Blog for Zip line Attraction in the Smoky Mountains
Located in Pigeon Forge, TN and near Gatlinburg and Sevierville.
By Ross Bodhi Ogle
Posted on September 15, 2015
Let's be honest; when you visit the Great Smoky Mountains, there are a lot of things you don't have to do. You don't have to shop at an outlet mall. You don't have to visit our local attractions (with Smoky Mountain Ziplines being the only exception, of course). For that matter, you don't even have to visit the national park.
There's really only one thing you have to do when you come to the area, and that's eat! That's why we're going to offer you some suggestions this week for restaurants you need to consider when dining out in the Smokies. This list represents not only some of the most popular eateries around but also some of the dining spots that locals enjoy most.
For the most part, we've steered clear of national chains and gimmicky theme restaurants and tried to bring you places that serve quality food and are either one-of-a-kind or at least part of a small regional chain. So the next time you're in the area, whether it's just for the evening or for an entire week with the family, be sure to bring your appetite. You're going to need it.
After you've spent a few hours with us in Pigeon Forge doing some ziplining, Gatlinburg should be your next destination. But you won't find this eatery perched conspicuously along the downtown Parkway. It's located off U.S. 321 on a scenic hilltop overlooking national park property. Adding to the ambiance is the fact that the structure itself is a historic log cabin built as a mountain lodge back in 1939. The cuisine is equally as strong thanks to signature items like the mountain trout, roast prime rib of beef and the awesome Chicken Vera Cruz, featuring a baked whole chicken stuffed with crabmeat dressing and provolone cheese.
There's plenty of ambiance to spare at this Gatlinburg restaurant, which was designed to resemble a classic mountain lodge. Featuring hand-hewn timbers and an elegantly rustic interior setting, this downtown favorite boasts lunch and dinner menus with items like fresh rainbow trout, grilled salmon, ribs and hickory-grilled moonshine chicken. They also have a fabulous selection of steaks and house-made desserts.
There's a blue-million pancake restaurants in Sevier County, but if you want to do pancakes, do them right at this downtown Gatlinburg institution. And don't be surprised if you see a line out the door, because folks have been singing the praises of Pancake Pantry since 1960. Everything's made from scratch, and they serve their goodies with real butter and fresh whipped cream. Of course, they serve eggs, waffles, omelets and even burgers and sandwiches, but you really need to try one of the pancake creations like the Parisienne, sweet potato, Caribbean, Swedish, Marvelous Blintz or red raspberry crepes.
Best Italian Café
Not to intentionally keep singling out Gatlinburg restaurants, but Best Italian Café is one of those best-kept secrets that the locals don't like spreading around too much. They now have two locations on the Parkway (the original one was always packed), and they rarely disappoint thanks to a wide selection of pasta dishes; veal, fish and chicken entrees; and hand-tossed pizzas and calzones. They serve New York-style pizza, and the place is known for its world-famous garlic rolls.
Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant
We'll head to Sevierville now, where you'll find this farmhouse-style restaurant on the banks of the Little Pigeon River. The Applewood takes advantage of its neighboring apple orchard operation in creating a down-home eatery that puts that fruit to good culinary use. Every meal starts off with apple fritters, an apple julep, apple cinnamon muffins and homemade apple butter. From there, you can enjoy everything from a country breakfast to farmhouse favorites like chicken potpie, Southern fried chicken, meatloaf, and chicken and dumplings.