Restaurants

7 new restaurants in Pigeon Forge, surrounding areas [2023]

In the Great Smoky Mountains area, change is the only constant.

In fact, there’s never a shortage of new restaurants and attractions popping up in and around the area.

And as we approach 2023, this year will be no exception.

Here are some of the new restaurants and eateries coming soon, or now open, in Pigeon Forge and the surrounding areas:

Read Also: Top 5 attractions that no longer exist in the Smokies

pinchys lobster
Pinchy’s Lobster is expected to open very soon in Sevierville (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

1. Pinchy’s Lobster (Sevierville)

This new restaurant will offer fresh seafood and beer.

Expected to open “in a pinch,” Pinchy’s will offer New England-style seafood with lobster rolls, Maine oysters, clam chowder and bisque.

Pinchy’s is part of the growing food scene in downtown Sevierville where the venue is expected to also feature live entertainment in the beer garden.

Certainly, it will be the ideal location to have a great meal and experience the growing downtown Sevierville scene with great food and live music.

trotters
Trotter’s is now open on Bruce Street in Sevierville (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

2. Trotter’s Whole Hog BBQ (Sevierville)

Another addition to the growing downtown Sevierville foodie scene, Trotter’s Whole Hog BBQ is now open.

The menu offers appetizers featuring pimento cheese, pork rinds and burnt ends as well as meat plates and a variety of smoked sandwiches with banana pudding for dessert.

The meat plates include a choice between rub chicken, spare ribs, short ribs and housemade smoked sausage.

With Pinchy’s and The Appalachian – one of the best restaurants in East Tennessee – offering fine dining downtown, the face of the Sevier County food scene is changing. Good times are happening in downtown Sevierville.

Azul Cantina Pigeon Forge Under Construction
Azul Cantina continues to make construction progress (photo by John Gullion/TheSmokies.com)

3. Azul Cantina (Pigeon Forge)

Located on Teaster Lane, Azul is another restaurant set to open soon.

Billed as a flavorful twist on traditional Tex-Mex dining, Azul promises wood-fire grilling methods and traditional Mexican cooking styles with roots from South America to Texas.

Throw in homemade Cerveza-style lager and a variety of hand-crafted cocktails made with top-shelf tequilas, Azul will be destination dining with the first rooftop bar in Pigeon Forge.

Featuring real-deal food, this is almost certain to be one of the best new restaurants in East Tennessee. 

Azul Cantina has been teasing an opening for months now, but the restaurant posted a construction update on its social media page last month, showing considerable progress.

It is in the same area as Downtown Flavortown, another fairly new restaurant in the area from Guy Fieri that offers a tiki bar, arcade games and duckpin bowling.

exterior of cumberland jack's restaurant in gatlinburg
Cumberland Jack’s is along the strip in Gatlinburg (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

4. Cumberland Jack’s (Gatlinburg)

This restaurant opened in the fall and received quite a buzz on social media.

Cumberland Jack’s, from the same folks who brought you Crockett’s Breakfast Camp, offers Southern staples like beef liver and onions, ham steak, corned beef and cabbage, pot roast, fried chicken, mountain trout, fried catfish, smoked chicken, pork chops, pulled pork, meatloaf and pork ribs.

Their signature trademark is the complimentary lil’ mug of soup. Between the good service, delicious soup and rolls, this restaurant is a real treat.

Read Also: Cumberland Jack’s in Gatlinburg, a brief history and honest review

pizza rio banner at restaurant
Pizza Rio is expected to open soon (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

5. Pizza-Rio (Pigeon Forge)

Pizza-Rio is a wine and bar expected to open soon in the Pigeon Forge.

But it’s not just any pizza place. Pizza-Rio is offering Brazilian-style eats with hand-crafted sangrias and cocktails.

One of the main differences in Brazilian-style pizza is the crust, which is traditionally very thin and closer to the Italian style of pizza.

The restaurant will be located near the Hollywood Wax Museum along Showplace Blvd.

exterior of neighborhood beer house
The Neighborhood Beer House is now open in Sevierville (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

6. The Neighborhood Beer House (Sevierville)

The Neighborhood Beerhouse is family-friendly and dog-friendly and is now open in Sevierville.

Carrying brands like Sweetwater, Yeehaw, Sierra Nevada and more, there will be something for everybody at this new venue.

Notably, there are more than 50 beers on tap as well as tasty food options.

