Chattanooga is one of the most picturesque towns in Tennessee, it filled with nature and outdoor activities, and was twice named the “Best Town Ever” by Outdoor Magazine. But the outdoors isn’t all this magnificent place can be proud of. It’s also a burgeoning food scene, with everything from craft beer to farm-to-table restaurants featuring the bounties of the area.
The coffee here is no exception either. With an array of artisanal coffee shops and roasters sprouting up across the city, Chattanooga is becoming a haven for great coffee. And in this post, we’ll embark on a caffeinated journey through some of Chatt Town’s most beloved roasters, coffee shops, and coffee-centric bakeries and establishments.
Your first stop in your quest for the best coffee in Chattanooga is the Frothy Monkey. This coffee shop and café has quickly gained a reputation as one of the best coffee shops in the area. Upon entering, the aroma of freshly-roasted coffee beans hits you, giving you a hint of the delight awaiting your taste buds.
Opened in 2004 in a little bungalow in the 12South Neighborhood, Frothy Monkey has grown, supported by its community, into the wholesale bakery, coffee roaster, and cafe that it is today. Quality is the focus here, with top-notch beans roasted onsite in fashionable, industrial chic location in the INK Building. The food is made from scratch too, using local and regional producers and farmers as much as possible.
They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner and have craft beers as well, with a full menu of scrumptious plates and baked goods, including sweet treats. They roast a variety of single-source beans and blends of beans with complementary flavor profiles. Check out their Brunch blend, a gourmet mixture of Ethiopian and Central American beans.
Next on the list is Mad Priest Coffee Roasters. A relative newcomer to the Chattanooga coffee scene, Mad Priest opened in 2015 and has quickly made a name for itself as one of Chatt Town’s premier Cups of Joe. They now operate two coffee shop locations and one roasting facility, all local to Chattanooga.
Their mission goes beyond providing you with an excellent cup of joe; it’s about fostering a global community through the shared love of coffee. Their triple aim is not only about profit margins but also to focus on people and the planet. That includes a commitment to hiring people from all backgrounds and sourcing beans from sustainable, responsible producers.
Mad Priest’s coffee offerings are as varied as the countries they source their beans from. Whether you’re a fan of the bold flavors of African beans or prefer the smooth, sweet notes of South American blends, Mad Priest has a roast that’ll hit the spot. Don’t miss their Yemen coffee, grown by the Al Obrah Community in Sana’a, Yemen, and produced using a deep fermentation process that results in a fruity flavor profile.
Like Frothy Monkey, Mad Priest offers both retail and wholesale beans, so you’re bound to find their roasts at restaurants and cafes in the area.
Your coffee journey continues at Velo Coffee Roasters, a small-batch roaster that is a champion of the craft coffee movement in Chattanooga. Named after the French word for bicycle, Velo is all about slow, thoughtful processes, and their house-roasted coffee is a testament to that philosophy.
Velo has a deep commitment to bringing you the freshest coffee around, roasting every weekday and only buying from top-notch producers committed to quality and sustainability. Beans and growing regions vary here, but lots of people love their Microlot Colombian coffee, produced by a 2016 Huila Best Cup Top 30 Finalist. These beans are handpicked and slow-dried, fermenting and then drying for up to 25 days before being delivered to your cup.
The cafe and store here is beautiful inside, with a rustic industrial feel and plenty of outdoor seating for you to enjoy a wide range of coffee drinks and brewing methods, from espresso to Aeropress and Chemex to cold brews and speciality coffees.
The Stone Cup Cafe is practically an institution in Chatt. Opened in 1997, it has now become a gathering spot for coffee enthusiasts and a landmark in the heart of Chattanooga. It is located right across from Coolidge Park on the North Shore, so it’s a great coffee shop to drop by before a day at the park.
The beans served here are from their sister establishment Stone Cup Roaster and are never more than a week old, so you only get the freshest, most delicious coffee possible. In addition to specialty coffee, they also serve Chai tea latte, London Fog, and a variety of coffee-inspired drinks.
Stone Cup is open for breakfast and lunch and serves classics like bagel sandwiches, oatmeal, and avocado toast, all done extremely well. There are also hand-made pastries and cookies to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Your search for the best coffee in Chattanooga might very well end at the doorstep of Mean Mug Coffeehouse. A haven for coffee lovers, Mean Mug opened its Northshore location in 2017 and since then has grown to a total of 4 stores. They craft a rotating variety of top-notch single origin roasts that are sure to please even the most discerning of coffee drinkers.
