10 Foods to Try When in Gatlinburg

Foods in Gatlinburg

Are you planning a trip to Gatlinburg? This quaint town, nestled in the Smoky Mountains, is more than just a scenic getaway – it’s a food lover’s dream. Imagine walking down cozy streets lined with eateries, each offering mouth-watering smells and a promise of delicious bites. Gatlinburg mixes good old Southern comfort food with some modern twists, giving you a range of flavors to explore. From pancakes that’ll make your morning to ribs that’ll top off your night, there’s a plate for every palate.

So, let’s dig into the top foods you’ve got to try in Gatlinburg. Trust us, your taste buds are in for a treat!

Foods in Gatlinburg

1. Baby Back Ribs

When it comes to dinner in Gatlinburg, baby back ribs are a must-try. The Park Grill, renowned for its rustic ambiance and exquisite flavors, offers some of the best ribs in town. These ribs are slow-cooked to perfection, tender, and packed with a smoky flavor that tantalizes your taste buds. The secret lies in their award-winning BBQ sauce and the slow roasting process, which locks in the juices, creating a melt-in-your-mouth experience.

So, whenever you are making your Gatlinburg dinner reservations, leave out a night for The Park Grill. Securing a table in advance ensures you won’t miss out on these delectable ribs.

2. Fresh Rainbow Trout

Gatlinburg’s streams are home to some of the freshest trout in the country, making it a signature dish in the area. Local chefs use various methods to prepare trout, from simple pan-frying to elaborate stuffing and grilling. The Rainbow Trout, often caught in the nearby streams, is a local delicacy. Its delicate flavor and tender flesh make it a favorite among seafood lovers.

You will find many restaurants in town serving the fish with a variety of seasonings and sides that complement its taste.

3. Grilled Atlantic Salmon

For a taste of the sea amidst the Smoky Mountains, the Grilled Atlantic Salmon in Gatlinburg is a must-try. This dish is celebrated for its fresh, oceanic flavor and tender texture, grilled to perfection to highlight the salmon’s natural richness. You can accompany it with your favorite seasonal sides, from seasonal vegetables to breaded onion rings.

Whether you’re looking to indulge in the local dining scene or simply enjoy a beautifully prepared piece of salmon, this dish promises satisfaction.

4. Hickory Grilled Moonshine Chicken

Another nod to the region’s spirited heritage, the Moonshine Chicken offers an irresistible twist on a classic. The moonshine glaze, made from locally distilled moonshine, adds a layer of complexity with its sweet and fiery notes. Pair it with buttery mashed potatoes and a slice of fresh bread for an authentic Southern feast that pays homage to Gatlinburg’s moonshining past.

5. Pork Chops

Seasoned with a special blend of spices and grilled over an open flame, pork chops have a smoky flavor that’s enhanced by the natural juices of the meat. The exterior char gives way to a succulent interior, making every bite a flavorful delight. Serve these pork chops with a side of sweet potato casserole, wild rice blend, and crunchy coleslaw for a harmonious combination of flavors that celebrate the bounty of the Smoky Mountains.

6. Salad Bar

For those seeking a more customizable dining experience, there are some fine dining restaurants with an extensive salad bar everyone would enjoy. A salad bar presents an array of fresh, local produce, cheeses, nuts, and dressings, allowing you to create your perfect salad. This option celebrates the bounty of the region with crisp vegetables and vibrant flavors that can be tailored to any taste.

7. Potato Salad

No Southern meal is complete without the comforting presence of potato salad, and Gatlinburg’s version is a creamy delight that combines tender potatoes with a perfectly balanced mix of mayonnaise, mustard, and a hint of sweetness. It’s the ideal accompaniment to any entrée, providing a comforting, familiar taste that reminds you of home-cooked meals.

8. Shrimp Bisque

This creamy soup is rich with the flavors of the sea, featuring tender shrimp that meld beautifully with a velvety broth infused with a blend of herbs and spices. Each spoonful offers a warm embrace, making it a perfect starter that sets the stage for a memorable meal.

The shrimp bisque stands out as a great example of how Gatlinburg takes classic dishes and adds a special touch. It’s creamy, packed with shrimp flavor, and just the right amount of seasoning makes it a must-try.

8. Jack Daniel’s Crème Brûlée

Dessert in Gatlinburg takes a decidedly decadent turn with Jack Daniel’s crème brûlée. This dessert infuses the classic French custard with the unmistakable taste of Tennessee’s most famous whiskey, resulting in a dessert that’s both sophisticated and spirited.

It’s a must-try for those looking to end their meal on a high note.

9. Hot Blackberry Cobbler

The blackberry cobbler is a celebration of local produce, featuring plump, juicy blackberries that burst with flavor beneath a crumbly, buttery topping. Served warm, often with a scoop of vanilla ice cream melting slowly on top, this dessert offers a taste of Southern summers no matter the season. It’s a simple, rustic dish that speaks to the soul.

10. Steakhouse Burger

Rounding out the must-try dishes is a steakhouse burger, a hearty offering that goes beyond the ordinary with its high-quality beef and creative toppings. This burger is a testament to Gatlinburg’s love for big flavors and generous portions, providing a satisfying crunch with every bite. Whether you’re refueling after a day of exploring the Smokies or simply indulging in a bit of comfort food, this burger is sure to hit the spot.


As our tour through Gatlinburg’s food scene wraps up, it’s evident that this mountain town has a lot to offer in terms of taste and tradition. From the sweet blueberry cobbler to the rich, smoky ribs, each dish showcases the local produce and creativity. When you visit, make sure to explore these foods and savor the unique flavors of Gatlinburg. Enjoy exploring and happy eating!

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