Chattanooga's food scene is flourishing these days with some of the best restaurants now being in the Southside - so this is where we naturally spend most of our time. Home to Main Street, there's no better example of Chattanooga's renewal than the revitalization the Southside has experienced over the last few years. Lots of other restaurants could have made the "Best" list, these are just some of our favorites we love to recommend to visitors. We hope you enjoy these spots as much as we do!
FEED CO. TABLE & TAVERN
This place could very well be the favorite of our favorites. Great food (their Brussels Sprouts are amazing - just trust us). Really good place to hang out - there's a casual tavern area with garage doors opening to Main Street along with a more traditional sit down area. We recommend tavern side.
Swanky drinks and incredible food! Set in the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo terminal, it has a big city feel inside. Great seafood. And the fries melt in your mouth. Also has great brunch on Sundays.
Incredible upscale Italian place. We typically only go here for special occasions, and each time we do, we leave convinced that it's the finest food in Chattanooga. Blown away. Every time. Also has a very cool bar area.
The Monen family have made their reputation as Chattanooga's premier restauranteurs - you seriously can't go wrong choosing from any of their concepts (see link for their BBQ, Pizza, Tex-Mex concepts), and Urban Stack is no exception. They offer "killer burgers and manly drinks." We've never met anyone who's been here who has regretted it.
If you are looking for incredible, hole in the wall, authentic Mexican, THIS is your place. The burritos are absurdly good. Say hi to George for us!
THE LOCAL JUICERY + KITCHEN
Cold-pressed organic juices, smoothies, and raw foods. The owner is one of our close friends and has built a place with the best vibes in the city. You will feel healthier just being there.
Blake is obsessed with Mexican. And this is his favorite Mexican place. If you know him, you'd realize how big of a deal that statement actually is. He calls this "classy Mexican." Located on the Northshore and close enough to the walking bridge, Poblanos offers incredible quality, good pricing, and homemade chips. Try the longhorn quesadilla or chimichanga both with the wine-braised pulled beef... and thank us later.
Milk & Honey
Monen family restaurants are such hits, they're also taking over Nashville. Would recommend this one for breakfast or after dinner / mid-afternoon treat. Creamy gelato and creative flavors ("Elvis" is the best - peanut butter and caramelized bananas). Also on the Northshore, so get some gelato and take a stroll across the walking bridge!
There are lots of great coffee spots in Chattanooga, but these are our favorites.
The Camp house
Known as "Chattanooga's living room," The Camp House is near and dear to Lexi's heart as it was the first coffee shop she visited upon moving to Chattanooga. They brew sustainably sourced Mad Priest coffee, a local coffee roaster with a mission that also employs refugees, and have lots of great food options on the menu. The setting at the Camp House is incredibly warm and welcoming. Grab a seat on one of the couches and watch as the CH comes alive with people and culture!
Velo Coffee Roasters
Known for their incredible cold brews, this local coffee roaster is a must experience for any visiting coffee connoisseurs. A number of other local shops serve their roast, but we think it's worth checking out the spot where all the magic happens. Located in the Southside on Main Street, it's super bicycle friendly - so if you have one, ride on in.
Mean Mug Coffeehouse
You can check this local coffeehouse out at two locations - the original spot in Southside and the new spot in Northshore. Both spots offer a full espresso menu, drip coffee, Kyoto style cold brew and slow bar options. They have recently started roasting their own coffee at the Northshore location and also offer Velo's Niterider Nitro cold brew at both locations. The food menu is rather robust, catering to everyone from vegan to paleo.
We have our neighbors to the north to thank for this one - Frothy is a Nashville original, but we think the Chattanooga location in the historic Choo-Choo terminal does it better. It's right next door to one of our favorite restaurants (Stir), and this place is also very grand - you can appreciate the history everywhere you look. Easily the most robust food menu of any of the coffee options, people often go here for dinner and casual hangs.
Goodman Coffee Roasters
Ian Goodman could very well be the premier coffee connoisseur in all of Chattanooga - he helped pioneer 3rd wave coffee here in the mid-90's (before it was cool). He's kind of a legend, and we love that his reputation and standards for excellence don't yield the snobby culture you'll find at other places around the country. While the coffee is roasted in the historic St. Elmo neighborhood, the coffeehouse is part of the very happening Warehouse Row downtown, so you can check out Lulu or Anthro while you sip.
Pronounced "Plus Coffee," there are now a couple different locations to choose from. We recommend the original in St. Elmo. The place is cozy and welcoming, and you can feel the good vibes as you walk in the door.
