$: $10 and under
$$: $10 to $15
$$$: $15 and up
From grilled buffalo strip loin to seared Arctic char, food at the area's American contemporary restaurants is as diverse as it comes. Read on for tips on where to find crab claws, casseroles and champagne Sunday brunch.
518 Tremont St.
Breakfast all day plus lunch and dinner specials. Even food star Rachael Ray made a trip to the North Shore for Aretha's waffles. $
Aris' Harbor Light
9718 Hixson Pike, Soddy-Daisy
Dine inside or out at this family-owned restaurant on the river, or pull your boat up to the dock. Try the Buffalo shrimp. Steaks and Greek specialties add bold tastes to the menu. $$
Bald Headed Bistro
201 Keith St. S.W., Cleveland, Tenn.
The menu, describing the restaurant as "Jackson Hole Come to the South," offers a wide range of items from Chicken Provence to North American Elk Tenderloin and includes items such as a wood-fired oven pepperoni pizza and a chicken salad melt. Small portion dishes also available. $$$
Beyond the Garden Gate Tea Room at Mountain Oaks
9508 Church Street, Ooltewah
Enjoy traditional afternoon tea, complete with scones, desserts and finger sandwiches in a historic mansion. Lunch served Tuesdays through Fridays and selected Saturdays. Groups welcome. $$
Big River Grille & Brewing Works
222 Broad St. 267-2739. (Second location at 2020 Hamilton Place Blvd., 553-7723)
Located in a historic trolley barn, the beer is brewed in-house and the food is made fresh from scratch daily. Pasta, seafood, sandwiches, build-your-own pizzas. $$
118 Cross St.
A small place with big flavor. Offers soup or casserole of the day at lunch, along with gourmet entrees and specials at dinner. $$
3914 St. Elmo Ave.
Located at the foot of Lookout Mountain. The menu offers $5 Small Plates or Big Plates starting at $12.95. Angus burger is among the favorites. $$
55 E. Main St.
Great breakfasts served all day, but don't miss out on made-from-scratch soups, salads and sandwiches, or one of the famous potato dishes. Closes at 2 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. $
The Blue Plate
191 Chestnut St.
Diner food has gone uptown at this eatery overlooking Chattanooga Green and the Tennessee River. Dishes are homemade using locally grown ingredients. Don't miss the Famous Fried Chicken Wrap. $
Boathouse Rotisserie & Raw Bar
1459 Riverside Drive
The view of the Tennessee River is outdone only by the food. Raw oysters, blue crab claws, clams on the half-shell and Cajun U-Peel Shrimp found in the oyster bar. The dining room features rotisserie brisket and smoked rib-eye. $$
Broad Street Grille
1201 Broad St. (at The Chattanoogan)
Steaks are a dinner specialty; the Champagne Sunday Brunch is a favorite with locals. $$$
Cafe on the Corner
826 Scenic Highway
A casual sophistication of flavors meets the palate at this eatery on Lookout Mountain. Try the shrimp and grits, Black 'n' Bleu Burger or an 8-ounce filet mignon. $$
at Georgia highways 189 and 136, Lookout Mountain
Enjoy scenic views of Cloudland Canyon on your drive to this restaurant. Try the Slash-N-Burn Catfish, or their upscale presentations of duck, pork tenderloin, steak or shrimp. Bring your own beer or wine. Hours: 5-9 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. $$
200 Manufacturers Road
Upscale food in a casual setting. A Chef's Table features personalized tasting menus and wine pairings. Dinners are offered in small, medium or large plates. $$
1010 Market St.
Chattanooga Coffee Co. is a nice little place to enjoy a java and pastry. The coffeehouse features muffins, brownies, cakes and bagels as well as espresso, cappuccino and the Chattz house blend. $
