You know one of the early Spring things East Tennessee is famous for? More than what we had in mind for the answer to this question, but if you said “those popcorn-looking trees” we have all across east Tennessee, that’s the one we’re looking for! […]
Many of our guests ask for recommendations on restaurants in and around our area, so we’d like to take this article to showcase some of our favorite restaurants just a short drive from us in Gatlinburg! We’ll section it out by restaurant type to aid in decision making:
* What’s Your Favorite Steakhouse in Gatlinburg? *
Man, there are many and all of them would be good, but the top of the line in our opinion is The Peddler Steakhouse in downtown Gatlinburg.
From their website:
“Located at the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Gatlinburg TN, The Peddler Steakhouse is literally built upon tradition. Families continue to return from one generation to the next. We invite you to start a new dining tradition with us. From our bountiful salad bar, to succulent steaks hand cut to order at your table and grilled over real Tennessee hickory charcoal, to our memorable desserts, no other restaurant can compare to the one of a kind dining tradition.”
New York Strip
Fresh Rainbow Trout
Marinated or Blackened Chicken
Grilled or Stuffed Shrimp
Signature Chicken Almond Soup
820 River Rd, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
* What’s Your Favorite Pancake Restaurant in Gatlinburg? *
Pound for pound, nothing yet beats The Pancake Pantry in The Village. This breakfast house has been a Gatlinburg icon for decades and you know it’s important when you often see a line to get in stretching around the building (though thankfully that’s not the case all the time or we’d never get in!) They serve a variety of pancake styles and flavors and have many other breakfast favorites as well.
From their website:
“Since 1960 when the Pancake Pantry became Tennessee’s first pancake house, visitors to Gatlinburg have made dining with us a tradition. What keeps them coming back? It’s the real butter, the honest-to-goodness fresh whipped cream and everything made from scratch. And it’s also the warm atmosphere of century-old brick, rich oak and rustic copper. Becoming a tradition requires a special quality, a commitment to excellence, a willingness to experiment, test and develop new dishes for your pleasure and delight, while retaining the favorites from years past. Whether you join us for an early breakfast, midday brunch or afternoon snack, your visits will be enhanced by fast courteous service and delicious food, all at a reasonable price.”
Cherry Supreme Crepes
Smoky Mountain Buckwheat Cakes
628 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
* What’s Your Favorite BBQ Restaurant in Gatlinburg? *
Gatlinburg has no shortage of BBQ or BBQ restaurants, but for our top recommendation, we say Bennett’s BBQ on River Road just behind Ober Gatlinburg. It looks, feels and acts like the kind of BBQ restaurant you want when you REALLY want awesome BBQ in the Smokies. Good, casual atmosphere and very convenient to get to and out of.
From their website:
“BENNETT’S PIT BBQ serves meals that are moist, tender and packed full of flavor. Our pork ribs, chicken, pulled pork and beef briskets are basted in Bennett’s own special sauce. Then they’re placed over smoldering hickory wood & smoked for up to 14 hours! The heat & sauce penetrate deep into every layer of meat, turning it a perfect pinkish color while enriching every juicy mouthful with rich, smoky flavor. Since everyone likes different amounts of our mouth-waterin’ sauce, we serve it warm on the side so you can pour on as much or as little as you like. After you’ve savored the last bite, we hope you’ll agree that all the work we put into preparing your BBQ was well worth it!”
Bar-B-Que Pork Shoulder
Bar-B-Que Beef Brisket
Carolina Pork Sandwich
Spicy Brisket Philly
714 River Rd, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
* What’s Your Favorite Italian Restaurant in Gatlinburg? *
When we get asked about the Best Italian restaurant in Gatlinburg, we tell them to go to Best Italian Restaurant here in Gatlinburg! That is the name of our most famous and one of the longest-in-business Italian restaurants we have in Gatlinburg. It is located in the atmospherically pleasing Elk’s Plaza part of downtown Gatlinburg.
From their website:
“If you want to know what we’re all about here at Best Italian, just look to our name. We keep our title by sticking to the classics: golden garlic knots, traditional pizzas, creamy pastas, and our homemade strawberry cheesecake, just to name a few. Sure, we’ve taken some liberties with our signature dishes (just look at the size of our calzones), but at the end of the day, we know it’s our hearty, comforting flavors that keep our customers coming back year after year. So bring in the family and join us for a bite! We love getting to know the community that’s been so good to us for more than 40 years.”
