Gatlinburg’s BEST Breakfast

By Bonnie Neely

This one you need to reserve in advance or you may find the line around the block!! Crockett’s Breakfast Camp 1103 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN;;  865 325 1403.

This legendary place is known by all as the best home-cooked breakfast you will find anywhere! Open 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Crockett’s Breakfast Camp has been churning out huge home-cooked breakfasts and a fascinating hillbilly history, honoring 1840 work of the dedicated frontiersman and soldier, David C. “Crockett” Maples, and his wife Mary R. Ogles, who were known for serving the best breakfast in the Smoky Mountains.

Lumbering was a huge business in the Smoky Mountains and lumberjack camps were rough places.  Women were expected to turn out huge meals for their hungry husbands. When Maples returned from War in 1865 he and Mary had a small general store and helped supply necessities at the lumberjack camp in the Smokies, which became Gatlinburg after World War II. To grow their small business, they began feeding home-cooked breakfasts for anyone who came to Crockett’s Camp, where their determination and resilience was an inspiration to all.

Fortunately, we discovered they have a special menu and facilities for the safety and delightful choices of gluten-free, celiac safe meals and are vegan/vegetarian friendly, so our group of mixed dietary needs could happily eat there.  We enjoyed the White Oak Flats Daily Post newspaper “ from 1886” after we made our selections from the menu inside it.  

This log cabin building is filled with memorabilia from the frontier days and it was great to be able to walk the children around to see the museum-like décor, with many of the items explained in the newspaper.  The necessities of life back then are impossible for kids of today to identify and figure out the use.  This happily occupies the time to wait for your delicious, home-cooked-from-scratch meal.  Our children were fascinated by the old-time weights, which are pulley operated to open and close each door.

The huge breakfast menu includes a special way of preparing any breakfast food you have ever dreamed of and so much more!  Selection is so difficult. The Cherokee Corn Pone, a traditional spoonbread with cranberries added at Christmas, is delicious! You’ll need no other meal during the day if you eat one of the famous Hungry Hunters HuntCamp Skillet Breakfasts, which incudes traditional breakfast fare of eggs and meat of so many different choices, potatoes, grits, their famous biscuits, and much more. And everyone should try one of the enormous, delicious pancakes, like no other you have ever had (unless you are from the 1800’s!)  And no one must leave without the famous signature fried cinnamon roll.  Of course, you will have no room in your tummy for it with your breakfast, but you will DEFINITELY want it later in the day! 

We definitely want to make Crockett’s Breakfast Camp our stop every time we return to the Great Smoky Mountains.  There are so many, many things to do nearby: hiking the beautiful National Park Trails, or shopping in the numerous unique gift and art shops in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, or Sevierville, or fun times at Dollywood.  Your breakfast will carry you safely through the day.

By the way, two laws on the books in Tennessee that you need to know before you go so that you can abide by them:

  1. The driver is not allowed to sleep while driving!
  2.  It is illegal to fish off another person’s hook.

Have fun!