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Nothing hits the spot quite like a hearty Italian meal! If you get a craving for pizza or pasta during your vacation in Gatlinburg, TN, you won’t have to look far to find all of your favorite marinara-covered, mozzarella-infused dishes. To help you prepare for your next getaway, Timber Tops Cabin Rentals has put together a handy guide to the top seven Italian restaurants in Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains.
1. Best Italian Cafe & Pizzeria
When a restaurant claims to be the best, they better have the food to back it up. In the case of Best Italian Cafe & Pizzeria, their self-proclaimed title is definitely well-deserved! This legendary eatery in Gatlinburg has been delighting vacationers and locals alike for over 40 years. Best Italian is famous for its extremely generous portions and its mouthwatering garlic rolls, which are dripping with butter and parmesan. Other menu highlights include the enormous calzones, stuffed shells, and Chicken Florentine. There are two Best Italian locations on the Parkway (the original restaurant is part of Elks Plaza).
2. Taste of Italy
Situated on the East Parkway in Gatlinburg, Taste of Italy is considered something of a hidden gem in the Smokies. Owned by a couple from Brooklyn, this restaurant serves some of the most authentic Italian fare in the area. We highly recommend visiting Taste of Italy for lunch, as they typically offer a number of excellent specials that are under $10 (including salad, garlic knots, and a drink). While Taste of Italy does not sell wine, guests are welcome to bring their own bottle, which your server will uncork and pour for you, free of charge.
3. Luigi’s Pizzeria
Luigi’s Pizzeria is another one of the best Italian restaurants in Gatlinburg, especially if you’re in the mood for delivery. This popular eatery stays open until 2 a.m., making it perfect for night owls. Luigi’s pies come in a number of unique varieties, including eggplant pizza, chicken parmigiana pizza, and even lasagna pizza. In addition to its fantastic pizza, Luigi’s also offers calzones, strombolis, pasta entrees, subs, salads, and chicken wings.
4. New York Pizza & Pasta
If you love the Empire State’s signature style of thin crust pizza, New York Pizza & Pasta is for you! Tucked away in Gatlinburg’s Mountain Mall, this no-frills restaurant is the best place to get pizza by the slice in the Smoky Mountains. Keep in mind that the slices are huge, so you might need fewer than you think. Guests will also find traditional Italian entrees, such as baked spaghetti and chicken parmesan, along with ice cold draft beer.
5. Geppetto’s Restaurant
Anyone who plans on visiting Wears Valley should definitely stop by Geppetto’s. Boasting lovely views of Cove Mountain, this restaurant serves authentic Italian food in a charming setting. Some of the most popular dishes at Geppetto’s include the lasagna, stuffed shells, and Mama Geppetto’s Pizza (topped with homemade meatballs and parmesan cheese). Be sure to save room for dessert, because Geppetto’s cannolis are not to be missed!
6. Nino’s Pizzeria & Eatery
A meal at Nino’s Pizzeria & Eatery never disappoints! Located a little off the beaten path, this small restaurant has built a loyal following for its delicious thin crust pizza. We’re big fans of Nino’s White Pizza, which includes a thin layer of ricotta cheese, romano cheese, provolone, and mozzarella. Other Italian favorites at Nino’s include the meatballs, linguine and clam sauce, baked ravioli, and chocolate cake.
7. Johnny Carino’s
Johnny Carino’s is perfect for a date night with your sweetheart or a nice dinner with the whole clan. This popular restaurant offers a mix of traditional Italian dishes and unique creations, such as Italian Nachos and Sicilian Fire Sticks. Johnny Carino’s design-your-own pizza and pasta options are ideal for the picky eaters in your family. Guests are sure to love the restaurant’s freshly baked bread, which is served with olive oil and roasted garlic.
Where to Stay in Gatlinburg
When you stay with Timber Tops Cabin Rentals, you will be near all of these superb Italian restaurants in Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains. With everything from 1 bedroom cabins to 15 bedroom lodges, we are sure to have the perfect property for your escape. To start planning your vacation, browse our selection of cabins in Gatlinburg!