The Best Gatlinburg Restaurants – Locally Owned

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local gatliburg restaurantsThere are numerous places to eat in Gatlinburg, TN for breakfast, lunch, and dinner which forces visitors to either take a chance on a local restaurant they may have never heard of or go the safe route and choose a familiar chain restaurant in Gatlinburg. While there are plenty of chain restaurants such as Bubba Gump Shrimp Co, Hard Rock Cafe, etc there are a lot more locally-owned Gatlinburg restaurants that serve up amazing food and southern hospitality that bring visitors back year after year! This ultimate guide to Gatlinburg restaurants reveals 10 of the best locally-owned restaurants in Gatlinburg known for their food, service, views, history, etc. Whether looking for a romantic restaurant tucked away in the mountains or a happening family pizza joint on the strip, there is something for everyone of all ages in the list below!

About the Ultimate Guide to Local Gatlinburg Restaurants

In this guide of places to eat in Gatlinburg, TN are 10 of the best non-chain, local restaurants that cannot be found anywhere else. They are all locally owned, ran by locals, as well as frequented by locals. These Gatlinburg restaurant listings provide links to menus & maps, addresses, phone numbers, links to their official websites, operating hours, descriptions for each, and notes on whether the restaurant is more appropriate for adults or for families with young children based on the selection of food and prices. The list features everything from Gatlinburg fine dining restaurants to cafes that specialize in breakfast, lunch, or dinner and notes are provided stating what each are best for.

Tips for Dining in Gatlinburg

Dining in Gatlinburg can sometimes be a bit trickier than dining in other towns simply due to the limited parking in downtown Gatlinburg. Fortunately, almost every restaurant in our list is either located off the parkway or is located in a shopping center that has parking available. This is a must for locals as getting in-and-out of restaurants while avoiding traffic is practically a requirement for living and working around Gatlinburg, TN.

While these restaurants have fairly easy parking and access, there are still quite a few tips that can make eating in Gatlinburg the best experience possible. No matter which choice of where to eat in Gatlinburg, TN the following tips come in handy just about everywhere even if choosing a Gatlinburg restaurant not listed below.

  • Ask locals: While our list definitely has some great places to eat, there may be specific questions such as if any gluten-free meals are provided, is there handicap parking/access, can large groups be accommodated, etc. We often suggest asking the locals about the best places to eat in Gatlinburg when checking into a hotel, cabin rental, etc or while shopping or even eating somewhere. Talking in person can provide much more insight into specific places.
  • Ask about favorite dishes or specials: Be sure to ask the waiter about the most popular items on the menu. Many restaurants specialize in at least one thing, so make sure to take the chance and try the dish they are famous for.
  • Take in the history: A few of the restaurants in Gatlinburg mentioned below are located in original cabins or lodges built long ago. While a first impression may leave one thinking a place is dingy or old, think of the history of the place and how it may have looked without electricity or even running water. The true character of the Appalachian heritage can be found in quite a few places to eat in Gatlinburg.
  • Soak in the view: Some of the restaurants below such as The Lodge at Buckberry Creek have breathtaking views. There are few places in the world that have the setting and scenery that can be found in these Smoky Mountain Restaurants, so soak it in and enjoy!
  • Call ahead: During weekends and especially through holidays there are typically long waits at many area restaurants. We have provided phone numbers for each restaurant below, so be sure to give them a call to ask about reservations or call-ahead seating to get you seating and eating much faster.
  • Parking and validation: If you choose to eat at a restaurant in downtown Gatlinburg, call ahead and ask where their suggested parking is, if it’s free, and if it is not free then ask if they validate parking tickets so that parking fees can be avoided.
  • Gatlinburg restaurant coupons: be sure to check out our coupons page to find Gatlinburg restaurant coupons and discounts to save money when eating in Gatlinburg.

Following these tips can definitely help out at any Gatlinburg restaurant, so be sure to consider them. So with that out of the way, let’s dive into the best places to eat in Gatlinburg, Tennessee!

