One of the best located and most beautiful mountain resorts in America, Gatlinburg is found on the border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As well as offering the only opportunity to ski in Tennessee, it also offers a city full of quaint, mountain-themed restaurants perfect after a day on the slopes or looking at the local sights. Steaks, pancakes and many more comfort food classics are available, so discover Gatlinburg’s best restaurants with our top 10 guide.
Named in tribute to a David C. Maples, a 19th century frontiersman known as ‘Crockett’ and famed in the area for feeding weary travelers fine home-cooked breakfast food, Crockett’s provides a family-friendly fun spin on this breakfast food tradition. Designed to resemble an 19th century camp house with bench seats, hay bales and reclaimed wood from the city’s historic past, this is frontier dining at its finest. Not only that, but the breakfasts are some of Gatlinburg’s biggest, if not some of the biggest in the entire state, especially the skillets.
Located in Gatlinburg’s old world-themed ‘Village’ complex, the Donut Friar has been baking breads, pastries and, of course, donuts for visitors to the city since 1969. Over more than 45 years of service, the bakery has been a staple of the area, responsible for the almost irresistible smell of cinnamon and fresh baking that permeates the area. As well as serving every kind of classic donut imaginable, they offer freshly brewed coffee, making the Donut Friar the ideal choice from a midday pick-me-up, and a first choice destination for anyone looking to overcome a sudden pastry craving.
Inspired by the tea houses found in the mountains of Austria, Wild Plum is a Tennessee take on European understated class, offering Austrian charm alongside famed Southern hospitality. The restaurant serves an ever-changing menu based on the finest family recipes of the friendly Wild Plum team, but is known for delicious classics as well as its Wild Plum tea and muffins that give the tearoom its name. With a weather-permitting patio shaded by historic walnut trees and a warm and cozy main dining area, Wild Plum is one of the best places to soak up the Gatlinburg atmosphere over a few glasses of signature tea.
The Peddler Steakhouse
The Peddler Steakhouse has been a culinary tradition in the city ever since opening in Gatlinburg nearly 40 years ago. Based in what was the house of a local merchant (whose great grandfather founded the area’s first grocery store), the building itself was created from the remains of four old cabins. This combination of taking tradition and building it into something better also feeds into the restaurant’s food, a winning selection centered around its famed fresh steaks, cooked over Tennessee hickory charcoal, and many, many more dining delights.
Log Cabin Pancake House
To perfectly understand the nature and charm of this restaurant, just consider its name. Serving tasty fluffy pancakes in a charming converted log cabin, the Log Cabin Pancake House will always be a popular choice for those looking for a sweet treat after a tiring day sightseeing. You’ll find a pancake menu full of signature recipes and combinations. But there are more than pancakes on offer, with breakfasts, waffles, omelets, burgers and more available for those who do not feel like pancakes.
The Restaurant at Buckberry Creek
Fine-dining options in the Smokies are few and far between, and do not get any better than the Restaurant at Buckberry Creek. With breathtaking views of the mountains that make Gatlinburg so memorable, it would take great food to match those stunning views. Luckily, this restaurant delivers this, with a menu that changes daily to make the most of the best of local and seasonal produce, and always features meals that are as pleasing to the eyes as they are for the mouth.
Serving delicious food to those staying at the lovely inn as well as the general public, the restaurant at Buckhorn Inn offers the best of the region throughout the year, as it has since before the Second World War. Dinner is a daily-changing selection of the best of the area, allowed to shine in a selection of made from scratch dishes. Each day features a new set menu, with soup, salad, bread, entree and dessert made on the day, so regular visits are a must for romantic occasions or any time you want great home-style cooking.
Cherokee Grill is designed as an upscale mountain lodge serving some of the area’s best prepared meats, chicken and seafood. Steaks are naturally their speciality, but everything on the menu matches their quality, with a great selection of salads, sides and entrées completing the menu and making the Cherokee Grill one of Gatlinburg’s top choices for upscale dining at reasonable prices.
Smoky Mountain Brewery
A sister restaurant to Cherokee Grill, the Smoky Mountain Brewery has recently expanded to three other locations in Tennessee. The original home of the microbrewery, however, is right here in the Smokies. The restaurant describes the first Smoky Mountain Brewery as ‘a cross between a ski lodge and a Bavarian beer hall’, and this makes for a lively atmosphere, where friends meet over hand-tossed pizzas, signature sandwiches and burgers and, of course, the wonderful microbrewed craft beers that give the Smoky Mountain Brewery its name.
Located above The Cheese Cupboard, an excellent cheese shop well worth investigating on your way to the restaurant, Hofbrauhaus is a taste of Western Europe right in the heart of Tennessee. Hofbrauhaus is a German pub, serving a combination of Bavarian brews and American beers alongside a menu of sandwiches including local favourites and European classics. The pub is easy to miss, but to do so is to really miss one of the hidden gems of the area, a charming beer and food joint you will want to regularly return to.
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