On our recent trip to the Great Smoky Mountains, we discovered some great places to eat and some not so great places to eat. This is a list of our favorite places to dine in Bryson City and the surrounding area. Our cabin had a grill so we ate in a couple nights during our trip. This was in part due to the dark and winding roads with steep drop-offs, so dining out at night can be hazardous if you are staying in the mountains. But these restaurants are worth a trip to town.
Mountain Layers Brewing Company
On our first night in Bryson City we went to Mountain Layers Brewing Co in Bryson City. This brewery has been open just over a year and has wonderful craft beers. There is no kitchen onsite, so we bought food from a food truck nearby and brought it into the building. This was suggested by the staff and well worth it. We had fish tacos and Thai curry; both were very good. The rooftop patio was a nice place to catch the evening breeze and listen to live music on the weekends.’Nydee Effret’ and ‘Honey Just One More’ were our favorite brews.
Nantahala Outdoor Center
The first thing we noticed when we walked in the door was the gorgeous view of the river from just about every seat in the house. Even in the rain, the view of the water and kayakers was amazing. We started with a trout cake and moved on to Sherpa rice bowls and wrap sandwiches. Everything was fresh and delicious.
We had an excellent dinner at Pasqualino’s on our last night in Bryson City. It was a Friday night and there were several steak specials such as prime rib, New York strip and filet mignon. We tried the prime rib, filet mignon and veal marsala along with a bottle of chianti. The service was outstanding as was the food. This place fills up so call ahead and make a reservation.
This restaurant has a sister location further up the road which does not serve food, but wander down a few blocks you will find the Nantahala Brewing Company. Seating is communal at large tables. The kitchen is wide open to the dining room and while loud at times, is a fun experience for the whole family. You can try a selection of small plates such as fried green tomatoes or have a specialty bowl such as the pot roast with mashed potatoes.
We stopped here while waiting for our train to board across the street and really should have come for breakfast. Everything is house made and delicious. We tried the everything bagel as well as the blueberry scone and both were delightful. The coffee was fantastic and the staff were very nice and friendly. You can also order lunch to go and take it with you on your outdoor adventure.
Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Resort
During our day exploring Cherokee, we had lunch at Brio Tuscan Grill in the Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Resort. They have a pasta and salad combo plate that was perfectly portioned for a late afternoon lunch. The grilled salmon salad and the strawberry balsamic salads are favorites of ours. We got a table overlooking the rooftop garden.