where to find the best burgers in the Smokies

The truly spiritual need for caffeine to wake you up in the morning? It doesn’t compare. What about the universally-felt longing for your cat to come and sit on your lap? No, that doesn’t compare either. Nothing compares to the ravenous craving we can feel for a thick, juicy, twelve-story-high burger!

Sometimes, the simplest things in life have the greatest effect. That said, a burger is never something to underestimate. When you find yourself under the spell of carnivorous cravings during your Smoky Mountain vacation, you’ll find the best burgers in Gatlinburg and beyond at these restaurants!

best burgers in Gatlinburg

Where to Find the Best Burgers in Gatlinburg

Whether you’re hot off the mountain trails or fresh out of suitcase space from your shopping adventures, you’ve probably worked up an impressive appetite. Re-energize with a hilarious visit to Dick’s Last Resort or a family feast at Shoney’s!

Dick's Last Resort

Dick’s Last Resort

At Dick’s Last Resort, the servers are experts in sarcasm. They will come ready to lift your spirits by making you the butt of all their jokes! Once you’re crowned with a paper hat displaying a personalized joke about you, you’ll be drooling over your bacon cheddar burger. Meat lovers of all kinds will have a heyday at Dick’s Last Resort, with baby back ribs, ribs and wings, pulled pork, hot dogs and fried chicken also on the menu.

Shoney's Restaurants


You may only have eyes for your beloved (a sizzling hot burger with a perfectly toasted bun), but others in your party may want something else. With some of the best burgers in Gatlinburg plus a diverse host of sandwiches and entrées, Shoney’s is the choice for you.

Open wide for the All-American Burger and Shoney’s Double Decker Burger! These monstrous burgers are topped with all the quintessential ingredients needed for a work of art: cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles, and mayo. Alternatively, your group might go for Philly Steak & Cheese Sandwiches, high-range ribeyes, a basket of chicken wings, or find an array of much more at the Fresh Food Bar.

burger places in Pigeon Forge

Top Local Burger Places in Pigeon Forge

When you’re on vacation, you might want to try something new or different from what you can find back home. Some of the best burger places in Pigeon Forge are also favorites among locals for their original flair.

Local Goat

Local Goat

Local Goat is one of the most unique restaurants in the Smokies, serving scratch-made recipes using sustainably and locally sourced ingredients. Admire the local artists’ work on the walls while devouring American fare like baby back ribs, chicken tenders, or bison meatloaf. Of course, their gourmet burgers are a must, made fresh every day with locally-sourced beef. Your choice among twelve burgers could be the Tennessee Whiskey Glazed Burger, the Lamb Burger with tzatziki sauce, or the Elvis Burger with peanut butter, bacon, and fried bananas!

Mel’s Classic Diner

You also can’t go wrong for any meal of the day at Mel’s Classic Diner. This classic 50’s diner is open for breakfast (served all day), lunch and dinner. However, we recommend stopping by in the afternoon for one of their famous burgers. Choose between nine hamburger and cheeseburger varieties with delicious toppings like sautéed onions, jalapeños, or bacon. Their menu also features delicious stuffed sandwiches, loaded hot dogs, Southern homestyle entrées, and world-class ice cream desserts to top it all off!

best burgers in Sevierville, TN

Quick, Easy & Affordable: Best Burgers in Sevierville, TN

Your adventures may take you a bit further from the usual hubs of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. With so many exciting things to do in Sevierville, you and your family may be looking for just a quick bite so you can get back to adventuring as soon as possible. On the other hand, you might be on a tight budget, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for less. Thankfully, the best burgers in Sevierville, TN, are also quick, easy and affordable.

Steak 'n' Shake

Steak ‘n Shake

Just off the Parkway in Sevierville, Steak ‘n Shake is likely a convenient stop on your route back to your lodging. Take your pick of six legendary steakburgers, like the Garlic Double Steakburger, Western BBQ ‘n Bacon Steakburger, or the Frisco Melt. Every combo comes with an order of fries and a drink, but you’d be wise to turn that drink into a decadent milkshake. As per their name, milkshakes are this burger joint’s secondary claim to fame, boasting 16 yummy flavors. Cool down from the hot summer sun with a shake and indulge your carnivorous desires at the same time at Steak ‘n Shake!

Quaker Steak & Lube

Quaker Steak & Lube

Leave it to our biker friends to whip up some of the best burgers in Sevierville, TN. Quaker Steak & Lube is where you go to meet fellow motorcyclists during Bike Nites or classic car enthusiasts during Cruise-Ins. Even if you don’t own any such vehicle, let the decor inspire your wildest biker dreams while you refuel your body.

The steakburgers at Quaker Steak & Lube will have you fall in love at first smell. Depending on your top pick among seven options, you could get a burger topped with Kentucky bourbon-glazed onions, mac ‘n cheese, garlic cheese curds, or a fried egg. As if that’s not enough, Quaker Steak & Lube also serves tender USDA Choice steaks, pub-style sandwiches, baby back rib platters, and bone-in and boneless wings. You’ll want to order one of everything once you see their full menu!

Of all the things you might crave, some hit harder than others. Few would argue that nothing in the world satisfies quite like a darn good burger. We sometimes forget that humans are just animals, after all. When your inner lion is ready to sink its teeth into something tasty, look no further than the best burger places in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville, TN!

Content on this page is subject to change. Please contact the locations mentioned to see if promotions, hours, pricing, etc. are still valid.

About Nicole Miller

Nicole Miller is a native Tennessean who currently resides in Asheville, North Carolina. She loves spending time in the great outdoors, such as camping, hiking, and mountain biking. She also enjoys exploring all that the Smoky Mountains have to offer.

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