Best Italian in Downtown Gatlinburg, TN

Old World Italian comes to Gatlinburg in the form of pizza pies, pasta and seafood.

It seldom happens that a name really does describe a restaurant. Certainly Taco Bell tells you what to expect and McDonald’s has come to be an icon, but Best Italian in Gatlinburg, Tennessee not only tells you what to expect but it also lives up to its name. For over 30 years Best Italian has been providing both pizza and Italian cuisine to locals and visitors alike in Gatlinburg. Their pizza is astounding, their Italian cuisine is incredible and their garlic knots are breath taking. Make sure to include Best Italian in your next trip to the Smokies.

New York style pizza in the Smokies, thin crust, big, and made to order, only at Best Italian. Their pizza is different and they have some toppings you don’t see in the chain stores: Pesto, feta cheese, artichoke hearts and more. Their pesto pizza is a green monstrosity with a whole different kind of pizza goodness. The Brazilian Béchamel is a white sauce pizza that will leave your mouth watering even after you are done. Or just order the size you want and keep adding toppings until you have the perfect made-to-order pie. Or try the same thing with their pizza dough used as a calzone. The calzone is enormous. Pizza at Best Italian is simply the… Best.

Loads of pasta. If their pizza is the best then their Italian cuisine is even better. Traditional Italian fare mixed with something special here and there. They carry all the favorites you might be looking for: spaghetti, fettuccine alfredo, eggplant parmigiana. But they have some signatures dishes that you shouldn’t miss. Chef Paul’s seafood medley is wonderful, enough seafood to sink a shrimp boat and a wine sauce that is simply decadent. And their wilted spinach side dish is beyond compare. Spinach wilted and served with fresh tomatoes. The Italian cuisine at Best Italian ranks up there with posh restaurants you would find in some of the greatest ‘foodie’ cities in the world.

Garlic knots! This is the basic side that comes with every meal. These little balls of heaven melt in your mouth and they are served almost floating in a garlic oil mixture and covered in parmesan cheese and bits of garlic. One recommendation is to always try and get the last one. When you get the last one, break it in half and let it soak in the garlic oil before you eat it. Best Italian is one of the little known eateries in Gatlinburg but it is out of this world. They are located in the Elks Plaza shopping center between traffic lights 8 and 9. Best Italian, their name really says it all.

Crawdaddy’s Restaurant & Oyster Bar

Since October of 2002, Crawdaddy’s has been serving up great food and good times for people of all ages as they visit Gatlinburg and ask the age old question:  Where are we going to eat?  For those that make that decision, they are in store for great seafood and steaks, great service a memories that they will have for all time.

Once you step inside, you will be sold on the fact that Crawdaddy’s offers some of the best seafood to be had in Gatlinburg.  They even have some items on the menu that you might not see anywhere else, certainly not anywhere else in Gatlinburg.  Daddy’s Blue Balls, Conch Fritters, Crawfish Dip, Daddy’s Baked Oysters, Alligator Po’Boys are just some of those specialties that Crawdaddy’s boasts on their menu, but with a name like Crawdaddy’s it is no wonder that the crawfish are what brings the people in.  They have a Cajun Crafwish Boil that is as authentic as you will get this side of the Mississippi.  One pound of crawfish with new potatoes, corn on the cob and andouille sausage all cooke din the same pot – mmm mmm good.

And to go along with all that food, Crawdaddy’s has one of the best bars in town.  Margarita’s made with New Orleans in mind, Boubon Street Tea and a Category 5 Hurricane.  The hurricane is known for its tie to New Orleans and though it is an east drink to make, it is a crowd pleaser everytime.  Light rum, Bacardi 151, red passion fruit and orange juice all go into the mix and then the drink is finished with Myers Dark Rum.  Three kinds of rum, one drink – you will think you are Mardi Gras.