The Best Local Restaurants in Gatlinburg TN

  1. lodge at buckberry creek restaurantThe Lodge at Buckberry Creek
    If you’re looking for some of the best food, best scenery, best ambience, etc in Gatlinburg then be sure to check out The Lodge at Buckberry Creek. Not only do they have an amazing restaurant, but it’s a fantastic lodge as well. The restaurant serves up excellent breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s a bit on the fine dining side as far as the selection of food and pricing, so it’s perfect for couples or business outings. It’s hard to beat the food and view at Buckberry Lodge!
    Sample Menu:
    Monday through Friday – 8:00-10:00 am
    Saturday and Sunday – 8:00-11:00 am
    Wednesday through Saturday – 5:30-9:00 pm
    Address: 961 Campbell Lead Road | Gatlinburg, TN 37738 | Map & directions
    Phone: 866-305-6343
  2. peddler steakhouse gatlinburg tnThe Peddler Steakhouse
    One of the best Gatlinburg restaurants with the longest history is The Peddler, which has quite an amazing history and even more amazing food. Locally-loved throughout the years for their salad bar, steaks, and desserts The Peddler has moved from being Gatlinburg’s best-kept-secret on River Road to a popular must-eat-at restaurant in Gatlinburg for people from all over. Make sure to do call-ahead seating!
    Sample Menu:
    Open for dinner only
    Address: 820 River Road | Gatlinburg, TN 37738 | Map & Directions
    Phone: 865-436-5794
  3. buckhorn inn restaurant gatlinburgBuckhorn Inn Restaurant
    The Buckhorn Inn originated in 1938 and has a long history of rave reviews and return-visitors. They serve great breakfast, lunch, and a four-course dinner with a menu that changes daily. Be sure to call ahead for reservations…especially for dinner, which is $35 per person for the four-course fine dining meal.
    Evening Menu:
    Open for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
    Address: 2140 Tudor Mountain Road | Gatlinburg, Tennessee 37738 | Map & Directions
    Phone: 866-941-0460
  4. log cabin pancake house gatlinburg tnLog Cabin Pancake House
    Gatlinburg has quite a few pancake houses and restaurants, but The Log Cabin Pancake House is consistently a favorite among locals and visitors alike! They serve up Belgian waffles, Crepes, and of course pancakes! The Log Cabin Pancake House also has a location in Pigeon Forge as well, so be sure to eat at either one for breakfast during your next visit!
    Address: 327 Historic Nature Trl | Gatlinburg, TN 37738 | Map & Directions
    Phone: 865-436-7894
  5. greenbrier restaurant gatlinburg tnGreenbrier Restaurant
    The Greenbrier Restaurant in Gatlinburg, TN is tucked away not too far from downtown, but just far enough to make you feel like you’re away from the hustle and bustle. The Greenbrier has a unique history complete with its very own ghost legend! Built as a log cabin in 1939, most of the building is still original which gives it a unique, Appalachian character. Greenbrier’s selection of food and prices are somewhat in the fine-dining range and better suited for couples and adults. Most visitors tend to go for their prime rib and twice-baked potato…they also have a variety of wine available.
    Greenbrier Menu:
    Open for Dinner Only
    Sunday—Thursday 4:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
    Friday & Saturday 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
    Address: 370 Newman Road | Gatlinburg, TN 37738 | Directions
    Phone: 865-436-6318
  6. the cabin cafe gatlinburg tnThe Cabin Cafe
    The Cabin Cafe in the Arts & Crafts Community is a fantastic little place to grab lunch with some delicious soups and salads. Many locals frequent The Cabin Cafe as it is family-friendly and a good, local place to grab a bite to eat!
    The Cabin Cafe Menu:
    Open 7 days a week for lunch 11am-4pm
    Address: 600 Glades Road | Gatlinburg, TN | Map & Directions
    Phone: 865-325-1000
  7. the wild plum tea room gatlinburg tnWild Plum Tea Room
    The Wild Plum Tea Room has been a “wildly” popular local eatery for decades in the Arts & Crafts Community of Gatlinburg. Known for their fresh ingredients and excellent treats such as wild plum muffins and wild plum tea, The Wild Plum Tearoom is a great place to stop for lunch as they are open seasonally from March 1 through Mid-December.
    Wild Plum Tea Room Menu:!vstc2=our-menu
    Open Monday-Saturday 11am-3pm (Closed Sundays)
    Address: 555 Buckhorn Road | Gatlinburg, TN 37738 | Map & Directions
    Phone: 865-436-3808
  8. mountain lodge restaurant gatlinburg tnMountain Lodge Restaurant
    The Mountain Lodge Restaurant in Gatlinburg is a locally-owned restaurant that has been loved by locals for over 20 years. Breakfast is arguably the most popular, but lunch is just as great too with southern-style home-cookin’. If you’re looking for southern food and southern hospitality, then check out The Mountain Lodge Restaurant on the East Parkway for breakfast or lunch. We’d recommend this restaurant to people of all ages.
    Address: 913 East Parkway | Gatlinburg, TN 37738 | Map & Directions
    Phone: 865-436-2547 ‎
  9. dolce uva wine bar cafe gatlinburgDolce Uva Wine Bar Cafe
    What do you get when you mix great Italian food, wine, beer, locals, and the best-voted karaoke bar in Gatlinburg? Dolce Uva Wine Bar Cafe! Located on the Parkway in downtown Gatlinburg, you likely won’t miss it. It constantly receives great reviews on various travel websites, so check it out if you’re passing by with a hungry stomach!
    Dolce Uva Wine Bar Cafe Menu:
    Address: 463 Parkway | Gatlinburg, TN 37738 | Map & Directions
    Phone: 865-277-7585
  10. best italian gatlinburg tnBest Italian
    If a restaurant is named “Best Italian”, it probably has high expectations…right? Well the Best Italian Restaurant in Gatlinburg, TN has been serving the area for over 30 years while being known for their garlic rolls and large pizzas. The Best Italian Restaurant is a good choice for lunch or dinner for people of all ages with plenty on the menu and decent prices. If you’re in the mood for pizza when you’re in Gatlinburg, don’t settle for a chain…try Best Italian!
    Best Italian Menu:
    Address: 968 Parkway # 9 | Gatlinburg, TN 37738 | Map & Directions
    Phone: 865-430-4090

