Gatlinburg is a beautiful town in the Smoky Mountains with plenty to offer to those visiting the area. There are many attractions, shops, and plenty of kid-friendly entertainment. Plus the town sits at one of the main entrances to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a natural wonder that brings in return travelers and new people to the area each year. But Gatlinburg is also known for it’s amazing food and restaurant options. Gatlinburg restaurants include everything from fine dining for a special night out, to BBQ, burgers and even Tex Mex. The town is also home to many dessert places and ice cream shops for those who have a sweet tooth. Breakfast is also a big deal in the mountains and everyone should try a Smoky Mountain breakfast, complete with pancakes from one of the many pancake houses in town. Visitors can also sample some traditional mountain fare, a great steak, or Tennessee pulled pork at one of the many Gatlinburg restaurants. The following is a list of some of the best places to eat in and around the town of Gatlinburg.
Crockett’s Breakfast Camp
This place caters to the morning crowd with huge country breakfast platters that include biscuits and gravy, omelets, eggs Benedict, and waffles. They also have a huge selection of pancakes for those who like something sweet in the morning. If you have a big appetite, go for one of the skillets which include everything from steak and eggs to trout. They have vegetarian friendly options and a great menu for the kids. Don’t be discouraged if you see a line out the door. The service is great and they’ll have you inside in no time.
This quaint deli is small and you may drive right by it on the way into town, but it’s worth a stop if you’re looking for an excellent sandwich. Parton’s Deli has been in the area for many years and is locally owned. They are open from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, making this the ideal place to pick up a picnic lunch before you head into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Their menu includes chili dogs with cole slaw, steamed sandwiches with fresh deli meat, and deviled eggs. They also have homemade potato salad. Parking near the deli is limited but there is a lot nearby where you can pay .75 to park. It’s also a nice walk from many of the hotels in town.
Taste of Italy
You may not consider Italian food when you think of Gatlinburg restaurants, but this place has authentic food in a location that is easy to get to and has plenty of parking. The garlic knots come with many entrees and they’re one of the most popular items on the menu. They have the classic eggplant Parmesan, dishes made with veal, and many different pasta options. Taste of Italy also makes a really good lasagna. The kids will like the pizza or spaghetti and meatballs. They also have several vegetarian friendly dishes.
Smoky Mountain Shakes N Dawgs
This is a small place outside of the downtown area that makes gourmet hot dogs with nearly any topping you can think of. They have mac-n-cheese dogs, Chicago style dogs, and even a Philly cheesesteak dog. They also have huge milkshakes and ice cream. For sides you can choose from fries, baked beans, or cole slaw. This is a great place to take the kids and be sure to say hi to their pet pig Charles who lives outside the shop.
This deli/general store combination has everything you need for your trip to the mountains. You can pick up your groceries while you wait on your food from the grill. They also have souvenirs and old-fashioned candy and snacks that are hard to find. Their menu has sandwiches, hot dogs, burgers, and salads. They also have a huge breakfast selection. If you call your order in, they’ll even pack it up for you to take on your picnic in the park. They have the ideal location near one of the park entrances and the store has plenty of free parking.
If you’re looking for a good steak, Cherokee Grill is an excellent choice. They have a more upscale atmosphere than some of the other places in town, but still kid-friendly and casual. Their menu includes prime rib, chicken, BBQ and several different types of steak. They also have some unique side dishes like the Tennessee Blue Cheese Grits and the Baked Macaroni and Spinach. They have a gluten-free menu, a children’s menu with several kid favorites, and some tasty desserts.
Bennett’s Pit BBQ
Tennessee is known for BBQ and Bennett’s is one of the best places to get it in the town of Gatlinburg. They have a great location near the aerial tram where you can watch the tram go up and down the mountain while you dine. They also have a large parking lot. Bennett’s specializes in smoked meats and you can smell them as soon as you’re close by. They have pulled pork, brisket, chicken and smoked sausage. Bennett’s also has a huge salad bar that turns into a breakfast buffet during the morning hours. They offer classic sides to go with the BBQ that includes baked beans, mac-n-cheese, and cole slaw.
The Peddler Steakhouse
If you’re looking for a nice place to have a quiet dinner with that special someone, The Peddler Steakhouse is ideal. They are open for dinner and have a beautiful location on the creek in downtown. The Peddler offers hand cut steaks and they also have a salad bar with a large selection of gourmet items. If you’re not in the mood for steak, they also have rainbow trout, shrimp, salmon, and chicken dishes. The dessert menu includes blackberry cobbler, key lime pie, and an excellent Kahlua creme brownie. While this is one of the more upscale places in town, they do have a kids menu and are welcoming to families.