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For those that don’t know, Dolly Parton has her own amusement park! Aptly named Dollywood, this park features amusement park rides, an animal sanctuary, shows, and historical attractions. While the main attractions for Dollywood are the rides, the next biggest draw is the food. I have never been to Dollywood, but after seeing a few videos and articles of people trying a multitude of incredible looking staples of the park, I knew I needed to put together my dream list of foods to try when I finally visit!


#10:  Butterfly Pretzel from Skyview Snacks

The Butterfly Pretzel from Skyview Snacks is one of the foods I most want have at Dollywood, but because it is just a standard soft pretzel it comes in at #10 of this list. Dolly Parton has a well known love of butterflies, from her outfits featuring butterfly patterns (or even wings) to her writing (Love is Like a Butterfly) and even her lesser known nickname: The Iron Butterfly, so it’s no wonder that you’ll find butterfly shaped things all around Dollywood. Because of how iconic butterflies are for Mrs. Parton, the butterfly shaped pretzel is on my list for my foodie trip to the amusement park.

#9: Reuben Hot Dog From The Dog House

The Reuben Hot Dog from The Dog House comes in at #9 of the foods I want to try from Dollywood. While I don’t particularly care for corned beef, I love over-the-top hotdogs and sauerkraut! The Reuben Hot Dog isn’t a “must have” from Dollywood from what I’ve seen, but it’s definitely a must try for me!

#8: Smoky Mountain Nachos From Till and Harvest

The Smoky Mountain Nachos from Till and Harvest comes in at #8 on my list for my love of nachos but a lack of uniqueness. These nachos are piled high with BBQ pulled pork, tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, and pretty much anything else you’d typically get on nachos. Apparently what really makes this dish, though, is the avocado creme! I’m told the Smoky Mountain Nachos are the go to when visiting Till and Harvest.


#7: Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich From Market Square Big Skillets Steak Sandwiches and Sausage Works

The Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich from Market Square Big Skillets Steak Sandwiches and Sausage Works comes in at #7 on this list not because I particularly care for the dish but because I love how it is prepared. If the name is any indication, food here is cooked in big skillets. But these are no standard “large” skillets. The skillets used at this restaurant appear to be around three to four feet in diameter and around four to 6 inches deep and are absolutely packed during the busier times. I definitely want to taste the Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich, but really I would be making the trip to stare in awe at the massive skillets in action.

 #6: Meatloaf From Front Porch Cafe

The Meatloaf served at Front Porch Cafe comes in at #6 and is the first food on this list that I would refuse to leave Dollywood without trying. I love meatloaf so much (probably because it was one of the few things my mom could actually cook while I was growing up) and would definitely order it if I went to Front Porch Cafe with zero knowledge of the food there. However, the reason I would go out of my way for this legendary meatloaf is because it is allegedly Dolly’s favorite thing to eat there. If the Queen of Country loves this meatloaf then it just has to be incredible!

#5: Fried Chicken Sandwich From Frannie’s Food Truck

The Fried Chicken Sandwich from Frannie’s Food Truck is one of the most well known foods at Dollywood, bringing it to #5 on my list. While there isn’t anything incredibly notable about this sandwich, it has always been a favorite at the park. Even though it’s been popular for a long time, the reason I want to try it is somewhat new. Last year, Popeye’s released their chicken sandwich that made the country lose their minds (people we’re literally murdered over this thing) and started a great chicken sandwich war among fast food restaurants. It began with Chick-fil-a vs Popeye’s, but Wendy’s quickly joined in to remind everyone of their own sandwich. Since then, many others have begun developing their own chicken sandwich to compete. Because of this, I have to know how Frannie’s stacks up to the competition, especially because Dolly has said the secret to this sandwich is the same as Chick-fil-a’s (marinating the chicken breast in pickle juice).

#4: Key Lime Pie Milkshake from Red’s Drive

The Key Lime Pie Milkshake from Red’s Drive In ranks as #4 on this list. It isn't super beautiful nor does it have anything particularly fantastic about its origin, process, or appearance, however, it makes this list because I love all citrus desserts. The acidity and bright flavors of citrus work so well with fatty, sugary dishes and gives a perfect balance of flavors. Plus, who doesn’t love a good milkshake?

#3:  Fruity Pebble Funnel Cake from Splinter’s Funnel Cakes

If you’ve ever seen any food from Dollywood but haven’t been, it was probably my #3 pick for this list: the Fruity Pebble Funnel Cake from Splinter’s Funnel Cakes. Not only is this funnel cake the most instagrammable thing on this list, but it's probably the most instagrammable thing at Dollywood, so it’s definitely possible you’ve seen it on your Instagram feed. But I don’t only want to try this to take gorgeous, colorful pictures with. I love funnel cakes and Fruity Pebbles have been my go-to cereal since I was born. Featuring a giant mountain of whipped cream, the Fruity Pebble Funnel Cake is the item that I need when I start feeling worn-out from being at the park all day and need a sugar rush to get me going again.

#2: 25 lb Apple Pie from Spotlight Bakery

At #2 on this list is something I want to make this year (maybe for Thanksgiving, since so many of my friends now live in the same apartment complex as me): the 25 lb Apple Pie from Spotlight Bakery! You read that right, 25 POUNDS! While it certainly isn’t record setting, it is very likely to be the largest apple pie most people have seen. Unfortunately, you aren’t served the entire pie (though you could likely purchase the full pie), but you are served a 3 lb slice. To put into perspective how large that is, a standard bag of apples weighs 3 lbs. The servings per slice is 4, but I won’t judge you for eating the whole thing. Afterall, apples are healthy, right?

#1: Cinnamon Bread from Grist Mill and Cinnamon Bread

Coming in as the #1 food to try at Dollywood is Dolly’s iconic Cinnamon Bread from Grist Mill and Cinnamon Bread!  This recipe is probably her most well known, being featured in her old cookbook Dolly’s Dixie Fixin’s (which apparently isn’t sold anywhere anymore for less than $200). You can find the full recipe from her book here

What makes this bread truly amazing, besides being directly from Mrs. Parton herself, is the fact that the flour used to make the bread is ground on-site! The restaurant isn’t named Grist Mill just for the sake of sounding old timey. It is actually a fully functioning mill used to grind wheat into flour, making it the freshest bread from start to finish almost anyone has had! The bread is also served with icing and, for a little extra, fresh apple butter! For these reasons, the Cinnamon Bread is the absolute “must have” when visiting Dollywood!

If you ever visit the fantastic land of Dollywood, I hope this list will help you decide what food to try in-between rides! If you are interested in seeing my attempt at Dolly’s famous Cinnamon Bread, check it out at my Instagram @itsmaxfromschool! If you feel like I left out the best thing to try at Dollywood, feel free to DM me to let me know!

I am the President of MT Lambda, the LGBT+ organization at MTSU. I study Biology and Nutrition and Food Science! I'm not a writer, but I have a lot of feelings and writing about them seems to do some good. I also love cooking, so I'm always excited to share my experiences with food!
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