The Old Mill Restaurant in Pigeon Forge is an experience unlike many of its neighboring eateries.
Diners can expect a home-cooked meal, all done without the commercialism of some national chains that claim to offer home cooking.
What is at The Old Mill in Pigeon Forge?
The Old Mill Square is a shopping area in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. It’s based around the mill itself, which has been in operation since 1830.
The area has shops like The Old Mill General Store, Old Mill Farmhouse Kitchen, Old Forge Distillery, Old Mill Candy Kitchen, Old Mill Pottery House Café and of course, The Old Mill Restaurant.
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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 are first come, first served.
It’s not uncommon to see long wait times for either restaurant, either. Both tourists and locals absolutely love it.
If you plan to come in the busy season, which can be between mid-summer around May through August, or around the holidays in November or December, brace yourself for a wait.
A few years back, I took some out-of-town visitors to the restaurant at noon on a Saturday. We waited for nearly an hour.
Arriving at a more off-peak time whenever possible can help keep the kids calm and avoid unnecessary hanger.
What time is breakfast at The Old Mill in Pigeon Forge?
Breakfast is served until 11 am. The restaurant opens at 8 am at the time of this writing. But note that times are subject to change.
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.
Breakfast items are served with home-baked banana nut muffins.
What else is on the menu at The Old Mill Restaurant?
Lunch is usually from 11 am – 4 pm and supper (or dinner), is from 4 pm until closing time.
The last time we ate at The Old Mill for lunch, we timed our arrival at about 1:30 pm.
The lunch crowd was gone 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.
The lunch menu includes Southern favorites like country-fried steak, country ham, meatloaf, pork chops, pot roast and, of course, fried chicken, all cooked to perfection.
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.
If you go with a garden entree, which is typically vegetarian-friendly, it comes with corn chowder, corn fritters, a side salad and dessert.
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.
If you have room left in your belly, definitely opt for the homemade dessert. Selections will vary, but the pecan pie is one of the most popular options at the restaurant.
What is the best thing to order at The Old Mill Restaurant?
On my most recent visit, I ordered The Old Mill Chicken and Dumplings and Southern Fried Chicken.
Honestly, you can’t go wrong with any of the Southern-style specialties. These include items like Homemade Meatloaf, Deep South Chicken Pot Pie and BBQ Country Ribs.
However, the Chicken and Dumplings are 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 dough into 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.
And the good news is, generous portions are offered with the dinner entrees.
You can view the full menu here.
Is the Old Mill Restaurant worth it?
Are you in the mood for traditional Southern cuisine, an authentic experience and great service?
Yes, the Old Mill Restaurant is “worth it”.
And honestly, it’s some of the best food I’ve ever had at a Pigeon Forge restaurant. It might just be the best restaurant in Pigeon Forge.
How old is The Old Mill Restaurant in Pigeon Forge?
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.
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 mill.
In 1995, the Cornflour Restaurant’s name changed to The Old Mill Restaurant.
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.
Does The Old Mill Restaurant have parking?
Yes! One of the added bonuses of dining at The Old Mill is that you have free parking available.
Guests can park in front of either restaurant. There’s additional parking near The Old Mill in Patriot Park.
And if you’re riding the trolley, the main hub for the Pigeon Forge Trolley System is right down the sidewalk nearby.
Planning your visit 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.
Have you been to The Old Mill Restaurant? Where do you like to eat in the Smoky Mountains?
Let us know in the comments below.