Where Can I Find the Best Southern Cuisine along the Parkway




board of grilled meats


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Y’all Ready for the Best Southern Cuisine Along the Parkway? Well, Giddy-Up! (Grinning Gary Here!)

Howdy, partners! Grinning Gary here, your official ambassador to all things fun and flavorful in the Great Smoky Mountains! Today, we’re gonna embark on a rootin’ tootin’ good adventure – a culinary quest for the best Southern cuisine along the Parkway!

Southern Cuisine along the parkway
Pecan pancakes at Pancake Pantry in Nashille” by Average Jane is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Now, I know what you’re thinkin’. The Parkway stretches for miles and miles, a scenic wonderland windin’ through some of the most breathtaking parts of the country. But let me tell you somethin’, this ain’t just a journey for the eyes, it’s a bonanza for the belly too! We’re talkin’ about some down-home cookin’ that’ll have your taste buds doin’ a jig and your heart singin’ “Sweet Home Alabama” – even if you ain’t from ’round these parts.

Yep, you heard me right. From smoky pulled pork BBQ to fried chicken that’s so good it’ll make you wanna slap yo’ mama (but please don’t, folks, manners are important!), the Parkway’s dotted with restaurants servin’ up Southern goodness that’ll tantalize your taste buds and leave you feelin’ satisfied like a bear after a honey binge (minus the whole hibernation part, of course).

So, whether you’re a seasoned Southerner lookin’ for a taste of home or a curious critter from up north hankerin’ for some grits and gravy, this here guide is your golden ticket to the best Southern cuisine along the Parkway. Consider it your roadmap to flavortown, with a few laughs and a heapin’ helping of local charm along the way. Now, grab your napkin and git ready to dig in, ’cause we’re about to embark on a delicious journey through the Smokies!

The Parkway to Flavortown: Your Roadmap to Gatlinburg’s Best Southern Cuisine (with Smoky Mountain Detours!)

Alright, partners! Git ready to embark on a flavortown adventure through the Smoky Mountains, with Gatlinburg as our delicious home base! The Parkway stretches far and wide, and while we might not be able to hit every single stop, this guide will point you towards the best Southern cuisine along the Parkway in Gatlinburg, with a few detours to some smokin’ good spots along the way. Consider it your roadmap to culinary bliss, Gatlinburg style!

Gatlinburg’s Comfort Classics:

  • The Pancake Pantry: This Gatlinburg institution is a breakfast haven, but their Southern-style dishes are dished up all day long. They’re famous for their fluffy buttermilk pancakes, but their chicken and waffles are a true revelation – crispy, golden chicken atop fluffy waffles, drizzled with sweet maple syrup. It’s enough to make your taste buds do a jig and your heart sing!
  • Mama’s Chicken Kitchen: Gatlinburg might not have the ocean, but they sure know how to fry some chicken! Mama’s Chicken Kitchen is a local favorite for a reason. Their fried chicken is perfectly seasoned and cooked to juicy perfection. They also have a variety of classic Southern sides like mac n’ cheese, green beans, and mashed potatoes. Plus, their portions are generous, so come hungry!

Gatlinburg’s Unique Southern Flavors:

  • The Old Mill Pottery House Cafe and Grill: This Gatlinburg spot offers a delightful twist on Southern cuisine. They have classic dishes like pimento cheese sandwiches and shrimp and grits, but they also feature some more creative offerings, like a fried green tomato BLT. Don’t forget to save room for dessert – their homemade pecan pie is legendary!

Smoky Mountain Detours:

While Gatlinburg offers a fantastic selection of Southern cookin’, and Southern cuisine along the Parkway winds through some pretty incredible towns too! Here are a couple of detours worth considerin’ for some smokin’ good eats:

  • Little Smoky Mountain Barbecue in Townsend: Nestled near the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this family-run joint is a must-stop for barbecue lovers. Their slow-cooked pork and brisket are infused with a deep, rich flavor from oak and hickory coals. You won’t be disappointed!
  • The Old Mill Restaurant in Pigeon Forge: This historic restaurant offers a taste of Tennessee tradition just a short drive from Gatlinburg. Their menu features classic Southern dishes like fried green tomatoes, country fried steak, and pecan pie. They even have a sorghum molasses bucket on every table – a true Southern staple, perfect for drizzling over your biscuits or pancakes.

