5 Reasons You Should Eat Out on Your Vacation in Pigeon Forge, TN


Vacation is all about getting away from the everyday grind and relaxing. In the Great Smoky Mountains, that means everything from soaking in a hot tub beneath the stars and cozying up in front of a wood-burning fireplace at your cabin to playing at exciting attractions and going on a shopping spree downtown. When hunger strikes between your vacation activities, you’ll need to refuel. And while you certainly have the option to cook homemade meals and dine at your cabin with a fully equipped kitchen and dining area — many with mountain views — sometimes you don’t feel like cooking, and that’s okay! Sit back and let a professional chef take care of your mealtimes on vacation when you eat out in Pigeon Forge, TN. 

Whether you want a nice sit-down dinner, a quick bite, a show with your meal, a snack to tide you over between eats, or a sweet dessert, you’ll find it all in and around the Parkway. There are dozens of restaurants in town, and even in neighboring Sevierville and Gatlinburg, that can curb any craving, fill every stomach, and produce Appalachian flavors of all kinds. Eating in Pigeon Forge is a great way to get to know the food culture of the Smokies and maybe take home a few recipe ideas to try. 

Visit our blog to see what food-centric events are happening downtown during your stay, or check out our Pigeon Forge restaurant listings for an idea of what you’ll find to eat downtown. Or read on for our top 5 reasons eating in Pigeon Forge is a must on your Smoky Mountain vacation!

  1. There’s plenty of variety for large groups.

With so many attractions, eateries, and stores in town plus sizable cabins with tons of space to keep groups comfortable, entertained, and happy, Pigeon Forge is always a hit with large groups. If you’re planning a retreat or reunion, the restaurant variety will be a big draw for you. Cooking for a group can be a challenge, but finding something that everyone will like downtown will be a breeze!

Curb a craving for Italian, nosh on German favorites, fill up on Mexican, grab burgers, or order pizzas. Many Pigeon Forge restaurants also have a nice variety on their menus, giving you plenty of options all in one place. Just give the restaurant you choose a call ahead of time; most can get tables set up to accommodate groups. Great places to eat for groups include Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen, Timberwood Grill, Mama’s Farmhouse, and Golden Corral. And The Island is perfect for splitting up to eat, then meeting back at the fountain or Ferris wheel.

  1. You can grab a quick, delicious meal easily.

It’s easy to stay busy in the Smokies, hopping from one attraction to the next. On any given day in Pigeon Forge, you could tour the RMS Titanic, pose with celebrities at the Hollywood Wax Museum, explore an upside-down building, run from zombies, drive for NASCAR, and see how your skills stack up against world record holders. Somewhere in there, you’ll need to fit in some tasty food! 

Even if you’re not in the mood for a chain fast food restaurant, Pigeon Forge has plenty of quick cafes and pizza places where you can get something between activities. Or you can just get some fudge to snack on until the next meal! Try Big Daddy’s Pizzeria, Lil Black Bear Cafe, Firehouse Subs, or Mel’s Classic Diner.

  1. Pampering your date with fine dining is possible. 

If you’re in the Great Smoky Mountains for a honeymoon, an anniversary, or just a weekend away with your special someone, we recommend indulging in at least one nicer meal downtown. In Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, you can get flavorful fondue at The Melting Pot, hand-cut steaks at Alamo Steakhouse, seafood at Bullfish Grill, Italian, decadent desserts, or pretty much anything else you’re craving! 

Looking to make your date extra special? Visit the Wild Plum Tea Room in the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community for a lavish lunch in a garden. Opt for riverside dining at The Peddler Steakhouse nestled near the entrance to the national park. And spring for curled ice cream at Curl de la Creme for dessert.

  1. It’s a great way to get a taste of Smoky Mountain life.

One of the best ways to experience the Great Smoky Mountains is by eating local specialties or favorites. Calhoun’s and Bennett’s BBQ serve up Southern sides and juicy barbecue, and places like The Old Mill and Apple Barn Farmhouse are always great local picks. Of course, a stay in Pigeon Forge isn’t complete without a big stack of fluffy pancakes, found at any one of the dozens of pancake houses and early-morning joints stuffed along the Parkway! Some of our favorites include Sawyer’s Farmhouse Breakfast, Flapjack’s Pancake Cabin, Red Rooster Pancake House, and Reagan’s House of Pancakes.

  1. You won’t have to bother with cooking!

Take a break from cooking while on your Pigeon Forge vacation and enjoy all the restaurant options downtown. Forget grocery shopping and just head into town for a hearty pancake breakfast in the morning, a laid-back lunch at a local café in the afternoon, or a big dinner at night. You can even have food delivered to the cabin or order catering to-go, so you can still enjoy the convenience of a full kitchen yet skip the cooking.

Eating out is also a great way to spend quality time with family and friends. You can enjoy a meal together without the stress of finding a local grocery store or spending hours cooking. And if you have someone in the family who’s always doing the cooking for everyone, this is a great opportunity to give them a break. Let them kick up their feet and enjoy someone else doing the cooking for a bit. Plus, there are loads of flavor options with 100s of area restaurants!

Stay Close to Good Eats at a Pigeon Forge Cabin

Planning to eat out on your Smoky Mountain vacation means you’ll need a place to stay that’s near all the food in Pigeon Forge. At Pigeon Forge TN Cabins, we currently have 450+ cabin options within the Pigeon Forge area that range from 1-16 bedrooms and offer fun amenities — including private indoor pools, hot tubs, theater rooms, game tables, king beds, and mountain views. Most importantly, many of our cabins are within minutes of favorite Pigeon Forge eats along the Parkway!

Of course, if you want to cook in the cabin or bring back leftovers, you can! Every cabin on our program has a fully equipped kitchen with major appliances, pots and pans, other cookware, dishes, glasses, cutlery, mugs, and more. All you need to do is grab ingredients at the store. Cook to your heart’s content, reheat restaurant leftovers, and whip up midnight snacks in a flash. Plus, many of our cabins have gas or charcoal grills and outdoor tables for barbecues. 

Feeding Large Groups in Pigeon Forge

While there are plenty of places to eat in downtown Pigeon Forge, our large group cabins boast spacious fully equipped kitchens that make feeding a large group easy! If you want to cook, several of our lodges even have double the appliances, giving you tons of space and the amenities you need to create meals for a retreat or reunion. Several also have huge dining spaces indoors and outdoors, giving you enough room to seat everyone for a meal together. No matter what your plans — or what stresses may come along with planning a large group getaway — feeding everyone doesn’t have to be one of your worries with Pigeon Forge TN Cabins. 

Book Your Cabin

Easily book your cabin of choice – be it budget friendly, luxury, or pet friendly – online. We can also help plan your vacation and answer any questions you may have — including offering more Pigeon Forge food recommendations — over the phone at 1.866.513.7885.