my pizza and Big Daddy’s is happy to oblige.

For example, The Herbivore is loaded with spinach, fresh tomatoes, cheeses, roasted garlic, mushrooms, red peppers and topped with feta cheese. The taco pie with refried beans, ground beef, cheddar cheese, lettuce and tomatoes is excellent as well. 

Read Also: Big Daddy’s Pizza in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg: Is it worth it?

Chicken & Dumplings and Mac & Cheese at Mama's Chicken Kitchen
I tried mac and cheese and chicken and dumplings at Mama’s Chicken Kitchen. It was delicious (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

31. Mama’s Chicken Kitchen

Mama’s Chicken Kitchen is the sister restaurant to Mama’s Farmhouse in Pigeon Forge, a family style restaurant.

A member of the Johnson Family of Restaurants, Mama’s Chicken Kitchen does things a little differently than its Pigeon Forge counterpart.

At Chicken Kitchen in Gatlinburg, the chicken and sides are served by the plate or by the bucket if you order to go.

It’s perfect and delicious for a picnic in the Smoky Mountains.

Read Also: Mama’s Chicken Kitchen review: How they saved me from hanger

Loco Burro in Gatlinburg
Try the fajitas at Loco Burro Fresh Mex Cantina (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

30. Loco Burro Fresh Mex Cantina

Loco Burro may not be the most authentic Mexican food on the strip, but it’s good food and a fun place to eat.

If you want something safe, try the fajitas. Good, reliable and not so heavy that when you get tossed off the mechanical burro you’ll be in danger. 

In addition, Loco Burro’s rooftop bar is a great place to unwind and do a little people watching from a safe distance. 

The food is pretty good and you have to actively be trying to be a stick in the mud not to have a good time. 

Read Also: Loco Burro in Gatlinburg: Is it worth it? An honest review

Smoky Mountain Brewery
The Smoky Mountain Brewery has two locations in the Smokies: One in Gatlinburg and the other in Pigeon Forge (photo by Bill Burris/TheSmokies.com)

29. Smoky Mountain Brewery in Gatlinburg

Come for the brews, stay for the food.

The Smoky Mountain Brewery is a great place if you’re into beer. But it’s also a great place if you like brewery style food in a fun atmosphere. The brews are the stars here of course. But what’s a good brew without some great pizza or a good burger to enjoy it with?

Part of the Copper Cellar family – which includes Cherokee Grill and Chesapeake’s – you know you’re going to eat well.

It’s hard for me to pass up the Big City Reuben, but if you’re looking for something different, the Grilled Yellow Fin Tuna with wasabi mayo will get your attention. 

Wild Plum Tea Room
Wild Plum is located within a few miles of the Arts and Crafts Community (photo by Bill Burris/TheSmokies.com)

28. Wild Plum Tea Room

This local favorite has sandwiches, salads, burgers and unique creations like Lobster Pie, all of which are made fresh daily.

The recipes are passed down through families and neighbors and the atmosphere is far from the typical high-paced turnover of Gatlinburg restaurants.

It is definitely worth a visit on your next trip to town. They also offer a dog friendly patio.

A pizza at Best Italian in Gatlinburg
The Best Italian restaurant on the Parkway has great pizza (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

27. Best Italian on the Parkway

What’s in a name? Some people – ordinary people – name their restaurant after themselves, Johnny’s. Some people find a concept and run with it … looking at you, Bubba Gump.

The people behind Best Italian on the Parkway? They just put it right there on jump street. You know what you’re getting before you walk in the door. 

Great pizza. Famous garlic rolls. Traditional Italian dishes like Chicken Florentine or Chicken Marsala. The Linguini & Clam Sauce – which is a little hard to find in the Smoky Mountains – is quite good as well. 

26. New Orleans Sandwich Company

Cajun food? Yes, please. Sandwiches? Of course.

With a menu that sings with Cajun goodness, the New Orleans Sandwich company offers a variety of traditional New Orleans Poboys as well as favorites like Jambalaya, Red Beans and Rice and Seafood Gumbo.

Get you some fried okra on the side and the Pontchartrain Shrimp Poboy and you’ll feel like your vacation took a turn to Louisiana. 

Tom and Earl's Back Alley Grill Signage Gatlinburg
Grab a sandwich and hang out at Tom & Earl’s in Gatlinburg (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

25. Tom & Earl’s Back Alley Grill

I don’t know Tom. And I don’t know Earl. I traditionally avoid eating foods prepared in a back alley – unless it’s one of those back-alley food court things you find in other parts of the world.

However, Tom & Earl’s wraps, sandwiches and specialty drinks are quite good. And Tom and Earl’s is just a great hang.  

A place to come and enjoy the evening when you have nothing more on the agenda than eating a little, drinking a little and enjoying the evening. There is live music on Fridays and Saturdays when closing time is a little up in the air. 

The Cheese Cupboard and Hofbrauhaus Restaurant
Enjoy hand-crafted sandwiches and specialty cheeses at The Cheese Cupboard and Hofbrauhaus Restaurant (photo by Bill Burris/TheSmokies.com)

24. Cheese Cupboard & Hofbrauhaus

First floor? A cheese shop that opened in the Village Shoppes in 1969. They sell cheeses, gourmet mustards and kosher dill pickles and other snacks. It’s wonderful. The last time I was there we got a really earthy leak cheese. It was fantastic.

