Posted by Leif Palmer in Gatlinburg
Obviously, when you think about places that serve great seafood, your mind will probably first be transported to some oceanfront locale – maybe a gulf-side shack that specializes in fresh crab or coastal Maine, where lobster reins supreme. But just because you happen to like vacationing in the mountains doesn't mean you have to go without tasting the flavors of the sea.
Here in the Great Smoky Mountains, we have several awesome seafood restaurants that are known for their saltwater and freshwater cuisine as well as overall fun customer experiences. This week, we'll give you a quick overview of several of the area's top picks. If you stay in a cabin in Gatlinburg on your next visit to the mountains, several of these locations will be very convenient to you, although all of them will be within a fairly short drive.
Located in downtown Gatlinburg, this national chain of eateries helps bring to life the tastes and the sights of the beloved movie Forrest Gump. The restaurant is named in honor of the shrimping company run by Forrest and his buddy Bubba, and the menu is faithful to the concept, showcasing items like the shrimp po' boy sandwich, Southern fried shrimp, shrimp and grits, shrimp New Orleans and the Dumb Luck Coconut Shrimp. Also look out for seafood favorites like steamed crab legs and Maine lobster.
In nearby Pigeon Forge, you'll find this seafood stop, where diners can choose from dishes like pan-seared scallops, glazed salmon, crab parm grouper, Portuguese shrimp, crab cakes, fried catfish and even shrimp pot pie. For the full crab experience, choose from crab buckets featuring Alaskan king, Dungeness or snow crabs, or go raw with an order from the oyster bar. In addition, the menu features pasta, sandwiches, steak, chicken and pork dishes.
Not all seafood is from the sea, you know. Here in the Smokies, we know a thing or two about mountain trout, which is why we recommend a visit to the Smoky Mountain Trout House. The rainbow trout used by the kitchen are caught in the sparkling clear waters of the Smokies, packed in ice and shipped directly to the restaurant. Since 1975, this Gatlinburg eatery has been one of the go-to places for authentic mountain cuisine.
Here's another national chain but one that's been doing well at its Sevierville location. Joe's offers a wide seafood selection, including a variety of steampots, which can include ingredients like crawfish, crab, clams, lobster, shrimp, mussels and more. Also look for crab buckets, a host of shrimp dishes and main catches like cedar-roasted salmon, shrimp skewers and twin lobster tails.
We finish up back in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg at this upstairs seafood restaurant that opened in 2002. If items like oysters on the half shell, shrimp or oyster po' boys, crab cakes, shrimp brochette, or a snow crab bucket sound tempting, then consider stopping here. They also have low-country boils featuring favorites like crawfish and shrimp, each of which comes with new potatoes, corn on the cob and Andouille sausage.
About Leif Palmer
Leif Palmer loves residing in the Smoky Mountains. He is an avid outdoorsman: rowing for exercise on the lake, trail hiking, and free climbing rocks in the mountains. He indulges his arty side by periodically beating up pieces of marble by sculpting. He is always frustrated by his inability to sink long putts, and hates his curly hair (but his wife loves it). Leif has been known to muster enough courage to change a diaper, and hopes his son will become a chip off the old block.
Other blog categories:
Gatlinburg Hiking Pigeon Forge Pigeon Forge Attractions Places To Eat Places To Eat Rental Cabins Seasons Smoky Mountains Sevierville Smoky Mountain Attractions Smoky Mountains Things to Do Wears Valley