Chattanooga’s best kept secret

In one of Chattanooga’s best kept secrets you’ll find boutiques, restaurants, coffeehouses, galleries, salons and day spas, a park, and even one of the area’s most scenic photo opp spots. Where is this jewel of a place located, and what else can be done there? Read more to find out.

By: Brad Bacon

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop)–In one block you will be able to eat in an open air restaurant, shop at one of a kind stores found nowhere else in the world, play in a fountain in the middle of a park, and even ride a carousel. Sounds a lot like New York City right? Wrong, this one of a community is none other than Chattanooga’s NorthShore.

NorthShore, as the locals call it, offers 10 gift shops, six distinctly different restaurants, 10 arts & crafts stores, seven separate home and garden stores, Coolidge Park, the Chattanooga Theatre Centre and two unique bakeries & dessert shops along with about 1000 other shops and businesses. With so much to do in the area you will probably need a road map to the best stores and attractions.

Keep in mind the area I feel is the best covers about two square miles of NorthShore, but it is all close enough to see and do in a few visits.

Everyone loves shopping, and in NorthShore, you can spend your money on just about anything. When it comes to the outdoor enthusiast, no store can compare to Rock Creek Outfitters. According to the store’s official website’s “About Me” section “Rock/Creek is an independent specialty outdoor retailer based in Chattanooga, Tennessee with over 20 years of brick and mortar experience. With a dedicated staff of outdoor enthusiasts and gear experts, Rock Creek offers only the very best outdoor apparel and equipment to ensure that customers are comfortable and safe in the outdoors.” Anyone that has ever been inside one of the retail locations can vouch for the stores seemingly endless supply of any and everything outdoors.

Once visitors have had their fill of shopping, they can fill their bellies at one of excellent eateries. NorthShore offers a number of restaurants, but in my opinion hands down the best place to eat is NorthShore Grille Smokin’ Crabshack and Canteen. The restaurant offers an open air area where the bar is located, as well as a screened in porch for customers to enjoy on nice summer evenings.

“The Smokin’ Crabshack is my favorite place to eat,” Tyler Brown, a Chattanooga sophomore said. “I’m not old enough to drink yet, but all of my friends say the Grille makes the best all white Caucasian they have ever had. All I know is I love their hamburgers.”

After you have eaten some of the best food in Chattanooga, the day will be winding down and the sun will be setting. This will be a perfect time to take a stroll around Coolidge Park. According to the park’s official website, “Coolidge Park features a beautifully restored 100 year old carousel, a pavilion, an interactive play fountain, the Outdoor Chattanooga Center, and lots of open space.  It is a popular destination for concerts, movies-in-the-park, festivals, and special events.” With so many fun attractions Coolidge Park is a must-do destination for those who love to have a great time outdoors.

Another unique and hip place to visit in the NorthShore area is the store Greenlife Grocery. Greenlife is a shop that offers foods and products that have been raised in an environmentally friendly or “green” nature. Not only are the products sold inside the store organic and all around good for you, the building itself was constructed to have as little effect on the environment as possible. The building is LEED certified and even has an organic roof to reduce harm to Mother Earth.

Now that almost every aspect of NorthShore has been highlighted, the most logical end would be a dessert right? Exactly, and in NorthShore there and plenty of delicious shops to choose a tasty treat from. There is Clumpies Ice Cream Co. and Sweet CeCe’s Frozen Yogurt and Treats for those who something with a little chill, but the best place to grab a diet buster is Whipped Cupcakes.

“My friends and I have tried just about every cupcake shop in Chattanooga, and Whipped is by far the best,” Hayley Martin, a Franklin, Tenn. junior said. “They are the oldest, and they have the best prices, I mean what’s not to love?”

With so much to see and so much to do Chattanooga has a unique and easily accessible gem of community in NorthShore.

Students who want to visit NorthShore can by simply walking over the Market Street bridge, or by riding on Chattanooga’s Downtown Electric Shuttle. Parking can be paid for on a long term basis, and most shops have a few spots for patrons to use.

Visit the communities’ official website here.

Vegetarian Chattanooga

By:Brooke Fontana

Chattanooga,TENN(UTC/The Loop) The term vegetarian and vegan are used interchangeably, but there are many different variations of an all “vegetable diet”.

Veg⋅e⋅tar⋅i⋅an [vej-i-tair-ee-uhn]-noun-a person who does not eat or does not believe in eating meat, fish or fowl.

Veg⋅an [vee-guhn]-noun-a vegetarian who omits all animal products from their diet.

Most people assume Chattanooga is a vegetarian friendly city because of it’s growing amount of weekly farmers markets, the eco-friendly atmosphere and the bicycle friendly roads. Chattanooga seems like the perfect city to have a vast amount of vegetarian and vegan options in town. There are approximately 6-8 million adult vegetarians in the United States, and with this many herbivores cities like Chattanooga should consider more vegetarian options.

