Ready to explore an adventure that's not just about the sights and sounds but also about treating your taste buds? Around the stunning Alum Cave Trail, you'll find a bunch of places to eat near Gatlinburg, offering a treasure trove of flavors. These spots add a whole new dimension to your hiking experience. From the delicious handmade treats at The Caramel Candy CO to the seafood delights at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., and the savory goodness of Hungry Bear BBQ #1, each spot has its own unique charm. They turn your hike into a full-on sensory journey that goes beyond just the trail, diving deep into taste, culture, and community.
Located just a stone's throw away from the trail, The Caramel Candy CO prides itself on artisanal confectionery. Each caramel is meticulously handcrafted, using a secret family recipe that has been passed down for generations. Their classic vanilla caramels are a symphony of smooth sweetness, while the sea salt and lavender varieties introduce adventurous palates to a delightful fusion of flavors. However, the star of their show is the Caramel Apple—an impeccably crisp apple enveloped in a generous layer of their signature caramel. The play of textures and tastes, from the crunchy fruit to the soft, buttery caramel, is an experience worth savoring.
Inspired by the beloved movie "Forrest Gump," this seafood haven brings the film's spirit to life through its menu. The coconut shrimp, with its crunchy exterior and tender, succulent shrimp inside, is a standout appetizer. The menu offers more than just shrimp, featuring diverse seafood dishes and platters. The Forrest’s Seafood Feast is a grand indulgence, offering a bounty of shrimp, fish, and other ocean delights, perfect for sharing after an invigorating hike. The restaurant's ambiance is vibrant and filled with memorabilia from the film, adding an extra layer of entertainment to the dining experience.
The tantalizing scents wafting from Hungry Bear BBQ #1 serve as a delightful preview of the gastronomic delight in store for guests. Renowned for its mastery of the art of slow cooking, this spot excels in using a secret blend of spices and sauces. Their Bear's Big BBQ Platter, a carnivore's dream, proudly showcases their finest offerings: tender ribs, succulent brisket, and mouthwatering pulled pork, all bathed generously in their signature sauces. The tenderness of the meats and the symphony of flavors make this platter a heartwarming reward, positioning this establishment among the best food in Gatlinburg, especially after a day of outdoor exploration.
At The All-New Ski Mountain Pizza, the art of pizza-making reaches its zenith. Their dough, handcrafted and proofed to perfection, forms the base for a myriad of specialty pies. The classic Margherita, with its simplicity of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, showcases the quality of their ingredients. For the adventurous palate, the Mountain Madness pizza, featuring a medley of spicy pepperoni, jalapeños, and the surprising sweetness of pineapple, offers an explosion of flavors atop a perfectly crispy crust. The combination of quality ingredients and a breathtaking view makes this a must-visit spot for pizza aficionados.
The Loco Burro Fresh Mex Cantina is an immersive experience of Mexican cuisine. Their Fajitas Del Mar is a standout, served on sizzling platters with an enticing aroma that captivates the senses. This dish combines perfectly grilled shrimp and scallops, delivering a succulent and vibrant medley of flavors. Pair this with one of their handcrafted margaritas, perfectly balancing sweet and tangy notes, and you've found a delightful retreat after a day of hiking. The vibrant atmosphere and friendly staff add to the overall ambiance, creating a complete experience.
Hot Diggitty Dawg is where simplicity meets artistry in the world of hot dogs. They take the quintessential hot dog and elevate it to a gourmet creation. From the classic New York-style dog to adventurous concoctions, each variation is crafted with precision and care. The "Trailblazer Dog," adorned with a fusion of toppings that dance on the taste buds, is a daring choice that complements the adventurous spirit of hikers exploring the nearby trails.
This restaurant, renowned for its homage to authentic Mexican flavors, offers a selection of delectable dishes. Their Chile Rellenos, a traditional favorite, feature poblano peppers meticulously stuffed with a tantalizing blend of cheese and spices, showcasing the essence of Mexican cuisine. This establishment balances rich and savory flavors, providing an experience that qualifies it among the best food in Gatlinburg. Coupled with a welcoming atmosphere and the staff's hospitable service, it serves as the ideal pitstop after a day of outdoor activities.
Estrella Hondumex offers a delightful fusion of Honduran and Mexican culinary influences. Their Baleadas, a traditional Honduran delight, consist of thick, handcrafted tortillas stuffed with a mix of beans, cheese, and the diner's choice of meats or vegetables. This hearty and fulfilling dish not only replenishes energy but also provides a taste of the cultural blend present in the area. The cozy setting and authentic cuisine make it a unique and flavorful stop for hikers.
Perched against the mountainous backdrop, the Smoky Mountains Creperie entices visitors with its European-inspired culinary offerings. From savory to sweet, their crepes are delicate and flavorful. The "Mountain Sunrise" crepe, filled with a harmonious blend of eggs, bacon, and cheese, offers a hearty and delicious start to the day or a satisfying brunch option, perfectly complementing the surrounding natural beauty.
Boudicca's Celtic Pub brings the essence of Ireland to the mountains. Their Shepherd's Pie is a comforting classic, featuring a blend of savory meat, vegetables, and a crown of creamy mashed potatoes. The dish is both hearty and fulfilling, offering a taste of the rich and comforting flavors of Celtic cuisine. The cozy, authentic ambiance adds an extra layer of warmth to the dining experience, providing a perfect conclusion to a day of adventure.
In essence, these dining spots near the Alum Cave Trail aren't just pit stops; they're crucial parts of your outdoor adventure tale. Each restaurant adds its own special flavor, turning your hike into a complete journey of taste, culture, and community. So, lace up your boots and hit the trail, not just to see the stunning sights, but also to relish the diverse culinary experiences available at places to eat near Gatlinburg. These dining adventures will leave you not only excited for the next trail but also eagerly anticipating the delightful food discoveries awaiting you at every turn.