The venue will also offer live music on select dates as well as a large outdoor seating area. The Neighborhood Beer House is located at 1448 Winfield Dunn Parkway in Sevierville.

b51 chicken
B51 is now open in Sevierville (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

7. B51 (Sevierville)

This restaurant promises the best, fresh chicken from a mountain farm, marinated in their special Peruvian recipe and cooked to perfection.

B51 is a new chicken Peruvian restaurant in the Smokies. Menu selections offer treats like the Burguer Royal, a half-pound burger with lettuce, tomato, cheddar, plantains, sunny-side-up farm eggs, and Peruvian mayonnaise on ciabatta.

The Chaufa Rice with fried basmati rice, red bell peppers, onions, ginger root, eggs, cooked chicken and oyster sauce also looks delicious.

B51 is located at 1304 Parkway, Suite 101 in Sevierville.

Are you looking forward to the new eateries? Have you tried one on our list? Let us know in the comments.

The Greenbrier Gatlinburg: The best and most haunted restaurant in town

When you grow up on the outskirts of the Great Smoky Mountains, sometimes you miss some obvious stuff.

It’s like the tale of the fish who asks another fish, “How’s the water?” and the fish responds, “What water?”

For years, I’ve been that other fish.

I’ve overlooked one of the most popular restaurants in the Smokies: The Greenbrier restaurant.

The Greenbrier is a favorite among locals.

You’ll notice that it’s not really heavily advertised. Also, it’s not right along any main roads, either. You have to be looking for it to really know that it’s there.

It’s worth noting that this establishment is a higher-end restaurant for the Gatlinburg area, which is likely why my parents never took me there as a kid. It’s also why it took me so long to take myself as an adult.

However, I’m now convinced that it might just be the best restaurant in Gatlinburg.

Read Also: Who has the best steak in Gatlinburg? Here’s our top 5

Is The Greenbrier worth it?

In short, yes, it’s worth it. It has amazing food, and it’s also rich in history.

The Greenbrier restaurant in Gatlinburg is a food and spirit outpost. In the 1930s, it was a mountain lodge that hunters, loggers and hikers frequented.

Today, it’s said to be one of the most haunted places in Gatlinburg … more on that later.

The lodge was eventually converted to a restaurant, where it currently serves high-quality food with Appalachian tradition.

The restaurant itself is beautiful. It would be a great spot for a romantic date night.

It’s also home to the Greenbrier Whiskey Society, meaning there’s a wide selection of bourbon, whiskey and spirits to taste. They also have bottled and draft beer.

The menu is updated periodically by the restaurant’s chef. If you have a favorite item, it’s possible that it may only be available for a limited amount of time.

On our visit, I ordered the salmon, my sister had trout and my brother-in-law got the filet of beef.

Y’all, it was some of the best food I’ve ever had in the Smokies.

The fish was flavorful and juicy.

And the steak? The steak was cooked beautifully. Melt-in-your-mouth perfection.

We were too full for dessert, but I think that means we’ll have to make another trip soon.

Drinks at The Greenbrier Restaurant
From left to right are handcrafted craft cocktails: The Lydia, which is named after the Greenbrier’s spirit, the Volstead and the Crockett (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

The Greenbrier in Gatlinburg menu prices

Are the prices at The Greenbrier high? Perhaps a little for East Tennessee.

The main dishes range from $28-43. Steaks, bone-in ribeye and pork chops range from $29-54. It’s not the kind of place where you can decide to order a sandwich with water to keep the bill low.

That being said, the food is high quality. The prices, in my opinion, are well justified.

To view the full menu with prices, click here.

What to order at The Greenbrier restaurant

The Greenbrier is Gatlinburg’s premier steakhouse, so it offers some of the highest quality food and an unparalleled dining experience.

They use only fresh produce and fresh vegetables and the finest cut of meats.

The house specialties change because they are unique chef creations.

For the appetizers, they currently offer selections like the Baked Spinach Dip, Cheese Board and Crispy Brussel Sprouts. If you want to get out of your comfort zone, try the Duck Confit Egg Rolls.

For the main course, consider the Joyce Farms Natural Chicken, a hickory smoked half chicken with cornbread dressing, haricot vert and a mustard-whiskey glaze.

For the Filet of Beef, which we think is perhaps the best in Gatlinburg, you can select a petite 7 oz. or upgrade to a 10 oz. Oscar-lump crab cake with bearnaise is also an available add-on.

My favorite is the Salmon, which has a crispy skin and now comes with roasted beets and carrots and a miso broth.

I loved every bite of my salmon, which was broiled perfectly.

