Pigeon Forge is set among the Great Smoky Mountains, which are known for a cuisine that combines Scottish, Irish, and Native American influences. With such a rich culinary tradition, the town and surrounding region have become foodie hubs and now play host to dozens of full-service restaurants, alongside top-rated barbecue joints and farmhouses. We’ve rounded up some of our favorites, as well as our favorite things to eat when we visit them.
J.T. Hannah’s Kitchen
J.T. Hannah’s is one of the most popular restaurants in Pigeon Forge, with more than 1,700 five-star TripAdvisor reviews. The establishment is best known for thick burgers paired with sliced mushrooms, green onions, cheddar cheese, and other indulgent toppings, but specialties such as the Supreme Fajitas and St. Louis spare ribs have also contributed to the restaurant’s loyal following.
Local Goat Tavern
Another TripAdvisor favorite, Local Goat Tavern specializes in New American cuisine with a Tennessean twist — fittingly, as it resides right at the base of the Smokies. The menu features such delicacies as whiskey-glazed jumbo wings, sirloin steaks, burgers, fried green tomatoes, stone-ground cheese grits, and whiskey cocktails.
Yet another TripAdvisor favorite is Bullfish Grill, which — as the name suggests — is known for its steaks and seafood dishes. Cilantro-lime grilled shrimp, seared ahi tuna, and grilled salmon number among its many options, though its chefs also pride themselves on the slow-roasted Grand Champion Angus Beef prime ribs.
Old Mill Restaurant
Old Mill Square is a top gathering place among Pigeon Forge locals and tourists alike, and the river-facing Old Mill Restaurant is by far its best eatery, as a whopping eight thousand five-star TripAdvisor reviewers have now attested. Here, the order of the day is Southern comfort fare, like buttermilk biscuits, country ribs, and fried shrimp.
The Bistro at Courtyard Pigeon Forge
Courtyard Pigeon Forge’s signature all-day eatery is a fantastic spot for modern-American light bites, salads, and hearty entrées, like crispy Brussels sprouts, vegetable-baked pasta, and the Mediterranean grain bowl. This particular eatery also takes quite a bit of pride in its craft cocktails, like the Whiskey Buck and Black Cherry Old Fashioned.
The “mama” in Mama’s Farmhouse is actually a great-grandmother, whose recipes have now lasted three generations, so you know they’re good. Served family style, these include sweet-potato pancakes, fried chicken tenders, and mac ’n cheese — always finished off with peach cobbler or banana pudding (and optionally paired with award-winning biscuits).