Bennett’s BBQ in downtown Gatlinburg, which originally opened almost 25 years ago, is a local favorite that has stood the test of time. What’s their secret? Smoke. Each piece of brisket, chicken, and pork is slowly smoked over smoldering piles of hickory wood by a pitmaster that talks about the menu items like they are family. The result is exceptional barbecue that is tender, packed with flavor, and topped with homemade sauces.
A few of our favorite menu items include:
Deep Fried Pickle Chips-
If you are from the North, you may (incorrectly) believe that the best use for pickle chips is as a hamburger dressing. Nothing could be further from the truth! Grab an order of these piping hot deep fried pickle chips with a side of ranch and you’ll be a fan for life. Guaranteed.
The slow smoked brisket is absolutely incredible! They smoke this slab of meat for up to 14 hours and then top it with a special sauce. If you prefer fattier brisket, request the brisket tips. This is the top portion of the brisket, which has a little extra smoke (flavor!) and is overall a fattier cut of meat.
If you are a connoisseur of pulled pork, prepare to be pleased. The pitmaster does a great job of regulating the smoke flavor and delivers a smoky meat that is succulent. Bennett’s pulled pork is tender and packed with flavor.
In addition to the barbecue staples one would expect, you can also find steaks, grilled chicken, chicken tender, catfish, and an assortment of salads. The herbivores and dieters in your group are sure to appreciate the large 40-item soup and salad bar. In our opinion, the salad bar is an OK add-on to a meal, but not worth it as a stand-alone entree.
Instead of ordering two separate dinners, we recommend ordering one of the massive dinner combination plates (i.e. Big Daddy’s Ultimate Combo). This is PLENTY of food for two people and will allow you to try an assortment of meats. When the parking lot out back is full, try parking on the road in front of the restaurant. These spots are free and oftentimes available.
Driving into downtown Gatlinburg towards the National Park, make a right turn on River Road (by Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies). Continue on River Road for approximately 0.8 miles and Bennett’s BBQ Gatlinburg will be on your right side. If the restaurant isn’t busy (or you’re lucky!) there is free parking behind the restaurant and on the street.
*Photos and review produced by our on staff journalists who are in no way affiliated with the brand reviewed on this page.