Chef Paul’s Seafood Medley
Paul’s Red Clam Sauce Supreme
Linguini & Clam Sauce
Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
Tenderloin Tips Marsala
Suite #9 968, Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
* What’s Your Favorite Asian Food Restaurant in Gatlinburg? *
Truthfully, and to some surprise, we only have one Asian food restaurant in Gatlinburg, but a reason for that is the restaurant is so good, we haven’t needed another one since the 1980s when they first set up! North China in Gatlinburg is a very nice dining establishment just down an ally between River Road and the main Parkway and serves made-to-order Chinese dishes with favorites and surprises.
They do not have a website currently, please use the information below to contact them.
639 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
North China Curry
House Red Curry or Green Curry Combination
Beef with Water Chestnuts and Snow Peas
Beef in Hot Szechuan Sauce
Chicken Chop Suey
Pork Chop Suey
Shrimp with Lobster Sauce
Lobster in Garlic Sauce
we hope this helps get you going on your Gatlinburg restaurant recommendations!
Each year, the Smokies is blessed to receive thousands and thousands of visitors who want to make our part of the region their holiday spirit destination. Many are return visitors who come each year or at least each year they’re able to, and many others […]
It is officially and effectively Winterfest in the Smokies! During this time, people come to the mountains for a variety of reasons, not the least because of the holidays, the romance opportunities and just a badly needed break from the routine, but one slightly less […]
* Oktoberfest at Ober *
September 21, 2018 – October 28, 2018
“Ober Gatlinburg is celebrating October with a fantastic festival featuring Bavarian-style food, drink and music, but you don’t have to don your finest lederhosen or dirndls to be a part of the fun.
OktOBERfest returns to its Gatlinburg-style roots with 38 days of merrymaking from September 21 through October 28, 2018 as the resort commemorates the 207th anniversary of the popular festival held in Munich, Germany.” – https://www.gatlinburg.com/
Get more information on this event at https://www.gatlinburg.com/event/oktoberfest-at-ober/
* The Oak Ridge Boys Concert *
September 21, 2018
“After six decades of building a legacy fit for a quartet of southern gentlemen, the Oak Ridge Boys continue to plug away at what they do best. The folks of Pigeon Forge will be treated to that when the Oak Ridge Boys bring their four-part harmonies to the stage of Country Tonite Theatre.
With multiple awards under their belts and multiple chart-topping singles, the boys haven’t missed a step and are sure to bring an upbeat performance.” – https://www.mypigeonforge.com/
Get more information on this event at https://www.mypigeonforge.com/event/the-oak-ridge-boys-in-concert
* Old Mill Heritage Day *
September 22, 2018
“Experience the past in the present at Old Mill Heritage Day in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Take the whole family to this event for a fun filled day! At Old Mill Heritage Day you will find quilt demonstrations, a petting zoo, kid’s train rides, basket making, a farmers market and much more! See firsthand what life in the 18th century was like as you learn to make lye soap and yummy apple butter.
This is a fun-filled day for the whole family featuring arts & crafts, pumpkin painting, bingo and much more. Adults can enjoy moonshine making, farmer’s market, sorgum making demo and featured antiques. In addition, families can enjoy music & entertainment featuring world-class Bluegrass, traditional folk songs, cloggers and twirlers. Kids can enjoy the petting zoo, fire trucks, music and special arts and crafts tent.” –https://www.mypigeonforge.com/
Get more information on this event at https://www.mypigeonforge.com/event/old-mill-heritage-day
* National Quartet Convention *
September 23, 2018 to September 29, 2018
“Hear the finest in Southern gospel music when the National Quartet Convention returns to the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge! Reserve your seats now for the National Quartet Convention.
Get more information on this event at https://www.mypigeonforge.com/event/national-quartet-convention
* Dollywoods Harvest Festival *
September 28, 2018 to Nov 03, 2018
“The Dollywood park is open until 9 p.m. each night during Dollywood’s Harvest Festival featuring the Southern Gospel Jubilee and Great Pumpkin LumiNights presented by Humana.
Great Pumpkin LumiNights
The largest addition ever made to Dollywood’s fall festival, Great Pumpkin LumiNights features artistic sculptures, whimsical scenes and delightful, family-friendly fun throughout Timber Canyon. Great Pumpkin LumiNights immerses families in fabulous pumpkin illumination thanks to spectacular pumpkin displays, which glow with the fire of fall. Numerous lighted pumpkin displays throughout the park will delight families looking for a new and unique tradition.
Great Pumpkin LumiNights also features new pumpkin-themed food options, entertainment and interactive opportunities for park guests to experience an exciting nightly finale during the best fall festival in the Smokies.
