Good Taste is Everywhere in Chattanooga

No matter where you venture—be it restaurants, bars, bakeries, sweet shops, breweries, or distilleries—you’re greeted with culinary experiences of a town with unlimited flavors. From simple and sweet to unimaginably creative and sublime, the city’s restaurants tout chef-driven menus, impeccable service, and unique flavors sure to leave a good taste in your mouth. 

1. Stir Chattanooga

If you’d expect a place with this name to offer 23-year-old Pappy Van Winkle or 18-year-old Whistlepig Rye, you’d be spot-on. Passion for Fine Spirits delivers interesting liquors along with unmatched cocktails, created using house-made 300-pound blocks of artisanal ice, bitters and syrups, and fresh pressed juices. Select from the cold bar’s fresh seafood, or from a menu filled with classic dishes in an atmosphere of genuine hospitality. Located in the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo, Stir offers valet parking and curbside pick-up. Reservations are recommended.

2. Unknown Caller

With its fabulous, ever-changing cocktail, mocktail, and low-alcohol selection, this fun and funky hidden gem is the perfect place for a night out with old friends, and a great place to make new ones. The vibe is laid back, the servers are knowledgeable and super helpful, and the bar selection is over the top. The phone's ringing and it's for you.

3. St. John's Restaurant

Beautifully restored, the flatiron St. John's Hotel building returns to elegance in this upscale restaurant, where the cocktails are refined, the menu is impeccable, and the atmosphere makes every meal a special occasion. Whether your taste runs to fish, fowl, or filet, St. John's has a wine to perfectly complement your selection, with an attention to detail that is truly historic. 

4. Clumpies Ice Cream Company

Take an ice cream mix, pasteurized on-site from fresh milk and cream. Add house-made cookies, cakes, chunks, jams, and sauces swirled and twirled throughout and then churned in small batches, ten gallons or less at a time. If heaven could be served on a stick, in a cone, or cup, you might think you've reached the Pearly Gates. They have all the classic flavors that always make ice cream worth living, plus an ever-changing seasonal array of tastes. Scoop, spoon, eat repeat. Whether you're in the Southside, Northshore, or St. Elmo, there's always a Clumpies near you.

5. Hello Monty 

Created by neighbors for neighbors, you'll feel the love here where a flavorful wood-fired menu, freshly brewed beer, and batch cocktails are served up with a side of Southern hospitality. Don't hesitate to munch on Monty French Toast with a side of roasted brussel sprouts or have a grilled halibut kind of night. Wine, draft beer, cocktails, and a dessert menu worth every calorie make Hello Monty an all-around favorite.

6. Barque BBQ

With locally sourced ingredients, diverse barbecue styles, vegetarian and vegan options, and weekly specials, everyone will feel welcome for dine-in, take-out, online ordering, and catering. Though "barque" is defined as the smoked outside layer on a brisket, you'll find layers of flavor in every single Barque BBQ dish—authentic, barbeque flavor with a tasty dose of Chattanooga.

7. Main Street Meats

Partnering with the area’s highest quality farmers, Main Street Meats sells only the best and purest cuts of meats and other local products. Part neighborhood butcher shop, part restaurant, and bar, this purveyor of provisions is a favorite for locals and a must-hit spot for those just passing through. As farm-to-table as it gets, the innovative approach to whole-animal butchery drives what’s on the menu and on your plate. Sandwiches, salads, large plates, and an extensive beer, wine, and cocktail list make their lunch and dinner menus a dream come true for those who only want the very best.

8. Whiskey Thief

Up on the roof of The Edwin Hotel, you’ll have the best seat in the city to enjoy the view and the highest quality cocktails, libations, and bites at Whiskey Thief. Expect small plates bursting with Appalachian flavor paired with the highest quality libations, and Tennessee’s signature spirit celebrated nightly. Whatever your preference, with fine whiskeys, and artful and sophisticated drinks, you just have to wish to make it so - up on the roof. 

9. Calliope

Jordanian Chef Khaled AlBanna brings a unique blend of flavors and traditions to the table at this upscale Levantine eatery, where his food is a delicious reflection of his journey and culinary expertise. Employing the open-fire cooking and traditional Levant culture and traditions learned at his mother’s side, Chef AlBanna offers the perfect ambiance and atmosphere for a night out, a special occasion, or a desire for an exquisite cultural experience at Calliope.

10. Champy’s World Famous Fried Chicken

Successfully feeding the masses with the family’s secret recipe chicken for 40 years says something about a place. It’s Mississippi Delta magic in your mouth, and every bite is filled with hot, fresh, unbelievable flavor. Don’t stop at chicken! The legendary side items and desserts get that same hand-made love. Casual, comfortable, and family-friendly – the beer is cold and the chicken is hot. With locations downtown, in East Ridge, and near Hamilton Place, drop in to the location nearest you.

11. Little Coyote

Described as an ode to smoked meats and tortillas, Chef Erik Niel’s newest restaurant might better be described as a love song. Texas Barbecue, Cuban, Caribbean, and Southwestern cuisines are delivered via tortillas, against a setting that makes dining an actual trip. Their cocktail program highlights riffs on classics, such as Ranch Water, Margaritas, and Palomas, with an Oaxacan Old Fashioned that might make you howl. Little Coyote doesn't take reservations, so hop on the wait list right away.

Chattanooga is a city with a small-town sense hospitali.ty, and we want every guest to feel that. We believe in what we’re doing, and really care that you have a good time when youcome in.

-Mixologist,Garth Poe 

12. Chattanooga Whiskey

After a long, dry, flavorless one hundred years that left Chattanooga parched, distilling returned in 2015 thanks to Chattanooga Whiskey. The rest is award-winning history, and the brown branch water is now celebrated with Chattanooga-made malts, experimental batches, and single barrels that make all the waiting worthwhile. Served wherever discerning palates demand the best. The Experimental Distillery, open to the public for tours and tastings, pushes the boundaries of whiskey-making, crafting one-of-a-kind whiskeys that can’t be found anywhere else.

13. Easy Bistro & Bar

Taste the freshest seafood around in the raw bar or select from the shareable menu for a wondrous variety of combinations, from spiced sweet potato soup (our favorite!) to whole roasted American red snapper. Indulge in mixologist-curated craft and draft cocktails (try the Nah-garitaville Zero-Proof ), a vast wine selection, and more than 300 whiskeys from all over the world. Reservations are recommended.

14 . Visit a Brewery


Traditional German Lagers, historic Trappist Ales, mixed-culture Sour Ales, dessert-inspired Stouts, and more.

Hutton & Smith  

Enjoy flights and pints in the Hutton & Smith taproom, or pick up a six-pack, crawler, growler, or keg to-go.

Wanderlinger Brewing Co.

A locally owned and operated craft brewery featuring a taproom, live music, food, and local art. Scan this code for more great breweries. 

More Craft Cocktails

Company Chattanooga

Located inside the Kinley Chattanooga Southside Hotel, an exclusive retreat with an eclectic atmosphere and innovative craft cocktails.

Matilda Midnight

Craft cocktails & bar bites are served in a fashionable, cozy bar with retro styling located inside The Dwell Hotel.

Frazier Five & Dime

A unique spin on high-end, yet fun, featuring an eclectic menu of house-craft modern cocktails and upfitted classics.

Bar & Billiards Room

This cocktail bar, located off the grand lobby of The Read House Hotel, boasts a speakeasy tone, but is easily accessible to locals and guests seeking handcrafted aperitifs and timeless affairs.

Chattanooga Travel Inspiration Magazine

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A version of this story was previously published in the 2024 edition of our Travel Inspiration Magazine.

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