#32 of 46 Pigeon Forge Restaurants

Paula Deen’s The Bag Lady

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Paula Deen's The Bag Lady: Tasty Eats From the TV Chef Herself
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Paula Deen's The Bag Lady is a nod to the celebrity chef's humble roots. This counter-service, deli-style eatery serves tasty sandwiches, salads, and desserts on The Island, making it a convenient place for shoppers to stop in for refreshments. 

- The SmokyMountains.com Local Expert Team

When you want to enjoy Paula Deen-approved meals, but you aren’t hungry enough for the family-sized portions at Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen, head to The Bag Lady. Located on The Island in Pigeon Forge, the same complex as the Family Kitchen, Paula Deen’s The Bag Lady is a simpler, counter-service eatery offering salads, sandwiches, fresh fruit, and other treats. It’s the perfect place to go when you want a light meal that doesn’t skimp on flavor.

Paula Deen’s The Bag Lady is a nod to the chef’s humble beginnings. Paula Deen started a lunch delivery service in 1989 out of her own home, and her sons called it “The Bag Lady.” The business was a big hit in Savannah, Georgia, helping catapult Deen to celebrity status. The Bag Lady is now the Deen family’s newest and most nostalgic dining experience, and Pigeon Forge is lucky to have a fresh deli right here on The Island.

The Bag Lady menu consists of a variety of sandwiches on honey wheat bread, including egg salad, pimento cheese, chicken salad, tuna salad, and a BLT. If you prefer a hot toasted sandwich, try the tuna melt, pulled barbecue chicken, or ham and swiss. You can also order “The Trio,” which gives you three half sandwiches so you can try all the favorites.

As for the salads, The Bag Lady serves up marinated roasted chicken, turkey, or bacon on fresh greens with veggies and homemade dressings. Add a side of pita chips, potato salad, coleslaw, or fruit to round out the meal, or save room for dessert.

Menu Favorites:

  • The restaurant’s most popular special is aptly named “The Bag Lady.” It consists of one, two, or three scoops of your choice of pimento cheese, chicken salad, tuna salad, or egg salad with homemade pita chips and fresh fruit.
  • If you like a little kick to your greens, order the Southwest. This salad features blackened chicken, corn, jalapenos, carrot, cucumber, tomato, black beans, and salsa with a spicy ranch dressing.
  • While any of these meals are good choices, the most famous item on the menu is Paula Deen’s ooey gooey butter cake. The delectable treat made from cake batter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and butter is out of this world. Despite being baked, the cake retains a gooey center that’s unlike anything you’ve ever tried. Trust us, you want to save room for dessert!
  • If the famous ooey gooey butter cake doesn’t appeal to you, opt for banana pudding or the parfait of the day. Either way, you won’t be disappointed. This is Paula Deen we’re talking about.

Insider Tips

  • You have to visit The Island in order to eat at The Bag Lady. The popular complex tends to be lively and crowded, but there’s plenty of parking and shuttles are available to transport you from the vast parking lot to the center of The Island. If you don’t mind walking, skip the shuttle and walk across the bridge. The walk isn’t too far, and you can enjoy a bit of scenery before immersing yourself in the crowd.
  • Peak lunchtime can get hectic, and the restaurant has been known to run out of popular items. If you have your heart set on the chicken salad and ooey gooey butter cake, get there early!