From relaxed barbecue joints to upscale cuisine, Gatlinburg is home to a variety of restaurants worth checking out. Sometimes, however, all you want is dessert. Thankfully, you’ll find plenty of options along the Parkway and elsewhere in Gatlinburg.
Indulge your sweet tooth at these local favorites, which offer a wide variety of treats that are bound to spark cravings:
Wild Plum Tea Room
Rustic details set the Wild Plum Tea Room apart, as do the quality ingredients prepped with care. The small restaurant serves a variety of hearty dishes, but its tea and desserts are arguably more enticing than any of its lunch entrees.
Offerings vary from one day to the next, so don’t get too attached to any one option before you arrive. If you’re willing to be surprised by the dessert of the day, however, you just might find that the tea room delivers a memorable treat that exceeds your expectations. You can, at least, expect to receive a muffin with jam — and you won’t be disappointed by this Wild Plum essential.
Maypops Ice Cream
Scooter rentals and ice cream might not seem like a typical combination, but both can be found at Maypops. If nothing else, this unique shop is worth checking out for the sake of its friendly atmosphere, where you’ll find soda bottle chandeliers and plenty of samples.
If you’re like most visitors, you won’t be able to resist Maypops’ ice cream, donuts, and cupcakes. While numerous options are available to satisfy your sweet tooth, most people agree that the ice cream is by far the most satisfying. Cups are available, but the waffle cones are too tasty to miss.
Mad Dog’s Creamery
Mad Dog’s is a staple in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Both locations offer a wide range of desserts, prompting a definite struggle for indecisive types. For many, the treat of choice is dictated by the time of day: donuts for breakfast and ice cream later on. Otherwise, your best bet may involve enjoying ice cream in the store and saving your donut for later.
From hand-dipped ice cream to soft serve and even banana splits, the shop provides a range of frozen desserts to keep you and your loved ones refreshed. The donuts are just as tasty, and, with yeast, filled, and iced versions available, the store provides something for everyone.
The Donut Friar
If your sweet tooth hits hard during the morning, feel free to stop by The Donut Friar, where you’ll find a variety of classics, along with cinnamon bread, pastries, and more. Conveniently situated within The Village Shops, this is the perfect spot to kick off an exciting day of shopping — or to take a break when you need to recharge.
Opening bright and early at 5 am, this shop has what it takes to get you out of the bed in the morning. You’ll be most motivated by the sweet, yet fresh flavors of the donuts — but the promise of cappuccino or espresso should also get you going. No matter what you order, you’ll be expected to pay in cash. Once you’ve grabbed your favorite drink and donut, you can head upstairs to the limited seating area or enjoy your treats outside. Either way, you’ll be glad you stopped in.
As you navigate Gatlinburg’s famed Parkway, you’ll likely spot the welcoming sight of Kilwins Chocolate — a perennial favorite among locals and tourists alike. The shop’s cute atmosphere beckons, as does its amazing aromas.
Inside, you’ll encounter a range of sweets that are guaranteed to have your mouth watering almost instantaneously. These are made fresh within the store to ensure the best possible flavor.
If you’re lucky, you’ll have the opportunity to observe the shop’s talented staff members as they create your favorite desserts right before your eyes. From hand-dipped caramel apples to chocolate strawberries and even Mackinac Island fudge, you’ll easily find a treat — or several — to satisfy your cravings.
Glades Soda Fountain
Stepping inside Glades Soda Fountain feels a lot like entering a time capsule — only tastier. This shop may be small, but it has plenty of heart to make up for its diminutive size. Head to the counter to order an old-fashioned soda, malt, or root beer float. These and other treats can be enjoyed right where you order, or, if you prefer, outside.
Before you head out, you’ll definitely want to observe the many unique visuals on display in this shop, where you’ll find antique signs and silly corks topping the syrup bottles. These and other details set Glades Soda Fountain apart, but the authentic flavors and nostalgic vibes make it especially memorable.
Cookie Dough Bliss
If you struggle to resist the urge to lick the spoon when baking, you can safely indulge your love of cookie dough at this wonderful destination. Perfectly named, this shop easily inspires a sense of bliss in cookie dough lovers, who appreciate its vast selection of flavors.
Whether you favor chocolate chip, peanut butter, or snickerdoodle cookies, you can find a dough-based version that will combine perfectly with vanilla or chocolate ice cream. If you struggle to settle on a flavor, feel free to request a sample. When you feel especially hungry or have a strong sweet tooth, you can take your treat up a notch by adding delicious mix-ins and toppings such as whipped cream, baked cookies, or chocolate.
Once you’ve selected your preferred cookie dough and ice cream, you’re welcome to enjoy your dessert in the pink-dominant shop. The cheerful interior will delight you nearly as much as your cookie dough treat. Take in the charming ice cream parlor environment before you resume your adventures on the Parkway.
There’s no lack of sweet treats in Gatlinburg. From classic, nostalgia-oriented recipes to inventive options, you will have no trouble finding desserts that match your vision of sugar-laden paradise. Take a break from your diet and explore the town’s tastiest offerings — you’ve earned this opportunity to indulge.