The Hard Rock Cafe in Gatlinburg, TN is the only Cafe with a wedding chapel (the rotunda in back with wedding photos of John Lennon & Elvis Presley can be closed off for privacy), so it was fitting my new husband and I would come here on our honeymoon. I love the HRC, and always make a point of visiting if my travels take me near one. We didn't eat here (this time) because we were just coming back from Cherokee and had eaten there, but we took a tour of the memorabilia and (of course), I bought some pins for my collection...
UPDATE: 6/2013 - the back dining room straddles the Little Pigeon River and makes for a beautiful dining experience. I had the Local Legendary burger, which, as you may know, is different for each location. Gatlinburg's burger was topped with BBQ pork, bacon, cheese, and carmelized onion with a maple syrup sauce. It was incredibly good (and, I'm sure, incredibly bad for you), and so large, I had no room for dessert. SOOOO, the next day I came in for their signature haystack salad (also incredibly good), and save a little room for the dessert bites (this time was the creme brulee). Love me some Hard Rock Cafe!!
Really good BBQ, just outside of the Greenbriar entrance to the park - we could smell it as we pulled up (always a good sign!). The pulled pork I had was perfect - very moist. My husband had the brisket, and he really enjoyed that. I did not care for the potato salad because it had onion in it (I don't care for raw onion), but I really liked the baked beans. The bill for both of us, sandwich and drinks, was just under $20, and we left full (after a 4 hour hike, so you KNOW we were hungry!). We would definitely come back again.
No Way Jose's is a Mexican restaurant in downtown Gatlinburg right next to the Ripley's aquarium. Like most everything in Gatlinburg, it is crowded, over-priced, and difficult to find parking. But that's what you get in a tourist-trap town like Gatlinburg. Since there's only a dozen or so parking spots at the restaurant, you're best bet is the parking garage across the street, although you'll have to pay. When we went, we had a fairly large group of 13 and they told us it would be a 45-60 minute wait. So we went to the bar, but before we could finish a drink, they called us and were sat at two tables. The food is pretty good and the service is average. They don't have beer on tap, but make some good fruity margaritas.
Favorite Dish: Fajitas. But that's what I always get at Mexican restaurants. The fajitas were pretty good, not the best, but not bad either.
This place was so good, I ate there TWICE (and we were only in town for 2 days!). The first day I was by myself, and I ordered the chocolate chip pancakes - they were so good, and very filling (I couldn't finish). The next day I came with my husband. This time I ordered the Pancakes Royale, which is now my all-time favorite. I love the bananas on top of the pancakes, but whatever that Royale sauce is, it is amazing! Boyd had the bacon, two eggs, three pancakes plate, and he was very satisfied.
The interior is very quaint - lots of wood. And there is a very nice GSM/Gatlinburg gift shop in the center which had the least expensive postcards I found - 6/$1.
The Bucco Burro is located right on main-street in Gatlinburg. We had 6 in our party including our nephew. While reviewing the menu one item stuck out as a challenge. Eat a 5 lb burrito and receive a t-shirt and meal free. Our Nephew took on the challenge only to find out in the end if you left the table no deal. We also found out after he was almost finished that the waitress wasnt allowed to exchange any items in his burrito. Of course this came from the owner / manager. The manager even went as far as going to the restroom and looking under the stall (creeper). So as an over review, the service was poor, the manager was unbelievably rude and offensive, and don't believe their challenge. Poor service, poor food, poor management, = Bad Experience. Hopefully this will save you from the same experience.
I've visited Blaine’s on a few visits to Gatlinburg. It had a different name about 7 or eight years ago, named after a Country Music star. The food and atmosphere was great then so when visiting The Smoky Mountains in September of 2003 I decided to find this place again. I couldn’t remember the name from my earlier visit about 7 or 8 years earlier but did not forget the balconies that you could sit out on and enjoy the mountain views. After going inside the gentleman at the door confirmed that I was in the same place but the name had changed to Blaine’s. I had dinner there twice on my 2003 trip and had the prime rim each time. The prime rib was one of the best I have ever had! Don’t miss this place!
Favorite Dish: Mmm Mmm Good Prime Rib!
The server Justin seemed to be on drugs. We waited 45 minutes for our pizza and he did not bring our salad out first. Our glasses stayed empty 70% of the time. We even found a roach scurrying across our table. The manager was no where to be seen and the boy at the cash register bit my head off for trying to pay him. Leave this one out of your vacation plans!
We had a really terrible meal at River Road Pancake House, just off the intersection of Ski Mountain Road. We went there for breakfast. The food was greasy, old, and tasted terrible. The service staff was Russian and barely spoke English. I ordered pancakes, scrambled eggs and bacon. I have had better microwave pancakes, the eggs were dripping with grease and had been cooked a long time before, and the bacon looked and tasted like greasy rubber. I had indigestion the rest of the day. I got to pay a $25.00 plus tip bill to the unfriendly staff. It wasn't worth $2.50
There are too many establishments in Gatlinburg serving good quality breakfasts. This isn't one of them. Watch out.
