I first visited Sevierville, Tennessee, 3 years ago, and even then, I thought the food scene was noteworthy. There were many nice restaurants, tasty comfort food dishes, and highly desired breakfast eateries. When I revisited a month ago, I was shocked at how grown-up the Sevierville food scene had gotten and at the number of amazing restaurants that had joined its roster. Five of those fabulous restaurants really stood out to me: The Appalachian, Seasons 101, Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant, Holston’s Kitchen, and Fort Worth Texas Kitchen. They are the ones I recommend you try when you visit Sevierville again.
Disclaimer: I was hosted by Visit Sevierville at Seasons 101, Fort Worth Texas Kitchen, and Holston’s Kitchen on previous familiarization trips.
1. The Appalachian
One of the hottest restaurants in downtown Sevierville is The Appalachian, a farm-to-fork concept that opened its doors in January 2021. Step into a stylish lobby and be seated in the attractive dining room or street-front patio on historic Bruce Street. Admire the fresh flowers in tiny vases on the tables and cool artwork on the walls. The Appalachian menu is short and sweet, but the complimentary cast-iron skillet cornbread is (insert your favorite adjective here). OMG, it was so tasty that I nearly ate the whole thing.
I suggest starting your dining experience with Zavel’s fried okra or herbed goat cheese, both tempting appetizers. For those with exotic taste buds, how about buffalo frog legs or fried chicken skins?
You can go big or small for your main course, or on the cheaper side as I did with a burger. The Appalachian Burger is topped with crispy onions, bacon, fancy sauce, American cheese, and condiments. French fries come on the side. My husband had the shrimp and grits and gave it a 10/10. I tasted it and thought it was well done, and I’m a shrimp and grits snob. The fermented peppers were a nice addition to this fundamental southern dish.
Save room for desserts because they are picture-perfect and just as delicious as they look. I studied the choices (bourbon pecan pie, chocolate ganache cake, and caramel apple cheesecake) on its Instagram page before dining there, but as it turns out, it had a special, the caramel apple pound cake, that we picked instead.
After dining at The Appalachian, walk across the street, past the downtown gazebo, and get a photo with the Sevierville Wings of Wander mural. Street and parking lot parking are both available.
Pro Tip: The Appalachian is closed Sunday and Monday.
2. Seasons 101
A hot concept restaurant in downtown Sevierville is Seasons 101. Not only is Seasons 101 an exceptional and gorgeous eatery, but it is also co-owned by the New Hotel Collection Smoky Mountains couple. The swanky and sophisticated dining room has a casual vibe. It has a stunning bar area and also courtyard seating.
My jaw dropped when the baked brie en croûte appetizer was delivered to the table. I haven’t seen many plated presentations that top this one. Oodles of fresh berries, almonds, and sliced bread surrounded the baked double-cream brie log. It was baked in puff pastry and had a drizzle of seasonal strawberry and brown sugar jam. The taste was sensational.
For main entrées, it all looked and sounded good, from black Angus filet mignon to wild Alaskan salmon. Instead, I chose an original iceberg wedge salad (red onion, smoked bacon, grape tomatoes, bleu cheese crumbles) and soup. There are two soup choices at Seasons 101: roasted corn bisque and the chef’s daily creation. I chose the roasted corn bisque at the encouragement of my server. Both my soup and salad were very good, bleu cheese dressing excellent, and if you love the classics or aren’t hungry enough for a hearty dinner, this is a perfect choice.
Something that impressed me about Seasons 101 is that chef Deron Little walked through the restaurant more than once to see how the customers liked their food. I felt like he truly valued the feedback he was getting.
Save room for dessert because the choices at Seasons 101 are going to blow you away. Desserts may include:
- Pina colada bread pudding (which my friend Clayton praised!)
- Creme caramel
- Red velvet cheesecake
- Millionaire’s chocolate tart
I had the coconut crowned key lime pie, made of only three ingredients, and it was lip-smacking good.
Pro Tip: Venture upstairs to the swanky roof-top bar, 101 Sky Lounge, with cozy seating groups and live music. The sunsets are spectacular from this spot, so try to work your dinner-time to coincide with sunset.
3. Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant
You can’t mention Sevierville, and not have someone start rambling about how wonderful Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant is. Maybe it’s the complimentary signature apple fritters and apple cinnamon muffins with homemade apple butter (that you can buy in the store) or perhaps the hearty southern breakfasts that leave such an impression — you be the judge. Don’t limit yourself to breakfast; Applewood Farmhouse, Sevierville’s oldest restaurant, also serves lunch and dinner.
Now, picture this. The Farmhouse Special Breakfast is delivered to your table, all in separate little dishes. While you can mix the meats up a bit, it is typically two eggs of your choice, home-fried potatoes, southern grits, cinnamon apples, sausage gravy, breakfast meat of your choice, and a biscuit. I opted for the country sausage patties (Swaggerty’s) because they are so tasty in Tennessee. The whole meal costs $10.99, and you won’t go away one bit hungry.
Or, you can pick something different on the menu, like wild blueberry pancakes, a ham & cheese omelet, or the Country Boy breakfast skillet. I haven’t been for lunch or dinner, but I’m sure it is every bit as good.
Fun Fact: Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant has a translate button on its website for any language.
4. Holston’s Kitchen
When you can’t make up your mind about what you want but know you want it to be consistently delicious, Holston’s Kitchen is the right choice. This steakhouse, hand-cutting its meats, also has vegetarian fare, Mexican food, sandwiches, burgers, and darned good salads. The restaurant is stylish and comfortable, casual enough for a regular day, yet upscale enough to celebrate a special occasion.
I love the choices on Holston’s menu and try something different on each visit. The sizzling cast-iron fajitas are good and filling, served with all the accompaniments. My husband thoroughly enjoyed the citrus chicken salad with mandarin oranges, Granny Smith apples, almonds, golden raisins, and dried cranberries. It is superb with the lemon vinaigrette.
My favorite thing on Holston’s Kitchen menu is the buffaloed cauliflower appetizer, big enough for dinner. The cauliflower is tempura battered and fried, then tossed in buffalo hot sauce. Bleu cheese dressing comes on the side.
Save room for the big orange soak cake with hot streusel topping — it reminded me of being at home in Florida.
Pro Tip: Holston’s Kitchen has a second location in Morristown.
5. Fort Worth Texas Kitchen
Since August, another new restaurant to Sevierville’s landscape is the Fort Worth Texas KItchen, part of a big restaurant group that owns many of the best restaurants in town. The menu is mostly Tex-Mex, barbecue, and grilled steaks and chops, but there is something for everyone at this lively and fun restaurant. A bar area off to the side is perfect for watching sporting events or just kicking back with a cold drink and appetizer.
The dining room is spacious, and the workers dress in cute branded T-shirts with fun sayings. Many of them wear cowboy hats, boots, and western apparel. We started our meal with the Texas Tango that included a side of chile con queso, guacamole, and salsa with avocado cream. It came with house-made corn tortillas and tortilla chips. It was so good and just the right dish to get our tastebuds ready for the next course.
My husband faithfully orders chicken fajitas wherever we go, so this was no different. They were served just the same as every other restaurant but full of flavor and filling. I was happy to see Rojo pozole on the menu and ordered that for my main course.
Pozole is a hearty Mexican stew with hominy, pork chunks, onion, garlic, and sometimes veggies if you aren’t familiar. Fort Worth Texas Kitchen’s pozole was served with smoked green cabbage and radishes on the top, which added a fantastic crunch to the dish that is usually a little one-dimensional, but tasty. I would rate this recipe a home run!
If you dare, try the Texas twinkies — bacon-wrapped whole jalapeños stuffed with brisket, Colby cheese, and spices. They are then grilled and basted in Texas barbecue sauce. We didn’t see it in time but drooled every time a server carried one past our table.
Dessert options include peach cobbler or pecan pie for two and Texas sheet cake.
My husband is also a big fan of jalapeño margaritas. He had one here and said it was one of the best ever.
Good restaurants are only one reason to visit Tennessee: