Food + Drinks

Local Flavors Meet Global Influences in Culinary Showcase

While Chattanooga doesn’t have the same size and scale of some of the other powerhouse cities throughout the Southeast, that hasn’t kept it from gaining esteem as one of the top places to visit for stand-out dining. Whether you are looking for a relaxed lakeside eatery to grab lunch or in search of a romantic date-night locale, the Scenic City won’t disappoint. Restaurants and bars scattered throughout the city have been recognized on lists that range from 100 Best Restaurants Worth Splurging On and 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America to Best New Bars in the South and Best New Craft Distillery. In fall 2021, Forbes even cited the city’s diverse dining as one of the top reasons to visit Chattanooga. Food and beverage aficionados will be right at home with new flavors and dishes around every corner.

Chattanooga is no stranger to fine dining, and a handful of area restaurants offer up delectable dishes, a stunning ambience, and top-notch customer service. Steakhouses, seafood, and pasta establishments dominate this category, and several of these restaurants boast award-winning chefs who make quality ingredients, unique pairings, and beautiful presentations part of their life’s work. Knowledgeable beverage professionals are happy to make suggestions and answer questions when it comes to the perfect artisanal cocktail or glass of fine wine to accompany any meal. 

For those seeking something a little more informal, there’s no shortage of delicious dining options that range from pizza and burger joints to barbecue and Mexican eateries. These restaurants are great for grabbing dinner with the family or entertaining friends over a long weekend, and some restaurants offer an added dose of fun with games, shows, or trivia. For sports fans, there are plenty of spots to grab a cold one and cheer for their favorite team, and for those trying to please a crowd, Market South and Proof Bar + Incubator are great options that allow you to order from multiple restaurant concepts without ever leaving your table. Many of the city’s more casual restaurants offer extensive menus with a regional Southern flair for an authentic experience. 

While Chattanooga may have once catered to the likes and dislikes of Tennesseans and those who paid a visit, the city now reflects an appreciation for foods and flavors from around the world. Patrons can find cuisines including Thai, Mexican, Korean, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Caribbean, Vietnamese, and Peruvian, among others. These restaurants pay homage to far-flung destinations with their distinguished lineup of flavor-packed food and time-honored cooking traditions. In addition to made-to-order meals, numerous markets scattered throughout the city make it a breeze to create international dishes at home. 

Tennessee has long been a leader in the game of distilled spirits, so it’s no surprise that Chattanooga can hold its own when it comes to libations. With the Whiskey Trail running through the heart of the state, whiskey and bourbon dominate the beverage scene, but rums, vodkas, and gins also have their place in the Scenic City. These distilleries – both traditional and micro – feature tried-and-true recipes as well as experimental batches. Some locations delight customers with their tasting rooms, while others make their products available for purchase from local package shops. 

For every distillery in the area, there’s a brewery ready to serve up a pint in style. The ever-growing beer landscape doesn’t just satisfy tastes for one type of tipple. From IPAs and stouts to wheat beers and sours, Chattanooga has it all. Brewmasters in the area expertly execute when it comes to inverting local and regional flavors into their creations, and many breweries partner with area farms and other organizations. Some locations offer up a great place to enjoy a pint while tapping into your competitive side by playing one of their many games, while others serve as a prime place to enjoy a tasting flight paired with quality conversation. In addition to the tasting rooms across the city, Chattanooga also extends its love for beer with numerous taprooms and beer festivals. 

With such refined dining options, it’s only natural that Chattanooga would also have a top-notch wine selection. Whether at restaurants or through elevated package stores and tasting rooms with knowledgeable wine experts, residents and visitors alike can dabble in a variety of wines. Adding to these locales are a handful of wineries, which offer up regional mainstays such as muscadine blends, as well as Catawba-, Niagara-, and concord-forward combinations. Local favorite Wine Over Water also celebrates all things vino and allows patrons of the festival to sample over 100 wines from around the world. 

It’s nearly impossible to step foot into one of Chattanooga’s neighborhoods without finding a highly acclaimed café ready to brew up a morning cup of joe. These vibrant shops are great for a daily drink or a relaxed meeting. The Scenic City’s coffee scene isn’t just limited to cafés, however. Several businesses around town also serve as roasters and oversee the whole production process from bean to cup. Fair-trade concoctions and enthusiastic baristas are commonplace, and the selection of drinks for purchase, as well as retail products, are varied and unique. 