2011 Gunbarrel Road
Premium aged steaks and chops, seafood, prime rib, chicken. $$
428 Market St.
Cafeteria-style vegetarian restaurant offers salad bar, hot bar, sandwiches, soups and vegetarian pizzas to order. Plus, you can get vegetarian burgers, hot dogs and deli-style sandwiches. $
7639 Middle Valley Road
If nothing else, get the Reuben. But the deli has other meats and cheeses (try the smoked cheddar), sandwiches and salads, plus some great baklava. $
4301 Ringgold Road, East Ridge
Fresh vegetables with prime rib, lasagna, grilled pork chops, steak or lobster. Marking its 35th year in business. $$
205-C Manufacturers Road
American food with global influences. Every dish in the house is a specialty in this restored section of the old Signal Knitting Mill on Chattanooga's North Shore. Check out The Chop or shrimp and grits. $$
Greenlife Grocery Deli
301 Manufacturers Road
From tofu to tabouli, this deli is a vegetarian's dream. Many of the dishes are organic. All meats are hormone-free, and eggs are free-range. Check out the massive buffet and daily soups. Smoothies are among the best in town. $$
Greyfriar's Coffee & Tea
406-B Broad St.
Gourmet coffee along with light breakfast, lunch and dinner fare. Irish oatmeal served daily. $
193 Chestnut St.
A stylish restaurant with excellent menu and wine list. stone-seared salmon and filet are top choices. $$$
2215 Hamilton Place Blvd.
Prime rib, Carolina crab cakes, rib-eye, pasta, seafood. $$
Jefferson's Wings, Burgers and Oysters
618 Georgia Ave.
Standard pub fare such as sandwiches, burgers, chicken fingers, wings and nachos, but the large menu also affords fresh oysters (raw or baked) and peel-and-eat shrimp. Don't forget to try the fried pickles. $
2119 Gunbarrel Road, 499-4339, and 5250 Highway 153, 875-4443. (Other locations: 3592 Cummings Highway, 821-2948, and 3940 Keith St., Cleveland, Tenn., 423-478-0094)
Hand-cut steaks, Southwestern chicken, ribs. $$
Market Street Tavern
850 Market St.
An upscale tavern with a creative menu and entertainment by local musicians. Chicken Under a Brick and Tavern Burger are house specialties. Great wings. Good selection of sandwiches and salads. $$
2553 Lifestyle Way
Unique dining experience allows you to enjoy cheeses, entrees and desserts in various fondues. $$$
Niko's Southside Grill
1400 Cowart St.
A fusion of flavors on its menu. The wood-grilled salmon is a must for fish lovers, while the White Marble Farms pork chop is a top pick for those wanting meat. Eggplant Napolean is a must for vegetarians. $$
111 LaFayette Square, LaFayette, Ga.
Southern-influenced fine dining entrees such as Sweet Tea Glazed Salmon and Shrimp and Cheese Grits served in preserved former hardware store and auto dealership. Fetching appetizers and desserts round out the menu. $$
311 Broad St.
This VIP dining area inside the Carmike Majestic 12 Theater downtown takes "dinner and a show" to a new level. Try the Caribbean jerk shrimp, Caprese salad, crab cakes, chicken or shrimp wraps. Moviegoers also can order dessert and popcorn. $$
1110 Market St.
Comfort food climbs to a gourmet level in a modern-casual setting. Fresh fish, high-quality steaks, fresh side dishes, burgers and sandwiches are among the offerings. $$
St. John's Restaurant
1278 Market St.
Gourmet fare inside a renovated former hotel features some entrees uncommon to the Chattanooga market, such as grilled buffalo strip loin and seared Arctic char. Menu changes weekly. Local produce featured. Bar open earlier and later than dining room. $$$
Siren's Steak & Seafood Market
801 Signal Mountain Road
Limited seating available in the seafood market, where daily-delivered seafood such as Alaskan king crab legs and peel-and-eat shrimp may be purchased. Or select from Angus steaks, or unusual choices such as alligator tail meat, ground bison, Kobe beef and whole rabbit and sausages. $
Petunia's Silver Jalapeno
309 Signal Mountain Road, 785-7578, and 1110 Market St., 785-7578
Eatery offers 11 main dishes, nine side orders and daily specials. Quesadilla Salad and a vegetarian burger are options for nonmeat eaters. Fish tacos are one of the most popular items. $
212 Market St.
Tennessee's only certified "green" restaurant with an award-winning wine list and gourmet menu of pastas, seafood and steak. Daily specials. $$$
Toast Cafe atCoffee Crafters
326 Vine St.
Start the day with freshly roasted coffee and a bagel sandwich. At lunch, try one of the salads or creative sandwiches, such as turkey with artichoke-Parmesan spread on a sweet basil bun. $