Did someone say donuts?

Yes, in fact, I did, and in this post I will be telling you about 3 places not named Dunkin’ Donuts where you can find everyone’s irresistible breakfast delight. While being overshadowed a bit by the popular pancakes in the area, donuts in Gatlinburg are a little more rare, but when you uncover these gems, you won’t soon forget. Make sure to mark these as destinations when you are planning your vacation. Here goes…

1. The Donut Friar


Just like the Pancake Pantry in Gatlinburg, this place is an institution and staple in this tourist hotspot. Located in the iconic and architectural marvel of The Village, The Donut Friar is an absolute must on anyone’s vacation. Opening prior to the crack of dawn, the aromatic morning scent will awaken your senses and get the day started sweetly. Their basic favorites are available first thing in the morning, but it grows to include cream-filled delights like the Friar’s Special, Eclairs, and Bavarian Cream. You won’t find anything novelty or fancy with these donuts—just a superior flavor that’s been delighting customers for more than 50 years! They also have cinnamon bread, cookies, and caffeinated beverages that are also favorites of many. Our personal favorites are the Chocolate Cruller and the Chocolate Chipper cake donuts. YUM!

2. Mad Dog’s Creamery and Donuts

5 - Mad Dogs Donuts.jpg

Under the highly regarded Johnson Family of Restaurants umbrella is Mad Dog’s Creamery and Donuts. Yes, they also specialize in serving ice cream, but you shouldn’t ignore their superb selection of specialty and middle-of-the-road donuts. If you want to find more expansive flavors, this is the place to go. Although glazed and chocolate iced is the way to go for most—and they do have these—this place delivers the goods with varieties that include Peanut Butter and Jelly, Espresso Sugar, Blueberry and Lemon, and Caramel with Sea Salt. Located away from the bustle of Gatlinburg on the East Parkway, look for the bear with the giant ice cream cone in the front. You can’t miss it! We tried it for the first time last year, and it’s definitely worth going back again.

3. Maypops


A fairly new place on the Gatlinburg Parkway is Maypops. Here, you can rent scooters, but they also have a great selection of foods that include homemade ice cream, boiled peanuts, and of course, donuts. Now let me say we haven’t yet tried Maypops’ donuts due to the mixed reviews we’ve heard, but it seems like we need to check them out on our upcoming visit in June to know for sure if they’re legit or not. From what I’ve seen and heard, they are quite pricey at over $3 for a donut, however, they definitely don’t look like your standard glazed by any means. Nonetheless, this is a convenient option, and one that will definitely get your attention! Let me know in the comments if any of you have tried one, and whether you approved or disapproved.

This concludes my list of local places to find donuts in Gatlinburg. If I have missed any, please feel free to bring it to my attention. I am aware of hotels that offer donuts, but those don’t count, in my opinion—despite the fact that they may be good or at least passable. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see everyone next time!