Nestled in the curve of the Tennessee River, Chattanooga, Tennessee, has a little bit of everything to offer.
Chattanooga is an outdoorsman’s paradise, boasting the best in watersports, rock-climbing, hiking, biking, hang-gliding, and more. But did you know Chattanooga is also a booming tech and startup hub? Known by some as the “Gig City,” Chattanooga became the first US city to have the world’s fastest internet in 2010. Young tech entrepreneurs and investors alike found the town to be a perfect incubator for fresh ideas.
And, as you can imagine, those fresh ideas hit the restaurant industry, too. Chattanooga has a thriving foodie scene, thanks to a combination of longtime establishments and hip newcomers.
There’s something for everyone in the Chattanooga food scene. If you’re looking for places to eat in Chattanooga, look no further. Check out our definitive list of the best restaurants in Chattanooga, Tennessee, below!
Best Restaurants in Chattanooga
- St John’s Restaurant
- Flying Squirrel
- Easy Bistro & Bar
- Public House
- Main Street Meats
- Boathouse Rotisserie & Raw Bar
- 1885 Grill
- Community Pie
- Bluegrass Grill
- Rembrandt’s Coffee House
- Uncle Larry’s Restaurant
- Champy’s Famous Fried Chicken
- Urban Stack
- City Cafe Diner
- Mojo Burrito
- Proof Bar and Incubator
St John’s Restaurant
1278 Market St, Chattanooga, TN 37402
When it comes to the best restaurants in Chattanooga, St. John’s has been the preeminent upscale food destination in Chattanooga since 2000. Located in the historic St. John’s Hotel building downtown, St. John’s serves elevated and carefully sourced American cuisine and an extensive wine list.
Many dishes feature local farms, like the popular Ashley’s Farm Free Range Chicken with homemade potato gnocchi, local squash, and zucchini. Their craft cocktails also feature locally sourced ingredients and seasonal fare. My favorite on the summer menu is the “Eat a Peach” featuring Buffalo Trace bourbon, local peaches, bitters, and lemon.
55 Johnson St, Chattanooga, TN 37408
The Flying Squirrel is one of those buzzy joints with a whole vibe. Founded by two young entrepreneurs in 2013, the Flying Squirrel is an architectural design feat and a trendy anchor of Main Street’s revitalization.
The menu is an eclectic assortment of comfort food, craft beers, and cocktails – oh and, of course, brunch. The brunch menu includes an incredible take on spicy chicken and waffles, as well as locally sourced coffee from Velo Coffee Roasters next door. Don’t miss the nightlife here, either, with great drinks slung by creative mixologists.
Easy Bistro & Bar
801 Chestnut St, Chattanooga, TN 37402
Among Chattanooga restaurants, Easy Bistro is effortlessly cool. The French-style bistro offers soaring floor-to-ceiling windows, an excellent brunch, and the best oysters in the city. Located in the heart of downtown, Easy Bistro is a short walk from the riverside and nestled next to some of the city’s best activities.
The kitchen uses local ingredients for its fusion menu, which features classic French and American comfort food. But what we love the most is the raw bar. They serve the freshest farm-raised Gulf Coast oysters and a family-style menu that’s perfect for sharing the best bites. Don’t leave without asking for a wine recommendation from the bartender!
25 E Main St, Chattanooga, TN 37408
If you’re looking for upscale Italian cuisine, look no further than Alleia. The restaurant has a classic, wood-smoked vibe, serving up an atmosphere that is both elevated and cozy at the same time. Alleia is located off the trendy East Main Street and brings together the city’s old-school business people and new-school creative class.
They are known for their hand-crafted pasta dishes and wood-fired pizzas. But don’t miss their other features, like bacon-wrapped quail breast and pork shoulder seared in the open hearth. Alleia offers elite service and is the perfect place for bringing a date or your family.
1110 Market St, Chattanooga, TN 37402
Public House serves up refined farmhouse vibes and exquisite local dishes. Located in the trendy upcycled Warehouse Row in downtown Chattanooga, Public House is fine dining at its coziest.
Public House’s menu provides a “tour of local cuisine” with a fresh spin on nostalgic favorites. Try the mouth-watering red wine braised pot roast on their dinner menu or the shrimp and grits with fresh gulf shrimp and Andouille sausage. And don’t forget the extensive list of locally sourced produce and sides! They also have a gluten-free lunch and dinner menu.
Main Street Meats
217 E Main St, Chattanooga, TN 37408
Main Street Meats is the essence of farm-to-table eating. One of the more creative restaurants Chattanooga offers, the restaurant is attached to the city’s premier butchery, where world-class butchers use sustainable practices to deliver the best meat to your table. And, as you probably guessed, it’s right in the heart of the popular Main Street district.
You can order off a lunch and dinner menu or a family-style menu, which we highly recommend. You really can’t go wrong with the daily cured meat and cheese selections. Pair with a cocktail on tap or one of the whiskeys from their massive 280-strong whisky collection.
Boathouse Rotisserie & Raw Bar
1459 Riverside Dr #4312, Chattanooga, TN 37406
When it comes to time-honored tradition, the Boathouse is Chattanooga’s signature neighborhood gem. The vibe is casual and family-friendly, but the excellent food draws people from far and wide. You’ll feel almost like you’re on a river cruise, with panoramic views from the porch of the Tennessee River.
You can’t go wrong with much on this classic menu, but don’t leave Chattanooga without trying their Oysters Rockefellers and chicken brisket. If you’re wondering where to eat in Chattanooga, the Boathouse is an absolute local classic.