Of course, don’t forget the fun.  People of all ages are going to have a good time at Crawdaddy’s.  Kids Eat Free!  Yup, you read that correctly, kids eat free every night.  While you are there with the whole family, you ought to try their karaoke.  People of all ages, and all skill levels get up to strut their stuff on the stage, singing their hears out to their favorite tune.  You might think you don’t like the idea of karaoke but if you give it a shot, you might find you love it.

Crawdaddy’s is the place for fun and great, Cajun style seafood in Gatlinburg.  From mounds of oysters and crawfish to people singing karaoke and of course beverages to make any barkeep in New Orleans smile, Crawdaddy’s has a lot to offer people that give it a try when they are ready to relax and have great food and good fun while they are on vacation.  Located right on the Parkway in Gatlinburg, it is easy to find and you will find that you might pass it a couple of times while you are walking back and forth window shopping.  Step through the door and give Crawdaddy’s a shot, I bet you come back for more.

Crawdaddy’s Restaurant & Oyster Bar
762 Parkway #5
Gatlinburg, TN


Calhoun’s is an East Tennessee tradition.  They started from their Pellissippi location and now they have several in Knoxville, one near Fort Loudon, one in Pigeon Forge and of course, one in Gatlinburg.  The one in Gatlinburg is tucked right up next to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  It is in a beautiful location, right on the parkway.  The staff is always ready to make your day with a smile and one of the best selections of food you will find in Gatlinburg.

Calhoun’s is known for their ribs.  They are fantastic.  They are tender, slide off the bone tender and they are juicy.  Calhoun’s ribs never disappoint and if you have never had them, then you have to try them the next time you go to Calhoun’s for lunch or dinner.  But if I was to pick one of my favorite items on their menu it is their “Ale” Pork Chops. These chops have been marinate din olive oil, mustard, garlic and Calhoun’s own Cherokee Red Ale.  This microbrew starts the tenderizing process and the chops come to the table fork-tender.  You can get the dinner with one chop or two and the place a pad of Worcestershire butter on top of the steaming chops that melts around the plate when they sit it on the table.  These are perhaps the best pork chops that I have ever had in a restaurant.

And with those chops you are going to get two sides.  Now, they suggest mashed potatoes and one other side.  And while those mashed potatoes are good, they are not as good as the Tennessee Corn Puddin’.  And when paired with the Spinach Maria you have two of the best side dishes ever concocted.  Spinach Maria is creamed spinach done Calhoun’s style.  Cooked in a little ramekin, cheese is melted over the top and this serving of creamed spinach gives you just a little heat on top of the creaminess of the spinach to give you a perfect mixture of flavors.  Then you have the Tennessee Corn Puddin’.  This is a pudding made of creamed corn.  It is the perfect consistency, almost like a souffle.  The corn is buttery and works so well with the tang of the Spinach Maria that I have never tried any of the rest of their sides.

Calhoun’s is also very easy to find it is one of a hand-full of restaurants in Gatlinburg that has parking readily available for all of the people that walk through the doors.  Now, it is located right on the Parkway and it is certainly within walking distance from a number of great hotels and motels, but it also has parking in the rear.  If you turn off the parkway in between Calhoun’s and Cherokee Grill, you will continue up the road next to a set of retail shops and then find parking behind all of the Calhoun’s Village area.  This is for people eating or shopping in this area only so make sure that you are there with a purpose and if you are there to eat make sure it is in Calhoun’s.

If you spend much time in Gatlinburg, you are going to pass Calhoun’s at some point.  Stop by an check out their menu, they have one posted at the door. As you stand there, breath deep.  Get the smell of the food in your nose.  Follow your nose into the restaurant that has been winning awards for decades.  Give Calhoun’s a chance to become one of your favorite places to eat in Gatlinburg.

1004 Parkway
Gatlinburg, TN

The Cheese Cupboard & the Hofbrauhaus

Nestled in The Village shopping area in Gatlinburg is a small cheese shop called the Cheese Cupboard. On its own, it is a very nice cheese shop with a good variety of cheeses. When you add to it the restaurant that is upstairs you’ve found a hidden gem in Gatlinburg that most people don’t even realize is there. The Hofbrauhaus Restaurant boasts the best Reuben in town and that is a reputation that they live up to.

