Walking into Corky’s Ribs & BBQ in Pigeon Forge is like stepping into a ’50s-style blues establishment in Memphis. The eatery’s hickory-smoked ribs and hand-pulled barbecue are considered world-famous, at least in the Smoky Mountains. There’s an unmissable Beale Street vibe, from the ambiance to the dry rub, capturing everything there is to love about Memphis-style BBQ.
The best tastes of barbecue come alive in what Corky’s likes to call “Hog Heaven.” Order your ribs wet or dry with smokin’ sides such as fried okra, jalapeno hushpuppies, creamy mac & cheese, or collard greens. Create your own combination plates by choosing from catfish, smoked turkey, beef brisket, smoked sausage, ribs, smoked chicken, or pulled pork. To taste a bit of everything on the menu, splurge on “The Smokehouse,” which feeds up to six guests and includes a full rack of ribs, one pound of pulled pork, two chicken halves, corn on the cob, fries, BBQ beans, and either coleslaw or twice-baked potato salad.
Even if BBQ isn’t your thing, Corky’s offers a variety of sandwiches and salads to suit a variety of tastes. Try the Stacked Salad with chicken tenders, a loaded baked potato with grilled chicken, the Great American Bacon Cheeseburger, or the famous Beale Street Burger. Other great options include the Pig With A Paddle, which is a pulled pork sandwich with two bones or ribs, and the Chicken Philly, and the Cheesy-Q pulled pork sandwich with mac & cheese on Texas toast.
In addition to Corky’s impressive menu selection, the eatery also offers specials such as the Drive Thru 2 for $10, which consists of two pork sandwiches, two drinks, and two bags of chips for drive-thru customers. There is also the All-You-Can-Eat Ribs special, which is dine-in only. It includes two sides and no sharing is allowed, but why would you want to?
-Corky’s Ribs & BBQ is conveniently located on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge between the Golden Corral and McDonald’s. Even though you’ll eat your fill with the restaurant’s generous portions, it’s worth considering a starter. The fried dill pickles in particular are a customer favorite. You can also try the BBQ nachos, house-made onion rings, or the smoked sausage and cheese plate.
-For gluten-sensitive patrons, it’s important to note that Corky’s BBQ sauce is not gluten-free. While the restaurant does have a gluten-free ingredient list available, there is no gluten-free menu. If you find yourself here anyway, order the meat without sauce and state that you don’t want the hushpuppies. Asking the manager before ordering is the best option.
-To avoid traffic on the Parkway, visit Pigeon Forge in an off-peak season. Traffic gets congested no matter the hour during the summer and holidays, especially on weekends. If you’d like to eat at Corky’s but need to drive the length of the Parkway to get here, aim for a late lunch or a late dinner when it won’t be as crowded.
-Like most of the barbecue restaurants in the Smokies, Corky’s can be expensive, especially if you’re dining in with family. Stay updated on the latest specials by checking the website before visiting.
-If you’re staying in a cabin over the holidays, don’t forget that Corky’s Ribs & BBQ cater to holiday meals. These meals are completely customizable and can include a whole turkey, a spiral glazed ham, green beans, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, a dozen rolls, and sweet tea by the gallon. Just be sure to preorder your holiday meal at least seven days in advance. Once it’s ready, you can pick it up in the drive-thru!