"Log Cabin Pancake House" is the only place in town we ate at since we spent most of our time exploring the national park and going to remote places. We always packed a picnic basket and ate in designated picnic areas instead of restaurants. In the evening we preferred to eat at the cabin since we had everything that we needed there and nothing tasted better than food grilled over a real wood fire :)
The restaurant is very nice and the service is very friendly. I had a tuna salad sandwich with fries and my husband had the buffet. Everything tasted good and we had a great experience eating here. It is not a fancy place, but it is decently priced and the food is fresh.
Very nice restaurant. Beautiful view of the mountains and strip from the upper floor. I had the Ole Smoky burger, which was really good and juicy. During happy hour, drinks are half-price. I'm not a beer drinker, but I ordered the Appalachian Pale Ale, which I really enjoyed. Friendly and fun, I'd definitely return to this restaurant.
Favorite Dish: The Ole Smoky burger was very tasty - large and grilled just the way I like it.
Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are both loaded with places such as Wendy's, McDonalds, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. In order to avoid doing what I do best, spend more money on food than anything while on vacation, we stuck to the inexpensive fast food joints for the majority of our meals.
This was a nice place for our final dinner before leaving our vacation. Boston's is actually located in nearby Pigeon Forge, rather than in gatlinburg. Pigeon Forge is almost as touristy as Gatlinburg but we were seated right away and the crowds in the restaurants here seemed to be a lot less than in Gatlinburg.
Favorite Dish: The food here was fantastic. The cajun shrimp pasta alfredo was incredible. Not too spicy but a nice kick.
Looking through the restaurant tips on Gatlinburg, I was so upset that no one has reviewed this place! I had to stop what I was doing and write a review.
Your trip to Gatlinburg is not complete without visiting this restaurant at least once! The Old Mill Restaraunt is a renovated Mill where they now serve food (including food made from the very fresh cornmeal that they make right in the still functioning mill. This place is the real deal as far as Southern food is concerned. When we ate there, we got a table next to the windows overlooking the pond in the front. We spent our dinner (and afterward) watching the ducks in the pond swim around. It was a really amazing view.
If the great atmosphere and view aren't enough, the food is amazing, and cheap! For about $10 (during lunch) I got rolls, green beans, corn, chicken pot pie and mashed potatoes. I was so full but ate it all anyway because it was so good !!(That's a bad habit I know, but it really is that good!)
If ~that's~ not enough, they also have free tours of the Mill. ( We were really bummed when we found out that they only do them earlier in the week) I could not find any information on exactly when they give the tours.
They also have an awesome Old Mill General Store next door to the restaraunt. Here they sell cornmeal , syrups, and all kinds of things made at the mill to take home and cook with. When we were there we bought some old fashioned soda bottles that were bottled in the area to take home as souveniers.
This is a great place to go for a few unique souveniers, a nice tour of a relatively famous mill, (apparantly the most photographed mill in the country) a great atmosphere, and an amazing meal!
This is a great little steakhouse. It is located on the back road in Gatlinburg right on the stream. There are tables all along the rear windows overlooking the creek. There are several different rooms all with the same sort of decor. Once you are seated a waitor visits to take your drink order and will provide you with a menu if you are not interested in a steak. If you are the peddler will wheel his cart to your table with 2 or 3 different types of beef. He will then cut your steak to order. 8, 10 or 12 oz. They also have a great salad bar with a lot of things you do not normally find on a salad bar.
Favorite Dish: My favorite is the ribeye with sauteed mushrooms. If you are a beer drinker they offer several very good beers as well.
There is almost always a wait for this restaurant so make reservations or at least call ahead.
open daily at 5pm except on Saturday at 4:30
If you visit Gatlinburg you should not leave without breakfast at the Pancake Pantry. It is located on the main drag in downtown Gatlinburg right at the entrance to the "The Village". The candy shop is part of the same building. It is a chalet type building with large windows and a lot of wood. Tables are fairly close together but once you taste the pancakes you aren't thinking about anything else. Things are always clean and the wait staff is ALWAYS friendly. Most have worked there for 10 yrs or more. They are only open for breakfast and lunch, but breakfast is there specialty. You can get crapes, waffles and those wonderful pancakes. They also have the normal eggs and bacon type stuff. Their lunch menu is fun as well. They offer sandwiches of all sorts and a great little dish of cucmbers in a wonderful sauce. They aren't pickled, they have a white sort of sourcreamy sauce with onions. Boy they are fabulous!
Favorite Dish: My favorite dish is the 'silver dollar pancakes with blueberries and whipped cream'. My daughter really likes to order "bears in the snow'. This is 2 bear shaped pancakes with M&M eyes and powdered sugar sprinkled on top. I can almost guarentee you will like whatever you try.
The only negative is that they do not accept credit cards. There is an ATM located inside for those who forget.
Don't get confused and go to the Pancake Cottage - not even near the same.