Restaurants in Gatlinburg TN – 12 Best for Your Family Vacation

Leaf peeping, thrilling Dollywood roller coaster rides, and tons of heart-pumping hikes come together to make Gatlinburg TN a treasured family destination year-round. If you are new to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park landscape, you may be wondering about the diversity of dining options for families.

Fortunately, you’ll find a bounty of local favorites and family-approved establishments in this mountain mecca. Follow along to discover 12 restaurants in Gatlinburg TN: the best eateries for your family getaway.

No need to limit your palate in the Volunteer State! Savor piping hot portions of buttery lobster pie and bites of tender hand-cut steak. Please picky kiddies with towers of syrup-topped hotcakes at a variety of pancake houses, or let them order chicken fingers off their own menu.

Leap into an interactive dining experience at Dolly Parton’s Stampede, or enjoy family-style servings at Mama’s Farmhouse.

Whether you are searching for ‘Mexican restaurant Gatlinburg’ or wondering where to score the tastiest pizza pie, our foodie experts have got you covered.

Ready to nosh? Read on to discover the best restaurants in Gatlinburg for families!

Restaurants Gatlinburg TN

Greenbrier Restaurant Gatlinburg

Have you been dreaming about a log cabin escape? Channel your inner mountain man (or woman), when you hightail it to Greenbrier Restaurant. Settle in amongst the cozy wood paneling and treat your brood to a feast of hearty American favorites. The ideal locale for a post-hike refuel, families of all ages will be drawn to the rustic fire pits and abundance of Smoky Mountain beauty.

Snag a table and pursue the menu of chef-driven favorites, including their signature hand-cut steaks. Additionally, adults should not miss the opportunity to sample a custom cocktail such as the infamous Dylan, made with Bob Dylan’s Heaven’s Door Bourbon.

Four logs with stones at the bottom holding up a wooden roof with a large "G" on it as the entrance to The Greenbrier Restaurant in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA
photo credit: The Greenbrier Restaurant via Facebook

Pancake Pantry

No list of iconic Gatlinburg restaurants is complete without the Pancake Pantry. Featuring Alpine-inspired architecture complete with a majestic slate roof, gables, large windows, and a warm white oak interior, Tennessee’s first specialty pancake restaurant boasts over 50 years of flapjack tradition.

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Wander in for a carb-o-licious breakfast of buttermilk pancakes, crepes, and waffles. Choose from twenty-four varieties of pancakes, from Sweet Potato to Wild Blueberry. Feeling a tad savory? Opt for the Morning Star special, featuring a hefty stack of shredded hash browns topped with melted cheese, fried eggs, grilled onions, and pimentos.

pancakes on a tableWild Plum Tea Room

Fancy a spot of tea? Pinkies up for a lunch of dainty sandwiches, muffins, and infamous lobster pie when you swing by the effortlessly charming Wild Plum Tea Room. Delight little ones with a real-life teahouse experience, when you break bread at this shining jewel of the Arts and Crafts community.

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Sip on a signature cup of Wild Plum Tea or treat your tot to a tempting cup of fresh plum juice. Inquire about their special kid’s menu, or share a yummy plate of chicken salad served with fresh fruit and a tender scone. Round out your luscious tea lunch with a freshly made dessert sampler of brownies, ice cream, and pudding.

Exterior building of the Wild Plum Tea Room in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA
Make your reservation at one of Gatlinburg’s hidden gem restaurants.

Log Cabin Pancake House

Tuck into a breakfast fit for a lumberjack at the Log Cabin Pancake House. Proudly serving breakfast all day, this Gatlinburg outpost has been family owned and operated since 1976. Please your rag-tag group of ruffians with a medley of treats including Butterscotch pancakes, peach crepes, and spicy apple French toast.

Visiting during lunch? Try the heavenly Log Cabin Melt, a messy creation of ground beef melted cheese, and sauteed onions served on grilled French or whole wheat bread. Diners 8 and under can even order from a special children’s menu and munch away on pigs in a blanket, biscuits, corn dogs, and grilled cheese.

Cherokee Grill

Rustic exposed brick and a mouthwatering menu of American steakhouse favorites have made the Cherokee Grill one of the top downtown Gatlinburg restaurants for a superior family supper. A welcome refuge in the heart of the Smokies, locals, and visitors alike flock here for regionally inspired cuisine.

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Test your arteries with a Smoky Mountain Fried Chicken plate, or opt for a fresh Herb Crusted Trout served with lemon butter. Tiny tykes can even get in on some steak action with a special 5 oz Prosperity Steak from the kids’ menu.

Close up of a wooden sign with a tribal symbol on the left side and deer statues on the right and gold letting that says Cherokee Grill in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA
photo credit: Cherokee Grill via Facebook

Mama’s Farmhouse

Make the journey to Pigeon Forge and you’ll be well rewarded at Mama’s Farmhouse. Comforting, cozy, Southern favorites all served with a smile, large clans will be thrilled by their fair pricing and all-you-can-eat family-style concept.

Swing by for a stick-to-your-ribs breakfast, lunch, or dinner and load up on their award-winning buttermilk biscuits, chicken tenders, and honey-glazed ham. Craving a sweet reprieve? Save some room as you’ll want to sample Mama’s classic Banana pudding or Peach cobbler.

Dolly Parton’s Stampede

Who says you can’t play with your food? Inject your dinner plans with some razzle-dazzle, when you make a reservation to dine with country music’s most beloved blonde. An ideal entertainment event for all ages, Dolly Parton’s Stampede delivers hours of equestrian amazement. Watch in awe as these skilled riders complete mesmerizing feats of trick riding and aerial acrobatics.

