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Locally Sourced Ingredients: The Appalachian Way

Locally Sourced Ingredients: The Appalachian Way

Posted in All News, Bistro, Recipes on Sep 01, 2017

At Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro, we strive to create uniquely memorable Appalachian cuisine that not only tastes amazing but also, “feeds the soul.” When you dine with us, you’ll be taken on a culinary adventure that is complemented by the beauty and naturally relaxing ambiance of the Great Smoky Mountains, at every turn.

Staying true to her Appalachian roots, Executive Chef Shelley Cooper takes great care and when sourcing the ingredients she uses in her continually evolving, innovative dishes, in order to provide only the freshest and highest quality products available. Dancing Bear garden

Some of these ing...


So Many Great Smoky Memories

So Many Great Smoky Memories

Posted in All News, Stories of the Smokies on Aug 29, 2017

“So many great memories have been made in the Smokies!

My husband of almost 9 years proposed in Cades Cove. We have two kids who love getting ice cream in the Cove and riding around looking for deer or having a family picnic. We were all able to meet Paula Deen while at the island one afternoon and had great conversation and enjoyed watching her feed our son some biscuits. Great tubing trips down the Little River. Our list of memories can go on and on. We were blessed to have dinner at Dancing Bear one night where we had a great meal with amazing desserts!

The Smokies are our happy place where...


Dancing Bear Lodge is My Happy Place

Dancing Bear Lodge is My Happy Place

Posted in All News, Stories of the Smokies on Aug 17, 2017

“My VERY favorite memory, was the evening I stumbled upon Dancing Bear!  I had been in Cade’s Cove photographing wildlife. On my drive out, I remembered seeing the Dancing Bear Bistro sign on my way in, earlier that day. What a surprise! After a wonderful dinner, I did NOT return home to Chattanooga… instead, I spent the night at Dancing Bear!  It is now my “happy place” and I take my friends there as often as I can!  Of course, I love my favorite chef there!  #lovedancingbear

guest memories from Dancing Bear

This pic goes with my story. My friend Janie is from Gainesville Florida. I fell on Labor Day and severely broke my s...


10 Things to Do in Cades Cove TN

10 Things to Do in Cades Cove TN

Posted in Activities, All News on Aug 14, 2017

It’s safe to say that Cades Cove is one of the most spectacularly beautiful places on the planet. It’s only natural that people want to visit and take it all in, but what is there to do in Cades Cove, Tennessee?

Whether you’re visiting for vacation time with the family or to see a loved one get married, Dancing Bear has a list of 10 Things to Do in Cades Cove TN while visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park:

Take the Auto Tour of Cades Cove Loop Cades Cove in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The 11-mile, one-way road offers opportunities to view lush, rolling greens, stunning mountains, wildflower meadows, and wildlife including ...


Come Home to Appalachia with Chef Shelley

Come Home to Appalachia with Chef Shelley

Posted in All News, Bistro, History, Recipes on Jul 11, 2017

Authenticity is a word that gets thrown around a lot lately, especially in the culinary scene. Ever since the local food movement took off and eating green became the thing to do, people are craving “real” food that is simple, unprocessed, and has a story. They want to taste a place. As much as we crave something authentic, though, diners also love the exciting and new. There’s never been a bigger moment for fusion cuisines, from bahn mi tacos to poke nachos, made by brilliant cooks with no ties to either cuisine’s place of origin. But at Dancing Bear Lodge, the secret is what happens when a c...


Appalachian Produce: A Summer Celebration

Appalachian Produce: A Summer Celebration

Posted in All News, Bistro, History, Recipes on Jun 23, 2017

Eating seasonally has always been a huge part of Appalachian heritage. It started thousands of years ago with the Native Americans who hunted and gathered in these hills, and it became a refined practice when they settled into villages where they grew the three sisters: squash, beans, and corn. Cherokee leaders lived in large townhouses atop mounds, from which they could oversee their communities, which cultivated vast communal gardens.

The Cherokee largely lived off fresh produce in the spring and summer, enjoying nuts, berries, mushrooms, and wild plants such as poke and ramps that are still...


Ramps: Appalachia’s First Taste of Spring

Ramps: Appalachia’s First Taste of Spring

Posted in All News, Bistro, History, Recipes on May 25, 2017

Ramps appear in two of the dishes on our current menu, including the Braised Rabbit, which comes with pickled ramps, and the Wild Mushroom “Toast.” If you aren’t familiar with Appalachian cuisine, you might be wondering what on earth a ramp is. If you’re in the know, you might be pretty excited to see this regional ingredient with our spring dishes. The simple answer is that ramps are essentially a wild leek (that’s allium tricoccum to you botanists) indigenous to the eastern United States and especially the Appalachian Mountains.

Ramps have a spicy, pungent flavor similar to spring onions or ...


Dancing Bear Lodge New Construction and Renovations

Dancing Bear Lodge New Construction and Renovations

Posted in All News on Apr 11, 2017

UPDATE: The Landing event space is completed! We are thrilled to share these photos from our Live on the Lawn Concert Series with you, and we look forward to hosting your next private event in our gorgeous new pavilion! Call 800.369.0111 ext. 3 for more information.

Townsend event venue Smoky Mountain event venue Townsend TN event space


We are thrilled to welcome new additions and renovations this season! They include an expansive new event pavilion, 4 new luxury accommodations, along with beautiful updates to The LeConte cabin and additional renovations to existing loft cabins.

The new pavilion, known as ‘The Landing’, is a grand gathering space adjacent to t...


Smoky Mountain Bicycling Suggestions

Smoky Mountain Bicycling Suggestions

Posted in Activities, All News on Feb 23, 2017

There are excellent places for bicycling all around Dancing Bear Lodge in Townsend, TN. The primary form of bicycling is road biking. While there are some mountain biking options, they are all on private land, as the National Park does not allow mountain bikes on any of the trails inside the park. So for the purposes of this post, we will concentrate on road biking.Smoky Mountain biking

There is a great bike shop only 15 minutes from Dancing Bear, called Cycology. It has great gear, a full service maintenance department, and even a craft beer counter. If you forgot anything, need something fixed, or just want to b...


Appalachian Cuisine: An Underrecognized Trend

Appalachian Cuisine: An Underrecognized Trend

Posted in All News, Bistro, History on Nov 06, 2015

The Oxford American magazine published an outstanding article on New Appalachian Cuisine In the Spotlight and At the Margins’ Courtney Balestier noted the link between current food trends and traditional Appalachian foodways, and how that link is under recognized amidst the hubbub made over New Southern recipes and buying local. She wrote, “People are, in some sense, rediscovering Appalachian cuisine; they just don’t know it. Without getting swept away “without forgetting that these hunter-gatherer acts represent an era that many barely survived” it’s still important to remember that trends li...

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