Clarksville Tennessee Restaurants You Must Try

Last Updated: April 1, 2024

Calling ALL foodies! I consider myself a VERY serious foodie and therefore, it takes a lot to blow me away. Furthermore, I’m a southerner. So, if it’s a southern destination, then I’m pretty hard to impress. All that to sayโ€ฆas said foodie who has traveled to all 50 states and 40 countries, it’s difficult to truly mesmerize me when it comes to food and drink. However, Clarksville, Tennessee did just that and more. This is my guide to the Clarksville Tennessee restaurants you must try plus what to order off the menu when you’re there!

Thank you to Visit Clarksville for hosting me. As always, all opinions and recommendations are my own. This post contains affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you book or purchase through these links. You can read my full disclosure policy here.

View from above of a yellow butter cake with blueberries and powdered sugar

Clarksville Tennessee Restaurants

Clarksville, Tennessee is a charming little southern town located approximately 1 hour northwest of Nashville and 10 miles from the Kentucky border. With a population of approximately 170,000, it is by no means small and definitely flies under the radar. There are many reasons it should clearly be ON your radar and the food scene is among the top. These Clarksville Tennessee restaurants are ones you MUST visit and these are the top menu items to order!

Strawberry Alley Ale Works

red strawberry moon sangria drink with lemon slice on dark stained wooden table against a yellow back-lit bar

I was super excited to try Strawberry Alley Ale Works as it had been on my radar for a bit. I must say, my foodie radar is pretty on point and it certainly didn’t let me down here. Maybe it’s their self-stated mission “to be your favorite locally owned watering hole: a place where friends can gather to celebrate great food” because their vibe, their food, and their cocktails were all highly impressive.

As you can see in the photo above, the bright colors in their industrial modern decor make the perfect backdrop for the Strawberry Moon Sangria. This craft cocktail is made with house cabernet, brandy, strawberry, fresh lemon juice, orange, and Italian cherry syrup. I can tell you firsthand that it tasted even better than it looks and, let’s be honest, it’s not a bad-looking cocktail!

shrimp and grits dish in foreground with waffle sweet potato fries and turkey avocado on wheat sandwich in the background
three mini mason jar desserts. from top to bottom: strawberry cheesecake, key lime pie, peanut butter pie

What to order? Personally, I suggest trying a little of it all. We split the Shrimp & Grits and the Avocado Turkey Sandwich with sweet potato fries. I love to try shrimp and grits when I travel and who can say no to avocado turkey with lemon aioli and an agave herb vinaigrette?

We polished all of this off with the Trio of Jars, little mini mason dessert jars. Since they were out of the banana pudding (just means I need to return), we got the strawberry cheesecake, key lime pie, and peanut butter pie mason jars. They were all very good; however, my favorite by far was the strawberry cheesecake!

Beachaven Vineyards & Winery

Heather from Trimm Travels in a pink raincoat standing next to multi-colored Beachaven Vineyards & Winery sign in Clarksville Tennessee

Wine lovers and connoisseurs should plan to check out Beachaven Winery. Clarksville is home to this oldest single-family-owned winery in the state of Tennessee. Currently owned and run by the third generation of the Beach family, Beachaven has a reputation for great wines winning gold medals in every competition they’ve entered.

Exterior of Beachaven Vineyards and Winery in Clarksville Tennessee. Green grass in foreground, blue sky red flowers and American flag
multi-colored "how far is it" sign for Beachaven Vineyards & Winery. Distance for picnic area, tasting bar, and Nashville posted

Although small and quaint, the property is colorful, quirky, and beautiful. In the summer months, they even have live events such as Jazz on the Lawn along accompanied by local food trucks. Bring a blanket, family, or friends, and enjoy good music, food, and wine!

Heather from Trimm Travels holding a wineglass engraved with Beachaven Vineyards & Winery with white wine in it with wine fermentation barrels blurred in the background
Bottle of Heavenly Peach wine from Beachaven Vineyards & Winery in Clarksville Tennessee

Definitely take a tour and try a tasting or wine flight. A wine flight includes 4 samples that are 3 ounces each and costs $12 per person. A wine tasting is also 4 samples but in smaller amounts and costs $4 per person. I highly recommend a tour and wine tasting or flight!

Unlabeled red wine bottles alternating directions to form interwoven patterns

For the ultimate adventure, try the Tour and Tasting Experience. At only $10 per person, it includes a tour of the facility, learning the winemaking process, and a complete wine tasting, of course. I tried several of the wines and can definitely recommend Heavenly Peach and Golden Rose!

