A Food Lover's Guide: Top 5 Restaurants in Townsend, Tennessee

Published Sep 22, 2023

Whether you love diner food, Southern classics or elegant bistro fare, Townsend is worth the short drive from Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg.! Start with these eateries. 

1. Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro

Serving produce grown on-site, this bistro is a farm-to-table experience. In the mountain lodge atmosphere, eat dishes like herb-crusted rainbow trout or pork chop brined in sweet tea. Shareable bites include blackened beef tenderloin tips or fried gulf oysters. Dancing Bear’s bar features wines, craft beers and cocktails. Enjoy a drink by the fire pit, where you’re encouraged to make s’mores.

2. Riverstone Family Restaurant

Riverstone Family Restaurant dishes up Southern comfort food in a casual setting. Riverstone starts your day with pancakes, biscuits and gravy, and eggs. For lunch and dinner, choose among hot and cold sandwiches, salads, soups and entrees. Riverstone serves only certified Angus beef, as burgers, country fried steak and roast beef. Look for salmon, trout and catfish, smoked pork BBQ and hot veggie sides. 

3. Trailhead Steak and Trout House

Sit down in Trailhead’s cozy dining room and savor hand-cut steaks and fresh fish including that Smokies favorite, rainbow trout. Start with shrimp, fried green tomatoes or golden hushpuppies. 

Signature burgers include an Angus burger topped with sugar cured bacon and black raspberry jam. Another Angus burger comes smothered with mashed potatoes. Steaks include sirloin, ribeye and filet mignon, while fish choices range from grilled salmon to fried catfish. 

4. The Abbey

This riverside pub is inside a lovely former chapel. Sit by the water and indulge in local craft beers. Come for The Abbey’s food and drink but stick around to play corn hole or Connect Four in the fresh air. Flatbread pizzas are loaded with toppings, from classic (pepperoni) to unique (pork belly). Try the sub sandwiches or slather spicy beer cheese onto soft pretzels. The Abbey spotlights daily specials like fajitas, ribs, fish or pasta.

5. Snoring Bear Diner

Love a simple roadside diner? Stop by the Snoring Bear. Inside the barn-red building you’ll find French toast, fluffy pancakes, crispy hash browns, biscuits and more. For lunch or dinner, order a classic sandwich like grilled cheese, a Reuben or a Philly cheesesteak, or entrees including meatloaf, fish tacos or chicken Marsala. Hearty sides include home-cooked baked beans and mac and cheese. Snoring Bear gets praise online for its Oreo pie, peanut butter pie and cheesecakes.

Make a Smoky Mountains cabin your home base for culinary adventures in Townsend. Reserve your cabin rental now! 

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