21 Best Chattanooga Restaurants by Neighborhood (Bring Your Appetite!)

Our family visited Chattanooga time after time after time as the boys were growing up, but the scene was different. People visited Chattanooga for the attractions and the hiking.

Yes, we believe you should visit for hiking, the aquarium, the waterfall… all of that, for sure. But since then I’ve noticed that Chattanooga has grown up and come into her own, with a food scene that does not disappoint. 

Here are 21 of our favorite Chattanooga restaurants, broken down by neighborhood so you can plan your (snack) attack accordingly. Heck, you should stay in Chattanooga an entire week so you can try them all!

Pro tip: The secret is already out, friends. The best places fill up fast, so if reservations are available at your eatery-of-choice then plan ahead so that you’re not disappointed.

** indicates you’ll find this restaurant ONLY in Chattanooga

STAY HERE DURING YOUR FOODIE VACATION

The Chattanoogan Hotel: Ideal for families and close to downtown

This year marks our family’s third stay at The Chattanoogan, and it gets better every time! New in 2023 the rooms have been updated with new carpet, new headboards, and new mattresses and pillows!

We love the multiple restaurants (including an outdoor lounge), the coffee shop, the spacious rooms, and friendly staff. Yes, it can be a romantic option for couples, but all the amenities make it easy-peasy for families, too… that’s why we love it!

Plus, the hotel’s location is close to downtown and central to everything Chattanooga offers. Plus, it’s a Hilton Curio hotel so you can use your Honors points while still enjoying that boutique feeling!

Address:
Chattanooga, Tennessee

CHATTANOOGA RESTAURANTS ON THE MAP

NORTHSHORE DISTRICT

21 Best Chattanooga Restaurants by Neighborhood (Bring Your Appetite!)
Brats, spaetzle, a pretzel and beer at Brewhous

BREWHOUS** (OUR TOP NORTHSHORE PICK!)

So, I’m not gonna lie - German food is something I am always looking out for. Some places do it honorably.. Others, not so much. Brewhous is the real deal.

Schnitzel, brats, spaetzle… all of it made from scratch. I felt like I was back in Germany. 

Don’t miss the pretzel, too. It’s made at Bluff View Bakery, back across the bridge, but served with a series of scratch-made sides that will have you saying, “Danke schön” and shopping for lederhosen.

Yes, it’s a bar. Yes, the kids are welcome. We had a great time with them out on the patio (and Fido is welcome there, too.)

TACO MAMACITA

This is a great lunch stop (though it works for dinner, too.) Taco Mamacita offers more than tacos, but the tacos are so good we overlook everything else. 

Grab two tacos with a side; the plantains are my fave, though the jalapeno corn slaw is jammin’ as well. And if you can, plan for a Sunday lunch because sangrias are ½ price after 11:30am.

Oh! And do not forget to order the mango salsa to start your meal. You can thank me later.

RIVER STREET DELI**

A long-time staple in Chattanooga, River Street Deli is where to go when you’re looking for authentic New York style subs.

I’m partial to the Reuben, but when it’s cold outside you’ll want to try the hot corned beef. 

River Street is “to-go” only right now, but it makes for a great option when visiting the park. Just remember they close at 3pm most days (4pm on Saturdays) so put them down for a lunch date.

EMBARGO 62**

We’ve visited New York, Germany, Mexico… and now it’s time for Cuban at Embargo 62!

If you're just stopping in for a cocktail and a snack, then order the empanadas, for sure. Lunch? You’ll want the Cuban with plantain chips (and still, an empanada.)

If you’re visiting mid-week (Wednesdays are best) then come to dinner, salsa lessons and live music after 6pm… and for your meal the Lechon is what to order… a mojo marinated pork shoulder with sides.

MILK & HONEY**

Milk & Honey is owned by the same company as Taco Mamacita (and is just a few doors down). It’s a go-to brunch spot you’re gonna love. Start with a mimosa - but not just a traditional one. You can pick from juices like Liquid Gold (pineapple, ginger, mango and apple) or Ruby Red grapefruit… and more.

If you’re feeling the “lunch” side of brunch then start with the burrata and fig - maybe throw in a fried chicken sandwich. 

Need a “breakfast” start then I say you need the Dirty Benny (as in benedict) with red-eye gravy. And whatever you do - no matter the time - make sure you grab some homemade gelato. Love me some blueberry buttermilk!

JULIE DARLING**

On this last visit our friends introduced us to Julie Darling Donuts, right across from River Street Deli. It’s not a fancy place, but a few donut holes from here were exactly what we needed to push thru to our next Chattanooga adventure.