Second floor? One step closer to heaven. The Hofbrauhaus Restaurant, styled after a German Pub, with a variety of sandwiches, including a famous Reuben and bratwurst. Real, honest-to-God bratwurst in East Tennessee is a rarity. 

Read Also: The Village Gatlinburg: Best 11 shops and restaurants ranked

The Eggs Benedict at Crockett's Breakfast Camp
The Eggs Benedict at Crockett’s Breakfast Camp (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

23. Crockett’s Breakfast Camp

Sometimes a restaurant menu can be a little too precocious. Crockett’s Breakfast Camp already has one strike for being named after someone who was named after the famous Davy Crockett. I will NOT be bait and switched. They call eggs “hen fruit.” 

Hen.

Fruit.

Too much? I think so. Luckily, everything gets better from there.

Crockett’s Breakfast Camp, named after David Crockett Maples who served in the Civil War and lost his legs to frostbite and spent the last years of his life walking around on wooden feet, offers everything I want out of a breakfast camp.

French toast, waffles, griddle cakes as well as true cathead biscuits. 

The Elk Mountain Grande Burrito is made with three eggs, machaca, chorizo pico de gallo and jalapeños. And the Signature Corned Beef Hash Benedict comes with diced onions, peppers and herbs.

Read Also: Crockett’s Breakfast Camp in Gatlinburg review: Is it worth it?

The Atrium in Gatlinburg
The Atrium in Gatlinburg has breakfast and lunch (photo by Bill Burris/TheSmokies.com)

22. Atrium Restaurant

We have breakfast and lunch places back-to-back.

The Atrium is open from 7:30 am to 2 pm Wednesday through Sunday. Breakfast offers the usual items of pancakes, bacon and French toast.

I’m a fan of the Famous Apple Pancake, served with apples and brown sugar along with apple syrup. It’s really good. 

If you’re a big eater at breakfast, the house specials just may be your thing. The Hungry Bear comes with four eggs, any style, four pancakes, home fries and your choice of meat. The Mountain Man Platter comes with two eggs, two pancakes, home fries and an 8 oz. ribeye. You can add bacon or country ham for a little extra kicker. 

For lunch, it’s sandwiches, burgers and fried chicken. Sides include fried okra and fried green tomatoes. Honestly, I could make a meal on those alone.

With more than 20 years in the business of serving the Gatlinburg tourist trade, you know Atrium is going to be good or it wouldn’t still be around. 

Read Also: Mom and pop restaurants in Gatlinburg: Best 6 local eateries ranked

The Smoky Mountain Trout House Gatlinburg
The Smoky Mountain Trout House features 10 fresh trout dishes (photo by Bill Burris/TheSmokies.com)

21. Smoky Mountain Trout House

A trout house is what they promise and a trout house is what they deliver. The menu features 10 different fresh rainbow trout dishes as well as pasta, steaks and seafood.

Of the trout dishes, the Eisenhower is probably the tops. Breaded in cornmeal and fried, served with a side of sautéed mushrooms and onions, it’s a classic. 

The Peacemaker eggs at Ruby Sunshine
The Peacemaker allows you to pick two types of eggs benedict at Ruby Sunshine (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

20. Ruby Sunshine

A touch of New Orleans comes to the mountains.

Ruby Sunshine – from the owners of Ruby Slipper Café of New Orleans – offers Big Easy twists on Southern brunch classics, including benedicts, pancakes and French toast, as well as eye-opening cocktails which are perfect for vacation.

Ruby Sunshine is open from 7:30 am to 2 pm Monday through Friday and until 3 pm on the weekends. Every day is a good day to live that brunch life when you’re on vacation. 

The options range from sweet to savory – the Bayou Shrimp Bennies are particularly good.

There seems to be a real push on bringing Cajun and Louisiana flavors to the region. And most of the places that are doing it are quite good. As someone who grew up with Cajun cousins, I applaud the trend and hope that we get more. 

Read Also: Ruby Sunshine Gatlinburg: An unbiased review with photos

Pizza with Fresh Basil and Buffalo Cheese at Taste of Italy
We enjoyed this pizza with fresh basil and buffalo cheese at Taste of Italy (photo by Kim Grayson/TheSmokies.com)

19. Taste of Italy

Again, what’s in a name? Everything. What do you get at a Taste of Italy? A little bit of Rome, a little bit of Naples. A lot of Southern Italy in general.

I could wax poetic about the meatball sub. I typically avoid marinara dishes in restaurants because the sauce rarely lives up to what I make at home, but their homemade sauce is great. 

If you get a chance, order stromboli. In my experience, good stromboli is hard to find in the South, but this is good stromboli. 

three jimmy's good time eatery
Three Jimmy’s has cornhole and comfort food (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

18. Three Jimmy’s Good Time Eatery

Usually, when a place advertises karaoke and cornhole, I’m heading the other way. But Three Jimmy’s is no ordinary place. Located a little bit off the main strip, Three Jimmy’s is comfort food and good times. It’s right there in the title. 