Founding Frothers Coffee

sitting area bench, table, chairs, blue pillows, American flag pillow at Founding Frothers Coffee in Clarksville Tennessee

Start your morning or grab an afternoon pick-me-up at Founding Frothers Coffee. This espresso bar, also located on the famous Strawberry Alley, specializes in craft espresso beverages named after…you guessed it, our Founding Fathers!

assortment of labeled bakery treats at Founding Frothers Coffee in Clarksville Tennessee
close up shot of a blueberry muffin sitting on a fine china saucer in the window

Grab one of their many assortments of treats such as a blueberry muffin (my choice) or a toasted almond scone. If you are gluten-free or vegan, they have options for you too. As you can see, my blueberry muffin was large and baked to perfection!

close up shot of a coffee cup with a handwritten history fact on the sleeve at Founding Frothers Coffee in Clarksville Tennessee

Yet another unique aspect of Founding Frothers Coffee is that they handwrite history facts on your coffee cup. Not only are you getting a yummy drink but you learn as you go!

Yada on Franklin

interior of Yada on Franklin restaurant with an exposed brick wall, blue and purple plush high seats and crystal chandeliers

A local family-owned restaurant, Yada on Franklin serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks. They are known for their Italian food, wood-fired oven pizzas, and unique cocktails. When I walked in and saw this view, it just made me smile. I love the flair for grand decor and Yada exudes a trendy, welcoming vibe.

purple cocktail with large full lemon slice and a swig of lavender
same purple drink with lemon slice and lavender swig but with light shining on it to show the mica shimmer

About those unique cocktails. That is truly an understatement. Based on a local recommendation, I tried the Purple Rain. Ingredients include gin that I subbed for vodka, butterfly pea flower tea, lavender, blackberry, lemon juice, and triple sec. Oh and can’t forget the SHIMMER.

Yes, my drink sparkled! Mica is a natural, edible mineral that makes the shimmer. In the photos above, the left is a plain, unlit capture of the drink. However, in the right photo, I applied light and the Purple Rain is shimmering away. As someone who likes to apply sparkles where I can, this definitely made me happy!

two halves of a turkey with lettuce wrap, fries and side of ketchup

On the food front, definitely zero complaints. I ordered the Turkey Bacon Ranch Wrap which consisted of a garlic herb wrap, roasted turkey, crispy bacon, mixed greens, provolone cheese, and creamy ranch dressing. Served with fries, this made a great, flavorful dish that I scarfed down enjoyed. ๐Ÿ˜Š

slice of yellow butter cake with fruit, red drizzle sitting on a black table against a blue backdrop
Tiramisu stamped on top with "Yada" on a black table

This is not the place to skip dessert. Their Tiramisu is the house favorite, made fresh daily. That said, consider ordering the Butter Cake. I can’t say enough about it and could have eaten ten of these despite the fact I don’t have a huge sweet tooth. It’s perfectly moist with a buttery-vanilla flavor topped with fruit. I love that it isn’t a dessert you would find on most menus. Try it, I dare you!

You might also like: A CHARLESTON FOOD TOUR: WHERE TO EAT SOUTHERN STYLE

Johnny’s Big Burger

Old-time sign with "Welcome to Johnny's Big Burger. Please seat yourself and enjoy" in a 1960s diner

Johnny’s Big Burger is the good ol’ downhome place to grab Clarksville’s burgers. Located across from Austin Peay State University, it’s both an AP and Clarksville favorite. The popular diner still holds its original 1960s decor and is cash-only.

close up of two eggs over medium and a large slice of country ham

Don’t just think burgers are the diner’s only claim to fame. Johnny’s Big Burger also does country, southern breakfasts the right way. I ordered the Two Eggs & Country Ham served with toast and strawberry jam. Boy did I get a surprise when it came out. When they say country ham, they meant country ham and it was fantastic!

Next time, I’m going back for burgers and fries. If you’re adventurous and have a sweet tooth, try the house specialty honeybun and ice cream! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

Old Glory Distilling Co.

exterior of Old Glory Distilling Co in glowing red letters with a blue twilight sky above
exterior of Old Glory Distilling Co at night with red glowing letters and the red sheen on the wet pavement of the parking lot in the foreground

One of the coolest places I’ve ever been is Old Glory Distilling Co. Why, you ask? Simply put, it’s just a fascinating space with a lot of facets. For starters, Matt Cunningham founded (and still owns) the distillery in 2016 when he was only 22 years old. The once full-time firefighter would work 24 straight hours and use his next 48 off-hours to turn his dream of opening a craft distillery in his hometown into a reality. And he did just that.

