The Old Mill Restaurant, located in one of the most iconic areas in east Tennessee, features a unique dining and folksy shopping experience unlike no other. Perched along the Pigeon River within the Old Mill Square, visitors eat at one of the two award-winning restaurants, shop for eclectic pottery and homemade goods, and top off their visit at the Old Mill Creamy for a delicious hot fudge sundae.
Pro Tip: Old Mill does not take reservations or offer call-ahead seating. Typical wait times are less than 15 minutes except for holidays.
Just off the main Parkway in downtown Pigeon Forge, situated in a gorgeous, wooden setting along the riverbank, the Old Mill highlights majestic views of the beautiful Little Pigeon River as it flows through the 200-year-old mill.
Photo Alert: Snap a photo in the stunning Old Mill setting and share your pictures with the Old Mill, using the tag @theoldmilltn.
One of the most popular restaurants in the Smokies, The Old Mill is beloved by visitors and locals alike. For delectable comfort food in a friendly, welcoming environment, The Old Mill serves large portions of down-home favorites, like country fried chicken, corn chowder soup, fall-off-the-bone barbeque ribs, and buttermilk cookies.
Pro Tip: If you don’t’ have a big appetite, you can always share an entrée and pay for two sets of ‘fixins.’
Related Post: Insider’s Guide to the Pigeon Forge Titanic Museum
5 Reasons to Dine at The Old Mill
- The FOOD: If your mouth isn’t watering enough by the mention of creamy chicken and dumpling, fried chicken, and meatloaf smothered in homemade gravy, the Old Mill also serves breakfast with ample servings of all your favorites from sausage and biscuits, cinnamon French toast to pancakes served hot off the griddle.
- The HISTORY: Built in 1830, the Old Mill is one of the oldest operating gristmills in the country and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The restaurant is packed with interesting discoveries and historical facts.
- The ARTISTRY: Smokey Mountain Cooking at its finest! The Old Mill kitchen staff prepares its own roasts, cuts its own steaks, and grinds the beef by hand, only using USDA-choice meat. The vegetables are cooked daily, and all entrees are made with wholesome ingredients, homemade salad dressings and sauces.
- The SHOPPING: The Old General Store, right next door to the restaurant, has the Old Mill’s soup, pancake, and other mixes for you to take home and treat your family right. There’s also jam, honey, kitchen utensils and home décor.
- The DISTILLERY: Head over to the Old Forge Distillery for some moonshine tasting before or after your scrumptious meal. These spirits have Appalachian flavor and kick with grain ground from the mill and fresh mountain spring water! The Old Mill restaurant does not serve alcohol, but they make up for it with great food!
Related Post: Current Events and Festivals in Pigeon Forge
The nearby Old Mill in Westminster does serve alcohol, along with the same sizzling fried fare and friendly service. They also have a downstairs pub as well as a gift shop.
The Old Mill Café, Creamery, Distillery & Candy Kitchen
Pottery House Café
Across the street, the Pottery House Cafe and Grille serves steaks to fried chicken, soups, salads, sandwiches, and homemade bakery bread and desserts.
The Old Mill Creamery
This fantastic ice cream parlor has delicious handspun ice cream, cookies and to-go sandwiches. They use fresh, wholesome ingredients to create a variety of flavors for their shakes, sundaes and sugar cones.
The Old Mill Candy Kitchen
For homemade sweets and heavenly treats like old-time fudge, taffy, spiced peans, rock candy and creamy praline toffee, stop by the Candy Kitchen. The confectioners use time-tested cooking methods and recipes.
Related Post: The 10 Best Restaurants in Pigeon Forge, TN
Old Mill Distillery
Guests 21 and older can try free tastings at the Old Forge Distillery. The Distillery Gift Shop offers Bourbon Nuts, Moonshine Poundcake and Bloody Mary mix. The weekend vibe hosts musical entertainment with live bands and musicians.
The Old Mill Shops
The Old Mill General Store
Visit the General Store to pick up cornmeal, grits, and mixes for fritters. You can also shop for toys and gifts at the Old Mill Toy Bin.
The Old Mill Farmhouse Kitchen
For all your cooking needs, visit the Farmhouse Kitchen. They have cooking products, ingredients, signature soup mixes, bread mixes, and salad dressings.
The Sassafras boutique offers chic fashion, unique accessories and hand-crafted jewelry.
Pro Tip: In season, The Old Mill offers guided tours of the Historic Old Mill Pigeon River Pottery Studio and the Old Forge Distillery. When tours are not running, visitors can still see free pottery, candy, jelly making demonstrations.
Pigeon River Pottery
Guests can shop for one-of-a-kind, beautifully glazed pieces made by pottery masters. With artisan appeal, these amazing plates, bowls, tumblers, and mugs are featured in the dining room of The Old Mill Restaurant and Café.
Old Mill Lodging
Lodging: For the all-encompassing Old Mill experience, check out the Old Mill Lodging. Guests can stay at their choice of cottages, cabins, or mountain homes that sleep up to 18 people. For an authentic Smoky Mountain ambiance, these accommodations have pottery sinks and old town décor.
The Old Mill Backstory
In the early 1780s, early pioneer Mordecai Lewis settled on the Tennessee River banks. Then decades later, Isaac Love inherited the land and built an iron forge that gave the settlement its name. The Old Mill’s original water-powered stones have been grinding since its early 1830s. The Mill became a shared marketplace for locals to buy and sell goods.
In 1992, local residents began construction along the riverbank for the new Cornflour Restaurant. They wanted a family dining experience with delicious Appalachian cooking and Southern charm. In 1995 the Stout/Simmons family, who owned the general store and grist mill, sold their property, and the restaurant's name changed to the Old Mill Restaurant. For over 25 years, The Old Mill has welcomed visitors from all over the world.
Fun Fact: On The Old Mill’s busiest days, they cater to more than 3,000 guests from breakfast to dinner. For dessert, the Old Mills is known to serve over 1,200 slices of Pecan Pie along with its fresh cobbler, homemade banana pudding and chocolate cake.
Old Mill Hour of Operation
Sunday Through Thursday: 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Holiday Hours: Old Mill is open on Thanksgiving from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Take-Out Options are available. The Old Mill Restaurant and Pottery House Café are open on New Year's Day.
Pro Tip: Guests can sign up to receive The Old Mill's recipes and specials delivered right to their email inbox.
Old Mill Restaurant Parking
Free parking is available in front of both restaurants and shops. If you’re dining at the Pottery House Café, you’ll find additional parking on Butler Street right off Old Mill Avenue. Overflow parking and paid parking can be located near The Old Mill, in Patriot Park, and on Old Mill Street. You can also find additional paid parking in the area.
Pro Tip: The Old Mill staff recommends keeping valuables out of sight in your vehicles.