$: $10 and under
$$: $10 to $15
$$$: $15 and up
Traditions run deep in Chattanooga, with American fare in the forefront. Read on for a road map to the best steaks, burgers, sandwiches and country-style vegetables in the region.
5840 Lake Resort Terrace
Selection of appetizers, soups and salads, sandwiches and Angus burgers, wings and handmade Italian pizzas, plus entrée selections from broiler or grill menu featuring everything from spaghetti and meatballs to steaks, chicken and seafood dishes. $$
4500 Dodds Ave.
One of Chattanooga's favorite all-you-can-eat places. Spin the huge Lazy Susans to fill your plate with Southern cooking, and grab some cobbler for dessert. $
200 W. 38th St. (in Bethlehem Center)
Buffet offers a different meat each day, plus a variety of country-style, comfort-food sides. Dessert is included. $
Buffalo Wild Wings
120 Market St., 634-0468, 5744 Highway 153, 877-3338 and 625 Paul Huff Parkway, Cleveland, Tenn., 423-472-3288
Burgers, salads, sandwiches, spring, ribs and the house specialty -- wings -- in several levels of spiciness. $
138 Market St.
Supreme burgers, sandwiches and salads. Finish a one-pounder and get your picture on the wall, but the 7-ounce Semi-Serious is the favorite. $
Cherry Street Diner
701 Cherry St.
Hearty Southern breakfasts (anyone for Bacon Cakes or Greek Omelets?) and waist-expanding lunches (perhaps a hard-to-find Monte Cristo?) are on the menu. $
901 Carter St. (Days Inn Rivergate), 634-9191, and 7641 Lee Highway (Best Western Heritage Inn), 485-8222
Tremendous variety of appetizers, soups and chili, salads, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, chicken sandwiches, melts, Philly cheese steaks, stir-fries, American, Mexican, Greek and Italian specialties, and desserts (especially the work-of-art cakes) -- all served 24 hours. $
Cookie Jar Cafe
1887 Kelly Cross Road, Dunlap, Tenn.
Nine entrees offered, or guests can create their own country plate from four daily meat choices, plus some 20 hot or cold sides. There's also a special daily entree, soup of the day, main-dish salads, burgers and sandwiches. $
7320 Shallowford Road
"Down-home Dixie" menu items made from family recipes. Rainbow trout and grouper are new favorites. Family-friendly atmosphere for breakfast and lunch. Large Sunday buffet. $
8223 Mahan Gap Road, Ooltewah
Neighborly restaurant serves up home-cooked meals from family recipes, including broasted chicken, skillet-fried okra and skilled-fried sweet potatoes. But don't forget the wide assortment of desserts. $
302 W. Villanow St., LaFayette, Ga.
Casual dining in family-type restaurant offers daily meat-and-veggie specials as well as drive-in fare, plus an ice cream treats menu. $
Diamond Billiard Club
3600 Hixson Pike, Suite 118
The 10-ounce Angus burger is smothered in grilled onions and gravy. Specials, salads, sandwiches, steaks, chicken and pizza round out the menu. Bring a pool cue to play a round while you wait. $
3258 Chattanooga Valley Road, Flintstone, Ga.
Meat-and-veggie specials, such as made-to-order chicken livers, plus a line of sandwiches and salads make this a favorite homespun eatery. $
3904 Ringgold Road, East Ridge
Casual family dining offers variety of items from Greek salad to Chicken Picatta to one-pound Hungry Man Burger. Or try the soup, salad and pizza buffet. $
Fehn's 1891 House
449 Delaware Ave., Dayton, Tenn.
Third-generation restaurateurs serve up fried chicken and macaroon pie in historic home. Beef or fish entrees and a special of the day available, too. $$
Figgy's Sandwich Shop
805 Chestnut St.
Often referred to as the best sandwich shop in town. A secret sauce accents the ham-and-turkey. The fruit tea and brownies also draw raves. $
Five Guys Burgers and Fries
401 Broad St., 531-8267; 5110 Hixson Pike, 870-7772; and 2020 Gunbarrel Road, 664-3500
Big and slightly smaller burgers and massive amounts of fries make this more than a run-of-the-mill burger joint. Also veggie burgers and hot dogs. $
Fox and Hen Cafe & Deli
4767 Highway 58
Order at the counter from daily specials, pasta, pizzas, sandwiches and salads. Full deli counter offers meats, cheeses, potato and pasta salads and desserts. $
Golly Whoppers Sandwich Shop
6337 East Brainerd Road
Generous portions served up in specialty or create-your-own sandwiches. Salads, including the best taco salad in town, soups and delicious bar desserts (full square or bite size) also available. $
Herman's Soul Food & Catering
3821 Brainerd Road
Southern cooking includes items such as Million Dollar Meatloaf, Famous Whiting Fish (grilled or fried) and Smothered Pork Chops With Rice. Or go for Clifford's Chicken & Waffles. $
Hillbilly's 3514 Hixson Pike
Fresh vegetables and Southern-style meats, including fried chicken, chicken livers, barbecue pork, and chicken and dressing. Daily specials also available, plus burgers, sandwiches and salads -- and crepes. $
