Figuring out where to eat when you are traveling shouldn’t be a chore, especially when you are in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. This southern town is wedged up against the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and has lots of hungry visitors and locals to feed year round, whether they are looking for breakfast, a snack, lunch or dinner.
Although there are other spots in town to grab your kids a donut, The Donut Friar is the best around. The Friar Favorite, a chocolate-frosted, cream-filled donut, will give your kids enough energy to hike up any trail, while the rainbow sprinkle donuts are a big hit with the toddler set. Hot cider, coffee and hot chocolate will keep the whole family warm on a crisp morning, or you can hop around the corner to Coffee & Co for one of the best lattes in town.
Every town has a local institution, and the Pancake Pantry is Gatlinburg’s. This restaurant right on the main drag through town is open for breakfast and lunch, with a full menu of pancakes, eggs, sandwiches and even soup. Portions will keep your growing kids happy and the prices are kind to mom and dad’s wallet.
The Park Grill is an easy spot to find family-friendly dining with a fantastic staff ready to take care of you and your kids. Although you will find lots of favorites like BBQ and steaks on the menu, the burgers really hit the spot for lunch when you want to fuel up for the rest of your day. The rustic mountain interior means you and your kids can do a scavenger hunt or "I Spy" game from your table as you wait for your meal. Like its sister restaurant The Peddler Steakhouse, The Park Grill charges $1 x your child’s age (up to age 12) for their meal, saving you a lot of money when your child refuses to eat once again.
When you need something to suit everyone in the family, the Cherokee Grill serves up fresh fish, rotisserie chicken, steaks, sandwiches and salads to quiet your hungry kids. Those looking to eat gluten free can rejoice when they are handed a full listing of gluten-free items safe to consume off of their menu. No more guessing. They did all of the work for you.
After a long day of hiking and playing around town, you may just want a nice sit down meal with a gorgeous piece of meat. The Peddler Steakhouse, whose sister restaurant is the Park Grill, brings the meat right to your table so you can select your cut and the salad bar feels endless, perfect for the whole family. The steaks may be on the higher end of your budget, but at least your kids won’t break the bank. (Charged $1 x age up to 12) Don’t skip out on dessert either. They have a homemade key lime pie that no one should go home without tasting.
What are your best tips for eating as a family when you travel?
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Keryn is an East Coast native living life as a freelance writer in Seattle surrounded by her two little boys and one incredible husband. When not dragging the men in her life across the globe you can find Keryn writing on her blog Walking On Travels, a site that gives hope to today's modern parent that doesn't see kids as a roadblock to travel, but an excuse to get out the door and explore. Keryn has laughed at the naysayers by bringing her boys to far off lands like China, Hong Kong, Japan, Hawaii, back and forth across the USA, Mexico, Canada, and even across Europe. Keryn loves to encourage families to take that first step out the door, the hardest step of all. Follow Keryn on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google Plus.
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