Side dishes include a variety of items including pommes frites, a twice-baked potato or smoked cheddar grits.

Entrees come with a choice of soups or house salad with a selection of homemade salad dressings and crisp salad greens.

Salmon at The Greenbrier restaurant in Gatlinburg
My salmon at The Greenbrier featured a broiled crispy skin and citrus beurre blanc foam (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

Is The Greenbrier restaurant in Gatlinburg haunted?

If you’re into Tennessee folklore, you’ll probably enjoy a visit to The Greenbrier restaurant.

Legend has it that a young bride-to-be named Lydia hung herself from the rafters of the old lodge after being left at the altar.

The man who left her was said to be found within days following Lydia’s passing. He appeared to have been mauled by a mountain lion.

Some believe that Lydia’s spirit took revenge on him. Some even believe that she took the form of the mountain lion to do so.

If that’s the case, I suppose she returned to her human-like form when she came back to haunt the lodge-turned-restaurant.

The Murfreesboro Post provides the most detail on the legend. Some workers have noticed “food items being knocked off shelves” in the pantry.

Some diners have reported seeing the spirit as a “small, sad figure” lingering along the stairway, or around the upper floor landing.

Additionally, some employees claim to feel her “chilling presence”.

Interior of the Greenbrier Restaurant in Gatlinburg
The Greenbrier has an exceptional atmosphere, although some say it is haunted. Do you see any mysterious figures in this photo? Lydia’s spirit is said to be occasionally spotted near the stairway (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

Ghost hunters at The Greenbrier restaurant

I can’t say that my family or I saw Lydia when we were there. However, there was something chilling about looking up toward the second floor.

Despite the alleged revenge on her ex, some reports say that Lydia is a “friendly ghost”. Some even speculate that she doesn’t know she has perished.

Ghost hunters once visited The Greenbrier restaurant to investigate.

The East Tennessee Paranormal Research Society found photographic anomalies and “cheeky responses” to questions via Electronic Voice Phenomena, or EVP.

The restaurant acknowledges the spirit by naming menu items after her. For example, the “Lydia” martini has vodka, freshly squeezed lemon and house-made lavender simple syrup.

Furthermore, she even has her own cellar reserves.

Read Also: 6 ghost stories from Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg

Cut steak at The Greenbrier restaurant in Gatlinburg
The Greenbrier has hand-cut prime steaks that are cooked to perfection (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

Does The Greenbrier restaurant take reservations?

Yes, visitors can reserve a table online here.

The Greenbrier is a popular restaurant. You might be able to find a spot at the bar seating area if you’re lucky. Still, I recommend you reserve a table in advance.

Read Also: What is the best seafood restaurant in Pigeon Forge?

Plan your trip to The Greenbrier restaurant

The Greenbrier is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 4:30-9 pm and Fridays and Saturdays from 4:30-10 pm. On Sundays, it is open from 10 am-2 pm for brunch.

It’s closed on Mondays. Remember, hours may vary by season.

The Greenbrier is located at 370 Newman Road in Gatlinburg, Tenn.

Have you been to The Greenbrier restaurant? Have you seen Lydia? Let us know in the comments!

View the web story version of this article here.

Unpopular Opinion: A review of Paula Deen’s Restaurant in Pigeon Forge: ‘Just OK’

You’ve been asking for it and it’s finally here – our review of Paula Deen’s restaurant in Pigeon Forge.

Is Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen worth it? Here we’ll break down the experience, the price and the overall atmosphere to help you decide.

Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen opened in Pigeon Forge in 2015, seemingly on the heels of Deen trying to reinvent herself after being let go from The Food Network.

You could say that this restaurant is one that might feel out of place in the area, but for the sake of this review, I’ll simply focus on the restaurant.

And it is one of the more unique family-style dining experiences in the Smoky Mountains area.

Read Also: Top 6 bizarrely out-of-place attractions in the Smokies

I took my mom to eat at Paula Deen’s for a Sunday lunch.

The wait time was only 15 minutes, and you get a text when your table is ready.

I appreciate the text method because it means you can sneak off and sip moonshine samples across the street at Ole Smoky if there’s a long wait.

But as a disclaimer: If you show up for dinner, you’ll probably be waiting somewhere to the tune of about three hours.

A line wraps around Paula Deen's Family Kitchen on Christmas Day (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)
A line wraps around Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen on Christmas Day (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

Does Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen take reservations?

Unfortunately, Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen does not accept reservations.

