There is perhaps no food as quintessentially American as a good old-fashioned burger. For decades it has been a hallmark cuisine of roadside diners, fast food joints, street vendors, and even full-fledged restaurants.
Ordering a burger with fries has become a standard order for visitors seeking American nostalgia in iconic destinations throughout the country, and Tennessee is no different.
After a day exploring the rigorous terrains of the Great Smoky Mountains, there is nothing quite like sinking your teeth into a patty of beef topped with a simple bun and your favorite condiments.
Luckily when staying in the region, visitors have a wide variety of burger joints to choose from. From national chains to local hole-in-the-wall restaurants, these are nine spots for enjoying the best burger in Gatlinburg, TN.
Where to Find the Best Burger in Gatlinburg
- Mountain Edge Grill
- Smokey Mountain Brewery
- Tom & Earls Back Alley Grill
- Landshark Bar & Grill
- Morning Mist Cafe
- Three Jimmy’s
- Smith & Son Corner Kitchen
- Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que
1. Mountain Edge Grill
Home to perhaps the best burger in Gatlinburg, the Mountain Edge Grill uses only fresh ingredients and offers a wide selection of unique patty varieties.
On their menu, the grill offers the American Classic, a Chili Cheese Burger, a Bison and Elk Burger, and a Forrest Burger topped with mushrooms and swiss cheese.
A local favorite of Mountain Edge Grill is the Tram Burger. Served with your choice of Beef or Bison, this mouth-watering burger is topped with bacon, American cheese, onion, and BBQ sauce.
Of course, the Mountain Edge Grill features a complete and diverse menu. Beyond their burgers, guests have a selection of sandwiches, pizzas, and salads, best enjoyed along with an extensive drink menu that includes popular beers, ciders, and specialty cocktails.
2. Smokey Mountain Brewery
The Smokey Mountain Brewery may have started as a simple beer hall, but its food menu has since evolved to include some of the best burgers in Gatlinburg.
Grinding their meat daily, the Smokey Mountain Brewery serves fresh beef in a large variety of burgers suited to match any pallet. Along with their traditional burger options, the restaurant offers specialty burgers, including the Awesome Avocado Jack Burger, the Swiss Mushroom Burger, and the California Chicken Burger.
For a unique burger, visitors to the Smokey Mountain Brewery should order the Kick-Back Burger. This fresh-patty burger is topped with smoked cheddar, jack cheese, bacon, jalapenos, and the brewery’s spicy Kick-Back Sauce.
The Smokey Mountain Brewery offers its Brewhouse Burger for an even heartier meal. Featuring two ground beef patties, this delectable option includes American and Pimento Cheese, sliced bacon, lettuce, tomato, and pickle, and is topped off with 1000 island dressing.
Regardless of your burger option, every item on the brewery’s food menu is best enjoyed with one of the in-house crafted beers or specialty cocktails. Resident favorite beers include the Irish-style Cherokee Red Ale and the traditionally -styled Appalachian Pale Ale.
3. Tom & Earls Back Alley Grill
Tom & Earl’s Back Alley Grill features a varied and full menu filled with delicious options, but the restaurant’s burgers are by far its crowned jewel.
The grill’s traditional burger and cheeseburger on their own stand out from the crowd of other burger joints in the city, but it is the grill’s Burning Bear Burger that competes with being the best burger in Gatlinburg.
Featuring a thick 8 oz beef patty, the burger is topped with Ghost Pepper cheese, jalapenos, lettuce, tomato, onion, and mayo. Be warned. This burger packs a punch and should only be ordered by those that love their spicy cuisine.
All of Tom & Earl’s delicious burgers and other meals are served with either two traditional sides that include potato salads and baked beans or a premium side of either a salad or beer battered fries.
4. Landshark Bar & Grill
Owned and operated by Margaritaville, the Landshark Bar & Grill is one of the premier spots in Gatlinburg for both food and drink. And, when perusing the restaurant’s full menu, be sure to check out the restaurant’s featured dish—The Landshark Burger.
Featuring Angus beef cooked to your preference, the Landshark Burger comes fully topped with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and their signature Landshark Sauce.