Final Thoughts about Gatlinburg Restaurants

If you have eaten at any of the Gatlinburg restaurants listed above, be sure to let us know in the comments section below! Also, if you think a different non-chain restaurant belongs in the list above, be sure to mention it as well. Our Pigeon Forge guide also has a list of the best Pigeon Forge restaurants.

We will work to keep this list updated as new restaurants open and old ones close, so be sure to check back before you visit Gatlinburg to get the latest list of the best places to eat in Gatlinburg. Take a look at our coupons article as well for Gatlinburg restaurant coupons

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  1. Randigyrl says

    We were just there last week and I have to say that the Log Cabin Pancake House is GREAT! It should be #1 on this list in my opinion! They have these delish Buckwheat pancakes and suger-cured ham. I wish we would have went there for breakfast all three days. We went to FlapJacks the morning before and although the food was okay, it was not clean at all which can make or break a meal.

  2. Janice Fox says

    I am hoping they are printing a booklet of the best dinning in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. What a tribute to the restaurants. Featuring the new ones would be helpful. We have tried TJ Hannahs and Cheddars. Great food and atmosphere. Thanks

  3. Susan Mocko says

    The Peddler was the absolute best steak house I have been to in quite some time. If you get an opportunity to visit Gatlinburg, The Peddler is a must to visit.

  4. Ed says

    The Peddler might be good but in my opinion you can’t get a better steak than the Ale Steak at Calhouns on the strip in Gatlinburg. About $18 and you can’t beat it for flavor and — well, everything. Try it and I’m sure you’ll agree.

  5. Darryl Barker says

    Being a local and having been a Business working as Interior Designer and Store The Decorium 450 Parkway Gatlinburg…we support the privately-owned Businesses over chains..Best New York Strip Steak ever is at The Cherokee Grill..great food, excellent service and priced at the same as chain restaurants…1 out of 10 I give it a 10 for great taste, cleanliness and service. .isn’t that.the 3 main ingredients for a successful Restaurant.

  6. Betty says

    We love The Best Italian restaurant. We eat there every time we’re in town. Garlick knots and lasagna are the best I’ve ever had.

  7. Ed says

    Just to clarify – Calhouns, The Cherokee Grill and the Smoky Mountain Brewery are all owned by the same small chain. I commented previously on the steak at Calhouns as being the best EVER that I’ve eaten and will continue to visit there when in the area from Indiana. However, as a back-up I would eat the same steak at one of the other establishments I mentioned as they have it as well. The only difference is they don’t have the same side dishes and we like those, too, as they compliment the dinner. And the best part? Calhouns, The Cherokee Grill and the Brewery are all right next to each other in Gatlinburg.

  8. Susan R says

    Oh my, we found the BEST BBQ ever last night. It is called Bones BBQ Joint. A little off the main path at 231 Historic Nature Trail they do provide free parking(wish we knew that before we paid $6 to park in a public lot). BUT WOW!!!!!! This place is great. The meat has a naturally smoky flavor that doesn’t come from a bottle or spices. The owner is outside smoking the meat. I had the 5 rib meal which comes with 2 sides(4 of their side are homemade. Try the potato salad) and also 3 hush puppies or 2 dinner rolls(pre-packaged but I didn’t come here for bread). The ribs we sooooo tender I couldn’t pick up a rib to eat from cause the meat fell off the bone and the flavor was so great I actually didn’t use sauce. My husband got the Big Daddy Meal with 4 of the 5 kinds of meat-Happy Guy. Don’t miss this hidden gem if you are visiting or local. We will probably eat there again before we head home next week.

  9. Lori says

    You are forgetting to mention the best BBQ place in either Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge. Bennett’s has some of the best ribs and the best brisket anywhere. Plus their spicy mac and cheese is a real treat for your taste buds

  10. Michelle Staner says

    I am not a local but I should be LOL. I love being in Gatlinburg. I want to say that Camp Crockett’s Breakfast Camp is AMAZING! It’s fairly new at the end of the Parkway next to Texas Roadhouse. This place is only open for breakfast, but’s the food is great. I had candied apples as a side dish and I know that might sound weird for breakfast, but they were excellent. The cinnamon rolls are huge and they have skillet breakfast plates. Can’t wait to go again!

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