Is the Local Goat in Pigeon Forge Worth It? A Local Weighs in (2024)

local goat exterior next to sandwich with bacon, crab cake patty and lettuce

At the Local Goat, everything is made locally and from scratch (photos by Morgan Overholt/

A Smoky Mountain local reviews the Local Goat in Pigeon Forge, TN

As someone whose been living in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains for over 35 years, there are days, of course, that I think the Local Goat may be Pigeon Forge’s best restaurant. At least, it’s one of the best places to eat in the Smoky Mountains. That is, at least, if you find a place to park. It’s a popular place.

Local Goat's Deep Fried Deviled Eggs
The free-range, panko breaded Deep Fried Deviled Eggs are a popular choice from the wide array of appetizers (photo by John Gullion/

The overall concept

Local Goat puts the local in, well, local. For example, the scratch-made kitchen specializes in locally sourced foods. Everything on the sustainable menu is made fresh daily, including the bread and even the ketchup. The bar specializes in local craft breweries, craft cocktails and fine wines. The dining room? It’s adorned with the work of local artists. When they say Local Goat, they mean it. The best way I can describe it is if you took the concept behind a craft beer and applied it to food. Specifically, it’s craft food.

The Local Goat serves everything from burgers and steaks to seafood. It is done with a certain level of artistry, and a certain flair. Traditional American foods are presented in classic ways with modern twists that take them beyond what you’d find in a chain restaurant. They’re certainly not afraid to offer challenging menu items from cheese fondue to deep-fried deviled eggs to an Elvis burger with peanut butter. It’s the perfect place to go if you want to try something familiar but with a little more flavor.  

Bison Meatloaf with Caramelized Onions at Local Goat
The Bison Meatloaf has caramelized onion mashed potatoes (photo by John Gullion/

The food

My food recommendations? During our most recent visit, my daughter Sofia tried the double-glazed Bison Meatloaf. The loaf features a rich demi-glace, crispy onions and caramelized onion mashed potatoes. And she raved over it. My wife Leslie had the Pimento Cheese Cheeseburger with pimento cheese, bacon jam and sautéed onions. On the kid’s menu, my 7-year-old Ainsley raved about the grilled cheese and ate a massive portion of the fries. It was all delicious. I think the case could be made that the Local Goat has the best burger in the region, but it’s probably more accurate to say among the best burgers.  

Honestly, I could rave about most of the menu items, including the outstanding desserts. My favorite is the Crème Brûlée served with seasonal berries. I also had a Bloody Mary that had a little more kick from a spicy standpoint than I’m used to, but it was really good. 

Other favorites include Bronzed Ahi Tuna Steak with mango salsa, sautéed spinach and caramelized onion mashed potatoes. The 10 oz Boneless Pork Chops are marinated and center-cut served with sautéed apples and onions, whipped sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli. The Shrimp & Grits feature jumbo Gulf shrimp, bacon, spinach, mushrooms, caramelized onions, stone-ground cheese grits and sriracha. Also on the menu are ribs and jumbo wings with a choice of sauces.

Local Goat Pimento Cheeseburger
The Pimento Cheese Cheeseburger was delicious. It was a great choice (photo by John Gullion/

Reservations and to-go orders

As with most restaurants in the Smoky Mountains, I always recommend making a reservation in advance. At Local Goat, you can make a reservation on their website before you go. Parties with over ten people need to call the restaurant at (865) 366-3035.

Unfortunately, Local Goat does not accommodate to-go orders. There’s a cute answer on the website about how they want you to have the best dining experience and the food doesn’t like small boxes. However, I suspect it’s chiefly to do with that parking lot. It’s always full and it’s not especially conducive to a lot of traffic. We had to back up a couple of rows downhill just to make room for someone who we thought was leaving. Instead, he took the spot we were waiting on. 

Local Goat's Bloody Mary
The Local Goat Bloody Mary had a spicy kick (photo by John Gullion/

Is the Local Goat worth it? 

Yeah. In many ways, the Pigeon Forge craft dining scene is falling behind Gatlinburg and Sevierville, but the Local Goat is standing tall for Pigeon Forge. 

