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We know you’ve heard about the most popular restaurants in the Smoky Mountains, from The Old Mill Restaurant to The Peddler in Gatlinburg, but there are countless options for delicious dining that you haven’t even heard about! The Smokies are home to some small town restaurants that are lesser known than spots along the Parkway but will serve you the best meal of your life. Read on to learn about the best small town restaurants in the Smoky Mountains you have to try.
1. Elvira’s Cafe
Located in Sevierville, TN, this mountainside cafe is the best place to enjoy homemade Southern dishes in a relaxing atmosphere. Elvira, a native of Siberia, came to the U.S. in 2001 as a student for a summer work program. She fell in love with the area and returned to open her own restaurant in 2012. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you can enjoy everything from biscuits and gravy to pork chops at Elvira’s Cafe. You’ll find this small town restaurant off the beaten path on Wears Valley Road.
2. Chubby’s Deli
For a classic, no-frills Smoky Mountain restaurant, visit Chubby’s Deli! Located on Newport Hwy in Sevierville, Chubby’s Deli serves homemade food that’s both delicious and affordable. When you visit, you have to try Chubby’s Famous Burger. This burger is topped with bacon, slow roasted pork, BBQ sauce, and grilled onions, and smothered in cheddar cheese. For dessert, enjoy the Famous Corn Meal Cobbler!
3. Hickory Cabin Seasoning Company
If you’re in the mood for BBQ, you have to make a trip to the Hickory Cabin Seasoning Company. The owner of this restaurant has been making his top secret seasoning and rub since he was a teenager. Their award-winning smoked pork is a must-try on your vacation. What’s unique about Hickory Cabin is that there is an open kitchen so you can watch your food being prepared! Order anything from a BBQ Platter to a burger, and be sure to try the banana pudding for dessert.
4. Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant
The Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant has become a staple in Sevierville for both visitors and locals. If you’ve never been before, this is definitely a spot you want to add to your list. Whether you visit for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you’re guaranteed to have the best meal of your life. Each meal starts off with a complimentary serving of apple fritters with homemade apple butter and apple julep that are both delicious. Popular dishes are the Country Boy Breakfast Skillet and the Applewood Famous Southern Fried Chicken.
5. PawPaw’s Catfish Kitchen
Located along Wears Valley Road, this restaurant is loved by everyone who dines there! You can enjoy authentic cajun cuisine in a laid-back atmosphere. All of the dishes are prepared fresh when ordered, and their special fry batters and sauces are made from scratch daily. Try their fried catfish that’s the best in East Tennessee, or grab a hot dog and New Orleans Snowball in the summer and relax on the outdoor patio!
6. New Orleans Sandwich Company
You can find more New Orleans cuisine at New Orleans Sandwich Company in Gatlinburg! This restaurant is considered to be one of the best hidden gems in the area. Customers rave about the seafood gumbo, the service, and the big portions. If you’re in the mood for an unforgettable meal that tastes like it can only be found in New Orleans, you’ll definitely want to dine at New Orleans Sandwich Company.
7. Lil Black Bear Cafe
Lil Black Bear Cafe is a small daytime eatery that’s best known for its comforting American breakfast and lunch. Located on Veterans Blvd in Pigeon Forge, this restaurant is tucked away from all the action on the Parkway. The diner offers everything from homemade breakfast foods to a variety of seasonal soups and desserts. The fluffy pancakes are a popular choice for breakfast, and the chicken salad sandwich is a great option for lunch.
8. Frank Allen’s Market
Frank Allen’s Market is one of the best small town restaurants in the Smoky Mountains! The food is made to order every time, and you even get to watch them make it. It’s a favorite spot among locals, which means you’re going to love it! Their burgers are the most raved about menu item, and they’re served with their old-fashioned crinkle-cut french fries. This restaurant definitely has the small-town feel and is a can’t-miss stop on your vacation.
More Restaurants in the Smoky Mountains
It’s no secret that the Smoky Mountains are home to so many delicious restaurants that will serve you the best meal of your life. For help deciding where you should dine on your vacation, take a look at more restaurants in the Smoky Mountains.