“The downtown eatery paints a picture of coziness with its cottage-y wooden tables, modest floral arrangements and warm service. The kitchen’s cool, sustainable takes on bison ribeyes, trout and grass-fed burgers make the place downright irresistible.” — Forbes, November 13, 2013
“212 Market truly has something for everyone. Whether you want to host a private party in the back, or bring your dog along for a meal on the solar deck while you sip a locally brewed beer, the laid-back vibe and outstanding cuisine will ensure your next visit won’t be far behind.” — The Pulse, March 2011
In 1989, when sisters Sally and Susan Moses and their mother Maggie decided to open a restaurant featuring local foods in downtown Chattanooga, their friends thought they were nuts. Although money had been raised for building of the Tennessee Aquarium, not a single private investor had stepped forward to create any new businesses downtown, which consisted mainly of abandoned warehouses and was deserted at night. There were no other businesses in the area except for a tire shop, and there was no parking. Furthermore, doubters suggested that the locals would never eat anything fancier than steak and baked potatoes.
Opening the restaurant took three years. The site, a one-time Studebaker dealership, had to be rezoned from industrial to retail and required extensive remediation to clean up contamination from buried gas tanks. Finally, in February 1992, 212 Market opened its doors and became an immediate success, setting a new standard for excellence in the local restaurant business and serving exceptional food that has continued to draw crowds of Chattanoogans and tourists alike for two decades.
212 Market’s food gets rave reviews from our visitors. The restaurant’s team of chefs, led by Susan Moses, creates seasonal and daily menus featuring local foods from area farms and suppliers. An on-site bakery produces a variety of delicious breads and sumptuous desserts. Chef Moses is a member of Slow Food and has cooked as a guest chef at the James Beard House in New York.
Vegetarian and gluten free options are always available, and vegan options are also available. Maggie Moses, a registered dietitian, provides advice on healthy food, and 212 prides itself on being able to accommodate diners with special dietary needs, including allergies to dairy (lactose), shellfish, and nuts. No peanut oil is used in the restaurant.
212 Market has won Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence each year for more than a decade. 212 Market Restaurant offers more than 100 wines plus a full bar. The restaurant also offers wine dinners and wine tastings (see the events calendar).
Since 212 Market opened in 1992, the restaurant has practiced recycling and composting; scraps go to local farmers to feed their pigs and chickens; and leftover foods go to the Chattanooga Food Bank. The restaurant has solar panels on the roof and electric car chargers in the parking lot. For a more comphrehensive list of 212 Market’s green practices, click here.
Limited parking available in the restaurant’s private parking lot. Metered street parking available on Market St. and other nearby streets. Free 2-hr street parking on Cherry St. Other paid parking available in the Carta North Garage and lots near the Tennessee Aquarium and Unum. See map.
212 Market has received Silver Level Bike Friendly Restaurant from the League of American Bicyclists. According to the LAB, “212 Market Restaurant not only cooks up a good meal but also cooks up a good bike culture.” Bicycle parking is available on Market St. in front of the restaurant. See more details.
The restaurant offers free wireless internet (wi-fi). Gift certificates are available in any denomination. Dogs are welcome on the solar deck. In addition to our large private art collection, including numerous paintings by Peter Holbrook, we regularly host exhibits by local artists. For private parties on- or off-site, see our catering page.