(above) Scenic City Supper Club, photo by Our Ampersand Photography
Chattanooga’s Culinary Scene Continues to Grow and Thrive, Drawing National Attention
(above) Scenic City Supper Club, photo by Our Ampersand Photography
(above) Hennen’s, photo by Mark Song
(above) Mojo Burrito, photo by Rich Smith
Luxurious and sure to impress, Chattanooga’s fine dining scene is second to none. James Beard Award-winning chefs, renowned sommeliers, artful plating, inspiring ambiance, seasonal fresh ingredients, and masterful execution are all components of fine dining in Chattanooga. Area restaurants serve beautifully fashioned, delicious cocktails, show-stopping dishes, and innovative flavor combinations to their patrons. World-class wines are sourced by certified experts to curate impressive varietal selections. Whether searching for a romantic dinner option, a fresh and exciting family experience, or a place to entertain colleagues, Chattanooga has the perfect table available.
Options abound for fun, family dining. From New York style delis and pizza shops to burger joints and south of the border locales, the Scenic City offers up tons of choices for a laid back, comfort food dining experience. Families and friends can enjoy many of Chattanooga’s favorite foods, like mouth-watering burgers, awarding-winning wings, wood-fired pizza, Southern-fried chicken, famous barbecue, made-from-scratch tacos, gourmet ice cream, and more!
Many local restaurants draw crowds with trivia and karaoke nights, as well as live music. Sports bars provide a lively, thrilling atmosphere to catch the latest game while feasting on appetizers and drinks.
The FEED Co. is a popular place to eat and drink in the Southside, and for good reason. The menu features farm-fresh Southern fare, including Brussels sprouts with maple and smoked bacon–a local favorite. Expect to find ample seating, a football game playing at the bar, and new creations each season by executive chef Charlie Loomis. FEED is open for lunch, dinner, and brunch on the weekends.
201 W. Main St.
In the heart of the charming St. Elmo district sits 1885 Grill, specializing in Southern coastal cuisine. Between its famous pimento cheese, award-winning wings, and house-made grits, not to mention the incredibly fresh catches of the day, 1885’s eclectic menu offers something for every taste. Diners are sure to be impressed with the restaurant’s attention to presentation and family-oriented atmosphere.
3914 St. Elmo Ave.
Tremont Tavern has made a name for itself as North Chattanooga’s neighborhood pub. Praised for its beer and craft burgers (the Gouda burger is a must-try), the tavern also has a great selection of appetizers, salads, and sandwiches. Pop in for trivia night or open mic night, and check out weekly specials to take full advantage of Tremont Tavern’s entertaining atmosphere.
1203 Hixson Pk.
International foods and traditions are alive and well in Chattanooga, as authentic and innovative, culturally diverse foods enchant even the most sophisticated and traveled palate. Among the most popular cuisines are freshly prepared and delightfully plated Asian, South American, Mediterranean, and European foods. Whether your preference is Japanese, Thai, Chinese, Greek, Italian, or Mexican, you are sure to find and enjoy an exceptionally fulfilling and culturally inspiring dining experience.
You can also stock up on specialty breads, spreads, meats, and spices at one of Chattanooga’s international markets, and enjoy a relaxing, delicious meal at home.
The state of Tennessee prides itself on its history of making the finest whiskey around, and Chattanooga is no exception. In the late 1800s, the Scenic City was home to more than 30 distilleries–until Prohibition caused the distilleries and distributers to close up shop. Over 100 years later, Chattanooga is once again home to its own distillery, but it wasn’t without a fight. In 2009, a state bill allowed distilleries to open in selected counties in Tennessee, but Hamilton County was not included. In 2011, the founders of Chattanooga Whiskey Company started a campaign, “Vote Whiskey,” to once again allow distilling in Hamilton County. In 2013, the bill passed, and Chattanooga Whiskey Co. opened a micro-distillery and tasting room on the Southside: the Chattanooga Whiskey Experimental Distillery. Today, visitors can tour the micro-distillery and enjoy tastings of its locally produced potions.
With the laws in place now, new local distilleries are in the works in and around downtown and will be making their debut in the coming years. Among others, Renovare, a distiller of gin, vodka, and whiskey, is set to open soon, while the Chattanooga Choo Choo just announced that a new distillery will open on its campus.
