This is not your usual tourist list of places to go in Chattanooga. These are my personal favorite places to go when I visit my hometown. If you like interesting places that are locally owned and full of interest, these are for you.
Hours are subject to change, and businesses may close. Call beforehand to be sure.
Bluff view arts district (This is downtown, near the river)
…has many fine places, but here are two I always check out.
Rembrandt’s coffee house
Cozy European café serving coffee drinks alongside fresh-baked breads, pastries and desserts. Outside and inside dining.
Address: 204 High St, Chattanooga, TN 37403
Monday – Thurs 7am – 10pm, Friday 7am – 11:30pm, Sat. 8am-11:30pm, Sun 8am-10pm
Go to the left of it and see the little grotto with the water feature and steps.
The River Gallery
A great little art gallery that looks like a museum. Lots of beautiful things there. A little pricy for me, but I still like to look. Plus, unlike a museum, there is no admission fee.
400 E 2nd St, Chattanooga, TN 37403
Monday through Saturday 10-5, Sunday 1-5
Not far from here is an outside sculpture garden and a glass bridge.
The shuttle system
Downtown Chattanooga is easy to get around and pretty good at having available parking spaces, unlike many other large cities. But – why even deal with that when you can use the free shuttle system?
Shuttle buses run about every 5 minutes
Monday through Friday – 6:30 a.m. until 11:00 p.m.
Saturdays – 9:30 a.m. until 11:00 p.m.
Sundays – 9:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m.
You can park and ride CARTA’s Free Electric Shuttles in parking garages on Frazier Avenue on the Northshore and at the Chattanooga Choo Choo on the Southside. Parking fees apply.
The Pickle Barrel
1012 Market St, Chattanooga, TN 37402
Eclectic pub/restaurant with lots of character and charm. Has a deck seating area. “The Immigrant” sandwich is superb (Polish sausage on sourdough with sauerkraut), as well as the fried pickle spears.
Not far from here is Miller Plaza and park – a good place to wander around and splash in the artificial pond. (Or at least it was 20 years ago).
Lupi’s pizza pies
406 Broad St, Chattanooga, TN 37402
Monday, closed. Tues – Thurs 11-11, Friday-Saturday 11-11, Sunday 11:30-9
Fabulous hand-made pizzas and calzones, with an amazing list of toppings. Great beer selection too.
Address: 410 Broad St, Chattanooga, TN 37402
Phone: (423) 266-0501
Call beforehand. She is open when she feels like it. Do not make eye contact until the very last minute. She will ask you if you are Christian and “Yes” is the only correct answer. Lie if necessary. Do not ask where books are – she won’t tell you, and might very well mock you for asking. Especially do not mention that you work in a library. She has no love for librarians and will tell you so. The place is a rat’s nest. Her dog is incontinent and lives there. In spite of all of this, I still love going in here because of the amazing books I can find here.
The Walnut Street bridge
This bridge is open to pedestrians only. Great views of the river and the city. You can easily walk to the North Shore of Chattanooga, where there are a lot of great shops and restaurants.
Lots of independent shops and restaurants all located near each other, most near Frazier Avenue. There is a carousel and park as well. It also has the best sushi in the world at Sushi Nabe.
–In Brainerd– (East of downtown, near Hamilton Place Mall)
5966 Brainerd Rd, Chattanooga, TN 37421
Mon – Thurs 10-9, Fri – Sat 10-10, Sunday 10-9
Best hoagies and onion rings in the world. Do not confuse this with a restaurant with a similar name that is downtown.
McKay used books
7734 Lee Hwy, Chattanooga, TN 37421
Mon – Thurs 9-9, Friday – Sat 9-10, Sun 11-7 (hours increase in the summer)
Used books, DVDs, CDs, comic books and more. Warehouse sized. Plan on spending a lot of time here. There are locations in Nashville and Knoxville as well.
Edit to add –
Also, on the drive down from Nashville I like to stop to get lunch at Shenanigans on Monteagle Mountain
Address 12595 Sollace M Freeman Hwy, Sewanee, TN 37375
and drive through the campus (Sewanee). website https://new.sewanee.edu/
Also, a fabulously funky and small grocery/antique/new age/hippie/yarn store called Mooney’s Emporium.
address 1265 W Main St, Monteagle, TN 37356