One of the best things about traveling is eating out! And for many, the most appealing restaurants are those local spots that serve up inspired, delicious meals with an ambiance you can’t find anywhere else. At The Caverns, we’re fortunate to have many excellent and eclectic restaurants in nearby Pelham, Tracy City, Monteagle and Sewanee. We’ve put together a list of some of our favorites. Whatever food mood you’re in, we hope these recommendations lead you to the right table.
Our Favorite Local Restaurants Near The Caverns
Mountain Goat Market
This funky restaurant is a favorite among Sewanee students, faculty and locals alike. You’ll find sandwiches, wraps, pizzas, and desserts on the menu. Our favorite is the Ragin’ Cajun with cajun turkey, bacon, chipotle gouda, chipotle mayo, and spinach served on sourdough. What’s more, they have an espresso bar, a patio for outdoor seating, and a wide selection of eclectic gifts (their whimsical sock selection is on point). In 2019, Mountain Goat Market made Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in the U.S., so you know it’s good!
- (931) 924-2727
Simply Southern Cafe
While you’ll find an impressive collection of The Caverns show posters hanging in a corner of the Simple Southern Cafe, what’s more impressive is their home-cooked meals! The menu, written daily on an old-school blackboard, often includes signature dishes like Country Fried Steak, Fried Catfish, and Grilled Pork Chops. We’re suckers for their Fried Chicken. If you visit, plan to go on a weekday as they’re closed on the weekend. Also, they only accept cash, so unless you want to wash dishes all afternoon, come prepared.
- (931) 467-2600
Jim Oliver’s Smoke House Restaurant
If you purchase The Caverns Monteagle Mountain Stay & Cave package, you’ll receive accommodations at Jim Oliver’s Smoke House Lodge. This authentic roadside stop is also where you’ll find Jim Oliver’s Smoke House Restaurant. For over 60 years, the Oliver family has been serving delicious home-cooked meals to travelers and locals alike. We’re partial to the smoked beef brisket. While you’re there, shop the general store and pop into a museum devoted to Country Music Hall of Fame members, The Louvin Brothers, which includes a lifetime collection of Louvin awards, photos, albums, music, letters, and memorabilia.
- (931) 924-2091
Update: Sadly, on April 27th a fire destroyed The Smokehouse restaurant. They plan to rebuild. Support The Smokehouse through this GoFundMe page. In the meantime, they've opened The Smokehouse Patio Grill behind where the original restaurant once stood and they're serving up delicious home cooked meals every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Since 1974, this beloved restaurant and pub has been a gathering place for the community. Housed in the oldest building in Sewanee, Shenanigans is an institution. Generations of diners have flocked to this funky spot. On the menu you’ll find down-home Southern comfort food, made-from-scratch pizzas, mouthwatering grilled sandwiches, and savory deli favorites. What’s more, Shenanigans features a rotating lineup of regional, award-winning craft beers. We’re particularly fond of Shenanigan’s porch, which overflows with engaging conversations and colorful personalities.
- (931) 598-5774
Blue Chair Cafe & Tavern
Much like Shenanigans, the Blue Chair & Tavern in the Sewanee village is both a restaurant and bar serving comfort food and craft beer until late at night, but we’re including them here for their breakfast. On weekdays, pick-up a biscuit sandwich or a pastry. If you’re passing through on a weekend, the breakfast menu also includes omelets, breakfast bowls, and a standard breakfast including bacon or sausage and biscuit or toast. The outdoor seating area is a nice spot to kick back, too.
- (931) 598-5434
Northcutt's Family Market
We’re always dropping by Northcutt’s because it’s so close to The Caverns, and the people there are so friendly. While this family business is a convenience store with a wide array of beverages, chips and candy, they’re also known for making some pretty mean deli sandwiches. The bread is fresh, and the meats and cheeses are Boar’s Head. Enjoy your sandwich to-go, inside the market with the locals, or scope out a spot on their double-decker patio.
- (931) 467-2888
After a long day of caving and hiking, a hearty Italian meal really hits the spot—and the portions at Papa Ron’s will make sure you don’t go to bed hungry. This casual Italian restaurant has a menu featuring a wide variety of pastas, steaks, pizzas, and sandwiches and offers a full bar, too.
High Point Restaurant
When you’re ready to splurge, this is the place. The three-story Tudor-revival mansion the High Point Restaurant calls home was built in 1927. Its history involves the infamous bootlegger and mobster, Al Capone, who is said to have financed the mansion during Prohibition and equipped it with escape hatches on the roof and underground tunnels. Today, guests feast on an award-winning menu featuring seafood, steaks, duck and more. Combine the extravagant menu with the decadent atmosphere and superb service, and you have just the spot for a special dining experience. Reservations recommended.
- (931) 924-4600
Dutch Maid Bakery & Cafe
Opened in 1907 by the Baggenstoss family, Swiss immigrants who moved to Tennessee in the 1880s, the Dutch Maid Bakery is Tennessee's oldest family-owned bakery. Today, this beloved Tracy City favorite is both a bakery and a cafe. Stop in for lunch and try Famous Fran's Chicken Salad, and take home a fresh loaf or some pastries and sweets. The aroma you smell on arrival will let you know you picked the right spot.