Trying out a new restaurant for someone with a food allergy or sensitivity can be a stressful venture, especially while on vacation.
At all times, you’re a single “oopsie” away from a serious problem.
As someone who not only suffers from a life-threatening food allergy but also has family members with special dietary needs, I understand this anxiety all too well.
That’s why we prefer to stick to restaurants that take our dietary needs seriously.
But here’s the good news for people who require, or prefer, gluten-free diets – there are plenty of options available throughout Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville. You just have to know where to look since this information isn’t always readily available on individual restaurant websites.
That is why we’ve hand-curated a list of the best restaurants and dining options in the Smokies that either offer gluten-free options, or in some cases, have an entirely gluten-free menu.
Before we dive in, we want to offer the standard disclaimer that TheSmokies.com makes no dietary guarantees on behalf of any of the following restaurants, nor are we directly affiliated with any of these restaurants.
Additionally, many of these restaurants carry their own disclaimers about allergen information.
Never be afraid to call ahead or ask your waiter for additional information.
1. Whole Earth Cafe (Gatlinburg, TN)
We wanted to start this list with one of the best options for those on a special diet.
The Whole Earth Cafe is a small “mom and pop” style organic foods grocery store and cafe.
Whole Earth Cafe, which is open for lunch daily, features mostly gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan selections for dine-in or carry out.
The cafe is open Monday thru Saturday from 11 am to 3 pm.
2. Holston’s Kitchen (Sevierville, TN)
Holston’s Kitchen is a relaxed casual dining chain restaurant that features southern comfort food and is located in Sevierville, Tenn.
This eatery offers an entire gluten-free menu for their guests featuring steaks, burgers, grilled chicken plates, salads and seafood.
Both take-out (with online-ordering) and dine-in options are available.
Holston’s is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 am to 9 pm and Friday through Saturday 11 am to 10 pm.
3. Five Oaks Farm Kitchen (Sevierville, TN)
Five Oaks Farm Kitchen is an area favorite located directly across from Tanger Outlets in Sevierville, Tenn.
This eatery features homemade southern-style comfort food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
An entire gluten-free menu is available upon request.
Five Oaks Farm Kitchen is open from 8 am to 9 pm Sunday through Thursday and 8 am to 10 pm Friday through Saturday.
4. JT Hannah’s Kitchen (Pigeon Forge, TN)
JT Hannah’s is an American-themed relaxed casual dining restaurant with its own separate gluten-free menu (available both upon request and online here).
Gluten-free favorites include a 10 oz Center Cut Top Sirloin, a Deluxe Burger, seafood, salads and sides.
JT Hannah’s is open from 11 am to 10 pm Sunday through Thursday and 11 am to 11 pm Friday through Saturday.
5. Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant and Grill (Sevierville, TN)
Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant and Grill has an entire Food Allergen Guide on their website available for download complete with lengthy gluten sensitive, dairy sensitive, egg sensitive, fish/shellfish sensitive and tree nut sensitive menus.
Now, if you’re like me you’re thinking – does “sensitive” mean “free”? There’s a big difference between those two terms for someone with a deadly allergy.
And for the answer to that question, I will point you to Applewood’s disclaimer, located on the first page of their Allergen Menu, which reads in part:
“These recommendations were devised with the most current information from our suppliers and with our most updated recipes and food preparation practices considered. The suggested menu items listed on these pages do not directly contain the specified allergen, but they may have been manufactured on equipment which also manufactures any given allergen.”
“During normal cooking/kitchen procedures, these foods may have come into contact with any given allergen on our own shared kitchen equipment and fryer oil … we cannot guarantee that any single menu item is completely free of any given allergen.”
“… we recommend that guests with food allergens avoid fried menu items due to the high degree of likelihood of cross contamination. Both apple fritters and fried chicken have their own designated fryers. All other fried items share the same fryer and oil.”
