Tucked away in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, Maggie Valley, North Carolina, promises some much-needed peace and quietude in a gorgeous natural setting. While this little mountain town might seem tranquil, there’s one thing that residents and visitors alike don’t sleep on, and that’s the abundance of excellent restaurants and eateries here.

Whether you’re hunting for a hearty, filling breakfast or a quick dinner on the go after a day of hiking, the eight best restaurants in Maggie Valley won’t disappoint. Various cuisines are represented here, including Mexican and fine-dining Italian fare. No matter what you’re craving, you know you won’t be leaving town hungry anytime soon.

As you plan your trip and make the all-important decisions on where to eat, don’t forget that you’ll also have to consider where to stay. Carolina Vacations rental properties are just a short drive away from all of these Maggie Valley restaurants.

1. Joey’s Pancake House

Photo Credit: Svetlana Foote
  • Price point: $
  • Address: 4309 Soco Rd, Maggie Valley, NC
  • Favorite menu item: Apple strudel pancakes

Opened decades ago by two Florida transplants, Joey’s Pancake House has long established itself as a local favorite in the Valley and has held on to that stellar reputation through a 2018 ownership change. Joey’s griddles up fluffy pancakes in an array of unusual, yet delicious flavors, including lemon poppyseed and apple strudel.

Still have room left over? Get yourself a side of hash brown casserole or country ham. Whatever you decide to order, a meal at Joey’s Pancake House is the perfect way to start your day, even if you want to start it early — the restaurant opens its doors at 7 am, six days a week.

2. Legends Sports Bar and Grill

Photo Credit: Adcharin Chitthammachuk
  • Price point: $
  • Address: 3865 Soco Rd, Maggie Valley, NC
  • Favorite menu item: Chicken wings

To catch the big game alongside like-minded sports fans, you can’t beat Legends Sports Bar and Grill. From Legends’ chicken wings to its burgers and sandwiches, the comfort food here will impress just as much as the comfortable, welcoming environment, which draws in plenty of locals and tourists.

Tables are strictly first-come-first-serve, so there’s no need to make a reservation, though you may want to arrive early to score some seating. Guests can watch live sports on TV or even catch music acts on certain days. During winter, bring the whole family or friend group to get cozy around the fire and participate in one of the grill’s weekly karaoke nights, the perfect way to warm up on a chilly evening.

3. Pop’s Butts On the Creek

Photo Credit: MaraZe
  • Price point: $
  • Address: 1584 Soco Rd, Maggie Valley, NC
  • Favorite menu item: Brisket Mac-Attack Burger

Barbecue joints are a dime a dozen in the Southeast, but the best barbecue in Maggie Valley comes from Pop’s Butts On the Creek. Pop’s popularity is easy to understand from the moment you step inside the wood-paneled dining room, or perhaps even earlier, when you smell the meat cooking in the wood-fired smoker outside.

The menu at Pop’s features just about everything you can grill, smoke, or even fry – all of which you can enjoy in their outdoor seating.

Adventurous diners should go in for the Brisket Mac-Attack Burger, which consists of a ground brisket patty, a pile of mac ‘n’ cheese, and some extra sliced brisket piled on top for good measure. If you want a souvenir to commemorate your meal here (yes, the food here really is that good), stop by Pop’s gift shop on your way out.

4. Brickhouse Burgers and Pizza

Photo Credit: pengrin via Flickr CC 2.0
  • Price point: $
  • Address: 3914 Soco Rd, Maggie Valley, NC
  • Favorite menu item: Maui Wowie pizza

After working up an appetite skiing or hiking, head to Brickhouse Burgers and Pizza where the friendly staff and hefty meals won’t disappoint. There’s an assortment of calzones and pizza to choose from, including the Mauie Wowie, Brickhouse’s take on the classic pineapple-and-ham Hawaiian pie. But the extensive hamburger selection will also win over diners, with creative offerings like the pepper-packed Jalapeño Business.