While they are still a few years yet from the release of their prized Tennessee Whiskey and Bourbon, they also make vodka filtered through the same sugar maple charcoal that’s required for the whiskey to be Tennesse Whiskey and Bourbon. They conduct tours daily (you might even run into Martin, the distillery cat!) and their Craft Cocktail Bar is also open for tastings and ordering signature craft cocktails with their housemade spirits!

close up of a yellow drink with red grenadine on the bottom and a cherry floating on top
peach colored cocktail with a dried peach slice floating on top

Speaking of signature cocktails, I tried a couple during our special event held onsite that night. The Pineapple Rum Punch (left) and the Peach Bourbon Tea (right) were both amazing. The Pineapple Rum Punch was a little sweeter but the Peach Bourbon Tea wasn’t far behind. Both were solid drinks that I would absolutely order again!

several mini mixed fruit cups with mint swigs on a silver tiered tray
plate of hors d'oeuvres

If you have a special event you’re looking to hold, consider The Venue at Old Glory. It is an absolutely gorgeous place with a ton of space, a full bar, and amazing catering. I couldn’t get over how good the food was as well its quality. My first plate ๐Ÿ™ˆ consisted of what you see above…you know, just your everyday bite-size chicken biscuits and shrimp and grits, deviled eggs with caviar. My only regret is that I wish I had had more room to keep eating. ๐Ÿ˜‚

mini stemmed glass of banana pudding with chocolate covered strawberry and cherries on the plate
trays of sushi with red roses in the upper left corner

There was even a full table just for sushi! That may or may not have been my second plate (allegedly). Dessert was also cute and sweet (pun intended). Mini cups of banana pudding, chocolate-covered strawberries, and cherries? Yes, please!

another shot of Richie McDonald playing keyboards at The Venue at Old Glory in Clarksville Tennessee

The entertainment was high quality as well. I found myself enjoying Richie McDonald, the former lead singer of Lonestar. He sang all of the hits he and the band are known for and it was an incredible treat!

TIP: Old Glory just opened a restaurant inside the distillery!

The Bakery at 1601

UPDATE: Unfortunately, The Bakery at 1601 is no longer open. They closed it but check out The Mad Herbalist (see info below) which is next door!

colorful knick knacks on a floating bookshelf with artwork painted on a white brick wall

A cool treat place to check out in Clarksville is The Bakery at 1601. Part of The Tanglewood House, this newest addition is only open Thursday through Sunday mornings from 7am to 11am. It has the CUTEST southern decor and is just plain charming.

close up of the menu from The Bakery at 1601 in Clarksville Tennessee
three mini bottles of fresh juices: yellow, green, and orange

They have a brief menu that packs a powerful punch. If healthy, fresh juices are something you’re interested in, they make their own which are raw, vegan, and unpasteurized. Choose from Energize Me, Refresh Me, and Uplift Me. For the record, I had Uplift Me and I would order it again!

assortment of bakery treats on different decorative plates stacked at different heights at The Bakery at 1601 in Clarksville Tennessee

Treats are abundant and whatever you fancy, rest assured it’s baked fresh daily. Cinnamon rolls, madeleines, croissants, and even whoopie pies, they do have great choices. Since this was my mid-morning snack, I got a Gooey Butter Bar (a must-try) and a caramel candy (my favorite)!

The Mad Herbalist

exterior of The Mad Herbalist, an old log cabin against a blue sky with green trees surrounding

Also, part of The Tanglewood House (it’s a triple-cool property in case you aren’t already aware), The Mad Herbalist is a lunch-brunch eatery, tea lounge, and blending lab. Like The Bakery at 1601, it’s only open Thursday through Sunday. Hours are lunchtime from 11am to 3pm with brunch only served on Sundays.

