The Old Mill Restaurant in Pigeon Forge TN is an experience, like many of its neighboring eateries.
Diners can expect a home-cooked meal, and it’s all done without the commercialism of some national chains that claim to offer home cooking.
The last time we ate at the Old Mill for lunch, we timed our arrival at about 1:30 pm.
The lunch crowd had left, and the dinner crowd was hours away. We were seated immediately and greeted by our server in minutes.
But this might be considered the exception, not the rule.
Do you need reservations for the Old Mill in Pigeon Forge?
No. In fact, the Old Mill Restaurant does not take reservations. Both the Old Mill Restaurant and the nearby Pottery House Cafe are first come, first served.
It’s not uncommon to see long wait times for this restaurant, either. Both tourists and locals love it.
If you plan to come in the busy season, which can be between mid-summer (May-August) or around the holidays (November-December), brace yourself for a wait.
A few years back, I took some out-of-town guests to the restaurant at noon on a Saturday. The wait was about 50 minutes.
Arriving at a more off-peak time can help keep the kids calm and avoid unnecessary hanger.
What’s on the menu at the Old Mill Restaurant?
For most of the year, breakfast is served from 8 am-11 am, lunch from 11 am-4 pm and supper (or dinner), from 4 pm until closing time.
Breakfast offers classic country options.
You typically can’t go wrong with the Old Mill Country Breakfast, which has everything you could hope for in a good morning feast: Eggs, pancakes, corn grits, biscuits, potatoes and sausage gravy.
Of course, they also offer omelets, pancakes, french toast or lighter options that include oatmeal, fruit or vegetable quiche.
The lunch menu includes southern favorites like a country-fried steak, country ham, meatloaf, pork chops, pot roast and, of course, fried chicken, all cooked to perfection.
You can also dine on fresh-caught English Mountain Rainbow Trout if you’re in the mood for seafood.
This is my niece’s favorite and the only thing she ever orders at the Old Mill.
Sandwiches and vegetarian options are available, although I’ve never actually gotten that far on the menu. A children’s menu is also available so junior can eat the usual hamburger or chicken tenders.
He can also get a taste of the region with a child’s plate of chicken and dumplings or fried chicken.
What should you order at the Old Mill Restaurant?
On this visit, I ordered the Old Mill Chicken and Dumplings.
This is the Beef Wellington of southern Appalachian cooking. If you are meeting your in-laws, you serve this.
Chicken and dumplings are typically made with small chunks of chicken cooked in broth with homemade bread, usually made from biscuit dough.
Most cooks roll the biscuit down in small flattened balls. The Old Mill is one of the few places that can do this dish right. I’m not ready to say the Old Mill has topped my grandma’s recipe, but it’s close.
Most dinner entrees include a cup of the signature corn chowder, corn fritters, a house side salad, mashed potatoes, green beans and a bakery fresh dessert.
Generous portions are offered with dinner entrees.
Garden entrees, which are typically vegetarian friendly, offer corn chowder, corn fritters, a side salad and dessert.
How old is the Old Mill Restaurant in Pigeon Forge?
What is now known as the Old Mill Restaurant began as the Cornflour Restaurant in 1993. It got its name because they were using products ground at the Old Mill.
In 1995, the Cornflour Restaurant’s name changed to the Old Mill Restaurant.
The history of the Old Mill itself began nearly 200 years ago with local farmers and a gristmill along the Little Pigeon River.
Early settlers to the area built the Lewis Mill in 1830 to grind corn.
The historic Old Mill took its name in 1952, according to the Old Mill website.
Today, additional eateries around Old Mill Square include the Pottery House Cafe, Old Mill Creamery, Old Mill Candy Kitchen and Old Forge Distillery.
Shops around Old Mill Square include the Old Mill General Store, Old Mill Farmhouse Kitchen, Pigeon River Pottery and Sassafras.
Directions to the Old Mill Restaurant
The Old Mill Restaurant is located at Red Light 7. If you’re coming from Sevierville, you’ll turn left. If you’re coming from Gatlinburg, you’ll turn right.
For your GPS, the address is 3341 Old Mill Street, Pigeon Forge TN.
Free parking is available for guests to the restaurant and shops. Patriot Park offers paid overflow parking just a short walk away.
Is the Old Mill Restaurant worth it?
As far as bang for your buck is concerned – if you’re in the mood for traditional southern cuisine, an authentic experience and great service … yes, the Old Mill Restaurant is “worth it”.
Have you been to the Old Mill Restaurant? Where do you like to eat in the Smokies? Let us know in the comments below.