Nestled in The Village shopping area in Gatlinburg is a small cheese shop called the Cheese Cupboard.  On its own, it is a very nice cheese shop with a good variety of cheeses.  When you add to it the restaurant that is upstairs you’ve found a hidden gem in Gatlinburg that most people don’t even realize is there.  The Hofbrauhaus Restaurant boasts the best Reuben in town and that is a reputation that they live up to.

The Cheese Cupboard opened in 1969.  The variety of cheeses, snack foods, imported chocolates and imported beers that they carry is surprising when you see the size of their store.  Every inch of space is covered with merchandise.  From cheddar to Camembert, from Brie to Blue the Cheese Cupboard is a great spot for the turophile (cheese lover) in your traveling party.  Whether you are looking for something specific or if you just prefer to browse, the selection at the Cheese Cupboard is always beyond your expectations.

The real hidden treasure lies upstairs.  Literally up the stairs at the back of the shop.  Climb the very narrow staircase and you will pop out at a small dining area with an even smaller kitchen on the left hand side.  You have arrived at the Hofbrauhaus.  Their menu is modest.  Sandwiches, hotdogs, cheese snacks all reside on one page but the main reason for making the climb is their Reuben.  They are renowned for this specialty, called the “The Super Reuben.”  Stacked high with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and homemade sauce, this bit of heaven is the purpose for making the trek up the stairs.  Every bite is loaded with melted cheese and tangy sauerkraut and it really is the best Reuben in the area.  On the table they have coarse ground mustard, horseradish and relish so you can condiment to your hearts content.

The Cheese Cupboard’s welcoming interior, on up the stairs is the Hofbrauhaus restaurant.

The Hofbrauhaus dinning area is also part of the appeal.  Very cozy and quaint, with seating for no more then 12 or 16, this is one of those places where your group might be dining alone, something hard to find in Gatlinburg.  The interior is designed to look like a small German pub and it certainly does bring that to mind with the dark wood and furnishings.  Remember when you go, that the person waiting on you, cooking for you and bringing your drinks is also going to be the person working the register downstairs in the cheese shop so don’t get impatient, good things come to those who wait.

Instead of going to the place you always go in Gatlinburg for lunch, or going to a fast food restaurant, make the small effort to seek out and stop by the Hofbrauhaus.  Get the Reuben or one of the other fantastic sandwiches.  Smear it down with fresh horseradish or mustard and have a great meal in one of those places that nobody knows about.  Take some cheese home from the Cheese Cupboard as a tasty souvenir.  When you tell people where you ate they are going to ask where it was and not believe you when you tell them.

7 of the Most Popular Local Gatlinburg Restaurants

When it comes to good food and fun times, there is no better place to visit than one of the many popular local Gatlinburg restaurants. From traditional burgers to authentic British food, there is something for everyone found among our favorite places to eat in the area. Continue reading “7 of the Most Popular Local Gatlinburg Restaurants”

Top 10 Best Restaurants in Gatlinburg TN

A list of the top 10 best places to eat in Gatlinburg, TN. This list of restaurants in Gatlinburg are the best places to eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner on your next vacation to Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

When you visit Gatlinburg, Tennessee, it’s always fun and exciting to find the best places to eat throughout the area. There are definitely a lot of places to eat in Gatlinburg and you can only eat so many times during your visit, so you’ll want to find the best places while you’re planning! So how do you go about figuring out where to eat? You could ask the employees at the places you visit where they like to eat. You could read the various review websites. Or you could get the best of both worlds and simply check out our top 10 restaurants in Gatlinburg TN by the people who live and work in Gatlinburg as well as the visitors who have shared numerous opinions.