Just be aware that while service here is friendly and helpful, there may be a bit of a wait when the kitchen gets backed up during peak meal times. But trust us, these pizzas and burgers are well worth a bit of patience.

5. Frankie’s Italian Trattoria

Photo Credit: Brent Hofacker
  • Price point: $$
  • Address: 1037 Soco Rd, Maggie Valley, NC
  • Favorite menu item: Chicken parmesan

Looking for an Italian restaurant in Maggie Valley? Part of the Perrone family’s series of eateries in Florida and North Carolina, Frankie’s Italian Trattoria serves Italian American classics like chicken parmesan alongside dishes from the old country (the eggplant siciliana also comes highly recommended).

Pair your meal with something from the cocktail bar or a glass of Italian wine from the lengthy drinks menu. For dessert, there’s creamy cannolis and hefty slices of tiramisu.

Any home chefs out there should swing by The Market, a next-door shop selling everything you might need to cook up a Frankie’s-approved meal. On the other hand, you can always just grab takeout here.

6. J. Arthur’s Restaurant

Photo Credit: mikeledray
  • Price point: $$
  • Address: 2843 Soco Rd, Maggie Valley, NC
  • Favorite menu item: Grilled boneless ribeye

No need to search high and low for a great steak dinner in Maggie Valley –  J. Arthur’s Restaurant serves high-quality cuts of meat in an inviting steakhouse setting. The menu includes all the classics, including a hugely popular boneless ribeye, but there’s also fresh rainbow trout and grilled chicken for anyone who wants something a little lighter.

Before you dig into your steak, start your meal with at least one serving of the “award-winning” cheese sticks marinara. Though J. Arthur’s doesn’t specify exactly what award these decadent appetizers have won, you probably won’t ask too many follow-up questions after trying them.

7. Guayabitos

Photo Credit: Iren Key
  • Price point: $
  • Address: 3422 Soco Rd, Maggie Valley, NC
  • Favorite menu item: Guayabitos fajitas

Finding an authentic Mexican restaurant in the Southeast, let alone in the Appalachian Mountains, can be tough, but Guayabitos has been satisfying fajita and burrito cravings for years. You’ll want to visit this Maggie Valley hotspot — though before you start driving, note that the restaurant has another location in Bryson City — for its welcoming atmosphere and extensive menu.

If you’re not sure where to start on that menu, try an order of the overstuffed Guayabitos fajitas and, naturally, a margarita (or a glass of horchata if alcohol isn’t your thing). There’s even a kid’s menu specifically designed to suit picky little ones.

8. BearWaters Brewing Company: Creekside

Photo Credit: Jenni Konrad via Flickr CC 2.0
  • Price point: $
  • Address: 4352 Soco Rd, Maggie Valley, NC
  • Favorite menu item: Fry bread

Many breweries in the Appalachian region are better known for their beers than their food, but the Maggie Valley location of BearWaters Brewing Company is the rare option with a food menu just as impressive as its tap list. Sip from a four-beer flight while you peruse the menu, stacked with impressive entrees like tomahawk steak, a caramel bourbon pork chop, and filet mignon.

For a true taste of local flavor, order the fry bread. Cooked in the traditional Cherokee style, this crispy creation comes with elk and bison chili, as well as sharp cheddar cheese, jalapeños, and sour cream on top.

Eat Up in Maggie Valley

The eight best restaurants in Maggie Valley will cover a wide variety of tastes and dining preferences. So, even if you’re traveling with a picky eater or two, you never have to worry about finding a good bite to eat in this little mountain town. Come on down and get yourself a plate of barbecue brisket for dinner or a heaping helping of fluffy pancakes for breakfast.

As an added bonus, you can also bring home any leftovers to your Carolina Vacations rental home. Our fully furnished kitchens have everything you need to reheat food or store extra desserts for a midnight snack.