Chattanooga, TN is known as a premier outdoor destination with access to some of the nation’s top venues for rock climbing, hiking, hang gliding and more, all within a short drive of downtown. The Chattanooga culinary scene also offers unique outdoor experiences for those looking for something less hardcore, or simply seeking to relax and unwind after a day of adventure. Here’s a guide on where to find some of the best local flavors with outdoor seating so you can experience the sights and sounds of the Scenic City without having to leave your table.
Boathouse Rotisserie and Raw Bar
The Boathouse is a choice destination for riverfront dining, located directly on the Tennessee River along the path of Chattanooga’s stylish Riverwalk. Enjoy the spectacular view on the outdoor covered patio with cool misters to escape the summer heat and heaters for wintertime comfort. The Boathouse features a well-rounded menu with many traditional dishes, along with a wide array of items from the wood-fired grill, and a fresh raw bar with a robust oyster selection.
Foodie Favorites: Matagorda Bay Fire Roasted Oysters (garlic butter, parsley, ciabatta bread); Lotta Lotta Garlic Chicken (arugula, pineapple, tomatoes, avocado, feta); Trout Almondine (locally caught, finished in lemon & white wine reduction, toasted almonds); Key Lime Pie; Lawton Rita (100% blue agave tequila, orange liqueur and fresh lime served over slivered ice).
Located inside the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo, STIR’s atmosphere is a striking combination of antique and modern aesthetic. Its large outside patio overlooks the newly renovated pedestrian-friendly thoroughfare, Station Street, giving diners an opportunity to enjoy the hustle and bustle of the Southside. Every bite and every sip at STIR is crafted daily from scratch, using ingredients predominately from farms and vendors within 100 miles of Chattanooga. STIR brings an intense focus on artisan ice and craft cocktails to the Scenic City’s cocktail and dining scene.
Foodie Favorites: Dozen House Oysters (raw or steamed, cocktail, horseradish, mignonette sauce); Parmesan White Truffle Fries (white truffle oil, parmesan cheese, ranch); Crab Bisque (crab, sherry, basil oil, crostini, celery leaves, micro greens); Fried Green Tomato Burger (10 oz. fresh beef, pimento cheese, fried green tomato, lettuce, onion, mayonnaise, pickle, fries); Seared Scallops (roasted seasonal vegetables, cilantro miso vinaigrette); Banana Pudding Cheesecake (served with fresh berries); Whiskey Bramble (Bourbon, Cherry Amarascata, Lemon Juice, Orange Blossom Water, Sugar Cane Syrup).
Tony’s Pasta Shop & Trattoria
Perched high atop the historic Bluff View Art District, Tony’s Pasta Shop and Trattoria offers a taste of Old World Italy in a casual family atmosphere. Outdoor seating is available on the deck or the patio overlooking the beautiful Tennessee River, offering visitors a one-of-a-kind experience. Tony’s serves classic Italian cuisine using hand-made pastas, fresh sauces and herbs and artisan hearth breads from nearby Bluff View Bakery. Its wine list features only the best Italian wines; every Tuesday, all glasses are $5 and all bottles are $20.
Foodie Favorites: Roasted Garlic & Mozzarella Focaccia (house-made focaccia, roasted garlic mozzarella, marinara dipping sauce); “Create Your Own Pasta” Menu (hand-cut pastas and fresh sauces made with herbs and tomatoes from Tony’s very own gardens); Meatballs (a traditional Sicilian recipe handed down by the owner’s grandmother); Santa Cristina, Chianti Superiore, Toscana (bright cherry and cola aromas with the smooth vanilla tinge of French oak).
1885 Grill is a southern coastal restaurant that brings a grand and cabaret livelihood to neighborhood of St. Elmo. Nestled at the foot of Lookout Mountain, guests can enjoy the beautiful weather of the surrounding valley on the restaurant’s outdoor patio. This restaurant bridges the gap between good food and good conversation and brings a setting for late nights and shared memories between friends, families, and passersby. 1885 specializes in fresh seafood, quality steaks and southern sides, preparing each meal with sharp attention to local ingredients, beautiful presentation and friendly service.
Foodie Favorites: Pimento Cheese & Fried Okra (housemade southern pimento cheese with cornmeal fried okra served with grilled pita); Shrimp & Grits (creamy sautéed shrimp topped with fresh herbs on your choice of Adluh stone ground grits cakes, or creamy style cheese grits); Filet Mignon (7 oz. center cut CAB tenderloin seasoned and topped with blue cheese compound butter; 1885 Version of a Moscow Mule (Grey Goose Cherry Noir, bordeaux cherries, fresh lime, mint, housemade gingerbeer).