409 N. Main St., LaFayette, Ga.
Chicken salad a specialty, but sandwiches, grilled items, meat-and-veggie dishes and desserts also available in this favorite lunch-only spot. $
8804 Dayton Pike, Soddy-Daisy
Old-fashioned ice cream parlor serves up 20 flavors of ice cream, treats such as banana splits, plus items such as foot-long hot dogs and sandwiches. $
Marsha's Backstreet Cafe
5032 Brainerd Road
A no-frills, home-style cafe with burgers, sandwiches and daily meat-and-veggie specials. Repeat customers swear by it. $
2697 Johnson Road, Chickamauga, Ga.
Home cooking at its best. Homemade rolls, hash-brown casserole and sweet potato pie draw raves, but also try the zucchini casserole or any of the fresh vegetables. $
Meo Mio's Cajun & Seafood Restaurant
4119 Cummings Highway
Take it home by the Bayou Bucket or select from Cajun-inspired fish, chicken, beef and pasta dishes, plus specialties such as boudin, jambalaya and red beans and rice. $$
3535 Broad St.
Upscale Southern fare includes homemade dishes made with fresh seafood, certified black Angus meats and homemade pasta. Or choose from the Daily Healthy Choice Option and array of fresh salads. Don't forget a slice of amaretto pie. $$
Nitty Gritty Cafe
11210 Dayton Pike, Soddy-Daisy
Mayberry-esque eatery has down-home Southern flavor with daily specials, selection of burgers, entree-size salads, sandwiches, hot dogs, chili and 21 sides each day. Leave room for dessert such as made-from-scratch Ooey Gooey Butter Cake and Hummingbird Cake. $
Nikki's Drive Inn
899 Cherokee Blvd.
Known for its burgers, chicken livers and fried shrimp, the restaurant is a Chattanooga institution. Fried or grilled grouper are other good choices as well as the onion rings. $
Northgate Mall, 875-6115, and Hamilton Place, 892-4909
All-you-can-eat buffet, or try a meat-and-two veggie meal or a meat-and-three Real Meal Comfort Deal. Fish lovers can sample a different specialty every day of the week. $
Pigeon Mountain Country Store
18381 Highway 193, Chickamauga, Ga.
Barbecue with a view is the specialty, but guests also can sample the locally raised, grass-fed longhorn beef burgers, ribs, Abita root beer on tap and excellent soups. $
827 Broad St.
From ocean fresh seafood to finely prepared steaks, the restaurant in the Sheraton Read House has an option for every palate, including vegetarian fare, at breakfast, lunch and dinner. $$$
Riverside Catfish House
18039 Highway 41
Catfish in several varieties, but diners also can select from frog legs, prime rib, shrimp and chicken. Top off dinner with homemade coconut cake or Earthquake Cake. $
Sluggo's North Vegetarian Cafe
501 Cherokee Blvd.
A vegetarian restaurant frequented by meat lovers, who delight in items such as the Thai chili bowl or black bean burrito. There also are daily specials and homemade desserts. $
Buffet dining for lunch and dinner, as well as specialty events, all while cruising the Tennessee River on a riverboat. $$$
Southern Comfort Steakhouse and Nightclub
511 Broad St.
Southern comfort food meat-and-three lunches are standard, but there are also homemade soups, salads, wraps, a bison burger and skewered grilled tiger shrimp over linguini in wine-herb sauce. $
1300 Broad St., 267-8899. (Other take-out only location, 1210 Taft Highway, 886-7004).
The menu has mainstays such as the warm Milano pasta salad, but the daily Blue Plate specials -- meats, sides, soups and specials -- continue to draw patrons. $
Southside Saloon & Bistro
1301 Chestnut St.
Low-priced daily lunches include burgers, sandwiches, salads and specials, and items such as wings, nachos and other bite-size morsels own the weekend. $
Splitz Bar and Grill
6241 Perimeter Drive
Wraps, sandwiches, burgers and salads along with a variety of finger foods to nosh on, plus drinks, desserts and a kids menu, on tap inside Pin Strikes Bowling and Laser Tag Entertainment Center. $
1400 Market St. (Chattanooga Choo-Choo)
All steak, ribs and seafood choices include salad bar and all-you-can-eat fresh shrimp -- plus entertainment from a live band and your personal singing server. $$
1145 Poling Circle, Soddy-Daisy
Try the Kickin' Chicken, catfish or ribs in comfortable, casual location on the river at Pine Harbor Marina. Come by car or boat. $$
2 Carter Plaza (Chattanooga Marriott)
Wide variety of items for breakfast and lunch, but at dinner select from mouth-watering dishes such as the ribeye, Pasta Provencal or Lemon Chicken Breast. $$
1203 Hixson Pike
The Tavern Burger is the favorite in this nonsmoking, Riverview lunch-dinner venue, but there are other burgers, sandwiches, paninis, wraps and even a quesadilla from which to choose. Plus you can select from more than 100 different brews and listen to music with friends several nights a week. $
207 Frazier Ave.
Recently revamped rest-aurant featuring Southern contemporary, or "twisted grandma," recipes such as meat loaf salad, Georgia Pecan Crusted Chicken and Hot Fudge Coca-Cola Cake. $
1600 McCallie Ave., 698-4643, and 6521 Ringgold Road, 899-6151
Open since 1937, the memory-making restaurant serves Southern cooking at breakfast, lunch or dinner. Meat-and-veggies a specialty. East Ridge location offers full menu or buffet. $
Zarzour's Eats & Jackie's Treats
809 Market St.
Something for everyone, from sandwiches and burgers to soups and salads. Specials include bourbon-glazed chicken, lasagna and home-cooked veggies. Breakfast also served. $