Blog for Zipline Attraction in the Smoky Mountains

Located in Pigeon Forge, TN and near Gatlinburg and Sevierville.


Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurants In The Smokies

By Ross Bodhi Ogle
Posted on August 23, 2023

Maybe vegetarianism or veganism is already a full-time lifestyle choice for you. Or perhaps you simply only prefer to take a break from meat from time to time. Or if you're like a lot of folks, you've never tried eliminating meat from your diet. But maybe you're curious about what it's like to not rely on beef, chicken and fish on a daily basis.

Focusing on a plant-based diet for a period of time can definitely do your body some good. If nothing else, the benefits of getting more fruits and vegetables into the mix from time to time will help your immune system and just help you feel better in general. Those advantages are multiplied if you are also able to eliminate more sugar from your daily food regimen and step up your workout routine.

One of the most immediately noticeable effects of such dietary changes is that you feel better and more energetic on a day-to-day basis. In fact, you might be ready to take on the world the next time you visit Smoky Mountain Ziplines in Pigeon Forge. (If you're looking for the most fun and exciting place in our area to zipline, Gatlinburg and Sevierville don't have an attraction that matches the experience we can provide our guests.)

Once upon a time, it was quite a challenge to find restaurants that offered many options for vegans or vegetarians. These days, it's a lot easier, even when you're visiting the Great Smoky Mountains. Following are a few establishments you might consider when searching for a meatless meal that you'll actually enjoy. They represent a wide range of cuisine styles and budget points, so there's something for every veggie lover out there.

Wild Plum Tea Room – This Gatlinburg institution in the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community has been serving up lunch-y fare for decades, but the ever-rotating menu offers a decent selection of vegetarian, vegan and even gluten-free options. They currently have roasted beets served with feta cheese and walnuts as a starter and a plant-based Impossible burger as a specialty.

Kinkaku Japanese Steakhouse – You'll find this Asian-cuisine eatery in Pigeon Forge, but truth be told, Asian restaurants on the whole will generally offer a fair number of vegetarian-friendly choices. Sushi fans might want to try a vegetable roll, and when it comes to hibachi dinners, Kinkaku has one that's made with vegetables only.

J.T. Hannah's Kitchen – Also in Pigeon Forge is this popular restaurant that does pride itself on its meat-based entrees, but there's plenty for veg fans to cheer about as well. Appetizers include spinach and artichoke dip as well as Buffalo chips, while their selection of salads is solid. Most of the salads come with chicken by default, but if you have them hold the poultry, you're still left with greens topped with lots of fruit-and-veggie goodies.

The Melting Pot – This fondue-friendly gathering spot has been a solid anchor in downtown Gatlinburg for a long time. At The Melting Pot, it's all about slow cooking each course at your table, from cheese-based appetizers to entrees to delicious chocolate-covered fruits and other dessert treats. The menu has vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options.

Whole Earth Grocery – This popular chain of stores does more than just sell health-centric groceries. They have a café component too, offering everything from lentil burgers and veggie wraps to a lentil burger salad that's not short on flavor.

Bear Cub Café & Grill – Here's another eatery located in the Arts & Crafts Community. It's a gluten-free restaurant that serves a variety of vegan dishes, such as Southwest chipotle black bean burgers, wild rice and lentil salad, Mexican papaya and green salad, stuffed bell peppers, zucchini chips and much more.


This content posted by Smoky Mountain Ziplines. Visit our home page, for more information on zipline adventures in the Smoky Mountains.

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