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Spring has sprung and what better way to celebrate than by enjoying some outdoor dining? We have the best places to enjoy the Great Smoky Mountains.

a group of friends dining outdoors

Tom & Earl’s Back Alley Grill

From snacks to burgers, paninis and salads, the Back Alley Grill offers fun and delicious choices.

Start with fried green tomatoes, cream corn fritters or how about wings – from mild to buffalo to Carolina Reaper – the world’s hottest pepper.  There also are fried pickles and a chicken quesadilla. Great for sharing!

Paninis also are on the menu – Smokehouse with smoked pork loin, grilled onions, barbecue sauce, cheddar cheese and apple-wood smoked bacon! And something called the Love Tractor – apple-wood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, the grill’s signature pesto mayonnaise served on toasted rustic bread. Wow – yum!

Food On A Bun

a cheese burger topped with red onions and jalepenos

Food on a bun includes Ole’ Standby – an 8-ounce beef burger, Sloppy Jethro and the Dyin’ Man – a thick slice of fried bologna, pulled pork, bacon and stone-ground mustard. And lots more including a BBQ beef brisket sandwich.

One reviewer on the restaurant’s Facebook page wrote March 17, “Friendly staff, great burgers and hands-down, THE best pork rinds I’ve ever had. They were so fresh out of the fryer they were still popping and cracking. Amazing!”

Steakhouses & Tavern

Wild Boar Saloon at Howards Steakhouse, located at 976 Parkway, (865) 436-3600, offers outdoor dining along a beautiful creek! There are heaters for cooler days and the lights strung up along the railing take the evening outing to special in just a twinkle.

Enjoy appetizers of catfish bites, ribeye strips and sautéed portabellas. For your salad, have one of Howard’s made-in-house dressings. Howard’s offers 10 steak options and signature side dishes that include baked beans, mashed potatoes, sautéed teriyaki vegetable medley and sautéed mushrooms. Other entrees include hickory smoked pork ribs, smoked mountain trout, pork tenderloin, Atlantic salmon, chop steak sandwich and roast beef sandwich.

Wild Bear Tavern

Every day is the perfect day when you’re on vacation in the Smokies – and Wild Bear Tavern is the perfect spot to satisfy your appetite before you hit the road for a day of fun and excitement! The welcoming eatery gives off an unmistakable southern charm and serves some of the best tasting comfort food and authentic German cuisine deliciously prepared to gratify any craving. Have breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, or enjoy a full bar. Count on service with a smile and a delightful plate with every serving.

Unique & Traditional

Red Oak Bistro says it has The Flavors of Europe in The Smokies with the alfresco dining one would expect in Europe with romantic lighting and cozy seating.

The menu features shared small plates of authentic and innovative fare inspired by Mediterranean and Eastern European cuisines, unique selection of wine, bourbons and beer. Operated by a husband and wife team with more than 20 years of experience in the service industry, Red Oak Bistro sources its fresh ingredients from local farmer’s markets.

At Three Jimmy’s Good Time Eatery, outdoor dining is roomy and dog friendly.


On the menu, comfort foods, barbecue and excellent bar food: fried pickles, spicy pork skins, cheesy chili nachos, smoked and fried chicken wings. Soups include Jimmy’s Signature Chili and pinto beans and rice. Barbecue includes smoked chicken, pulled pork plate, prime beef brisket, ribs and smoked ribeye. Among the comfort offerings are chicken pot pie, open-faced roast beef and turkey, maple bourbon chicken and southern fried catfish. Three Jimmy’s also serves artisan pizzas, sandwiches and burgers.

Find Three Jimmy’s at 1359 E. Parkway #F, (865) 325 -1210.

The Bar at the Top of the World

Located in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg with mountain views and 70 forested acres of fun and relaxation, Anakeesta is a mountain playground for all ages, and Cliff Top Grill & Bar is at the top of it all.

At The Clifftop Bar, visitors take in the beautiful scenery, have a beer or a cocktail – try Karen’s Sweet Tea, and maybe snack such as the southern favorite Fried Green Tomatoes or a ½ pound char-grilled Smoky Mountain burger or BBQ Pork Mac & Cheese Bowl – yum! Check out the rest of the menu.

a man and woman drinking beer at Anakeesta

To get to Anakeesta and the bar at 576 Parkway, Gatlinburg.865-325-2400, buy tickets online, then take the scenic open chairlift or the enclosed Chondola from Gatlinburg up the mountain to Anakeesta – you can’t drive yourself.