Barbecue options include pulled pork, beef brisket and ribs as well as a USDA prime smoked ribeye that’s excellent. 

Comfort food options, straight from your grandmother’s recipe book, include chicken pot pie, open faced roast beef and Southern fried catfish.

Three Jimmy’s also has a surprisingly good selection of artisan pizzas for a place that has a cornhole board. The Blackberry Pie features blackberry chipotle sauce, hickory smoked pork, caramelized onions, bacon, gouda and mozzarella.

Certainly, it is an excellent choice if you’re looking for something off the beaten pizza path. The Smoky Mountain – with smoked pepperoni, ham, Italian sausage, smoked bacon, and mozzarella – is a more traditional choice. 

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

Howards restaurant in Gatlinburg
Howards is known as the oldest restaurant in Gatlinburg (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

17. Howards Restaurant

Located in the heart of the strip, Howards is a bi-level destination with a steak house downstairs and a pub upstairs.

Billed as Gatlinburg’s oldest restaurant – predating even the Pancake Pantry – Howards is a great spot to enjoy some Gatlinburg tradition.

There’s nothing terribly out-of-the-ordinary on the Howards Menu, but you don’t need food that is shocking to be great. 

For example, the Hot Chop Steak Sandwich is a winner and pairs excellently with a Bloody Mary.  

Mellow Mushroom in Gatlinburg
Mellow Mushroom has delicious pizza in a convenient location (photo by Marie Graichen/TheSmokies.com)

16. Mellow Mushroom

Mellow Mushroom is consistently the best chain pizza in the area.

The Mellow Mushroom offers unique and legitimately great pizzas and calzones. And sometimes you just need good pizza.

Sure, there may be fancier options, but pizza is one of the culinary wonders of the world.

I’m a fan of the Pacific Rim with ham, bacon, caramelized onions, pineapple and jalapenos, but the wife prefers the Mighty Meat which invariably sets me up for a “That’s what she said” joke, so everybody wins.

Read Also: Who has the best pizza in Gatlinburg? Here’s our top 5, ranked

Ole Red cocktail
Ole Red has a great atmosphere with live music (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

15. Ole Red

While it can be hard to get a table at Ole Red on a busy night, I find that they have surprisingly good food in a relaxing atmosphere.

And the best part is, it’s a great place to catch some live music.

The menu has standard bar food: Tacos, nachos, fried chicken, salads, sandwiches, burgers, catfish, fries, tater tots, etc. You shouldn’t expect anything too upscale, but it’s not bad, and the atmosphere makes it all worth it.

Ole Red is located in downtown Gatlinburg. Try to go on off-peak times for best results.

Read Also: Is Ole Red in Gatlinburg worth it? When to go, what to order

Estrella Hondumex in Gatlinburg
This is some of the most authentic Mexican food in the area (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

14. Estrella Hondumex

This taste of Honduras is on Roaring Fork Road in Gatlinburg.

Located in the back of a Hispanic grocery, Estrella Hondumex is a fantastic place to get real Central American and Mexican cuisine that you won’t find on the strip.

Try the Asada Honduras style, or if you like a little more kick, the Shrimp Devil may just be what the doctor ordered.  

But practice your Spanish before you go. You might need it.

Read Also: These are the best Mexican restaurants near Gatlinburg, our top 4 ranked

pancakes at the pancake pantry
Pictured: Caribbean pancakes, chocolate chip pancakes and a side of bacon (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

13. Pancake Pantry

A Gatlinburg classic, if you’re looking for breakfast, move the Pantry up to the top 5 places to eat, easy.

Open for breakfast and lunch, the Pantry essentially started the trend of pancake restaurants in the Smokies.

The lunch menu is light, but I’m a sucker for the Polish Aristocrat – which is just fun to order – layers of Swiss cheese, corned beef and coleslaw in rye, this grilled sandwich is worthy of the name.

Breakfast is always on the menu and includes 24 varieties of pancakes. The French Toast is also really good.

And be warned, entree portions at the Pancake Pantry are huge (most featured dishes come with five full-sized pancakes).

Bonus tip: If the line is too long at Pancake Pantry, other solid pancake options in Gatlinburg include Crockett’s Breakfast Camp and Log Cabin Pancake House.

Read Also: Is the Pancake Pantry in Gatlinburg worth it? Best 5 things to order

CLIFF TOP AT ANAKEESTA
Anakeesta’s Cliff Top Restaurant features both climate-controlled indoor seating and beautiful outdoor seating with a view (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

12. Cliff Top at Anakeesta

Anakeesta’s dining experience with a view, Cliff Top gets dinged a little on the list for essentially coming with a cover charge. It costs just to get into Anakeesta.

But Cliff Top gets a boost for offering the best open-air dining view in the Smokies. So maybe it’s a wash.

A great date night spot, Cliff Top offers burgers, sandwiches and steaks. 

If you visit Anakeesta, purchase your tickets in advance to save time when you arrive, and check Tripster to save a couple of bucks off your admission.

