Dunn’s Market

One of the Best Cheeseburgers in Town

I am a fan of the ‘greasy spoon‘ style restaurant.  Sevier County has quite a number of convenience stores and gas stations that have diners and lunch counters that serve food to locals throughout the week.  A few tourists have found out about these places and are enjoying some very good food along with the locals that happen to be stopping in for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Dunn’s Market is one of those hidden gems in the food scene of the Smoky Mountains.

Dunn’s Market is located on the corner of Upper Middle Creek Rd and Birds Creek Rd (this is part of the backroads to the Arts and Crafts Community).  It is a gas station.  It has a lunch counter inside and a few places to sit.  You can of course also buy off the racks and shelves inside or grab a few items for a quick picnic in the Smokies. But if you are looking for good, greasy-spoon-style food, step up to the counter, give the menu a gander and pick from one of the many choices that you will see on the wall.

Their breakfast choices, much like the lunch choices are geared to the local stopping in for something fast on their way to work.  That being said, the breakfast choices are fantastic.  Well cooked and full of flavor, you can’t go wrong with their breakfast options.  Their biscuits and gravy are will stick to your ribs and their egg sandwiches are a down-home favorite.  Dunn’s Market’s grill is always busy for breakfast, so expect to stand in line for a few minutes.

Lunch and Dinner
Here is where Dunn’s Market shines.   As you look at the lunch and dinner choices on the wall at Dunn’s, you will notice that you are seeing items that aren’t usually on the menu in most restaurants:  bologna sandwiches, tarter wedges or a simple grilled cheese sandwich.  You will also see typical fare for the lunch counter like the hamburger.  And the hamburgers at Dunn’s is something altogether wonderful and remarkable.  I don’t know if it is because of the way they cook it or the fact that it is cooked on a grill that has been well seasoned by years of use, but their burger is out of this world.  Add to that a sack of their fries and you have enough food to stay full all day long.  Their fries are seasoned and piping hot every time you order them.  At times, they also have specials and one of those you will see in the summer is a BLT made with local, fresh tomatoes.  The result of using this locally grown produce is a BLT that drips with the flavor that the Granger County tomato is known for.

If you are looking for that place that the locals eat, Dunn’s Market is one of those places.  Part of the fun is standing in line with the guy that drives the cement truck or the maintenance man for the local hotel that is headed to work.  While you are in line ask them about other places in the area, I bet you discover someplace new to eat, or some little shop of one of the backroads the next day.  Give Dunn’s a shot the next time you are out exploring the areas around the Smokies.

Dunn’s Market
2650 Upper Middle Creek Rd
Sevierville. TN

Dining Out after Shopping

Where do you want to eat?

You have been shopping all day.  Maybe it is even Black Friday and you have been shopping since midnight.  It is noon and you and your shopping companions are starving from all the sales you have snapped up.  Where do you eat?  If you have been shopping at Tanger Five Oaks in Sevierville, you have five great choices.

Red Lobster – Red Lobster is one of America’s most beloved seafood traditions.  From their phenomenal Cheddar Bay Biscuits to special events like All You Can Eat Shrimp and Lobster Fest, Red Lobster is always bringing big flavors to the table.  Located right across from Tanger Five Oaks, there is a traffic light to help you get across the street to good food and good times.

Olive Garden – Maybe you are looking for some hardy pasta to get through that full day of shopping.  Or possibly you want a quick lunch of soup and salad.  Olive Garden might be your best choice.  They are also located directly across the street from Tanger, at the same stop light as Red Lobster.  With events like Never Ending Pasta, Olive Garden has become one of America’s most successful restaurant chains.

Logan’s Roadhouse – There are two steak lover’s restaurants at Tanger Five Oaks.  One of those is Logan’s Roadhouse.  Great food, great atmosphere. Very casual with tremendous deals on food ever day, Logan’s has become one of the county’s favorite places to go for steaks and comfort food.  Their burgers are amazing.  Logan’s is located in the same shopping area as Olive Garden so use the stop light to get to their parking lot.  This is a peanuts-on-the-floor kind of place.

Longhorn Steak House – A little more refined choice for the carnivore in your group is Longhorn Steakhouse.  Longhorn makes an amazing steak.  Great selections that bring an eclectic flare to the table.  Longhorn’s is located closer to the main entrance of Tanger.  After you pass that entrance, Longhorn will be on the right hand side of the road.  They have a crab stuffed filet that is do die for.

