Imagine you’re staying in a Smoky Mountain cabin with those breathtaking Tennessee views and you awake to beautiful newly fallen snow an incredible sunrise. You grab your down jacket, lace up your boots and head out on a morning hike with your camera, some water (stay hydrated!), a map and a great walking stick.
You head out into the unobscured winter views and come across frozen waterfalls, ponds and streams, perhaps you see amazing icicles suspended from a cliff. Is that a rabbit? An owl?
Hunger sets in on those last steps back to your home away from home and you want breakfast. Here are six of our favorite breakfast spots to tempt your taste buds, warm you with a hearty mountain breakfast or a decadent treat.
All family friendly and unique. And sometimes, you’ll even get a story and a piece of history with your meal.
At Crockett’s Breakfast Camp in Gatlinburg, the food and décor pay homage to local legend frontiersman David C. Crockett Maples (not to be confused with the other legend and folk hero Davy Crockett, “king of the wild frontier”).
This Crockett also was a frontiersman and often asked to guide people through the rugged mountain terrain. According to the Camp web site, Crockett and his wife, Mary, ran a small supply store at the base of Mount LeConte where the couple was known “to serve travelers the best home-cooked breakfast in the Smoky Mountains.”
Crockett’s namesake modern breakfast spot seeks to meet that same standard. The huge menu includes classic southern dishes such as pecan smoked bacon, fried bologna, country fried steak, gravy and grits. There are griddle cakes and cathead biscuit stacks (cathead refers to the size of the biscuit – yum!). Visitors also will find specialty local foods including pecan crusted local rainbow trout, along with traditional waffles, French toast and eggs benedict.
Visitors to Crockett’s Breakfast Camp are welcomed by a wooden statue of Crockett and the story of his heroism.
Crockett lost his legs to frostbite after getting caught in a blizzard. He didn’t give up on an active life though, according to the Camp. Crockett made a pair of boots with wooden feet and tied them to his feet. “Crockett literally stood as an inspiration to his neighbors, friends in the community and to anyone who passed through Crockett’s camp.”
Visit Crockett’s at 1103 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday-Friday and 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. (865) 325-1403
Log Cabin Pancake House – true to its name, visitors say they feel the comfort of an authentic log cabin with large fireplaces on each end and warm, friendly servers, according to many TripAdvisor reviews.
Breakfast is served all day, so whenever you leave your cabin in the Smokies, you can head to this Gatlinburg favorite (look for the covered wagon on the roof) for old-fashioned or specialty pancakes, succulent French or fruity crepes, biscuit, waffles, eggs and more.
The cabin is known for its variety of pancakes including wild blueberry, butterscotch chip, chocolate or white chocolate chip, raisin walnut. Another fun way to eat the cabin’s pancakes is as pigs in a blanket – sausage patties rolled up in pancakes with whipped butter and hot syrup!
Fun Fact: butterscotch is created by combining melted butter with brown sugar to create the unique flavor. It has nothing to do with Scotch whiskey!
One more: April 24 is National Pigs in a Blanket Day.
Eat at the Log Cabin 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Sunday at 327 Historic Nature Trail, Gatlinburg, TN. (865) 436-7894
HUGE FARMHOUSE BREAKFAST
Sawyer’s Farmhouse Breakfast in Pigeon Forge is known for homemade food and syrups, along with large plates. A huge rooster statue wearing a cowboy hat greets visitors and gives them a fabulous photo opportunity to remember their Smoky Mountain stay.
The menu, which has the signature rooster on it, includes decadent delights including Bananas Foster French Toast; Chicken and Waffle – a southern favorite served with a Belgian Waffle and breaded chicken tenders; biscuits and country gravy; and the Mountain Man that includes three eggs, home fries, gravy & biscuit, sausage, bacon, country ham AND three buttermilk pancakes.
Sawyer’s is open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Sunday at 2831 Parkway, Pigeon Forge. (865) 366-1090
APPLE ORCHARD VIEWS
The Apple Barn and Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant is surrounded by apple orchards and historic charm in serene Sevierville.
A farmhouse special breakfast includes two eggs, home fried potatoes, grits, cinnamon apples, sausage gravy and a biscuit, along with your choice of meats including sugar cured ham, a country pork chip, country fried steak, country ham with red eye gravy, apple cider smoked bacon.
The menu also includes omelets, pancakes, waffles, along with a fun children’s menu that includes rainbow sprinkled pancakes and small-hand sized silver dollar pancakes.
Applewood’s famous fresh apple fritters are served with every meal. In fact, the online menu includes the slogan “Friends … Family … Fritters.”
Fun fact: Typically, Tennessee produces close to 9 million pounds of apples between June and the end of October, according to Tennessee Home and Farm.
It’s no wonder, the apple is king at The Apple Barn, where, apple fritters, apple butter, cinnamon apples and apple juleps are prominent.
Visit at 240 Apple Valley Road in Sevierville for breakfast 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. every day. (865) 429-8644.
TENNESSEE’S FIRST PANCAKE HOUSE
Pancake Pantry has been a tradition for more than 50 years in Gatlinburg as is known as Tennessee’s first pancake house. Its unique building stands tall with a slate roof, gables, large windows and a white oak interior.
“Everything is made from scratch,” the Pancake Pantry says.
True to its name, the Pantry offers 24 different pancake varieties including orange-walnut, corn meal, sweet potato, Georgia peach and banana-pineapple!
There are also fluffy waffles – pecan, strawberry, chocolate chip, cherry ham and crisp bacon waffle too! Farm fresh eggs and traditional bacon, country sausage, ham and omelets are also on the menu. Syrups and fruit compotes made on site and fresh whipped cream add the final touches.
Want to know more about the delicious fluffy result of eggs and flower? Check out list of pancake facts from Mental Floss.
Visit the Pancake Pantry at 628 Parkway, Gatlinburg 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. November through May and until 4 p.m. June through October. Breakfast is served all day.
DOUGHNUTS! DOUGHNUTS! DOUGHNUTS!
If doughnuts are your jam, the Donut Friar is the place to go. Located in the The Village shops in Gatlinburg, the Donut Friar offers unique options daily starting at 5 a.m.
“The best donuts on the planet,” a reviewer on Facebook declared on Jan. 5.
Powdered, the chocolate chipper, eclairs, coconut delight, cake, French Crullers, chocolate and rainbow sprinkled, Bavarian cream. There are cases of fresh-made treats. And coffee – especially if you’re a 5 a.m.-er, coffee is a must and the Donut Friar offers an entire coffee bar of espresso, lattes and the like.
Take pictures with the friendly smiling Friar standing by the window, admire the quirky décor and doughnuts in all shapes and sizes.
Check out mouth-watering pictures on Facebook, where the Friar says James Ryan. moved from Cleveland, Ohio, to Gatlinburg in 1969 to start making and selling donuts in 1969. He brought his wife and 5 children who are all still involved in the store.
If you’re staying in Gatlinburg, head out for an early run and find the Donut Friar in The Village at 634 Parkway, Ste. 15, Gatlinburg. (865) 436-7306
Interested in an appetite-building mountain hike among the more than 800 miles of trail, followed by one of the unique and delicious breakfasts we’ve described above? Check out our list of Winter hiking tips and our Top 5 Best Hikes in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
Choose your mountain view cabin with our list of Cabins with Views in Gatlinburg.
There’s no hike (or run) required of course before treating yourself to a freshly made doughnut, a mountain or farmhouse breakfast in the Smokies. Just an appetite!
Book your Smoky Mountain vacation today!