Southern Gospel Jubilee
During the day, the Southern Gospel Jubilee lineup includes some of the biggest names in Southern gospel music. Your family will enjoy the soul-stirring sounds of beautiful harmonies ringing through the crisp air as free daily concerts take place on the park’s various stages. Visiting artisans from across the country share their talents through an array of handmade wares, spanning from functional to decorative. Each day is a picture-perfect opportunity for your family to enjoy the traditional experiences of a Smoky Mountain harvest!” – https://www.mypigeonforge.com/
Get more information on this event at https://www.mypigeonforge.com/event/national-southern-gospel-harvest-celebration
* Rotary Club Crafts Festival *
September 29, 2018 to October 27, 2018
“Visitors to Pigeon Forge have the opportunity to see and purchase handmade items from some of the area’s most talented artists and crafters. Stop by the Pigeon Forge Rotary Club Craft Fair in Patriot Park, September 30th. Admission is free, however, a freewill donation will be distributed to local and area charities.” – https://www.mypigeonforge.com/
Get more information on this event at https://www.mypigeonforge.com/event/pigeon-forge-rotary-club-craft-fair
* Ripley’s Fright Nights *
October 1, 2018 – October 31, 2018
“Ripley’s Haunted Adventure will hold its 20th Annual Fright Nights show… Stay tuned for the upcoming theme for the shows.
Visitors can enjoy a screaming good time at these shows on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights in October as well as October 1-31.
For the regular cost of admission, visitors can experience this multi-million dollar, year-round haunted house with a new theme and new ghouls stalking its dark corridors. Shows start at 6pm with a character parade to kick off the night. Children must be at least 6 years of age to enter, however, during our Fright Nights shows the house is geared more toward ages 12 and up!” – https://www.gatlinburg.com/
Get more information on this event at https://www.gatlinburg.com/event/ripleys-fright-nights/
* Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair *
October 4, 2018 – October 21, 2018
“The celebration of fall also encompasses one of the southeast’s most popular events… the Annual Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair. From October 4 through 21, the Gatlinburg Convention Center blossoms into a multi-level mecca of the top craft people from all across the United States.
Autumn’s brisk air signals all of nature to transform the Great Smoky Mountains from lush green to a majestic patchwork quilt of colors.
A unique characteristic of the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair is the fact that artisans not only make their art available for viewing and sale, but also demonstrate their special talents and skills during this show, which is recognized as one of the top 20 events in the Southern U.S. by the Southeast Tourism Society.” – https://www.gatlinburg.com/
Get more information on this event at https://www.gatlinburg.com/event/gatlinburg-craftsmens-fair/
* Fall Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament *
October 06, 2018 to October 07, 2018
“Don’t miss out on the fun and excitement of the 19th Annual Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament. This event is fun for adults, children, tourists, and locals. Over 5,000 trout will be stocked in over 20 miles of streams prior to this 2-day event and features $10,000 in cash & prizes!” – https://www.mypigeonforge.com/
Get more information on this event at https://www.mypigeonforge.com/event/fall-smoky-mountain-trout-tournament
* Halloween Spooktacular Event *
October 25, 2018
“Join the family-fun Spooktacular Halloween Event at the Pigeon Forge Community Center on the Monday before Halloween. This free and non-scary event is a safe alternative for families to go Trick or Treating.” –https://www.mypigeonforge.com/
Get more information on this event at https://www.mypigeonforge.com/event/spooktacular-halloween-event
* Trick or Treat Kick Off Karnival *
October 31, 2018
“A fantastic family Halloween day event from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. Fun for visiting guests and local residents – contests, costumed characters, candy and a pumpkin contest plus trick or treat safety from the Gatlinburg Police Department and fire safety from the Gatlinburg Fire Department.” – https://www.gatlinburg.com/
Get more information on this event at https://www.gatlinburg.com/event/trick-or-treat-kick-off-karnival/
It’s one of Pigeon Forge’s newest attractions in the recent years and is quite popular! There is no admission price and plenty to do whether you are a shopper, a diner, or a people watcher! Enjoy the rocking chairs that surround the fountain show in the center of the area.
Here’s a quick look at what you can find at The Island:
– Ole Smoky Moonshine
– The Paula Deen Store
– Margaritaville Store
– The Beef Jerky Outlet
– Build-a-Bear Workshop
– Cosmic Pen
– Doc’s Magic Shop
– Island Tiki General Store
– The Sneaky Squirrel
– Kryptonite Character Store
– Pepper Palace
– The Toychest Company
– Thomas Kinkade
* Places to Eat
– Paula Deen’s Kitchen
– Mellow Mushroom
– Timberwood Grill
– Dick’s Last Resort
– Poynor’s Pommes Frites
– Cinnabon/Auntie Anne’s
* Activites and Attractions
– The Island Fountain
– The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel
– The Island Ropes Course
– Island Mirror Maze
– 7D Dark Ride Adventure
– The Escape Game
– The Flying Horse Carousel
And more for each of those categories!
See more on The Island at www.islandinpigeonforge.com.