An Honest Review of Crockett’s Breakfast Camp, Famous Smokies Eatery

tall griddle pancakes next to outside of crockett's breakfast camp in gatlinburg

Crockett's Breakfast Camp is one of the most popular breakfast spots in downtown Gatlinburg (photos by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

Local reviews popular Gatlinburg breakfast spot

I am here, friends, to discuss the art of a finely prepared mountain breakfast. But before we can discuss hen fruit and catheads (more on that later), there’s a bit of chicanery afoot that must be addressed. Crockett’s Breakfast Camp is a magnificent mecca of mountain breakfast. But I think it is playing a bit fast and loose with one of East Tennessee’s folk heroes. You see, the Crockett in question is not folklore legend Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier. It’s’ named after David Crockett Maples.

Who is David Crockett Maples?

David Crockett Maples, a Tennessean who fought for the Union in the Civil War, opened a supply store when he returned from the war. It was located at the base of Mt. LeConte, where he and his wife, Mary (Ogle) Crockett earned a reputation for serving a hearty breakfast.

Mr. Maples eventually lost his legs to frostbite while serving as a guide. Undeterred, Maples created wooden feet to put in his boots, strapped them to his legs and went on walking around with the help of a pair of canes until 1928 when he passed away at the age of 88. So, I think Maples is more than deserving of having a Gatlinburg breakfast establishment named after him. But I suppose Maples Breakfast Camp doesn’t have the same ring. Still, it’s like opening a huge restaurant in Pigeon Forge called Dolly’s and having it dedicated to former Dolly Pentreath, the last known native speaker of the Cornish language.

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Pancakes at Crockett's
Crockett’s is well-known for its delicious, thick griddle cakes. Pictured: Aretha Frankenstein’s Pancakes with chocolate chips, strawberries and whipped cream (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

What to order from Crockett’s Breakfast Camp

Truthfully, I love everything about Crockett’s Breakfast Camp. They call the eggs “hen fruit.” The griddle cakes, French toast and waffles are enticing. I love that their cathead biscuits live up to the billing. My favorite, though, are the thick Aretha Frankenstein’s Pancakes, served with no explanation whatsoever. Just here ya go, Aretha Frankenstein! As if everybody knows about the “famous” pancake mix from the restaurant on Tremont Street in Chattanooga. You can also build your own biscuit with the Cathead Stacker. There is something for everyone.

The Elk Mountain grande burrito
The Elk Mountain Grande Burrito comes with Hunt Camp Potatoes (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

For those with a big appetite, I recommend the Black Bear Camp Skillet featuring country or sugar-cured ham and pecan-smoked bacon. It is served with Cherokee sweet corn pone and more. The Postmasters Favorite is also hearty, featuring country-fried steak and homestyle sausage gravy. You can view the full menu here.

The Eggs Benedict at Crockett's Breakfast Camp
The White Oak Flats Eggs Benedict at Crockett’s Breakfast Camp has a toasted English muffin with ham, homemade hollandaise and two over-easy eggs (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

Is Crockett’s Breakfast Camp worth it?

I love the location of Crockett’s, right at the top of the strip before you get out of Gatlinburg into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Going hiking? Great. Stop off for a hearty breakfast then turn around and go back to your hotel for a nice nap while you recover.

Ultimately, there are a lot of places in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area vying for your breakfast dollar. And of course, many of them are very, very good. So, how many of them should you drive past to try Crockett’s? It’s hard to say. And if I had my choice in Gatlinburg I’d go to the Pancake Pantry first. But that is not a slight to Crockett’s in any way. It’s a fantastic place to get breakfast and start your day in Gatlinburg. It’s certainly worth your time and money. And, hey, they’ve got a wooden statue of the namesake, which given his feet is somehow extremely appropriate but also a little disrespectful at the same time.

David Crockett Maples statue
There’s a wooden statue of David Crockett Maples outside the restaurant (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

Parking, reservations and hours

Open seven days a week from 7 am-1 pm, Crockett’s Breakfast Camp is located at 1103 Parkway in Gatlinburg. Hours are subject to change, so always double-check ahead of time before you make your plans. Reservations are not available, but you can join a virtual waitlist online. With its prime location on the strip, parking can be an issue. The restaurant does have a few free parking spots on-site but they are limited. There’s a paid lot nearby which is good, because you’re not going to feel like walking very far.

Crockett’s is part of the KBS Restaurant family, which also owns The Greenbrier, Holston’s, J.T. Hannah’s and more. Crockett’s Breakfast Camp is a holy place for those who believe – in their soul – that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Have you been to Crockett’s? Let me know in the comments.

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

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13 thoughts on “An Honest Review of Crockett’s Breakfast Camp, Famous Smokies Eatery”

  1. Funny I’ve never really thought about Crockett’s breakfast camp being tied to the name Davy Crockett. (Be it real or just for advertising purposes)

    Reply
  2. Delicious! Patient waiting is a requirement. Check in and they will text you when your table is ready. Worth the wait but again don’t be in a hurry.

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  3. No, not really. Wanted flap jacks and what I got was like the first layer of a two tier cake. Did not have much flavor. Would not go again.

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  4. Loved Crockett’s on our visit earlier this month. The food and its staff were great. We also were happy they offered online waitlisting as we did not have the patience to wait in line for long periods first thing in the morning.

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  5. Definitely the best place for breakfast, our favorite and only choice since it opened. Great food, great atmosphere and service.
    #1

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  6. Little House of Pancakes they bake the blueberries into the pancakes and the pecans too only place in the area that bakes it in the mix not on top…

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  7. It’s our favorite for Breakfast by far when in Gatlinburg. I wouldn’t waste time going or trying anywhere else! Food has always been perfect and I can’t get enough of cathead biscuits and sausage gravy!

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  8. We ate there once and weren’t impressed and probably won’t be back again, but also not the biggest fans of The Pancake Pantry (my dad was). I just can’t understand standing in the line for something that is no better than several other places in town with no waiting.

    Reply
  9. In my opinion, The Log Cabin Restaurant above the Space Needle has the best choice of breakfast items. Their blueberry pancakes are the best.

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  10. This place is definitely the best place I’ve ever ate for breakfast! If you go during week it’s not overly busy….for sure worth it!!

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  11. The Mecca of Mediocrity would be a better name for the restaurant. The serving size was big but the food was mediocre at best. We’ve been coming to Gatlinburg for decades and we’ve eaten at most of the restaurants in town and only two really stand out for breakfast and that’s the Pancake Pantry and Tennessee Jed’s. Two totally different breakfast styles but both have fabulous food every time.

    Reply
  12. I’ve probably been to Crockett’s a hundred or more times, & that’s absolutely the truth! I literally go there every single day that we visit the Smokies, which is 5 to 12 times a year ( we live near Nashville) & typically stay 2 to 4 nights per visit. It’s the highlight of any of our dining experiences! Try it… you’ll love it!

    Reply

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