Located in Gatlinburg’s historic Arts and Crafts Community, Wild Plum Tea Room offers a rarified opportunity to enjoy fine cuisine in a homey, cabin-like venue. When naming it one of the 10 Best Restaurants in the State, The Tennessean newspaper described it as “quaint and whimsical…set off the beaten path.”
The fact that Wild Plum is off the beaten path is an advantage in a number of ways. Surrounded by mature trees and relative quiet, the tea room feels as though it’s straight out of an old-time pioneer town. It’s like walking into a warm cabin with Victorian touches, an ambiance that might be harder to pull off in a more populated area.
Owners modeled the eatery after the tea houses found in the Austrian mountains and wanted to recreate the places where people gather to share stories and enjoy foods made fresh daily. They use recipes passed down from friends and relatives, well-tested and well-loved.
You can enjoy your meal in the main dining room, on the Wild Plum’s screened porch, or weather permitting, in their outdoor patio area. If you want to experience the tea room but are not in the mood for an entire meal, stop in for tea or dessert.
Although the menu is ever-evolving, it does include vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options. A recent day’s menu included:
- Appetizers, including Hot Pimento Cheese Dip with celery and crackers, Buffalo Cauliflower with ranch or blue cheese dressing, and Baked Brie.
- Soup favorites like Sherried Tomato Bisque and Mediterranean Stew — a hearty combination of beef, Italian sausage, pork, cabbage, red peppers, and garbanzo beans in a port red wine sauce. They also offered a vegan bowl.
- Entrees included Chicken Salad with fresh fruit and a warm scone or a Wild Plum Medley.
- The Sandwich of the Day was Ham, Havarti Cheese, and Orange Pecan Mustard Grill.
- Chef Specials on this particular day were Lobster Pie — a whole claw Maine lobster in artichoke cream sauce, a touch of cayenne paper, and dried mustard, topped with a puff pastry — and their famous Bison Burger stuffed with smoked gouda cheese, garlic, and a special combination of seasonings.
- Other unique options included a Strata of the Day — a quiche-like bread pudding served with either fresh fruit, the soup of the day, or salad of the day – and a Wild Plum Dessert Sampler.
The truth is, it feels a little like cheating to list one day’s menu only. Depending upon the day, there are a myriad of unique and delectable options illustrating why Wild Plum is a top choice with locals and visitors alike.
Here are some favorites recommended by former guests: Amaretto Apple Bread Pudding, Salmon Burger with Cheddar Soup, Sherry Tomato Bisque Soup, Curry Quinoa Salad, Cheesy Cauliflower Soup, Tuna with Kohlrabi Salad, Cuban Pork Sandwich with Chutney, Blackberry Cobbler with Cinnamon Ice Cream, and a Vegan Platter that includes Salad, Olives, Hummus and Veggie Dippers (made with eggless mayonnaise).
No one will blame you if you visit the Wild Plum Tea Room the first time in order to check the ambiance and decor. If former guests are any indication though, you’ll return for the food.
- Wild Plum Tea Room is a cash-only business and does not accept credit cards.
- Although reservations are highly encouraged, same day reservations are not accepted. Make sure to call at least one day in advance.
- Wild Plum’s parking lot is relatively small. You can park in the lot across the street. Be careful walking across Buckhorn Road though as it has no sidewalks and is normally quite busy.
- The restaurant is not totally handicap accessible. While there is handicap parking in front and the first floor is accessible, the upstairs area and restrooms are not.
- Wild Plum is dog friendly with dogs welcomed on the outside porch deck. Make sure your pooch is on a leash in order to keep everyone happy.