Places to Eat in the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge Area of Tennessee
I did not realize when I previously posted an inquiry that it was forbidden to ask about places to stay; my apologies.
I would like some recommendations on places to eat, please. Never been in that area before and am looking forward to our stay.
Never did The Apple Barn for breakfast, but ALWAYS work a lunch or dinner in when we vacation in the area- Sevierville is still Pigeon Forge, as far as I'm concerned. And we always manage to get one of the 2 tables in the place with a swing- I like that. If I get too carried away, though, my wife gets embarrassed. We have gotten into the habit of taking the Parkway by-pass around Gatlinburg- it is such a bumper-to-bumper place.
There are many tourist traps, but also many good places in the area. A touristy place that is worth its salt is the Pancake Pantry in Gatlinburg. Get there early. Be prepared for lines. Bring cash.
As a previous poster pointed out, the Peddler is for steak and salad. Another steak option is the Alamo. I also enjoyed the Cherokee Grill when it first opened, but had a bad experience and haven't been back in awhile. It might be better.
Calhouns is a regional chain that has decent bbq.
Best Italian (the original in elks plaza) has dynamite pizza. The garlic rolls are a delicious atrocity. Bring your wallet.
Hidden spot for lunch (that's been in business since the 1960s) is the Hoffenbraus in the Village. Nice warm sandwiches.
No Way Joses is good for Mexican.
Most of these places are in Gatlinburg with some having dual locations in G and PF.
Got to Gatlinberg last night (Saturday) around 9pm. Read this post and ordered take-out from Best Italian, they're open until 11, the original location in Elks between light's 8 and 9 across from Hampton Inn.
This place is a real gem. Don' judge this book by the cover. It's tucked away in the back of a non-descript strip center. I was pleased to notice predominately locals sitting at the small bar and wrapping up their meals in the dining room. It's Family-owned, as was apparent as soon as I walked in the door as I was greeted by a hen-party of friendly ladies rolling silverware for next day's service. Their niece was finishing up her tables, and got tasked by her Aunts to retrieve my carry out order. We ordered 2 kid's size spaghetti and meat sauce, meat balls parmigiana (appetizer) and one of their signature Calzones (HUGE, the size of an NFL football!),along with a bag of 6 of their signature Garlic Rolls. The rolls lived up to their heritage, small knots of baked garlic infused yeast dough, then covered in a bread crumb/roasted minced garlic/olive oil/chopped parsley paste. I found myself getting pinch-fulls of this juicy love from the bottom of the aluminum pan.
The spaghetti and meat sauce actually comes with two meatballs, which were clearly hand made, tender and delicious. The spaghetti itself was simple and perfectly cooked al dente. Not over-sauced like so many chains, the marinara sauce was also prepared perfectly, with small pieces of fresh tomato.
The calzone (which required a 10 minute additional wait) was a masterpiece! It came out golden brown with what appeared to bean egg wash on top which gave the scratch-made yeasty dough a lusty shine on top. Needless to say, it was Mammoth in size with a two inch layer of melted ricotta and mozzarella cheese inside, no need for additional fillings. It comes with a generously sized aluminum pan of house-made marinara for dipping.
In a town like Gatlinberg, it is a real challenge to sort thru the maze of chain restaurants and sub-par food destinations. If pizza/adult level Italian is on your list, do not miss an evening at Best Italian in Elks circle strip center.
Ps. This place is a garlic lover place
Ps. This place is a garlic lover's paradise!
We're going to be stopping a couple of nights in Gatlinburg next month. We've got Best Italian on our shortlist - I see they have two outlets at 710 and 968 Parkway. Which is the one you've tried?
By the by, my other shortlistings are Peddler Steakhouse, Park Grill and Bennett's BBQ.
We're staying at the Old Creek Lodge on River Road. Breakfast is included but reports say it isnt that good, so we may eat out. Bennett's is almost next door and serves breakfast but are there any other decent places? I see mentions of Pancake Pantry and Little House of Pancakes.
We were there 2 weeks ago for a short stay.
The Pancake Pantry looked like a nice place but the line outside was very long. I ended up going into the faux English village to The Doughnut Friar for doughnuts to bring back to the family. ETA they were some pretty good doughnuts, good coffee too.
We also ate at the Smokey Mountain Brewery. Not bad but nothing really memorable. http://www.smoky-mtn-brewery.com/
I would definitely second the reccs for Calhoun's (2 locations--next to Cherokee Grill in Gatlinburg and also in Pigeon Forge at Wears Valley Rd), The Apple Barn for breakfast (get there early--usually a wait on the porch) and The Peddler (we ate there right after we got married--it was great)
Calhoun's has a rather large menu with something for everyone--I believe ribs are their specialty. Never had a bad experience there and service has been above average at every visit to the Pigeon Forge location
Also,although a little touristy, the Old Mill in Pigeon Forge serves breakfast, lunch and dinner-breakfast is hard to beat dollar-for-dollar-plenty of seating on several floors -expect a little wait at peak times, but several shops in immediate area where you can pass the time.
Also have eaten at the Alamo--OK, but Peddler is more of a splurge steak place and parking at Peddler a little more limited.
If you want to avoid the crowds and touristy-feel of Bennett's, try out Deep South Smokehouse (https://www.facebook.com/DeepSouthSmo...). A little out of the way but definitely more of the true atmosphere of a BBQ place. The ribs and the pulled pork were quite tasty and they make an effort to use local products.
We usually are only in Gatlinburg for a weekend, and there are a few spots that I have been going to for as long as I can remember and are musts on each trip.
Breakfast- Pancake Pantry, even though it is touristy it is VERY good, better than the Nashville location. get here early and be prepared to wait in line outside although it moves quick. I always stick to the buttermilk pancakes, but they have a large selection of choices for those who like crepes, omelets, and different types of pancakes.
The Peddler- This is the old school type of steakhouse that has a huge salad bar and cuts your steak selection in front of you. It is right on the river and you can sit and enjoy the view.
The Old Mill- Huge old mill restaurant that serves up gigantic portions. Each meal comes with corn fritters, soup, salad, green beans, mashed potatoes and dessert. The fried chicken and meatloaf is great. They have a shop around the corner with a lot of relishes, dips, their soups, and corn meal for sale.
The Apple Barn- Another tradition for us.
Two of my FAVORITE places have closed over the years, but I wish they would return. The Burning Bush- Had a platter of pastries and fruit on each table for breakfast and they served a wonderful red slushy drink. Also the Copper Kettle, which I do not think is the same as the Nashville restaurant, as what made this place unique is that you could order a kettle of vegetable soup that came with an iron skillet of corn bread for really cheap. Was a great lunch spot for my mom, grandmother and I to share for something around $10.. Wish it was still there.
A lot of places have come and gone over the years, but these have remained staples to the town so we just usually stick with what we know is good.