The 10 Best Restaurants in Chattanooga TN for Foodies

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After 7 years working in the restaurant industry and nearly 30 years of reviewing restaurants professionally, I’ve learned a few things about what makes certain eateries more successful than others. 

Good food, fresh ingredients, and a unique menu are obvious must-haves. But there’s also something to be said for innovative interior design, personable staff, and an overall ambience that just makes you feel good.

We’ve visited 50+ mountain towns and reviewed nearly 500 restaurants in the Blue Ridge Mountains over the last 4 years.

In our experience, Chattanooga ranks right up there with towns like Asheville NC, Hendersonville NC, and Blue Ridge GA among the best towns for foodies. 

It’s not just the sheer number of great places to eat in Chattanooga, or the remarkable diversity of cuisines to choose from, but the high caliber of the Chattanooga restaurant scene in general.

Read on for our guide to the best restaurants in Chattanooga TN, including the best bakeries, coffee shops, fine dining, farm-to-table, Italian, Japanese, Mexican, and more!

READ MORE: The 10 Best Things to Do in Chattanooga TN

Are you planning to visit Chattanooga TN?

Check out our recommendations for the best Chattanooga hotels, guided tours, and more!

Best Hotels in Chattanooga TN

  1. The Edwin Hotel (4-star hotel & restaurant with amazing river & bridge views)
  2. The Hotel Chalet at The Choo Choo (upscale Downtown hotel w/train car rooms!)
  3. Hotel Indigo (pet-friendly Chattanooga hotel with great location & breakfast)
  4. Moxy Chattanooga Downtown (chic pet-friendly hotel with a relaxed vibe)

Popular Chattanooga TN Tours & Attractions

  1. Chattanooga: Derailed Trolley Tour & Train Ride (scenic train tour)

  2. Murder & Mayhem Haunted History Walking Tour  (scary haunted history tour!)

  3. Historic Downtown Chattanooga Segway Tour (awesome way to see Downtown Chattanooga)

Need a rental car for exploring Chattanooga? See some great rental car options here!


Best Restaurants in Chattanooga TN Guide

  1. Agave & Rye (Mexican Fusion)
  2. Alleia Restaurant (Italian)
  3. Attack of the Tatsu (Japanese)
  4. The Feed Table & Tavern (American)
  5. Main Street Meats (American)
  6. Milk & Honey (Café)
  7. Niedlov’s Bakery & Café (Baked Goods)
  8. Osaka Sushi & Steakhouse (Japanese)
  9. STIR (American/Raw Bar)
  10. St. John’s Restaurant (Fine Dining)

READ MORE: Christmas in Chattanooga TN: 10 Festive Events Worth Attending

best Mexican restaurants Chattanooga - Tacos at Agave & Rye Restaurant in Chattanooga TN
Happy Pappy Epic Taco at Agave & Rye

1. Agave & Rye

185 Chestnut St, Chattanooga TN • 423-475-6403 • Official Website

HOURS: Sun to Thu 11AM-10PM; Fri & Sat 11AM-11PM

Tucked behind the Tennessee Aquarium, with a view of the Tennessee River, Agave & Rye bills itself as having “Chattanooga’s Best Tacos, Tequila & Bourbon.”

But the first thing you’ll notice is the vividly colorful decor: Massive chandeliers, flowers and other nature themes painted on the ceiling, and huge portraits of celebs such as Usher, J Lo, Erykah Badu lining the walls. 

There’s a hip vibe (even during lunch, when we visited), friendly servers, and a spacious outdoor patio that’s perfect for warm, sunny days. And their menu features some of the best Mexican food in Chattanooga.

We started by scarfing down their delicious Elote, a.k.a. Mexican street corn. Mary also loved the Happy Pappy, a double-shelled “Epic Taco” featuring Carnitas, Sweet & Spicy Bacon, Guacamole, and two kinds of cheese.

I had the Grilled Birria Burrito, which included Slow-Braised Beef, Mexican Rice, Queso, Chipotle Crema, Cilantro, and a tasty Birria Dipping Sauce. All the dishes were scrumptious, and we will definitely be back!

READ MORE: The 10 Best Tennessee Mountain Towns to Visit

Pappardelle with Braised Veal at Alleia Restaurant in Chattanooga TN
Pappardelle with Braised Veal at Allein

2. Alleia Restaurant

25 E Main St, Chattanooga TN • 423-305-6990 • Official Website

HOURS: Mon to Thu 5-9PM; Fri 5-10PM; Sat 4:45-9:45PM; Closed Sunday

Our romantic getaway to Chattanooga coincided with our 15th anniversary. Alleia, an upscale Italian eatery, was the first of two fine dining restaurants we chose to celebrate our special occasion.

