Recently, I wrote about where I thought were the best places in Gatlinburg to get a pizza. Now I would like to specify that these were not necessarily the best restaurants overall, since we only usually visit these places for their pizza–and we haven’t tried some of the Italian or other entree selections. The same goes for these: They are my favorite places for pancakes; there is one place on this list that is number one, but it is for overall breakfast. In this post, I would like to help you by offering my opinion–after multiple trips to each restaurant–of where I think you cannot go wrong with this popular breakfast treat. With Gatlinburg being a part of a hotbed of pancake houses, it should be considered high praise to be included on any favorites list–even if it’s just from an amateur food critic like myself.
3. (Tie) Crockett’s Breakfast Camp, Atrium Pancakes
I couldn’t possibly leave one of these out of my top 3–and with both of these restaurants selling a similar pancake, I felt it necessary to give them equal praise. Crockett’s is my favorite breakfast restaurant in Gatlinburg, and while their pancakes are not the favorite thing I’ve eaten off their menu, they still are mighty tasty–if you can manage to stomach them. They are called Frankenstein Pancakes for a reason; they are large–sometimes about an inch thick–and they can scare you away from food until later in the day. The cornbread flavor is unmistakable in the ingredients, and they can be enjoyed with a cinnamon swirl throughout and various fruit toppings. It is a different kind of pancake than most are used to, but don’t let that keep you from trying these monsters.
Atrium Pancakes is home to the Baked Apple Pancake, and it is so good, it renders their other pancake selections average. This pancake is famous for being featured in Taste of Home magazine. The flavors are otherworldly with the apples taking center stage, and the size being very similar to Crockett’s Frankenstein Pancakes. There’s probably a better chance that you will be able to eat more of Crockett’s pancakes, because the Baked Apple Pancake feels more like eating a cake–and probably is more caloric (but who really counts calories on vacation, right?). Give both of these pancakes a try to see what I mean about what you are getting.
2. Log Cabin Pancake House
This is the only pancake house on my list that is not on the main drag in Gatlinburg but is a short drive down from the road on which the Space Needle sits. The restaurant has a covered wagon on the front so it is hard to miss; go inside and you will find some of the best pancakes in the area. Their Pancakes Royale features a sugary sweet cream sauce with a banana helping to soak up the liquid with the pancakes. The pancakes cut pretty easily with a fork even with a drier topping like butterscotch chips. You can always tell how well pancakes taste if they can be eaten without the added syrup. The syrup is the real deal–I mean real, as in actual maple syrup without the added preservatives in syrups that sit on grocery shelves. Try Buckwheat Pancakes too if you want a little something that you don’t see much of in places other than the South; I was not disappointed in the least.
1. Pancake Pantry
There just is no other pancake in Gatlinburg that can compare to what you get in the quality department at the legendary Pancake Pantry. For 50 plus years they have been serving guests here; they also have a Nashville location too. I’ve had four different pancakes here, and they have all been spectacularly good. My favorite is the Sugar and Spice Pancakes: they serve them with a cinnamon cream syrup along with a small cup of applesauce; this makes their real maple syrup–that is sensational as well–a bit of an afterthought. Their pancakes are everything you want from a textbook variety pancake: made-from-scratch, pillowy soft, and no cutting–the fork is just a means to easily make the trip into your mouth. Don’t just take it from me, there are many thousands of customers–some of which have been regulars for decades–who would concur with my sentiments about this establishment. Like Crockett’s and Log Cabin, I recommend you arrive early so you’re not having your experience compromised by long lines and potentially rushed service; both of which don’t hinder their loyal–and hungry–customers from returning for a stellar Southern batch of flapjacks.
I hope you enjoyed my list of favorite choices for pancakes in Gatlinburg. This post reflects my honest opinions on what I believe to be the best that you can find here. I plan to give more opinions on other restaurants in town as I continue my quest to try everything that Southern cooking has to offer in my favorite place: Gatlinburg. Thanks for reading, and I will keep informing you of more of what makes Gatlinburg our favorite vacation destination. See you next time!