Read Also: Is Anakeesta worth the money? An honest review

Alamo Steakhouse in Gatlinburg
The Alamo in Gatlinburg is a popular steakhouse (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

11. Alamo Steakhouse

We start off with something of a shocker. The Alamo at number 11? This is the worst thing to ever happen at any Alamo anywhere. 

Still, the Alamo is a fantastic restaurant, many people’s favorite in the entire city. It’s legitimately great.

But in my book, there are a couple of steakhouses that are better, and a list with nothing but steakhouses at the top would be really boring.

That being said, a meal starting with the Alamo’s shrimp cocktail followed by the El Presidente Porterhouse with asparagus and button mushrooms is a last-meal-worthy affair. 

There are lots of steak options plus chicken and some seafood. It’s all great.

Alamo Steakhouse is owned by the Johnson Family of Restaurants who also own and operate Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que, Big Daddy’s Pizzeria, Mama’s Farmhouse, Mama’s Chicken Kitchen and Mad Dog’s Creamery.

Read Also: Alamo Steakhouse in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge: An honest review

Crawdaddy's in Gatlinburg
Crawdaddy’s offers a patio on an upper level in Gatlinburg (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

10. Crawdaddy’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar

With a menu built straight from the Hank Williams classic “Jambalaya,” Crawdaddy’s does a good job of bringing a little Cajun flavor to the mountains.

What I know about Cajun or New Orleans cuisine is a fair question.

Papa’s best friend from the war was a Cajun who’d come to visit Southern Indiana with coolers full of mudbugs, gumbo and other Cajun classics.

I’m not an expert, but I’m not a novice either. Go for the low country boil and put your bib on. 

Mojo Broth at the Melting Pot
“Mojo” broth at The Melting Pot (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

9. The Melting Pot

Honestly, if it was just a list of my personal favorites, The Melting Pot might be at the top of the list.

But The Melting Pot is a chain and they have a location in Cincinnati and you don’t go on vacation to eat at places you can eat at in Cincinnati. 

Be forewarned, The Melting Pot is not a cheap night out, but it does make for an excellent date night. 

The four-course meal includes cheese fondue, a salad, an entrée fondue and a dessert fondue.

For your entrée, in addition to choosing your proteins, you choose your cooking style which can be a hot oil or a broth. The hot oil is fun because you get a variety of batters to dip things in.

And the battered mushroom caps stuffed with green goddess dip and deep-fried are freaking delicious.

But it’s also easier to mess up your expensive meat options in the oil, which means you have to stay alert at all times. 

Later, for dessert, choose from a variety of chocolate fondues – I’m big on the Yin & Yang.

Frankly, it’s a majestic dining experience, and I’m a little mad they allow the people of Cincinnati access. 

Read Also: The Melting Pot Gatlinburg: An honest review, what to order

The Park Grill in Gatlinburg
The Park Grill offers free parking for patrons (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

8. The Park Grill

Dine in the comfort of this rustic mountain lodge setting near the top of the Gatlinburg strip.

Come for the finest meats available and stay for the salad bar that serves as the perfect complement to the meal or as a meal itself.

Be sure to try the famous Shrimp and Crab Bisque if you’re big into bisques. The Yard Bird – herb-rubbed over roasted chicken – is a classic. The Baby Back Ribs are also exceptional.

Certainly, If you are looking for a mountain dining experience, The Park Grill is a perfect choice. 

And since The Park Grill sits near the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, they like to consider themselves the official restaurant of the park.

Read Also: The Park Grill in Gatlinburg: Is it worth it? An honest review

Tennessee Jed's in Gatlinburg
Tennessee Jed’s in Gatlinburg is best known for craft sandwiches (photo by John Gullion/TheSmokies.com)

7. Tennessee Jed’s

This restaurant is a sandwich shop on the strip open from 8 am to 3 pm (hours may vary) and is designed to serve breakfast and lunch for people who have other things planned in the day.

If Subway’s people are sandwich artists, the folks at Tennessee Jed’s are Van Goghs.

In addition, for those who appreciate the beauty of a great Reuben or Cubano or even the classic Kraut Dog, Tennessee Jed’s is a destination in itself. 

Read Also: Tennessee Jed’s: The best thing to order at this local gem in Gatlinburg

Delauder's BBQ
A local place like Delauder’s often has the best BBQ in town (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

6. Delauder’s BBQ

Delauder’s BBQ is a holy place. It is a shrine devoted to the divine art of smoked meats.

I’m a fan of their Five Meat Plate. I said, FIVE. MEAT. PLATE.

Specifically, you get ribs, pulled pork, brisket, grilled chicken breast and smoked sausage plus your choice of two sides, the best of which are the fried mac n cheese, fried okra and the collard greens.

It’s consistently one of the best BBQ restaurants in Gatlinburg.

Read Also: Best BBQ in Gatlinburg: Top 6 BBQ restaurants ranked

Cherokee Grill's Prosperity Steak
The Prosperity Steak and Loaded Baked Potato at Cherokee Grill Gatlinburg (Photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

5. The Cherokee Grill

The Cherokee Grill is a steakhouse in Gatlinburg along the Parkway that offers a woodsy lodge setting.

