Heavenly Nostalgia – Welcome to Chattanooga City Cafe Diner

by Cynthia Y. Thompson

Arriving in Chattanooga recently to speak at a #SHRMChattanooga luncheon meeting, we lucked upon a the cutest little diner I have ever seen. It was quite cold and damp and were in search of a comforting bowl of soup and a good glass of wine when we spotted a wonderful nostalgic neon sign flashing Welcome to@City Cafe Diner.

City Cafe Diner in Chattanooga

City Cafe Diner in Chattanooga

What a charming and welcoming sign! Love neon signs – such a blast from the past! I was expecting a quaint little burger joint, which was fine as long as they had a warm bowl of vegetable beef soup. What a surprise to find a quite sophisticated menu and an in-house bakery that is the most fascinating I have seen in this decade. Imagine my delight to find Manhattan Clam Chowder on the menu in this little Southern diner.

Fabulous cakes at City Cafe Diner.

Fabulous cakes at City Cafe Diner.

Not only did I love the chowder, but I also enjoyed the ambiance of this wonderful little Chattanooga surprise. How often do you find a Southern restaurant that serves Manhattan Clam Chowder? There is a full bakery showcase full of the most beautiful cakes and pastries I have ever seen. What a wonderful idea! An excellent diner with a lovely bakery in house.

The place is a visual delight complete with charming little red leather booths and soda fountain stools. We lingered there much longer than we should have and enjoyed watching all the locals pour in and taking it all the sights and sounds. I expected the “Fonz” to walk in any minute.

Charming red leather booths - a blast from the past.

Charming red leather booths – a blast from the past.

ChattDinerAwardCan’t wait to go back to Chattanooga and visit the @CityCafeDiner again when I can stay longer. I was not surprised to see the City Scope Readers Choice Dining Award for Best Late Night Bite on the wall – well deserved! This is truly one of Chattanooga’s best kept secrets. You will find it at the corner of 901 Carter Street and M. L. King Blvd. Enjoy!


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