The Upper Cumblerland region of Tennessee is known for their breathtaking waterfalls, scenic state parks and Bluegrass & Americana music. What some may find a surprise is the number of hidden culinary gems, up-and-coming distilleries/breweries/wineries along with a variety of entertainment that can be found while exploring the region. The Upper Cumberland is abundant with hospitality and each town has its own unique charm.

EAT

The Upper Cumberland has a variety of cuisine. We discovered some of the country’s best BBQ, exemplary fine dining and places to cure a sweet tooth.

SWEET TREATS

Ralph’s Donuts

Ralph’s Donuts has been serving the local community for more than 50 years making donuts baked fresh daily. This land mark has seen the likes of Brenda Lee, Rodney Atkins and the “Fittest Man on Earth” Rich Froning, Jr. Ralph’s is a gathering place in Cookeville where you will find regulars enjoying a warm cup of freshly brewed coffee and their favorite donuts at the counter complete with vintage diner seats.

What to Order:

Butter Twists

Award Winning Apple Fritter

Crossfit Donut – Rich Froning Junior’s signature maple glazed topped with bacon

59 S Cedar Ave, Cookeville, TN 38501

Ralph’s Donuts Facebook


 

Cream City Ice Cream & Coffee House

It is hard to miss the beckoning restored vintage Cream City Ice Cream sign in downtown Cookeville. The ice cream and coffee shop is popular with Tennessee Tech students and locals. The shop gives back to the community offering the space for events and fundraisers. They are known for their deliciously unique ice cream flavors, incredible sugar cones and fresh brewed coffees. Sampling the enticing ice cream flavors is highly encouraged.

What to Order:

Super Man Ice Cream

Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream

Affagato – choice of ice cream with a shot of espresso

Espresso

Frozen Hot Chocolate

119 W Broad St, Cookeville, TN 38501

Cream City Facebook


 

DINING

Crawdaddy’s Westside Grill

Crawdaddy’s Westside Grill is a New Orleans inspired restaurant with cozy indoor dining and a gorgeous sprawling patio. The restaurant is the perfect place for Sunday brunch featuring live jazz on the patio as well as dining in for a lively late night evening showcasing local live bands.

What to Order:

Bayou Shrimp Dip – A creamy shrimp blend served with chipotle chips

Fried Green Tomatoes – Crispy fried green tomatoes topped with lump crab cream sauce

Fat Tuesday Burger – 1/2 lb burger with bacon, sautéed mushrooms and onions, smoked cheddar and etouffee sauce

French Cut Pork Chop – Seasoned and grilled to perfection

Shrimp & Scallops Creole – Scallops, shrimp, and sausage sautéed in a Creole cream sauce over a bed of rice served with two sides

32 W Broad St, Cookeville, TN 38501

crawdaddysgrill.com


 

7 Senses Food & Cheer

7 Senses Food & Cheer owner Michael McDearman is not only an award winning BBQ and Grilling Master, he is also an author, competition BBQ cook and television personality. McDearman has performed his live fire cooking on some of the largest cooking stages and now dining guests at 7 Senses Food & Cheer can taste first hand what the well deserved hype is about. The restaurant menu is well rounded and approachable with fresh salads, incredible burgers, seafood pasta dishes and mouth-watering steaks.

What to Order:

Beer Battered Shrimp – Plump shrimp served with chili sauce

Ultimate Cheeseburger – bacon, lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese, grilled onions & mushrooms topped with a fried egg

Grillmaster Ribeye – 12 ounce ribeye with a side of Parmesan potatoes and broccoli

Shrimp & Scallops – pan seared shrimp & scallops, grits, asparagus, mushroom & corn ragout

53 W Broad St, Cookeville, TN 38501

Seven Senses Bar Facebook


 

The Bull & Thistle Pub

Bull & Thistle Pub is located on the square in the heart of Gainesboro. The owners are part of a movement to revive the downtown area and the Bull & Thistle serves as a central meeting place. The community based restaurant and pub maintains authenticity of the original building which was established in 1910 by showcasing the original wood floors, reviving the original tin tiles and maintaining the exposed brick walls. With Chef Barry O’Connor’s 25 plus years of experience as a chef in Ireland, the UK, and Europe he is bringing the flavors of Ireland and England to the heart of the Upper Cumberland. The menu focuses on field-to-fork sourcing seasonal ingredients, local produce and free range meats.

What to Order:

Kenmare Seafood Chowder – crock of hearty chowder flavored with Pernod, served with Guinness soda bread

Bull & Thistle Summer Salad – grilled eggplant, grilled pears, sundried tomato, sautéed potatoes, purée of fresh squash, topped with grilled goat cheese and and house-made Caesar dressing

Traditional Fish and Chips – lightly beer battered fish, served with home-made chips, fresh tartar sauce and traditional mushy peas

Seared Scallops – Fresh Scallops Wrapped in Smoked Bacon and Cajun Salmon, French shrimp and lobster bisque served with a Chef’s salad

102 S. Main Street, Gainesboro, TN 38562

bullandthistle.com


 

The Butcher’s Block at Stonehaus

The Butcher’s Block is the perfect compliment to the neighboring Stonehaus Winery. Guests at the Butcher’s Block are treated to an intimate dining experience. The extensive menu showcases 7+ cuts of steaks, plentiful seafood & pasta dishes and house-made desserts. The restaurant is suitable for business luncheons, date night and group dinners.

