Sevierville is a beautiful spot and a foodie haven — Photo courtesy of iStock / Kruck20
Just outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the historic small town of Sevierville, Tennessee. Often overlooked by visitors, this proud home of the legendary Dolly Parton has transformed itself into a foodie’s dream. The renaissance has made Sevierville the place to be for visitors seeking out a more authentic experience of life in the Tennessee mountains.
While the neighboring towns of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg offer experiences more tailored towards tourists, Sevierville offers visitors the opportunity to engage with the locals. Dine like a local at one or more of these culinary hot spots.
Jennifer Dyer opened her design-your-own-donut shop in 2015, just across the street from the third oldest courthouse in the state of Tennessee and the beloved Dolly Parton statue.
Cake-based and hand-dipped, customers can choose a tried-and-true favorite off the menu or design their own with a unique combination of toppings like Fruity Pebbles, Golden Grahams, crumbled Oreos, peanut butter, marshmallows, coconut and more.
Graze Burgers has brought new life to Sevierville’s former post office by offering all natural grass-fed beef burgers, hand-cut fries, soups, salads and shakes alongside a wide selection of wines, cocktails and local craft beers.
Graze is family-friendly, has plenty of seating available and offers live music out on their patio pretty regularly.
Crust and Crumb Bakery
Crust and Crumb, run by Tony and Jackie Diaz, is a New York-themed bakery and deli offering an authentic taste of Brooklyn. What started as a popular bagel stand at the local farmer’s market, led to the opening of Crust and Crumb in December 2018.
Former Brooklynites Tony and Jackie offer mouthwatering sandwiches, homemade breads, kettle-boiled bagels and delicious sweets. Stop in for a classic Reuben or, if you’re feeling adventurous, try the High Rise – “one pound of roast beef piled high on rye with mayo, lettuce and tomato.” And, whatever you do, don’t miss the eclairs!
Tony Gore’s Smoky Mountain BBQ & Grill
No trip to the south is complete without some tasty BBQ. Tony Gore’s Smoky Mountain BBQ & Grill offers massive helpings of “all-natural pit BBQ with 100 percent hickory smoked meats that are slow cooked for hours.”
Don’t miss Tony’s loaded tater chips, but do plan on sharing. This massive brick of fresh, thinly sliced and deep-fried potatoes will come smothered in the “legendary pulled pork, melted cheese and barbeque sauce.” And if you can somehow manage to save room, they will bring you a delectable slice of cake the size of your head.
Tony Gore spent twenty years touring the country as a Southern gospel singer before opening his BBQ joint in 2006. While he had no official training as a chef, this shift did not come as a surprise to the other gospel singers he met and worked with while traveling.
During all that time, Tony always made sure the tour bus was equipped with a fully-stocked full kitchen, so he could prepare home-cooked meals for the other singers and musicians.
Healthy Balance Meals
One of downtown Sevierville’s oldest restaurants is run by a mother-son duo, Pat and Luke Michaluk. Healthy Balance Meals offers both hot lunches (and early dinners) as well as previously prepped and frozen entrees. Each meal offers a “healthy balance” of nutrients, proteins, veggies and greens.
It all started when Pat’s workout buddy discovered he was pre-diabetic. Luke made a couple of meals for the friend to help him develop healthier eating habits. The idea of freshly made pre-prepped healthy meals took off within their gym community leading to them to transition their idea into a full-blown restaurant.
If you’re in the mood for both sweet and savory, Wildflour Bakehouse is the perfect lunch stop. After working nearly 30 years as a 911 operator, serving as the pastry chef at Dollywood and becoming known as the “Cinnamon Roll Lady” at the local farmer’s market, Stephany Houston opened Wildflour Bakehouse.
While her ever-popular cinnamon rolls and delicious pastries are still available, Wildflour also offers hot soups, sandwiches on homemade bread and salads. If you’re traveling with your dog, she also has special treats for him.
Wildflour offers cookie and cupcake decorating classes, as well as special after dark hours on Fridays in the busy season.
Sevierville’s oldest non-chain restaurant resides in a nearly 100-year-old farmhouse and offers visitors a taste of quality Southern comfort food. The Kilpatrick family converted the old tobacco farm into a very popular apple orchard in 1976, and after many requests for a restaurant, converted their farmhouse into a restaurant in 1986.
Well known for their signature apple fritters, complimentary with every meal, the Applewood Farmhouse also offers a variety of mouthwatering signature dishes like the Smoky Mountain biscuit Benedict, apple cider smoked bacon, country fried catfish and Applewood chicken pot pie.
After your meal, take a tour of the Apple Barn next door which was converted into a general store in 1981, or visit the Apple Barn Creamery or Winery (a stop along the free Rocky Top Wine Trail).
The Diner, on Sevierville’s Highway 66, serves up American fare in a traditional diner setting, complete with stainless steel siding and retro red and white booths. The walls are decked out with a collection of 1950s pop culture memorabilia and local history; and if you’re feeling truly nostalgic, you can enjoy a soda pop, milkshake or malt at the counter.
But if you’re in the mood for dinner, skip the classic diner fare and go for something you cannot normally find at home, like the hand-battered catfish filet or an elk burger.
The Roaming Gnome Pub & Eatery
For a truly casual, local experience, head to the Roaming Gnome for drink specials every night and fresh food that has both locals and visitors raving. Most everything on the menu is homemade in house, including tasty appetizers like the Irish Boxies, “cheddar cheese and chive mashed potatoes rolled in breadcrumbs and fried” and hand-patted burgers served with fresh, hand-cut fries.
Visit the Roaming Gnome’s website or Facebook to check out their schedule of events for live music, karaoke and DJ’s.
Five Oaks Farm Kitchen
Five Oaks Farm Kitchen, a casual family-friendly restaurant, sits on land that was once part of a 128-acre farm, Five Oaks, owned by Dr. John Ogle and his wife, Blanche. The Ogles were known throughout the county for their hospitality and generosity. It is in their honor that Five Oaks was opened on the property to offer up heaping helpings of authentic Southern-style comfort food.
Five Oaks Farm Kitchen serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Whichever meal you enjoy, save a little room for one of their delicious desserts. The Purple Cow, a float made with vanilla ice cream and grape soda, is a quirky favorite. After your meal, be sure to take a walk around the different dining rooms and check out the decor. Some of the rooms have artifacts on display from Five Oaks Farm.