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When you’re on vacation, you don’t want to eat at the same chain restaurants you have back home. You want to eat at the best local restaurants in the area. And no one knows local restaurants like a local. So, to help you out, we’ve put this list together to answer your most burning question: where do the locals eat in Pigeon Forge, TN?
1. Smokies Cuban Cafe
Smokies Cuban Cafe is a small, unassuming restaurant that often goes unnoticed by visitors, but it’s somewhere the locals eat all the time. This authentic Cuban restaurant is located right on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge. This is one of the only restaurants in the area that serves Cuban cuisine, so try their signature Cuban sandwich, palomilla steak, croquettes, black beans and rice, fried plantains, yuca fries, or other tasty dishes.
2. Blue Moose Burgers & Wings
Are you looking for a burger or chicken wings? Blue Moose Burgers & Wings is one of the preferred American food restaurants where locals eat in Pigeon Forge. Their fun menu offers a lot of unique burgers, such as the Big Shroom Melt, Moose’s Big Daddy Mac ‘N Cheese Burger, Hawaiian Luau Burger, and more. They are also known for having delicious chicken wings, too, with so many flavor options to choose from. You can also find sandwiches and wraps, salads, and giant desserts that are big enough for the whole family.
3. El Ranchero Loco Mexican Restaurant
Are you in the mood for Mexican food? You can’t go wrong with El Ranchero Loco Mexican Restaurant on Veterans Boulevard. This hole-in-the-wall restaurant doesn’t look like much, but it’s where the locals love to go for some of the best Mexican food in Pigeon Forge. You can find a variety of delicious Mexican dishes at this local restaurant, including chimichangas, quesadillas, enchiladas, and their signature street tacos.
4. Huck Finn’s Catfish
Huck Finn’s Catfish is a favorite for both visitors and locals alike. If you are looking for good Southern seafood, this local restaurant is a great place to eat in Pigeon Forge. As the name suggests, Huck Finn’s Catfish is known for their catfish meals. You can also find a variety of other seafood, served with all the fixings. For those who aren’t into seafood, you can find chicken and steak options as well. For more adventurous eaters looking to try something new, try the frog legs or gator tail.
5. Lil Black Bear Cafe
If you’re looking for a truly small, locally owned restaurant, you need to try Lil Black Bear Cafe. This little cafe is located at the intersection of Veterans Boulevard and Teaster Lane. You can find tasty breakfast and lunch options at Lil Black Bear Cafe, such as thick pancakes, french toast, omelettes, salads, and sandwiches. This little gem is a popular breakfast restaurant among locals in Pigeon Forge.
6. Pottery House Cafe
For contemporary Southern cuisine, Pottery House Cafe is a great option. This local favorite is located across from The Old Mill Restaurant in Pigeon Forge. One of the reasons this is a place where locals eat is because of the bread — they bake it daily on-site with grains straight from the mill. Their scratch-made dishes are true to the Appalachian area, with offerings like fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits, fried catfish, pecan fried chicken, and praline pork chops. They are best known, however, for their signature quiches and soups served in fresh-baked bread bowls.
7. Boss Hogg’s BBQ Shack
Boss Hogg’s BBQ Shack has been rated as having some of the best barbeque in town. This is where locals eat in Pigeon Forge when they’re craving homestyle barbecue. Located on Wears Valley Road, Boss Hogg’s BBQ Shack is a bit off the beaten path but still easy to find. You can enjoy traditional smoked barbecue meats and sides for lunch or dinner. They also serve Southern-style biscuits & gravy and pancakes for breakfast until 2 p.m. each day.
Explore Things to Do in Pigeon Forge, TN
Now that you know where the locals eat in Pigeon Forge, it’s time to go try one or more of these restaurants to see if you agree that they’re some of the best in town. After you’re done eating, make sure you go explore all that this town has to offer. Check out these can’t-miss Smoky Mountain attractions nearby!