Chattanooga for Early Birds

Here in the Scenic City, the early bird gets the worm, and why not a cup of coffee while they’re at it? We scouted out some local spots that open their doors before the sun rises, for those of you who are up and at ‘em while the city still sleeps.

Person holding Sunny Side Cup of coffee in front of sunrise.

For Your Morning Cup of Joe

Opens at 6 a.m. Monday-Friday; 7 a.m. Saturday & Sunday

With locations in Red Bank, Northshore, and Highland Park, Be Caffeinated makes grabbing an early morning cup of coffee convenient no matter which side of town you’re on. The coffee shop also rotates selections of locally made pastries and breakfast goods to accompany your beverage. Make sure to check out their signature latte menu, which features crowd-pleasing flavor combos and punny names like “Chattahooligan” and “Blueberry Moc-iatto” (Go Mocs!).

Opens at 6:30 a.m. Monday-Friday; 9 a.m. Saturday; closed Sunday

Nestled in the heart of downtown, Cadence Coffee on East 7th Street is a welcoming space to meet with fellow early risers or enjoy some quiet time alone. Order espresso in your favorite format and browse the tasty offerings in the display case. For Signal Mountain residents who can spare the extra 30 minutes, check out Cadence’s Mayfly location, which opens at 7 a.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. on the weekend.

Opens at 6 a.m. Monday-Friday; 7:30 a.m. Saturday; closed Sunday

This drive-thru-only coffee shop with a location on Broad Street and another at the base of Signal Mountain is the perfect pitstop on your way into town. Sunnyside Cup sources locally, serving coffee from Goodman Expert Coffee Roasters and baked goods from Niedlov’s Breadworks. Make sure to grab a rewards program card and hold onto the stickers that come with your order – if you collect 11 stickers, you’ll score a free drink!

Opens at 6 a.m. Monday-Friday; 7 a.m. Saturday & Sunday

For those passing through Ooltewah on their commute into Chattanooga, Wired Coffee Bar is a quick detour away. A wide selection of flavor additions and milk alternatives means you can customize any drink to your liking – and if a plain coffee is more your style, they’ve got that, too. Pick up a baked good for breakfast on the go, or grab a snack for later.

Breakfast and biscuits sitting at a vintage green booth from Milk and Honey

For a Hot Breakfast to Fuel Your Day

Open 24 hours

For those up before even the earliest of eateries, City Cafe will always have its doors open. Its downtown, East Brainerd, and Cleveland locations all boast an extensive menu full of any breakfast item your heart desires. Try the City Cafe breakfast special, or check out the long list of specialty omelets. If you can’t resist trying a slice from one of the show-stopping cakes in the display cases, we don’t blame you.

Opens at 6 a.m. Monday-Friday; closed Saturday & Sunday

Tucked away at the base of the Pioneer Building in City Center, this family-owned joint declares itself the “best-kept secret in Chattanooga,” and we’re letting you in on it. The old-school mom and pop dishes up breakfast classics, from biscuits and gravy to delicious pancakes. If you want comfort food, Innside Restaurant has you covered.

Opens at 6 a.m. Monday-Friday; 7 a.m. Saturday; 8 a.m. Sunday

A staple in the Northshore neighborhood since 1959, the Longhorn Restaurant serves up homestyle breakfasts from its quaint location on North Market Street. Longhorn is best known for its signature breakfast dish, Eggs Longhorn, along with affordable platters with all the fixings. Grab a booth or claim a barstool and enjoy an authentic diner experience.

Opens at 6 a.m.

By offering both a full espresso and breakfast menu, Milk & Honey has early birds’ backs. Split some honey butter biscuits or shakshuka with a friend, or peruse the breakfast sandwich menu, which features options like a fried chicken biscuit and nova lox bagel. With elevated ingredients and a trendy Northshore location, Milk & Honey can help you start your day on a positive (and delicious) note.

Arial view of coolidge park

For Getting Your Steps In

Coolidge Park opens at 7 a.m.; Renaissance Park opens at 6 a.m.

These neighboring parks are landmarks on Chattanooga’s Northshore and offer close-up views of the Tennessee River. Coolidge Park features an expansive lawn and network of sidewalks, which connect into the largely forested Renaissance Park. For those with a leashed furry friend in tow, it’s worth nothing that Coolidge Park prohibits pets, while Renaissance Park is a pet-friendly option.

Open 24 hours

Residents of East Chattanooga can now visit the recently completed South Chickamauga Creek Greenway. Beginning at Camp Jordan in East Ridge, the nearly 13-mile trail leads to the Tennessee River and passes under train tracks and over wetlands. The greenway connects to the Tennessee Riverwalk, providing early birds with a combined 26 miles to choose from for some morning exercise.

Open 24 hours

The Tennessee River is one of the many features that gives Chattanooga its nickname of Scenic City, and the Tennessee Riverwalk lets you start your morning alongside it. This 13-mile path stretches from Wheland Foundry to the Chickamauga Dam and has over a dozen entry points.The Tennessee Riverwalk runs through the heart of downtown, passing by scenic spots to stop and rest including the Bluff View Art District and Ross’s Landing.

Open 24 hours

Those who rise before the sun get to, in turn, watch the sun rise, and the Walnut Street Bridge offers front-row seats. Park nearby and take a casual stroll on the bridge to enjoy a sunrise over the Tennessee River, or incorporate the viewing into a morning run by utilizing the bridge’s proximity to Coolidge and Renaissance Parks and the Tennessee Riverwalk.

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