The Crash Pad

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A Culture of Culinary Genius

Chattanooga has a diverse selection of homegrown restaurants – everything from simple diners to high-end, full service restaurants. We know you’ll quickly find a favorite, or you can ask which ones we prefer – everyone has an opinion!

Price Guide:
$ <15
$$ 16-25
$$$ 26+

Most of the restaurants on this list are within a ten-minute walk. Note that many of these places are closed on Sundays; luckily for us, Flying Squirrel, The Terminal, and Urban Stack, pick up the slack just fine.

Flying Squirrel: $$

Dinner, bar, Sunday brunch. Closed Mondays.

Our sister business, the Flying Squirrel, has an ever-rotating draft list, a full liquor bar, and an amazing food menu. Brought to you by the same team that made the hostel, the Squirrel is the perfect place for our guests to sit back and unwind after a hard day in the hills.

Niedlov’s Breadworks:  $

Breakfast, lunch. Closed Sunday.

This traditional artisan bakery specializes in naturally-leavened organic bread and tasty sandwiches. John Sweet, the co-owner, won Small Businessman of the Year in 2010. Way to represent for Main Street! Our closest neighbor.

Conga Latin Food:  $

Lunch, dinner.

Guests of The Crash Pad can enjoy cheap, tasty and authentic El Salvadoran cuisine by walking about 100′ from our front door. This restaurant is back in the hands of the original owners and is better than ever. (423) 313-9590

Bluegrass Grill:  $

Breakfast, lunch. Closed Sunday and Monday.

Spanakopita omelet with gyro and Greek spices, side of fresh fruit, and a half-buttermilk, half-whole-wheat biscuit with honey. Sound good? Bluegrass is a great family-run diner, and they have shown tremendous support for The Crash Pad since we first broke ground in the neighborhood.

Alleia:  $$

Dinner, bar. Closed Sunday.

Two-time James Beard Award finalist Daniel Lindley created an Italian restaurant that would be at home in any big city in the country. Don’t miss the ricotta bruschetta appetizer or the wood-fired pork shoulder.

Taqueria Jalisco:  $

Lunch, dinner. Closed Sunday.

The most authentic tacos/burritos in town. Orginally, Jalisco started out as a food truck, but they got so popular around here that they had to open up a permanent location. A small place with only about 40 seats (both inside and outside), this place is so worth it.

The Terminal Brewhouse:  $

Lunch, dinner, bar.

Fresh food, fine hops, and local products and services: The Terminal is Southside’s only microbrewery, and their menu is varied and creative. Check out the green-roof patio for live music and great ambience. The rare bison burger with gouda is quite nice. Brought to you by the owners of Hair of the Dog Pub and The Honest Pint.

Urban Stack:  $

Lunch, dinner, bar.

This Southside restaurant offers 90+ bourbons and inventive, delicious burgers. Rotating selections from fourteen different breweries are on tap. The building is one of Chattanooga’s oldest, formerly the baggage claim for the Choo-Choo, now wonderfully reinterpreted by the man himself: architect (of The Crash Pad fame) Blythe Bailey. Brought to you by the owners of Taco Mamacita on the North Shore and Community Pie downtown.

Public House:  $$

Lunch, Dinner.

Updated, locally sourced Southern fare & a discerning wine list in a refined, relaxed setting. Their fried chicken is some of the best in town.

Sekisui:  $$

Lunch, Dinner. Dinner only Saturday and Sunday.

Looking for sushi? Look no further than this place. Sekisui’s creative take on traditional Japanese cuisine is really something to behold. The space they’re in is beautiful, and make sure to not miss their Purple Haze cocktail (saki and chambord!)

St. John’s:  $$$

Dinner, bar. Closed Sunday.

Since 2000, this fine-dining establishment has defined the cutting-edge restaurant experience in Chattanooga. The pace, setting, service and attention to detail are exceptional. Consult with Melissa, their on-site sommelier, for expert help in choosing a wine from their extensive cellar.

St. John’s Meeting Place:  $$

Dinner, bar. Closed Sunday.

Expect all the quality and professionalism from next door, in a more casual atmosphere and slightly scaled-back price point. Chef Rebecca Barron’s unique twist on traditional bistro fare, complimented by the same great wine selection as St. John’s, makes the Meeting Place a great choice for a relaxing and romantic evening. The duck confit is one of our all-time favorites.

Taqueria y Fonda La Bonita:  $

Details on their hours are unclear, but this place is notable for the fact that they only serve steak tacos, and the tacos are very, very good. (423) 774-4355

Southern Star:  $

Lunch, dinner. Closed Saturday, Sunday.

Freshly prepared and inexpensive Southern cuisine defines this fun restaurant, which originated in small-town southern Georgia and opened its doors on the Southside in 2000.

La Alteña:  $

Lunch, dinner.

Good Mexican food, close to the hostel. Perfect. (423) 266-7595

Whole Foods:

Everything you need all day.

The transition is complete. Our once hyper-local, organic market is no more. Whole Foods, though, is still the place to shop, eat, drink (yes, even beer and wine), hang out, work, socialize, see, and be seen. Combine your visit with a trip next door to Rock/Creek Outfitters to get geared up.

River Street Deli:  $

Lunch.

As far as we are concerned, this is Chattanooga’s best authentic New York delicatessen. Stop by for amazing soups, salads, sandwiches and daily specials. Located in Coolidge Park, you must stop by if you’re in the area.

Taco Mamacita:  $

Lunch, dinner, bar.