As the popularity of craft liquor grows, flavorfully infused vodkas are making a splash. Lass & Lions, a newer spirits company in Chattanooga, offers an assortment of handcrafted vodkas, infused with exotic ingredients such as Madagascar vanilla beans, hibiscus and damianas, and chamomile and lemongrass.
Mojo Burrito is synonymous with fresh Tex-Mex in Chattanooga, and the fast, friendly service, budget-friendly prices, and multiple locations make dining at Mojo easy. This local joint serves up burritos, tacos, quesadillas, nachos, and more – partnering with other local businesses and supporting the arts scene with an eclectic, colorful environment full of local art. Vegetarian and vegan options are also available.
Red Bank, East Brainerd, St. Elmo, Ooltewah (Early 2018)
Local craft breweries have exploded in the last few years – turning Chattanooga into a craft beer destination. Among others, the brewery landscape consists of a Great American Beer Competition-winning pub and a resurrected brewing company that began in the 1890s.
Award-cicerones and brew masters are producing award-winning brews all over the city. Craft beer connoisseurs can choose from the hoppiest IPAs to the maltiest ales and everything in between for a taste of local brewing creations. For those with a curiosity about craft beer no matter where it hales from, several tasting rooms and tap houses have beer menus over 100 options long.
Traditional brewing techniques, attention to detail, and innovative flavors have contributed to the success of these breweries, and as demand grows, new breweries have announced plans to open in the near future.
Residents eagerly anticipate the Southern Brewers Festival each year, which showcases some of the nation’s best craft breweries. Pub crawls are recommended to discover the city’s best brews. Join a tour, or plan your own crawl with friends.
Fiamma may be the new kid on the block, but the artisanal pizza pies keep customers coming back for more. Conveniently located in NorthShore, Fiamma maintains a dining area, bar, and outdoor patio. Prepared with fresh ingredients, Fiamma’s pizza dough is made in-house. Choose from Neapolitan or Sicilian staples like Margherita and Pomodoro, or build your own.
405 N. Market St.
Totto Sushi and Grill
NorthShore’s Totto Sushi Bar and Grill specializes in Asian cuisine, from bulgogi and bento boxes to dumplings and sashimi. Sushi is made with the freshest ingredients, and the all-you-can-eat sushi lunch buffet is not to be missed! Friendly service and an intimate setting round out the Totto experience, perfect for your next date night, corporate dinner party, or casual outing.
330 Frazier Ave., Ste. 124
While it may be surprising to some, Southeast Tennessee has the ideal climate and soil for growing a variety of muscadines and grapes. This translates into a flourishing wine industry for the Chattanooga area, where local wineries produce a number of award-winning wines. In addition to providing gorgeous views and a relaxing escape, the wineries’ vineyards yield Concord, Catawba, and Chambourcin grapes, to name a few, which are used to create an array of sweet to dry wines. Visitors often enjoy these wines in a tasting room experience, where they can learn their own palate preferences and purchase local offerings.
Other area wine experts can be found in Chattanooga’s wine and spirits shops, and several restaurants. Wine Over Water is an annual festival in downtown Chattanooga that celebrates wine from around the world.
Find the richest espresso, the trendiest cappuccino, or just a comforting cup of Joe at one of Chattanooga’s many coffee shops. Long revered for its world-class coffee scene, Chattanooga offers something for all tastes and preferences, whether you prefer a nutty, cocoa taste or a citrus fruit flavor. For those looking to savor their cup in a relaxing environment, Chattanooga coffee shops range from fun and funky to modern and minimalistic.
In addition to local shops serving up artisan cups and shots, several award-winning area roasters have a hand in the entire process, from green coffee bean to perfectly poured cup. These skilled baristas and shop owners source from premium fair-trade farms and expertly roast the freshest beans available.
Complex blends are inspired by countries around the world, from Colombia to Congo, and can be purchased at brick and mortar locations around the city, online, and in area stores. New flavors and roasts unique to Chattanooga are cultivated each year.