3914 St Elmo Ave, Chattanooga, TN 37409
1885 Grill sits in the quirky historic neighborhood of St. Elmo, at the foot of Lookout Mountain. The area is a bit quieter, but it’s still just a ten-minute drive from the heart of downtown! 1885 Grill is a favorite with locals, offering great weekday specials and Southern coastal cuisine.
Check out their Saturday/Sunday Brunch with a full Bloody Mary Bar if you’re there for the weekend. But the local favorite is Monday Wing Night, featuring locally sourced chicken and a proprietary spice blend. You’ll meet friendly people and love the food!
850 Market St, Chattanooga, TN 37402
Community Pie offers upscale pizza and bites in a chic vintage space across from Miller Park. Miller Park is a downtown hub that hosts music and art festivals throughout the summer. You can find a buzzy crowd at Community Pie, enjoying bellinis, arugula-topped pizza, and fresh gelato throughout the year.
You can order your pizza New York, Neapolitan, or Detroit style with a wide arrange of locally sourced and creative toppings. And if you’re willing to pack in a few extra calories, the garlic knots are to die for!
55 E Main St, Chattanooga, TN 37408
It takes a lot to get people up early on the weekend, but the breakfast menu at Bluegrass Grill does it every time! This restaurant has been a staple on Main Street for years – even before the neighborhood got revitalized.
They’ve stuck with the basics and have the best breakfast in town in a classic Southern diner setting. Their fresh-baked biscuits were voted the “best in Tennessee” in 2017, and their menu now includes gluten-free options, too. If you’re not there early, the line will be down the block!
Rembrandt’s Coffee House
204 High St, Chattanooga, TN 37403
Rembrandt’s Coffee House is located in the tiny but gorgeous Art District perched atop a cliff overlooking the Tennessee River. Just down the street is the famous Hunter Art Museum. Rembrandt’s lives up to its sophisticated name as a European-style cafe offering house-roasted coffees, artisan pastries, and baked goods.
The coffee is some of the best in town, and you can buy it by the pound. But make sure you don’t miss out on the hand-dipped chocolate fancies and their delicious breakfast.
Uncle Larry’s Restaurant
736 E M L King Blvd, Chattanooga, TN 37403
If you want a truly authentic family-owned joint, Uncle Larry’s is an absolute must. In just under ten years, it’s become a neighborhood staple and a popular stop for students at the nearby University of Tennessee Chattanooga.
Uncle Larry’s has the best fried fish in town and other home-cooked seafood offerings that will have you coming back for more. The sign in the window says it all: “Fish so good it will smack you.” They also have classic home cooked desserts fresh each day: no frills, just great food, and great vibes.
Champy’s Famous Fried Chicken
526 E M L King Blvd, Chattanooga, TN 37403
Champy’s is another spot popular with the college crowd. Located near the University of Tennessee Chattanooga campus, Champy’s has some of the best fried chicken, sports, and live music in town. Over 40 years, they’ve expanded across five locations in Tennessee and Alabama, but the original location is still our favorite.
Apart from the famous fried chicken, Champy’s has fun sides like buttermilk fried pickle spears and a fried jalapeno basket. Choose from a wide selection of craft beers, and enjoy the local music!
12 W 13th St, Chattanooga, TN 37402
One of the best burgers I’ve ever had was from Urban Stack. The restaurant features warm wood and wide booths for an upscale but eminently comfortable experience. The bar area is always hopping at night and has plenty of TVs for sports fans. It’s located right between the hipster Main Street neighborhood and downtown.
With 17 artisan burgers on the menu, you have plenty of mouth-watering options to choose from. But you can also build your burger or opt for Beyond Meat and other alternatives. They also have a great cocktail list, and we recommend anything focused on Kentucky Bourbon.
City Cafe Diner
901 Carter St, Chattanooga, TN 37402
City Cafe Diner is a favorite among families, college students, and professionals alike. It’s a classic 24/7 diner with a booklike menu, black-and-white tile floors, and spacious vinyl booths. It’s also located right in the heart of downtown near some of the city’s best hotels.
Like any self-respecting diner, City Cafe has an enormous menu, including over 400 breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert options. We recommend the handhelds or paninis like the delicious Reuben sandwich. They also have a fantastic breakfast if you’re just passing through, though it will be hard to pass up the glass cases full of cakes!
1800 Dayton Blvd, Chattanooga, TN 37405
Mojo Burrito is a quirky Tex-Mex restaurant that’s super popular with locals. Mojo is in North Chattanooga, an upscale but older city section with some beautiful hills. You’ll have to go a little bit off the beaten path, but it’s definitely worth the trip.
Mojo is a counter-service spot where you can order burritos, tacos, guacamole, and more from the freshest ingredients. The interior has bright colors and local art. They’re also committed to sustainability and clean food. Order a fresh burrito bowl and a beer and enjoy the ambiance.
Proof Bar and Incubator
422 E M L King Blvd, Chattanooga, TN 37403
Proof Bar and Incubator is the essence of “new” Chattanooga. In addition to being a trendy downtown spot for cocktails, Proof Bar also provides a Restaurant Residency program. The program lets rising chefs test their newest creations before launching their own businesses. It’s a fantastic combination of Chattanooga’s entrepreneurial strength and foodie culture.
The menu is constantly rotating with fresh offerings from some of the area’s most exciting culinary talents. Come with an open mind and be ready for some of the city’s best cocktails, too.
Chattanooga is a must-visit destination with some of the best in culture and cuisine! It’s an easy stop on your way to Nashville or Atlanta and offers the best of both worlds in terms of activities plus a small-town vibe. Use our definitive list of best restaurants in Chattanooga, or explore other great spots nearby.
Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment, and we’ll check it out!
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