Elvira’s Cafe is a home-style local restaurant you’ll find at 4143 Weirs Valley Road in Sevierville, Tennessee. It’s a tad far from central anything, but the bit of travel to get here is worth it. It’s unassuming from the outside, with a barn-like quality and a simple sign proclaiming “farm fresh food” and “free Wi-Fi” to lead you in from the road. When you get closer, you’ll see the restaurant’s balcony, which might remind you a bit of a Cracker Barrel. However, the food is way better than that.
Proprietor Elvira hails from Siberia, and after falling in love with Tennessee back in 2001, she gained U.S. citizenship and finally opened her restaurant in 2012. Since then, Elvira’s Cafe has been a big hit with locals and tourists. The menu is sensationally southern with a Russian twist that few others could emulate. Elvira’s has gained a reputation for having top-notch kitchen staff and extremely personable servers. You’ll leave with a smile on your face both from the delicious food and the excellent service.
However unassuming the restaurant’s exterior, the food is anything but. Breakfast here has the locals buzzing about its creativity and taste. Traditional dishes, such as stacks of pancakes and country ham and eggs, make up a big part of the menu, but you shouldn’t leave without trying at least one of the specialty crepes. Seriously, Elvira’s serves chicken and grits in a crêpe; you’ve got to have at least a bite.
Breakfast is available until 11 a.m., though the lunch menu has a few sneaky breakfast dishes hiding out within its lines. The restaurant isn’t open most evenings, but when it is, the dinner menu is where you see the biggest Russian influence in the cooking (beef liver and onions, anyone?), though you can get your fair share of Tennessee classics too. What Elvira’s lacks is any sort of tourist gimmick, which is extremely refreshing.
If you’re impressed with one meal, be sure to return at a different time of day. Some restaurants excel during breakfast but fall apart at dinner, or vice versa. Not Elvira’s. The food is cooked to perfection and crafted with care during every part of the day. Stop by even if you’re visiting near closing time. The friendly staff will be happy to welcome you, and the cooked-to-order food doesn’t take too long to prepare. You’ll be glad you did.
-Though the restaurant is about 25 to 30 minutes from central Pigeon Forge, expect the food to be priced similarly to the restaurants you’re visiting in Pigeon Forge. It’s affordable but not downright cheap. The portions are plentiful without being overwhelming, but what really gives the food value is how tasty it truly is.
-A kids’ menu is available, but the regular menu has plenty of items (especially the sweet crepes) that kids will enjoy eating.
-The drive to Elvira’s Cafe from Pigeon Forge offers beautiful views of the surrounding Tennessee scenery. The Smoky Mountains region is gorgeous, so stop either on your way to or from the restaurant for some pictures.