Mamma Mia: 5 Italian Restaurants in the Smoky Mountains You Need to Try
When you visit the Smoky Mountains, one thing you can always count on is finding some delicious food! From true Southern cooking to mouthwatering BBQ restaurants, there is something for everyone when it comes to dining. One of the things you might not associate with the Smokies is Italian food, but there are some local places that have incredible options! Here are 5 Italian restaurants in the Smoky Mountains you need to try:
1. Taste of Italy
If you are in the mood for some homemade authentic Italian food, Taste of Italy is the place to go! This locally-owned restaurant takes pride in doing things the right way, which means nearly everything on the menu is made from scratch using only the freshest ingredients. From the fried ravioli appetizer to the main dishes of chicken parmesan, veal marsala, and eggplant parmesan, you are sure to leave with a full stomach and plenty of happy memories!
2. Best Italian
Best Italian has two delicious locations in Gatlinburg, one on the Parkway and the other in what is known as Elk’s Plaza. No matter which location you decide to visit, you are sure to find nothing but smiles and tasty food. This is one of the restaurants in the Smoky Mountains that have been open for many years now, as they have been in operation for more than 40 years! Since that time, many things have changed but they like to stick to their roots when it comes to the recipes. From the steamy hot garlic knots to the creamy pasta, you are sure to enjoy a great meal each and every time. Oh, and be sure to save some extra room for a slice of the homemade strawberry cheesecake!
3. New York Pizza & Pasta
Hot and fresh pizza right out of the oven! That’s probably the best description for this restaurant in Gatlinburg. New York Pizza & Pasta has made a tradition of pleasing customers with their homemade pizzas using family-secret recipes. When you step into this locally-owned restaurant, you are in for a treat! Not only is the food great, but the staff is there to greet you with true Southern hospitality. Guests can either order a whole pizza to share or get pizza by the slice if everyone is craving a little something different.
4. Luigi’s Pizza
The story of Luigi’s Pizza began in 2006 when the owners Abe and Fadwa moved from Florida to Gatlinburg to start what would turn into one of the most popular restaurants in the Smoky Mountains. In the beginning, they worked day and night growing the business to set up the success that they enjoy today. In 2021, the original owners decided it was time to let the restaurant go, but they found new people who shared the same passion and tradition. To this day, they have the same made-from-scratch menu items which include home-grown vegetables and handmade dough for pizzas! In addition, they serve other Italian classics, such as spaghetti, calzones, stromboli, and more.
5. Johnny Carino’s
Located right on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge, Johnny Carino’s is an easy place to stop for some delicious Italian food during your day of sightseeing. They have all sorts of tasty choices, so everyone in the family is sure to find something they love. This restaurant is probably most known for its handcrafted pizzas which are created with housemade dough and cooked to perfection! You can either create your own pizza or try one of the specialty options, which includes Johnny’s Favorite. This pizza is piled high with Italian sausage, pepperoni, smoked bacon, green peppers, mushrooms, black olives, red onions, Roma tomatoes, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese! Now that’s a pizza!
More Places to Eat in the Smokies
As we mentioned before, the scrumptious food options in the Smoky Mountains are endless! You can have anything you are craving when you visit Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, including fresh seafood, Mexican dishes, burgers, and anything else you can imagine! There are also restaurants for every vacation occasion, including romantic dinner spots for couples and casual restaurants that the kids are sure to love as well!
Are you ready to start planning your next trip to the Smokies? Learn more about all the incredible restaurants in the Smoky Mountains! We look forward to seeing you soon!