Joe’s Crab Shack – This is the newest dining option at Tanger Five Oaks.  This is Joe’s first foray into the East Tennessee area.  Amazing seafood choices blow the minds of all the people that walk through the door.  Crab Leg’s, shrimp, fish – all of it brought in fresh and cooked to order.  If you want to have a great meal after a day of shopping you will not be disappointed at Joe’s Crab Shack.  Joe’s is located on the same side of the road as Tanger – in fact you could walk to it if you don’t want to move your vehicle.

There are other places to eat at Tanger – Chop House and KT’s are located inside Tanger itself – but these 5 get you out of the shopping area.  They allow you to take a break from looking for that next big deal so that you can breath easy and enjoy not only your meal but the people that you are with.

Bistro 109

Bistro 109 in Sevierville, TN – a unique dining experience.

A Unique Dining Experience

Bistro 109 is something a little bit different in the heart of Sevierville, TN.  Located near the courthouse, Bistro 109 is part of the historic Bruce St area of town.  But once you step inside the restaurant you realize that you aren’t in small town USA anymore.  Bistro 109 has a very upscale interior offering a quite place to step in out of the hustle and bustle of the tourist town and enjoy some great food in a great atmosphere.  Tie the atmosphere to a great waitstaff and you have the recipe for a great time.

Bistro 109 is a little off the beaten path.  You will want to plug Bruce Street in Sevierville into your GPS and then find a place to park along the street.  If you head toward the courthouse, you will see Bistro 109, right there.  Take in your surroundings before you head inside.  You are in one of the older parts of Sevier County and certainly one of those areas that hasn’t changed very much.  If you are interested in more history about Sevierville, the Sevier County Historical Society has a museum on the other end of the block from Bistro 109.

Photos of Bistro 109, SeviervilleAs soon as you walk into Bistro 109 you are going to realize that you are somewhere different.  You have stepped into an upscale restaurant, a bistro right off what used to be the main drag in Sevierville in the 50s and 60s.  The interior is well decorated and helps to keep the noise and sound from other diners to a minimum.  This gives you a quite dining experience for those intimate occasions or those business lunches that need lots of discussion.  The waitstaff is almost as good as the atmosphere.  Knowledgeable, fast and professional, Bistro 109 has some of the best waiters and waitresses in Sevier County.  They will make sure that you get the food you want as quickly as possible.

The menu options at Bistro 109 range from the very elegant to just good ole comfort food.  Their food style is somewhere between southern gourmet, soul food and french bistro.  And while their steaks are always cooked to perfection, the less then ordinary fare is what you want to stick to.  Their shrimp and grist are very good and something to write home about.  This low country favorite is cooked perfectly and they put their own spin on it.  They also have a maple crusted pork chop that you will not find anywhere else.  The great maple taste cooked into the pork chop is something different – and spectacular.  You will also see sides that you don’t see a lot in the Smokies.  Risotto, orzo and fresh vegetables served in unique and uncommon ways are the perfect complement to your meal.

Bistro 109 is something a little different for your dining experience in Sevierville.  Step into the elegant dining area and get waited on by a professional staff.  Order something different and enjoy getting away from the rat race to enjoy

Bistro 109
109 Bruce St
Sevierville, TN

Thai Basil Restaurant

Thai Basil provides a healthy alternative when dining out in the Smokies.

Healthy Food for Healthy Living

There are some healthy alternatives when choosing a dining location in the Smokies.  One of those options is Thai Basil Restaurant.  Thai Basil is a locally owned Thai restaurant that is introducing healthy, authentic Thai food to the area.  They are located beside Staples and Pizza Hut in Sevierville before you get to the bridge near downtown Sevierville, TN.  The menu is full of interesting dishes that are par-for-course in Thai restaurants but are very new to the locals in Sevier County and some  of the visitors as well. Thai Basil is located on Winfield Dunn Parkway.  Once you exit the interstate at exit 407, you will be on Winfield Dunn Parkway, follow the road until you see a large shopping complex with Krogers, Lowes and Staples.  If you pull into the shopping center with Staples you will see Thai Basil on the left hand side.  There is plenty of parking and though you will have to fight your way through the locals, that have become regulars.  They have plenty of seating and the staff is incredible.  If this is your first foray into Thai food, don’t be afraid to ask questions.  The waiters and waitresses have had plenty of experience with the food and they will certainly lead you in the right direction. When you order your food there are a few things you will want to keep in mind:

