3 Must-Try Spots for Freshly Made Donuts and More


When you have a craving for a delectable circle of dough, don’t settle for a bag of minis from the grocery store. No matter where you stay in your secluded Smokies rental cabin, you are still never far away from doughnuts and pastry treats made fresh TODAY.

In Gatlinburg, The Donut Friar is an institution, where multiple generations of both visitors and locals have shared sweet goodness together. This little shop has always been owned and operated by the Ryan family, and located in the Village Shops Complex at 634 Parkway, since 1969…next year will mark their 50th anniversary! A wide variety of donuts, puff pastries, cookies, and even famous cinnamon bread are available to satisfy your needs. They make each item on their menu the way you may remember, but can’t seem to find anywhere these days. While you consume your confection, stroll the interesting adjacent shops, be seated outside at a table or bench to people watch, or just dine in the shop’s upstairs loft.
Early birds score the best selection and freshness. Store hours are 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. all 7 days of the week. Know that parking along the main Parkway in town is free and easy prior to 9 a.m. The way donuts used to be—the way they should be—the way they still are at the Donut Friar in Gatlinburg.

Krispy Kreme Pigeon Forge was so overrun with customers that they built a much larger store at 4074 Parkway, not far from the original smaller location. Why? Because “those in the know” often line up out the door (or onto the road) when the orange neon light Is on, indicating that fresh, hot doughnuts are available. Many Southerner have grown up with this North Carolina-based company as a part of their childhood. If you aren’t familiar with their products, you absolutely MUST experience biting into a hot glazed original donut fresh off the production line. Glass-walled viewing of the process provides both entertainment and education  as you ponder your many options of pastries. Seasonal flavors and decorated holiday treats are always welcome with families (and office workers) alike. They also offer satisfying coffee and specialty drinks.
Krispy Kreme as a company does a great job supporting the local community through fundraisers too: a box of them is an easy sale for a youth. Open hours are from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and “hot hours” at Pigeon Forge are from 7-11 a.m. and 6-9 p.m. daily. You can even download the Krispy Kreme phone app that tells you when the hot light is on! These dough wheels have a cult following! Shaquille O’Neal even bought his own store in Atlanta. Trust us—trust Shaq—Krispy Kreme is a memory-making treat worth the stop.
Courthouse Donuts at 160 Court Avenue in downtown Sevierville brightens the corner directly across from the county seat courthouse, and is also on the same block as the photo-op Dolly Parton statue on the courthouse lawn. You can truly design your own doughnut here: hand-dipped to your specifications with icing, toppings and sauce selections. Regular donuts are available, sure—but why not choose  peanut butter cup, or the best key lime pie donut anywhere?
Courthouse Donuts also offers a truly delicious lunch menu with daily blue plate specials, salads, and fun sandwiches like grilled pimiento cheese and Maui Wow (ham and Swiss on a pretzel roll with spinach, pineapple, and sweet chili sauce). Mine, mine, mine!
The firm can also cater food and doughnut bars for your special event, and even has an historic onsite banquet facility for rental downtown. Don’t miss the opportunity for this unique donut experience. Their slogan is “The taste is arresting…You be the judge.”
Three mouth-watering choices:
—classic, high-quality donuts, pastries, cookies, and sweetbread made without cutting corners at the Donut Friar
—a melt-in-your-mouth, hot glazed, Southern iconic treat at Krispy Kreme
—a custom, hand-dipped doughnut in a flavor created by you at Courthouse Donuts, with a photo of you and Dolly on the side
Indulge in one or all of them while you visit us in the Smoky Mountains. You really can’t go wrong with a little guaranteed joy in each bite!