Have you tried the Local Goat? What did you order? Let us know in the comments!

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15 thoughts on “Is the Local Goat in Pigeon Forge Worth It? A Local Weighs in (2024)”

  1. The Local Goat is always on our list at least once (sometimes twice) when we are in the Pigeon Forge area for a long weekend or a week+. Honestly we have never had anything bad. Our goto appetizer is the deep fried deviled eggs. Their hamburgers are [great]…. though a bit messy. They are THICK and loaded. Even though it is not on the menu, you can get your burger made with Bison. The fish and chips are awesome and some of the best we have had in the South.
    All of their desserts look amazing, we have always stuck with the Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie and split it between my wife and myself.
    One bit of advice not to be overlooked…make a reservation.

    As far as the Ooltewah location. My wife and I live in North Alabama a bit Southwest of Huntsville. We have been known to drive up just eat at the Local Goat. We will make it a 2 day trip and find something to do in Chattanooga if we want.

    • My wife and I are locals, and we have never been disappointed at the Local Goat. Parking is an issue, though. Even with a reservation, you should give yourself extra time to wait for a parking space. Let the front desk know you’re there and they will text you when your table is ready.

  2. I want to try something different when we are there, but I always fall back to the Elvis. It is the best.

  3. Ate there a few months ago. Had to try it with a name like that. It was mediocre at best. The parking was an absolute nightmare. Just the degree of the incline of the parking lot was bad enough let alone the wait. Ok so we got our food and there were 6 or 7 of us. No one was really impressed. Not horrible food just not great either. Think I got steak tips salad. For the price. Not a chance again.

  4. Visited the Goat in May 2022. It was great! I had Ribs and a flight. My husband had a bison burger and a flight. We loved the food! Prices were fair, service was great even though they were busy and close to closing. I wish we lived closer! Would definitely be regular customers.

  5. Love going there. Never had anything bad. Burgers are great I like the Greek burger with lamb and feta and tzatziki deviled are also a favorite. Don’t get to go a lot even though local very busy and Parking is tough usually go about 4 before too busy on weekday

    • I live about 20 minutes away from The Local Goat and go there from time to time. I love their burgers and fries. Took my son and his wife there when they came in for their wedding and they really liked it.

  6. Pigeon Forge has always been one of my favorite places. Pretty much any restaurant there is “worth it”. The drive between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg is beautiful.

  7. Ate there approximately 2years ago. Parking atrocious, wait time terrible but worse than either of these two negative was the food. Steak was charred black and hard. Guess medium well is a no no. Waitress serving too many tables causing her to be unresponsive to our experience and needs. Our small group of 4 has not been inclined to try again.

  8. Was a frequent diner from the days when it was fresh, new, and still had ample and convenient parking. The staff was friendly, courteous, and eager to serve a great dining experience. Always had the same fantastic waiter..and then it all changed.
    The newer staff developed an attitude, the food is no longer fresh nor does it arrive in a timely manner and the parking is horrendous at any time of the day.
    I used to frequent the place once a week.
    It’s been at least a year since I’ve been back.
    I doubt that I will return.

  9. My wife and I tried the Local Goat, and we were not impressed. After reading this review, we want to try it again. Sometimes you can have a bad experience at a good place. It is wise to give it another chance.

  10. Always have to eat at The Local Goat when we visit Pigeon. It’s more of a lunch spot for us and we always get a hamburger. I do wish they could do something about the parking lot. It’s ridiculous’

  11. We live pretty close to Local Goat’s second location in Ooltewah, TN.

    Its our default “lets go someplace nice” location. On more than one occassion we’ve simply gone on a Sunday morning and ordered the bread pudding and coffee. Best bread pudding in the Chattanooga region, easily, final answer.

    If I had to choose something negative to say, it would be that the “made locally from scratch every day” thing does occasionally bite them them in the butt. Their ceasar salads are good, but the quality of the dressing can be hit or miss (we’ve had it come out bad enough that we sent it back on one occasion, it tasted like an ash tray). The bread pudding can differ from nearly flan level soft and jiggly, to a much firmer dish based on who cooked it and when.

    Its never been anywhere near enough to consider not going back though.


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