Smoky Flavors: The Best Restaurants in and Around Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, TN

Besides fantastic outdoor activities such as hiking, zip-lining, and scenic drives through the Tennessee Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and their surrounding areas are teeming with exceptional restaurants.

Featuring warm and beautiful settings, great service, and mouthwatering cuisine, there's always a place where you and your family can enjoy a unique dining experience.

From breakfast to dinner, these cities provide a wide range of dining options featuring classic local food, fresh seafood, and national dishes with modern approaches. What's more, many establishments sit next to streams and lush trees, boasting incredible views of the mountains — a nice bonus to some exceptional dining for sure.

With so many options, choosing the right place can be challenging, though. We're here to help. In this blog, we've curated a selection of some of the best restaurants in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and the surrounding areas.

Get ready for a culinary journey through the Smokies!

Best Restaurants in Gatlinburg, TN

Crystelle Creek

Boasting a rustic-chic atmosphere and overlooking a creek, Crystelle Creek is downtown Gatlinburg is the go-to place if you're craving perfectly cooked oak wood-fired steaks.

Beyond juicy and cooked-to-perfection steaks, their diverse menu also offers delicacies such as fresh seafood, burgers, sandwiches, salads, and signature Italian dishes. Popular picks include Nashville Prime Rib, Texas Ribeye, New York Strip, Appalachian Smoked Chicken, and Blackened Catfish. The best of it all? You can get high-quality food at affordable prices.

Enjoy a superb meal with your family, friends, or loved ones in their beautiful indoor space or at the enclosed porch — both offering glimpses of the creek that surrounds the restaurant, a koi pond, and the mountains.

The Peddler Steakhouse

The Peddler Steakhouse is not only famous for serving mouthwatering custom steaks but also for the restaurant's fantastic salad bar — all that is complemented by incredible views of the Little Pigeon River.

For locals and frequent travelers to Gatlinburg, a visit to The Peddler has become a tradition. The menu features top-quality naturally aged steaks, never frozen, prepared with Tennessee hickory charcoal for a unique flavor. Look out for favorite dishes among patrons, such as Oysters on Half Shell, Filet Mignon, Prime Rib, Portabella Chicken, and Grilled Shrimp.

The extensive salad bar is a must-try, offering a wide variety of options to complement your meals. Moreover, there's an impressive wine list, draft and bottled beer selection, and signature cocktails available.

Their ambiance is perfect for a romantic dinner, especially if you ask for a candlelit experience when making a reservation. The large floor-to-ceiling windows frame the lush, vibrant trees surrounding the restaurant. For an extra special experience, make sure to book a table near the window with a river view.

Tom & Earl's Back Alley Grill

Because of the no-frills, chilled atmosphere, customers usually feel right at home when dining at Tom and Earl's Back Alley Grill — a local gem serving an extensive variety of hearty food.

Their wraps, burgers, and sandwiches steal the spotlight on their menu. Popular items include the Burning Bear Burger, Phatty Melt, and Dyin' Man. The latter is a definite must-try, featuring a thick slice of fried bologna, pulled pork, bacon, and stone-ground mustard served on a softly toasted bun. Other favored options are the Rocky Top Nachos and the House Salad for a lighter choice. To make your dining experience better, pair your meal with a draft beer or a signature cocktail.

The indoor seating area exudes a pub-like atmosphere with a red-brick bar and wooden tables, while the outdoor tables are nestled amidst lush vegetation, providing a tranquil ambiance for dining al fresco.

Howard's Restaurant

Howard's Restaurant is a local institution and Gatlinburg's oldest dining establishment, consistently delivering exceptional dishes for nearly 80 years.

From signature burgers and traditional southern entrees to hand-cut steaks and fresh trout, every item on their menu is worth trying. Some stellar dishes are the Smoky Mountain Trout, Hickory Smoked Pork Ribs, Bourbon BBQ Burger with Fried Onions, Pulled Pork Sandwich, and the famous steaks such as the New York Strip, Ribeye, and T-Bone. The signature side dishes are all amazing, but the Loaded Baked Potato, Macaroni and Cheese, and Onion Rings are simply perfect. Don't forget to order their famous Bloody Mary.

The cozy atmosphere of Howard's complements the dining experience with the indoor saloon exuding a charming old mountain feel with booths, wooden walls, beautiful lamps, fireplaces, and nice framed photographs on the wall. Oh, the outside is absolutely beautiful with tables under umbrellas sitting next to a scenic stream and lots of greenery.

Best Restaurants in Pigeon Forge, TN

Old Mill Restaurant

Located in the historic Old Mill district of Pigeon Forge, the Old Mill Restaurant is a family-style eatery offering delicious Southern classics and comfort food. The restaurant's delightful ambiance and tempting cuisine make it the perfect setting for a memorable dining experience, whether you're looking for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Indulge in Southern classics such as fried chicken, meatloaf, pot pie, hot biscuits, local sausage, country-fried steak, and chicken & dumplings, to name a few. Don't leave before trying their desserts that are all-time favorites, like the pecan pie and the Old Mill creamery vanilla ice cream.

