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“On the beaten path...and yet off it” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Friendly Falls

Friendly Falls
Ranked #27 of 183 Restaurants in Sevierville
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $5 - $12
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Dining on a budget, Large groups, Local cuisine, Families with children, Scenic view, Kids
Dining options: Lunch, Drinks, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Digital Payments, Free Off-Street Parking, Free Wifi, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Takeout, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Description: Great Food, Cold Drinks, Live Music, a Relaxing Garden & a Waterfall! This is a great find in the Smoky Mountains. Only 4.5 Miles from Pigeon Forge on Wears Valley Rd but your a world away. Order inside our restaurant and store and enjoy on the covered/heated deck overlooking our waterfall or in our garden. The kids we'll LOVE our creekside Gem Mine. You can even get married, hold a family reunion or book a private dinner at our Waterfall! Hours change seasonally and we are closed for the months of January and February.
DeLand, FL
Level Contributor
32 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“On the beaten path...and yet off it”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 30, 2013

Perched on the side of Highway 321 (the beaten path), Friendly Falls is a contradiction. (Wait--let's clear that up. There's no contradiction in the name. It's friendly. There are falls. If you've read the other reviews you already know this; if you haven't read the other reviews, go ahead--I'll wait. Back now? Good--let's dig deeper.)

Friendly Falls as a venue and a restaurant manages to be a hybrid of both hillbilly and hippie sensibilities. It doesn't take itself too seriously--and yet it's dead serious. It's sincere and silly at the same time. Condiments for your meal are stored at the tables and eating counter in vintage kid's lunchboxes. You're requested to crush and recycle your cans, while they collect can tabs for St. Jude's Childrens Hospital. The music (as heard during our visit) is an eclectic mix of country and jazz and 40's big-band standards. The little shop offers handicrafts created by local avocational artisans. You can borrow a can coozie from their frankly startling collection to use while you eat.

And you should eat.

It's a small kitchen. The menu is appropriately small--if one watches certain "Impossible Nightmare" shows on television one has seen consulting chefs excoriating owners for having too large a menu. The solution is to have a small menu--and then rock that menu.

They rock that menu.

(An aside: the hand-cut fries at Friendly Falls rival the best hand-cut fries I've had anywhere. Factory fries are easy: open bag, pour frozen fries into basket, fry. You have to want to do hand-cut fries. The fries are a dollar more than just getting the chips. Spend the dollar. Seriously.)

A departing patron recommended the barbecue as we walked up--"if you like that," he added. Why yes--yes, I do. And I did. The pork was tender, it had just the right amount of sauce, and the ratio of meat to bun was perfect. I asked for a side of the cold corn salad because I'm a fan of that, and it was fresh and crispy and *almost* everything I want in a cold corn salad. (I like a little fresh jalapeno pepper in it. They had Tabasco sauce available. Life was good.)

My son chowed down on the grilled bratwurst, and my wife enjoyed the veggie sandwich. We sat at the counter, eating a great lunch and looking down on what is arguably the best dining view in the entire Sevierville-Pigeon Forge-Gatlinburg area. (Despite the Wears Valley address, it's closer to Pigeon Forge than Wears Valley, at least as I read the odometer.) I was wearing my big dumb grin as I sat there, because it was all so improbably right. (I was glad to be facing the falls because the sight of my big dumb grin is an acquired taste--or so it's been hinted.)

Underlying all the quirky little touches is an ownership that clearly wants to create a space where you will enjoy yourself, and to which you will want to return. Unlike a lot of venues on 441 and 321 South beyond it, the identity of the place is authentic. Despite some transcendently weird touches (the yellow "magic kitchen" stove in the garden area comes to mind), Friendly Falls is a refreshing change from kiddie race tracks and themed dinner theatres.

My wife says that it was a great place to have lunch after a morning spent hiking around Cade's Cove because it was calm, comfortable, and serene. To which I add: and real. In a tourist region, that takes it off the beaten path.

Did I remember to mention that the food is great?

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
6 Thank Mercurian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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292 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    200
    63
    13
    4
    12
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Mason, Ohio
Level Contributor
103 reviews
78 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“A must”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 26, 2013 via mobile

Wednesday blue grass live music. We had snacks. Come for the view. Menu does not have tons but it all looked wonderful.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank nmspeech
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mebane, North Carolina
Level Contributor
105 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Waterfall Pictures!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 22, 2013

We didn't eat at this location, but did stop to take pictures by the pretty waterfall. It was a nice place to look out and take a few photos, without a 2 mile hike into a mountain to do so. We weren't staying far from here and kept on passing the Stop--Look! sign, so we did. :)

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank FamilyofFive2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia, SC, United States
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Top Notch Food”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 21, 2013

My boyfriend and I thought this would be a great way to start our evening and we were right! We shared an order of bacon wrapped chicken tenders that were amazing. The view of the waterfalls was lovely. There was a live keyboardist who did well with his original music, but not so great with the cover tunes.
The staff was very friendly and the atmosphere was cozy. Open air seating would be chilly in the cooler months.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank Maris B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
23 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Very nice place”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2013

Beautiful place to go have a drink and maybe a quick bite to eat. Food was average.
Had the burger it was good not great. Seems to be the norm for the area so I could not complain . Very friendly staff, has an out house for a bathroom .
But you can not beat the view. And Go because the staff is wonderful , the understand how to be nice to the tourist.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank frostizzy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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