A Guide to Must-Try Foods in Gatlinburg

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Smoky Mountain near Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is not just a haven for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers but also a paradise for food lovers. This charming mountain town boasts a vibrant food scene that mirrors its rich cultural roots, offering an array of mouthwatering dishes that cater to every palate. From cozy diners to upscale eateries, Gatlinburg promises a culinary journey that is as diverse as it is delightful. Let’s embark on a gastronomic tour and discover the foods you must try in Gatlinburg.

  1. Start Your Adventure with Starters

Begin your gastronomic adventure with a popular starter that has become a town favorite: Fried Mac and Cheese Bites. This dish is a creative twist on a classic comfort food. Imagine biting into crispy, golden nuggets to find a creamy, cheesy macaroni heart – it’s a culinary delight that sets the stage for the flavorful journey ahead. These bites are an appetizer and innovative approach to traditional American cuisine. Next, indulge in the irresistible Crispy Fried Chicken Skins, a dish that perfectly balances crunch and flavor. These thin, delicately seasoned skins are fried to a golden crisp, offering an irresistible texture and a savory taste that’s simply unforgettable.

  1. Savoring the Midday Meal

The Park Grill is an inviting destination for those seeking a memorable lunch in Gatlinburg. The ambiance of the restaurant perfectly blends comfort with a touch of sophistication, making it an ideal spot for both locals and visitors. A standout in their lunch menu is the Hickory Grilled Angus Burger. This burger encapsulates the essence of classic American cuisine with its juicy, flavorful patty grilled to smoky perfection. The commitment of The Park Grill to quality and taste is evident in every bite of this exceptional burger. Accompanied by a variety of toppings and sides, this dish elevates the lunch experience in Gatlinburg, perfectly capturing the casual yet refined essence of the town’s culinary landscape.

  1. Indulge in the Freshness: Soup and Salad Bar

After indulging in the rich flavors of starters and burgers, it’s time for some local produce of the Smoky Mountains. You can craft your unique salad creations from a variety of fresh ingredients, making each visit a new experience. Paired with a selection of heartwarming soups, this course is both nourishing and delightfully satisfying, showcasing the region’s dedication to freshness and variety. A visit to Gatlinburg is often incomplete without relishing Pat’s Veggie Beef Soup and Shrimp Bisque, favorites among locals and tourists alike for their rich flavors and comforting warmth, making them a must-try at the soup and salad bar. These beloved soups, with their perfect blend of ingredients, capture the essence of the region and offer a comforting respite, especially after a day exploring the Smoky Mountains.

  1. Specialty Entrees 

The culinary journey at Gatlinburg reaches new heights with its specialty entrees, particularly the Rib Eye Steak. Revered for its rich flavor and tender marbling, the rib eye is a masterpiece of meat preparation. Cooked precisely to your liking, it promises a melt-in-your-mouth experience that is quintessentially Gatlinburg. Accompanied by classic sides, this dish is not just a meal; it’s a celebration of American steakhouse tradition with a distinct Smoky Mountain flair.

  1. End on a Sweet Note: Big Desserts 

The Hot Blackberry Cobbler is a tribute to Tennessee’s love for fresh, local fruits, offering a burst of sweet and tangy flavors. For those with a penchant for something more indulgent, the Peanut Butter Mud Pie is an unmissable treat. Combining creamy peanut butter with luscious chocolate, it’s a dessert that encapsulates the luxurious side of Gatlinburg.

  1. Refresh and Unwind: Coffee Drinks and Wines

As you reflect on your culinary explorations, complement your experience with their selection of coffee drinks and wines. The Nutty Irishman, a signature coffee beverage, offers a delightful endnote to your meal. For wine lovers, medium to full-bodied whites are an ode to the finer things in life, reflecting the commitment to providing a complete and sophisticated dining experience.


Dining in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is an experience that goes beyond mere eating; it’s a culinary exploration deeply rooted in the charm of the Smoky Mountains. Each meal, from the innovative starters to the indulgent desserts, reflects the region’s commitment to quality and rich flavors. Whether you’re in the mood for a laid-back lunch or a sophisticated dinner, the local eateries in Gatlinburg offer an exceptional dining experience that captures the essence of this enchanting mountain town. So, as a food enthusiast, you’re invited to embark on a delightful journey through the tastes of Gatlinburg, where every dish is a celebration of the area’s culinary artistry.

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