SMOKY MOUNTAIN BBQ
Head to Sevierville, Tennessee to savor genuine barbecue.
The Smoky Mountains are named for the blue mist hovering around their peaks and valleys. But “smoky” also aptly describes one of the area’s most-loved cooking techniques: barbecue! Sevierville, Tennessee is home to some of the South’s most mouthwatering barbecue joints. If you’ve got a hankering for meat smoked to tender perfection, dig into these satisfying restaurants.
Tony Gore’s Smoky Mountain BBQ & Grill, located on Winfield Dunn Parkway, serves “the best ribs in the Smokies.” Whether you prefer baby back or St. Louis-style, this juicy meat is fall-off-the-bone tender and heavenly on its own or drizzled in your pick of five barbecue sauces: sweet, spicy, smoky, mustardy and vinegary. Whether you opt for a half or full rack, rib meals include cole slaw, bread, and your choice of equally tempting sides such as creamy mac and cheese, pork-loaded baked beans, fried okra, fresh-cut fries, and fried corn on the cob, among others. Dessert temptations include towering cakes. The restaurant’s soundtrack is Southern Gospel, since owner Tony Gore is also a renowned singer and leader in that field. Sit indoors or outside, or order to-go.
Trotter’s Whole Hog BBQ has set out to define exactly what whole hog BBQ means right here in Tennessee. Under the watchful eye of chef and pitmaster David Rule, Trotter’s slow smokes locally sourced hogs each day, then serves them up with homemade sweet and spicy sauces handcrafted with Sevierville sorghum. The downtown Sevierville eatery is housed in the historic J.C. Trotter motor company building and the restaurant’s decor pays tribute to more than a century of commerce within the space.
Buddy’s Bar-B-Q on Winfield Dunn Parkway, is a quick-casual eatery with a homey vibe that’s renowned for its hickory-smoked barbecue that’s been prepared the same way for more than 45 years. Menu favorites include succulent pork, tender ribs, thin-sliced brisket, crispy hush puppies, and monster-sized hot fudge cakes. Enjoy your barbecue pork, chicken, turkey, and beef in sandwiches, atop potatoes, on platters, and by the pound. All-you-can-eat ribs are $12.99 every Saturday. Pork, chicken, or ham dinners with two sides (choose baked beans, green beans, slaw, potato salad, corn, chili, chips, fries, or pickles), plus hush puppies, and a 16-ounce drink are $6.99 every Tuesday. Buddy’s offers indoor and outdoor dining, take-out, drive-thru, and online ordering.
Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Q on the Parkway in neighboring Pigeon Forge, has been named the city’s ‘best barbecue’ and ‘best ribs.’ This barbecue is moist, tender, and flavorful, whether you opt for Texas-, Carolina-, St. Louis-, or even Philly-style. Hickory-smoked ribs, pork, and brisket are menu favorites, though wings, catfish, and even cauliflower have ardent fans, too. Can’t decide? No problem! Try the three-meat Big Daddy’s combo or the Texan sampler of all five smoked meats: pulled pork, beef brisket, hog leg, chicken, and baby back ribs. Bennett’s special sauce is served warm alongside your meat, so you can drizzle or pour on as much as you crave. Deep fried corn and barbecue beans are favorite sides. In- and outdoor dining plus carry-out are offered.
Delauder’s BBQ in nearby Gatlinburg, is a family-owned joint that’s been ranked among the nation’s top 25 barbecue restaurants by Travel + Leisure magazine. Menu favorites include the ‘Sneaky Pig’ pulled pork platter with habanero sauce, ‘Smoky Mountain Nachos’ with jalapeños and classic Tex-Mex toppings, and ‘Holy Bologna Sandwich’ with sweet jalapeño mustard. The classic pulled pork platter comes with two sides and a roll, while the back rib platter includes fries or tater tots. For a mix of meats, go for a three-meat platter with ribs, pulled pork, and sausage plus two sides and a roll, or the five-meat sampler dinner that adds brisket and chicken to the lineup. Side options include potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans, fried mac-n-cheese, collard greens, and fried okra. Arrive early if you’ve got a specific craving, because this small restaurant aims to keep food fresh by making a limited amount of meats and sides each day, so menu items may sell out. Dine in and take-out are offered.