#69 of 74 Gatlinburg Restaurants

The Rampant Lion

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The Rampant Lion - Celtic Pub with Fresh Food
Local Expert's Rating:
5.0 / 5
The Bottom Line:

When you step through the doors of The Rampant Lion, it is like being transported Across the Pond to an authentic, family-friendly Celtic pub. Each order is cooked fresh and represents the cuisine of Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Cornwall, and Brittany.

- The SmokyMountains.com Local Expert Team

In the United Kingdom, the quintessential pub not only offers stick-to-your-ribs meals and tasty beverages, but it is also where family and friends gather to share laughs, and, if time permits, play some games. If this sounds inviting, but you wonder if you need to book a flight to London, relax. The Rampant Lion lives up to these standards and then some.

The Rampant Lion, formerly Wine A Little, is off the beaten path, but we feel it is a hidden gem of Gatlinburg. If you are tired of the area’s cookie-cutter restaurants, then you will love visiting The Rampant Lion. Inside, wood beams adorned with Celtic flags and English soccer team banners will make you feel like you are in England and not Tennessee. This family-friendly pub has board games you can play with the kids, and the laid-back atmosphere may be the ticket after fighting the crowds sightseeing and shopping.

Brian and his wife, Dana, are the owners and make each guest feel welcomed and appreciated. They are fun-loving and quick with a joke which will further enhance your dining experience.

The menu features Celtic fare that is so authentic that visitors from the British Isles are amazed at the quality of the food. The Rampant Lion is so committed to excellence that they even grind their own beef. This passion for quality is also why they cook meals to order and refuse to prepare them in advance and keep warm. First-rate food like this takes time, so be patient. Maybe order another drink or play a board game while waiting.

No pub would be complete without a litany of libations. The Rampant Lion offers the best selection of whiskey and bourbon in the area. You can sip varieties from Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. They also serve cocktails, have plenty of ales, and over seventy-five wines to consider. Not sure what to try? Ask Brian or Dana, and they will steer you in the right direction.

Everything on the menu is a crowd-pleaser, but here are some favorites:

Shepherd’s Pie
This iconic British dish starts with a layer of lamb, ground pork, and ground beef cooked with onions, carrots, and gravy. A heaping scoop of homemade mashed potatoes tops off this pub classic.

Fish and Chips
Nothing says England like fish and chips! The fish is pollock, and it is smothered in a Bass Ale batter then fried to golden perfection. The chips, what we Yanks call french fries, are the beefsteak variety, which will satisfy the hungriest of appetites.

Cornish Pastry
If you think this is some tiny muffin you eat with your morning coffee, think again. The Cornish Pastry hales from Cornwall, a region rich in mining, and was the miners’ meal of choice. You will need two hands to wrangle this puff pastry filled with ground beef, steak, potatoes, and turnips.

Beer Cheese Dip
Like everything else The Rampant Lion serves, the beer cheese dip is big enough for a meal. Melted cheese, combined with Newcastle Brown Ale and house spices, makes this a favorite with the regulars. But be sure you save room for dinner and dessert!

Scottish Tipsy La
This heavenly dessert starts with a ladyfinger cake soaked in Drambuie, a Scottish whisky liqueur infused with honey, herbs, and spices. Raspberries, homemade custard, and sliced almonds top off this scrumptious dessert.

Whether you are with family or friends, The Rampant Lion is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy authentic Celtic meals and beverages.

Insider Tip:
Be wary of following GPS directions in the Gatlinburg area. You may be directed to a route that will beat the traffic but the payoff could be steep curvy roads.