Get swept away in the patriotism of a Red, White, and Blue salute featuring Color Me America, which was written and recorded by Dolly Parton herself. Bring along that appetite, as you’ll be treated to a four-course feast of home-cooked country favorites. Which include whole Rotisserie Chicken, Hickory Smoked Barbecued Pork Loin, Hot Buttered Corn on the Cob, and more.

roast chicken on a plate with traditional sides, soup and a dessert with coffeeNo Way Jose’s Cantina

Ready to swap that fried chicken for some salsa picante? Switch things up, and opt for a little South of the Border flair when you devour the authentic Mexican offerings of No Way Jose’s Cantina. Choose to dine at their Gatlinburg location and sip your Margarita on their sun-soaked patio. Or head inside and delight in their vibrant ambiance.

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Pique your gang’s appetite with a portion of freshly made guacamole or Chile con Queso. Next, order a round of their exquisite Chicken and Sour Cream Enchiladas or sizzling fajitas.


Smoky Mountain Brewery

Reward yourself after a day of Appalachian exertion with an ice-cold draft from the Smoky Mountain Brewery (SMB). Drawing influence from both traditional ski lodges and a Bavarian Beer Hall. The Gatlinburg location of SMB is the perfect pit stop for your family. Catch the game, sample a variety of microbrews, or savor the view of Calhoun’s Village.

Please every member of the family by requesting a smattering of appetizers. Be sure to include their delectable potato skins and oven-baked pretzels served with hot beer cheese dip. Then take on their Brewhouse Burger, or customize your own hand-tossed pizza or calzone.

exterior ground view of Smoky Mountain Brewery Restaurant in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA
photo credit: Smoky Mountain Brewery via Facebook

Bennett’s Pit Bar-b-que

Baby’s first BBQ? Get your tyke hooked on the good stuff, when you pay a visit to some of the Smokie’s most revered BBQ. Locally owned and operated for over 30 years, guests hankering for a plate of ribs, pulled pork, or brisket can stop by Bennett’s Pit Bar-b-que Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg locations.

Everything from their Jumbo Baby Back Ribs to their Beef Brisket oozes flavor. Thanks to their 14-hour hickory wood smoking practice and basting in Bennett’s own special sauce. Especially ideal for young’uns, Bennett’s serves their savory sauce on the side. Allowing you to pour on as much or as little as you like.

The Park Grill

Fresh filets, charbroiled burgers, and an all-you-can-eat salad bar? Yes, please! Situated at the entrance of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. The Park Grill has become the de facto restaurant of this forested nirvana. Once inside this spacious mountain lodge arena, diners will be greeted with moody wood ambiance, antlers accents, and the most succulent hickory grilled steaks.

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Sample outrageous fried mac and cheese bites, soup, salad, and more. Before tasting their grilled Moonshine Chicken or award-winning baby back ribs. Even your mini-me can feel like a real superstar when they order their own kiddie Daiquiri from the children’s menu. While dessert lovers should take note, as their Hot Blackberry cobbler and Park Grill Mud Pie are unmissable.

Close up of a sign with a large leaf on it for The Park Grill with trees in the background in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA
photo credit: The Park Grill via Facebook

Smoky Mountain Trout House

History, tradition, and tons of trout! While seafood can sometimes be a hard sell for the munchkins. The Smoky Mountain Trout House is still considered a must-visit for any Gatlinburg getaway. Housed in one of Gatlinburg’s oldest buildings.

The Smoky Mountain Trout House has been feeding famished families for almost 50 years. Dine amongst a real wood-burning fireplace as you contemplate all ten of their locally sourced fresh rainbow trout dishes. Not feeling fish? Devour their Chicago Filet, or have little ones order a burger or grilled cheese off the kid’s menu.

Gatlinburg Hotels

Dreaming of sweet tangy BBQ or mountains of crispy hashbrowns? Before we tuck into the glorious gravy-smothered breakfasts, lunches, and dinners in Gatlinburg, you’ll need to reserve some lodgings. Pick out the perfect pied-à-terre to explore all of the top restaurants in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge when you reserve any of our Gatlinburg Hotels.

Stay just moments from downtown Gatlinburg and enjoy proximity to the city’s entertainment, retail, and nightlife. Or, embrace the serenity of Mother Nature with Smoky Mountain vistas and easy access to hiking trails. Wherever you rest your head, book with ease knowing you are always guaranteed our lowest rates online.

View of Gatlinburg in the fall with trees of many colors and the mountains in the back ground at twilight at the Gatlinburg Scenic overlook in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA
photo credit: Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies via Facebook

Spellbinding mountain beauty and family-friendly entertainment entice millions of visitors to Gatlinburg each year.

Make your brood’s Smoky Mountain memories even more special when you break bread at the best restaurants in Gatlinburg for families.

Keep things regional with a plate of cornmeal breaded trout. Or tempt your toddler with the promise of meaty T-Rex pizza and tater tots.

Fuel up on sizzling steak fajitas. Or skip the protein and go straight to the good stuff, when you dive headfirst into a chocolate and coffee ice cream-filled Mud Pie.

Already drooling?

Don’t wait, make your reservation at the best Gatlinburg TN restaurants today!

Where is your favorite place to eat in Gatlinburg? Leave us a comment below!

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Written by Isis Maya Nissman

A New York native, Isis-Maya spent most of her professional life working in TV production until a vacation whisked her away to Central...

2 comments about “Restaurants in Gatlinburg TN – 12 Best for Your Family Vacation”

Mike and Viv

August 13, 2022 at 3:18 pm

The Alamo…… NEVER had a bad bite of food from there…. horseradish steak strips are the best

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August 23, 2022 at 8:00 am

Hi Mike and Viv! That sounds delicious. Thank you for the recommendation!

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