We’ve compiled a list of the best places to eat in Gatlinburg, TN with restaurants that you won’t find back home. Every restaurant in this list is unique to the area so you have a dining experience that doesn’t compare to anything you’ve had anywhere else. You won’t find chain restaurants or “fast food” in this list. Most of the restaurants listed are owned and operated by locals who share a love for excellent food. Continue reading “Top 10 Best Restaurants in Gatlinburg TN”

The Peddler Steakhouse in Gatlinburg TN

The Peddler Steakhouse in Gatlinburg, TN is the best restaurant in Gatlinburg! Get inside tips and information about the best place to eat in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

If one place has been recommended by locals over the years, it’s The Peddler Steakhouse in Gatlinburg, TN. It’s incredibly unique in that it used to be a rustic, pioneer cabin built by one of the Smokies’ first-known familes, the Ogles.

The Peddler Steakhouse in Gatlinburg TN is the older sister restaurant to The Park Grill, which is located a short walk away. The restaurant is known for the fact that an actual peddler makes his way to the table to cut your slice of steak. A person rolls a cart around with fresh cuts of meat for you to choose from. These choice cuts are grilled over real Tennessee hickory charcoal and you actually get to see and choose the cut that you want. Still, if you’re craving something other than steak, the menu also features fresh Mountain Trout, Marinated Chicken and other delicious entrees.

The Peddler also receives lots of praise for their huge salad bar which comes with the meals. As great as the salad bar and steaks are, it amazingly gets better with the dessert. You better still be hungry or have plans to pack a to-go box, because the desserts are HUGE. When you’re ready to plan a delicious meal for a night of your vacation, check out the menu for yourself.

Inside tip: The window seats are most people’s favorite due to the view of the softly running creek below. If you get one on a night that is snowing, you’re in for a magical dinner.

You definitely don’t want to miss The Peddler Steakhouse in Gatlinburg TN on your vacation!

The Peddler
820 River Road
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
(865) 436-5794

Hard Rock Cafe

Even though Gatlinburg’s roots are based in old-time mountain music, that doesn’t mean they don’t know how to rock. So much so that they’ve got some of finest rock memorabilia aligning the walls of the Hard Rock Cafe in downtown Gatlinburg.

But lets talk less Gatlinburg and more Hard Rock Cafe. The world famous eatery brings in scores and scores of visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains every year thanks to their rock and roll memorabilia and their great food.

To many people’s surprise, this is the only Hard Rock Cafe in East Tennessee. You would think that there might be a few more, but Hardrock Gatlinburg is one of only 45 of the franchises anywhere in the world. One of its two founders, Isaac Tigrett, was even born in Jackson, Tenn., despite the restaurant originating in London. And talk about all the comforts of home, you’ll find a number of Tennessee dishes aligning the menu, including the Memphis-style barbecue beef brisket.

Hey, if the menu doesn’t get you, the rock-n-roll museum will. The Gatlinburg locale just went through a recent re-decoration. One thing you must stop and check out next time you’re there – the stairwell that is lined with drum kits, the set of reindeer bells John Lennon used in recording “Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” and a vest worn by Jimi Hendrix for a concert in Canada in 1968, which he then gave to a fan. You won’t see rock memorabilia like this anywhere else.


If you’re planning a trip to Gatlinburg and think the Hard Rock will be one of your stops while in town, here’ what to expect: a full-service Rock (as in “and Roll”) Shop, museum-quality memorabilia, a delicious menu full of local fare and recipes from around the world like the Legendary 10 oz. burger with its “proprietary chuck blend”, and a fully stocked bar with a myriad of signature Hard Rock cocktails.

Whether you’re in the mood for a quick burger or some shopping and sight-seeing, the Hard Rock Cafe Gatlinburg is a rockin’ good time.

Oh, and here’s one more thing you might not know about the Hard Rock Cafe Gatlinburg: it’s the only Hard Rock Cafe with a wedding chapel. So, if the time is right and a rockin’ wedding is right up your alley, say “I do” while you’re here. It will be a memory that lasts a lifetime.

