What Food is Gatlinburg Famous For? (15 Examples)

Gatlinburg is the gateway to the Smoky Mountains and here you’ll experience great food, a great atmosphere, and many great experiences. That is what you can expect when you visit this popular town in Tennessee. In this article, we learn about what food Gatlinburg is famous for and where to get it.

For example, you can try an ogle dog at Fannie Farkles, or Maryland crab cakes at Chesapeake’s Seafood and Raw Bar. Then there are the many options of steakhouses where you will find hand-cut steaks or flame-grilled oysters.

Don’t think that sweet foods have been left out. You can also find chocolate chip pancakes, doughnuts, and chocolate fondue to satisfy your sweet tooth. We explore some of the best food for which Gatlinburg is famous.

What food is Gatlinburg famous for?

Gatlinburg isn’t necessarily famous for any certain type of food, but we’re in the south and there is plenty of southern comfort food to go around. If baby back ribs are your thing, you might consider Calhouns near the park end of the strip.

This crowded little tourist town gets over 12 million visitors each year and only has a population of about 4,000. Here are some foods to try while you’re in town.

1. The Pancake Pantry

Chocolate chip pancakes

Chocolate chip pancakes | image by mroach via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Pancakes are quite popular in Gatlinburg. A visit to Gatlinburg is not a proper visit without trying a pancake at The Pancake pantry. The whole menu is attractive to locals and visitors. The shop has been around since the 1960s and is very popular with both locals and visitors to Gatlinburg.

You will find pancakes of all varieties and sizes, with a cinnamon cream syrup that is unique. You really do need to try the chocolate chip pancakes. For a change of flavor, you can also try a grilled chicken sandwich.

2. Chesapeake’s Seafood and Raw Bar

Maryland crab cakes

Maryland Crab Cakes | image by cdorobek via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Enjoy a Maryland crab cake, the king of all the seafood available at Chesapeake’s. In a town dominated by steakhouses and barbecue eateries, this seafood restaurant is something special to visit and remember.

3. Best Italian Café and Pizzeria

Garlic Knots

Garlic Knots | image by Hungry Dudes via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

At the Best Italian Café and Pizzeria, you really should try a specialty pizzeria, but it is the garlic knows that will keep you coming back for more. This soft bread topped with garlic, cheese, and fresh herbs is just the thing to begin a meal.

4. Delander’s Barbecue

Smoked pulled pork

Smoked pulled pork
pulled pork sammich with slaw and sauce | image by jeffreyw via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Delander’s Barbecue is the place to find professional service and great options for different flavors of ribs and other barbecue favorites. It is the smoked pulled pork, though, that you should sample and which you will remember.

5. Alamo Steakhouse

Flame-grilled oysters

At a restaurant with the word ‘steak’ in the title, you will naturally expect to find steaks above all. At Alamo Steakhouse, the El Presidente Porterhouse is definitely a steak to remember. You really do need to try the flame-grilled oysters, though, for an unusual and unforgettable experience.

6. Fannie Farkles

Fannie Farkle’s Arcade

Ogle Dog

Imagine that one of the best-known eateries in Gatlinburg is not a restaurant or coffee shop, but is a concession stand at an arcade. Here, you will find the famous ogle dog, which is a foot-long dog. Enjoy watching it being prepared and cooked in front of you and then take a bite, and you won’t forget an ogle dog.

7. Parton’s Deli

Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs for breakfast
Deviled eggs for breakfast | image by Jay Cross via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

The deviled eggs from Parton’s Deli are known all over Gatlinburg and are, without doubt, the best eggs you will find just about anywhere in Tennessee. They make the perfect breakfast, but can be enjoyed at any time of day. A good side to enjoy is Parton’s potato salad.

8. Estrella Hondumex

Honduras steak

At Estrella Hondumex, you will find an authentic range of food prepared and cooked in the authentic Asada Honduran style. Best of all is a Honduran steak, but you won’t regret ordering the tacos.

You can also change your taste and try the shrimp devil. If you need catering done, then Estrella Hondumex will deliver what you need.

9. Cliff Top Anakeesta

View from Anakeesta | image by Charity Davenport via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Vegan chipotle black bean burger

The Cliff Top restaurant at Anakeesta has one of the most beautiful views of most restaurants just about anywhere. It isn’t only the wonderful mountain expanses that you will remember, though. Try the vegan chipotle black bean burger and the nachos.

10. Crawdaddy’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar


Jambalaya | image by naviniea via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

With the name ‘Crawdaddy’, you can only expect to find Cajun cuisine, which is what you will find at this popular eatery. In fact, the traditional jambalaya is a dish you won’t forget.

Don’t think that traditional Cajun cuisine is where the tastes stop, though. You will also be able to enjoy steak and various pasta dishes. Crawdaddy’s also has great pop boy sandwiches and a great view of the strip if you want to do some people watching while you’re having a bite to eat or a drink.

11. The Melting Pot

Battered mushroom cups

One of the most sociable and entertaining meals to share with family or friends is a fondue. Sitting around a pot full of cheese, chocolate, or broth and cooking your own meal is an experience to savor.

Literally. Enjoy a four-course meal, with various options per course, or enjoy the battered mushroom cups.

12. Park Grill

Shrimp and crab bisque

gatlinburge park grille crocketts breakfast camp
View of Park Grill and Crockett’s in Gatlinburg

The Park Grill is a log cabin building, with an authentic mountain lodge feel. Among the American classic steaks, you will find a shrimp and crab bisque that will take you back again. And again.

At Park Grill, you will get the true taste of the Smokies that are part of the Gatlinburg experience. This is definitely one of my favorite more upscale restaurants to visit when I’m in town. Everything is good here and it has a nice atmosphere.

13. The Peddler Steakhouse

peddler steakhouse gatlinburg
Peddler Steakhouse in Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Custom cut steak

Everything about the Peddler Steakhouse is in the name. This is one of the best places to find a really great steak, all of which are custom cut. Just about as popular as the steaks are the salad bar.

Build your own salad from a range of vegetables and fruits, with options like salmon and chicken. The Peddler Steakhouse has a history that is just about as long as Gatlinburg’s own.

14. The Donut Friar

Cinnamon Cake Donut

Tasty cinnamon cake donut
Tasty cinnamon cake donut | image by Jerry Huddleston via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Doughnuts, doughnuts, doughnuts. And other pastries. That is what you can expect to find at the Donut Friar. You can enjoy watching the doughnuts prepared in front of you.

In fact, the bakery is known for having the freshest doughnuts and pastries in town. You can enjoy more than thirty favors of old-fashioned doughnuts in a great atmosphere.

15. New Orleans Sandwich Company

Mardi Gras Muffuletta

With the name ‘New Orleans’ in its name, you will naturally expect to savor some traditional Cajun cuisine at the Sandwich Company. Of course, jambalaya is available in the traditional New Orleans atmosphere. For dessert, don’t forget the Mardi Gras muffuletta.

Gatlinburg has a lot to offer in the way of dining

Maryland crab cakes, battered mushroom caps, deviled eggs, and garlic knots are just some foods for which Gatlinburg is famous. When you visit the town, be sure to put aside plenty of time to savor these and other treats.

We only named a few places and things to try in this article, I’ve found some real hidden gems by just trying new places that I’ve never heard of.