For an exceptional Chattanooga dining experience, consider reserving a spot at Hennen’s. Located near the Chattanooga riverfront, Hennen’s is known for its fresh seafood, spirits, and of course, steak. With excellent service, an extensive wine list, and an innovative menu featuring locally sourced ingredients, Hennen’s is ideal for anniversary celebrations, business dinners, or a night out with the family.
193 Chestnut St.
hennens.net Instagram: hennensrestaurant
Fresh, locally farmed foods are an important part of Chattanooga’s dining landscape, as many restaurants are choosing to source their food from the Tennessee Valley and area farms. By both supporting the local economy and offering the highest quality food, these restaurants are gaining the attention and the business of residents passionate about their food. Local produce, including kale, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and more, is so bountiful that vegetarian and vegan eateries are able to maintain full-service menus with a creative flair. On the other hand, cattle, pigs, chicken, and lamb, raised in unstressed, free-range environments near Chattanooga, are supplied to local butchers and restaurants.
Seasonal produce can also be found at farmers markets throughout the area. The Chattanooga Market is the region’s largest outdoor food and crafts market. Voted one of the top public markets in America, it works with more than 50 farms to supply visitors with a variety of local produce, meats, and cheeses.
Adding to Chattanooga’s food and drink scene are supper clubs. Friends come together to enjoy carefully crafted dishes, drinks, and good company; these meals are often prepared to a specific theme, from international fare to champagne brunches. Family-held, generational recipes are incorporated into the menu, and these delicious foods, combined with a convivial setting, provide for a unique, culturally diverse dining experience.
Also a part of the supper club movement are dining events, where guests can pay to join in on the fun. The Scenic City Supper Club is a seasonal dining event that brings top chefs together to serve a multicourse seated dinner, which includes delectable, locally grown foods, craft cocktails, and more. The event showcases the diverse and rich talents of Chattanooga’s culinary scene while offering diners an exceptional evening.
For lunch with a view, venture to Rock City and check out Café 7 – popular with both the local and tourist crowds for its full-service dining terraces. The fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits, delectable desserts, and freshly prepared salads come recommended, while the Choo Choo Nachos and Seven States Burger are a nod to the café’s scenic location. Excellent service rounds out the picturesque dining experience.
1400 Patten Rd., Lookout Mtn., GA
With its unique space, Food Works charms locals and out-of-towners alike. Located in the historic Signal Knitting Mill on NorthShore, Food Works has perfected what they call “progressive Southern cuisine.” Reserve your table for lunch or dinner, or experience the restaurant’s popular brunch.
205-C Manufacturers Rd.
Savor the flavors of the Mediterranean at Acropolis Grill. Featuring delicious entrees, including steak, kabobs, and pastas, the family-owned establishment makes an impression with original recipes and attentive service. Share a meal with friends in the dining area, or relax at the bar or covered patio–just don’t forget to end the meal with baklava cheesecake!
2213 Hamilton Place Blvd.
Throughout the Chattanooga area, private clubs offer memorable casual and fine dining experiences. Often with spectacular views, such as those from mountain top bluffs, top floor expanses, or pristine golf courses, the ambiance, along with the meal and company, delights all five senses. Dining clubs, including The Walden Club and Mountain City Club, are local favorites. Golf and country clubs can be found throughout the area as well. Among several are the Chattanooga Golf and Country Club, The Lookout Mountain Club, Cleveland Country Club, and Signal Mountain Golf and Country Club.
Sharing is encouraged at Community Pie, so bring your family or friends to sample Community Pie’s offerings, including salads, pastas, pizzas, and made-from-scratch gelato. Delivering on flavor and authenticity, pizzas are served Neapolitan, New York, or Detroit style with toppings ranging from fig preserves and Calabrian chilies to chipotle honey and slow-cooked pork shoulder. Gluten-free pizza is also available.
850 Market St.
Whether in the mood for a hearty lunch or a late-night snack, Urban Stack has you covered. Committed to sustainable practices, this downtown restaurant works with local farmers and vendors to provide uniquely built burgers — including favorites like the Hamburguesa Mamacita and The Big Cheese. Complement your meal with one of Urban Stack’s specialty cocktails or handspun milkshakes, and you’re in for a real treat.
12 W. 13th St.
(above) Chattanooga Whiskey Experimental Distillery, photo by Med Dement