The weather outside is frightful, and the fire inside your cabin’s living room is … well, you get the picture: You and your nearest and dearest are huddled around a roaring fire, and nobody feels like lifting a finger – unless it’s to top off Uncle Bob’s eggnog.
Put turkey baster nightmares and gravy catastrophes to bed for good by ordering dinner from one of your favorite Smoky Mountain restaurants. Or brave the outdoors and reserve a table for festive Christmas Eve feast.
From tenderloin crostini to crab cakes to triple chocolate cake, we’ve picked a handful of our favorite restaurants (and menu items) that are sure to promise a cozy Christmas morning spent opening gifts and playing with new toys instead of washing, chopping, dicing, bruleeing, simmering, and stirring.
Note: Many area restaurants have limited hours during the holiday season. Call in advance to make carryout arrangements.
If you’re looking for a juicy steak or succulent lobster tucked away off Gatlinburg’s main strip, the Greenbrier is just your cup of chowder. From decadent appetizers like crab-stuffed mushrooms to classic and seasonal desserts (try the cranberry bread pudding with whiskey sauce), Greenbrier feels special enough to make Christmas dinner an event. Open Christmas Eve. Closed Christmas Day.
Best for: fine dining; romantic dinners and indulgent, classics like prime rib and seafood
The Restaurant at Buckberry Lodge
Romantics and view-seekers, rejoice: You can satisfy your inner foodie while also taking in sprawling mountain views at the Restaurant at Buckberry Lodge, where the chef uses fresh, local ingredients in his changing menu, with offers like tenderloin crostini and sautéed sea bass with fennel. Call for holiday hours.
Best for: fine dining; foodies who like a view
The Cherokee Grill
The Cherokee Grill is famous for its crab cakes, but don’t let them distract you from its other delectable menu items: the rotisserie herbed chicken with herbed rice is tender and tasty, and you’ve got to convince at least one person to order the prosperity steak –10 oz. sirloin marinated in olive oil, garlic and pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and butter. Better yet, order one of everything and make it a family-style affair. Open Christmas Day.
Best for: steak lovers; crab cake connoisseurs, Southern food fans
From November 24 to December 25, give Calhoun’s a 24-hour notice and they’ll prepare a holiday supper for five ($60) or ten ($115). Has your clan worked up an appetite after skiing at Ober Gatlinburg all day? With its hearty portions of foods like smoked ribs, “ale” pork chops, potato skins, and Tennessee corn puddin’, you’ll leave with nary an empty belly (don’t forget the triple chocolate cake, either). Open Christmas day.
Best for: families, big appetites, barbecue lovers
Smoky Mountain Brewery
The Smoky Mountain Brewery is a must-visit while you’re in Gatlinburg, and what better time than while you’re celebrating the Christmas cheer? With a long list of microbrews and a menu full of burgers, philly cheesesteaks, salads, and other bar grub, there’s something everyone will love noshing on. Bonus: Pick up their holiday 12-pack and consider your last-minute holiday shopping done. Open Christmas Day.
Best for: beer lovers
Got a hankering to visit the Smoky Mountains this holiday season? It’s not too late! Browse our list of cabins today!