Skip the chain restaurants this spring and opt for some of the most unique eating experiences that Gatlinburg has to offer. From a local Italian original to the best American grills, and even sweet stops, we have compiled a list of the coolest foodie destinations in the Smokies. 

If you want to learn more about all the foodie favorites, check out the newest Gatlinburg Comedy Tour —The Comedy Food Tour

Tom & Earl’s Back Alley Grille 

Most of our tours originate at this Gatlinburg classic because it is our favorite place on the Parkway. With its spacious patio and delicious American cuisine, Tom & Earl’s is a well-priced, family-friendly spot to visit on your Smoky Mountain vacation. From juicy burgers to nachos to wraps and salads, this grill is the way to go. 

Cliff Top 

Looking for a meal with a view? Look no further than Cliff Top in Anakeesta’s Black Bear Village. This mountain top restaurant features a modern take on American cuisine along with some craft beer favorites for those 21+.  Enjoy the spectacular sunsets that only the Smokies can provide from Cliff Top’s outdoor patio, which overlooks our favorite mountain range. 

Best Italian in Elks Plaza

Nestled on LeConte Creek, this Italian eatery lives up to its name with the Best Italian food on the Parkway. This restaurant prides itself on sticking to simple ingredients and flavors made with quality ingredients. Devour a mountain of their famous garlic knots, pasta, and pizza on their shaded patio with the relaxing sounds of the creek at this Gatlinburg original. 

No Way Jose’s 

Another waterside locale is No Way Jose’s. This Mexican cantina is located directly on the river which adds to its already bright and fun aesthetic. Dive into their menu full of Tex-Mex favorites like queso blanco, tacos, fajitas, and a unique collection of signature drinks for those over 21. 

Donut Friar 

Located in the idyllic Village Shoppes, The Donut Friar is the perfect place to quell your sweet tooth. This cozy little shop has a baked good for everyone from chocolate glazed donuts to cinnamon bread to baklava and more. When you enter this location, you are welcomed by the Donut Friar himself; ready for a photo with a tall stack of donuts (pictured above). The theming of this bakery is why it makes our list of unique places to eat! You’ll always get to take a free sniff when you walk a Gatlinburg Comedy Tour. 


Gatlinburg is quickly approaching food destination status thanks to special restaurants like these. Not only do they offer delicious cuisine at affordable prices, but they offer novel experiences for every smoky mountain traveler. Want to find more food destination favorites? Buy tickets to our Gatlinburg Food Comedy Tour today!