Since our wait was short, I spent the few minutes shopping around at the downstairs shop, which is full of southern memorabilia and cookbooks of Deen family recipes.

After I received the text, we went up the escalator to wait in another line and checked in at a desk.

Then we waited in a third line for our party to be called.

It sort of feels like waiting for a ride at an amusement park — the kind where you think you’re about to get on, but instead, around the corner, you find another section of line.

It’s quite the operation for a restaurant, but for the most part it moves pretty smoothly, even though you kinda get the feeling you’re being herded like cattle.

Read Also: Frizzle Chicken Review: Go for the pancakes, stay for the singing chickens

The most important thing to know about this restaurant is that it features family-style dining, which means everyone at your table must agree on the main entrees and sides.

This way, I suppose, it feels more like home cooking.

There are two main choices, “The Albany” and “The Savannah” — which is a fancy way of saying “pick-2” or “pick-3” for the main entree.

Read Also: Mama’s Chicken Kitchen review: How they saved me from hanger

The view from Paula Deens
Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen is conveniently located at The Island in Pigeon Forge with views of the dancing fountain (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

Is Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen worth the price? 

To be honest, I wasn’t completely blown away by the food, but it’s not all bad. So here’s some pros and cons:

The pros: 

  • This restaurant is at a prime location in The Island in Pigeon Forge
  • You get a great view while dining
  • The appetizer biscuits are fantastic
  • The food keeps coming with unlimited helpings
  • Everyone chooses a dessert of their choice
The Biscuits at Paula Deens
The biscuits are arguably the best part of the meal at Paula Deen’s (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

The cons:  

I find that the family-style spread, although unique, doesn’t necessarily feel super practical.

If someone in your party has food allergies or dietary restrictions, good luck finding something that can work for everyone. And in case you’re wondering, kids don’t get their own special menu items, either.

I understand that we’re supposed to feel like we’re gathered around for a traditional meal at home, but I find customization one of the main perks of eating out.

Secondly, the food is just okay.

From Paula’s famous sides, we ordered the broccoli casserole, creamed corn, creamed potatoes and mac and cheese. For the main dishes, we ordered fried catfish and chicken and dumplings.

Out of all of those things, I really enjoyed the catfish, macaroni, corn and potatoes. The rest was just … not bad.

For example, let’s start with the chicken and dumplings. I have to rely on my mom’s opinion here because I didn’t try them due to caution around my peanut allergy.

But, we didn’t have a choice because my mom doesn’t eat red meat, so that left us with only one option (the catfish) that could work for both of us.

The interaction went something like this:

Waitress: “The chicken is fried in peanut oil.” 

Me: “What about the chicken and dumplings?”

Waitress: “Yeah, that’s the same fried chicken.”

Wait, what?

Did this restaurant just admit to using fried chicken in their chicken and dumplings? I don’t claim to be a great cook, but even I know that traditional, southern chicken and dumplings is not made with leftover fried chicken.

But even without this interesting revelation from our waitress, my southern mama could instantly tell that the dish was sans yummy chicken broth, and she was not amused.

For the sides, we ordered the broccoli casserole, creamed corn, creamed potatoes and mac and cheese. For the main dishes, we ordered the fried catfish and chicken and dumplings (photo by Alaina O'Neal/TheSmokies.com)
For the sides, we ordered the broccoli casserole, creamed corn, creamed potatoes and mac and cheese. For the main dishes, we ordered the fried catfish and chicken and dumplings (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

How much does it cost to eat at Paula Deen’s?

Some of the “Down Home Dishes” include options such as beef pot roast, fried chicken, meatloaf and ribs.

For lunch, the pick-2, ahem, “The Albany” starts at $18.99 per person and the pick-3 is $19.99 per person.

Kids cost $9.99.

If you enjoy paying more, the same menu options are available for dinner to the tune of $22.99-23.99, and $10.99 for kids.

Read Also: Frizzle Chicken Review: Go for the pancakes, stay for the singing chickens

The banana pudding was not great. Stick with the other desserts. Don’t say we didn’t warn you (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

About Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen

Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen serves up southern-inspired comfort food in a family-style setting.

The restaurant’s classic Deen family recipes were birthed from the same recipes that launched Paula Deen’s career. Every southern style entree, side dish and dessert comes from Paula’s cookbooks.

Paula Deen has even been spotted visiting this location on The Island to greet guests and train kitchen staff.

Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is located at 131 The Island Dr #8101, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863.

For more information or to view the full menu, click here.

Where do you like to eat when you visit the Great Smoky Mountains? Let us know in the comments.