PLANTED AT THE FOOTHILLS OF THE APPALACHIAN MOUNTAINS, scenic Chattanooga, Tennessee, is both an outdoorsman’s dream and a city dweller’s delight. From hilly, hikeable Lookout Mountain to the beautiful Tennessee River that swirls past an energetic downtown, this riverside beauty is growing by the minute—and so is its food scene.
Chattanooga’s downtown is compact and easy to explore on foot.
Start your day on Main Street with a delicious breakfast from a small local joint called Bluegrass Grill. Here you’ll find diner favorites done better (think fresh fruit sides and scratch-made bread). For a hearty start, choose a biscuit sandwich filled with melted cheese, eggs, and savory sausage, or for lighter fare, order a grits bowl topped with tangy cheeses, vegetables, and fresh avocado. Long lines are frequent on the weekend, so it’s best to arrive early.
Just down the bustling street, Niedlov’s Breadworks bakes up gorgeous loaves and pastries that you’ll want to stock up on. Family-owned and -operated, this bakery hand-makes and bakes their breads with organic whole grains, natural leavening, and as many locally produced goods as possible. Stop in for a midmorning buttery croissant and a jolting cup of joe or stick around for a lunch featuring fresh and flavorful sandwiches served on their baked-fresh-daily bread.