A trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, isn’t complete without delicious restaurants. Tourist attractions are usually the focus of most vacations, but you’ll always need to get some food no matter where you are. Sometimes the restaurants we choose on a trip are random based on what we walk past, but other times, we have certain ones we want to make sure we get to.
It can’t hurt to have a few downtown Gatlinburg restaurants in mind before leaving for your trip. So, let’s take a look at some of the best restaurants in Gatlinburg TN.
Why Should You Visit Gatlinburg?
Gatlinburg TN is a destination more families need to consider because it looks beautiful year-round. In the summer, there are plenty of beautiful hiking opportunities around the Great Smoky Mountains. Then, in the winter, it’s the perfect place to go skiing and snowtubing. It has a wide variety of things to do, so all families can find something to enjoy.
Popular Attractions in Gatlinburg
There’s no shortage of great places to eat in Gatlinburg. Yet, most people don’t travel somewhere just for the food. So, if you’re wondering what else you can do near the city besides eat, here are some popular tourist attractions:
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- Ober Gatlinburg
- Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
- Gatlinburg SkyLift Park
- Hollywood Star Cars Museum
- Gatlinburg Space Needle
Once you’ve decided on some fun things to do in Gatlinburg, it’s time to consider where you might eat. Luckily, there are more than enough options to choose from.
Best Restaurants in Gatlinburg
There’s no need to wait until the last minute to choose where to eat on your Gatlinburg vacation. It’s a good idea to learn about some of the restaurants in Gatlinburg Tennessee ahead of time. So, here are 15 of the best restaurants to consider stopping at on your trip. If you’re looking for something more specific, there are also lots of bars and pizza places to check out.
#1 – Chesapeake’s Seafood and Raw Bar
If you’re craving quality seafood, then Cheasapeake’s is the perfect dining option for you. Some of their famous dishes include Maryland crab cakes, stuffed Maine lobster, and smoked trout. Yet, if you’re traveling with picky eaters, there are non-seafood options too, such as hamburgers. Plus, it has such a welcoming atmosphere with fish decorations hanging from the ceiling.
#2 – Tennessee Jed’s
At Tennessee Jed’s, making sandwiches is like an art form. Many people consider this business a hidden gem of Gatlinburg because it can make even classic recipes savory. Reubens, Cubanos, and classic Kraut Dogs are just a few options they have on their menu. However, this restaurant is only open until 3 pm, so if you want to add it to your itinerary, you’ll have to plan accordingly.
#3 – The Greenbrier Restaurant
The Greenbrier Restaurant has a rustic charm with a wonderful outdoor seating area. The business proudly calls itself “a food and spirit outpost” with a unique, chef-driven menu. It can be a bit pricey, but it serves delicacies you won’t find just anywhere, such as duck breast, lamb shank, and stuffed flounder.
#4 – The Peddler Steakhouse
There are lots of steakhouses to choose from in Gatlinburg, but none of them are quite like the Peddler. It has excellent hand cut steaks, but it’s also a piece of history. A 4th generation Gatlinburg merchant once lived in the building, and their great grandfather opened the first Gatlinburg grocery store. So, it’s an exciting place to explore while enjoying a variety of classic dishes.
#5 – Calhoun’s
Calhoun’s is a famous BBQ restaurant in Gatlinburg. The owners are known for winning the “Best Ribs in America” in 1983. This place has all kinds of savory meat options, such as burgers, pork, and even a bacon-wrapped beef brisket. Yet, if you’re looking for something lighter, they also have salads, sandwiches, and chicken tenders. So, there’s a little something for everyone.
#6 – The Cherokee Grill
The Cherokee Grill is another great Gatlinburg steakhouse, but its nature lodge theme makes it stand out from similar places. Its menu has all sorts of traditional America dishes, such as fried chicken, crab cakes, and of course, steaks. The steaks have plenty of unique add-ons, such as Boursin cheese and soy ginger sauce. It’s a popular destinations for guests looking to celebrate something.