Hard Rock Cafe Gatlinburg
515 Parkway
Gatlinburg, TN 37738

Smoky Mountain Trout House

If your idea of a vacation centers around trying out some of the best, and freshest local fare that you can find wherever it is you decide to go, then let us give everyone a heads up if they’re planning a trip to Gatlinburg in the near future. For the freshest Smoky Mountain trout around, you have to try the Smoky Mountain Trout House.

In business since 1975 in Gatlinburg, TN, the Smoky Mountain Trout House gets its signature item straight from the streams of the Smoky Mountains. They’re caught, packed in ice, and sent straight over to the restaurant. It’s by far the best Rainbow Trout you’ll ever eat! It’s almost as if you’ve traveled back in time and are sitting at a table eating the same trout the early Smokies settlers ate when they first came to the region all those many years ago.

Just take a look at the Smoky Mountain Trout House’s menu and try not to get hungry. Read on if trout is your dish of choice.

For starters, try the fried pickles or trout fritters, deep fried, freshly battered, Southern-style. Heck, try them both, especially if aren’t going to be in town for awhile. They are equally delicious.

Moving on to the main courses, the Trout Eisenhower – house specialty, headlines the page, and most people probably stop right here because who wouldn’t want to order something called a “Trout Eisenhower”? Either way, it’s pan fried trout using a breading of corn meal and bacon, served with bacon-butter sauce, and sauteed mushrooms and onions.

If you do happen make your way past the house specialty, you’ll find such Southern entrees as Broiled Mountain Trout, Pan Fried Mountain Trout, Parmesan Trout, Trout Almondine, Mountain Trout Specialty cakes, Cheese-Baked Trout, Blackened Rainbow Trout, etc. If it’s trout, they know how to prepare it, and they’ve tried most ways. You really can’t go wrong.

Other house menu items include prime rib, rib-eye, country ham, chicken, and fried catfish. But really, how could you make it past the trout? Either way, it’s going to be something that you love and is going to taste great.

Trout is also an item listed on the kid’s menu. They can also choose from chicken, grilled cheese, or hamburgers.

For desert, key lime pie, lemon ice-box pie, coconut cream pie, or the special of the day can be ordered to settle that sweet tooth we all have.

Smoky Mountain Trout House
410 Parkway Gatlinburg
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Phone: (865) 436-5416

Crystelle Creek Grill

A lot of people, before they decide on place to eat out at, we take into consideration the atmosphere, or ambiance, of a place, in addition to the food. For an unbelievable combination of the two, try Crystelle Creek Grill next time you’re searching for a great Gatlinburg restaurant with a unique atmosphere.

Just think about dining at a place with flowing creeks just below the windows and an 80 foot raining light tree. And that’s just the scenery. The menu is stocked with such flavorful dishes as fresh trout, streaks, chicken and Italian recipes even the most staunch of Europeans would love.

Taking a look over the menu, charbroiled shrimp jumps out immediately on the appetizer’s list. We’re talking large Louisiana Gulf Coast shrimp, not the small little crawlers you find in the grocery store. Other yummy starters include catfish bites, fried mushrooms, and queso dip among others.

The burgers and sandwiches section is highlighted by their catfish sandwich, perfect any time of year. On down the menu you come to the straight off the grill section where you’ll find rib-eye steaks, T-bones, and racks of ribs. Your mouth is watering, right? Ours too. Maybe it’s time to head on out to Crystelle Creek.

Still reading? Well then let’s take a look at the chicken offerings on down the menu. Fried chicken, southwestern chicken, stuffed chicken, it’s all here. Some of their specialty offering include skillet fried or blackened grilled trout, lemon pepper trout, catfish, salmon and Cajun shrimp. You really can’t go wrong at Crystelle Creek – the food, the atmosphere, they’ve got it all.

Come relax by the creek and enjoy a delicious Smoky Mountain dinner at same time at Crystelle Creek next time you’re in Gatlinburg.

Crystelle Creek Restaurant & Grill
1654 E Parkway
Gatlinburg, TN 37738-5832
(865) 430-1551