Miss Lucille’s Cafe

Coffee shop inside Miss Lucille's Marketplace in Clarksville Tennessee. Multiple shades of wooden pink boards in ombre fashion with the word COFFEE in an orange and yellow lighted sign

Miss Lucille’s Cafe is located inside the namesake’s marketplace. This southern-inspired cafe serves dishes such as the Ricky Ricardo Cuban Panini, Peachy Turkey (turkey and basil grilled peaches, anyone?), the Big Island Bowl (pineapple ginger chicken), and a Summer Melon Salad (watermelon, avocado, feta, toasted almonds, and a white watermelon wine vinaigrette). There are all the things in both the attached marketplace and this cute, little eatery that includes a pink coffee shop right outside!

The Gingham Cafe

The ordering counter at The Gingham Cafe in Clarksville Tennessee. Yellow walls and a black and white checked floor. Tables are decorated with vases of sunflowers.
grape salad in the foreground and a half of a BLT sandwich in the background from The Gingham Cafe in Clarksville Tennessee

How. Cute. Is. This. Cafe. ??? Seriously, The Gingham Cafe is the quintessential epitome of southern greatness. I am going to be straight-up honest. I wanted a million things on the menu. My choice was driven by ONE item that caught my eye. Grape salad, ladies and gents. GRAPE SALAD!

You might not understand the mini freakout I had when I saw it, but this is another one of those RARE menu items you do NOT pass up. It is 100% a southern side dish and if you SEE it when visiting the South, you MUST order it. To give you an idea…I am born and raised in the South. With the exception of around 4.5 years living in Phoenix and Los Angeles, I’ve lived in Alabama. So, what? All of that time in the South and I’ve had grape salad under 10 times EVER in my life…

Where To Stay in Clarksville

overview of a king room at the Holiday Inn in Clarksville Tennessee

When visiting Clarksville, stay at the brand new Holiday Inn Clarksville Northeast. As you can see above, the rooms are quite spacious and nice. The bathrooms have large walk-in showers with high-quality toiletries. There is an outdoor space, an indoor pool, a restaurant, and a cocktail lounge. A bonus is that it’s just down the street from Old Glory!

MAP IT!

PIN IT!

Restaurants in Clarksville Tennessee Pinterest graphic
Restaurants in Clarksville Tennessee Pinterest graphic
Restaurants in Clarksville Tennessee Pinterest graphic

Who’s ready to try all of these Clarksville Tennessee restaurants and their many others? If you are a foodie, this definitely is a city worth a restaurant tour alone. However, Clarksville is also rich in history and has so much else to offer in the outdoor space along with museums, street art, public art sculptures, and more!

Have you been to Clarksville? If so, have you been to any of these restaurants? Which is your favorite? Have I missed any that should be on this list? If you haven’t been, which one of these Clarksville Tennessee restaurants would you most like to visit? Let me know below!

‘Til next time…

Trimm Travels,

Heather

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8 Comments

  1. Thank you for the wonderful comments on my cafe! I enjoyed hosting you when you came in with Michelle Dickerson. I hope you will return to Clarksville soon and come eat some more grape salad ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hi Niesha-Absolutely! I enjoyed meeting you, thoroughly loved eating your yummy food and I appreciate the southern hospitality! I would love to return and when I do, I plan on eating all the grape salad I can! ๐Ÿ˜‹ Thanks for reading! ๐Ÿ˜Š

  2. The Black Horse Pub is a MUST!! It just re opened after about a year due to a fire. Another great place to stay is The Homer House in downtown Clarksville. It is an airbnb. The Thirsty Goat has pizza and craft beers.

    1. Hi Angela-Yes, I did hear about The Black Horse Pub and the fire and I would love to try it as well as The Thirsty Goat. Just ran out of time but definitely would hit them up next time I’m there. Good to know on The Homer House. I will look at it. Thanks for the suggestions and thanks for reading! ๐Ÿ˜Š

  3. Wow, reading about these Clarksville Tennessee restaurants has got my mouth watering! ๐Ÿฝ๏ธ As a local, I never realized just how many amazing dining spots we have right here in our town. From the colorful cocktails at Strawberry Alley Ale Works to the down-home goodness of Johnnyโ€™s Big Burger, there’s something for every palate. And don’t even get me started on the desserts! ๐Ÿ˜‹ Have you tried any of these places yet? Which one would you recommend I check out first? Let’s swap foodie tips below! ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿฐ

    1. Hi Borja-I’ve been to and eaten at all of these restaurants. All photos are of my food and experiences. I love them all and it’s hard to pick. You can’t go wrong with any of them but Strawberry Alley Ale Works that you mentioned is a great place to start! Thanks for reading! ๐Ÿ™‚

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