The Park Grill Restaurant in Gatlinburg: Rustic Lodge Meets Upscale Ambience

The Park Grill is a lunch and dinner restaurant situated right at the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Sister restaurant to The Peddler steakhouse, Park Grill offers meals ranging from upscale dining to down-home comfort food, and the excellent kitchen creates tasty dishes. A kids menu as well as vegetarian and vegan fare are offered.

Image courtesy of the Park Grill

The menu boasts a wide array of upscale steakhouse classics, as well as some down-home Southern comfort foods. Favorites include rainbow trout, New York Strip, surf & turf platters, and to-die-for shrimp and crab bisque. An expansive salad bar offers crisp, fresh produce and a huge array of toppings.

The large buildingĀ  feels like a welcoming lodge, carefully designed and constructed from reclaimed, dead-standing spruce trees, local stones, and some great architecture. It was built to impress, with soaring cathedral ceilings and gorgeous views at every turn, and it fits the Smoky Mountains ambience perfectly.

Expect the feel of a traditional mountain steakhouse. Think dark woods, stone walls, and a relatively quiet atmosphere (unless you’re seated at the bar). Visitors have been known to spot bears from the windows; that’s how at home in nature you’ll feel at this location.

The atmosphere, while on the upscale side, is also family friendly. A children’s menu ensures everyone in your group will be happy with their meal (mac and cheese and chicken tenders, anyone?). Plus, they’re not snobbish enough to turn away guests who’ve spent their day thoroughly enjoying the mountains. If you’ve spent the day hiking in the GSMNP, a top-notch dinner is very well deserved, even if you haven’t had a chance to wash the dirt off your shoes.

The Park Grill is way more than attractively arranged timber and rocks. Praised by locals and visitors alike, it’s earned the reputation as an excellent purveyor of both comfort food and upscale cuisine. Not sure whether you’re in the mood for fried green tomatoes or filet mignon? The Park Grill has got you covered. And its team manages to do it effortlessly and consistently.

Signature dishes include moonshine marinated chicken, which takes the humble chicken dinner up several notches in terms of flavor and quality. Moonshine marinated chicken is also available on a plate with New York strip, and that combo consistently earns rave reviews from visitors. The rainbow trout is hard to beat, and the sides – from the garlic mashed potatoes to the sweet potato casserole – are an experience in themselves.

If you visit for lunch, you’ll be met with a big selection of sandwich and other lunch meal options. No salad or sandwich is too humble to be delicious here; even the fried cheese and bologna sandwich is a star in its own right. The Park Grill does the basics well, whether you’re in the market for a BLT or a sirloin, and that’s one of the reasons it’s so successful.

Most dinner entrees are in the $25-40 range, so don’t expect budget meals when you stop here. But in our experience, a stop is well worth the time and money. Quality ingredients, quick service, and friendly, helpful staff are hard to beat, especially when the food is this consistently good.

And because it’s located at the end of the Gatlinburg Strip, just outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park entrance, it’s particularly well suited to start or end a day of outdoor adventures. This is a popular restaurant, so make a reservation online or call ahead for a table – but walk-ins are welcome and can usually be seated without too much of a wait.

Useful Information

The Park Grill
1110 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Tel: (865) 436-2300