What do you think are the best bars in Chattanooga? Guest poster Carmen joins us today to tell us her favorite drink spots in town!
Let’s all take a second to welcome my new guest poster, Carmen Patty, to the Chattavore party! Carmen is a local realtor and, like me, a Chattanooga native. She used to write her own blog as well. She’ll be writing some restaurant posts too, but for her first posts, Carmen has named her top ten best bars in Chattanooga!
As a twenty-something, I can still remember those natty light nights and plastic vodka cocktails in college. I think those nights shaped me into the food snob I am today. Instead of choking down the taaka, I think cocktails should be relished and enjoyed. Below are my favorite places to get the drinks you want to remember, not those you hope to forget!
TerraMae is probably the hippest and most interesting place in town. Their farm-to-table fare extends to their cocktail menu with most of their garnishes coming from their local farm. Nestled in the lobby of the Stone Fort Inn, TerraMae’s bar feels more like an upscale library than a traditional bar. You can try things at Terramae you will not experience anywhere else in the city. Since I am a fan of bubbles, my favorite is their French 75. While it is a classic cocktail, TerraMae makes it just right.
Hennen’s patio offers a close second to my people-watching perch at Easy. If the weather is bad, their bar is the epitome of an upscale steakhouse bar. It is dark with a granite countertops and mahogany leather stools. The selection of whiskey is astounding and their staff is some of the most knowledgeable in town. The best thing to get at Hennen’s is a glass of wine from their extensive and impressive list. I love the Martin Codax Albarino!
Beast + Barrel is the new Frazier Avenue establishment that is a much needed stylish and tasty hangout for the Northshore. They offer a multitude of interesting drinks and wines on tap. My favorite is the Smoke on the Water. Made with whiskey, Pimms, Brandy, maple syrup, and bitters, it is the most unique cocktail I have ever tried. It has hints of smoke, sweetness, and spice. It is definitely a must try!
7. Urban Stack
Urban Stack prides itself on its whiskey prowess and with good reason. They know how to mix some whiskey! My favorites are their strawberry and basil flavored Strawberry Blonde and their citrusy High Tea. The High Tea offers the best “bang for your buck” especially when it is half priced on their High Tea Tuesdays, but the Strawberry Blonde is just the right amount of herbal and sweet. You can find Urban Stack’s entire bar menu on their website.
When thinking of The Boathouse, the first things that come to mind are probably oysters and the insane views of the Tennessee River. While those two things are great reasons to go to The Boathouse, their Lawton Rita is just as good a reason! It is the best margarita I have ever had! They use only top shelf liquor and instead of serving it frozen or on rocks, they shake it like a martini and serve it up in a large martini glass. Delicious!!
The Flying Squirrel has been the place to go for nights out since its opening in Spring 2013. With its sustainable and gorgeous building, large patio and upstairs lounge, it offers a landing place for every mood. My favorite cocktail at The Flying Squirrel is their infused lemonade with their house made strawberry vodka. While I usually shy away from sweet drinks, this one has enough of a kick to make it refreshing, not cloying. If craft beer is more your jam, you’re bound to find a new favorite here. You can find Flying Squirrel Bar’s entire drink menu on their website.
4. The Social
Whether you are in their private room, or are just standing at the bar, the service at The Social is almost as impeccable as their drinks. Their cocktails are a bit pricey, but their house made pineapple-infused gin is unbelievable, especially when added to their lemonade and with a garnish of mint.
Chato is one of the few upscale eateries that manages to pull off the neighborhood hangout vibe while maintaining their consistent excellence. The food is incredible and thanks to their resident bartender, LT, the drinks shine just as brightly. Whether you’re ordering their signature Moscow Mule or you ask LT to create a tailor-made drink for you, it is always the right amount of sweet and smooth. If you’re looking for something that is practically a dessert with a buzz, order the Lindy Lou. It is a decadent chocolate martini that you’ll keep thinking of hours after it’s gone!
When you walk into St. John’s Meeting Place you feel like you have taken a departure from Chattanooga and have landed in a swanky big-city restaurant. With its dim lighting, buzz of trendy music, and sumptuous leather sofas, The Meeting Place is equal parts chic and inviting. It also offers one of the best happy hours in town because a place that can be a bit too pricey for an average weekday becomes the perfect spot for after work drinks. From 5-7 you can get a $15 bottle of Prosecco and various $5 drinks and discounted small plates. My favorite drink is their West Egg. It is a delicious concoction made from lime sour, bitters, gin, and topped off with a splash of Malbec.
1. Easy Bistro
Whenever the weather is nice, you can find me at Easy Bistro perched on their patio. One of my favorite things to do in the spring and summer is to sit and people watch with cocktails. Chattanooga’s vibrant downtown scene is so much fun to spy on! The best thing about the bar at Easy is that you can ALWAYS trust what the bartenders there suggest. No matter what your “usual” is, Easy will make it and make it better and more interesting than you’ve ever had before. My go-to at Easy is their Violet. It’s a deliciously light sparkling cocktail with a hint of Rothman & Winter’s Crème de Violette. Not only is it tasty, but I feel like such a lady sipping on a drink with a flower garnish! You can find Easy Bistro’s cocktail list on their website.