chattanooga, tn is for [donut] lovers

chattanooga, tn is for [donut] lovers
May 9, 2012 Alison Faulkner

Who would have thought that over a year ago, when I did an impromptu dance to Eric playing Chattanooga Choo Choo on the piano…that I would actually one day spend an entire week in Chattanooga, TN. As a San Diegan living in Utah, it really seemed far-fetched.

Overall Chattanooga is just a midsize city, but I mean, we had some DELICIOUS food, the people are full of southern hospitality, their accents are amazing, and the downtown is shockingly hip.

With that said, I I LOVED Chattanooga! Now, I’m not saying you should plan an entire trip there. But maybe I am, because I found donuts worth the drive.

So, if for some reason you should find yourself near Chattanooga, driving through Chattanooga, or staying in Chattanooga for a week while your husband works…here are my recommendations.

Daylight Donuts


If you follow me on Instagram you know my feelings about these donuts. Yes, Daylight Donuts is a franchise, so you might have one in your town. But it is not a chain so each one is different. READ: BETTER THAN YOURS. These were some of, if not THE best donuts I’ve ever consumed. With insane flavors, delicious fillings, and the best sprinkle-to-donut-ratio I’ve ever seen, well, I’m not embarrassed to admit we visited the shop 3 times in 6 days. I then did my Brazilian Butt Lift workout videos in my hotel room.

If you’re driving to Chattanooga there’s no way you can Miss the “See Ruby Falls” signs. I’m here to report that you should in fact see Ruby Falls. In a nutshell it’s a waterfall in a cave. There’s a cheesy tour and a lot of hype. However I love tours and tour guide humor, and the caves and waterfall are beautiful.

As you can see here, I was able to revive some of my moves in front of the great Choo Choo itself at the train station. I’m going to give it to you straight, unless you’re a dork like me, really into model trains or over the age of 60 don’t plan a whole afternoon around this. You’ll say hi to the train, check out the gift shops and that’s about it.

We had a really fun day at the Chattanooga Children’s Discovery Museum. And whenever we’re on the east coast I like to grab some Rita’s.

I had some of the best Greek food ever (and you know I love Greek!) at Taziki’s Cafe, yes it’s a chain, but only in the south and I thought it was dang good. We also loved local Mojo Burrito and another southern hot spot Mellow Mushroom. Totally new to me, though again I think this is a popular thing. Haha, the south really is a trip!

We are currently in our nation’s capitol, and we’ll start the long trek home tomorrow, with a stop over in Omaha!

I hope all is well with you!


  1. Marcus Lane 6 years ago

    I love this, I love donuts too. I want to make a show where I go all over the US of A in hunt on the best donut. You wanna come with? We can bring our lil families too. Ha!

    Have you been to VooDoo Donuts in Portland? Look it up online and see their menu, pretty creative and they taste awesome!

  2. Clair 6 years ago

    The best doughnuts I have ever ingested were on top of Pike’s peak in Colorado Springs. You have to take a cog train to get up there. They were AMAZING.:)

  3. Lindsey Leon 6 years ago

    YOU’RE MAKING ME HUNGRY!!!! Thanks for the tips, living in Ohio means we will probably someday, somehow, end up visiting tennessee or somewhere nearby… 🙂

  4. Liz V. 6 years ago

    Did you know that I grew up in Omaha, NE? I sure did. And while I can’t say anyone should plan a trip there necessarily, I think you’ll find it just as surprisingly charming and hip as Chattanooga.

    I haven’t been back to Omaha in like 7 years, so I’m probably a little out-of-date on good restaurants. But if you have time, you do NOT want to miss the Zoo. (And, yes, I know you’re from San Diego and the San Diego Zoo is world-class, but that’s how awesome the Zoo is in Omaha: I’m not scared to tell someone from San Diego that it is worth a visit!) Gigi will love it, and you will, too.

    Hearts and safe travels. I’m about to pop out a baby any day, by the way. It’s terrifying.

  5. Courtney Dalley 6 years ago

    “best sprinkle to donut ratio”…and that is why I love your blog so much. Tell your sis I said hi!

  6. Emily 6 years ago

    Searching out the best donuts across the nation is very important, because, obviously…. hello, they’re donuts. Going on a trip with you seems like it would be a complete party, and I aspire to do it some day after I meet you and we become BFF’s. (Don’t you need a BFF in Boise? I thought so.)
    Happy travels!

  7. Brittany 6 years ago

    my cousins live in Chattanooga! I went there for two Thanksgivings and loved it! I didn’t get to visit many restaurants because I was mostly at their house but now you make me want to go back and eat donuts!

  8. tiffany 6 years ago

    oh man i have such a crush on your fam, your dance moves AND donuts!!! gigi is the cutest and man she is the spitting image of you!!!

  9. Muffin G 6 years ago

    OH how I miss Ritas! Yum!

  10. Veronica 6 years ago

    Ooh, Rita’s. The world does need more of that.

  11. Mame 6 years ago

    UMMM!!!! We have a Rita’s. One in the DFW area. I used to live 8 minutes from it, now I lived an hour from it. It’s AMAZING. I wanted to tell you that you have inspired me to go on more local dives. It’s been fun exploring our new town, which is quite country even though it is only 25 min from downtown Dallas.

  12. v 6 years ago

    there is a daylight donuts in lindon. just up state st, a few blocks north of wal-mart, on the right side. i don’t know if they have the same donuts as the ones in tn, but the ones they DO have are mighty delicious. not that you want to drive ALL the way to lindon (most people would have you think lindon and provo are 100s of miles apart, wouldn’t they?!), but still…
    love your blog, ps.

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