The weather is warming up and the sun is starting to shine. It is time to get back to all the great outdoor dining options Chattanooga has to offer. I reached out to my Facebook friends to make sure I included all the favorite spots on this list. Some of these restaurants are better for lunch or for dinner, so I have tried to mention that in the descriptions. Many local restaurants have expanded or modified their outdoor dining areas over the last year.
Here is my list of family friendly favorites:
1885: With locations in St. Elmo and Ooltewah, 1885 serves southern coastal fare and has a really nice outdoor dining area, and it is family friendly. They serve lunch and dinner, as well as brunch on the weekend.
Boathouse Rotisserie and Raw Bar: Boathouse is a great spot overlooking the Tennessee River. They have a big menu and choices to please everyone. The outdoor dining overlooking the river is one of the prettier spots in Chattanooga, and they have heaters when it is a little cool. They are open daily for lunch and dinner.
Cafe on the Corner: I have not been here, but it was suggested by a friend for having a great patio and yummy food. Cafe on the Corner is located on Lookout Mountain and serves southern food. They are open for lunch and dinner Tuesday to Saturday, and Sunday brunch from 11am- 3pm.
Champy’s: With locations downtown on MLK, on Lee Highway, and in East Ridge, Champy’s is another restaurant on our family favorites list. The kids love the sausage and cheese plate appetizers and their fried chicken, and we love the crawfish when it is in season. They have outdoor dining on a covered patio with heaters when it is a little cool outside. They have a good bar scene, but are also very family friendly and casual.
Charlie’s BBQ & Bakery: Located a little off the beaten path on East Main Street, Charlie’s BBQ has a great outdoor patio dining area that has a very cool vibe while also being very family friendly, and their BBQ is some of our favorite in town. Note that they are closed Sunday to Tuesday.
Daily Ration: Daily Ration has a large patio and since it used to be a gas station, so many of the outdoor tables are positioned where the old gas pumps used to be. It is always packed and kid friendly. They are open 8am to 2pm so no dinner here, but it’s a great spot with a neighborhood feel, especially on Saturday and Sunday.
Edley’s BBQ: Located on the Northshore, Edley’s is another BBQ favorite with a variety of menu items that are all delicious. They have a really large patio dining area with a play area for kids and great kids’ menu items, which make it one of my kids’ top three places to eat together.
Fiamma: Located on North Market Street across from Publix, Fiamma is my husband’s favorite pizza spot. They have a nice outdoor dining area at the back of the restaurant with a fence around it, so it is great with the kids when the weather is nice!
Parkway Pourhouse: While this is more of a bar/restaurant combo, the outdoor covered patio is large and the food is straight from the “Big Easy,” so there are a lot of favorites that our kids enjoy too. Parkway is located in the always growing Riverfont Parkway area and is open Mondays 3pm-10pm and for lunch and dinner every other day.
Public House: While I think of this more as adult downtown dining, they have a great kids’ menu and we love their food so we end up here a good bit. They have a really pretty outdoor dining area that is a great spot for lunch or dinner when the weather is nice.
State of Confusion: This is one of the largest and coolest outdoor dining spots in Chattanooga, and one of our favorites. The menu is unique with a lot of variety from things like ceviche to paella to shrimp and grits. The kids love playing on the patio and there is usually plenty of room for larger tables if you come with a group. They are open for lunch and dinner, as well as a brunch on the weekends. State of Confusion is located on East Main Street.
Steve’s Landing: If you find yourself on the lake or in Soddy Daisy, Steve’s Landing is another one of our favorites. It is casual and the food is delicious, and they handle big groups well. It is on the water and is a great spot to come by boat or by car! They are currently open Wednesday and Thursday for dinner, and Friday to Sunday for lunch and dinner.
Stir: One of our favorite restaurants in Chattanooga, Stir serves lunch and dinner as well as a brunch on the weekends. They have a nice outdoor dining area at the side of the restaurant with good people watching when the weather is nice. The only thing that makes it not in our weekly rotation is it is usually a pretty long wait on the weekends. It’s location at the Choo Choo also makes it fun to stroll around after lunch or dinner and see the outdoor areas there.
Taco Mamacita: Taco Mamacita has a great covered patio, and a menu that the whole family loves. The menu is fresh Mexican food, reimagined. They have delicious and unique taco choices, and I am never disappointed with anything I try. They are open every day for lunch and dinner.
Tony’s Pasta: We love Tony’s Pasta for a date night or on a weeknight with the kids. Located in the Bluff View Art District, they have really nice outdoor seating and you feel like you have traveled to a quaint restaurant in Italy. It is fun to walk around the sculpture garden and have a dessert or coffee at Rembrandt’s Coffee. They are open for lunch and dinner.
Tremont Tavern: While Tremont is more of an adult bar spot, their burgers are so delicious and their new outdoor side patio makes it one of our family favorites for lunch. We wouldn’t normally include the kids for dinner, but it is kid friendly enough at lunch for our kids to like it! They have awesome burgers, chicken fingers, and tater tots that are our favorites. It is located in North Chattanooga, and is open for lunch and dinner, but closed on Mondays.
Universal Joint: Located downtown near the Courthouse, this is also a converted gas station with a large covered patio. They have a good menu, and lots of space to enjoy a pretty day outside. They are open every day for lunch and dinner.
Vine Street Market: Vine Street Market is located in a small spot in Riverview and is open for lunch and until 6pm. They have tables outside on the grassy lawn, which I have to mention because my kids love to eat lunch here and I do too! They have salads and sandwiches, and delicious desserts, and we just love the quaint, neighborhood feel.
Some Chain Restaurants with good outdoor dining to also keep in mind:
Chicken Salad Chick (in Hixson and on Gunbarrel Road), Aubrey’s (Hixson), Your Pie (on Gunbarrel Road), Tupelo Honey (downtown), and Bonefish Grill (Hamilton Place).