Best Places to Eat Near Great Smoky Mountains National Park

There’s no telling where your adventure in the Smokies will lead you—but you’re guaranteed to need a lot of good food to keep you energized as you explore. From a sweet morning pick-me-up to a late-night beer, here are some of the best places to eat in Tennessee near Great Smoky Mountains National Park.


For the best sugar rush before heading into the park, stop at The Donut Friar and grab a freshly-baked donut (or dozen!) for a morning picnic.

hand holding a donut with sprinkles
One of The Donut Friar’s confections. Photo courtesy of Instagram user kimhoeltje.

A trip to the Pancake Pantry, the top-ranking spot for a short stack with over 20 pancake varieties makes for the perfect start, middle and end to a long day of hiking. Can’t get enough? Try Log Cabin Pancake House or the Little House of Pancakes.

pancakes on a plate
Pecan pancakes and coffee at Pancake Pantry. Photo courtesy of Instagram user harley_foodies.

Need a good drink after a long day? Kick back and relax at the Old Smoky Tennessee Moonshine Distillery with one of their creative whiskey selections.

row of whisky bottles
Find your favorite flavor of Moonshine. Photo courtesy of Instagram user ettevi_wanderlust.

Opened by Blake Shelton in 2019, Ole Red includes a two-story restaurant, a bar and live music venues. According to its website, “being here is a lot like hanging out with the guy himself: laid-back and genuine, up for anything, a bit irreverent (but always fun)—and set to great music.”

Pigeon Forge

A small counter-service spot that is known to draw up a good crowd, Poynor’s Pomme Frites offers a taste of Europe with favorites like Belgium fries, authentic German Brats, fresh baked bröcthen (German hard rolls), and spaghetti ice.

bowl of spaghetti ice cream
Poynor’s famous spaghetti ice cream. Photo courtesy of Instagram user harley_foodies.

At first glance it might look like Local Goat has a menu just like everywhere else, with burgers and beer. But this is one of the area’s few kitchens with an emphasis on sustainability, using homemade and locally sourced ingredients. Enjoy craft beers, high-end cocktails, and giant portions.

burger with fries on a plate
You can never go wrong with a classic burger and fries. Photo courtesy of Instagram user chefzhuuu.

Designed to look like a 1930s warehouse, JT Hannah’s Kitchen draws on family history for its wood-paneled eatery. The menu is full of hearty stuff—chicken Parmesan, spaghetti and meatballs, and deep-fried catfish. Tip: Don’t leave without trying Mama Laura’s Famous Strawberry Shortcake for dessert.


Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant, a family favorite, serves up breakfast staples like omelets and classic comfort foods like southern fried chicken. The restaurant is also next to the Apple Barn, a general store and cider press, where you can watch as apple cider and other goodies are being made.


Feeling fancy? Make reservations at least 24 hours in advance at the Mountain View Restaurant for a fine dining experience paired with their signature upscale ambiance.

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