For many residents in the Scenic City, the pristine beauty of the surrounding area is one of the main appeals of living in Chattanooga. That being said, it’s no surprise that local restaurateurs place a similar emphasis on local, sustainable, and ethical options when it comes to stocking their kitchens. This has led to an excellent lineup of farm-to-table dining options where freshness and quality reign over all else and seasonal flavors take center stage. These environmentally conscious dishes not only strengthen ties within the community but also support the local economy. In addition to restaurants leading the charge, several farmers markets showcase the efforts of local farmers and artisans and provide fresh produce, meat, honey, and dairy, among other things. 

While restaurant dining is an experience in and of itself, so too are supper clubs. With a handful of these creative groups operating around town, patrons have access to a unique family-style experience with craft cocktails and decadent dishes at the ready. Often boasting a cozy and intimate atmosphere along with group seating, these events offer themed courses or experimental menu items and frequently serve as a chance for the vendors and chefs that supply and prepare the meal to get vital feedback from consumers.  

For another type of dining experience, residents of Chattanooga can delight in one of the numerous dining clubs in or around the city. Although many of these clubs require membership for entry, patrons won’t be disappointed with the exquisite food options and breathtaking scenery. Commonly situated on golf courses, in penthouses, or atop mountain bluffs, these clubs range from casual to fine dining and exceed expectations by catering to all the senses. 

From family functions and corporate gatherings to large events, the Scenic City boasts an impressive lineup of caterers poised to meet their customers’ needs. Several restaurants around town have stylish mobile offerings that can be driven to event locales, and exclusive caterers often provide custom and sample menus for clients to choose from. Frequently pulling in seasonal ingredients and flavors, the area’s caterers are a great solution for routine meals and festive gatherings alike.

Did you know?

The annual James Beard Awards are presented by the James Beard Foundation to recognize culinary professionals in the United States. The awards recognize chefs, restaurateurs, authors, and journalists around May 5th each year in honor of James Beard’s birthday. A select few of Chattanooga’s chefs have received the award.

Food + Drinks

Chatt Choices™

steak from Ruth's Chris Steakhouse

Ruth’s Chris Steak House

Local Flavors Meet Global Influences in Culinary Showcase

While Chattanooga doesn’t have the same size and scale of some of the other powerhouse cities throughout the Southeast, that hasn’t kept it from gaining esteem as one of the top places to visit for stand-out dining. Whether you are looking for a relaxed lakeside eatery to grab lunch or in search of a romantic date-night locale, the Scenic City won’t disappoint. Restaurants and bars scattered throughout the city have been recognized on lists that range from 100 Best Restaurants Worth Splurging On and 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America to Best New Bars in the South and Best New Craft Distillery. In fall 2021, Forbes even cited the city’s diverse dining as one of the top reasons to visit Chattanooga. Food and beverage aficionados will be right at home with new flavors and dishes around every corner. 

Chattanooga is no stranger to fine dining, and a handful of area restaurants offer up delectable dishes, a stunning ambience, and top-notch customer service. Steakhouses, seafood, and pasta establishments dominate this category, and several of these restaurants boast award-winning chefs who make quality ingredients, unique pairings, and beautiful presentations part of their life’s work. Knowledgeable beverage professionals are happy to make suggestions and answer questions when it comes to the perfect artisanal cocktail or glass of fine wine to accompany any meal. 

For those seeking something a little more informal, there’s no shortage of delicious dining options that range from pizza and burger joints to barbecue and Mexican eateries. These restaurants are great for grabbing dinner with the family or entertaining friends over a long weekend, and some restaurants offer an added dose of fun with games, shows, or trivia. For sports fans, there are plenty of spots to grab a cold one and cheer for their favorite team, and for those trying to please a crowd, Market South and Proof Bar + Incubator are great options that allow you to order from multiple restaurant concepts without ever leaving your table. Many of the city’s more casual restaurants offer extensive menus with a regional Southern flair for an authentic experience. 

While Chattanooga may have once catered to the likes and dislikes of Tennesseans and those who paid a visit, the city now reflects an appreciation for foods and flavors from around the world. Patrons can find cuisines including Thai, Mexican, Korean, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Caribbean, Vietnamese, and Peruvian, among others. These restaurants pay homage to far-flung destinations with their distinguished lineup of flavor-packed food and time-honored cooking traditions. In addition to made-to-order meals, numerous markets scattered throughout the city make it a breeze to create international dishes at home. 

