DINING AT DOLLYWOOD

There’s a lot of truth in the saying that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” It fills you up after a good night’s sleep, and fuels you through the first half of your day. And when spending a day at the Dollywood or Dollywood’s Splash Country, you’re going to need all the fuel you can get. But where can you get full-service meals at Dollywood? Join me as I dine my way through some of the top spots for breakfast and lunch.

Why not start your day over at the Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa? There you’ll find the Song and Hearth: A Southern Eatery, a spot that serves authentic, delicious, regional cuisine with lashings of southern charm and hospitality. Breakfast is available Monday thru Saturday, but the Brunch (served 7.30am to 12pm every Sunday) is truly the best way to start your trip to Dollywood. Open to guests and non-guests alike, the restaurant offers sweet treats and southern breakfast staples GALORE! My personal favorite? The heart-shaped waffles of course. Load up a plate with some seasonal fresh fruit, and some hot-out-the-oven crème brûlée French Toast. If sugary sweetness is not your thing, ask one of the chefs to rustle you up an omelette – this hearty red onion, tomato, bell pepper, ham, cheese and jalapeño one is a guaranteed winner. Beverage upgrades are available during Sunday Brunch, from Mimosas to Bloody Mary’s, a sure-fire way to get some extra pep in your step!

Over in the park there are so many dining options available, from fried chicken to funnel cakes, burrito bowls to burgers. But the Front Porch Café has a menu for everyone, and superb service to boot! And did you know that the Front Porch Café has many of Dolly’s favorite meals on the menu, including their famous Meatloaf Stacker? A mouthwatering southern classic available year-round: a hearty slice of delicious meatloaf sandwiched between toast and mashed potatoes. Be sure to order a side of green beans and fried green tomatoes for a true Tennessee dining experience.

There are salads aplenty available on this short and sweet menu. But the standout items are the Pulled Pork Sandwich and the Front Porch Café’s Cheddar Burger. The pulled pork is simmered for 14 hours and is so tender and flavorsome. It pairs incredibly well with the sharp and creamy coleslaw. The burger is charbroiled to perfection, and sandwiched in a brioche bun with crisp bacon, Sweetwater Valley Cheddar, lettuce, tomato and red onion. If you have any of the homemade ranch left from your fried green tomatoes (and absolute must when dining at the café), save it for your fries. Mmm, so good!

Even on their busiest days, you’re guaranteed service with a smile at both the Song and Hearth: A Southern Eatery and the Front Porch Café, just two of the incredible full-service establishments available across the resort and park. We visited both during a hot and busy holiday weekend and received such fantastic service from the moment we walked in. Full-service dining can make a welcome change from eating on the go during a day out at the park: plenty of gluten and dairy free options available, menu items that are nutritious and reasonably priced, and on hotter days, sweet, sweet air conditioning.

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