Where to Buy Food in Nooga

We all love to eat out, but for most of us, eating in is necessary – and fun – too. This is a guide to where you can buy food in Chattanooga, plus a couple of places that can help you sharpen up your cooking skills, if that is something you desire to do!

Grocery Stores

As in most cities, there are several grocery store chains represented in Chattanooga. Some are local, some are regional, and some are national.


As a grocer, Wal-Mart has made some progress in the last few years, by making an effort to stock at least some locally grown products. While you could never describe Wal-Mart as gourmet, it would certainly be fair to say the chain is economical. Plus, if you need to purchase other household supplies, Wal-Mart does offer one-stop-shopping appeal.

Food Lion

A regional chain, Food Lion seems to have a shrinking presence in the Chattanooga market. However, there are still a few stores left in the area, in East Ridge, Chickamauga, and Cleveland. Food Lion offers all the benefits of a traditional grocer.


As of this writing, there are three Publix stores in or near Chattanooga: in Hixson, East Brainerd, and Ooltewah. Discussions are underway regarding a new Publix downtown. Publix is sometimes described as a more “upscale” grocer, but they still offer the benefits of a traditional grocer.


Another regional store, several BI-LO stores in Chattanooga have recently been remodeled. BI-LO is probably the chain with the most locations in town with 10 stores within 15 miles of the city.

Pruett’s Signal Mountain Market

At one time there were Pruett’s Foods all over the city, but the chain is now a chain of one. But, it’s a good one. Providing everything you expect in a grocery store, plus a deli, and an impressive beer selection, Pruett’s is convenient for mountain residents.

Greenlife/Whole Foods

Greenlife was a locally owned store for many years, but is now a part of Whole Foods. Besides offering a great selection of local produce, and organic foods, Greenlife has one of the best food bars in town. The balcony is nice, too.

The Fresh Market

If you are looking for a specialty item, then you should visit a specialty store, and that is exactly what The Fresh Market is. You will find a butcher, a fish market, and a bakery, as well as a good selection of natural and specialty items. The only location in Chattanooga currently is on Gunbarrel Road.


Also on Gunbarrel Road, Earthfare is offers an excellent combination of traditional grocer, natural foods, and specialty items. They also sometimes offer fantastic deals and coupons on Twitter and other social media sites.

Warehouse Clubs

If you are looking to buy larger quantities, you will be happy to know that both Sam’s Club and Costco have stores in Chattanooga. So, if you are throwing a party or simply want to stock up, those two might be best for you.

Farmers Markets

If you prefer to spend your food dollars as locally as possible, you are in luck! Chattanooga is a veritable farmers market shopper’s paradise, especially during the spring, summer, and fall. You can find a complete list of local markets at on the Gaining Ground web site, but here are a few of our favorites:

The Chattanooga Market 

Held each Sunday from April until December, this is by far the largest local food market in town, and you will find considerably more than food. Vendors also offer flowers, crafts, art, and entertainment. If you are shopping for food, plan to arrive early. It gets gone pretty quickly!

The Main Street Farmers Market

This is a producers-only market, so when you buy food here, you are buying it from the person who grew it, baked it, or otherwise prepared it. The market is held each Wednesday, from 4-6pm on Main Street. This is where you go if you are interested in joining a CSA program, or you are looking for a herd share for local dairy. The vendors are friendly, knowledgeable, and generally willing to chat and answer questions.

The Brainerd Farmers Market

Each Saturday from 10am to 1pm, the parking lot of the Grace Episcopal Church in Brainerd is transformed into a farmers market. The Brainerd Market operates in summer and fall, and is a fun way to experience a wonderful sense of community spirit.

Of course there are lots of other places that you can get food – from Target to the corner gas station. These are just a few of our favorite places. Let us know where you like to shop in the comments!