Surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains, Bryson City, North Carolina thrives with nature-oriented activities, as well as rustic cabins and cottages. This scenic area is ideal for hiking, biking, fishing, and swimming, thanks to the nearby Tuckasegee River. Spend your days playing at the island park, or take a stroll through the historic Main Street and Everett Street corner that’s part of U.S. Route 19. When hunger strikes, check out these top 11 family-friendly restaurants located within minutes of your Bryson City vacation rental.

1. Boxcar Cafe & Cones

When the family is in the mood for something savory and sweet, Boxcar Cafe & Cones is the perfect dining choice. Sink your teeth into juicy burgers, wings, and wraps for lunch or dinner, and then enjoy a treat with your kids, as there are multiple flavors of hand-dipped ice cream available at this popular eatery. Boxcar Cafe & Cones is located directly across from the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Depot, so you can fill up your bellies and then race over for an afternoon of sight-seeing.

2. Nabers Drive In

If you’re seeking an old-school experience and scrumptious food, then put Nabers Drive In on your meal itinerary. You and the kids can sit on the covered patio and enjoy American cuisine that consists of eggs and sausage for breakfast, and sandwiches, burgers, and fries for dinner. Or, you can choose the curb service and enjoy a meal from the comfort of your vehicle.

3. Bar-B-Que Wagon

Let the sweet and spicy aroma of smoked-pit BBQ mesmerize your senses from the moment you pull up to the Bar-B-Que Wagon in Bryson City. From hickory smoked pulled pork, turkey, and chicken that is smoked on location to the savory sides of mac ‘n’ cheese, fried okra, and slaw, your kids can choose a meal that satisfies their palettes and their hunger.

4. High Test Deli & Sweet Shop

If your pets are vacationing with you in Bryson City, let them tag along to your next meal at High Test Deli & Sweet Shop. This pet-friendly dining establishment offers outdoor seating for Fido and felines as well as your family. The menu offers a variety of deli items, including salads, sandwiches, and soups made to order. Don’t forget to top off your lunch or dinner with one of the homemade desserts.

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5. Water’s Edge Seafood & Grill

Relax with a water view while dining at Water’s Edge Seafood & Grill, which features the freshest seafood and even a seafood buffet for your kids to choose their own main entree. This restaurant also offers southern-style meals and American cuisine, such as steaks, burgers, and chicken. Spend the day fishing in the river, and then head to Water’s Edge for a meal that is just as fresh as your latest catch.

6. Everett Street Diner

Start your day off right with a hearty breakfast from the Everett Street Diner near your Bryson City vacation rental. This quaint diner serves up homestyle breakfast foods, such as eggs, sausage, bacon, and biscuits and gravy. Lunch is also available with a full-service menu of homemade soups, salads, and sandwiches you can enjoy in the diner, or you can take the food with you if you’re on the go.

7. Pasqualino’s Italian Restaurant

Satisfy your cravings for Italian food with dinner at Pasqualino’s Italian Restaurant. Sink your teeth into savory pasta, lasagna, and tortellini with a side of fresh garlic bread. Mom and dad can order up an Italian salad with house dressing, and the kids can choose from spaghetti and meatballs or their favorite pasta dish.

8. Hot Diggity Dog

Show the kids that they can devour a tasty meal in just three bites when dining at Hot Diggity Dog. Hot dogs are the specialty at this quaint diner located in the Great Smoky Mountains area. Choose to dig into a marinated dog or a grilled dog before opting for toppings such as chili, cheese, relish, ketchup, and mustard.

9. Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Dining

What better way to excite the train enthusiast in your crew than with a meal on board a train? When dining at the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Dining, your kids can feel like a conductor or a worldwide traveler while enjoying the Moonshine Lunch complete with pulled pork, cornbread muffins, and cinnamon apples. The children’s menu treats kids to chicken tenders or a Nathan’s famous pretzel dog.

10. Bojangles Famous Chicken & Biscuits

Soak up the southern hospitality and cuisine with a meal at Bojangles Famous Chicken & Biscuits. Ideal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, this restaurant is popular with tourists and locals alike. Tempt your palettes with the aroma of the cajun fried chicken served with signature sides and, of course, biscuits, before heading back to your Bryson City vacation rental for some rest and relaxation.

11. Nate and Nick’s

Locally-owned Nate and Nick’s specializes in grill concoctions, but this establishment is mostly known for its tangy pizza sauce. Stop in for a slice before exploring the Smoky Mountains, or top off your day with a grilled chicken sandwich, salad, or Italian dish at this popular eatery.

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