I love Chattanooga. To me, it’s the perfect weekend getaway from Nashville – just about an hour and a half to two hours southeast. It’s an underrated food city. The pace of the city is a lot slower. Things are a lot cheaper. And, it certainly helps that Lookout Mountain is one of the best places on Earth to watch the sun set. Throughout the years, I’ve written about several places I’ve visited, and I figured instead of having reviews strewn about the website, maybe I’d finally get around to compiling them into one central location. So, The Official SoBros Chattanooga Food Journal is born.
The purpose of this piece is to serve as a running doc of sorts. Whenever one of us tries somewhere new down in the Scenic City, we’ll add it to this list and share it again on the socials. Enjoy!
The Official SoBros Chattanooga Food Journal
The Boathouse – website – Written in 2022: I had the best salmon burger I’ve ever had, while Aura had the wood grilled shrimp. We started with some golden, flaky onion rings. And, I had a couple of mojitos that were refreshing – they didn’t skimp on the booze either. The bill came in at about $120 tip included, but it was worth it to me. A fine way to spend an evening on the river.
Brewhaus – website – Written in 2024: Brewhaus is my absolute favorite spot in Chattanooga. Thankfully, my wife loves it too because every time we head to town, it’s usually our first stop. Just from a vibes standpoint, Brewhaus is my kind of place – laid back with a nice scenic view, good cold beer, and good food. They’ve usually got something on tap that I’ve never tried, and ever since the Gerst Haus closed here in Nashville, it’s the closest place to me that serves German food – spaetzle, schnitzel, kraut, cabbage, German potato salad. It hits all the notes for what is one of my favorite cuisines.
City Cafe – website – Written in 2019: They have a menu unlike any other spot in the region (in my experience, anyway). Having spent a lot of time in New Jersey, I can honestly say it’s the closest thing to a real traditional Jersey diner that we have anywhere down here in Tennessee. You can get pancakes smothered in about a pound of whipped cream. You can get a burger, an omelette, chili, a mountain of tater tots – just about anything you can think of. But, the City Cafe’s specialty is unquestionably the cakes – they will cut you a slice that weighs as much as your whole ass left leg. And, it will be nothing short of heaven on Earth in your mouth. Personally, any of their cheesecakes will do the trick for me.
Clumpie’s Ice Cream – website – Written in 2017: No trip to Chattanooga is complete without stopping for Clumpie’s Ice Cream. I had a mint julep milkshake there years ago that I still can’t forget (it was a seasonal flavor so don’t get your hopes up that it’ll be on the menu if you go – this is just an illustration of their creativity). It was a masterpiece – easily the best flavor I’ve had in the many years I’ve been going to Chattanooga. Cold-steeped mint provided cool refreshment in an otherwise decadent blend of vanilla ice cream and a caramel bourbon sauce. It was everything I could ask for in a milkshake.
Community Pie – website – Written in 2024: I’ve been to Community Pie several times, and while everyone else at the table may hate me for it, that Sweet Fig pizza is a work of art. Big time fig guy here. The haters are shaking.
High Rail – website – Written in 2022: Once we made it down Lookout Mountain and back to The Chattanoogan, we decided to have a night cap by the fire at the hotel’s rooftop bar and restaurant, High Rail. I had a fantastic Old Fashioned made with Chattanooga Whiskey, and a Hutton & Smith Promenade before we decided to hit the hay. I can’t remember the last time I was this relaxed – just enjoying the ambience with the silhouette of Lookout Mountain in the distance.
Maple Street Biscuit Company – website – Written in 2018: I’m a big time breakfast guy, and this is about as good of breakfast food as you’re going to get. The first time I went, I got the Five and Dime. The second time, I went with The Spud Bowl with a scrambled egg and gravy on top. It was other-worldly. You talk about hearty, this dish made for a mountain of cheesy potatoes. The grilled peppers and onions added a nice flavor and texture, but it’s the gravy that sets it all off. I’m a sucker for good gravy.
Nic & Norman’s – website – Written in 2024: Nic & Norman’s is the creative culinary endeavor of The Walking Dead Hall of Famers Greg Nicotero and Norman Reedus. After hearing the buzz surrounding the spot for years, we finally made the effort to go check it out recently. It’s a cool spot with a fun menu – I tried the fried pickles, chili (the proprietary meat blend makes this some of the best chili around), and the ‘South of the Border’ bowl, which consisted of scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes, seasoned beef, jalapenos, avocado cilantro-lime crema, queso, and pico de gallo. Pro tip: go with extra jalapenos if you dare.
Noogans Coffee Market – website – A Moon Pie Mocha?!?! Are you kidding me?!
Sleepyhead Coffee – website – Written in 2022: We’re always looking for slick coffee shops on vacation, and this one was no different. Aura found Sleepyhead Coffee on Instagram, and lo and behold, we happened to drive right by it looking for a breakfast spot on our way out of town. We both got honey lattes (mine hot, Aura’s iced), but the coconut maple donut stole the show for me (lemon lavender was a distant second).
Southside Social – website – Written in 2024: What a cool spot to catch a football game. I’d imagine it’s just a cool spot to do some bowling and hanging in general. The wings, the onion rings, and the brisket tacos certainly helped. A+ bar food with a fun laid back vibe.
Tremont Tavern – website – Written in 2018, photos from 2022: Tremont Tavern was recommended to me as the best burger in Chattanooga several years ago, and I’ve been going back ever since. I love the discreet location – you wouldn’t know it was one of the coolest spots in town if you simply drove by the location. Unless I’ve completely missed it, there isn’t even a sign on the building telling folks what it is. Tremont Tavern has a great beer list, a damn good patty, and god tier steak fries.
Unknown Caller – website – If you feel like killing a few hours with your friends, playing card games, and having some of the best, most unique, and most creative cocktails in Chattanooga, Unknown Caller is absolutely worth figuring out how to get into. What I particularly appreciated about the cocktail lounge was how willing the bartenders were to take our vague requests and come up with drinks that really hit the spot. “I like gin. I like citrus.” BOOM! Here’s a cocktail you’re going to LOVE! That’s the Unknown Caller experience.
Got a spot in Chattanooga you want the SoBros team to try and review? Let us know in the comments.
Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network, and a Dogs Playing Poker on velvet connoisseur. He is a strong supporter of Team GSD, #BeBetter, and ‘Minds right, asses tight.’ “Big Natural” covers the Tennessee Titans, Nashville, Yankee Candle, and a whole wealth of nonsense. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley.
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