Steaks sizzling on a hot grill, smoke rising, creating a mouthwatering aroma.

Ever wonder what makes a meal stick with you long after they’ve cleared the plates? Could it be that burst of flavor with each mouthful, the kind of setting that whisks you off to another realm, or maybe it’s sharing laughs over a table that makes eating feel like a grand ol’ party? Well, down here in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, we reckon it’s a mix of all three.

Y’all, we’re not just talking dinner. We’re talking a bona fide culinary adventure. The best restaurants in Gatlinburg have the kind of eats that turn a simple meal into a full-blown experience. Think juicy barbecues under a blanket of  Smoky Mountain stars, or dining by the riverside with views so captivating you might find yourself lost in the scenery instead of your food.

Come on in. The table’s set, and the welcome mat’s out. Gatlinburg’s serving up dishes that are sure to leave you and yours with stories to tell and smiles as wide as the Tennessee River.

Grilled salmon fillet with fresh vegetables and salad

1. The Melting Pot

Over at The Melting Pot in Gatlinburg, they’re serving up a heaping helping of fun with a side of adventure, perfect for those looking to add a little spice to their TN escapades. It’s all about getting those forks ready for some fondue fun, where you can cook right at the table. It’s the kind of place that turns strangers into friends and meals into memories.

The menu features a variety of fondue options, including cheese fondues, which are perfect for starting the meal, and chocolate fondues for a sweet ending. The main course offers a range of meats, seafood, and vegetables that you can cook in your choice of broths or oils.

Whether you’re a local or a visitor on the hunt for unique TN adventures, The Melting Pot provides an opportunity to slow down, savor the moment, and enjoy a meal that goes beyond the ordinary.

2. Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que

Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que stands out as a beacon for barbecue enthusiasts in Gatlinburg. It’s mainly known for its dedication to the art of smoking meat. 

At Bennett’s, the secret lies in the slow-cooking process, where the staff smoke meats for up to 14 hours over smoldering hickory wood. The method ensures each piece, from ribs to brisket, is tender, flavorful, and falls right off the bone.

The restaurant prides itself on its homemade sauces and sides, from tangy coleslaw to creamy mac and cheese, each adding an extra layer of Southern charm to the meal. The atmosphere at Bennett’s is just as inviting as its menu, with a rustic decor that makes diners feel right at home.

For those looking to dive into authentic Southern barbecue, Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que is a must-visit. It offers a taste of Tennessee tradition that keeps locals and visitors coming back for more.

Grilled juicy steak cooking in fire

3. The Peddler Steakhouse

Let me tell ya about a place where the steaks are as rich in flavor as the history of the spot it sits on. The Peddler Steakhouse, nestled right at the entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is a legacy that has been serving families since the 1970s. Complete with fireplace and riverside tables, The Peddler is an incredible dining experience in downtown Gatlinburg.

The Peddler isn’t just known for its mouth-watering steaks and that can’t-miss salad bar. Whether it’s the chilled shrimp cocktails, filet mignon, or steak combos that catch your eye, every dish is a nod to the sophisticated charm of Gatlinburg’s past. And don’t even think about skipping on that peanut butter mud pie; it’s practically a rite of passage.

With steaks grilled over Tennessee hickory charcoal and a team dedicated to making every visit special, it’s no wonder The Peddler is also one of our top picks of Gatlinburg date ideas.

Pancake Pantry in Gatlinburg, TN

4. Pancake Pantry

Now, if you’re wondering why Gatlinburg’s got more pancake houses than you can shake a syrup bottle at, here’s a little history lesson for y’all. Back when Gatlinburg was buzzing with lumberjacks, pancakes were the go-to meal to fuel up those hard working folks.

Fast forward, and those flapjacks have become a tribute to the town’s heritage, especially at places like the Pancake Pantry.

Celebrating over 64 years of flipping pancakes, the Pancake Pantry isn’t just another spot to grab breakfast; it’s an institution. The place serves up pancakes that are as whimsical and creative as the town itself.

Alamo Steakhouse restaurant nestled in a serene woodland setting, surrounded by lush greenery and tall trees.

5. Alamo Steakhouse

Alamo Steakhouse is the place where Tennessee pride meets Texas tradition to create a dining experience that’s as unforgettable as the Alamo itself. With every bite of their hand-cut, oak-grilled steaks, you’re not just tasting the best of the Smokies; you’re indulging in a piece of history.

