American contemporary is a wide-open category that includes everything from shrimp and waffles to Champagne Sunday brunch and organic offerings. In Chattanooga, such eateries range from inexpensive fare to high-brow fine dining.
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. $
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. $$
201 Keith St. SW, Cleveland, Tenn.
The menu, describing the restaurant as "Jackson Hole Come to the South," offers a wide range of items from Chicken Provence to North American Elk Tenderloin and includes items such as a wood-fired oven pepperoni pizza and a chicken salad melt. Small portion dishes also available. $$$
9508 Church St., 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. $$
222 Broad St., 267-2739, and 2020 Hamilton Place Blvd., 553-7723
Located in a historic trolley barn, the pub brews its beer in-house. The food is made fresh from scratch daily. Pasta, seafood, sandwiches, build-your-own pizzas. $$
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. $$
809 Market St.
Relocated to Market Street after a year in St. Elmo. The menu offers $5 Small Plates or Big Plates starting at $12.95. Kobe burger is among the favorites. $$
55 East 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. $
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. $
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. $$
1201 Broad St. (at The Chattanoogan)
Steaks are a dinner specialty; the Champagne Sunday Brunch is a favorite with locals. $$$
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. $$
1400 Patten Road, Lookout Mountain, Ga.
Located inside Rock City (must pay regular admission price to enter), the new cafe offers a combination of nouveau Southern dishes such as shrimp and grits and frog legs along with traditional items such as fried chicken and fried green tomatoes. $$
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. $$
200 Manufacturers Road
Upscale food in a casual setting. A Chef's Table features personalized tasting menus and wine pairings. Dinners are offered in small, medium or large plates. $$
2011 Gunbarrel Road
Premium aged steaks and chops, seafood, prime rib, chicken. $$
7639 Middle Valley Road
If nothing else, get the Reuben. But the deli has other meats and cheeses (try the smoked cheddar), sandwiches and salads, plus some great baklava. $
313 Manufacturers Road
Focused on meat, vegetables and other products from local farmers. Try the pumpkin bisque and boiled peanut hummus appetizers or go straight to sandwiches such as roasted vegetables with pimiento cheese and sorghum-glazed bacon. $$
4301 Ringgold Road, East Ridge
Fresh vegetables with prime rib, lasagna, grilled pork chops, steak or lobster. In business for more than 35 years. $$
205-C Manufacturers Road
American food with global influences. Every dish in the house is a specialty in this restored section of the old Signal Knitting Mill on Chattanooga's North Shore. Check out The Chop or shrimp and grits. $$
811 Market St.
Riffing on the traditional pot pie, Fork and Pie dresses them up with Tuscan chicken, barbecue, Mexican flavors and spinach. Of course, it also serves the familiar chicken and veggie pot pies. You also can get dessert pies such as apple, blueberry, pecan and others. $$
1919 Gunbarrel Road
Call it F2O for short. The menu includes grilled pizzas, appetizers such as Blackened Lime Shrimp and panini-bread sandwiches stuffed with chicken, BLT, pork, bourbon filet or vegetables. Larger plates with the same items and salads also are available. $$
1879 Taft Highway
Part of the restaurant family that includes Silver Jalapeno, Gin Gin's takes a basic menu of small plates, sandwiches and salads, couples that with Southern staples and does them all very well. Bring your own alcoholic beverage, though. $$
428 Market St.
Vegetarian and vegan dishes available, including soups, salads and hot meals. $
193 Chestnut St.
A stylish restaurant with excellent menu and wine list. Cedar-plank salmon and filet are top choices. $$$
2215 Hamilton Place Blvd.
Prime rib, Carolina crab cakes, rib-eye, pasta, seafood. $$
618 Georgia Ave.
Standard pub fare such as sandwiches, burgers, chicken fingers, wings and nachos, but the large menu also affords fresh oysters (raw or baked) and peel-and-eat shrimp. Don't forget to try the fried pickles. $
2119 Gunbarrel Road, 499-4339, 504-A Northgate Mall, 875-4443; and 3592 Cummings Highway, 821-2948.
Hand-cut steaks, Southwestern chicken, ribs. $$
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. $$
1278 Market St.
Gourmet fare inside a renovated former hotel features some entrees uncommon to the Chattanooga market, such as grilled buffalo strip loin and seared Arctic char. Menu changes weekly. Local produce featured. Bar open earlier and later than dining room. $$$
801 Signal Mountain Road
Limited-seating available in the seafood market, where fresh, daily-delivered seafood such as Alaskan king crab legs and peel-and-eat shrimp may be purchased. Or select from Angus steaks, plus unusual choices such as alligator tail meat, ground bison, Kobe beef, whole rabbit and sausages. $
1110 Market St.
Warehouse Row 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. $
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. $
120-A E. 10th St.
Using the Appalachian Mountains as its culinary territory, from Maine to Tennessee and Georgia, TerraMáe's "unfamiliar" fare includes lunch items such as White Bean and Rosemary Ham Soup with Cracklin' Cornbread and a Pickled Shrimp Salad, while dinner choices feature Country Ham Wrapped Scallops, Pot Roast and Season Ravioli. $$$
212 Market St.
Tennessee's only certified "green" restaurant with an award-winning wine list and gourmet menu of pastas, seafood and steak. Daily specials. $$$
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. $$