Gather ’round, hash-brown lovers and pancake connoisseurs because you’re in for a treat. Whether it’s Paula Deen’s piggies in a blanket, or made-from-scratch biscuits from Crockett’s 1875 Breakfast Camp, Tennessee’s Smoky Mountain towns have something that’s sure to please every breakfast-seeking palate. We’ve rounded up our five favorite breakfasts that locals and visitors alike rave over. After all, it’s the most important meal of the day.
Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen
Go family-style at Paula Deen’s where your party will order as a group. Since its grand opening in April 2015, the restaurant has seen a revolving door of hungry travelers.
Wait times can exceed an hour and for good reason; the food here is decadent and made from scratch with breakfast favorites like chicken and waffles and ooey gooey butter pancakes made with batter from Paula’s signature ooey gooey butter cake. Add a side of deep-fried grits and black-pepper bacon, and you’re in Southern breakfast heaven. Call ahead (865-366-1510) to reduce your party’s wait time, or take your pager with you and wander the shops of The Island as you wait.
Crockett’s 1875 Breakfast Camp
Skillet-served breakfast and a bill that won’t break the bank? Crockett’s 1875 Breakfast Camp offers both. With menus printed in antique-newspaper format, reclaimed wood walls, and food served in cast-iron skillets, there’s old-timey charm galore here, and we’re happy to report that it complements delicious food.
The enormous pancakes are a specialty as are the made-from-scratch biscuits and skillet breakfasts, like the postmaster’s favorite which is a skillet full of chicken-fried steak, gravy, eggs, and grits. If that doesn’t meet your breakfast quota, try a massive home-made cinnamon roll smothered in icing to top off the morning.
The Pancake Pantry
Any list of breakfast restaurants in Gatlinburg isn’t complete without mention of the Pancake Pantry, the town’s original pancake house. Sure, you may be jostling elbows to get a seat, but it’s worth it; the sweet potato pancakes and Georgia peach crepes will invade your dreams long after you’ve paid the bill. At the Pancake Pantry, they’ve been doing it since 1960, and it shows.
Flapjack’s Pancake Cabin
We know, we know: more pancakes, but they’re the perfect breakfast food! With 6 area locations, there is no reason not to try Flapjack’s Pancake Cabin . Order big, yummy pancakes in flavors like wild mountain blueberry or Reese’s peanut butter and chocolate chip. If you’re not in the mood for pancakes, try one of their skillet breakfasts. We like the appropriately named Rocky Top Skillet with two sausage biscuits and two eggs served over skillet potatoes with a side of country gravy.
The Old Mill Restaurant
The Old Mill Restaurant specializes in serving huge portions of comfort food all day long, and breakfast is no exception. Wait times can be long during peak seasons, but it’ll all be worth it once you take your first bite of their Cinnamon Raisin Pecan French Toast breakfast. Prefer a savory start to your day? Try the Old Mill biscuits with ham or bacon. Complete renegade? Order a piece of their pecan pie. It’s made fresh every day and one of the best sweet treats around.
Want the best local insights on which area restaurants are worth the wait? Visit our list of Smoky Mountain restaurant reviews!