On August 11, 2023
Southern cuisine is having a moment, and if you’re looking for the perfect place to travel for delicious food amidst a gorgeous setting, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee has it all. Nestled in the Smoky Mountains, it’s the perfect destination for a family trip, romantic weekend or large group event.
While you’re here, you can spend the day at Dollywood, hike in the nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park, or spend your days and nights sampling some of the city’s best food and drinks. To get you prepped for this simple, easy and unforgettable getaway, here’s a rundown of must visit restaurants in Pigeon Forge.
Built in 1830, this beloved spot is home to one of the oldest continually operating gristmills in the country and one of the most photographed mills in America. Step into the historic setting of the Old Mill Restaurant for breakfast, lunch or dinner (or all three!) and sample Southern classics like hot biscuits, local sausage, country fried steak, chicken and dumplings and chicken pot pie. For dessert, their homemade pecan pie is a little slice of heaven! The Old Mill General Store sells homemade jams, jellies, fudge and salad dressings that you can take back home.
Chances are you’ve probably gotten a craving for some Southern style cooking while watching chef Paula Deen whip up one of her delicacies on television. When you visit Pigeon Forge, you can step into the large, welcoming space of Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen and sample some of the popular Deen family recipes like fried grits, biscuits and gravy, fried green tomatoes or Southern meatloaf. As you eat, soak in the great views of the Island Show Fountains and Smoky Mountains, just outside the restaurant. Make sure to stop at the Paula Deen Store on the first floor.
Local Goat is a culinary gem that promises an extraordinary dining experience. The menu boasts a diverse selection of dishes, showcasing a fusion of Southern classics and contemporary flavors, all thoughtfully prepared with the freshest ingredients. The restaurant’s emphasis on supporting local farmers and artisans adds a touch of authenticity to every bite. The charming ambiance further enhances the experience, with its warm and welcoming interior inviting guests to sit back and savor the flavors. Whether enjoying a romantic dinner or gathering with friends, Local Goat guarantees a delightful dining adventure, where delicious food and a captivating atmosphere come together to create an unforgettable visit.
Named after one of the South’s most beloved fictional characters, Huck Finn’s is a family restaurant that has been serving up some of the best Southern cooking in the region since 1995. One of their claims to fame is their All ‘U Can Eat Catfish and Chicken dinners, and they’ve also been awarded Best Catfish in East Tennessee four years in a row. If catfish isn’t your thing, dig into steak, chicken, frog legs or their signature hushpuppies.
One of the locals favorite Pigeon Forge restaurants is Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que, a family owned and operated spot for over 26 years. If you’re craving BBQ, pile on the baby back ribs, chicken, pulled pork or brisket, all slathered in Bennett’s special sauce and hickory smoked for up to 14 hours. On the lighter side, there’s a huge salad bar to balance out the BBQ. Located on the Parkway next to great shopping and entertainment, Bennett’s is a Pigeon Forge staple. And don’t forget to buy some sauce to take home!
Flapjack’s Pancake Cabin is a delightful culinary haven with a warm and friendly ambiance that exudes a cozy cabin charm. The menu features a mouthwatering array of pancake creations ranging from classic buttermilk pancakes to unique flavor combinations. Beyond pancakes, the menu also offers a variety of savory breakfast and lunch options, all crafted with the finest ingredients. Whether dining with family or friends, Flapjack’s Pancake Cabin offers scrumptious food and a welcoming atmosphere that ensures a delectable breakfast feast.
Country Roads Axe Co. is a one-of-a-kind dining destination in Pigeon Forge, where the thrill of axe throwing adds a unique twist to your dining experience. The menu offers everything from savory appetizers to hearty entrees and indulgent desserts. The rustic charm of the restaurant and the friendly staff create a welcoming environment, making it the perfect spot for gathering with friends or family. Whether you’re a seasoned axe thrower or a first-timer, Country Roads Axe Co. promises a memorable dining adventure filled with delicious food and exhilarating fun.
Junction 35 Spirits welcomes you to shine and dine! This restaurant, bar and distillery is in The Mountain Mile & Tower Shops, a family entertainment complex featuring everything from delicious food to great shops to thrill rides. Here, patrons can sample premium liquor from the distillery and enjoy a delicious meal from the kitchen for a one-of-a-kind experience. From handcrafted cocktails to the best slow-cooked BBQ in the Smokies to a dessert station filled with tempting treats, Junction 35 Spirits is the place to be!
NOW OPEN! Azul Cantina at Mountain Mile features authentic Mexican cuisine and the only restaurant in Pigeon Forge with a rooftop bar! Check it out on your next Pigeon Forge vacation.
For a dining experience featuring delectable food set within a charming atmosphere, The Pottery House Café & Grill is a hands-down favorite of locals and visitors alike! This must-visit restaurant in Pigeon Forge is nestled within the picturesque Old Mill District. The menu showcases a delightful array of dishes, ranging from steaks to southern fried catfish and other southern comfort foods, all served on dishes made by Old Mill potters next door. The restaurant’s famous breads are baked on-site daily, using fresh grains straight from the mill.
After your meal, enjoy a tour of the historic Old Mill and spend some time browsing the unique shops.
Bullfish Grill offers the perfect setting for a memorable meal with family or friends. The menu showcases a tantalizing selection of seafood, steaks, and other delectable dishes, all expertly prepared with the finest ingredients. From succulent grilled fish to perfectly cooked steaks, each plate is a masterpiece of flavors and textures. The restaurant’s commitment to quality is evident in every aspect, from the attentive service to the charming décor. Whether celebrating a special occasion or simply indulging in a delightful evening out, Bullfish Grill ensures a culinary journey filled with gourmet delights.
Puckett’s Gro. & Restaurant is another must-visit dining destination for locals and tourists alike. The restaurant’s welcoming ambiance exudes Southern hospitality and charm, and the menu boasts an extensive selection of Southern comfort dishes. The menu is filled with everything from classic barbecue and crispy fried catfish to savory meatloaf and delectable desserts. The restaurant’s live music and rustic décor further enhance the experience, transporting you to a bygone era of down-home goodness and warm camaraderie. For an authentic taste of the South, look no further than Puckett’s!
For an unforgettable brewery experience, head for Smoky Mountain Brewery, located in Lumberjack Square in Pigeon Forge. Tempt your tastebuds with a menu of mouthwatering dishes, ranging from hearty burgers and flavorful steaks to hand tossed pizza, wings and more. The state-of-the-art microbrewery provides the perfect spot to relax and unwind after a day spent on the Parkway. In addition to great food and local brews, the restaurant offers nightly entertainment and 20+ TV’s, making it a popular and fun place to eat in the Smokies.
Step into Mama’s Farmhouse for a mouthwatering selection of homestyle Southern dishes, prepared with love and using only the freshest, locally sourced ingredients. From savory fried chicken and succulent BBQ ribs to fluffy biscuits and scrumptious pies, each dish is a flavorful tribute to traditional Southern cooking. Mama’s Farmhouse is an all-you-can-eat restaurant where the food is served family style. Rather than stand in a buffet line, portions of each item on the daily menu are brought to your table, and all you have to do is tell them to keep it coming!
These must visit spots are just a few of the many fabulous restaurants you’ll find nestled within this charming Smoky Mountain town. Come on in for a top-notch dining experience filled with good food, Southern hospitality and a great Smoky Mountain atmosphere!