Crockett’s Breakfast is a legitimate Gatlinburg staple. It is THE restaurant that all in-the-know tourists in town want to patron. On a busy day you will see a line out the restaurant door and down the street. But is it really that great? Is Crockett’s Breakfast Camp really worth all the fuss?
Read on to find out.
Walking into Crockett’s Breakfast Camp is like walking back in time. The rustic décor is well-done and realistic. You will see fantastic vintage photos on the walls along with explanations of who is in the photos. The menu is contained in a newspaper titled “White Oak Flats Daily Post.” The exterior of the paper features interesting stories and nuggets of information about life in the Great Smoky Mountains in the late 1800’s through early twentieth century.
An example of what you will read is the story of David C. “Crockett” Maples, an early frontiersman who is the restaurant’s namesake. He served in the Ninth Tennessee Cavalry. He was honorably discharged after having lost both of his feet in a mountain snowstorm. Due to his inability to earn a living, he received a $12 per month pension, and it was recommended that he be awarded an artificial leg valued at $72.
Although the articles on the outside of the menu are interesting…they’re not as interesting as what’s on the inside – the menu!
This is breakfast heaven. The signature item is their world famous griddle cakes. They also refer to them as “pancakes,” but these are unlike what you typically think of when you think about pancakes. These griddle cakes are very thick – sort-of “puffed up” as opposed to flat like regular pancakes. They are so sweet you don’t even need any syrup! These griddle cakes are honestly one of the most delicious foods I have ever had in my life. My associate agreed. Hype is common in today’s world, but these griddles take the cake!
But there is way more to this place than the best pancakes you will ever have in your life. My associate ordered the Black Bear Camp Skillet, that comes with sugar cured (or country style if you prefer) ham, pecan-smoked bacon, sausage and two farm fresh eggs cooked however you want. It also comes with Cherokee sweet corn pone (man that is some good pone!), grits, hunt camp potatoes, biscuit, gravy, and, of course, the griddle cake described above. It came served in a big iron skillet. My associate tore into it without even offering me a bite (although I did get half of his griddle cake).
I ordered the Crockett’s Mountain Omelet. It consists of three eggs perfectly folded around cheddar jack cheese, country sausage, bacon, ham, tomatoes, onions, peppers and jalapenos. It comes served with Cherokee sweet corn pone, your choice of candied apples, fresh fruit, grits or hunt camp potatoes (which was my choice), and a side of ranchero sauce. It was outstanding. If you are an omelet eater like me, then there is nothing bad to say about this. It was also quite huge. In general, the proportions at Crockett’s Breakfast Camp are very large, so bring your appetite!
There are two reasons you might not like Crockett’s breakfast camp:
- You don’t like breakfast food. If you don’t like breakfast, you probably shouldn’t eat at a restaurant called a “breakfast camp,”
- You hate America.
There is a third reason that, unfortunately, is just something you will have to deal with if you are visiting Gatlinburg. As I mentioned above, the lines to get into Crockett’s Breakfast Camp can be quite long. I suggest you get there early. Sometimes patience is required to experience the best things in life – like breakfast at Crockett’s!
Highly recommended, but give yourself plenty of time.
Crockett’s Breakfast Camp is located at:
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
From the Historic Gatlinburg Inn, walk out our front door, turn right onto Parkway and walk a few blocks. It is an easy walk. It is near the end of Parkway toward the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains.
Learn more at crockettsbreakfastcamp.com.