Hear the sizzle in the fryin’ pan? Smell the comforting aroma of steaming corn bread and green beans simmered in bacon? You must be at Grandma’s house—or at a Grandma-approved Southern-style restaurant in the Smokies!
In fact, you’ll find plenty of restaurants that specialize in good ole Southern cooking without ever leaving the mountain town of Pigeon Forge. So after a long hike in the Smokies or an afternoon of exploring downtown, bring your hard-earned appetite to one of these delicious “South in your mouth” eateries.
Aunt Granny’s All-You-Care-to-Eat Buffet
Actually located inside Tennessee’s favorite amusement park, Dollywood, this Southern-style restaurant features all your favorites—from fried chicken to mashed potatoes to hot, buttery biscuits—in an all-you-can-eat buffet. This is definitely the place to visit AFTER an afternoon of riding roller coasters. (Warning: do NOT ride the Dizzy Disk, Barnstormer, and other stomach-churning attractions after filling up at Aunt Granny’s!) Besides the Southern-style buffet, this restaurant also offers a salad bar, special buffet items just for kids, and, of course, a delectable array of your favorite Southern desserts!
Huck Finn’s Catfish Restaurant
On an afternoon when you’re perusing the Parkway in Pigeon Forge, be sure to stop at Huck Finn’s Catfish Restaurant, proudly serving Smoky Mountain guests only the finest farm-raised catfish straight out of the US of A! Established in 1995, Huck Finn’s is a family owned and operated restaurant best known for their “all ‘u can eat catfish & chicken dinners.”
They served pond-raised, grain-fed catfish straight from Mississippi and have been awarded “Best Catfish in East Tennessee” by Tennessee Magazine for 4 years in a row! If catfish isn’t your style, not to worry. This Southern-style restaurant also serves golden fried chicken, country fried steak, ribeye steak, chicken livers, frog legs, and many other country vittles. Bring your large group, your family, or the one you love to enjoy a truly Southern-inspired meal during your Pigeon Forge stay.
Awarded the TripAdvisor’s “Certificate of Excellence” again in 2016, Mama’s Farmhouse is located on Pickel Street in Pigeon Forge and offers a unique dining experience with an all-you-can-eat, rotating menu that features traditional Southern dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
At Mama’s Farmhouse, instead of waiting in long buffet lines, you’ll enjoy a family-style dinner with an unending supply of that day’s delicious concoctions. Check out their rotating menu for yourself on their website, but here’s a sampling of what you’ll find for lunch and dinner through the week: meatloaf, honey-glazed ham, country fried pork, and turkey n’ stuffing.
Of course, every day you’ll have the chance to try their award-winning fried chicken and made-from-scratch buttermilk biscuits (winner of the International Biscuit Festival in 2015). For breakfast, a few of Mama’s specialties include buttermilk Belgian waffles, pinwheels, and chocolate gravy.
The Old Mill
Growing up, whenever my family would visit East Tennessee, this was always the one restaurant we couldn’t wait to visit. A quick lap around Patriot Park whet our appetites for the savory corn chowder and perfectly-crunchy-with-just-a-touch-of-sweetness corn fritters. My mouth is already watering!
Start your own family tradition by visiting The Old Mill in Pigeon Forge during your visit to the Smokies this year. This well-loved restaurant has been leading the way in old-fashioned Southern cooking for decades, featuring all your favorite Southern-style staples: country-fried steak, sugar-cured ham, pot roast and gravy, chicken and dumplings, chicken potpie, and many more! You’ll also love their homemade desserts, like their famous pecan pie. Eat a slice there, or take a whole, fresh-baked pie back to your Pigeon Forge cabin for later.
Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen
Conveniently located at Pigeon Forge’s newest hotspot, The Island, Paula Deen’s new family-style restaurant is quickly becoming a Smoky Mountain favorite. Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen features classic Deen family recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. These include a hot fresh-baked cinnamon roll for breakfast and a never-ending supply of fresh candied yams with your dinner.
Serving family-style spreads, you’ll choose 3 down-home dishes and 4 of Paula Deen’s famous sides for the table. Complete your meal with creamy banana pudding or Paula’s seasonal cobbler, and you’ll enjoy a Southern-style meal that can satisfy even the hungriest appetites!
DIY Southern Staples
No, this isn’t the name of another Pigeon Forge restaurant. It’s just a simple reminder that when you stay in one of our Pigeon Forge cabins, you don’t have to eat out in order to enjoy a delicious, Southern-style meal in the Smokies. With your cabin’s fully equipped kitchen, you can bring Grandma’s well-loved recipes with you and make them yourself! This way, you’ll get to enjoy those tried-and-true recipes just the way you remember them, and you’ll eat in the privacy of your cabin with the ones you love most.
Choose a cabin with a dining table that offers sweeping mountain views, and you have a recipe for a mealtime to remember during your Pigeon Forge getaway!