Posted on 3/21/2020


Go nuts for Donuts! 

…only if they’re from the Donut Friar, of course.

For over 40 years the Donut Friar has been drawing in customers with the sweet aroma of freshly made donuts and other baked goodies. This little cafe is tucked away in the Village shops of downtown Gatlinburg and provides a variety of delicious treats for early risers.

Before the sun even peeks through the mountains, the staff is already up making fresh donuts from scratch and preparing pastries long before the 5 a.m. daily opening. Upon opening, the bakery case is filled with homemade goodness. Traditional glazed cake donuts, crullers, coconut, chocolate and vanilla sprinkle donuts fill the shelves, making the decision for a donut nearly impossible!

If donuts aren’t enough to tempt the palate, The Donut Friar also serves eclairs, fresh cookies, baklava or other seasonal pastries and of course their famous cinnamon bread which sells out almost every day! So make sure to get there early because it can get pretty busy at certain times throughout the day.

As we all know, you can’t have a donut without coffee! In addition to freshly baked items, The Donut Friar features a coffee bar. The bar includes coffee, espresso, cappuccino, latte, and other common espresso-based drinks for a morning pick-me-up.

Although the cafe itself appears small, you can find seating on the second floor as well as outside in the courtyard. The courtyard is a great spot to munch on a donut, sip on some coffee and admire the beautifully crafted European architecture that surrounds the village.

The Donut Friar is a Mountain Laurel favorite! Make sure to stop in, pick up a dozen (or two!) and soon enough, it’ll become a new Gatlinburg tradition. They also have really cool original coffee mugs for sale which would make a perfect souvenir.

Helpful Tips:

  • If you go before 9 a.m. there is free parking along the Parkway
  • Bring cash, cards are not accepted