Other burgers on the menu include the Hawaiian Luau Burger, which features smoked bacon, grilled pineapple, and mango teriyaki sauce, and the BBQ Burger, which comes fully loaded with cheddar cheese, smoked bacon, and a signature Landshark® Lager BBQ mayo.
Regardless of your choice of unique specialty burger, visitors to Landshark bar and grill should accompany their meal with a selection from the restaurant’s diverse drink menu that includes various beers, ciders, and specialty cocktails.
5. Morning Mist Café
Situated within the Great Smokey Mountains Arts & Crafts Community, the Morning Mist Café is only open for lunch. However, it offers indoor and outdoor seating for enjoying some of the best burgers in Gatlinburg.
On the menu, the Morning Mist Café offers its house burger. Made with a hand-molded half-pound patty charbroiled with spicy blackening seasoning, the burger is topped off with swiss cheese, signature slaw, and tomato and is served on a grill-marked brioche bun.
If the house burger isn’t to your taste, the café offers a Build Your Own Half Pounder Burger option. Engaging only fresh ingredients and half-pound patties, the Morning Mist Café offers some of the city’s best (and largest) burgers.
6. Three Jimmy’s
Using only locally sourced ingredients, Three Jimmy’s highlights fresh homemade Smokey Mountain cuisine with some of the best burgers in Gatlinburg. Among the restaurant’s traditional burger options, Three Jimmy’s also offers a variety of specialty burgers, including Jimmy’s Smokehouse and The Highlander.
In Jimmy’s Smokehouse, the restaurant’s fresh patties are accompanied by smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, and Rockin’ Rib Sauce and are topped off with onion crispers for a deliciously satisfying meal.
Alternatively, The Highlander offers visitors the restaurant’s heartiest meal. The Black Angus beef patty is topped with pulled pork and covered in cheddar cheese, Rockin’ Rib Sauce, and onion crispers and is served on a soft brioche bun. Visitors can add an extra patty for a more filling meal for only $3.95.
7. Smith & Son Corner Kitchen
Conveniently located on the corner of the Parkway and the Historic Nature Trail, Smith & Son Corner Kitchen offers visitors to Gatlinburg the greatest access to some of the city’s best burgers.
The Smoky Delphia Burger and the Gatlinburger are absolute must-tries among the restaurant’s diverse burger selections.
Featuring two fresh patties and shaved roast beef, the Smokey Delphia Burger is topped with sauteed peppers, onions, and mushrooms and is served on a grilled brioche bun with creamy queso.
Also served on a brioche bun with two beef patties, the Gatlinburger provides a little more kick for visitors that prefer some spice. Topped with grilled bologna, double American cheese, lettuce, and tomato, the burger is capped off with spicy pickles and fried tobacco onions for a unique and filling burger.
With nine restaurants across Tennessee and nearly forty years of experience, Calhoun’s features some of the best burgers in Gatlinburg and surrounding regions of the state.
Calhoun’s has over ten burgers on the menu with varying flavors well-suited to meet any pallet. Along with their takes on the classic burger, Calhoun’s top-selling burgers include the Hickory Burger and the California Chicken Burger.
On the Hickory Burger, a fresh beef patty is accompanied by smoked cheddar cheese, bacon, and the house’s signature bar-b-que sauce.
Meanwhile, on the California Chicken Burger, the traditional beef patty is swapped out for ground chicken and served with avocado, Monterey jack cheese, bacon, and topped with garlic peppercorn dressing.
Calhoun’s delectable burgers are best enjoyed over the bar’s diverse drink menu, including local and import beers, specialty cocktails, spirits, and local takes on the traditional Moscow mule.
9. Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que
While not as many burger options as other spots featured on this list, Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que has mastered its take on the traditional sandwich of America and serves up one of the best burgers in Gatlinburg.
Featuring two patties served medium rare, Bennett’s hamburger is topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles and has the optional add-ons of American cheese, Monterey jack, and pepper jack.
While simple, this burger is cooked to perfection and is the pinnacle of what makes the traditional American hamburger so fantastic.