6. The Local Goat (Pigeon Forge, TN)
The Local Goat is considered to be a staple in this area, known for their scratch kitchen and incredible burgers.
Their burgers are made daily with locally sourced beef and fresh veggies.
The Local Goat offers both a gluten sensitive menu and the ability to make almost any of their burgers gluten-free with special buns available upon request.
The Local Goat is open from 11 am to 10 pm daily. Happy hour is available weekdays from 3 pm to 6 pm.
7. Pigeon Forge Deli (Pigeon Forge, TN)
The Pigeon Forge Deli is an ultra-casual sandwich and sub shop located on the corner of The Shops of Pigeon Forge.
This restaurant will make any sub or sandwich gluten-free for just $2 upon request.
The Pigeon Forge Deli is open weekdays from 11 am to 3 pm, Friday and Saturday from 11 am to 7 pm and closed on Sunday and Monday.
Their menu is available online here.
8. Tennessee Jed’s (Gatlinburg, TN)
Tennessee Jed’s is another “mom and pop” hole-in-the-wall style casual dining sandwich shop lunch spot and local favorite.
This restaurant offers a handful of gluten-free menu items including select meats, sides and Frito Pies.
Tennessee Jed’s is open daily from 8 am to 3:30 pm. Their menu is available online here.
9. Smoky Mountain Brewery (Pigeon Forge, TN and Gatlinburg, TN)
Smoky Mountain Brewery has two locations in the Smokies – one in Pigeon Forge and one in Gatlinburg.
While they don’t have a separate gluten-free menu, dozens of items on their main menu are marked as “can be prepared gluten-free”. Gluten-free buns are also available for $1 extra.
You can view their entire menu online here.
Both Smoky Mountain Brewery locations are open daily from 11 am to 12 am. (Pro-tip: Midnight is about as late as it gets for breweries and diners in the Smokies. Keep this place in mind next time you’re in the mood for a late night drink or snack.)
10. Timberwood Grill (Pigeon Forge, TN)
Timberwood Grill is located at the Island at Pigeon Forge and features all-American staples like burgers, chicken and steak.
This restaurant offers a separate gluten-free menu available upon request.
Timberwood Grill is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 am to 9 pm and Friday through Saturday from 11 am to 9:30 pm.
11. Mellow Mushroom (Pigeon Forge, TN and Gatlinburg, TN)
Mellow Mushroom is a favorite for those with special dietary needs with two locations in the Smokies: One in Gatlinburg and one in Pigeon Forge.
Special gluten-free pizza offerings include The Ultimate Mellow (basically everything but the kitchen sink, and gluten of course), Mighty Meat, Veg Out, Kosmic Karma and a BYO (build your own) option.
A gluten-free brownie is also available if you are able to save room for dessert after all of that pizza.
Their gluten-free menu is available online here. Hours at each location vary.
12. Gigi’s Cupcakes (Pigeon Forge, TN)
Speaking of dessert, we would be amiss if we failed to include Gigi’s Cupcakes on our list of gluten-free and gluten-friendly restaurants.
Gigi’s cupcakes has just about every cupcake offering you could ever imagine, including cupcakes free of gluten and/or nuts.
However, their cupcakes do come with the same generic disclaimer that those of us with allergies are used to seeing, and have opted to call their gluten-free cupcakes “gluten friendly”.
Their disclaimer reads, in part:
“Despite the fact that we bake and offer cupcakes without gluten and/or nuts, our baking equipment comes in contact with peanuts, other nuts, nut oils and extracts, as well as products containing gluten. Therefore, our products cannot be certified as a nut free or gluten-free product. Gigi’s produces products with tree nuts, peanuts, eggs, wheat, soy and dairy products.”
Their “gluten-friendly” cupcake options include the Spring Melba, the Triple Chocolate and the Wedding Cup Cake.
Gigi’s is open daily from 10 am to 10 pm.
Have you tried any of these gluten-friendly offerings in the Smokies? Let us know about your experience in the comments below!