Speed Deluxe Coffee Bar
Like motorcycles? This place specializes in repairing, restoring, and customizing vintage motorcycles. And... it also features a coffee bar. Our friend Scott is passionate about serving only the best locally/regionally roasted coffee. It's a unique spot with lots of charm. Check them out when you're around the Northshore.
Looking for local breweries or just some cool spots to grab drinks and hang out? Chattanooga's craft beer scene is developing quickly, with some really great options to taste local, and these are the spots we recommend for imbibing and chilling.
Flying squirrel bar
If you just go out to one place, make it the Squirrel. This building has won awards for its design, and you can't help but feel more cool just walking in the door. It starts to get pretty busy after 10 on the weekend, and Ubering to and fro the Squirrel is part of a classic Chattanooga night out. They have eclectic Southern comfort food, and people also adore the Sunday brunch here.
THE BITTER ALIBI
Truth be told, I honestly usually don't feel like I'm quite hip enough to be at this place. But I'm glad when I ignore these thoughts because the people are so nice and the food is creative and scrumptious. The owners are two of the most enterprising entrepreneurs in the city, and they recently added a sweet little cocktail bar on the top floor called "The Fix."
ODDSTORY BREWING CO
Founded by a recent Covenant College grad, this is one of the newer breweries in town and already becoming a local favorite. Great atmosphere, good people, and tasty brews.
BEAST & BARREL
Quite possibly the best happy hour in Chattanooga (we judge happy hours by the food options). This place is particularly great when the weather is nice and the garage doors are opened to Frazier Ave.
Hutton & Smith Brewing Company
Many of my beer connoisseur friends think this is the best local brew in the city. It's right near Oddstory on MLK, so check them both out while you're in the vicinity. It's a small, cozy tap room with a rock climbing theme. Very Chattanooga.
Chattanooga Brewing Company
Right across from Finely Stadium, CBC is the preferred hangout spot for Chattanooga Football Club games. Check out their beer as well as their sweet potato waffle fries.
Eat. Drink. Bowl. This place is modeled closely after Nashville's Pinewood Social - bowling lanes, pool tables, skee ball, ping pong, shuffleboard, corn hole, etc. It's a really cool place just down from CBC, so you should definitely check both out when on Chestnut Street.
Clyde's on Main
Another Monen family classic. This BBQ joint is in the home of an old glass and body shop. It is really cool inside with ping pong tables, shuffleboard, comfy couches, and a go-to bar hangout with live music on the weekends.
The outdoors scene in Chattanooga has a lot to offer. Hiking, rocking climbing, kayaking, hang gliding, biking, you name it, and you can probably find it here.
WALNUT STREET BRIDGE
We get a little sentimental every time we cross this bridge (see the video on the About page for why). For us, this is the most iconic landmark in Chattanooga, and we make sure we recommend all new visitors to give it a stroll - it's kind of a non-negotiable. Whether you're biking, running, or just strolling along, you'll get the best 360 views of the city and come across all sorts of friendly Chattanoogans.
Our favorite view of Chattanooga from atop historic Lookout Mountain. It is easily accessible (small parking lot and 3 minute, slightly rigorous walk) - also connects to some of Lookout's best hiking trails. And unlike other attractions on the mountain, it will not cost a penny. Check out Roots Rated, a Chattanooga-based startup, if you are into some serious hiking recommendations. Also, this link.
HIGH POINT CLIMBING
Chattanooga is known for its exceptional outdoor rock climbing (again, for all things outdoors, check out Roots Rated), but this indoor facility located right in the middle of downtown is awesome. We are members and love seeing families with kids as young as three scaling walls.
Lookout mountain hang Gliding
Ever wondered what it's like to soar over mountains in an avian-like fashion?? Hang gliding could be just for you. Lookout Mountain is one of the busiest spots for hang gliding, and if you've never gone before, you'll ride tandem with an experienced instructor - the experienced hang gliders literally run right off the edge of the mountain (it's a paved ramp, but still, the mountain edge).
If you're coming to Chattanooga and don't know about the Aquarium, it is actually very legit for kids and adults alike. The penguins are my favorite. There's also an Imax. The Creative Discover Museum is also right downtown and SUPER fun for kids. Have older kids or want a cool date night? Blow some glass at iGNiS Glass Studio. Want a somewhat overwhelming, but much more exhaustive list of things to do? Click the button below.