  • If you are looking at the Stir Fry, Thai Curry or Noodle options on the menu, you are going to have your choice of meat for your dish – beef, chicken or pork.  Of course you can also choose your entree without meat by substituting tofu or vegetables and having a vegetarian treat.
  • You are also going to choose the level of the heat that you want.  The levels are mild, medium, hot or Thai hot.  If you ask for Thai hot, get prepared for your taste buds to light up.  It is recommended that if you have not had Thai food before that you aim for the lower end of the spectrum.

Here are a few of my personal favorites off their menu: Pad Thai – This is the national dish of Thailand.  Rice noodles, bean sprouts, eggs, scallions and special peanut sauce. Amazing dish and they make some of the best Pad Thai that you will ever have. Drunken Noodle – Stir-fried flat rice noodles with eggs, bell peppers, carrots, onions and green beans covered with a sweet and spicy basil sauce.  The Drunken Noodle has an entirely different flavor palette then the Pad Thai with a lot of the same textures and ingredients. Masaman Curry – A perfect blend of sweet and savory flavors. Avocado, broccoli, pineapple, potato and cashew nuts covered in a Masaman sauce.  This is served along with white rice.  The sweet flavors in the curry give way to an afterbite of heat that makes this a fun dish to try.  The avocado is a great textural counterpoint to the broccoli and pineapple. Thai Basil is something new in the culinary scene of Sevierville.  Great food, great service and of course, being located on your way into or out of town, this might be a good stop for those people starting or ending their vacation.  Thai Basil needs to be your first introduction to Thai food, give it a try while you are on vacation.

Thai Basil Restaurant
530 Winfield Dunn Parkway
Sevierville, TN

Willies Restaurant

Willies Restaurant in Seymour, Tn offers some of the best comfort food and Italian cuisine in East Tennessee. Be sure to try their chicken wings.

Let’s travel off the beaten path this time and take a short trip north to Seymour, Tn from Sevierville. Why Seymour? Well, it’s the home of Willies Restaurant – an almost hole-in-the-wall establishment specializing in East Tennessee comfort food with a splash of its own delicious Italian cuisine. Not only will you find the aforementioned comfort food, but great service and an eclectic atmosphere are staples at Willies.  If it’s something different you crave on this visit to the Smokies, seek out the edges of Sevier County and Willies.

WBIR television in Knoxville recently lauded Willies Restaurant as having the Best Comfort Food in East Tennessee for 2010. Their amazing menu is chock-full of comfort food staples:  chicken wings, hamburgers, sub sandwiches and much more. And each bite is stuffed with Willies’ signature flavor.  You’ll be coming back for seconds in no time. Some even consider it ‘bar food’, but without everyone huddled and hanging over the bar. It’s the stick-to-your-ribs style food that you crave for its intense flavor.

Willies freshly prepared pizza.

Take a look at the Italian side of the menu as well. You’ll come across all kinds of mouth-watering pastas from Baked Manicotti to Chicken Scampi and Broccoli. The Italian sauces are family recipes that have been passed down through generations. It’s like you’re almost  sitting down to eat with someone from the old country – that’s what makes Willies so great, its original Italian perfected over many years. Traditional Italian food, cooked to perfection, and just right down the road. Delicious garlic knots accompany all the pasta dishes – another reason people come back again and again.  These knots of dough are big enough to eat alone and you never stop at just one.

The town of Seymour itself is one of the fastest growing areas in Sevier County. You’d think that would accompany a Pigeon Forge advertisement, but over the  years Seymour has become a place where people get away from the more touristy trappings. Located between Sevierville and Knoxville, Seymour is spread out along Chapman Hwy (one of the first routes from Knoxville into the Smoky Mountains before I-40 was built).  Willies is right off Chapman Hwy and is a great break in driving between Sevierville and Knoxville. Don’t worry, you’ll feel like family once you walk in the door at Willies. The staff is experienced and gives some of the best service in Seymour.