This ain’t even close to all the deliciousness that awaits you on the Parkway, folks! These are just a few starting points to inspire your culinary adventure. So keep your eyes peeled for charming diners with checkered tablecloths, cozy cafes with sweet tea steamin’ on the counter, and don’t forget to explore the hidden gems in the towns along the way. After all, the best part about exploring Southern cuisine along the Parkway is discoverin’ your own favorite flavors and chowin’ down on some down-home Gatlinburg goodness!

Grinning Gary’s Grub Tips: Conquering the Best Southern Cuisine Along the Parkway!

Alright, folks, now that your stomach’s a-rumblin’ for some down-home Southern goodness, let’s get down to brass tacks! This here section is your cheat sheet to navigatin’ the best Southern cuisine along the Parkway like a seasoned pro. Consider me your personal Grub Guru, dishin’ out tips and tricks to make sure your culinary adventure is a lip-smacking success!

Seek Out the Local Gems (and Don’t Be Shy!)

The Parkway may have some national chains along the way, but where’s the fun in that? The true treasures lie in those hidden diners, family-owned cafes, and smoky barbecue joints tucked away in the little towns. These spots are the heart and soul of Southern cookin’, often passed down through generations with secret recipes and love in every bite. So, keep your eyes peeled for those charming places with handwritten menus and friendly faces behind the counter. Don’t be afraid to ask the locals for their recommendations – folks in the Smokies are always happy to point you towards their favorite hidden gems! You might just stumble upon the next best fried chicken joint or the most incredible plate of catfish you’ve ever tasted. Remember, some of the best Southern cuisine along the Parkway might be hiding in plain sight, just waitin’ for a curious critter like you to discover them!

Go Beyond the Fried Chicken (But Don’t Skip It Either!)

Sure, fried chicken is a Southern staple, and for good reason! But the beauty of Southern cuisine along the Parkway is its incredible variety. From melt-in-your-mouth barbecue to creamy grits and fresh seafood dishes, there’s somethin’ for every taste bud. Don’t be afraid to explore the menus and try somethin’ new! You might just discover your next favorite dish. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Shrimp and Grits: This classic Southern dish is a must-try. Creamy grits topped with juicy shrimp and a flavorful sauce is a true comfort food experience.
  • Pulled Pork BBQ: The Parkway offers a variety of barbecue styles, from North Carolina’s vinegar-based to South Carolina’s mustard sauce. Find a joint that smokes their meats low and slow, and get ready for some finger-lickin’ goodness!
  • Pecan Pie: No Southern meal is complete without a slice of sweet potato pie or pecan pie. These decadent desserts are the perfect way to end your culinary adventure on a high note.

Save Room for Dessert (and Sweet Tea!)

Now, listen here, partners. No Southern meal is complete without somethin’ sweet to finish it off. We’re talkin’ homemade pies with flaky crusts and gooey fillings, rich cobblers bubbling with fruit, and maybe even a slice of banana pudding to top it all off. Don’t deny your sweet tooth – indulge in a little somethin’ sugary, you deserve it after conquerin’ all that best Southern cuisine along the Parkway!

And let’s not forget the sweet tea! This Southern staple is the perfect way to wash down all that delicious food. Iced cold and refreshing, it’s a true taste of the South. Fun fact: sweet tea was actually invented right here in the United States, with origins traced back to the early 19th century! So, raise a glass (or mason jar) of sweet tea to a successful culinary adventure on the Parkway!

Grinning Gary Grubbin’ with the Gang: Parkway Eats and Local Legends

Alright, folks, gather ’round the virtual campfire! Y’all know me, Grinning Gary, your ambassador to all things delicious in the Smokies. Today, we ain’t just talkin’ about food, we’re talkin’ about fellowship and fun! I recently had the pleasure of chowin’ down with some good friends and discussin’ the best Southern cuisine along the Parkway. Let me tell you, their recommendations had my mouth waterin’ faster than a hound dog on the trail of a fresh biscuit!

There’s Sarah, bless her heart, a true Gatlinburg local with a nose for good food (and a sweet tooth a mile wide). She swears by this little place called The Pancake Pantry. Apparently, their buttermilk pancakes are legendary, fluffy and light with a hint of sweetness. She even raved about their chicken and waffles – crispy chicken atop those fluffy pancakes drizzled with real maple syrup. Sounds like a breakfast (or anytime, really) dream to me!