Now, at Alamo Steakhouse, they don’t just cook; they craft. From grinding their own burgers to hand-breading their mozzarella sticks, every dish is a testament to their dedication to quality. It’s why folks around here say that if you’re looking for the heart of Tennessee activities, it’s sizzling on Alamo’s grill.

Planning a special night out? Book one of their Love Nests for an intimate dining experience that’s as cozy as it is delicious.

Top view pasta with mussels on a plate

6. Red Oak Bistro

If you’re hankerin’ for a spot that serves up a slice of the Mediterranean right here in the heart of Tennessee, Red Oak Bistro is your kind of place. The gem is all about bringing folks together over shared plates that’ll have your taste buds dancing faster than a fiddle on a Saturday night.

Chef Olga Branka is on a mission to dazzle you with dishes crafted from the freshest local produce, all while making you feel right at home. Think of it as visiting a friend who just happens to whip up the most amazing meals you’ve ever tasted.

Now, dining here ain’t just about the food. It’s about the experience. From the moment you step in, Red Oak welcomes you into an ambiance that’s cozy yet elegant; perfect for those nights when you’re out and about, looking for places to go in TN that offer something a bit different.

Whether you’re settling in for a romantic evening on their outdoor deck or cozying up inside next to the fireplace, it’s all about making memories over a glass of fine wine or a top-shelf bourbon.

Picnic with a bucket of fried chicken from Mama's Chicken Kitchen in Gatlinburg

7. Mama’s Chicken Kitchen

If there’s one thing Gatlinburg knows how to do, it’s how to serve up comfort by the bucketful; and Mama’s Chicken Kitchen is where all that magic happens. Mama’s ain’t just another chicken joint. It’s a warm hug served on a platter.

With every dish, from the fried chicken to the chicken and dumplings, you’re getting a taste of true Southern comfort.

Mama’s fried chicken? Honey, it’s like sunshine on a cloudy day. Crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and just begging for you to take another bite.

And let’s talk about the sides. Creamy mashed potatoes, tangy coleslaw, and, of course, Mama’s Mac and Cheese, a dish so good it’ll make you wanna slap your knee and holler.

So next time you’re trotting around Gatlinburg, make sure to mosey on over to Mama’s Chicken Kitchen. It’s the perfect spot for those visiting Gatlinburg and looking to dig into some down-home cooking.

8. Crystelle Creek

Looking for a spot where the whole family can kick back and enjoy a meal that’ll make everyone’s taste buds sing? Well, Crystelle Creek has got you covered. Nestled just a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of downtown Gatlinburg, this restaurant is a haven for those craving a bit of elegance with their comfort food.

Here, it’s all about savoring the flavors that make Tennessee so special, from blackened catfish that whisper secrets of the smoky char to steak entrees that bring the taste of the Smokies right to your table. And let me tell you, the baby back ribs here? They’re so tender and full of flavor that you might just find yourself dreaming about them long after you’ve left.

Big Daddy's Pizza: A family-owned pizza restaurant in Gatlinburg, TN

9. Big Daddy’s Pizzeria

Now, for all y’all pizza lovers out there craving something a little out of the ordinary, Big Daddy’s Pizzeria is serving up slices of heaven that’ll have you coming back for more. It’s not your average pie; Big Daddy’s is a wood-fired wonder that’s a testament to the art of pizza making.

Their secret? A 550-degree, wood-fired flame and a whole lot of love. Starting with hand-pulled, homemade dough and topped with the freshest ingredients, each pizza is a masterpiece waiting to tantalize your taste buds.

So, if you find yourself on a quest for the perfect slice or looking for a pit stop full of flavor during your Tennessee activities, Big Daddy’s got you covered.

Find More of the Best Restaurants in Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg is a culinary adventure waiting for exploration. From the cozy fireside chats at Red Oak Bistro to the hearty, hickory-smoked delights at Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que, each of the best restaurants in Gatlinburg serves up a slice of Southern charm and delectable dishes that’ll have you planning your next visit before you’ve even left the table.MobileBrochure, your trusted guide in the Smoky Mountains, offers a portal to these culinary gems and more. With our extensive collection of online brochures, we’re here to ensure your dining experiences are not just meals, but memories to last a lifetime. Visit us to explore more places to eat in the Smoky Mountains and beyond.

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

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