The Pancake Pantry opened its doors in 1960 and has become a beloved Gatlinburg institution. Not only was the Pancake Pantry the first pancake house in Gatlinburg, it was also the first pancake restaurant in the entire state of Tennessee.
Though it was the first, many more restaurants followed its lead. Eventually, the Smoky Mountains became the de facto pancake capital of the world with over 20 pancake restaurants. Thanks to the pancake pantry, vacationers staying in Gatlinburg cabin rentals have had the pleasure of enjoying delicious pancakes during their Smoky Mountain vacation.
The Pancake Pantry Experience
Firmly rooted in its traditions, the Pancake Pantry is popular with locals and visitors who come back year after year.
Like the rest of The Village Shops in Gatlinburg, the Pancake pantry channels an "old world" European feel. From the warm, wooden interior to slated roofs to European inspired flavors; the Pancake Pantry is like taking a trip to the old country.
Or at least the 1970s. The décor and interior is also a blast from the past. Adding to the ambiance is that all the servers wear classic uniforms that look quite sharp. Everything is old school in the best possible way.
Everything is made from scratch in this restaurant. This sort of dining experience is becoming quite rare and so, a trip to the pancake pantry is worthwhile if only to try something truly unique.
Pancake Pantry Menu
On the menu you'll find, stunning recipes and flavor combinations that have been perfected over the decades. Practice makes perfect, and you can imagine what a restaurant can do with 50 years of experience in making pancake perfection.
The Pancake Pantry's bread and butter, or rather, its pancakes and syrup. The pancakes, crepes, and waffles here keep visitors and locals coming back year after year.
Look forward to these sweet treats when you visit the Pancake Pantry:
- Sweet Potato Pancakes – sweet potatoes and cinnamon blended into the batter. Served with whipped butter and cinnamon cream syrup.
- Banana Pineapple Triumph - Banana wedges wrapped in pancakes and topped with homemade pineapple syrup – a decadent treat.
- Austrian Apple-Walnut Crepes – Silky crepes served with apple cider compote with black walnuts, apples, and spices. Served with powdered sugar and whipped cream.
- Red Raspberry Crepes – As delicious as they sound. Crepes filled with an unforgettable raspberry compote, powered sugar, and whipped cream.
- Swiss Chocolate Chip Pancakes – Classic buttermilk pancakes with tasty dashes of chocolate.
The menu can be a bit overwhelming. There are 24 different kinds of pancakes and crepes that all look delicious. Whatever you choose, you can expect a quality meal since the syrup, toppings, and batter are all made from scratch.
Breakfast is terrific, but wait until you try the lunch menu. Some of the most unique, best-prepared dishes in town can be found at the Pancake Pantry.
- The Continental – This hot sandwich is served with ham, turkey, corned beef, and Swiss cheese dressed with a mild Russian sauce and a Tarragon Béarnaise. Served with onion soup and potato chips.
- The British Dipper – A unique hot rye sandwich with a beef patty with Swiss and American cheese fresh from the grill. Served with a creamy horseradish sauce for dipping and cucumber slices in a sweet dressing.
- The Viennaburger – Try this heavenly savory/sweet flavor combination. Ground beef burger mixed with garlic, onion, and spices, toped with a sauerkraut, lettuce, onion, and tomato. The burger is dressed with a sweet pepper sauce that is out of this world.
Lunch served after 11:30 AM, but breakfast can be enjoyed at the Pancake Pantry all day.
Insider Tips For the Pancake Pantry
How To Pay: This classic restaurant doesn't accept plastic. Bring cash if you don't want to pay an ATM fee. If all else fails, there is a machine located inside.
Dodge the Crowds: It's not uncommon to see lines out the door at this popular pancake house. To dodge the crowds, arrive early before 9 AM. A late lunch after 2 PM will also save you some time waiting.
Where To Park: There is a city-owned parking garage behind Ripley's Aquarium that offers parking for $6 a day. Another option is the River Road Hourly lot that is just after the Gatlinburg Mountain Mall on the left.
Prices, Hours, and Location
Most dishes in the Pancake Pantry range from $6 to $10. The portions are fair and the prices are exceptionally reasonable for grabbing breakfast or lunch in Gatlinburg.
Along with the unique experience of eating a meal at the Pancake Pantry, the food is well worth the price and waiting in a line.
The Pancake Pantry is open from:
- 7 AM to 4 PM June through October
- 7 AM to 3 PM November Through May
This classic Gatlinburg restaurant is also open everyday of the year except for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The Pancake Pantry is located at traffic light #6 in Downtown Gatlinburg near The Village Shops.
Written by Hayden Brown