It has a traditional American menu with seafood, fried chicken, crab cakes and more.

Of course, they offer a variety of steaks which is often one of the most popular selections.

Order add-ons with the steak, like the Boursin cheese or soy ginger sauce. You can’t go wrong either way.

They also offer free parking, a rare find in Gatlinburg.

Read Also: Cherokee Grill in Gatlinburg: An honest steakhouse review [PHOTOS]

Calhoun's sign in Gatlinburg TN
Calhoun’s in Gatlinburg TN is known for their ribs (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

4. Calhoun’s

An East Tennessee legend, Calhoun’s famous barbecue is a staple of dinners all over the region. There’s some overlap in experience – in my opinion – between Calhoun’s and The Park Grill.

You can’t really go wrong with either.

The smoked sausage and cheese plate is an underrated starter but honestly, if you don’t order some bacon-wrapped beef brisket burnt ends, I don’t know what you’re doing with your life. 

Can’t go wrong with burgers, pork, sandwiches, BBQ and salads – though honestly it almost seems like an insult to order a salad entrée here.

I have also heard excellent things about the chicken tenders but can never bring myself so close to BBQ glory only to order a chicken tender.

A steak at the Peddler with sides
The Peddler is best known for its quality steak (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

3. The Peddler

Here we are.

The rarified air of the top 3. Each of the following restaurants can make a legitimate claim to being the best in Gatlinburg, the best in Sevier County or the best in Tennessee.

Of course, a lot of it comes down to personal preference.

The Peddler Steakhouse is a Gatlinburg institution with roots that reach back to the very founding of the city itself.

Get a custom-cut steak, a red wine, a baked stuffed potato and dine like royalty back when royalty didn’t think of gout as a bad thing.

Or if you want to be a little less decadent, the grilled salmon is fantastic.

Read Also: The Peddler Steakhouse: The most romantic dinner for two in Gatlinburg

The Greenbrier
The Greenbrier Restaurant is a historic landmark and upscale dining establishment in Gatlinburg (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

2. The Greenbrier

Billed as a food and spirit outpost, Greenbrier offers fine dining in a rustic setting.

Greenbrier gets a slight edge in my book for a slightly more daring fine dining menu than some of the other top-end restaurants in the area.

Duck breast, lamb shank and stuffed flounder are all delicious options. Or you can go more traditional and order one of their fine hand-cut steaks. 

Read Also: The Greenbrier: The best and most haunted restaurant in Gatlinburg

Chesapeake's Seafood
Chesapeake’s is, without a doubt, the best seafood restaurant in the Smokies (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

1. Chesapeake’s

Finally, in a fine-dining world dominated by steakhouses, Chesapeake’s wins by simply standing out.

Sure you can get excellent seafood dishes at The Peddler or Greenbrier, but if you want seafood, and quite frequently I do, it’s best to go to the place that specializes in the fruits of the ocean.

The Maryland Crab Cakes are delicious as an appetizer, a main course or on the crab cake sandwich.

They’re also available to be added to an entrée. The stuffed Maine lobster is also decadent and the steam seafood feast can’t be beaten. I also enjoy the Smoked Trout.

There are non-seafood options available if you’re not in the mood, but I can’t imagine anyone would read this far into this particular blog and then go to Chesapeake’s and order the hamburger – which I’m sure is probably a pretty good burger. 

The broiled or fried seafood platters feature shrimp, scallops and cod. Their cod is an awesome cod.  

Try the Slower Delaware Pie for dessert.

Since I’ve never been to Delaware, I don’t know if this is an actual thing.

But it’s coffee ice cream, Kahlua liqueur, chocolate cookie crust, hot fudge, candied pecans and cream. And it’s a work of genius. 

Read Also: Who has the best seafood in Pigeon Forge? Our top 6, ranked

Bonus: Dick’s Last Resort

LOL just kidding. Gotcha back.

Read Also: What is the restaurant where they insult you in Gatlinburg?

What do YOU think is the best Gatlinburg restaurant? Let us know in the comments.

View the web story version of this article here.

Downtown Flavortown in Pigeon Forge: An honest review with menu, photos

Guy Fieri’s Downtown Flavortown, a new mixed-use entertainment venue, restaurant and bar is now open in Pigeon Forge.

But Downtown Flavortown isn’t just another Guy Fieri themed restaurant.

This 43,000-square-foot, 300-seat restaurant and entertainment center features food, state-of-the-art arcade games, a 14-lane duckpin bowling ally and a full premium bar.

Think of it along the same line as Dave and Busters, but Guy Fieri themed.

Who owns Downtown Flavortown?

The flagship attraction is owned and operated by FACE Amusement Group in partnership with Guy Fieri.

If FACE sounds familiar to locals, it’s because Downtown Flavortown is FACE amusement’s seventh establishment in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Additional properties include Arcade City, Rockin’ Raceway, Big Top Arcade and 7D Dark Ride Adventure. It also includes Chicken Guy Gatlinburg and Arcade City Gatlinburg, both of which opened in 2021. 

Inside the huge venue, an iconic 1968 Chevy Camaro is on display for a photo opportunity. There’s also a gift shop and several entertainment options to explore. Additionally, the entertainment center offers several options for private parties.

Read Also: Chicken Guy Gatlinburg is now open in downtown: A look inside

The arcade at downtown flavortown
The new Downtown Flavortown features over 10,000 square feet of state-of-the-art arcade games ranging from redemption to virtual reality (photo by Bill Burris/TheSmokies.com)

“This is the perfect pairing of a chef-focused restaurant with a family entertainment center, and a natural extension of our relationship with Guy Fieri and his team,” said Bucky Mabe, CEO of FACE.

“Only the ultimate explorer of all-American flavor could mash up this ridiculously exciting range of unexpected combinations that will be sure to turn a family night out into lifelong memories.”

Support for this project was provided by John Morgan, entrepreneur and owner of WonderWorks.

Read Also: What is the upside-down house in Pigeon Forge?

Spaghetti Waffle at Downtown Flavortown
Downtown Flavortown offers Guy Fieri’s famous culinary combinations which include this Spaghetti Meatball Waffle (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

What does Flavortown mean?

First of all, Guy Fieri is an American restaurateur, author and award-winning television presenter from the Food Network.

He coined the name “Flavortown” after an off-the-cuff comment about a pizza that looked like a manhole cover.

That one-liner took off. Before he knew it, he had built an imaginary world in his own mind called “Flavortown”, frequently making jokes and references to the fictional land during his shows.

Eventually, he started referring to himself as “Mayor of Flavortown”.

The name would later become the inspiration for Flavortown Kitchen – a delivery-only restaurant concept with multiple locations across the United States and eventually, Downtown Flavortown in Pigeon Forge.

“No matter where you go in this great country, I can put ya on the road to Flavortown, real-deal food and good times, that’s what I’m all about. But there’s one experience that I’ve been saving for a special time and place.”

“I’m talking next level, go big or go home, the ultimate party … Scratch-made food, craft cocktails, tiki bar, bowling, gaming … you name it, we’re bringing it!” said Guy Fieri in a press release.

Trashcan nachos at Downtown Flavortown
The highly stacked Trash Can Nachos at Downtown Flavortown have melty cheese and a sweet BBQ flavor (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

What is on the menu at Downtown Flavortown?

Pigeon Forge visitors will undoubtedly get a unique dining experience at Downtown Flavortown.

Some of the worldwide bestsellers include a wide selection of sandwiches, burgers and waffles.

For starters, the famed chef offers Trash Can Nachos, served in a tin tower stuffed with corn tortilla chips, smoked pork, cheddar, black beans, jalapenos, sour cream, pickled red onions, cilantro, pico de gallo and bourbon brown sugar with Motley Que BBQ sauce.

Other famous starters include the Dragon’s Breath Chili Cheese Fries (crispy fries with chili, cheddar, sour cream, pico de gallo, crispy onions and bacon) and Cheeto Dusted Chicharrones (crispy chicharrones with cheddar cheese powder, sea salt, chopped bacon and crispy jalapenos).

Main menu items at Downtown Flavortown

For your main meal, Downtown Flavortown offers some huge burger creations, like the Bacon Mac ‘N’ Cheeseburger with crispy applewood bacon, SMC (short for Super Melty Cheese), lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle with crispy onions and a garlic butter brioche bun.

The Motley Que Pulled Pork sandwich has pulled pork shoulder, signature bourbon brown BBQ sauce, American slaw, pickle chips, aged cheddar, crispy onion straws and signature donkey sauce on a toasted pretzel bun.

This menu item was featured on “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives”.

There are also creations here you won’t find anywhere else. For example, we tried the Spaghetti Meatball Waffle, which was certainly one of the most unique dishes we’ve ever had.

Downtown Flavortown offers an extensive selection of liquors and craft cocktails. Craft beers are also available at the full-service tropical Tiki Bar.

Be sure to try Guy’s Famous BBQ Bloody Mary, the Tattooed Mojito, the Caliente Margarita or Flavortown’s Long Island.

For the more adventurous, they offer Bubblin Bowls, which are made for parties of three or more to share.

Lastly, desserts include selections such as cheesecake and layered chocolate whiskey cake.

Chicken Avocado Flatbread at Downtown Flavortown
The Chicken Avocado Flatbread at Downtown Flavortown (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

How is the food at Downtown Flavortown?

It’s different.

If you’re looking for a restaurant experience, there may be no better place than Downtown Flavortown.

If you’re a meat and potatoes kind of guy, it may not be your jam.

These culinary creations combine some pretty unique flavors. The BBQ is sweet. The marinara was a little spicy. The food combinations are something you would be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.

For example, in case you skimmed over it, I just mentioned that I ate a waffle with spaghetti on top. Spaghetti. On a waffle. Actually, it was in the waffle.

Honestly? It wasn’t bad. Would I eat it again? Probably not.

Did it make for a good conversation piece? Absolutely.

One of our favorite items we ordered was probably the Chicken Avocado Flatbread. But if your goal in life is to combine Southern foods like shrimp and grits on top of a waffle, this is your place.

