With all the fun things to do in Chattanooga, you’re sure to eventually work up an appetite.
Lucky for you, there are tons of places to eat in Chattanooga, regardless if you’re into burgers, barbecue, or something more exotic.
The typical lists you might find online likely highlight the more touristy places in town. Those are great, too…but we wanted to focus on establishments with more of a local flavor.
Since you’re probably starving, we’ll get right to naming our picks for the best restaurants in Chattanooga:
Tremont Tavern: There are several Chattanooga restaurants that can legitimately lay claim to the city’s best burger. One of these is the Tremont Tavern. In addition to their hunger crushing Tremont Burger, they offer a full selection of microbrew beers, an open mic night, and plenty of TVs that are typically tuned into the day’s top sporting events. Learn more.
The Blue Plate:
With chicken and waffles establishing itself among the more popular southern breakfast dishes, it would make sense that a brunch place would take a spot on our list. The Blue Plate actually does theirs with a tiny twist, by offering their chicken with pancakes. Regardless, it’s really good, as is their coffee. The best part is that they are located steps from the Chattanooga Riverwalk, so after breakfast you can take a stroll to burn off the calories. Learn more.
Housed in a renovated gas station, this North Chattanooga establishment is also a great place to go for brunch, especially if you would like a cocktail with your eggs. They offer 12 different brunch cocktails, which range from the “Basic Bloody” to the more daring “Whiskey n’ Bacon,” “Daily Paloma,” “Cucumber 75,” and “Cinnamon Toast Crunch” (which pairs vodka with maple syrup). The “Breakfast Plate” is a safe bet for food. If you’re more of a risk taker, try the “Delhi Me In,” which features garlic chickpea pancakes. Learn more.
Everyone knows the best barbecue comes from the shabbiest looking establishments. Such is the case with Shuford’s Smokehouse’s, who ply their trade in two shack-like locations, one of which is windowless and looks more like a storage building than a restaurant. Looks can be deceiving, however, as Shuford’s can always be counted on to serve up meaty deliciousness. Our recommendation is the brisket sandwich topped with slaw, a side of tater tots, and a sweet tea. Learn more.
Lupi’s Pizza Pies:
People have differing opinions about pizza, for sure. But among the locals, Lupi’s Pizza Pies consistently is ranked among the favorites. One of the reasons is that they operate their own farm (called the Flying Turtle), where they grow a lot of the fresh vegetables and meats used in their toppings and salads. Other ingredients are sourced from local farms as well, and they bring in fresh and organic ingredients even when they are out of season locally. Lupi’s must be on to something because in 22 years they’ve grown from a single downtown location to five in the area. Learn more.
If the weather is nice, it’s hard to beat Slick’s Burgers for ambience. It features plenty of outdoor seating, plus an indoor area with large open windows and an “outdoor” feel accentuated by a vintage travel trailer that serves as the kitchen. Burgers, fries, and beers are definitely the thing to order. And thanks to the airy environment (and occasional live music) you’ll probably want to stay awhile. Learn more.
The Casual Pint:
If beer is the main course and food is the side dish, The Casual Pint should definitely be on your radar. They offer a revolving assortment of local and regionally brewed beers on tap and available for growlers, plus an even larger assortment in cans and bottles sold for carryout. The food – typical bar fare like wings, pretzels, wraps, and flatbread pizzas – is tasty, well prepared, and pairs well with the beverages. Other attractions include live music and a really good room for darts. Learn more.
If all those burgers, beers, and slices of pizza make you want to eat something light, Southern Squeeze is worth a look. This all-natural, cold-pressed organic juice bar and vegan cafe offers a variety of freshly made juices plus breakfast bowls, smoothies, “wellness lattes,” specialty toasts, standard coffees and teas, and more. They have a downtown location as well as one in North Chattanooga. Learn more.
Since our list hasn’t yet featured a “nice” restaurant, we’d like to highlight FoodWorks. They specialize in (according to their website) “…‘progressive southern’ cuisine with global influences showcasing our culinary team’s ability to put new spins on old classics.” What that means in practice is an eclectic menu that ranges from cuban sandwiches to Asian salads to fish tacos to burgers to catfish po’ boys to lasagna to steaks. In other words, if you’re bringing a group of people with a lot of different tastes, there’s probably something on the menu for everyone to like. Learn more.
The Big Chill & Grill: Winner winner chicken…ummm…lunch. The Big Chill & Grill offers dinner, brunch, and a bar. But we’ll cut to the chase. Stop by for lunch and get the Chicken Fried Chicken N’ White Gravy (which only appears on their lunch menu). It comes with deviled eggs, two sides (we’d recommend fried okra and skin-on mashed potatoes), and you can wash it down with a sweet tea for the total southern experience. If you want to eat something else, you can (we don’t judge). You can also enjoy their “no talent required” Tuesday karaoke night and team trivia on Thursdays. Learn more.
We hope these recommendations keep you well fed when visiting Chattanooga! And if you’re looking to relocate, you can trust Joe Leffew Properties to find you the perfect home.