Chattanooga is a fast-growing American city that's making a big splash in the food scene. It's currently experiencing a culinary renaissance for fresh, local, diverse, and flavor-packed dishes. The best part about it? Few know how incredible it is. Between strolling the riverfront, adventuring in the mountains, and visiting the world-famous Aquarium, now is the time to take advantage of all Chattanooga's bars and restaurants bring to the table.
Larry Torrence is the mastermind behind this local favorite, famous for its perfectly crispy and seasoned fried fish. Choose from four locations scattered throughout the city. Each restaurant is cozy, casual, and full of life. To make the perfect meal, pair your catfish with coleslaw, cucumber salad, and hush puppies, topped off with their famous Smackem sauce (think spicy ranch). But don't forget to leave room for a slice of their legendary key lime cake!
This Southside historic gem offers the best of both worlds: a butcher shop and a restaurant. Here you'll find a variety of in-house processed meats, including over 30 types of charcuterie, plus salads, sandwiches, and craft cocktails. Everything is locally sourced from the Tennessee River Valley, keeping you on your toes with its ever-changing menu offerings. Pair your dry-cured salami and sausages with an Old Fashioned on tap for a unique culinary experience. Afterward, browse the shop for a souvenir.
Two-time James Beard Semifinalist Chef Erik Niel, and his wife Amanda, delicately blend their French and Creole heritage with local Southern fare in Chattanooga's West Village neighborhood at an affordable price. Beyond taste, dining here offers a historical experience — the restaurant's location in the world's first Coca-Cola bottling plant. Its modern, comfortable ambiance is an inviting space. For dinner, you can choose from various entrees such as steaks, chicken, or seafood. Or, hit it up for a memorable weekend bunch.
Southside's popular small, family-run restaurant has been serving reasonably priced diner-style breakfast and lunch since 2007. There's something for everyone here, including vegan and gluten-free options in a vast menu that covers just about every classic southern fare offering you could want. Their potatoes are notable and have an entire dedicated section of the menu. Head to Main Street and get a whiff of their bread in-house daily from down the street.
This local favorite is not only the best cocktail bar in the Southside, it's the best cocktail bar in all of Chattanooga. Beyond cocktails, you'll find unique and delicious seasonal fare for dinner and Sunday brunch. Sundays come with a fantastic mimosa deal to wash everything down. The secret to the food here is to share. That way, you get more of everything. So sit back and relax in this bright, airy space to taste Chattanooga's foodie heaven.
The name says it all. Champy's is an institution that's been perfecting Mississippi Delta comfort food for 40 years. This small chain has three Chattanooga locations and is your go-to spot for fast casual and big flavor. In addition to fried chicken, the Homemade Hot Tamales, fried jalapeños, and wings are a must-try. Inside is a lively atmosphere with eclectic decor (including walls full of electric signs and dollar bills) and live music. Soak it all in as you refuel before your next adventure.
This Southside dinner restaurant specializes in fresh, rustic, and simple Italian fare. Daniel Lindley is the Chef, Owner, and James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards Semifinalist. The restaurant is located in the old Harrington Building and offers a chic, cozy, inviting atmosphere. They know what they're doing with homemade pasta dishes, woodfired Neapolitan-style pizzas, and craft cocktails. Whether you're looking for a perfect spot for a date night or to catch up with friends, you'll enjoy a flavor-packed meal with stunning views of Lookout Mountain as you devour every last bite.
This casual bar and grill is the place for panoramic riverside dining. With a variety of local dishes like cornmeal-crusted catfish, woodfired rotisserie, and an impressive raw bar, your biggest problem will be wanting to order everything on the menu. Grab a table on its spacious covered patio, where you can snack on some oysters and sip a famous Lawton's Margarita as you take in the views of Signal and Lookout Mountains.
Across the river on the North Shore, you'll find Food Works inside the restored 1916 Signal Mill. It's also across the river from the Aquarium, and you can stroll over Walnut Street Bridge for easy access. Food Works is a must-try for classic Tennessee comforts for lunch, dinner, or Sunday brunch. Dinner options vary, from burgers to bánh mì to fish tacos. If you're there on Sunday, crowd favorites include Chicken and Waffles and Chocolate Hazelnut French Toast. Also, check out their weekly events, such as Tuesday Ladies' Night or Wednesday burgers and draught beer.
Once a coffee and gelato shop, this North Shore restaurant now boasts an extensive all-day food menu with something for everyone. The Monen Family Restaurant Group owns it, which also owns pizza, burger, and taco joints throughout the city. Shareables, toasts, sandwiches, and salads are its jam. For something lighter, try a freshly-baked pastry or freshly-squeezed juice. On the weekends, you'll want to come for the best breakfast sandwich stacked on a house-made buttermilk biscuit. Remember to satisfy your sweet tooth with gelato before returning the next day.