Tennessee has long been a leader in the game of distilled spirits, so it’s no surprise that Chattanooga can hold its own when it comes to libations. With the Whiskey Trail running through the heart of the state, whiskey and bourbon dominate the beverage scene, but rums, vodkas, and gins also have their place in the Scenic City. These distilleries – both traditional and micro – feature tried-and-true recipes as well as experimental batches. Some locations delight customers with their tasting rooms, while others make their products available for purchase from local package shops. 

For every distillery in the area, there’s a brewery ready to serve up a pint in style. The ever-growing beer landscape doesn’t just satisfy tastes for one type of tipple. From IPAs and stouts to wheat beers and sours, Chattanooga has it all. Brewmasters in the area expertly execute when it comes to inverting local and regional flavors into their creations, and many breweries partner with area farms and other organizations. Some locations offer up a great place to enjoy a pint while tapping into your competitive side by playing one of their many games, while others serve as a prime place to enjoy a tasting flight paired with quality conversation. In addition to the tasting rooms across the city, Chattanooga also extends its love for beer with numerous taprooms and beer festivals. 

With such refined dining options, it’s only natural that Chattanooga would also have a top-notch wine selection. Whether at restaurants or through elevated package stores and tasting rooms with knowledgeable wine experts, residents and visitors alike can dabble in a variety of wines. Adding to these locales are a handful of wineries, which offer up regional mainstays such as muscadine blends, as well as Catawba-, Niagara-, and concord-forward combinations. Local favorite Wine Over Water also celebrates all things vino and allows patrons of the festival to sample over 100 wines from around the world. 

It’s nearly impossible to step foot into one of Chattanooga’s neighborhoods without finding a highly acclaimed café ready to brew up a morning cup of joe. These vibrant shops are great for a daily drink or a relaxed meeting. The Scenic City’s coffee scene isn’t just limited to cafés, however. Several businesses around town also serve as roasters and oversee the whole production process from bean to cup. Fair-trade concoctions and enthusiastic baristas are commonplace, and the selection of drinks for purchase, as well as retail products, are varied and unique. 

For many residents in the Scenic City, the pristine beauty of the surrounding area is one of the main appeals of living in Chattanooga. That being said, it’s no surprise that local restaurateurs place a similar emphasis on local, sustainable, and ethical options when it comes to stocking their kitchens. This has led to an excellent lineup of farm-to-table dining options where freshness and quality reign over all else and seasonal flavors take center stage. These environmentally conscious dishes not only strengthen ties within the community but also support the local economy. In addition to restaurants leading the charge, several farmers markets showcase the efforts of local farmers and artisans and provide fresh produce, meat, honey, and dairy, among other things. 

While restaurant dining is an experience in and of itself, so too are supper clubs. With a handful of these creative groups operating around town, patrons have access to a unique family-style experience with craft cocktails and decadent dishes at the ready. Often boasting a cozy and intimate atmosphere along with group seating, these events offer themed courses or experimental menu items and frequently serve as a chance for the vendors and chefs that supply and prepare the meal to get vital feedback from consumers.  

For another type of dining experience, residents of Chattanooga can delight in one of the numerous dining clubs in or around the city. Although many of these clubs require membership for entry, patrons won’t be disappointed with the exquisite food options and breathtaking scenery. Commonly situated on golf courses, in penthouses, or atop mountain bluffs, these clubs range from casual to fine dining and exceed expectations by catering to all the senses. 

From family functions and corporate gatherings to large events, the Scenic City boasts an impressive lineup of caterers poised to meet their customers’ needs. Several restaurants around town have stylish mobile offerings that can be driven to event locales, and exclusive caterers often provide custom and sample menus for clients to choose from. Frequently pulling in seasonal ingredients and flavors, the area’s caterers are a great solution for routine meals and festive gatherings alike.

Did you know?

The annual James Beard Awards are presented by the James Beard Foundation to recognize culinary professionals in the United States. The awards recognize chefs, restaurateurs, authors, and journalists around May 5th each year in honor of James Beard’s birthday. A select few of Chattanooga’s chefs have received the award.