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grist mill dollywood
July 15, 2021

While most people come to Dollywood to ride its thrilling roller coasters and watch its world-class shows, some folks make a pilgrimage to the theme park to enjoy an entirely different activity: eating. There is no shame in visiting Dollywood restaurants because the park boasts some of the tastiest food you will find anywhere. Whether you’re in the mood for a meal or a snack, the food at Dollywood does not disappoint. In fact, the Golden Ticket Awards (which are like the Oscars for theme parks) has honored Dollywood with the prize for Best Food four times!

What separates Dollywood’s food from the typical theme park fare is its commitment to old-fashioned country cooking. The park uses the same time-honored culinary traditions that have been employed for generations by Smoky Mountain residents. To help you make the most of your next vacation in Pigeon Forge, we have put together a guide to the best food at Dollywood.

1. Cinnamon Bread

If you only try one thing at Dollywood, let it be the park’s mouthwatering cinnamon bread. This delicious treat is so popular that Dollywood sells about 350 loaves of cinnamon bread an hour! Served hot out of the oven, this irresistible dessert can be enjoyed with icing and/or homemade apple butter.

Finding Dollywood’s cinnamon bread isn’t hard, because the wafting scent of the freshly baked bread will lead you straight to the theme park’s grist mill in Craftsman’s Valley. Built in 1982, the Dollywood Grist Mill was the first fully operational grist mill to be constructed in Tennessee in more than a century. Today, the grist mill grinds the flour that is used to make the park’s beloved cinnamon bread and other baked goods.

A few years ago, the cast of the Hallmark Channel’s Home and Family visited Dollywood to see how some of their famous treats are made. You can get the inside scoop on Dollywood’s cinnamon bread in the video below:

2. 25-Pound Apple Pie

No list of the best food at Dollywood would be complete without including the park’s 25-pound apple pie. Yes, you read that correctly: the pie weighs 25 lbs! This epic dessert was originally offered for Dollywood’s 25th anniversary, but it proved so popular with guests that it has remained a fixture of the park’s Spotlight Bakery ever since.

Made from roughly 35 apples and baked in an enormous cast iron skillet, Dollywood’s 25-pound pie is a force to be reckoned with. One slice of pie, which weighs 3 pounds and serves four adults, can be purchased for $18.99 at the Spotlight Bakery in the Showstreet section of the park. If you’re looking for the ultimate souvenir from Dollywood, you can buy the entire 25-pound pie for $189.99 + tax. You’ll even get to keep the skillet it was baked in!

For a behind-the-scenes look at how the 25-pound apple pie is made, check out this video from the Hallmark Channel:

3. Meatloaf at the Front Porch Cafe

When you’ve got a hankering for Southern-style comfort food, a visit to the Front Porch Cafe in the Showstreet section of the theme park is definitely in order. Rumor has it that Dolly Parton’s favorite item on the menu is the meatloaf, and it’s not hard to see why.

Food writer David Landsel raved about this Dollywood restaurant’s meatloaf for a piece in Food & Wine magazine, writing, “Crusty on the outside, rich with meat but almost pillowy on the inside, with just a hint of mustard in the mix, it was, by far, the most distinguished meatloaf I’ve had in years.” The meatloaf is just one of Front Porch Cafe’s famous dishes, so it’s no wonder this is one of the most popular Dollywood Restaurants!

4. Sampler Platter at Granny Ogle’s

granny ogle's ham and beans sign dollywood

Named after the grandmother of one of Dolly Parton’s close friends, Granny Ogle’s Ham & Beans is another one of the can’t-miss Dollywood restaurants. To get a taste of everything this restaurant has to offer, we recommend ordering the Fronie’s Sampler. For $15.99, you’ll get a hearty meal of pot roast, smoked ham pit, mashed potatoes with gravy, pinto beans, turnip greens, and fruit cobbler.

Absolutely everything in the sampler platter is simply delicious! You’ll find Granny Ogle’s restaurant in the Craftsman’s Valley section of the theme park.

Popular Dollywood Restaurants

We’ve told you about the most popular food at Dollywood, now it’s time to talk about the most popular Dollywood restaurants! Whether you’re looking for a quick bite to eat or a family meal, you can find the perfect place to eat at the theme park. In addition to the places listed above, some of the most popular restaurants are Aunt Granny’s Restaurant, which serves an all-you-can-eat buffet, and Hickory House BBQ, which serves the best pork barbeque of any theme park in the country! Other places to eat at Dollywood include the Jukebox Junction Food Truck, Front Porch Cafe, and Dogs N Taters. If you’re in the mood for Mexican food at Dollywood, you’ll love Till & Harvest in the Wildwood Grove section of the park. This newer eatery offers fresh bowls and burritos with fire-grilled meats and fresh vegetables. You can’t go wrong anywhere you choose to dine at Dollywood! Check out all the Dollywood restaurants and decide what you want to try during your visit.

Where to Stay Near Dollywood

Timber Tops- Tuscan Vista

When you stay with us, all of the best food at Dollywood will be just a short drive away. Our cabins come with your choice of amazing amenities, including gorgeous mountain views, soothing hot tubs, fully equipped kitchens, home theater rooms, arcade games, pool tables, fire pits, and swimming pool access. With everything from 1 bedroom cabins for romantic escapes to 15 bedroom lodges for family reunions, we are sure to have the perfect property for your vacation. To start planning your getaway, browse our selection of cabins in Pigeon Forge!

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