With tables overlooking the Little Pigeon River, the Old Mill exudes a nostalgic atmosphere, boasting a historical setting with a beautiful wooden interior, chandeliers, and old-world charm.

A kids' menu is also available, and it's worth noting that the restaurant operates on a first-come, first-served basis, without reservations. If there's a wait for a table, it's worth it, as the dining experience here is truly exceptional.

Huck Finn's Catfish Cabin

Huck Finn's Catfish Cabin is a family-owned and operated restaurant famous for its "All You Can Eat Catfish and Chicken" dinners. For years in a row, they've been awarded the best catfish in East Tennessee. Centrally located in Pigeon Forge, this is one of the best options for recharging your energies after a day of fun in the Smoky Mountains.

The most popular choice among patrons is the "All You Can Eat" menu. This includes the option to indulge in catfish, chicken, or a combination of both, along with unlimited side dishes such as freshly-made coleslaw, beans with turkey ham, pickle spears, hush puppies, and sweet onion. Moreover, a la carte options are available, featuring must-try items like Battered Corn Nuggets, Gator Tail, Shoestring Fried Onions, Southern Chicken Fingers, Trout, Country Fried Steak, Southern Pork Chops, and the Ultimate Fried Platter.

Besides the warm hospitality and reasonable prices, the interior, adorned with checked tablecloths and wooden tables, adds an extra touch of Southern charm to the dining experience at Huck Finn's.

Bullfish Grill

Specializing in high-quality steaks and fresh seafood, Bullfish Grill excels in serving generous portions of perfectly cooked dishes within a charming ambiance accompanied by outstanding service.

Crafted with the finest ingredients, some of their standout dishes include Chargrilled Oysters, Grilled Salmon, Pistachio-Encrusted Trout, Hand-Cut Sirloin, Rib Eye, Filet Mignon, and the Spicy Patty Melt sandwich. To complement the meals, the drink menu features fine wines, along with an extensive selection of lagers, ales, and signature cocktails.

Their dining space showcases a delightful décor that seamlessly blends rustic warmth with an elegant ambiance. The sophisticated and welcoming interior includes wooden and stone walls, large high tables, and comfortable booths.

Best Restaurants in Sevierville, TN

The Appalachian, Sevierville

Located in Sevierville's historic downtown, The Appalachian is an upscale dining spot specializing in Appalachian cuisine with a modern twist. The focal point of the open kitchen is a wood-burning hearth, where various dishes are prepared using traditional cooking methods.

The menu features outstanding dishes that offer a contemporary take on fresh Appalachian ingredients, with a particular emphasis on rich, smoky flavors. Regardless of your choice, each dish promises to be a delight for your taste buds. Here are our recommended standouts: Pork Belly, Appalachian Burger, Duck Breast, Fried Chicken, Shrimp and Grits, and Hanger Steak. The wood-grilled meats, ranging from filet mignon to dry-aged Porterhouse, are exceptional — served a la carte, impeccably cooked, and garnished with West Virginia Sea Salt.

For a special culinary experience, consider the Chef's Table Experience, featuring a unique five-course meal. The drink menu offers an extensive selection of beers, whiskeys, and cocktails.

What's more, the friendly and attentive staff and stylish decor of The Appalachian enhance the fine dining experience. The restaurant's black walls, colorful art, and touches of wood, stone, and brass create a very intimate and warm space.

Graze Burgers

Graze Burgers is a popular destination in downtown Sevierville, offering affordably priced all-natural, grass-fed beef burgers in a modern and trendy setting.

Every item on their menu is fresh and ensures a real "farm-to-table" dining experience. There are several burger options to choose from but keep your eyes open for these: The Local Farmer, Southern Jam, Chili Chili Bang Bang, and The Tennessee, all of which are customer favorites. The burgers come with delicious hand-cut fries or battered onion rings.

Other must-tries include their house-fried pickles, charred wings, and nachos. Graze Burgers is also famous for its shakes, such as the Reese's Cup and Banana Foster — both are to die for! They also have an extensive drink menu featuring cocktails and bourbons.

During the summer months, their lovely pet-friendly patio hosts live music. All year round, their stylish indoor space with an industrial aesthetic is the perfect place to experience the trendy vibes of Sevierville and have a memorable dining experience.

Wondering where to Stay in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and The Smoky Mountains?

While in town, why not enhance your stay with the stunning backdrop of the Smoky Mountains in a great rental property?

At Stony Brook, we offer an exceptional array of cabins and chalets in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, and Cosby, ranging from one to 16 bedrooms. As a family-owned service, we guarantee you'll have the best experience in the Smokies!

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