At Mean Mug Coffeehouse, each cup of coffee is a testament to the barista’s dedication and passion for the craft. From a robust, full-bodied espresso to a lightly roasted, sweet and fruity cold brew, their menu is as diverse as it is tantalizing.
Their breakfast menu is diverse and absolutely mouthwatering, so this is the perfect place to start your day with a good cup of coffee and a tasty breakfast. Their steel cut oats are especially good and are served with a mixture of fresh berries and a crunch, crumbly granola topping. People also love their veggie grits bowl and their Paleo Breakfast, made with kale, bacon, avo, and egg. Lunch here is good too, and features a variety of sandwiches, house creations, and lunch classics.
If you don’t know Rembrandt’s – you ain’t from Chatt. It’s not just a local favorite, but a landmark and legend of the Chattanooga area and of the Bluff View Art District. In fact, they have won the Times Free Press Best of the Best Award for Best Local Coffee Shop for 12 years in a row.
This coffee and cafe is in a convenient location on Chatt’s Southside, just across from the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge. It is housed in a historic building that practically transports you to Paris, with its brick steps flanked by pagolas home to shade-producing vines, which ultimately give way to a charming, well-lit and cozy interior.
The coffee menu at Rembrandt’s Coffee House is a blend of traditional and innovative. Whether you prefer the timeless charm of a cappuccino or the bold flavors of a green tea frappe, you’ll find your treat here. This is where you can indulge in the simple pleasure of sipping on a freshly brewed cup of coffee while basking in the ambiance of a quintessential European café.
At Oaks Coffee House, coffee is not just a beverage; it’s a lifestyle. This popular coffee joint in Chattanooga has earned a reputation for its high-quality coffee, vibrant ambiance, and commitment to sustainability and the community. It’s a place where you can enjoy a good coffee while also making a positive contribution to the many organizations that Oaks Coffee supports. In fact, in 2022 alone they donated over $100,000 to local nonprofits.
Their menu is a good blend of hot coffee, specialty drinks, teas and more, as well as well-crafted avo toast and other breakfast and lunch delights. The interior is light and bright, and the perfect place to catch up with a fried or get some work done while getting out of the house and enjoying a treat.
No list of Chattanooga coffee shops would be complete without Sleepy Head. They have some amazing coffee, but what sets them apart is their focus on creating vegan pastries so everyone can enjoy a cup of joe and a sweet treat.
Vegan pastries on the menu include house made donuts and made-from-scratch pop tarts, inviting you back to your childhood, but this time with caffeine added. They also have a creamy avocado toast and bagel breakfast sandwiches made with Just Egg and Beyond Sausage.
Sleepy Head is active in the community and invites everyone, regardless of background, to enjoy their food and bright ambiance filled with pastels and greenery.
We saved the best for last, and so our caffeinated journey ends at Goodman Coffee Roasters, a specialty coffee shop that’s all about celebrating the art of coffee-making. This place is a paradise for coffee aficionados, offering an assortment of single-origin and blended coffees that are sure to start your day – or give you a midday pick-me-up – the right way. Their premier location is on Warehouse Row on Market Street, but they have another location in the historic St. Elmo neighborhood.
At Goodman’s Coffee Roasters, coffee is a craft. The bean menu is always a rotating blend of grade A producers from around the globe, all roasted at home in Chatt. Their beans are so good, in fact, that numerous restaurants in the area serve their coffee, so you can find them at Sunnyside Cup, 1885, Whiskey Thief, and many more.
Don’t miss out on their Honduran Corquin, Copan washed roast. Grown at an elevation of nearly 3000 feet, this incredible Cup has hints of chocolate, lime, orange, and walnut. Their Indian Malabar is very good, too. Every coffee here, though, is meticulously cupped, sourced, and roasted so it’s nearly impossible to have a bad experience.
Their shop is bright and inviting, with floor-to-ceiling windows, large comfy couches, and restored hardwood floors accented by its brick interior wall and sparse artwork and furnishings.
The Bottom Line
The best coffee in Chattanooga can be found in not just one, but in many coffee houses. Each establishment offers a unique experience, a distinct flavor profile, and a passion for coffee that’s truly inspiring. Whether you’re visiting, just moved, or a long time resident, don’t miss out on the many establishments Chatt has to offer you for your next dose of caffeinated inspiration.