You’ll find an arsenal of delicious restaurants in Clarksville, Tennessee, running the gamut from southern classics to brunch favorites, mouth-watering burgers to lip-smacking good appetizers. Here are the places I recommend dining at and what you might want to order from each. I steered clear of Clarksville’s divine Mexican restaurants on this particular trip, which I have indulged in plenty over the past thirty years. You honestly can’t go wrong with any of them.
Yada on Franklin
A cool and chic downtown restaurant that wears many hats is Yada on Franklin. First, it is a great little coffee bar with homemade pastries and light breakfast options. Then, it is a popular wine bar with an extensive wine menu that is sure to please. But it is also a restaurant specializing in Cicchetti, the Venetian/Italian word for small plates–like tapas for Spanish foods.
I had lunch there and feasted on the small but fantastic meatballs. They were not one bit heavy, but swimming in a rich and decadent red sauce, which was terrific soaked up with some sliced sourdough bread. A friend had the chicken salad sandwich and a side of the signature fruit dish, a light and flavorful fruit salad with tapioca. Yum! Then there is the Cuban sandwich, which was pretty darned tasty even for this South Florida resident.
Save room for the butter cake topped with Greek cherries. It is scrumptious!
Liberty Park Grill
Liberty Park Grill is another delicious restaurant in Clarksville, perfect for everyday dining and special occasions. The menu offers something for everyone, even the most discriminating eater, and has a beautiful dining room to enjoy your food in. The strawberry chicken salad, wings, and blackjack salmon all sounded delicious, but I chose the Jumbo Fried Gulf Shrimp with sides of seasonal vegetables and Mac & cheese. I used both the cocktail sauce and a side of remoulade for my shrimp and both were outstanding. This was one perfect meal.
I love the covered patio for dining outdoors at Liberty Park Grill, which overlooks the Clarksville Marina.
One of the newest restaurants in Clarksville is Dock 17, “burgers, brews, and brunch” next to the City Forum complex. Dock 17 is spacious and has an open concept, with a lovely bar area, intimate seating groups, plus traditional booths and table seating. They have a stage for live music and plenty to do, including TVs, darts, and shuffleboard.
We went for brunch and were one of the first groups seated. Reservations are strongly suggested. I loved how enthusiastic the waitstaff was to get started with their guests.
We began our brunch experience with the Biscuit Pallet. To me, it was more a four-biscuit board with three jams or butter of your choice. The biscuits were pretty good, but not served warm or hot… a big surprise. I had the DK Omelet, chock full of spinach, portobello mushrooms, and goat cheese. My family members all had the iconic Southern-Fried Chicken and Waffles, served with maple syrup.
Dock 17 is closed on Monday and Tuesday. Dinner starts at 3PM.
Strawberry Alley Ale Works
Tasting Strawberry Alley Ale Works’ Fried Green Tomatoes is reason enough to stop in the downtown gem, but they have a whole menu full of delicious eats and excellent craft beer. Seriously though, the Fried Green Tomatoes are topped with pimento cheese, tomato jelly, and microgreens. They are the best I’ve ever tried, and being a Southerner; I’ve had lots. The Southwest Egg Rolls, with roasted jalapeño ranch, is another appetizer that will send your taste buds into a frenzy.
Whether you choose a burger or the blackened fish tacos (cotija cheese and jalapeño remoulade) for your main course, they are both perfectly filling and tasty from this industrial-chic restaurant. The Bourbon Burger is loaded with irresistible ingredients—gruyere, smoked gouda, dijonnaise, and a bourbon mushroom sauce. Mmm, mmm, good.
Miss Lucille’s Cafe is an eatery located at the old Acme Boot Warehouse, now a restaurant and shopping marketplace with vendor booths. The menu consists of bowls, sandwiches, desserts, and salads. I don’t advise reading the menu while hungry…it all sounds so appealing and wonderful. And then enter daily specials to contend with, too. You’ll just have to come back multiple times to try all the goodies.
We had a gourmet grilled cheese with chips and a Born on the Bayou bowl on our visit. The bowl was piled high with red peppers, andouille sausage, onions, scallions, red rice, and topped with a fried egg and drizzled with cajun remoulade. Craft beer, wine, and specialty drinks are also available to pair with your meal.
Miss Lucille’s is open Monday through Saturday from 9 AM to 6 PM, and Sundays from 11 AM to 5 PM.
Harbor Cafe has been a long-time player for dining places in Clarksville, with a cram-packed menu featuring seafood, steaks, and even Chinese favorites. It is amidst the dozens of retails shops around a busy highway exchange. This was my first time dining at Harbor Cafe and my whole family loved every bite of our meals.
For starters, consider the pick two or three appetizers sampler as we did. We chose fried mozzarella, battered mushrooms, and crab Rangoons and were not disappointed. I went with the hearty Texas Chicken Pasta with penne tossed in a cajun Alfredo sauce for my main dish. The crushed red pepper, enough to notice, was a solid addition to the sauce. FYI: This dish was big enough to share.
Harbor Cafe has Asian specialties, which my husband had the Kung Pao Chicken, and raved about.
Smokin’ Chicken’ is a type of counter-serve restaurant I wasn’t familiar with. You pick the gourmet-level rotisserie meat (pulled chicken, 1/2, 1/4, white, dark, etc.) and then the sauce you want. The sauces range from mild (Caribbean BBQ, mild, Peruvian La Brasa), medium (Chimichurri, Jamaican Jerk, Spicy BBQ), to hot (peri peri, original buffalo, tandoori). Meals also come with your choice of side dishes like broccoli, tabouli salad, fries, street corn salad, and coleslaw.
I had the pulled chicken with Jamaican jerk sauce, haricot vert (French-style green beans), and island fried rice. They also have paninis, salads, and pitas.
Hummus and pita bread were on the menu, but I found macaroni and cheese, plain or topped with bbq or buffalo chicken, a more desirable side dish.
More Delicious Clarksville Restaurants to Consider
Unfortunately, Blackhorse Pub & Brewery is still closed due to an accidental fire earlier this spring. I’ve been before and it was wonderful. My time was limited, and surprisingly, I can only hold so much food, so the Gingham Cafe (my family loves this one!), Catfish House, and Johnny’s are on my list for the next visit.
If you want the reliability of a chain restaurant, there are many good ones to choose from. Cracker Barrel, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, and Rafferty’s are a few of them.
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