#42 of 47 Gatlinburg Restaurants

Johnny Rockets

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Johnny Rockets - A Retro Diner at the Foot of the Smoky Mountains
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

This is the ideal spot for young and old thanks to entertainment and a touch of rock ‘n roll nostalgia. Although it's a franchise, the owner manages to bring in a sense of warmth and personal touch to create a welcoming atmosphere. 

- The SmokyMountains.com Local Expert Team

It’s not always easy to entertain the younger crowd while dining out, which is why Johnny Rockets is such a welcome addition to Gatlinburg. This 31-year-old franchise decided to expand its portfolio to Downtown Gatlinburg in 2011.

Situated just outside Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg is known as a touristy town which can get a little crowded during peak seasons. Johnny Rockets provides an escape from the crowds by offering old-style comfort reminiscent of the fifties.

The music and decor are carefully chosen to represent the very best of rock ‘n roll and the playlists are continuously updated to ensure patrons have a fresh experience with every visit.

This particular branch of Johnny Rockets employs a varied range of locals including those who have relocated to the area from other parts of the world. This always makes for interesting conversation.

In close proximity to the diner are other attractions such as the Towne Center Plaza and the Gatlinburg Sky Lift. Johnny Rockets also happens to be right in the middle of the shopping district for those looking for gifts and souvenirs.

The decor itself lends to the era it represents with a life-sized replica of the King of Rock ‘n Roll, Elvis Presley, greeting guests at the door. Clean and well-maintained, the restaurant follows the same style as the rest of the chain with scheduled revamps.

Menu Favorites:

Although the burgers are top of the list of food items to try on the menu, it’s the milkshake that tends to take patrons down memory lane with its burst of flavor and creamy richness. Some of the items to try on the menu include:

  • The Original: This is the burger that started it all and includes all the favorite ingredients. It starts off with Angus beef and a Brioche bun and includes all the trimmings you’d expect on a burger such as shredded lettuce, mustard, mayonnaise, fresh tomato, onion, relish, and pickles.
  • BLT: Those who’ve already worked their way through the burgers should try Johnny Rocket’s take on the classic BLT. This sandwich packs a whole lot of flavor thanks to the sourdough bread. It also features thick-cut Applewood bacon, fresh tomato, lettuce, and mayonnaise.
  • Deluxe Shakes: Those who wish to reward themselves for a hard day of adventuring will find the range of deluxe shakes to do the trick. From Oreo cookies and cream to Hershey’s chocolate peanut butter, there’s a shake for everyone.

Patrons who wish to sample some of the vegetarian-friendly foods on the menu will be delighted with the black bean patty option. The menu also has a range of salads for those who wish to steer clear of starches, and kiddies have their own specialized menu.

The brand boasts fresh ingredients and high-quality condiments in order to provide the very best to their customers.

Appetizers include a range of tots, fries, and onion rings for those who simply can’t wait for the entrees to arrive.

Service is an important factor, and patrons usually walk away with smiles on their faces, thanks to the efficient and friendly staff.

Insider Tips:

  • Don’t overlook the parking lot tucked on a side street near the restaurant.
  • The local trolley can drop you off in front of the restaurant if you’re in town and don’t feel like walking.