Chattanooga may be an oasis of outdoor adventure (it's the only city to win the title of "Best Town Ever" twice by Outdoor Magazine), but the city also keeps its travelers and locals full and happy with restaurants that provide exceptional dishes. Wherever you go, you're sure to find fresh food, friendly service and to-die-for dishes. Dine at these establishments next time you're in town, and find out why this Made in Tennessee city lives up to its title.
If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, don't do your body a disservice by missing out on Aretha Frankensteins. Large stacks of pancakes and heaping portions of powder-sugared French toast, bacon and cheese omelets, and country ham with eggs are the norm. Hungry, yet? Order the Jabber omelet (refried beans, beef with three large eggs, topped with lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream and salsa) or the Elephants Gerald (a Belgian waffle with vanilla ice cream and pecans in syrup with a dusting of cinnamon).
Aretha Frankensteins is located at 518 Tremont St., Chattanooga, TN 37405.
Milk & Honey
Serving up breakfast and homemade pastries, Milk & Honey is your go-to establishment for fresh, authentic dishes like the Elvis (peanut butter, carmelized banana, local honey on ciabatta bread), sausage and pepper hash, the farmhouse biscuit (Benton's bacon, tomato jam, Milk & Honey sausage, arugula, white cheddar, onions, shallots and egg on a homemade buttermilk biscuit) or the Muesli power bowl (overnight oats, granola, local honey, Greek yogurt, seeds, nuts, coconut milk and vanilla). Take a hot or iced coffee and a pastry, scone or cookie to go for the complete experience.
Milk & Honey is located at 135 North Market St., Chattanooga, TN 37405.
Mean Mug Coffeehouse
For a lighter breakfast option, head to Mean Mug Coffeehouse for Paleo-friendly options, biscuits, quiche, buttermilk waffles and a plethora of coffee, teas, and even golden lattes (turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, honey and vanilla), pink lattes (beet root, ginger, honey, almond or coconut milk, and orange) and matcha. Grab an egg and avocado toast or the smoked salmon bagel with whipped feta, arugula, tomato and green onion for a great start to the day.
Mean Mug Coffeehouse is located at 114 W. Main St., Chattanooga, TN 37408 and 205 Manufacturers Rd. Suite 109, Chattanooga, TN 37405.
Feed Co. Table & Tavern
A laid-back atmosphere greets you as tavern-style, no-fuss, farm-fresh food is cooked to your liking at Feed Co. Table & Tavern. Choose from beer battered cod in the Fish + Chips or the 20-hour brisket French dip sandwich and 8-hour smoked pork sandwich. You'll find an unforgettable lunch experience in this restaurant.
Feed Co. Table & Tavern is located at 201 West Main St., Chattanooga, TN 37408.
Sometimes you need tacos and margaritas and Taco Mamacita delivers with an extensive list of made-to-order tacos stuffed with fresh ingredients. Try the Taco Royale (double-stacked taco with chicken, lettuce, pico de gallo, salsa verde, chroizo, black bean mash and chipotle cream sauce) or The Memphis (slow braised pork, chopped dill pickle, jalapeno corn claw, white onion, dry rub seasoning and barbecue sauce) or the Vegetarian Jerk (Baribbean jerk sauce over sauteed plantains, shredded cabbage, mango salsa, refried black beans and peach aioli). Pair with The Elvez (a classic margarita) and you have the makings of a great lunch.
Taco Mamacita is located at 109 N Market St., Chattanooga, TN 37405.
The Blue Plate
Homegrown ingredients are found in every recipe at The Blue Plate. Serving up all-day breakfast, lunch and dinner, all your cravings are satisfied when you order the loaded grilled cheese (a grilled cheese stuffed with barbecue pork, mac n' cheese and American cheese served on local white bread) or the double stack cheese burger (two beef patties, house spread, American cheese, fresh pickles on a toasted local bun) or the Blue Plate Hot Brown (house roasted turkey, cheese sauce, applewood bacon, oven-roasted tomatoes and Parmesan and parsley on a toasted local brioche bun). You'll leave satisfied and mentally planning your second trip there.
The Blue Plate is located at 191 Chestnut St., Chattanooga, TN 37402.
Flying Squirrel Bar
Sip some seasonal cocktails before dinner at Flying Squirrel Bar. Real fruits, herbs and vegetables naturally flavor the spirits, giving a truly refreshing taste with each sip. Try a house cocktail like the Heart of Gold (Isle of Skye scotch, flavored with lemon, thyme, sugar, Boston bitters, and yellow chartreuse) or Ms. Beauregarde (gin infused with cucumber and enhanced with crème de violette, lemon and lavender syrup).