There’s a reason we chose an interior shot of Alleia to lead off this story. With its warm wood walls, intimate lighting (including LOTS of candles), and cozy booths, this is one of the most romantic restaurants we’ve ever been to!

Although it’s a bit more pricy than other places on this list, Alleia is an extraordinary Italian restaurant, with some of the best pasta and pizza in Chattanooga. 

For appetizers, we went with the Benton’s Bacon-wrapped Dates with aged balsamic vinegar and Beef Carpaccio with truffle oil and arugula. As I’m writing this, just the memory of the fantastic flavors is making my mouth water. 

In terms of entrees, I can’t recommend their Pappardelle with Braised Veal enough, or Mary’s Braised Beef Short Rib with Cherry Relish. If we lived in the area, this place with be our go-to Chattanooga restaurant. 

READ MORE: The 10 Best Romantic Getaways in Tennessee

3. Attack of the Tatsu

818 Georgia Ave UNIT 118, Chattanooga TN • 423-531-4208 • Official Website

 HOURS: 11AM-Midnight Daily

This new Downtown Chattanooga restaurant had only been open a few months when we visited. So it’s a testament to the team behind it when I say that their execution was flawless. 

Owners James Heeley and Daniel Starkey were inspired by their love of Japanese food and culture, especially the tradition known as Izakaya (basically an Asian gastropub).

Every detail was on point, from the art and decor to the Attack of the Tatsu menu, which is focused on traditional Katsu (breaded cutlets of chicken or pork) and Ramen (noodles with broth and various toppings). 

After being seated in the deep red back dining room, which looked like something out of Blade Runner, we snacked on Edamame (baby soybeans in the pod) and Pickled Daikon Salad. 

In terms of entrees, their Katsu Curry Ramen was great, with Chicken Katsu, soft boiled egg, cabbage, and herbs in a pork and chicken curry broth. But I also loved their Tonkotsu, with Chashu Pork (braised pork belly), soft boiled egg, burnt garlic, and bamboo shoots in a sensational pork broth. 

READ MORE: The 10 Best Restaurants in Gatlinburg TN to Visit

20 Hour Brisket French Dip at The Feed Table & Tavern in Chattanooga TN
20 Hour Brisket French Dip at The Feed Table & Tavern

4. The Feed Table & Tavern 

201 W Main St, Chattanooga TN • 423-708-8500 • Official Website

HOURS: Kitchen open Sun to Thu 11AM-9PM;  Fri 11 AM–10 PM; Sat 10 AM–10 PM

Located in a historic building that formerly housed the Seed-Feed Supply Co., The Feed Table & Tavern offers a seasonal menu full of farm-to-table fare. 

The expansive building has been updated with rustic elegant decor, and broken up into cozy rooms that include a tavern area, main dining room, a heated (and covered) outdoor patio, and a private event space. 

Their bar offers an extensive array of craft beer, craft cocktails, and wines. And there’s a game room full of arcade games, live music on the patio every Thursday night, and special events such as trivia and Bingo nights. 

This is one of the most popular places for weekend brunch in Chattanooga. But we visited at lunchtime after driving up from Atlanta, and were amazed at all the farm fresh dishes they have to choose from.

Their 20-Hour Smoked Brisket French Dip (with provolone and horseradish crema) and Chicken Gilroy (garlic roasted chicken, avocado, tomato, garlic aioli, spinach, and Swiss cheese) really hit the spot. And their tater tots were downright divine! 

READ MORE: The Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol TN/VA

Local Beef Burger at Main Street Meats in Chattanooga TN
Local Beef Burger at Main Street Meats

5. Main Street Meats

217 E Main St, Chattanooga TN • 423-602-9568 • Official Website

HOURS: Sun to Thu Noon-9PM; Fri & Sat Noon-10PM

Located on Chattanooga’s south side, Main Street Meats is part butcher shop, part restaurant, with a strong focus on local farms and an AMAZING collection of 280 whiskeys! 

The decor is best described as “classy modern man-cave,” with exposed brick walls, inlaid wood bar and tables, metal bull skulls, and some of the most beautiful meat you’ve ever seen. 

