Fried apple fritters, fresh baked goods, crispy Southern fried chicken, savory shrimp and grits, unique pottery, homemade candies and chocolates, an operational grist mill…
If you don’t know where you can find all this in one place, you need to make plans to visit The Old Mill Square next time you’re in Pigeon Forge. With 2 restaurants, the Old Mill, a candy shop, a pottery store, and lots of unique, handmade items (gifts, food, and more), The Old Mill Square is a wonderful place to spend a day walking, shopping, and eating.
It’s a beautiful spot in the heart of Pigeon Forge, and it holds an important place in the rich history the Great Smoky Mountains boasts. Built in the mid-1800s, the water-powered grist mill became an important feature on the Pigeon River. The mill’s purpose was to ground meals and flours used by settlers in the area. Because it was such a crucial part of daily life, the area around the Old Mill quickly became a popular place for residents to gather and trade.
Over the years, the primary use of the mill has changed, serving as a place to house wounded soldiers and sew uniforms during the Civil War. The area where the General Store is now was even once home to the first Post Office in Pigeon Forge! And until 1935, the Old Mill provided electricity for Pigeon Forge.
It truly is an incredible piece of the history of Pigeon Forge, playing an important role in daily life and more. Today, the Old Mill continues to run via the waterpower of the Little Pigeon River, grinding grain 6 days a week before it’s hand bagged and sold right at The Old Mill Square.
Enjoy homemade dishes in the Pottery Hose Café and Grille or The Old Mill Restaurant, get fresh-baked goods and sauces and dips, or get some stone-ground grains so you can make your own delicious biscuits, grits, fritters, and more.
The Restaurants at The Old Mill
The Old Mill Pottery House Café and Grille
Sit down for a meal by the water with fresh-baked bread, sandwiches, homemade desserts, and so much more. Soups will warm you up on fall and winter days, grilled dishes and fresh salads are great for spring and summer days, and desserts like the chocolate pecan pie and lemonade pie will finish off any meal perfectly.
The Old Mill Restaurant
You won’t hear Pigeon Forge restaurants without hearing about The Old Mill. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this Southern spot serves up heaping plates of food, from family-style vegetables and fried chicken to fritters with maple butter and mini muffins for breakfast. It’s a menu full of comfort foods here, with turkey and dressing, meatloaf, chicken pot pie, and post roast to name a few.
Goods from the Gristmill & Pantry
What says Pigeon Forge more than history and homemade? At The Old Mill, get both with the cornmeal, flour, grits, oats, and mixes made by the historic gristmill! Grab a bag and whip up your own pancakes, biscuits, and fritters from your own full kitchen in your Pigeon Forge cabin. At the pantry, find honey, fruit butters, dips, jams and jellies, pickles, salsas, soup mixes, spices, and syrups to make any meal extra special.
Fresh Baked Goods & Homemade Candies
Along with the delicious homemade desserts you’ll find at The Old Mill Restaurant and The Old Mill Pottery House Café & Grille, you can get fresh baked goods to take with you. Here are just a few of the treats you can get:
- Cinnamon Raisin Bread
- Moonshine Cake
- Green Olive Bread
- French Toast Cake
- Cranberry Walnut Bread
- Sweet Potato Pecan Bread
- Chocolate Pecan Pie
Candy is another favorite in the Smokies, and there’s no shortage of that at The Old Mill Candy Kitchen. Nosh on pralines and divinity, old-fashioned stick candy, rock candy, peanut and cashew brittle, toffee, turtles, pecan logs, and more.
And on hot summer days, cool off with a cone at The Old Mill Creamery, where the Ice Cream Bar serves up a wide range of flavors and signature treats. Want to get your mouth watering? Here’s just a small taste:
- Black Lantern Chocolate
- Smoky Mountain Strawberry
- Homemade waffle cones
- Oat Mill Cream Pie
- Gristmill Toffeegrind
- Brown Butter Black Walnut
- Homemade ice cream sandwiches
Handmade, One-of-a-kind Pottery
Another important part of the history and culture in Pigeon Forge is art. From paintings and wood carvings to leather goods and pottery, the handmade art in the Smokies is a great way to take home a piece of the mountains. At The Old Mill, find beautiful and unique pieces that blend form and function. You can get berry bowls, chip and dip platters, vases, bacon cookers, mugs, pie plates, planters, pitchers, cake stands, wine glasses, and one-of-a-kind statues!
Gifts To Go
A favorite gift in many families is food. In a world where many of us have too much stuff, sweet treats and salsas are delicious gifts that won’t end up in the yard sale a few years down the road. The Old Mill has some wonderful gift-worthy treats for birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, and more. Or you can get a gift for yourself to enjoy at the cabin.
Start anyone’s morning off right with the Breakfast At The Old Mill basket, Misty Morning Sampler, or Mini Honey Butter Sampler. Dip mixes – like the Almond Poppyseed, Bacon and Cheddar Cheesespread, BLT, Cajun, Caramel Apple, and Cranberry Walnut – are perfect for game-day snacks and small add-on gifts. Chocolate Gravy and Campfire Mixed Bean Soup mixes are bestsellers, and gift cards are great for anyone!
Just Keep Browsing…
When you’re done at The Old Mill, you’ll find several other great places to browse, shop, and eat in the area. At The Village Shops in Gatlinburg, check out hand-pulled taffy, outdoor gear, personalized gifts, homemade cheese, coffee, Thomas Kinkade’s work, hand-thrown pottery, jewelry, hot sauce, ice cream, and a lovely fountain in the center.
At The Apple Barn and Cider Mill, try the Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant or the Farmhouse Grill before grabbing some ice cream or old-fashioned candies to go. The 2 restaurants offer more hearty Southern meals, all served with their famous Applewoods Apple Fritters®. At breakfast, get a glass of the refreshing Applewood Julep® alongside your bacon, pork chops, waffles, and potatoes. Lunch and dinner include favorites like Southern fried chicken, country fried steak, sugar cured ham, local trout, and sides like fried okra, creamed corn, and dumplings.
Of course, you can always just hop aboard a trolley and explore the Parkway in Pigeon Forge, fill up your shopping bags at the Tanger Outlet stores, or head over to Gatlinburg to see the artists on the historic Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community loop. There are so many ways to explore the Great Smoky Mountains, through food, art, history, music, and the views the area is known for.