What to do in the 'Noog?
February 26, 2009 6:43 AM   Subscribe

Need suggestions on unique things to do while in Chattanooga for a week.

I'm going to be in Chattanooga for a week in March on business. I need some interesting things to do in my free time (mostly in the evenings). Have already done the Aquarium, and typical touristy stuff. I'm not a drinker, so no bars please, but any unique restaurant suggestions would be cool.
posted by te1contar to Travel & Transportation around Chattanooga, TN (10 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: St. John's. Arguably the best restaurant in town. Excellent food, excellent atmosphere, and a charming bar next door. Yeah, I know you don't do bars, but if you're looking for the place where the cool kids hang out, that's likely it.

Blue Orleans Downtown. Reasonably authentic cajun place in the middle of the revitalized Main St.

Niedlov's Breadworks. Best damn bread anywhere. They've got a nice little cafe too. Also in the new Main St. area. Also, about a block up from Neidlov's on the north side of Main is an awesome little Greek diner.

The Southside Grill is also excellent.

La Altena is a ridiculously good Mexican place. The queso is to die for.

Sekisui is a better-than-average sushi joint, but it's nothing to write home about.

You're also going to want to hit up Jack's Alley, which connects Broad and Market St. between 4th and 5th. There's a Panera in there, but there's also Taco Mac, which has a decent beer list, and Sticky Fingers, which has ridiculously awesome barbecue ribs.

There's also a couple of good places across the river at Coolidge Park: Northshore Grille, Mud Pie, etc., but also an excellent local ice cream place, Clumpies. The park is easily accessible via the walking bridge which connects the art district (check out the Hunter Museum if you get a chance) and downtown. There's another bridge-like walkway which connects the aquarium and the walking bridge, so the whole place is really pedestrian friendly thanks to a bout of urban renewal over the last fifteen years or so.

If you're a little more adventurous, google Yum Yum Restaurant. Chinese place run out of some guy's living room. Not the cleanest, not the classiest, but an awesome dive. No menus. Just tell them what you want and they cook it up. Massive portions, excellent food, reasonable prices.
posted by valkyryn at 6:59 AM on February 26, 2009

Best answer: Get a lemonade and pulled-pork sandwich from Master Blaster. Tell them the Canadian girl from last summer sent you, the smiley one who came in with the tall grouchy guy, and then took a zillion photographs, and then FREAKED OUT about how good the food was. It is seriously the best BBQ I've ever imagined. They only open 4 days a week because on the other 3 days they're brining the meat, for pete's sake. They're flat sold out by 3pm Sunday afternoons. Oh man. Plus the owner-lady was lovely and chatted with us for ages. If there is a heaven, and if I manage to trick them into letting me in, I won't be surprised at all if Master Blaster is the welcome dinner. Total highlight of the trip.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 7:25 AM on February 26, 2009

It's just not going to be a trip to Chattanooga without seeing Rock City, Ruby Falls and getting a Rock City birdhouse.
Gnomes optional.
posted by willmize at 7:34 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

In addition to Rock City and Ruby Falls, there is the UFO House on Signal Mountain. Chattanooga is also home to the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum. Unfortunately, it appears that the National Knife Museum moved up the road to Sevierville, TN.
posted by Andy's Gross Wart at 8:12 AM on February 26, 2009

Just across the river, Nikki's has the most amazing onion rings. I'd do anything short of driving +three hours to get an order right now.
posted by Classic Diner at 8:25 AM on February 26, 2009

I've heard tell from my Dad (who lives in nearby north Georgia) that there's an obscure French restaurant called La Cabriolet that's worth checking out. Apparently they're only open a couple of nights a week, have a fixed menu, and only offer a couple of seatings per night. Reservations are required, and it's reported to be amazing. I haven't made it up to find out yet, but it's on my list for our next trip (coincidentally, probably in March).
posted by fogovonslack at 9:23 AM on February 26, 2009

There is an EXCELLENT disc golf course, called The Sinks because of the sinkholes throughout the property.

Click me for more info.
posted by dontrockwobble at 9:45 AM on February 26, 2009

I prefer the sister restaurant to St. Johns, called The Meeting Place (it's next door). A bit hipper, although they are both great restaurants.

We loved Clumpies! They also sell loaded hot dogs. Yummy. And there's a guy under the pedestrian bridge who sells shave ice and fresh lemonade (at least he did in summer).

We went with our kids, and took a "duck" tour (a WWII-era DUKW) that drives along the city streets and plops into the river for a tour up and down. The tour is short, the guys talks a mile a minute, and it was just fun. We got to drive the boat, even. It operates out of a little local war museum showing various locals and where they served... kinda sweet.
posted by mdiskin at 9:52 AM on February 26, 2009

If you've never eaten at J. Alexander's, I cannot recommend it highly enough. It's located over by Hamilton Place Mall, and here's the menu. It is a chain, but not a typical one by any means. Absolutely fantastic and affordable food, beautiful atmosphere, and the service is simply beyond compare. My husband and I try to eat there at least once a month because it is such a joy.

However, if you want to stick closer to downtown, I can confidently second the Southside Grill suggestion. And if the weather is nice, you can't beat a lovely meal at The Boathouse, overlooking the river.
posted by cloudsandstars at 10:04 AM on February 26, 2009

Best answer: If you can daytrip a little, the Old Stone Fort near Manchester is a beautiful and thought provoking place. It's an ancient Native American construction, possibly a ceremonial center, and impressively large.
posted by cdc at 10:53 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

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