MEAN MUG COFFEEHOUSE

We love that Mean Mug, a Chattanooga-based company you can also find in Georgia, roasts their own beans! You can grab bagels, sandwiches and pastries here, too, if you want a quick meal with your (delish!) coffee. I love that they have a paleo breakfast option, too.

Can’t make it to the Northshore but need a coffee fix? They are also on the Southside and out near Bella Vista.

CHATTANOOGA RESTAURANTS IN THE SOUTHSIDE DISTRICT

21 Best Chattanooga Restaurants by Neighborhood (Bring Your Appetite!)
P

STATE OF CONFUSION** (OUR TOP SOUTHSIDE PICK)

State of Confusion’s “Latin America meets the Old South” restaurant is quite possibly my favorite restaurant in all of Chattanooga. Not just for the food, but also the vibe, the aesthetic, the layout… and yeah, the food plays a major part.

There are three spaces… an indoor bar (this is where we ate because the space can easily accommodate large parties, too), the main indoor space (very rustic and relaxing), and an outdoor area with fire pits, games, pet-friendly patio, etc.

The food is sensational. I highly recommend the ceviche sampler.. I ate it as a full meal, but if you’re sharing with the table then order the paella for your dinner, with scallops, shrimp, mussels and more. Less adventurous eaters will love the skirt steak, which still brings the Latin flavors, as it’s topped with chimmichurri sauce.

Make a reservation here. You don’t want to visit Chattanooga without trying this restaurant!

STIR**

Stir is where all the beautiful people dine on the weekends - you’ll find tons of locals here, even though the restaurant is located in the more “touristy” Chattanooga Choo Choo station. 

I love a good raw bar, and Stir is known for their seafood cold bar with oysters on the half-shell. Yum! If you need something more, try the Scallop & Shrimp White Cheddar Mac & Cheese with truffle oil or the Steakhouse Burger with pimento cheese.

I don’t want to miss telling you about their cocktails. These aren’t just an afterthought (the name is STIR after all.) They make their own bitters and syrups here (But who am I kidding? I like my Whistlepig Rye straight up.) 

And.. artisanal ice! Yes, it’s a thing. They hand-cut your cubes, and the quality truly makes a difference in your cocktail.

MAIN STREET MEATS**

Butcher meets whiskey, and Main Street Meats is born. Yes, it is part butchery… but also part restaurant (and bar) and that makes it extra special.

The butcher-select steak is always going to be the right answer. It comes with fries, but you’re going to want to add the beet salad with goat cheese.

FEED TABLE & TAVERN**

Feed Table & Tavern is the ideal family restaurant. It’s rustic and homey in the old historic Chattanooga's Seed-Feed Supply Co space - but elevated. Bring the whole family for live music, the game room, trivia…

Dishes like cornmeal fried catfish, short rib pot roast, and Wagyu meatloaf (and the amazing staff) will have you coming back again and again. 

SLICK’S BURGERS**

If you want something more casual, fast and easy - without sacrificing flavor - then head to Slicks for a burger stack. They’ve also got salads, wraps, chicken, and a full bar.

BLUEGRASS GRILL**

It might look unassuming from the outside, but bring your appetite, friend, because this breakfast commands everything you can offer.

Bluegrass Grill does the staples, and does them right. Omelets, pancakes, French toast, grits, biscuits and gravy… you name it.

FROTHY MONKEY

Frothy Monkey, inside the Chattanooga Choo Choo, next to STIR, is another great breakfast spot. The coffee here is terrific and it comes from a Nashville coffeehouse.

DOWNTOWN/ARTS DISTRICT

21 Best Chattanooga Restaurants by Neighborhood (Bring Your Appetite!)
pasta the way you want it at Tony's Pasta Shop

TONY’S PASTA SHOP & TRATTORIA** (OUR TOP DOWNTOWN PICK)

This last visit to Chattanooga was our first time visiting Tony’s Pasta Shop and I can guarantee you we will be back again (and again.)

Let’s talk location. To be fair, this isn’t exactly in Downtown. It’s in the Arts District, but just adjacent to Downtown - across the street. And because it’s SO delicious, we’re adding it here.

It’s casual, romantic, family-friendly… all wrapped into one relaxing atmosphere. If you visit in late Spring, then ask to sit on the upper patio, with views of the outdoor River View sculpture Gallery.

Now let’s talk food. The bread they greet you with is from Bluff View Bakery (right next door) and the olive oil is high-quality. Try not to overindulge so you can enjoy dinner. It will be a challenge.

The kids will love the build-your-own-pasta bowls: Pick your pasta, pick your sauce, pick any add-ons. They’ve got a build-your-own-pizza option, as well. (And a kids’ menu for the young ones)

I love seafood, so my favorite was the Low Country Linguine - peppered noodles, crawfish, cajun alfredo, and mushrooms. Dan picked the baked penne, which was also amazing - especially the sausage.