Fast, fresh and healthy funky-fusion taco joint with the best margaritas in town: Taco Mamacita is high on our list of places to crave. There are plenty of tequilas to choose from, as well. Thanks again to the owners for bringing Urban Stack to Southside.

Tremont Tavern:  $

Lunch, dinner, bar.

Offering good food (try one of their many burgers) and beer, this tavern is located five minutes into north Chattanooga. Note: they only sell beer (no liquor or wine).

Foodworks:  $/$$

Lunch, dinner, weekend brunch, bar.

Delicious food and a cool bar. The atmosphere is warmed by how they revamped an old brick structure. Check out their $1 mimosas during brunch and Monday is half price wine night.

Hill City Pizza:  $

Lunch, dinner, bar.

North Shore’s newest restaurant and bar has excellent pizza and drinks. It’s worth noting that this is one of the few non-smoking places around town that has pool and darts.

Sluggo’s North Vegetarian Cafe: $$

Lunch, dinner, music venue downstairs

Sluggo’s is one of the only vegetarian/vegan only places here in Chattanooga. While a ton of restaurants around have great vegetarian/vegan options, this place specializes in that. The Sweet Thai Chili Bowl is tremendous, in taste and in size.

Primo: $$

Dinner, bar.

A fantastic Northshore Italian spot. The prosciutto wrapped scallops are definitely worth it.

Sitar Indian Cuisine: $/$$

Lunch, dinner.

The Crash Pad staff eats here on weekly basis. The Vegetarian Thali and the Karahai Lamb Palak are staff favorites. Also, don’t miss out on the garlic naan.

Thai Smile:  $/$$

Lunch, dinner. Closed Sunday except during the summer.

Some of the best Thai food in Chattanooga and only a couple blocks away from the waterfront. Best wonton soup in town. They don’t have a website but you can reach them at (423) 266-2333.

Big River:  $/$$

Lunch, dinner, bar.

This is one of the few chain restaurants you will find on our guide because it started as a local micro brewery and is still an excellent place to go eat or play pool. Stop by their sister restaurant next door,Blue Water, for a cool bar.

Mellow Mushroom:  $

Lunch, dinner, bar.

Here’s the other chain you’ll find on our list since their pizza is great and they have 40 beers on tap. Mellow is conveniently located between the movie theater and the waterfront, so make sure you stop next time you’re in the area.

Easy Bistro:  $$

Dinner, bar, weekend brunch.

Specializing in Old World comfort food, head chef and owner Eric brings a gulf spin to his dishes. Their bar is also one of our favorites and their weekend brunch is great.

Hennen’s:  $$/$$$

Dinner, bar, weekday lunch.

If you’re looking for an amazing steak, look no further. Hennen’s casual fine dining atmosphere is perfect after a day on the riverfront. Their pomegranate martinis are the best in town.

212 Market:  $$

Lunch, dinner, bar.

This family affair strives to offer the warmth and comfort of southern hospitality with a world-class culinary experience. Now being run by daughters Susan and Sally, you’ll still find their Mother, Maggie, baking their bread fresh daily. If you’re looking for an impressive wine list, be sure to stop by. They also deserve props as Tennessee’s first green restaurant.

Sugar’s Ribs:  $

Lunch, dinner, bar.

Some of the best ribs in town. They just opened up a new downtown location which boasts a huge dining area and a cool bar. They often bring bands in to play as well.

Tony’s:  $/$$

Lunch, dinner, bar.

Located in the Bluff View Art District, Tony’s has some of the best Italian food in town. They have no website or direct line but you can reach them through Bluff View’s number: (423) 265-5033.

Lupi’s:  $

Lunch, dinner. Closed Monday.

Locally owned & operated since 1996, Lupi’s strives to create an excellent pizza experience for every customer every time. The Lupi’s experience, however, doesn’t stop with pizza. Good tunes, colorful surroundings, tasty beers and a ‘lupi’ staff make stopping by both delicious, and fun. Another reason we like them is they buy local ingredients whenever possible. They also offer take & bake pizzas if you feel like bringing one back to cook at The Crash Pad.

The Ice Cream Show:  $

Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Closed Sunday morning.

Open since 2009, The Ice Cream Show boasts of gourmet frozen yogurt, ice cream and coffee. They have an amazing list of toppings that they actually blend in with your choice of ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Hair of the Dog Pub:  $

Lunch, dinner, bar, late-night.

Smoking.

Excellent pub food and atmosphere with a big beer list. The inside can get smoky but they offer an outdoor porch that is always fun. They also offer a Sunday brunch with Aretha’s pancakes and a Bloody Mary bar. These guys have also brought The Terminal and The Honest Pint to town.

The Honest Pint:  $

Lunch, dinner, bar, late-night.

Smoking

This is the most recent establishment by some of the guys who brought you Hair of the Dog Pub. Not only do they have tater-tots, but they cook them in duck fat. Yum! They also have a few pool tables.

Sing it or Wing it:  $

Lunch, dinner.

Downtown’s first karaoke bar opened in 2011. Be sure to stop by for the entertainment and the wings which are smoked, grilled and delicious.

City Café:  $

24/7/365

Is it late? Are you drunk? Come on down. The portions are enormous and they have some amazing cakes.

Rembrandt’s Coffee House:  $

Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

This European style café is also located in the Bluff View Art District and has a great selection of fresh coffees, breads, sandwiches, chocolates and pastries.

Greyfriar Coffee & Tea:  $

Breakfast, lunch. Closed Sunday.

Another one of Chattanooga’s great coffee shops also offers breakfast. Located right next to Lupi’s so stop by for an after pizza coffee.