With Lookout Mountain rising high on one side, and the Tennessee River snaking through its center, Chattanooga is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty that has inspired its nickname, the Scenic City. Lush Appalachian scenery beckons residents and visitors outside to paddle, hike, bike, and rock climb. But you’ll need a full belly for the energy required to enjoy all the activity found in and around the ’Noog. Fuel up at these spots adding their tastes and treats to the city’s dining scene and making it as vibrant as its outdoor-adventure offerings.
This Main Street family-owned-and-operated eatery excels in humble but hearty breakfast fare. The basic meat and cheese omelet features an airy egg blanket studded with your choice of both; sharp cheddar plays nicely with jalapeño bacon whose heat sneaks in behind a smoky, salty crunch. Marie’s Omelet, named for the place’s matriarch, is folded around ooey gooey herbed cream cheese. Both come with a warm whole wheat biscuit, useful for scooping up leftover smears of Marie’s rich filling.
Hidden in a residential section on the north shore of the river, this restaurant serves heaping helpings of scary-good breakfast foods from 7:00am to midnight daily in a tin-topped house. Slightly spooky but mostly just strange decor dominates the small (always packed) dining room, including posters and photos honoring the monster whose name the eatery borrows. If you can finish a fat stack of fluffy chocolate chip pancakes, you’ll be good till dinner.
A soothing bowl of velvety soup, some fresh-baked crusty bread, and a cup of high-octane black gold at Rembrandt’s, tucked on the ground floor of one of the Bluff View Arts District’s towering Tudor-style buildings, provides the necessary boost for an afternoon of shopping or outdoor fun.
This diminutive Greek restaurant on the banks of the Tennessee River has only a few tables crammed between whitewashed brick walls and stone floors. Dishes are heavy on traditional Hellenic Republic flavors like fork-tender and perfectly seasoned roasted lamb, soft pita triangles, rice-stuffed grape leaves (grown out back and brined in-house) and zippy tzatziki sauce for dipping any and everything. Wash down whatever you choose with a cup full of fresh-brewed, pomegranate-infused green tea.
Pop inside the Hot Chocolatier to snack on colorful macaroons and other artisan sweets and warm yourself from the inside out with a heavenly scented and rich, subtly sweet vanilla-lavender hot chocolate. Grab a bag of red-velvet chocolate-covered dried cherries to take the edge off any future munchies.
A feast awaits in the contemporary yet cozy confines of TerraMae, self-described as an Appalachian bistro. Start with the Appalachian Lunchable, a board mounded with plenty of sweet and savory snacks to share, including pickled shrimp and veggies, rosemary biscuits with tart blackberry jam, country ham, a pungent smoked gouda spread, benne-seeded bacon, and deviled eggs. Finish with more pig, the porterhouse pork chop, and grilled Andouille sausage with potato salad and rustic succotash.
Located in Warehouse Row this spot offers the comforts of classic Southern favorites with a fine-dining touch that’s sophisticated but never stuffy. The pimento cheese and bacon burger is simple and delicious, a never-fail choice. But the veggie platter affords the chance to experience several slightly elevated yet still traditional Southern dishes as well as more global players all on one plate.
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