Market Street Bridge over the Tennessee River with the Chattanooga Aquarium in the background Photo credit: Chattanooga Convention & Visitors Burea

Chattanooga, Tennessee used to be a backwater for restaurants, but now it’s hopping. Whitebird at The Edwin Hotel, part of The Autograph Collection, is near the Hunter Museum of American Art and scenic Riverwalk. The hotel’s Whiskey Thief bar has become an evening hotspot.

Grilled salmon, vegetables and kale at Whitebird, The Edwin Hotel (The Autograph Collection by Marriott), Chattanooga, TN

We celebrated David’s birthday lunch with fried chicken drizzled with honey, served with a giant Cruze Dairy buttermilk biscuit at Daily Ration.

A perfect Cruze buttermilk biscuit at Daily Ration, Chattanooga, TN

Puffy Pancakes at Daily Ration, Chattanooga, TN


Breakfast of Champions: Kale, Black Beans, Crispy Mushrooms, Avocado Mash and Fried Egg, Chattanooga, TN

We noshed on and spicy okra chips, burnt romaine salad and wood-grilled salmon at Lawton Haygood’s Sidetrack. Haygood, who has been a guest on The Connected Table Live, also owns Sugar’s Ribs and The Boathouse, one of our favorite places to enjoy generous portions of both freshwater fish and seafood overlooking the Tennessee River.

Burnt Romaine Salad at Sidetrack

We also enjoyed meaty lobster rolls at the Bar and Billiard Room in the newly renovated Read House Hotel (where Melanie’s mother was married over 50 years ago).

Lobster roll and fries at The Bar and Billiards Room, Read House Hotel, Chattanooga, TN

We also discovered 405 Bistro, which features Middle Eastern dishes and a nice wine list (rare for Chattanooga). The lobster bisque cous cous with seared scallops was the big hit as were the mezze.

Lobster Bisque Cous Cous and Seared Scallops at 405 Bistro, Chattanooga, TN

David gets carded at 405 Bistro. It’s the law no matter your age.


Other terrific restaurants on prior visits to see Melanie’s mother include: Easy BistroPublic House and Feed Table and Tavern. Melanie’s favorite smoothie and juice bar is Southern Squeeze. Every time we visit Chattanooga, more restaurants are opening.

Just like the story of the Little Engine, Chattanooga has become the little city that could…and has…become a fabulous destination for food lovers!

Wood-grilled fish, The Boathouse, Chattanooga, TN

Best Bloody Mary, The Boathouse, Chattanooga, TN


Sunset view from The Boathouse, Chattanooga, TN. Best riverside dining!

For more information on visiting Melanie’s hometown, Chattanooga, Tennessee, visit the Chattanooga Convention & Visitors Bureau website


Listen to our show with Chattanooga restaurateurs Lawton  and Karen Haygood, owners of Sugar’s Ribs, The Boathouse and Sidetrack, on The Connected Table @iHeart