Gatlinburg is home to hundreds of restaurants and eateries of all kinds. Here are a few hidden gems that that you might want to check out, for great food and maybe away from the crowds.
As with most ethnic food, it has to taste authentic to those who have to have it. Italian food is no exception, even though it’s become an American staple – and for sure the area has lots of great pizza places. Of the highly acclaimed places to try, see our guide to Best Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria in Gatlinburg. Hidden away in the fascinating Elks Plaza shopping area, this gem of a restaurant is off the beaten track, and hard to spot, but worth finding.
Another Gatlinburg secret treasure is Taste of Italy, even further off the beaten path but still close by, on East Parkway, a little removed from the hustle and bustle, and usually with lots of parking. It’s a great family place with both wonderful Italian meals and regular American foods, and tastefully set up enough for any occasion, from a reunion to a date. Where’s the best Pizza in town? Well, we’re not getting trapped in THAT shootout, but both restaurants will totally satisfy your taste for pizza too if that’s what you crave at the time.
While you’re out on East Parkway, make a note of Crystelle Creek Restaurant & Grill. Serving trout, steak and burgers from a wood-fired grill, this restaurant offers a bountiful menu with lots to choose from. It’s sophisticated comfort food in a family friendly atmosphere, and there’s live music if you want it, and quiet dining if this is your preference. If you’re in the Smokies and hankering for local trout, this could be your stop.
Wine? Well it’s kind of food, and if this matters to you, then while you’re on East Parkway, check out Smoky Mountain Winery, Gatlinburg’s oldest winery, another hidden-away gem for a fun experience. The winery no longer offers tours, but tastings are there for the sampling. It’s a great place to try some of Tennessee’s local wines during your visit.
How about a hidden gem that everyone knows about? It’s Fannie Farkle’s restaurant and arcade in downtown Gatlinburg. With food to go or to eat in, the famous foot-long corn dogs are often called the best in the world! This restaurant is so visible you may be tempted to pass it by, but it’s worth stopping on the street to check out – it’s located right on Parkway.
If you’re out on the scenic route of the Arts & Crafts Community Trail, you know that you can spend all day visiting the countless studios, galleries and shops along this route. You’re going to get hungry sometime and need refreshment, and here are two places to look for.
The first is Split Rail Eats Restaurant, a cute little place that the locals know about and now we’re sharing with you. It’s American fare, with a great breakfast and lunch menu, as well as food to go. This gem is VERY hidden, so be sure to read our guide for directions. The menu is very diverse, satisfying all tastes with great dishes from fish taco to spinach and Feta. This place will settle your hunger.
For a restaurant that’s an occasion in itself, and also on the Arts Trail, stop by the Wild Plum Tea Room. Located on Buckhorn Road, this is an eclectic and charming tea and lunch venue, with creative and original dishes that emphasize seasonal and local ingredients. There’s a pet-friendly deck also. Reservations here are VERY recommended, and hours can vary – all worth it if you’d like to spend a little time and make a great memory of a Gatlinburg gem you might not otherwise have found.
Be sure to check out our Dining section for guides and feature articles on more Top Restaurants in Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge, for more great places to eat in either town.