Grocery stores in Gatlinburg TN: Your 5 best local options

Whole Earth Grocery

Whole Earth Grocery is basically a mini-Smoky Mountain Whole Foods (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

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When I’m on vacation, I like to visit the local grocery stores.

Why?

I think I like to feel like I’m assimilating. I like to feel like I’m more than just a passerby making it rain at the go-kart tracks or – you know – the Eiffel Tower or wherever.

When Leslie and I were young and visited Europe, we’d make a point to hit up the local shops and markets for a few things to keep in the room. I liked cosplaying as a local.

I’m sure that for someone, somewhere, the Pigeon Forge grocery stores and the markets in Gatlinburg are exotic.

I don’t want to tell tales out of school but I grew up in the grocery store game.

My first job was at Red Foods in Maryville. The store later became a Bi-Lo and – after I left – a Food City. I worked my way through high school and college as a bagger, cashier, stock boy, office manager and more. I did everything that could be done in that store but cut meat and dispense medications.

Not to get too dark, but I even stayed with a customer who had a heart attack in the backroom. I’m refraining from making a joke about shock from the high prices. The manager had rushed to summon EMTs to try and save the man’s life.

On a somewhat happier note – I expect she’d agree – I also met my wife there. We went to the same high school but didn’t meet until she got a job at my store.

I’m trying to think of a pithy grocery store romance pun but I’m coming up empty. If you’ve got one, leave it in the comments.

Read Also: What are the best restaurants in Gatlinburg TN? 17 top places to eat

Where can you get groceries in the Smokies?

Maybe it’s my extensive grocery store world traveling and nearly a decade’s worth of experience, but most of the stores around East Tennessee don’t carry the same panache of even an East Coast grocery store or for something further South or West.

Fresh produce and delicious meals aren’t enough. We need more cool grocery stores.

Still, if you’ve got a Gatlinburg cabin or camping spot, you’re going to need the ingredients to make your favorite meal or snack. And finding those grocery items at large grocery stores or one of the area’s convenience stores is a big part of a successful trip.

The geography of Gatlinburg makes locating something like a Publix Super Market or a Walmart Supercenter difficult. The land is just too valuable for many massive grocery stores.

Now, if you’ve got a Pigeon Forge cabin, you’ve got a lot more options. You can run to the closest grocery store or shop around to find your potato salad at a great price.

So if you’re looking for the best places to stock your Smoky Mountain vacation rental, fill your shopping lists or just find a delicious dessert to take back to your hotel room, here are the best grocery stores in Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountain area to do your grocery shopping.

5. Smoky Mountain Market and Sundries

If you’re staying in one of the Gatlinburg hotels along the main drag and don’t feel like moving your car out of the garage and battling the Gatlinburg traffic, this might be your place.

This isn’t a large supermarket for a massive shopping list. This is the place to get a few necessities. In fact, maybe a few impulse-buys that you can carry back to the hotel room for the evening.

Located on the Parkway, right at the start of the main drag, this little place is convenient.

Chalet Village Market
This little market is ideal for those staying in the popular Chalet Village area who want to avoid the crowded Parkway (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

4. Chalet Village Market

If you’re staying up high in a mountain cabin, the Chalet Village Market might be the place for you.

Located on Ski Mountain Road, the market is a great way to save yourself a drive down into town. Prepared foods include wings and pizza, which can be delivered. Also, the store itself provides typical convenience store items like snacks, drinks and cold beer.

Read Also: Best breakfast in Gatlinburg: 6 of the best brunch spots in town

3. Satterfield’s Old Fashioned Grocery

Satterfield’s is a great destination if you want your Smoky Mountain meal to be more than hot dogs and pasta salad.

It is the place to go for better niche, high-end products that you might not find at more popular grocery stores. It is a butcher shop and grocery store that features everything from pulled pork sandwiches to breakfast pizza.

Be sure to check out their family meal options. Satterfield’s is located on the Parkway before you get to the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster.

whole earth grocery
In the mood for something a bit more natural? Whole Earth Grocery might be just the ticket (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

2. Whole Earth Grocery

This is the best store for healthy option grocery shopping.

A complete natural food store and cafe – with the cafe being carryout only at the time of this writing – Whole Earth Grocery offers a variety of organic foods and seasonal produce as well as herbs, CBD oils, vitamins and more.

The cafe has multiple vegan options as well. This natural foods store is a great place if you want a local market with specialty food items. Whole Earth Grocery is located on the Parkway.

1. Food City

Food City isn’t going to wow anyone with an amazing selection of organic foods or rare and wonderful delights.

It is however a solid, full-service grocery store. And it offers a variety of favorite brands perfect for stocking a cabin or ticking the items off your shopping list for a picnic in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Generally speaking, the Food City brand is among the top grocery stores in Eastern Tennessee. Kroger and Publix are really making a push but they still don’t offer the regional coverage of a Food City.

The Gatlinburg Food City is serviceable but not as big as the ones in less tourist-friendly areas. And the Food City location in Pigeon Forge, TN is more interesting and unique if you prefer a destination grocery store.

In truth, that one feels like it hasn’t been renovated in 50 years. And it has the real feel of small grocery stores from the South in bygone years, like an old Piggly Wiggly.

I feel like I’m damning the Food City with faint praise. But it’s the best place for a regular shopping trip. Food City is located on the East Parkway across from the Gatlinburg City Hall.

What is your favorite grocery store in Gatlinburg? Let us know in the comments!

Disclaimer: While we do our best to bring you the most up-to-date information, attractions or prices mentioned in this article may vary by season and are subject to change. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any mentioned business, and have not been reviewed or endorsed these entities. Contact us at [email protected] for questions or comments.

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