We are so glad you chose to stay at our family lake house, and we hope you enjoy it as much as we do! We both grew up on the Great Lakes, but having lived in Tennessee for many years now, we love having a little piece of this region’s greatest lake! Here are a few of our restaurant recommendations.
FOOD & TREATS ON THE LAKE
We’re fortunate to have the lake’s best waterfront food (and strongest drinks) located just 10 minutes or less by boat from Whiskey Cove, Bluegill Grill at Holiday Landing Marina. And even better, it’s very much a “come as you are” kind of place. Swimsuits, flip flops, t-shirts and shorts are the most common attire. Food isn’t fancy either, but it’s flavorful and a wider variety than the other options on the lake. We like the fish tacos, crab dip, shrimp baskets and any of the po boy sandwiches. Adults who like their drinks strong should try a Dickel Drop, a mix of George Dickel whiskey and Sundrop (both drinks native to Tullahoma, TN). It’s a Tims Ford Lake must-drink only available at Bluegill Grill. There's live music most weekends in the evening, so grab a table further from the music if you want to still be able to talk to your table mates.
Tims Ford Marina is the home of Hard Dock Cafe, a casual lakeside restaurant that has pizza, burgers, chicken fingers and other grilled items. Most tables are picnic tables and are outside under a covered patio with some limited indoor seating. Hard Dock Café is open year-round (menu is limited in the off-season) and has a large section of chilled grab-n-go beverages. In the summer, you’ll find a breakfast buffet on weekends. There's live music at the outdoor bar in the evenings on weekends that you can enjoy from the restaurant and from the dock.
Twin Creeks Marina is the home of the newest full-service restaurant on the lake, Drafts & Watercrafts. About 20 minutes by car and 25 minutes by boat, Drafts & Watercrafts is the furthest waterfront restaurant from Whiskey Cove, but if you're looking for burgers, salads, quesadillas, steaks, crab cakes, pizza and more, it's a nice option. It has a slightly more upscale atmosphere than the other lakeside restaurants, but casual attire is still very much acceptable. The restaurant hosts trivia night and live music throughout the week, so check the event calendar ahead of time to see the activity of the day. Expect to wait for a table on holidays and weekends, and watch for heavy boat traffic on the lake as you get closer to Twin Creeks Marina.
If you’re looking for ice cream, Lakeview Marina at Tims Ford State Park should be your destination. Easy to get to by car or boat from Whiskey Cove, Lakeview has dozens of hard ice cream flavors that will delight young and old alike. Make it a meal by ordering food from the grill or having them make you a pizza to enjoy outside on a picnic table. While Lakeview Marina is not a full-service restaurant, it is still worth a trip for the ice cream alone, especially if you’re planning a visit to Tims Ford State Park. FYI - The other marinas only have grab-n-go packaged ice cream options.
FOOD OPTIONS NEARBY
Sit down for a family style feast of southern food at Miss Mary Bobo's, a legendary Lynchburg lunch destination. Book a reservation ahead of time to have a guaranteed table for you and your guests and bring your appetite! Meals are all served family style, and you’ll likely have a "hostess" at your table to give local history and legends. Plan on leaving with leftovers!
We love wood-fired pizza from the Stave & Stone Pizzeria located inside the Lynchburg Cigar Company. Yes, that’s right – our local cigar shop also has a pizza shop in it! Order ahead via phone or stop in and enjoy a drink while getting to know the shop owners and watch your pies being made.
Barrel House BBQ is a great local sit-down restaurant known for its traditional and unique barbecue foods. Located in walking distance from the Lynchburg square, it’s an easy stop to fuel up before or after visiting Jack Daniel’s Distillery. Be sure to try their famous Grilled Cheese on Crack.
Whiskey Waffle is a breakfast, dessert, and lunch food truck on the square in Lynchburg. Start your day with a made-to-order waffle (regular or protein) with toppings, or try the famous whiskey waffle, topped with vanilla ice cream and homemade whiskey caramel drizzle. Check Instagram (@whiskey.waffletn) for specials and hours.
Quick food options nearby include Subway near downtown Lynchburg, plus several gas stations and local corner stores that have incredibly good grab-n-go options, like Lynchburg Jiffy Mart, Broadview Grocery & Deli, and Bait, Beer & Biscuits. They are also great for things like bait, snacks and drinks.
Downtown Tullahoma is just 15 -17 minutes away, and it has several local restaurants we like.
Step back in time with a visit to the Sundrop Shoppe & Lunchonette. It’s an authentic reproduction of a turn of the century drugstore serving breakfast and lunch and complete with a full soda fountain. Named for Sundrop, the carbonated drink with origins in Tullahoma, the Shoppe is a family friendly spot with a menu of sandwiches, soups, salads and breakfast items.
We’ve thoroughly enjoy every pizza we’ve had from Spinelli’s Pizza in downtown Tullahoma. There isn’t a bad one on the menu! Call ahead to have your pie ready for pick up, or order in-person and enjoy a cold beverage while you wait.
If you're in the mood for burgers, wraps, tacos, and bar food, stop into Daddy Billy's. As an added bonus, if you visit on most Tuesdays, you'll find a boisterous game of Bingo underway, and Wednesdays are usually Karaoke night. There is frequently live music at Daddy Billy's as well.
For dessert, swing into The Ice Cream Distillery in downtown Tullahoma, where you’ll find homemade cookies and small-batch ice cream, scooped by hand. See Instagram (@theicecreamdistillery) for the latest flavors and treats.
Just past downtown Tullahoma is a newer commercial district on Jackson Street with several chain restaurants, including Chick-Fil-A, McAlister's Deli, Applebees, Red Lobster, Starbucks, Penn Station, Zaxby's, Dairy Queen, and Fazoli's. There are also many Mexican restaurants in the area too.
Just 20 - 25 minutes from Whiskey Cove, downtown Winchester is a charming square with locally owned shops and restaurants. It’s one of our favorite places to spend time off the lake to shop, eat, and catch a movie.
For an upscale dining option, Filo’s Tavern has a high-end atmosphere without the uppity vibe. Elevated American food without big city prices. It reminded us very much of one of our favorite upscale American restaurants, J Alexander's. Great service with friendly staff who were quick to keep our drinks full and made sure we didn’t leave without trying the incredible carrot cake.
Enjoy a delicious Italian meal at Piezan Pizzeria Italiano. Don’t let the name fool you! Yes, they have slices and delicious pie, but you can also find your favorite Italian dishes there, like lasagna, fettuccini Alfredo and eggplant Parmesan. We love to grab a slice of pizza or yummy Italian dish, then walk across the square to a movie. It’s great to walk off a meal like that!
Designer Cakes has delicious cookies, ice cream and treats, but it’s most famous for its cinnamon rolls, which are made fresh every Saturday morning. If you want one of these homemade sweets, arrive early as they sell out quick! Order one of their special creations ahead of time if you are celebrating a milestone during your stay at Whiskey Cove.
Need a caffeine boost or a place to work away from the lake? Walnut Hill Coffee Company is the perfect spot for both, plus it has a small food menu and cute merchandise to shop. There’s plenty of space to spread out and work or chat, and the creative decor and vibe will surely inspire new ideas.