#7 – The Pancake Pantry
If you’re looking for some breakfast food, the Pancake Pantry is an excellent choice. Back in 1960, it became the first pancake house in Tennessee. It’s always open for breakfast and lunch, and as the name implies, it serves over 24 pancake varieties. Yet, you should make sure you’re really hungry before visiting because many of the dishes come with five large pancakes.
#8 – Smoky Mountain Trout House
You probably could’ve guessed it by the name, but the Smoky Mountain Trout House is the best option for people who love trout. Some of its popular menu items include trout fritters and hush puppies. This restaurant carries some non-seafood items, but many customers have agreed that nothing on their menu beats the fish. It can often get busy, so if you’re craving some trout, come early.
#9 – The Park Grill
The Park Grill and the Peddler are owned by the same person, but they’re both worth checking out. The Park Grill stands out because it’s located right by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, so it’s a perfect stop for people that have been hiking all day. It’s an American restaurant, so it has a wide range of menu items, including shrimp and crab bisque, roasted chicken, and baby back ribs.
#10 – Cliff Top Grill & Bar
Cliff Top is one of the best places to eat in Gatlinburg if you’re looking for a great view. It’s located on a mountain at the Anakeesta theme park. So, if you’re already planning to visit Anakeesta, you might as well try out this America restaurant. It serves plenty of classics like burgers, sandwiches, and steaks. However, the best part is that both the indoor and outdoor seating has mesmerizing nature scenery.
#11 – Alamo Steakhouse
The Alamo Steakhouse is another great place for Gatlinburg food that has a large menu. It also has a great outdoor seating area for visitors looking to take advantage of the nice weather. Despite being called a steakhouse, many visitors agreed that the salmon was surprisingly good too. So, it has a wide variety of dishes for everyone to enjoy.
#12 – Log Cabin Pancake House
The Pancake Pantry isn’t the only great breakfast restaurant in Gatlinburg. Log Cabin Pancake House is another wonderful brunch place, but it has many brunch dishes beyond just pancakes. Crepes, French toast, and omelets are some of the other famous dishes at this breakfast place. This restaurant sometimes has a wait, but the staff are usually praised for working quickly and efficiently.
#13 – Crockett’s Breakfast Camp
Crockett’s is another great breakfast option, and it’s one of the best choices for kids. It’s full of quirky decorations around the building and it has fun stories on the menus. So, kids can stay entertained while enjoying a delicious meal. Some foods to try include fried cinnamon rolls, corned beef hash, and breakfast scrambler.
Frequently Asked Questions
Many tourists have lots of questions before visiting a new place. So, here are some things people commonly wonder before finding places to eat in Gatlinburg.
What Food is Gatlinburg Famous For?
Gatlinburg doesn’t have just one signature food. Some food items they’re well-known for are trout, pancakes, and ribs. Smoky Mountain Trout House, Pancake Pantry, and Calhoun’s are some of the best places to get these delicacies. While these are items you can find in any city, the quality won’t be the same at other restaurants.
How Many Pancake Houses are in Gatlinburg?
Gatlinburg has at least 12 pancake restaurants. It’s unclear why pancakes are so popular in this city, but many people believe it’s because many Southerners love to get a tasty, hearty breakfast.
What is the Best Time of Year to Visit Galtinburg?
Many people recommend September or October as the ideal times to go to Gatlinburg. The peak travel time is in the summer, but the early fall is better because it’s not quite as crowded and the temperature isn’t too hot or too cold. Yet, the time you choose to go may vary based on what activities you’re looking to do.
Start Planning Your Gatlinburg Trip!
Does Gatlinburg seem like a great place to visit? Then what are you waiting for? Now that you know the best Gatlinburg Tennessee restaurants, you should have no problem filling your trip with fun adventures. In between every fun activity, you’ll need to relax and find a place to eat. So, hopefully a few of these options caught your eye.
Yet, Gatlinburg isn’t the only exciting city in the state. There are plenty of fun things to do in Tennessee, so if you can’t find quite what you’re looking for in Gatlinburg, feel free to check out another destination.