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 getaway for a family trip, a romantic weekend or a larger group event.
You can spend the day at Dollywood or 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 some of the top restaurants in Pigeon Forge.
Old Mill Restaurant
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.
This locally owned breakfast and lunch spot has amassed a large following in just a few short years. Freshly whipped butter and house made syrups and compotes top mouth-watering house made waffles and pancakes. Or you can sample the crepes, sandwiches and burgers. If you’re in the mood for breakfast all day long, Sawyer’s Farmhouse is a must-visit restaurant in Pigeon Forge.
Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen
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.
If you’re in the mood for some award-winning Tennessee BBQ, look no further than Calhoun’s, conveniently located on the Parkway next to a variety of shopping and entertainment options. Calhoun’s has a mountain lodge atmosphere, and you can try their award-winning chicken, ribs and smoked BBQ, plus scratch made sides like baked cinnamon apples and creamy country slaw. If BBQ isn’t your thing, try the fried pickles, wings or burgers. They also have Family Feed Packs that you can take to go.
Brick & Spoon
Stop into Brick & Spoon for a casual, upscale breakfast that’s modeled on the New Orleans style of leisurely morning meals. As one of the top restaurants in Pigeon Forge, they offer Benedicts, beignets and omelets, plus salads, seafood and Creole dishes if you’re stopping in for lunch. Try one of the custom house-made Bloody Mary’s or a unique cocktail and you’ll quickly see why Brick & Spoon was named one of the Top 10 breakfast restaurants in the U.S.
Blue Moose Burgers and Wings
Blue Moose Burgers and Wings is the place to go if you want to catch a big game on one of the many TVs while eating a delicious meal and sampling some ice-cold beer. Blue Moose offers up casual American food such as Angus beef burgers, award-winning jumbo chicken wings (within 16 different flavors!), Pigeon Forge Hot Chicken, hotdogs, salads and more. Check for nightly specials on food and drinks!
Local Goat is a New American restaurant that uses locally sourced and sustainable foods. Everything is made from scratch daily and it is like heaven for your taste buds. Even the dining room is decorated with artwork from local artist and craftsman!
Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville
Located at The Island in Pigeon Forge, this laidback island-themed restaurant has (what else?) margaritas and cheeseburgers in paradise. But that’s not all. Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville has a large exterior deck that overlooks the Little Pigeon River, plus plenty of food, drinks and live music to keep you (and the kids) entertained. Check out the 5 O’clock Somewhere Bar and relax with some apps or a meal as you experience island life in the Smoky Mountains.
Timberwood Grill at the Island
As you’re making your way through the top restaurants in Pigeon Forge, don’t miss out on this lodge-themed culinary experience that is inspired by generations of legendary Smoky Mountain hospitality. Timberwood Grill offers authentic mountain dining that’s great for date night or a family night with the kids. The menu offers cleverly named (and delicious) fare like Timber Spears (aka fried pickles), Trapper Jack’s Handcut Sirloin or the Trail Boss Chicken Tender Plate.
Huck Finn’s Catfish, Chicken, & Steaks
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.
Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que
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!
These are just a sampling of some of the top Pigeon Forge restaurants to check out for some good food, Southern hospitality and a great Smoky Mountain atmosphere!