Pile on the gooey cheese. Olive oil. Bread. More cheese. Repeat. If excessive calories bother you, steer clear of The Best Italian Cafe and Pizzeria. Known for its large pizzas, calzones, and Italian favorites, this Gatlinburg restaurant has been a local tradition for over 30 years. While the original restaurant is tucked in the back of the Elks Plaza shopping center between traffic lights eight and nine, the company recently expanded to include a second location directly on the Parkway in Gatlinburg.
I suspect that most meals have more calories than any person needs in a day. After throwing down some of Best Italian’s world-famous garlic rolls, slices of delicious New York style pizza, drinks, and dessert, guests might just feel like curling up in their cave and hibernating. Although moderately priced, the entrees are delicious and large.
Don’t visit expecting Southern hospitality and quick, attentive service like you may find at other Gatlinburg restaurants. What it lacks in service and decor, the restaurant makes up for in mouthwatering cuisine. Many dinner entrees are big enough to share and include garlic rolls and salads with homemade dressing.
Some menu favorites include:
- The Best Deluxe Pizza – thin crust style topped with a variety of meat and veggies
- Chicken Parmigiana – sauteed breadcrumb encrusted chicken breast covered in marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese, served over spaghetti pasta
- Calamari – lightly breaded and fried to perfection, paired with marinara sauce
Given that wait times can be long and service slow, visit Best Italian Cafe and Pizzeria when your party has plenty of time for a meal. Come expecting slightly overpriced mouthwatering American style Italian food and you won’t be disappointed.
The Best Italian Cafe and Pizzeria is located at the back of Gatlinburg’s Elk’s Plaza Shopping Center just off the Parkway between traffic lights eight and nine.
If you plan on driving, visit the restaurant’s website to print out a free parking voucher that can be redeemed at a nearby parking lot.
Call ahead to see if the restaurant can accommodate your large party at one table; large parties may be seated at separate tables and a gratuity of 17% is automatically added to groups of five or more guests.