The bowling ally
The impressive 43,000-square-foot family entertainment center has a 14-lane duck pin bowling alley (photo by Bill Burris/TheSmokies.com)

Where is Guy Fieri in Pigeon Forge?

Downtown Flavortown in Pigeon Forge opened on March 8, 2022.

It is located at 2655 Teaster Lane, Suite 100 in Pigeon Forge, TN 37863 at the Mountain Mile shopping complex.

Finally, what do you think about Guy Fieri’s local stamp on the area? Have you tried Downtown Flavortown?

Let us know in the comments below.

View the web story version of this article here.

8 new restaurants in Pigeon Forge, surrounding areas [2022]

You don’t come to the Smoky Mountains for ruminations on the ephemeral nature of existence. 

The mountains, after all, exist outside the boundaries of conceivable time. Beyond decades, beyond centuries, the lifespan of the mountains exists in eons, epochs just short of eternities. 

But to the mountains, those of us mortals who choose to pass our brief days amongst them are little more than blips on the edifice of time. 

We are Tsetse flies, gone before the mountains even take time to notice. 

What brought me to such dark mental meanderings? 

The passing of a loved one? The felling of a favorite tree? The fact that my daughter – who was born only a week and a half ago – is just days away from being a senior? 

Nope. 

Guy Fieri has a restaurant in Pigeon Forge. 

It’s more than just new restaurants …

Located on Teaster Lane, Guy Fieri’s Downtown Flavortown has brought the Las Vegas celebrity chef’s signature style to the great people of Pigeon Forge.

Unlike Fieri’s Chicken Guy restaurant in Gatlinburg, Downtown Flavortown is more than a restaurant. Filled with games as well as food, it’s a Chuck E. Cheese with a Tiki bar. 

Fieri is just the latest celebrity to bring his signature style – and Guy’s Signature Burgers – to the mountain with varying degrees of success. Yes, I’m looking at you Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen. 

And the love-him-or-hate-him chef’s newest endeavor put me in mind of just some of the other things that have come and gone in the mountains. 

  • Lee Greenwood Theater
  • Louise Mandrell Theater
  • Ogle’s Waterpark 
  • The Elvis Museum
  • Porpoise Island
  • Tommy Bartlett’s Circus
  • Magic World

One day in Pigeon Forge you’re on top. And then, a decade later you’re the Red Roof outlets.

Therefore, as we approach the end of spring and the beginning of the full-fledged summer season, we’re taking a look at some of the newest places to eat in Pigeon Forge and the surrounding areas. And also some that are on the horizon. 

Will they stay or will they go? 

Who will be the next Pancake Pantry lasting 60 years and who will be the next Tony Roma’s rib joint – which was really good and should have made it but didn’t.

Here are some of the new restaurants and eateries coming soon, or now open, in Pigeon Forge and the surrounding areas:

Read Also: Top 5 attractions that no longer exist in the Smokies

Custard in front of Andy's sign
You can customize your own treat at Andy’s Frozen Custard. Pictured: a caramel blend malted custard shake (photo by Kim Grayson/TheSmokies.com)

1. Andy’s Frozen Custard

Western Missouri staple Andy’s, which has more than 100 locations in 14 states, has now opened in Sevierville.

Andy’s has been in the Frozen Custard game since 1986. And those who know swear by the tradition that started at Osage Beach and spread through the Show Me state like wildfire.

From the basics to a lot more, Andy’s has a variety of shakes, malts and build your own options. Hard to go wrong with the traditional banana split, an old-fashioned soda or root beer float.

Some menu items are seasonal. When we stopped by, one of our crew members tried the Strawberry Shortcake featuring fresh strawberries and fresh, store-baked shortcake. We also tried the malted custard shake.

And we can testify that Andy’s lives up to its reputation.

Milkshakes at The Yard Milkshake Bar
The S’mores milkshake (left) and the Strawberries and Cream Cheesecake milkshake (right) (photos by Bill Burris/TheSmokies.com)

2. The Yard Milkshake Bar

Andy’s isn’t the only newcomer to the frozen treat game this spring. The Yard was birthed in the Pigeon Forge-esque tourist town of Gulf Shores, Alabama.

In fact, the concept was created by a husband and wife team who used an appearance on the reality show Shark Tank to boost the profile of the specialty milkshake business. There are now 19 operating locations across the United States with more on the way.

Located in Lumberjack Square in Pigeon Forge – The Yard attracts all the boys – and girls – with ridiculously indulgent milkshakes.

The Dolly, for example, features strawberry ice cream with rainbow marshmallow drizzle in a chocolate iced jar rolled in rainbow sprinkles with pretzels around the rim. Topped with rainbow whipped cream, colorful white chocolate butterflies and more rainbow sprinkles, the Dolly is a Pigeon Forge exclusive.

A pint is $17 and includes a souvenir jar. There are also more traditional ice cream options, specialty bowls and options for vegans, as well as those who have gluten allergies or are lactose intolerant. This is likely to be a popular destination for years to come. 

Read Also: Best ice cream in Pigeon Forge: Our top 5 ranked

The suspected location of the new Pinchy’s Lobster (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

3. Pinchy’s Lobster (coming soon)

Not everything new in Sevier County will be ice cream adjacent. Some of them – the best of them – have fresh seafood and beer.

