Visitors to Chattanooga have remarked before on the sheer concentration of local restaurants in the downtown area. It's not an easy town to be a chain restaurant in-- downtown's long-standing Chili's and T.G.I. Friday's franchises were only just joined by an Applebee's and, soon, a Noodles & Company in step with the growing tourist trade. The rest of downtown Chattanooga's eateries are not only local, but rival the quality found in much larger cities like Nashville and Atlanta.
Today we'll cover some of Chattanooga's most foodie-friendly restaurants, and in the next few days we'll also cover places that do classic dishes better than anywhere else you've had them.
|Oysters on the half shell at Easy Bistro|
Easy Bistro is also a fixture of fine dining in the Scenic City. Go Magazine wrote that "Easy Bistro is wildly sophisticated; as if it were picked up by its cosmopolitan roots and dropped squarely in downtown Chattanooga." Indeed, the menu is packed with fresh, well-prepared flavors and revelatory combinations, like pea cake with sherry and arugula, squash blossom beignets, and potato ravioli with Carolina peaches and crab meat. They also have one of the finest selections of seafood in town, and inventive cocktails like the Bluegrass Julep, a combination of Bernheim wheat whiskey, mint, grapefruit juice, and local mountain honey. In addition to the food, it's also known for its elegant black and white French-style decor in a building that once housed the first Coca-Cola bottling plant Chattanooga is so famous for.
|Fresh salads at 212 Market|
Copyright ©Alice O'Dea, used with permission