The more things change ... the more variety Chattanoogans have when it comes to dining options.
With Americans' insatiable appetite to eat out, several dozen new restaurants opened in the area in 2012.
Ranging from fine dining to fast food, they attempt to fill the bill for diners of every palate.
Downtown diners close to Market Street can choose from Fork & Pie, 811 Market (savory, sweet pies from traditional to outrageous) or Noodles & Co., 405 Market St. (healthy, pasta-based dishes with Mediterranean, Asian or American flair).
Restaurateurs apparently sensed an interest by Chattanoogans in sushi, as at least three entered the market. E-Sushi, Second and Market streets, offers atmosphere, service and Asian fusion, while Totto Sushi Bar and Grill, 330 Frazier Ave., Suite 124, affords a voluminous menu and cozy atmosphere. Meanwhile, Sekisui moved to a new location at 1120 Houston St.
Diet-conscious diners found several new places to their liking along River Street near Coolidge Park. Baked in Chattanooga offers tasty fare in a small space; Dipped Fresh dishes up soups, salads and sandwiches but also chocolate-covered treats; and Thrive Cafe has fast, reasonably priced, healthy vegetarian fare.
Away from the central city, neighborhoods and towns also found new places to dine.
The Hamilton Place mall area saw the opening of Bar Louie, 2100 Hamilton Place Blvd. (inside the mall) (appetizers, salads, sandwiches, entrees in eclectic setting); Panda Express, 2260 Gunbarrel Road (fresh Chinese food in a hurry); and Sweet Peppers, 2040 Hamilton Place Blvd. (versatile menu in a comfortable atmosphere).
On the Highway 153 corridor, New York Pizza Department, 5731 Highway 153 (New York-style pizza and sandwiches) and Penn Station East Coast Subs, 5241 Highway 153 (signature cheesesteaks, plus other hot and cold sandwiches) settled in.
Elsewhere, new spots included Chao's Mongolian Grill, 5726 Brainerd Road (offering create-your-own bowls in a roomy location); El Mercado, 1800-A Rossville Ave. (billing itself as Chattanooga's only "pop-up" restaurant and offering unique, Latin-inspired dishes in Loose Cannon Gallery); Meo Mio's Cajun and Seafood Restaurant, 4119 Cummings Highway (something for everybody with a touch of the Big Easy); and Amigo Mexican Restaurant, 6701 Highway 58 (traditional Mexican fare in its fifth area location at Island Cove Marina).
Meanwhile fast-food diners could choose among newbies Bojangles, 7987 East Brainerd Road; Southern Burger (in Warehouse Row); and Zaxby's, 623 Signal Mountain Road.
On Signal Mountain, Gin Gin's, which offers Southern staples in cozy atmosphere, opened at 1879 Taft Highway, while Poppy's Smokehouse, serving up barbecue in casual dining atmosphere, launched at 2102 Taft Highway.
In Soddy-Daisy, Chianti Ristorante Italian and Pizzeria, 8968 Dayton Pike, offers Italian fine dining, while Delia's, 8363 Dayton Pike, moved to a new location to serve up authentic Mexican fare.
Down the road in LaFayette, Ga., Chattanooga Street Tavern, 123 N. Chattanooga St., opened to serve ambitious pub food with a British flair, while One Eleven, 111 LaFayette Square, offers upscale regional delicacies in a former hardware store and auto dealership.
Contact Clint Cooper at ccoo email@example.com or 423-757-6497.