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Of course, one of the best parts of vacation is the food. When you visit Gatlinburg, you’ll have so many options of places to eat no matter what you’re in the mood for. Find breakfast, pizza, pasta, steaks and so much more in the heart of Gatlinburg. The Gatlinburg Parkway is lined with restaurants for you to choose from, making it easy to find somewhere to eat during a busy day of exploring Gatlinburg. To help you decide where you want to eat, we’ve made a list of some of the best downtown Gatlinburg restaurants that sit right on the Parkway!
1. Pancake Pantry
A long-time visitor favorite, the Pancake Pantry is the perfect place to start your mornings. This is Tennessee’s oldest pancake house. Since 1960, the Gatlinburg restaurant has been serving up made-from-scratch pancakes, real butter and fresh whipped cream. Choose from a variety of pancake flavors on the menu, or try something else like waffles or an omelette! There’s even a special kid’s menu with the popular Bears in the Snow pancakes, which are 2 bear-shaped buttermilk pancakes with powdered sugar.
2. The Peddler
For both a delicious dinner and an incredible view, head to The Peddler Steakhouse. Dine on a tender steak cut tableside while you gaze out the window at the shimmering Little Pigeon River. This restaurant’s fresh salad bar is a big hit with visitors — some even decide to get it as their meal! The menu includes more than just steak, however. There are chicken dishes, seafood, and dessert.
If you’re in the mood for barbeque, you have to try Calhoun’s in Gatlinburg! All of the bar-b-que items on the menu are slow smoked with split seasoned hickory logs. The authentic bar-b-que has a pinkish tint on the center of the meat, which is referred to as “The Smoke Ring.” The menu also includes appetizers, pizza, wings, burgers and more.
4. Park Grill
The Park Grill is one of the best downtown Gatlinburg restaurants to order a steak. Located on the Parkway at the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you’ll be able to enjoy a true taste of the Smokies. After your day of hiking one of the trails or taking a scenic drive through the park, stop by The Park Grill for a hearty meal. The menu includes a salad bar, fish and shrimp, sandwiches, steaks, ribs and more.
5. Best Italian
If you’re in the mood for some delicious and authentic Italian cuisine, head to the Best Italian restaurant on the Gatlinburg Parkway. Here, you can order New York style pizzas, golden garlic knots, creamy pasta and more. Customers return to Best Italian year after year for a taste of Italy in the Smoky Mountains. The name of this restaurant certainly speaks for itself!
6. Cherokee Grill
Enjoy traditional American food in this woodsy, mountain lodge setting. Cherokee Grill has something for everyone, from couples to families with kids. You can even get brunch here with a special menu that includes a variety of omelets and eggs benedict. Other popular dishes at this restaurant are the Smoky Mountain Fried Chicken and the Prime Grade Ribeye Steak. Cherokee Grill is located at 1002 Parkway in Gatlinburg, right next to Calhoun’s and across the street from the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway station.
7. No Way Jose’s
Craving authentic Mexican food? Visit No Way Jose’s. It’s located right across the street from Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, so it’s the perfect spot to grab a bite to eat after spending the day with sea life! On nice days, dine on the restaurant’s outdoor patio in the river. Enjoy chips and salsa, burritos, enchiladas, specialty entrees and more. You can’t go wrong with a meal at No Way Jose’s! For dessert, try the fried ice cream or churro grande sundae.
More Downtown Gatlinburg Restaurants
These are just some of the delicious downtown Gatlinburg restaurants you can visit while you’re in town. Not only do they all have a convenient location, but they all serve incredible meals that will satisfy any appetite. Check out more places to eat in Gatlinburg, and be sure to come hungry on your vacation!