Chattanooga was challenging when it came to finding “clean” restaurants, even though there are tons of local restaurants. We were also traveling with a group, so finding places that accommodated everyone was an obstacle at times. But, we did our best and discovered some great places for Eating Clean in Chattanooga.

What’s great about traveling to Chattanooga is its proximity to the mountains, which are home to many local farmers. Lucky for us, a lot of Chattanooga restaurants take advantage of this and source their foods locally.

Remember, small local farmers typically practice less toxic or even non-toxic, organic farming techniques. This is typical because the use of harmful chemicals like pesticides, fertilizer, herbicides, and GMO products can harm the crop and soil, and also be a large additional cost. 

Fun Fact…my husband and I were actually in the middle of Auto-immune Protocol (AIP) and working through reintroductions during our trip. The good news is that we made it 6 days in Chattanooga without veering from our restrictions. We also found great food options for paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and vegetarian eaters!

Enjoy my guide to Eating Clean in Chattanooga, Tennessee!

This post may contain affiliate links that I may earn a small commission, at no additional cost from you. I only recommend products I would use and have used myself, and all opinions on this blog are my own. Read full disclosure here.

*Check out my post 6 Day Itinerary in Chattanooga, TN to read about our travels and favorite spots!

EATING OUT IN CHATTANOOGA

Southern Squeeze

Southern Squeeze was my top non-toxic food find of the trip (and it was not the easiest find)! It is located about 5-10 minutes from North Shore in more of a residential area, but worth the short drive! 

SS is a plant-based kitchen with a 100% organic menu that is completely dairy-free, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free! They also label their menu for dishes that contain nuts or oils. I mean, this place is incredible – and the food is amazing!

This is a great option for paleo and vegan eaters, and possible for AIP. Any menu adjustments are accommodated wonderfully by the staff. They also have a great grab-and-go section if you want to get something for a hike or adventure day trip.

One of the many highlights of SS is its wellness lattes. These are so good and made with house-made dairy-free milk. I wish I had gotten to try all of them! Their smoothie bowls are also the bomb, the specialty coffees are delicious, and they have great gluten-free/dairy-free/grain-free desserts.

The peace of mind that comes from traveling and finding a place that offers organic, non-toxic food, is nearly priceless. My goal is to find every restaurant, café, and coffee shop that I can, that embodies this. Southern Squeeze is definitely on that list!

Milk and Honey 

Milk and Honey was one of the places I was looking forward to eating at the most! It is a small local café that serves brunch all day, lunch, and specialty coffees.

Honestly, there are a lot of grains and dairy products on this menu. The saving grace is that the kitchen was willing to make any and every adjustment that was possible for our selections to meet our dietary restrictions. 

The menu also has several vegan options and many dishes that can be made gluten-free.

The best part about Milk and Honey is that they serve Stumptown Organic Coffee and they make all of their syrups in-house. Most of their syrups are only sweetened with honey, so ask which ones!

They have great non-dairy milk alternatives, including organic coconut milk (our favorite), which did not have any added sweetener. 

Flying Squirrel 

Flying Squirrel is a tapas-like restaurant with a great indoor/outdoor feel to the space. They use local seasonal produce and meats when available and have a great menu that does lend itself a bit too Asian cuisine. 

The menu is labeled gluten-free and vegan dishes. Overall, this is a good place for gluten-free, paleo, and vegan eaters, but not great for AIP due to spices and garnishes (even though we managed). 

*Be mindful of sauces and garnishes for soy, gluten, dairy, and sugar exposures, and be very clear with your wait staff as to what your dietary restrictions are!

*Flying Squirrel is Closed Mondays 

Wildflower Apothecary 

You\’ll find Wildflower right across Market St. from The Choo Choo Hotel. This place is one of my favorite non-toxic finds in Chattanooga. 

This apothecary sells local health and wellness goods, tinctures, & tonics. They also serve organic loose leaf teas and have a good selection of organic dark chocolate!

Many of their teas have wellness or functional purposes, but are also made for taste and enjoyment! There also offer several different sweetening options.

The atmosphere here is wonderful. They make it a point to create a relaxing and calm environment to rest, read, or enjoy a moment to escape with your cup of small-batch organic tea.  

We didn’t get to try all of the teas we wanted, so we bought several to take home with us. It\’s a perfect souvenir for that health-conscious friend of yours!

*Wildflower is Closed on Mondays

 

The Local Juicery + Kitchen

The Local Juicery + Kitchen has an extensive menu of juices, kinds of milk, snacks, smoothies, smoothie bowls, and coffee drinks. This place is perfect for breakfast, or a lighter lunch. 

Everything is made fresh daily and 100% raw ingredients are used. Unfortunately, their menu is NOT organic. However, they do try to source from local farmers, which is typically less toxic and reduces exposure to harmful chemicals.

Bantam & Biddy 

Bantam & Biddy is a casual eatery located in the center of downtown on Market Street. This place is a gold mine for gluten-free comfort food. Their chicken is pastured and locally sourced but is NOT organic. 

Their menu offers gluten-free fried chicken & waffles and gluten-free jalapeño cornbread. They also have great salad options! This is a perfect spot for takeout if you are feeling a cozy night in. 

