After viewing the largest collection of art in the American South at The Hunter Museum of American Art, and after strolling the world’s longest pedestrian bridge, the Walnut Street Bridge, Chattanooga visitors are bound to have worked up a thirst. Thankfully, this lively Tennessee city offers a diverse and vivacious range of bars and drinking spots, providing guests with great places to reflect, relax and enjoy an ice-cold beverage. Here’s a list of the top 10 watering holes in Chattanooga.
Offering 21 draught beers and over 100 types of bottled beer, Tremont Tavern is a venue which knows its blondes from its malts. Marketing itself as Chattanooga’s neighborhood bar, Tremont Tavern provides its customers with home-style comfort and an easygoing atmosphere, as well as some of the most succulent burgers in town, loaded with all the classic American trimmings. The U-shaped bar in the center infuses the space with a welcomingly social vibe, with both local and foreign guests curling around it to chat to one another, or to watch sports on the big screen. The assorted memorabilia on the walls, ranging from flags to old bikes, give the bar a quirky feel, and the expert, friendly staff add a personal and inviting element to drinking here.
Tremont Tavern, 1203 Hixson Pike, Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA. +1 423-266-1996
The top choice for live music lovers, Rhythm and Brews is a lively bar which is focused on showcasing talented local artists as well as musicians from all over the USA. The perfect ‘dive’ bar in which to experience Chattanooga’s thriving nightlife, guests can sip a beer or spirit from the venue’s wide range of drinks whilst listening to the best rock, folk and jazz that the town has to offer. Comfortable and unpretentious, drinkers here can enjoy the laid-back yet spirited atmosphere, can socialise with the local patrons who frequent the place, and can nibble on some tasty bar snacks including pizzas, nachos and classic, Southern-style chicken wings. Previous acts have included the internationally renowned banjo player Tall Tall Trees, and the rising country star Mitch Rossell; guests are ensured a fantastic night of entertainment here.
Rhythm and Brews, 221 Market St, Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA. +1 423-267-4644
This upmarket bar and bistro not only serves some of the tastiest food in the region, it is also one of the best spots for drinking, enjoying an ideal location in the center of town on the banks of the Tennessee river. For those wishing to eat before their night on the town, Easy‘s sophisticated menu combines flavorsome French fare with a hint of Southern charm to provide a quirky and delicious lunch or evening meal. Cocktail lovers will not be disappointed with the bar’s menu, which features a seasonal section to ensure that all ingredients are fresh, and that all flavors suit the environment perfectly. Serving a range of international craft beers as well as boasting an impressive wine list, a selection including vintages of various prices, Easy truly caters to everyone, and offers guests a stylish tipple to match the sleek and upmarket surroundings.
Easy Bar and Bistro, 203 Broad St, Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA. +1 423-266-1121
This spacious bar and brewery is situated in an historic building, an old hotel dating from the early 20th century, a structure which used to accommodate travellers from nearby Terminal Train Station. Renovated in 2006, Terminal Brew House now prides itself on being one of Chattanooga’s most beloved watering holes, frequented by craft beer lovers who flock here to taste their original, home-brewed flavors. From their hoppy Belgian white beer to their chocolatey Southsidenstein Stout, there is something for all beer lovers at this cheerful venue, and the amiable and professional staff are happy to pair drinkers’ tipples with the perfect meal from their extensive menu. Not only is Terminal Brew House a homely and welcoming place to drink, it also remains dedicated to improving the local community by being as green and as environmentally friendly as possible.
Attached to Public House, an upmarket restaurant serving Southern style-fare with a fine-dining edge, The Social is the relaxed counterpart of its glamorous culinary sibling. Offering the same menu of fresh, local produce from the same kitchen, The Social aims to provide a more informal and snug environment whilst maintaining the class of Public House, a goal which it fulfils successfully. Boasting comfy and large leather sofas to lounge on, and exuding a rustic charm, this bar is a comfortable place to unwind and sip on a cocktail or beer. Temptingly affordable, every night offers a different drinks deal incorporating wine, cocktails and pitchers, so customers here can enjoy a top bargain whilst drinking in stylish and serene surroundings.
The Social, 1110 Market St, Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA. +1 423-266-3366
A Chattanooga institution, The Comedy Catch has attracted comedy stars from the local American areas as well as across the pond, and is a lively place in which to enjoy a drink, a meal and a chuckle. Cheerful and decidedly informal, and featuring exposed brick walls and a bar which charmingly stretches the length of the venue, drinkers here can enjoy a bar menu of burgers and sandwiches, or simply sip on a beer or wine before the show. Having previously hosted comedians including the legendary Chattanooga born DJ. Lewis, and the hilarious Karen Mills, a woman whose work has appeared on GACtv, FOX and ABC, drinkers here are ensured a first-class show at a chilled-out, informal venue brimming with comedy fans young and old.
The Comedy Catch, 3224 Brainerd Rd, Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA. +1 423-629-2233
This fun Scottish-Irish themed bar is a home from home for expats missing their Celtic origins, and is a haven for locals who seek a cheerful atmosphere, live music and a free games room. With all the brewing completed on the property using malts imported from the UK, McHale’s Brew House is another Chattanooga hotspot for craft beer enthusiasts seeking to taste some original and authentic flavors. The cozy, mostly dark wood interior of this traditional British pub invites guests to curl up in a booth, get comfortable and savor a home brewed beer or a spirit from their full liquor bar. Also serving a menu of traditional American comfort food with a Celtic twist, McHale’s is an inviting and entertaining neighborhood bar.
Marketing itself as Chattanooga’s only cocktail bar, this stylish, contemporary venue serves expertly prepared drink mixes, including all of the classics as well as the house’s own signature beverages. The glamorous, modern decor and chic clientele make Robar a perfect after-work or evening spot in which to enjoy an elegant tipple and a catch up with friends. With its upscale reputation and undoubtable sophistication, drinkers here will want to dress up smartly before ordering a champagne cocktail, a great way to revive and refresh after a busy week.
As the name suggests, Local 191 is a friendly neighborhood joint which really epitomizes Southern hospitality, a venue exuding a mellow atmosphere and an easygoing vibe. The sister bar of Robar, Local 191 shares its passion for good cocktails and is famous for its cocktail carafes, a beverage which visitors can share amongst three or four people for a more sociable drinking experience. Offering an impressive list of classic mixes, with martinis and Moscow mules as well as a number of spirits, wines and beers to suit all preferences, guests can’t go wrong in this modern and modestly decorated venue. Serving traditional American comfort fare too, including the mouth-watering shrimp mac and cheese and fried buttermilk chicken tenders, the food at Local 191 receives consistently positive reviews, ensuring it is always bustling with satisfied customers.
Local 191, 191 Chestnut Street, Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA. +1 423-648-6767
By Megan O’Hara