The Flying Squirrel Bar is located at 555 Johnson St., Chattanooga, TN 37408.
The Bitter Alibi
A warm atmosphere, craft beer and inventive cocktails are served at The Bitter Alibi. Here, you'll find an array of local beers to choose from while relaxing and talking to the locals. They offer small plates like hummus, quesadillas and dumblings as well as a full lunch, dinner and brunch menu where beermosas, seasonal sangria and even Wake 'N Bacon (whiskey, orange juice, maple syrup, honey and topped with a strip of bacon).
The Bitter Alibi is located at 825 Houston St., Chattanooga, TN 37403.
Public House Chattanooga
Have a drink in this airy space filled with natural light, bites, and delicious cocktails. Public House Chattanooga serves up seasonal sangria, a variety of wines, local beers and inventive cocktails. "A Choo Choo Named Desire" includes vodka, soda and mint julep syrup while A Bittersweet Chap has bourbon, amaretto, lime juice, angostura bitters and orgeat. Whatever you're feeling, Public House can make a cocktail that fits your tastes.
Public House Chattanooga is located at 1110 Market St. Chattanooga, TN 37402.
Sink your teeth into some of the best barbecue around at Sugar's Ribs. Barbecue spare ribs are available in the half or full slab (you'll want the full) along with brisket, chicken, smoked sausage and pork. Tacos, potato nachos and salads are also available. Choose sides like fire roasted jalapenos, spicy vinegar slaw, spice okra chips, mac-n-cheese, fire roasted corn cobb and more.
Sugar's Ribs is located at 2450 15th Ave. Chattanooga, TN 37404.
Easy Bistro & Bar
Easy Bistro & Bar features Southern comfort foods presented in an upscale way. Start off your meal with an order of grilled oysters, cornbread and house pickles or steak tartare. Indulge in the shrimp and grits, "grand-mere" (chicken, mushroom, onion, bacon and yukon potato) or the brisket served with crushed potatoes, onion and green beans. Save room for dessert to try the bourbon bread pudding or cheesecake.
Easy Bistro & Bar is located at 203 Broad St, Chattanooga, TN 37402.
If you're craving a can't-beat burger, head to Urban Stack where certified Angus beef with no hormones or antibiotics is used to craft juicy burgers like The Big Cheese (Chipotle ketchup, your choice of cheese, balsamic onions, lettuce, onions and tomato) or Good Day, Sunshine (a burger topped bacon, a fried egg, white vinegar mayo, white cheddar cheese, lettuce and tomato) are great choices. There are also turkey, chicken and even vegan burgers as well. For families, kids eat free 4-10 p.m. when they wear an Urban Stack t-shirt on Mondays.
Urban Stack is located at 12 W 13th St. Chattanooga, TN 37402.
The Hot Chocolatier
Step into this confection heaven and you might think you walked through the Pearly Gates themselves. Pastries, desserts, chocolates and even chocolate sculptures are created at The Hot Chocolatier. Watch chocolatiers work their magic in the kitchens, creating beautiful and tasty masterpieces for you to enjoy.
The Hot Chocolatier is located at 1437 Market St., Chattanooga, TN 37402.
Clumpies Ice Cream Co.
Clumpies Ice Cream Co. dishes out creative flavors to its four locations around the city as patrons just can't get enough. When you try a scoop or two from Clumpies, you'll understand the obsession. Savor flavors like whiskey caramel cornflake crunch, chai, campfire, peanut butter oatmeal cookie dough, banana bread and more. They also have traditional flavors like creamy vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and mint chocolate chunk.
Clumpies Ice Cream Co. is located at 26 Frazier Ave. Chattanooga, TN 37405; 1401 Market St. Chattanooga, TN 37402; 3917 St. Elmo Ave. Chattanooga, TN 37409; and 1110 E. Brow Rd. Lookout Mountain, TN 37350 (Closed until Spring 2019).
Julie Darling Donuts
Experimenting new flavors and products are a specialty at Julie Darling Donuts which stays open 7 p.m. Mondays to Thursdays and 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Donut flavors like pancakes & bacon, blueberry, chocolate, Oreo, salted caramel, apple pie filled and banana split filled are ready for you to order.
Read Tennessee photographer, Chuck Sutherland's favorite Made in Tennessee places to shoot great photos.