They also sell artisanal condiments, from BBQ rubs and sauces to peanut butters, jams, and chocolates.

Their lunch menu is more limited than their drink menu, with just a handful of starters, salads, sandwiches, and steaks to choose from. Selections change regularly, not just from season to season, but sometimes day to day. 

MSM’s charcuterie, burgers, steaks, and sausage are second to none. But we also loved their Pimento Cheese, Pork Rinds with harissa aioli, and house-made Potato Salad with bacon, mustard seed, dijon, and chives. 

READ MORE: The 8 Best Train Rides in the Smoky Mountains of NC & TN

Farmhouse Biscuit at Milk & Honey Restaurant in Chattanooga TN
Farmhouse Biscuit at Milk & Honey

6. Milk & Honey

135 N Market St, Chattanooga TN • 423-521-3123 • Official Website

HOURS: 6AM-3PM Daily

There are several very good coffee shops in Chattanooga. But Milk & Honey ultimately proved to be our favorite, serving up fresh takes on Appalachian-style breakfast classics. 

They offer some of the tastiest espresso and lattes we had during our trip to Chattanooga, including unique flavors such as the Burnt Sugar Latte, Lavender Honey Latte, and the scrumptious Nutella Latte. YUM!

Their menu and decor had a deceptively simple farm-fresh focus. But the execution was so perfect (despite the fact that we visited on a VERY busy weekend morning), it proved to be a great way to start our day. 

Delicious starters include Burrata & Fig (with prosciutto, arugula, goat gouda, gorgonzola, and local honey on sourdough) and Avocado Toast (with tomato jam, caramelized onion, arugula, and eggs on sourdough).

Mary had their massive Farmhouse Biscuit (sausage, ham, tomato jam, scrambled egg, arugula, white cheddar, and caramelized onion). And their Chicken & Waffles served Honey Hot Sauce was among the best I’ve ever had.

READ MORE: The 10 Best Things to Do in Gatlinburg TN

Pastry Display at Niedlov's Bakery in Chattanooga TN
Pastry Display at Niedlov’s Bakery

7. Niedlov’s Bakery & Café

215 E Main St, Chattanooga TN • 423-756-0303 • Official Website

HOURS: Mon to Thu 7AM-6PM; Fri & Sat 7AM-4PM; Closed Sundays

We’d seen Niedlov’s bread and pastries on practically every menu of the Chattanooga restaurants we visited. The line stretching out the door on a rainy morning suggested this was the area’s most popular bakery.

Inside seating was packed. Their outdoor patio was packed. Fortunately we were picking up fresh baked goods for the road, and the lengthy wait for counter service gave us time to ask locals for recommendations. 

Open in 2002, Niedlov’s Bakery is family-owned and specializes in breads made with organic whole grains and natural leavening, with no added sugars or preservatives. Almost every sandwich in the city is made with them! 

We ordered a mixture of sweet and savory pastries, from the flaky Ham & Cheese Croissant and the Bacon Gruyere Scone to the decadent Nutella Cruffin, Banana Walnut Muffin, and Banana Bread Pudding. 

Suffice it to say that this was arguably the best of the dozens of Blue Ridge Mountains bakeries we’ve visited, and we cannot wait to stock up on more tasty treats when we return to Chattanooga.

READ MORE: Ruby Falls Cave Tours on Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga TN

Sushi Rolls at Osaka Sushi & Steakhouse in Chattanooga TN
Sushi Rolls at Osaka Sushi & Steakhouse i

8. Osaka Sushi & Steakhouse

531 Signal Mountain Rd #129, Chattanooga TN • 423-888-6454 • Official Website

HOURS: 11:30AM-9PM Daily

We’re huge fans of Japanese cuisine in general and sushi in specific. But Blue Ridge Mountain towns aren’t exactly known for their plethora of ethnic cuisine options. 

Thankfully, Osaka Sushi & Steakhouse was one of several great Asian restaurants in Chattanooga we visited. 

Tucked back in a nondescript shopping center, Osaka’s dimly-lit interior and basic decor didn’t seem promising. Their huge menu– with Hibachi, Bento Boxes, Noodle dishes, and more– suggested a “Jack-of-all-trades, master of none.”

We stuck with Sushi, and were pleasantly surprised that every roll we tried was delicious, with sweet, sticky rice and fresh, flavorful fish. Even the Miso Soup and House Salad w/Ginger Dressing were above average. 