Stop by Willies if you’re taking a day trip out of Sevier County while on vacation in the Smoky Mountains.  Grab some comfort food or sample some of the best Italian that Sevier County has to offer.  Wrap your hands around an enormous burger or dig into a pile of chicken wings, get a plate of Primavera or a dish of Baked Ziti and enjoy being waited on by people who are actually glad that you are there.  Step through the doors at Willies and become part of their family; get comforted by the food and create a memory that you will remember every time you come back to the Smokies.

Willies Restaurant
11612 Chapman Hwy
Seymour, TN

The Diner in Sevierville

Take a trip back to the 1950s at The Diner in Sevierville.

Take a step back into the 1950’s… literally. The Diner in Sevierville has captured the feeling of the 50’s and bottled it for everyone to enjoy. The popular attraction is a monthly destination for old car buffs with their weekly cruise-in’s and those of us who like to take a step back to the good ‘ole days.

The Diner’s popularity also stems from their all-day breakfast menu. Patrons can stop by any time for a fresh stack of pancakes and a side of eggs, or have an omelet fried up, order some biscuits & gravy, waffles, or enjoy one of the Diner’s  finest breakfast steaks.

Known by some to serve Sevier County’s best burgers, guests can choose from Angus, bison, elk, veggie, or char-grilled burgers made to order.  Sides include onion rings, skin-on fries, or low carb vegetables.  If you’re in the mood for a sandwich, there are BBQ, chicken, BLT, prime rib, Reuben, tuna salad, bologna, club, Philly cheese, as well as hot dogs.  Hand-dipped shakes and scrumptious banana splits, homemade banana  pudding, sundaes, cheesecake and cakes all round out the desert menu.

If you’re in the mood for Italian, The Diner also offers a taste of Italy including spaghetti & meatballs, eggplant and chicken parmesano, as well as lasagna.

Traditional and southern fare include steaks, grilled or fried chicken, mama’s meat loaf, chicken & dumplin’s, baked chicken pie, open-face roast beef or turkey, country-fried steaks, grilled or fried fish, shrimp, and chicken liver.

Check out their weekly calendar of events and be sure to stop by when you’re in town and choose your favorite song on the jukebox!

The Diner
550 Winfield Dunn Parkway
Sevierville, TN

Sevierville Restaurant Listing

Listing of Sevierville Restaurants

Sevierville, TN is the county seat of Sevier County and also a hotbed for great local restaurants. Sevierville restaurants that range from the good down-home cooking you remember from Grandma’s house to the eclectic new world fusion of Mediterranean and Mexican.  From Clint’s Family Restaurant on the road to Newport to the Rib Shack on Pitman Center Rd, visitors coming to eat in Sevierville will find that there is no end to the opportunities provided for the foodie in all of us.

English Mountain Trout Farm
291 Blowing Cave Rd
Sevierville, TN 37862

Little Italian Kitchen
2467 Boyds Creek Highway
Sevierville, TN

The Tin Roof Café
304 Apple Valley Rd
Sevierville, TN 37862

Thai Palace
1811 Parkway
Sevierville, TN

Bistro 109
109 Bruce St
Sevierville, TN 37862

Applewood Farmhouse Grill
220 Apple Valley Rd
Sevierville, TN 37862

Gondolier Italian Restaurant
964 Dolly Parton Parkway
Sevierville, TN 37862

The Rib Shack
2933 Pittman Center Rd
Sevierville, TN 37934

Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant
240 Apple Valley Rd
Sevierville, TN 37862

El Paso Mexican Restaurant
560 Winfield Dunn Parkway
Sevierville, TN 37876

737-4 Dolly Parton Parkway
Sevierville, TN

Smoky Mountain Pizza Co
566 Winfield Dunn Parkway
Sevierville, TN 37876

The Diner
550 Winfield Dunn Parkway
Sevierville, TN 37876

Clint’s family Restaurant
2334 Newport Hwy
Sevierville, TN 37876

Moonshine Ridge Café
2005 Wears Valley Rd
Sevierville, TN 37862

Stonehouse Pizza
1725 Waldens Creek Rd
Sevierville, TN 37876

Flapjacks Pancake Cabin
1018 Parkway
Sevierville, TN 37862

Hungry Bear Bistro
1887 Bluff Mountain Rd
Sevierville, TN 37876

Sakura Buffet
624 Parkway
Sevierville, TN 37862