Greenlife's food bar with vegetarian friendly items

Greenlife's food bar with vegetarian friendly items

Vegan Hillary Mullins says she became a vegan a year ago because it was better for her health, the earth and the animals. Heidi Vasterling said she has been a vegetarian off and on for about 14 years, consistently for the past 4 years, and a vegan for about 8 months. Her reasoning for possessing an all veggie diet was because of family health history. Lifelong vegetarian Jesse Green says his parents raised him vegetarian, and has never eaten a bite of meat in his life.

Going Green is a growing trend and part of that trend has included going vegetarian. Buying local and organic is something that many people are doing to better their health, and to help the local markets. How does being vegetarian help the environment you may ask? It takes an average of 2,500 gallons of water to produce a single pound of meat and it only takes only 25 gallons of water to produce one pound of wheat. According to Vegan Outreach the animal agriculture business is the second largest contributor to global warming, and 20 vegetarians could live off the amount of land that 1 omnivore could.

Elizabeth Southall grabbing a Boca Burger (hamburger substitute)

Elizabeth Southall grabbing a Boca Burger (hamburger substitute)

Some people may wonder how vegetarians/vegans get the needed amounts of protein that you would usually get from meat. The biggest means of protein for a vegetarian/vegan would be soy. Soy can be used in many items such as milk, meat substitutes,and cheese substitutes. Another means of protein for veggie eaters is nuts, beans, rice, spinach, and broccoli.

Philly Steak Tofurky meat subsitute

Philly Steak Tofurky meat subsitute

For a person who is transitioning from the carnivore to herbivore diet it may be hard to imagine life without meat. Well you don’t really have to live life without meat, well a meat substitute make from tofu.

Some meat substitutes that are popular in the vegetarian community include:

  • Boca Burgers
  • Tofurkey
  • Meatless Sausage
  • Tofu Pups (hotdog substitute)
  • Seitan
  • Tempeh
  • Smart Chili

Heidi says you have to dig to find vegetarian/vegan meals at restaurants in Chattanooga, but there are definitely options. However…I wish there were more strictly vegetarian/vegan restaurants.

Chattanooga does have some strictly vegetarian/vegan restaurants such as:

Chattanooga also has many vegetarian/vegan friendly restaurants  and health stores such as:



Chattanooga's newest vegetarian/vegan restaurant

Chattanooga's newest vegetarian/vegan restaurant

Sluggos is new to Chattanooga and is the 2nd fully vegetarian/vegan friendly restaurant. It has gotten positive feedback from many veggie eaters, Heidi Vasterling says “I highly recommend it because the atmosphere and food are awesome”.

Some dishes Sluggos offers are Macho Nachos with homemade chili, (vegan)cheezy sauce, lettuce, fresh salsa, tofu sour cream, and avocado. Another popular item served at Sluggos is the BBQ Tofu Sub made with veganaise(vegan mayonnaise) and homemade BBQ sauce.

Sluggos is located at:
501 Cherokee Blvd
North Chattanooga
Lunch Wednesday – Saturday 11am-3pm
Dinner Tuesday – Saturday 5pm-1am


Country Life is the first 100% veggie friendly restaurant

Country Life is the first 100% veggie friendly restaurant

Country Life

Country Life is a restaurant dedicated to health and providing the best vegetarian/vegan options they can. It is operated by Wildwood Lifestyle Center and Hospital, which is an institution located in northern Georgia, and is dedicated to improving the health of our guests and patients by providing the environment and tools necessary for them to experience healing physically,  mentally,  and spiritually.

Country Life was Chattanooga’s first 100% vegetarian restaurant. Their menu changes daily with items such as BBQ Tofu, Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with Baked Beans,a huge list of vegetables, and not to mention a list of soups,  salads,  and desserts.

Country Life is located at:
809 Market St
Chattanooga,TN 37402
They are only open for lunch



Greenlife Grocery

Greenlife Grocery offers organic and local vegetarian/vegan items

Greenlife Grocery offers organic and local vegetarian/vegan items


Is a full service natural foods grocery store and café. They provide customers with a large variety of high quality organic foods and environmentally responsible products. They also carry a selection of local and regional products to help support local farms and businesses.

Greenlife has an array of vegetarian/vegan items such as Teeze (a cheese substitute), Tofurky, Smart Chili, Boca Burgers, and the list goes on. Hillary Mullins said “I eat at Greenlife all the time…it’s my go to. They get a large chunk of my paycheck. I love it because there is always something great no matter what my mood, great veggie sushi, soups, daily hot bar, salad bar, or their prepared items”.

Greenlife is located at:
301 Manufacturer’s Road
Chattanooga, TN 37405
Monday – Sunday
7:00am to 10:00pm

Greenlife’s mission statement is:


Professor Phillip Allen started a blog called Veganooga to serve anyone who visits or lives in Chattanooga and eats a veggie diet. It  provides reviews of restaurants and merchants in Chattanooga and the surrounding region. It focuses on the vegan diet.

The blog states the reason it was started was to give locals and travelers information about the best vegan/vegetarian places to eat. Phillip’s blog says if a city is Vegan friendly they usually have a website/blog dedicated to telling people about the city.

Elizabeth Southall a UTC Senior majoring in Environmental Science with a focus on sustainability in cities, and told us why being vegetarian/vegan is better for the environment.

Vegan Outreach
Greenlife Grocery