When you are on vacation, one thing you have to do, no matter what, is eat. Most families don’t come loaded with food for the entire trip, so you are left choosing between the many options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee certainly give you a ton of choices when it comes to where to eat, so many it can be overwhelming.

We like to try new restaurants as well as go back to our favorites every time we visit the Smokies – which was just what we did on our recent family mini-cation!

1. Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant & Grill – Just north of Pigeon Forge, the Applewood Farmhouse is a great place for the family to get a home-cooked meal. This was our first time eating there for dinner (their breakfast is fabulous!), and we will definitely be returning. We got more than enough food to satisfy our hunger, and the kiddo and I had to have to-go boxes. Their desserts, which are included with your meal, are very yummy! I should mention, the restaurant is tremendously popular and reservations are recommended so you aren’t waiting on the front porch forever.

2. Mellow Mushroom – Located on the Parkway in Gatlinburg, the Mellow Mushroom is a restaurant we frequent every time we are in town. It’s got a great atmosphere for families as well as for couples. We love their calzones, and basically order different varieties of them each time we stop by. I love the location of the restaurant – we tend to walk to the entire Parkway at least once on our visits, so we can just stop in whenever we get hungry.

3. Flapjacks Pancake Cabin – The Smokies have the BEST restaurants for breakfast. We love visiting the specialty eateries because they tend to have the most options, and the tastiest menus. Flapjacks was a new one for us, but we will definitely be going back there to eat. There are several locations in Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg, so you are always close to at least one. They offer pancake options we’ve never heard of before – such as Grandma’s Peanut Butter & Banana Pancakes which my husband will tell you are delicious.

4. Corky’s BBQ – This is our favorite spot to hit in the Smokies when we are craving some good barbeque. I love the taste of their original, world famous sauce, and the menu options are perfect for our family. I almost always get the pulled BBQ sandwich with fries and slaw – a common meal, but it just tastes so good from Corky’s. We ate at the location on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge on our family road trip, and we were sad to see the Gatlinburg location closed down.

There are certainly many more visit-worthy restaurants in the Smokies, but these were the favorites from our recent trip.