When you visit beautiful Gatlinburg, Tennessee, prepare to get active! Whether you’re hiking, hitting the slopes, or climbing the Space Needle, you’re sure to work up an appetite. Luckily, we’re here to recommend some fantastic and innovative Gatlinburg Restaurants, perfect for ravenous visitors.
Below, you’ll find our recommendations for six Can’t-Miss Restaurants in Gatlinburg, TN, and the surrounding area. However you fill your days, make time to visit these local culinary destinations.
1. Ole Red for Music and Southern Favorites
Our first recommendation is Ole Red, a rollicking restaurant and music venue owned and operated by country music star Blake Shelton.
At this high-octane eatery, the list of live events is often longer than the menu! However, it’s a solid eatery full of fun takes on Southern comfort food.
It’s a delicious destination for sandwiches, including juicy burgers topped with all manner of tasty toppings. Try The 580, a gravy-smothered Country Fried Steak sandwich, complete with mashed potatoes! You can also choose from a range of sharable sides, making it the perfect social dining experience for a group. They offer a children’s menu, creative cocktails, and a few vegan options for the discerning diner.
Ole Red features performances from open until close, so plan your visit around the act you want to see.
2. The Best Pancakes in Tennessee at Pancake Pantry
You shouldn’t leave Gatlinburg without settling in for a tall plate full of pancakes! Gatlinburg is the Hotcakes Capitol of America, and experiencing local culture means visiting one of our most beloved local hotspots. While you can get great pancakes throughout the city, we’ll direct you to the best of the best: Pancake Pantry!
This local staple may have been the first pancake house to open in Gatlinburg way back in 1960. They use only the freshest, simplest ingredients to give you a pure plate of soft, buttery goodness.
While you can’t go wrong with the original flapjack, you’ll also find varieties with unique toppings and mix-ins. Check out their delicate crepes and filled blintzes if you want a unique take on the humble pancake.
This Gatlinburg, TN restaurant is also atmospheric, with a Bavarian cottage-inspired facade that’s perfect for photo opportunities. It’s the ideal destination for families, with a full children’s menu and a family-friendly dining room.
3. Isolated Ambiance at the Buckhorn Inn
Visit the Buckhorn Inn to enjoy the scenic grounds, giant meditation labyrinth, or sprawling green meadow. Better yet, enjoy the luxurious chef-crafted breakfast and supper menu. The iconic inn is a perfect higher-end spot with a surprisingly modest price point. It’s ideal for a romantic meal during a couple's getaway.
While dining in the morning, you’ll enjoy a fresh, hearty, seasonal breakfast menu featuring multiple handcrafted courses. You’ll have your choice of entrees, including more of those famous Gatlinburg pancakes!
In the evening, you’ll dine on a chef-crafted three-course menu with a Southern influence. Each meal includes soups, sides, a stunning main course, and a beautiful handmade dessert. The menu is constantly changing with the season, so you’ll never know quite what to expect. Eat as much as you like, then walk it off on the gorgeous grounds.
4. Try a Taste of the Ocean at Chesapeake's Seafood and Raw Bar
Most visitors come to Gatlinburg for mountain views, not ocean views! That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy fresh seafood while you bask in the majesty of the mountains.
Chesapeake’s flies in their catches daily, so you can catch a taste of briny, salty goodness straight from the sea. The eatery is right on the famous Gatlinburg Parkway. That means you can stop in on foot after a day of exploring our city’s dynamic downtown attractions.
For a romantic option, stop in for Chesapeake’s seafood-studded brunch. For a menu of more robust offerings, bring the whole family for an unforgettable dinner.
5. Budget and Family-Friendly Fare at The Peddler Steakhouse
Are you headed to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for a day of exploring? Bring the whole crew to The Peddler Steakhouse, winner of the 2022 Traveler’s Choice award from TripAdvisor. This riverside destination is family- and budget-friendly, making it an excellent option for groups visiting the park.
Many families come to The Peddler year after year to enjoy the comforting ambiance, welcoming service, and simple steakhouse menu. Kids also love the famous salad bar. Diners of all ages can help themselves to fresh, delicious, and surprisingly healthy build-it-yourself concoctions. Let the little ones order a mocktail from the robust children’s menu, designed to delight the youngest diners.
Our favorite part of visiting The Peddler might be the impressive dessert menu. You’ll surely discover a decadent favorite after a long day picking wildflowers.
If you’re looking for something even more laid back, visit The Peddler’s sister restaurant, The Park Grill. They’re both local favorites just off the park’s entrance.
6. A Quirky Meal at Frizzle Chicken Farmhouse Cafe
We’ve rounded out our list with a wacky dining experience you genuinely cannot get anywhere else on Earth! Come and meet the animatronic chickens at Frizzle Chicken Farmhouse Cafe! This wild and wonderful breakfast spot is actually in Pigeon Forge, but we think it’s worth visiting.
Once you arrive, you’ll dine on some of the most adorable breakfast offerings known to man. Don’t come expecting a quiet meal, however. You’ll enjoy musical performances delivered by a flock of one hundred robotic chickens. Rumor has it that this is the most extensive collection of animatronic poultry in the world.
We recommend this family restaurant if you need to entertain children or just want to do something unique. You can’t go wrong by visiting our silliest area staple.
Don’t Sleep on the Best Restaurants in Gatlinburg
Whatever you’re craving, we’re sure you can find it in one of these highly-rated Gatlinburg restaurants. You’re equally likely to discover something you might have never expected, from fresh seafood to charming bear-shaped pancakes!
If none of these restaurants strikes your fancy, reach out to a representative from Bear Camp. All of our employees are locals who can make personalized recommendations, from the family-friendly to the romantic.
Your culinary adventure begins when you book your dream Gatlinburg cabin.