The Best Restaurants In Cookeville, Tennessee

Delicious pancakes close up, with fresh blueberries and maple syrup © Daxiao Productions / Shutterstock
Delicious pancakes close up, with fresh blueberries and maple syrup © Daxiao Productions / Shutterstock
Photo of Matthew Keyte
9 February 2017

The city of Cookeville in Tennessee is famous for its museums, the surrounding mountains, and the hundreds of restaurants across the city. The county seat of Putnam County is also home to Tennessee Technological University. Many of the best spots for food are in the historical West Side area of downtown Cookeville; here’s a list of ten of the best in the city.

Courtesy of Crawdaddy's | Courtesy of Crawdaddy’s West Side Grill

Crawdaddy’s West Side Grill

Restaurant, Pub Grub, American, Seafood, Vegan, Vegetarian, Beer, Wine, $$$
A West Side favorite, Crawdaddy’s serves up some of the best Cajun food anywhere outside New Orleans. In a hundred-year-old building on West Broad Street in downtown Cookeville, Crawdaddy’s has a big patio and courtyard that make it the perfect spot for evening dining in the summertime. Featured in Tennessee Home and Farm Magazine, Crawdaddy’s has a menu packed with Cajun dishes like oysters, crab cakes, catfish, shrimp bisque, crawfish étouffée, jambalaya, and desserts of Mississippi mud pie, pecan cobbler, or crème brûlée.

Father Tom’s Pub

Pub, American, Pub Grub, Vegetarian, Beer, Wine, Cocktails, $$$
On North Cedar Avenue on the West Side of downtown Cookeville, Father Tom’s Pub serves up high-quality pub food, craft beers, and some of the very best Scotch whiskies you will ever sample. The Pub also runs regular tasting nights to promote small-scale breweries and has been the site of new beer launches, it’s worth checking what’s coming up. The food menu is a cut above traditional pub grub, with dishes like petit filet marinated in red wine served with lemon grilled asparagus and butternut squash grits, or a deconstructed shepherd’s pie with toasted brioche, beef tenderloin, mashed potato, and jus.

Seven Senses Food and Cheer

Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, Vegan, $$$
Seven Senses Food and Cheer is one of the up-and-coming food spots in Cookeville. The restaurant has earned excellent reviews and built a strong following in the town. The food on offer at Seven Senses is classic Southern-style, so you can look forward to plate of sliders, fish tacos, club sandwiches, smoked mustard pork chops, fried catfish and giant steaks. All are served up with sides of fries, fried okra, or mashed potatoes.

World Foods International Grocery and Delicatessen

Pizzeria, Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, Vegan, Fast Food, Street Food
World Foods ranks highly as a place to grab a bite in Cookeville, which isn’t bad for the small delicatessen and grocery store. Run by a Greek family, World Foods draws visitors from across the state of Tennessee, so plan well ahead, and get your order in early if you can, since it can get very busy. They serve up food that is primarily Mediterranean in style, Italian, Greek, and Middle Eastern with the grocery section offering all sorts of traditional American bites. So expect lots of pizza, Greek salad, and chicken parmigiana.

Mauricio’s Italian Restaurant

Restaurant, Italian, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, $$$
Mauricio’s Italian Restaurant oozes style and sophistication. The restaurant can get quite busy, so if you’re hoping for a table it might be wise to book well in advance. Mauricio’s has been featured on the TV show Tennessee Crossroads in a feature you can check out here. On the dinner menu are entrees that include lobster ravioli, veal marsala or piccata, filet mignon, pappardelle with scallops, and chicken Milanese. The customer reviews and feedback are excellent.

Ralph’s Donut Shop

Bakery, Dessert Shop, Dessert, Pastries, Vegetarian, American
Ralph’s Donut Shop is a local institution. They’ve been making donuts here on South Cedar Avenue since 1962, and if it’s your first time in the Donut Shop, you can get a free sample before buying in bulk. The donuts are famous: recently voted best in Middle Tennessee, one of the top 25 donut makers in all America according to The Daily Meal, and number one donut bakery in the state according to the Tennessee Donut Brawl. That’s a pretty good track record. Their donuts come with various flavors and toppings for you to choose from, orange cream, pumpkin, cinnamon roll, to key lime pie.

Fiesta Cancun Grill

Restaurant, Mexican, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-free
The Fiesta Cancun Grill is just off Interstate 40 on the eastbound route out of Cookeville. With a superb view out towards the mountains, the Cancun Grill has earned a reputation as the best Mexican restaurant in the area. The menu features Mexican classics like tacos, fajitas, and enchiladas or combination plates made up of a bit of everything. Or how about pork carnitas, Mexican shrimp, and signature specials including chimichanga, carne asada, and chile Colorado.

Cream City Ice Cream and Coffee House

This place is a Cookeville landmark, just across from the Depot Museum in the historic West Side. The retro neon sign for Cream City Ice Cream and Coffee House stands out above downtown Cookeville at night. And the ice cream is said to be the best for miles around. They might focus exclusively on good coffee and desserts, but at Cream City they do them brilliantly. The Herald-Citizen, Cookeville’s local paper, gave Cream City their best of the best in the desserts category for 2014. You can choose from all sorts of ice cream flavors, chocolate fudge, caramel truffle, praline and cream, stellar coffee, blueberry and cream, amongst many others.

Cream City Ice Cream and Coffee House, 119 W Broad Street, Cookeville, TN, USA +1 931 528 2732

Grandma’s Pancake House

Restaurant, Pastries, American, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free
On South Willow Avenue in south central Cookeville, Grandma’s Pancake House is perfect if you’re looking for somewhere for breakfast. Small, independent, and famous for their oversized portions, Grandma’s Pancake House is a cut above your typical chain diner or coffee shop when it comes to the quality of the food. The omelettes, in particular, are renowned for being huge and the ideal protein boost at the start of the working day. You can get freshly squeezed orange juice, bacon and eggs, the famous omelettes filled with ham and cheese, strawberry crepes, muffins with sausages, buckwheat pancakes, blueberry pancakes and so on, to suit your tastes.

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