Now, my buddy Mark, that fella loves his barbecue. He spent a good chunk of the conversation singin’ the praises of Little Smoky Mountain Barbecue over near Townsend. He says they slow-cook their pork and brisket over oak and hickory coals, givin’ them a deep, smoky flavor that’ll have you lickin’ your fingers and comin’ back for more. Plus, they have all the classic Southern sides – creamy coleslaw, tangy potato salad, baked beans – the whole shebang! Mark even mentioned their homemade banana pudding, which sounds like the perfect way to end a barbecue feast.

Then there’s Jessica, always the adventurous one. She mentioned this place called The Old Mill Pottery House Cafe and Grill in Gatlinburg. Apparently, they offer a unique twist on Southern cuisine, with dishes like fried green tomato BLTs and shrimp and grits with chorizo. Sounds like a place where tradition meets creativity, and Jessica knows I love a good culinary adventure! She also mentioned their homemade pecan pie, which, knowin’ me, I gotta try on my next trip down the Parkway.

Now, these are just a taste (pun intended!) of the recommendations I got from my friends. The beauty of the Parkway is that every little town has its own hidden gems and local favorites waitin’ to be discovered. So, next time you’re cruisin’ down the scenic route, keep your eyes peeled for those charming diners, smoky barbecue joints, and cozy cafes with sweet tea steamin’ on the counter. Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with the locals – they’re the real experts when it comes to finding the best Southern cuisine along the Parkway! And hey, if you have any recommendations of your own, be sure to leave a comment below – I’m always on the lookout for my next culinary adventure!

Grinning Gary’s Grubbin’ Grand Finale: Your Southern Cuisine Along The Parkway Feast Awaits!

Alright, folks, we’ve reached the end of this delicious journey, but that don’t mean the fun has to stop! By now, your stomach should be a-rumblin’ and your taste buds tappin’ their little feet in anticipation of all the best Southern cuisine along the Parkway waitin’ to be devoured. Remember, this ain’t just a road trip for the sightseers, it’s a full-on flavor adventure!

The Parkway stretches for miles and miles, windin’ through valleys and mountains, each little town boastin’ its own unique flavor (pun intended!). From classic recipes passed down for generations to creative twists on Southern staples, you’re guaranteed to find somethin’ to tantalize your taste buds no matter where you stop. This guide serves as your roadmap to flavortown, but the real adventure lies in explorin’ and discoverin’ your own hidden gems.

Here’s a quick recap of Grinning Gary’s Grub Tips for conquerin’ the best Southern cuisine along the Parkway:

  • Seek Out the Local Gems: Don’t be afraid to stray from the chain restaurants and explore those charming diners and family-owned cafes. These hidden treasures often hold the most delicious secrets!
  • Go Beyond the Fried Chicken (But Don’t Skip It Either!): Southern cuisine offers a variety that goes way beyond fried chicken (although, let’s be honest, that’s a must-try too!). From creamy grits to fresh seafood dishes, there’s somethin’ for every taste bud.
  • Save Room for Dessert (and Sweet Tea!): No Southern meal is complete without a slice of pie or a glass of sweet tea. Indulge in a little somethin’ sweet to end your culinary adventure on a high note.

Most importantly, folks, have fun! The Parkway is all about enjoyin’ the scenery, the company, and of course, the incredible food. So grab your friends and family, hit the road, and get ready to experience the best Southern cuisine along the Parkway for yourselves! And hey, if you stumble upon any hidden gems or have some recommendations of your own, be sure to leave a comment below and share the flavortown love!


  • Grinning Gary McLaughlin

    Grinning Gary McLaughlin is Gatlinburg’s own treasure trove of tales, a local historian with a knack for weaving humor into the fabric of everyday life in the Smoky Mountains. With roots running deep in the heart of Tennessee, Gary’s passion for his hometown shines through in his engaging and light-hearted narratives. Whether he’s sharing insider tips on hidden gems or recounting hilarious anecdotes from around town, Gary’s writing makes every reader feel like a welcomed friend, ready to explore the wonders of Gatlinburg with a smile.

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