There is also a gluten-safe menu, delightful wines, and more. I HIGHLY recommend a stop at Tony’s!

PUCKETT’S GROCERY & RESTAURANT

Several years ago we stopped into Puckett’s on the way to Grandma's house, and picked up a fantastic “to-go” Thanksgiving dinner. We’ve been fans ever since.

This time, we elected to try it for breakfast, and we were not disappointed. I’ll also mention that this is a super option if you have early-morning tickets to the aquarium.

Celebrate their sense of BBQ with the Smoked Brisket Hash .. or go all-in on the sweets like my kids did, with a cinnamon roll as big as your face, cooked up in a deep-dish cast iron skillet. 

CHAMPY’S FRIED CHICKEN

No trip to Chattanooga is complete without a visit to Champy’s “World Famous” Fried Chicken. You’ll find them all around Tennessee and Alabama these days, but it all began in The Scenic City.

So yes, you’ve gotta get a plate of chicken. It comes with sides. But don’t stop there. My parents grew up in the Mississippi Delta where tamales are king - and the hand rolled Delta Tamales here are exhibit #1 to their greatness. Grab a stack and share them with the table (or don’t share - there’s no judgment here.)

PUBLIC HOUSE**

Public House is one of the most talked-about restaurants in Downtown, and with good reason. The ingredients here are sourced from trusted fishmongers, local farmers, dairy barns and butchers.

There are no white table cloths and stuffy wait staff, but I’d still call it fine dining, and suggest you come without the kids. The dishes are sultry in nature, and you’re going to want to give all your attention to every morsel. Oh, and the wine list.

You can grab an entree per person here, like the Sautéed Carolina Trout or the Red Wine Braised Pot Roast. But there is something special about ordering from the snacks, starters and charcuterie section of the menu.

You’ll get more nibbles on small plates, and truly grab a taste of Chef Lindley’s personality. Grilled BBQ Heirloom Carrots, Sautéed Sea Scallops, Braised Pork Belly with pepper jelly… you get the idea.

UNIVERSAL JOINT**

Universal Joint feels like a small-town neighborhood restaurant, right in the Downtown district. And we love that the patio is dog-friendly. It’s built in an old gas station, with a covered area, open-air seats, and huge glass “garage doors” that go up when the temps cooperate.

The menu is robust, but let’s be real. This is a place you get a burger and fries (tots if you must) and an ice cold beer. Enjoy the sunshine and the people-watching, and just relax.

ST ELMO

21 Best Chattanooga Restaurants by Neighborhood (Bring Your Appetite!)
The Etouffee at 1885 Grill is my fave.

1885 GRILL

Created by Miguel Morales, the dishes at 1885 Grill showcase his childhood on the South Carolina coast -  and the influence of his parents Spanish and Puerto Rican heritage. 

Start with the pimento cheese and fried okra appy! My kids also recommend the hushpuppies with honey butter, too. (Yes, there is a kids’ menu)

The Shrimp and Crawfish Étouffée is my favorite here, because it’s hard to find it done right on the mainland, and 1885 does! Crabcakes, burger, steak frites… it’s all delicious here.

THE PURPLE DAISY PICNIC CAFÉ**

If you’re looking for something more “fast casual” then Purple Daisy is the answer. It’s one of those places that most tourists don’t know about, so it’s generally not packed like other places in this area. And it’s easy to spot the purple building.

The food is sensational, though. It’s more than just BBQ here, but if you love some pulled pork, they have it every which way: tacos, stuffed baked potato, quesadilla, nachos, or just on a sandwich. 

Get the hashbrown casserole as a side… and save room for that banana pudding.

Follow us here: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube | MSN | TripAdvisor | Flipboard

All articles belong to 365 Atlanta Family LLC, and all photos belong to us as well, unless otherwise noted. It’s all copyrighted. Please don’t repost anything elsewhere without asking me first. All rights reserved. This site uses cookies to enhance your experience.

We make no guarantees of any price listed on our site. We are not responsible for content on external web sites linked from ours, including linked resources, an external blog post, any partner site, hotel property sites, or affiliate sites. We only write about places we love in an attempt to help you in your adventures, but we can’t guarantee you will love them, too.

Posts may contain affiliate links at no cost to you. Several of our trips are also compensated by the respective tourism boards for the city or state we are visiting. This never impacts how we share the destination with you – opinions are always our own and we pride ourselves on that. We do not sell links or accept unsolicited guest posts under any circumstances. Don’t even ask.

United States Copyright, 365 Atlanta Family, LLC

View our Privacy Policy | Subscribe to our Newsletter | Contact Site Owner | View Terms & Conditions | About Us

21 Best Chattanooga Restaurants by Neighborhood (Bring Your Appetite!)