Sevierville, Tennessee can lay claim to quite the lineup of restaurants and cafés despite its relatively small size, which makes this foothills town a wonderful place for foodies to hit up en route to the Great Smoky Mountains or while sightseeing in the Tennessee Valley.
There are multiple eateries to include on a true Sevierville food safari, but here are three absolute must-do spots that suggest the surprising culinary diversity on offer here:
1. Courthouse Donuts
Just across the street from the Sevier County Courthouse—hence the name, get it?—this little café has one heck of a draw: build-your-own donuts! The pastries in question are freshly baked from a secret recipe each day, and actually they’re well worth trying on their own with just a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar on top.
But you’ll also want to roll up your sleeves and let your confectionary creativity fly by going the custom-made route. You get to choose your donut dip (chocolate, vanilla, glazed, etc.), your toppings—which include everything from coconut, powdered sugar, and pecans to rainbow sprinkles, Oreo, Butterfingers, and even Fruity Pebbles—and your sauce, including marshmallow créme, chocolate, honey, caramel, Key Lime, and peanut butter. Maybe go crazy with one donut and conservative with the other—or, heck, go crazy with the whole lot.
Donuts are the leading lights here, not surprisingly, but the place also whips up lunch sandwiches and salads. We especially recommend A Dang Good Reuben and the Maui Wowi Combo, which jams a pair of cheese-toasted soft pretzel rolls with ham, pineapple, and spinach, plus a touch of sweet chili sauce.
Also highly recommended is the side of Donut Bread Pudding!
2. Thai Basil
When the family-run Thai Basil opened its doors in 2012, it revolutionized the Sevierville dining scene. You might not believe East Tennessee could harbor world-class Thai cuisine, and indeed you might still not believe it upon viewing the unassuming, strip-mall-style exterior of Thai Basil. But rest assured there’s culinary awesomeness inside, and easily some of the best meals to be had in the city.
Thai Basil is committed to serving authentic Thai cuisine to Sevierville locals and visitors, and the kitchen imports a variety of fundamental ingredients to do so: from Thai basil and kaffir lime leaves to Thai chili peppers and bean sprouts.
You basically can’t go wrong on the Thai Basil menu, which includes a variety of appetizers, stir-fries, noodle dishes (not just Pad Thai!), fried-rice entrées, and seafood meals. We especially recommend the Rama Curry, which sees fresh-steamed spinach swimming in an absolutely delicious coconut and curry peanut sauce, and the Pad Prik Stir Fry, which features a truly addictive house sauce. Another winner is the Ocean’s 5 seafood plate, an outright smorgasbord of mussels, imitation crab, scallops, squid, and shrimp.
Also, word to the wise: Kick off your Thai Basil lunch or dinner with an order of the Crab Meat Cheese Rolls. You can thank us later.
3. Five Oaks Farm Kitchen
It shouldn’t surprise you that Sevierville has more than a few great places to enjoy traditional Southern cooking. One of the best is Five Oaks Farm Kitchen, which is worth writing home about for the portion sizes alone. Come here famished or expect to be bringing home some (welcome) leftovers.
Nestled in the charming country-style dining room here, you’ll be all set to enjoy such finger-licking entrées as the Pigs in a Poke, which cozy up pork sausage links in griddle cakes and come slathered in syrup and butter (and paired with two cooked-to-order eggs). A true carnivore might opt for the Smokehouse Sampling, with its trio of smoked pork butt, pork spare ribs, and beef brisket served with your choice of two sides.
Speaking of sides, they encompass some classic Southern ones, including fried okra, fried green tomatoes, creamed corn, and mac-and-cheese.
Meat figures prominently on the Five Oaks menu, but there are a few veggie dishes worth sampling, especially the Cornbread Salad with its fresh greens, pinto beans, red onions, grape tomatoes, shredded cheese, and (you guessed it) cornbread.
If by some unfathomable miracle you still have room for dessert, consider the Purple Cow: vanilla ice cream in grape soda, capped by whipped cream and a cherry.
Eat Well, Be Well in Sevierville
From make-your-own donuts and immense family-style Southern dinners to the globe-hopping flavors on offer at Thai Basil, make these three eateries part of your foodie adventuring in Sevierville for sure!