What to Order:

Lobster Bisque

Stuffed Portabella – country ham, artichoke hearts, spinach and cream cheese

Grilled Salmon – seasoned (or blackened upon request) served with a medley of vegetables

16  oz. Prime Rib – served with baked in house bread and choice of soup or salad

Lobster Tail – served with drawn butter

2444 Genesis Rd Ste 101, Crossville, TN 38571


 

Homestead Harvest Restaurant

With all the outdoor activities available to partake in at Cumberland Mountain State park visitors will surely work up an appetite! The restaurant is conveniently located near lodging, trails and the lake. The dining room has picturesque views of the lake, surrounding nature and abundant wildlife.

What to Order:

Full Buffet – hot vegetables, soup & salad bar, made from scratch rolls, homemade banana pudding and Choice of cobblers, cakes & soft serve ice cream

Fried Pickles – served with dipping sauce

Artichoke Dip – served with tortilla chips

Cheeseburger – grilled to order burger patty topped with cheese and fresh vegetables

Cheesecake – fresh strawberries and chocolate drizzle

2444 Genesis Rd Ste 101, Crossville, TN 38571

cumberland-mountain-restaurant.com


 

Stillhouse Restaurant

The stunning Stillhouse Restaurant is located in Woodbury just across the way from Short Mountain Distillery. The restaurant celebrates local artists from the decor, exquisite woodwork throughout the bar and showcasing live local music. Much of the produce, beef & pork is sourced from their own garden, farm and other area farms. Join them on their hand crafted deck for an exceptional dining experience while taking in the serene views that Stillhouse has to offer.

What to Order:

Fried pickled Okra – breaded and served with horseradish dipping sauce

Short Mountain Shiner Burger – 6 oz. grass-fed ground beef, cheddar, lettuce, tomato onion, pickle on a brioche bun served with signature Stillhouse hickory sauce

Braveheart Black Angus Ribeye – 12 oz. non-hormone, non-antibiotic, grass-fed beef cooked to order served with two sides

Dessert – seasonal creations

8280 Short Mountain Road, ​Woodbury, TN 37190

stillhouserestaurant.com


 

BBQ Shack

BBQ Shack is a family friendly BBQ haven. The menu consists of smoked BBQ, comforting sides, house-made pickles and a variety of delectable desserts. BBQ Shack specialties include the ribs which they smoke daily for 6 hours and baked beans which are smoked for 14 hours.

What to Order:

Jalapeño Bottle Caps

House-Made Fire & Ice Pickles

Pulled Pork Sandwich

Baby Back Ribs

Banana Pudding

5650 S York Hwy, Grimsley, TN 38565

BBQ Shack Facebook


 

DRINK

SPIRITS

Short Mountain Distillery

Short Mountain Distillery is family owned and operated by the Kaufman brothers. The distillery partnered with local moonshiner legends Ricky Estes & Ronald Lawson who collectively have over 100 years experience. With Ricky’s & Ronald’s time-honored skills along with their family recipes for making moonshine and the modern distilling practices of Master Distiller Josh Smotherman, Short Mountain Distillery produces some the best tasting moonshine around. Short Mount Distillery uses cane sugar and heirloom corn grown on their 300 acre farm. Visitors are welcome to take a guided tour to discover the history of moonshine, Short Mountain Distillery methods and the tour ends in the tasting room. Check their calendar for available tour dates and times.

​​​​8280 Short Mountain Road, ​Woodbury, TN 37190

shortmountaindistillery.com


 

WINE

Stonehaus Winery

Stonehaus Winery is one of the eight stops along the Upper Cumberland wine trail. Stonehaus’ winemaker and visionary Mr. Fay Wheeler opened the doors to Stonehaus Winery in 1991. Mr. Wheeler was instrumental in paving the way for winemakers in Tennessee with his part in getting the Wine and Grape Act enacted in 1977 and later opening his first winery in 1979. The winery has a well rounded portfolio of both still and sparkling wines. The winery on occasion partners with Tennessee organizations and celebrities to include the fruit forward “Aaron Tippin Country Jam”. While visiting Stonehaus Winery make sure to stop by their shop and pick up some of their fresh homemade butter fudge in seasonal flavors.

 

​​​​2444 Genesis Rd #103, Crossville, TN 38571

stonehauswinery.com

 

About The Author

Amy Drohen
Editorial Contributor 2014-Present

I am founder and editor of http://sushiatx.blogspot.com. I love all things sushi, wine and trying new restaurants. I am always on the search for dog friendly patios. Follow me on my foodie adventures at @sushigirl_atx!

Related Posts