With an anticipated opening in October, Pinchy’s will offer New England style seafood with lobster rolls and Maine Oysters and clam chowder and bisque.

Pinchy’s will be part of the growing food scene in downtown Sevierville where the venue will also feature live entertainment in the beer garden.

Certainly, it will be the ideal location to have a great meal and experience the growing downtown Sevierville scene with great food and live music.

The location for Trotter's BBQ
Trotter’s BBQ will be opening near Graze Burgers in downtown Sevierville (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

4. Trotter’s Whole Hog BBQ (coming soon)

Another coming addition to the growing downtown Sevierville foodie scene, Trotter’s Whole Hog BBQ is set to open soon.

A preview menu shows appetizers featuring pimento cheese, pork rinds and burnt ends as well as meat plates and a variety of smoked sandwiches with banana pudding for dessert.

With Pinchy’s opening in the fall and The Appalachian – one of the best restaurants in East Tennessee – already offering fine dining, the face of the Sevier County food scene is about to change. 

Good times are about to be happening in downtown Sevierville with multiple popular restaurants at the center of it.

Read Also: Best restaurants in Sevierville: Top 17 dining options ranked

5. Azul Cantina (coming soon)

Located on Teaster Lane, Azul is another restaurant set to open soon.

Billed as a flavorful twist on traditional Tex-Mex dining – be careful using the word flavor close to Guy Fieri’s place – Azul promises wood-fire grilling methods and traditional Mexican cooking styles with roots from South America to Texas.

Throw in homemade Cerveza-style lager and a variety of hand-crafted cocktails made with top-shelf tequilas, Azul will be destination dining with the first rooftop bar in Pigeon Forge.

Featuring real-deal food, this is almost certain to be one of the best new restaurants in East Tennessee. 

The new Tennessee Jed's in Gatlinburg
Tennessee Jed’s is opening a second location in Gatlinburg near the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

6. Tennessee Jed’s (coming soon)

Pigeon Forge and Sevierville aren’t the only places with new restaurants in the area.

Tennessee Jed’s is a fantastic sandwich shop in downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee. And Jed’s is opening a second location on Brookside Village Way, just off of Highway 321 in Gatlinburg. It is set to open just about any day now.

The new shop will feature the same concept with more outdoor dining available. Classic sandwiches, such as the Cubano or the Rueben, great breakfast items, meat by the pound, hot dogs and salads are on the menu.

Jed’s isn’t anything fancy but it is a great place to get delicious food. 

philly up food truck at soaky mountain
Philly Up! is serving tasty sandwiches at the Soaky Mountain Waterpark with a seating area on the top deck (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

7. Philly Up!

This new food truck at Soaky Mountain waterpark offers a taste of Philadelphia.

Try a classic Philly Cheesesteak coated in a layer of yellow cheese whiz. Also on the menu is a chicken sandwich or the spicy Fire on the Mountain.

The food truck brings unique flavors to the water park. Certainly, it’s the perfect way to refuel during a long day at the park. 

Spaghetti Waffle at Downtown Flavortown
Downtown Flavortown serves unique dinners like the spaghetti and meatball waffle (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

8. Guy Fieri’s Downtown Flavortown

We already talked a little about this new combination eatery game room. Tiki Bar. Restaurant. Bowling Alley. Arcade.

But what made the infamous celebrity chef follow the lead of Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen and bring his brand to the shores of the Little Pigeon River? Even though you wouldn’t think of Fieri as exactly southern-style, his brand does fit well with the slightly cheesy, heavily touristy Pigeon Forge vibe.

What can you get at Downtown Flavortown? There’s a spaghetti and meatball waffle that just about made me stop writing this story and change careers. There’s also a chili cheese fries waffle.

I swear to God that if the Belgians had any hair on their peaches at all, they’d issue a fatwa on this guy. A range of unexpected combinations? Nah, son. A spaghetti and meatball waffle is an offense to humanity. 

In addition to the assaults on humankind, there is a full menu of American cuisine. I honestly should have put American in quotes, because this stuff ain’t from any America I’ve ever been to. 

But you can get a variety of sandwiches, chilis, flatbreads and burgers. I suppose it qualifies as American flavor if you’ve lived the entirety of your life drinking a tattooed mojito on an eternal spring break.

Look, Guy Fieri is supposed to be fun and different and slightly shocking. At least for those of us who haven’t spent our lives ordering the Dragon’s Breath Chili. 

Really, I want people to have fun. I even like video games and bowling and Chuck E. Cheese. 

But if you and I are ever out on the town together, maybe knocking down a few pins down at the 14-lane duckpin bowling, maybe having a few mixed drinks from the robust cocktail list at the full-service freaky tiki bar and you look me in my eyes and suggest we go get an order of Trash Can Nachos and a Chili Cheese Fries Waffle or a Motley Que bbq-style pulled pork sandwich, you will have wounded my soul and I cannot be held responsible for whatever happens next. 

There’s a good chance we’re gonna have to scrap.

Are you looking forward to the new eateries? Have you tried one on our list? Let us know in the comments.