Cashew 

Cashew is a locally owned 100% plant-based vegan café.

It is on the North Shore, right by Coolidge Park, which makes this is a perfect place to get lunch or a snack to take to the park!

They have a great grab-and-go section with their food and also packaged items/drinks from different health food brands. 

What makes this a good “clean” find is the owner\’s effort to use the highest quality ingredients and local produce when available. They also use real whole food ingredients to construct their dishes and desserts. However, the menu is NOT organic.

This café menu is labeled for gluten-free and soy-free dishes but, the highlight of Cashew is their dessert menu! This is ever-changing because everything is baked fresh and they are always coming up with new ideas.

Guys, these desserts are impressive. Most of them are gluten-free, but they do make grain-free desserts as well – just be sure to look at the ingredient list for each treat. Be sure and get here early so you don\’t miss the gluten-free donuts! 

*Cashew is Closed Sundays and Mondays

St. Johns

St. Johns is located Downtown on Market St. and is quite a fancy place. It\’s the priciest restaurant I have on this list.

St. Johns is local to Chattanooga and has an ever-changing seasonal menu. One thing I love about smaller upscale local restaurants is that they typically source their food locally and the chef is inventive and can improvise and get creative with dietary restrictions.

When we visited St. Johns, we spoke with our waiter about our dietary restrictions. He assured us that the chef would work with us and make a custom arrangement of what was fresh and available. He did, and our food was truly amazing. Our appetizer was a beautiful scallop dish with a beet puree and our mains were duck & snapper.

Something else they offer that I don’t see often at restaurants is “taste” glasses of wine. Instead of the normal 6 or 9oz, it’s a 4oz glass. This can be a treat for someone who enjoys a bit of red wine but can’t do an entire glass and doesn’t like to be wasteful.

*St. Johns is Closed Sundays & be sure to make a reservation!

Thai Smile 

Thai Smile is in Downtown Chattanooga near the Aquarium. It is a local, authentic Thai joint that has a menu with quality fresh ingredients (NOT organic) and has gluten-free options labeled on the menu (including curries)! 

The fact that we were able to eat here says a lot. Asian cuisine is notorious for soy, grains, and hot spices. Which, at the time, were absolute “No’s” for us. Don’t get me wrong, this was not an easy meal for us. We had to make a lot of menu adjustments to meet our requirements, but the server and chef were more than happy to do so and our dishes came out delicious.

We both got the Num Sod with Duck and a few modifications. They also had several options for protein and veggies, but be mindful of sauces and dressings that may contain hidden soy, dairy, sugar, bad oils, or MSG!

*Thai Smile is Closed Tuesdays & paid parking is in the lot next door.

Two Ten Jack 

Two Ten Jack is a Japanese restaurant in Warehouse Row. This was one of the nicer/more expensive restaurants that we ate at. I was a little hesitant about this restaurant with our dietary restrictions, but the menu just looked so good that I couldn’t resist. 

Typically, with menus like this, the Yakitori is the way to go. It’s grilled skewers of different proteins and veggies. We got the Skirt Steak, Asparagus + Bacon, and the Pork Belly.

We had a fantastic waiter that worked with our restricted diet, offering menu choices that worked for us. Because we couldn’t have any of the sauces that typically accompany our dishes, the chef worked with the ingredients he had in the kitchen and made some approved drizzles and toppings. This made the experience so great! 

Overall, Two Ten Jack has good options for paleo, dairy-free, and gluten-free eaters.

Public House

Public House is in Warehouse Row Downtown. We chose to eat here because of the seasonal menu and their commitment to using local farmers, butchers, and fishmongers to create their menu. They also offer a dedicated gluten-free lunch and dinner menu.

We found that Public House has a great selection of proteins and seasonal veggies. Many of the dishes do contain dairy or gluten in the sides, sauces, or breading, so we worked with our server to eliminate these and they were happy to cater to our requests. 

*Public House is Closed Sundays

EATING IN, IN CHATTANOOGA

Whole Foods

I know this isn’t local but I always like to make it known if one is located in the city we are traveling to. You can find this one in North Shore Chattanooga.

Whole Foods does grocery delivery if you decide to get an Airbnb and cook meals yourself. It’s also a great resource for hiking snacks or supplements for any health speed bumps during your travels.

Chattanooga Market

First Horizon Pavilion, 1826 Carter Street – Chattanooga

Sundays 11 AM – 4 PM (seasonal & opens mid-April)

The Chattanooga Market is a seasonal farmers market in Chattanooga that opens in mid to late April and runs through the Fall. They have local farm produce for sale, artisan foods, and local art. 

The Main Street Market 

1809 Chestnut Street Chattanooga

Wednesdays at 4 PM (open year-round)

The Main Street Market is open year-round and prides itself on being the ONLY Food-Focused Farmers Market in Chattanooga. They require that vendors practice environmentally-friendly farming methods, be located within 100 miles of the market, and that food artisan vendors only use local produce when available. Their blog also has some great recipes from local vendors and farmers. 

You might also enjoy:

en_USEnglish