Family picnicking in backyard

When the sun starts shining with greater vigor, ushering in the scents of blooming flowers and fresh air, it’s natural to feel a rush of excitement. Summer is on its way, bringing luxurious days spent outdoors, playing in the water, picnicking, and enjoying the company of ones you love.

Can there be anything that says “summer” more than a backyard picnic? Setting up a simple (or slightly fancy) spread of comfort foods, creative snacks, and delicious beverages is a wonderful way to bring your family and friends together while still enjoying the beautiful natural surroundings.

Luckily, the Great Smoky Mountains region, and the beautiful towns within it, offer a wide range of restaurants that provide take-out service! This is an easy and accessible way to create a picnic with something for everyone, while not putting too much pressure on you to prepare all of the food. Read on to discover our favorite restaurants with the best carry-out in the Smokies!

Our Picks for the Best Carry-Out in the Smokies

You look outside and discover that a beautiful day is unfolding. You and your family have been cooped up inside for days and are all itching for a change of scenery – and an overall change of pace. What would be the easiest way to gather everyone together and enjoy some sunshine and fresh air in this incredibly gorgeous area? A picnic!

While gathering supplies and preparing everyone to enjoy the picnic, you realize that preparing a meal to enjoy outside is a little out of your wheelhouse at the moment. From sourcing ingredients to choosing recipes, and taking in everyone’s food preferences into account, your energy is waning before the picnic even begins. Then the idea hits you – let’s order take-out from a wonderful local restaurant!

Bennett's Pit Bar B Que


Few dishes reflect southern tastes more than BBQ! If you’re feeding a crowd, Bennett’s Pit BBQ in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg offers delicious, hickory-smoked meats and traditional sides and accompaniments. Their artfully crafted sandwiches showcasing their brisket, pork shoulder, and pulled chicken are perfect handheld meals to enjoy on a park bench or a blanket in the grass.

Bennett’s Pit BBQ also offers chargrilled burgers, hickory-smoked ribs, and BBQ nachos. Or, you can go all out with a few of their platters – burnt ends, hog legs, smoked sausage or catfish paired with delicious and shareable sides. For a family-style picnic meal, Bennett’s Pit BBQ brings it home!]

Big Daddy's Pizzeria


It’s hard to find a food that’s as universally loved as pizza, and we understand why! Pizza is versatile, shareable, and able to be customized to almost any taste preference. Vegetarians and carnivores alike can enjoy this timeless classic. Whether you are experiencing an intimate meal one-on-one or feeding a group, pizza is an ideal choice for a picnic. 

Geno’s Pizza has locations in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Kodak offering handmade pizzas, calzones, and salads for take-out or delivery. Family owned and operated since 1984, they know what it takes to please everyone with a simple, yet delicious meal.

If you prefer wood-fired pizza, Big Daddy’s Pizzeria, with locations in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and Sevierville, offers up tasty, handmade pies finished in a real brick oven. They also serve incredible wood-fired chicken wings, which are perfect for enjoying around a picnic table – don’t forget your napkins!

Mama's Chicken Kitchen - Picnic spread

Comfort Food

There’s a reason why comfort food has remained a favorite for generations upon generations. The feeling you get after you enjoy food that’s been made with care, fresh ingredients, and many years of tradition to back it up is bar none – it fills you with warmth, emotionally and physically!

A summer picnic would be the perfect time to enjoy take-out from Mama’s Chicken Kitchen in Gatlinburg! A family-style meal is just a phone call or click away, offering fried chicken, salads, wings, and handmade sides. 

For those who prefer freshly-crafted sandwiches, J.O.E. and Pop’s Sub Shoppe in Gatlinburg delivers the goods. You can use their easy-to-use system to order online and set up a fantastic picnic for your family with delicious subs, cheesesteak sandwiches, chicken wings, and hot dogs!

Healthy Balance Meals

Clean Eating

If you’re setting up a picnic with health goals in mind, never fear! Healthy Balance Meals in Sevierville is here to provide real food, crafted with love – and designed for those trying to eat more mindfully. Their burgers, paninis, and wraps are perfect for enjoying the outdoors, and they offer delicious soups and salads, as well.

Healthy Balance Meals also provides frozen entrees and curbside service, so if you’ve been out hiking all day and need a quick, easy and healthy meal to feed your family, give them a call! You can order meatloaf, chicken pot pie, beefy mac and cheese, and more – all made with care and attention to your overall well-being.

Mad Dog's Creamery


Don’t forget about dessert! Did you know that you could create a picnic based entirely around dessert? Sunset, beautiful flowers and handcrafted sweet treats (and maybe a bottle of wine!) create a lasting memory when brought together. 

Adina’s Sweet Shop in Sevierville uses time-tested recipes to create blissfully decadent cakes, cookies, cupcakes, brownies, and more! They also offer a wide selection of hand-scooped ice cream, which is the perfect complement to a summer day. 

Mad Dog’s Creamery, with locations in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, is ready to sweeten your picnic experience with ice cream in almost any flavor you can imagine! They proudly serve handmade donuts in a wide variety of styles – yeast donuts, cake donuts, and filled donuts are all on the menu. Insider tip: a box of mixed donuts, paired with coffee, can create a fantastic sunrise picnic in the beautiful Smoky Mountains.

family-friendly adventures in the Smokies

The next time you and your loved ones are experiencing a little cabin fever, consider planning a picnic. Whether you head out into the woods for a rustic escape, or just lay a blanket down in the backyard, you will feel refreshed. Including food from these terrific local establishments will ensure that you will be able to relax and enjoy your time with loved ones, without stressing over making sure there is enough food for everyone to enjoy.

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

About Alison Price Bergh

Alison Price Bergh is a writer, artist and performer who resides in Asheville, NC. She studied language, writing and music at The New School in New York City, and is an accomplished poet and songwriter. Alison’s other passions include cinema, horticulture and rock climbing, and she enjoys exploring this beautiful region she has chosen to call home.

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