For more, see our recent blog post on Anakeesta.


Ski Mountain Pizza has an outdoor porch for dining on its New York style pizza, amazing Greek salad and homemade desserts. Ski Mountain Pizza offers specialty pizzas and Stromboli, as well as build-your-own pizzas. There are garlic knots, loaded fries and meatballs too!

Italian food

You can also get Ski Mountain Pizza delivery to your mountain cabin and sit outside on your deck!

Find Ski Mountain Pizza at 631 Ski Mountain Road, Gatlinburg, (865) 325-1512.

The Island in Pigeon Forge offers a variety of outdoor dining and fun. The Island has restaurants for breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks, or snacks. Or all of those if you spend the day there.

For more about The Island, check out our blog post on family-friendly fun.

The Island is located at 131 The Island Drive, Pigeon Forge.

The Island

At Timberwood Grill, sit down outside for a taste of the mountains with “unique approaches to traditional favorites.” Tables with umbrellas keep you cool on hot days.

Open for lunch and dinner, Timberwood Grill offers a mac & cheeseburger, Gunpowder Ribeye and Strawberry Chicken Salad among its favorites. There’s also a Big Sky Black & Bleu Salad with fresh farmers’ market greens, steak tips and bleu cheese. The Lumberjack Stack is a triple decker sandwich stacked tall with honey ham, American cheese, oven-roasted turkey breast, Swiss cheese and thick-cut bacon. They also offer Rocky Top Pork Nachos and Baby Back Ribs.

Island Favorites

Another Island favorite with outdoor dining is Mellow Mushroom, offering salads and build your-own pizzas that include gluten-free crust, no cheese or dairy-free cheese. There’s also creamy hummus drizzled with olive oil, then topped with paprika and fresh basil. Served with your choice of lightly toasted pita wedges or carrots and celery to keep things light.

Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers

While Mellow Mushroom is a chain, Gatlinburg’s restaurant brings in local inspiration with the striking two-story restaurant reflecting the local geography and culture that lies within the Smokey Mountain region. “The bar, which offers Dude’s Daiquiris, is dubbed the ‘Moonshine Lounge’ as a nod to the mountains’ past exploits. Colorful paintings are seen throughout the space along with vintage ads painted on the walls. The upstairs dining area has a wall made up of glass garage doors that can be opened to let in the refreshing mountain air.

5 O’Clock Somewhere

Margaritaville restaurant at The Island has a large exterior deck that overlooks Little Pigeon River, where visitors enjoy good food and live music at the 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar that also has an oversized fire pit.

In addition to the obvious margarita menu, Margaritaville also offers local favorites with an island flair such as Caribbean jerk wings, Volcano Nachos, fish tacos served with a habanero cream sauce, Cajun shrimp and grits and crispy coconut shrimp. There’s a burger and sandwich menu too – check out the Cuban sandwich!


Harpoon Harry’s Crab House in Pigeon Forge is another Smoky Mountain’s gem with fun outdoor dining. You can sit around a bar that is both inside and outside. Among them: peal and eat shrimp, shrimp rice and sausage gumbo, salads and raw oysters.

There are also crab buckets that include steamed crab, sausage and red potatoes in Harpoon Harry’s crab boil. Seafood platters made the way you want, lobster tails, steaks and grilled chicken. Choose sides of vegetables and salad to lighten the meal.

Harpoon Harry’s also offers a sushi menu  all day.

Book A Cabin

Ready to book an amazing cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains and start planning your outdoor foodie adventure?

grande mountain lodge

Of course, you can always eat outside at your very own cabin!  American Patriot Getaways offers plenty of cabins with incredible outdoor entertaining spaces! Many of our cabins also offer charcoal or gas grills and outside seating to enjoy a meal out on a deck.  Maybe even check out our cabins with incredible mountain views to really inspire you to get out and enjoy the great outdoors while you dine in style.

Check out all of our cabins on our website, or give our friendly Reservations team a call at 800-204-5169.  They’d love to help you find the perfect fit for your next Smokies vacation.

Already booked your stay? Let American Patriot Getaways help with these useful guides that include insider tips to help you plan the perfect Smoky Mountain vacation. You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest area information!

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