Lil Black Bear Cafe

Diner | Small Town Café
Memorable
One of the best
Save

Lil Black Bear really is li’l: a close-coupled diner just off Pigeon Forge’s main drag. It’s a personable place with all the charm of a small-town cafe, owned and operated by chef Lynn Sherrod. You’ll definitely meet Mr. Sherrod — the place is too tiny not to meet him. Even when it’s crowded, he makes a point of greeting one and all. And when he’s cooking in the minuscule kitchen just behind the cash register, you’ll hear him singing and rhapsodizing about the food he makes. While at the griddle preparing a day’s special called Rocky Top Bologna, he croons the song Rocky Top in a sparkling falsetto.

About that Rocky Top: It’s a disc of thick-sliced smoked bologna griddle-fried crisp at its edge, piled into a toasted onion bun along with melted cheese and a fistful of potato chips. It’s strapping mix of ingredients that seems crazy but tastes right.

Another off-the-wall special is billed as a Squealing Burger: a good-size patty of beef topped with a fistful of sauced pulled pork and plenty of orange cheese on Texas toast.

Even breakfast pancakes are outlandish. In a town overcrowded with pancake parlors, Lil Black Bear’s stand out because they really are pan-cakes, each one nearly an inch thick, and yet not dense or doughy. They’re good with only butter and syrup, but deluxe versions are available, such as a two-stack topped with melted Reese’s chocolate peanut butter cups.

What to Eat
Lil Black Bear Cafe, Bear Claw
Bear Claw
Must-Try
Bear claw: brownies sandwich chocolate cream cheese
Lil Black Bear Cafe, Pancakes
Pancakes
Must-Try
Pancakes really are cakes, amazingly tender.
Lil Black Bear Cafe, Squealing Burger
Squealing Burger
Must-Try
Squealing Burger is topped with pulled pork and cheese.
Lil Black Bear Cafe, Rocky Top Bologna
Rocky Top Bologna
Must-Try
Rocky Top bologna is smoked & fried, topped with cheese & chips on toasted onion roll.
Lil Black Bear Cafe, Reese’s Pancakes
Reese’s Pancakes
Reese's peanut butter cup pancakes
Information
Price
$
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Breakfast, Lunch
Credit Cards Accepted
Yes
Alcohol Served
No
Outdoor Seating
Yes

Other Nearby Restaurants

  • Magpies

    Knoxville, Tennessee

    Wedding cakes are the specialty, but for us travelers, Magpies’ cupcakes, cookies, and cheesecake slices are sweet-tooth Nirvana in Knoxville.

  • Louis Original

    Knoxville, Tennessee

    Supple spaghetti noodles topped with thick, salty red sauce headline at Louis Original, Knoxville’s old-school Italian-American restaurant favorite.

  • Sawyer’s Farmhouse Breakfast

    Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

    Sawyer’s Farmhouse Breakfast is a reliable, full-menu breakfast spot on Pigeon Forge’s bustling Parkway. Pancakes are a specialty.

  • Elvira’s Cafe

    Sevierville, Tennessee

    A big country restaurant with small town charm and a broad menu to make everyone happy, Elvira’s is a getaway in the beautiful rolling hills of East Tennessee.

  • Local Goat

    Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

    Local Goat is Pigeon Forge’s stylish (but casual) New American eatery with a menu of interesting burgers (& more), and a wide selection of adult beverages.

  • Wild Bear Tavern

    Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

    Superb German fare in a Pigeon Forge hotel restaurant includes schnitzels, bratwurst, and potato pancakes, plus a full array of Old World beers and wines.