Bargain hunters will love their $10.95 Hibachi Specials on Tuesdays, and 10% off Sushi Specials on Wednesdays. 

READ MORE: The 10 Best Caverns and Underground Caves in Tennessee

Tuna Poke at STIR Restaurant in Chattanooga TN
Tuna Poke at STIR


1444 Market St, Chattanooga TN • 423-531-7847 • Official Website

HOURS: Mon to Thu 11AM-Midnight; Fri 11AM-1AM; Sat 10AM-1AM; Sun 10AM-Midnight

STIR is located in the old Chattanooga Choo-Choo building. So it’s a great place for anyone who loves trains, with a historic train engine and a boutique hotel where you can sleep in classic train cars. 

The restaurant itself is in one of the old terminals. But the expansive interior has been updated with wooden floors, tables, and accents, modern lighting fixtures, and two bars (one for alcohol, one a raw bar). 

They ship in fresh oysters from the Gulf of Mexico, the Eastern Seaboard, and Pacific and Canadian waters. So we started our meal with a dozen delicious Specialty Oysters (including some from the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia). 

Their menu boasts a gamut of international influences, from Chinese-style Steak Bao Sliders to Indian-style Spicy Chicken Samosas. My Tuna Poke Bowl Entrée was arguably the best I’ve ever had. 

Mary’s Scallop & Shrimp White Cheddar Mac & Cheese was arguably better, with tender seafood, cavatappi pasta, asparagus, white truffle oil, and micro greens. It was one of the most romantic dinners we had in Chattanooga!

READ MORE: The 10 Best Scenic Train Rides in Tennessee

Pork Osso Bucco at St John's Restaurant in Chattanooga TN
Pork Osso Bucco at St John’s Restaurant

10. St. John’s Restaurant

1278 Market St, Chattanooga TN • 423-266-4400 • Official Website

HOURS: Mon to Thu 5-9PM; Fri & Sat 5-9:30PM; Closed Sundays

St. John’s was named the #1 Restaurant in Chattanooga by Southern Living, so we chose this award-winning fine dining restaurant for our last night in town. 

It’s located in a historic flatiron building that was formerly home to the St John’s Hotel. Local architect Thomas Johnson oversaw its renovation, and this upscale eatery deserves every accolade it has received.

We started our dinner with Lump Crab Crackers with Boursin and cheddar cheese, followed by a delightful Warm Beet Salad with roasted carrots, candied pecans, local apples, and blackberry and whipped truffle ricotta. 

Their extraordinary Cheshire Farms Pork Osso Bucco was tender and served with a rich truffle mushroom risotto. My Durham Ranch Elk Tenderloin was intensely flavorful, accompanied by sweet potato purée and braised greens. 

Note that St. John’s is extremely popular, so advance reservations are highly recommended. It’s an expensive meal (my House Barrel Aged Old-Fashioned was $15), but worth every penny! –by Bret Love; all photos by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett



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We encourage anyone who loves the Blue Ridge region to learn about the Leave No Trace principles of responsible environmental stewardship. 

Stay on marked trails, take only pictures, pack out your trash, and be considerate of others who share the trails and parks you explore. 

Remember that waterfalls and rocky summits can be dangerous. Never try to climb waterfalls or get close to a ledge to get a selfie.

When you're exploring the wilderness, it's better to be safe than to be a statistic!

The BRMTG was created by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett, the award-winning team behind the world-renowned responsible travel website Green Global Travel. Born and raised in North Georgia, Editor-In-Chief Bret Love grew up hiking and camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains with his family. A professional writer/editor since 1995, he's covered travel and culture for 100+ publications, including American Way, Destination Marriott, Georgia Travel Guide, National Geographic, and Southbound. In 2010 he co-founded the award-winning website, Green Global Travel, which is ranked among the world's top travel blogs. Since launching BRMTG in 2020, he and Mary Gabbett have visited 50+ Blue Ridge Mountain towns together. Though she lived in NYC for 14 years, photographer/Business Manager Mary Gabbett's family has Georgia roots dating back 200+ years. Her great-grandfather was President of the Western Railroad of Alabama. Before moving to Atlanta in 1989, she fell in love with the North GA mountains, where her aunt owned a cabin. In 2010 she co-founded Green Global Travel, and has since traveled to more than 40 countries on six continents. Her photos have appeared in numerous travel publications (including National Geographic and Southbound) and various textbooks.