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Best Lookout Mountain and Chattanooga Coffee Shops

coffee mugs on a shelf

It’s well known that coffee shops and cafes are go-to spaces for college students. Not only do they make cozy places to read a book, do work, and hang out with friends, but coffee (and other caffeine sources) is arguably a large part of college life. So, if you’re looking for good coffee or an aesthetic environment, here’s a compilation of some of my (and my friends’) favorite places! 

Stone Cup Cafe

My roommate, Taylor Rodgers, and I discovered Stone Cup our sophomore year, and it made a wonderful spot for finals studying. The cafe is divided into two indoor sections—a downstairs for socializing and an upstairs for quiet contemplation. Stone Cup also has a balcony, and the whole backside of the building looks out toward the walking bridge. Their location provides easy access to Coolidge Park as well. I’m a big fan of their raspberry mocha, and Taylor likes the coconut mocha. They also have great sandwich options if you’re feeling snacky.

Frothy Monkey

Frothy Monkey, part of the old Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel (now The Hotel Chalet) and train station, is my suite’s favorite coffee shop. I love the building’s architecture. The ceilings are high, and the whole place has an industrial feel and is decorated with twinkle lights. The best study spot is the loft; however, it can get a little noisy due to the open floor plan. I really love Frothy Monkey’s bagels—particularly, the cheddar jalapeno ones. Aside from serving coffee, the place is also a restaurant. And they’re open until 9:00pm every day, which is good if you want to go somewhere at night.

Goodman’s Coffee Roasters

Goodman’s Coffee is well-loved by students, run by Covenant alumni, and occasionally served at our college events. It’s a lovely small business to support and most of their coffees are around or under $5. They have two locations—one in St. Elmo and one in Warehouse Row. The first is closer to campus (and has outdoor seating), but the second has a larger indoor space (and the whole brick aesthetic).

Rock City Starbucks

Starbucks is as basic as it gets, but it’s just hard to pass up the triple stars or BOGO deal, you know? The main draw for me has to do with their seasonal drinks, especially the apple crisp oat milk macchiatos in the fall and peppermint mochas in the winter. The Rock City location is great because of its convenience, and you can always find Covenant friends there (including behind the counter!). The downside is that it gets busy with Rock City customers on the weekend, but it’s usually fine on weekdays. If you go, don’t forget to ask for the Covenant student discount! 

Canopy Coffee

If you’re looking for a locally-owned coffee shop on the mountain, Canopy is the place to visit. Canopy was the very first coffee shop I tried during my freshman year (I still remember working on my Christian Mind course reading there). While I enjoy their lattes and mochas, I tend to like the coffee downtown better. The seating is also a bit limited if you’re trying to study. However, if you want to stay close to Covenant or want to go somewhere with a lot of familiar campus faces, Canopy is an excellent choice. I think their mango cheddar croissant with ham is especially good. 

The Hot Chocolatier

While The Hot Chocolatier is not technically a coffee shop (although they do serve coffee), this place is too good not to include. It’s right across from Frothy Monkey, and it’s a wonderful spot to catch up with friends or do some work. They hand-make their chocolates and desserts and offer the most incredible array of chocolate-covered fruit, truffles and candies, macaroons, cheesecakes, pastries, etc. And their hot chocolate (with any flavor) is to die for.

Niedlov’s Bakery and Cafe

Niedlov’s is not primarily known for its coffee, but their daily-made, artisan bread (especially the garlic rosemary) and cafe foods are the best in town. While there is enough seating, I’d say that Niedlov’s is more of a place for hanging out than studying. You’ll probably be too busy eating to focus on your chemistry problems or doctrine reading. For those who love outdoor seating, there’s also a little patio with tons of plants and flowers. 

The Blink

This one is a given and obviously the most convenient since it is on Covenant’s campus! It’s a quiet place to study during the day, and a space full of friends and conversation at night. The Blink serves Starbucks coffee, great food, and tons of snack and drink options. The new seating arrangement and merch is also nice. Shoutout to the student employees who work so hard (and make buffalo chicken wraps)—you’re the best!

Honorable Mentions:

Rembrandt’s Coffee House: Has a lovely European café vibe and nice outdoor seating. Also, it’s right near a sculpture garden, the Hunter Museum, and the Riverwalk. 

Together Cafe: It gives Frothy Monkey but on a smaller, more intimate scale. The seating in the open loft is super comfortable. 

Sleepyhead Coffee: The place is very small with limited seating, but the modern, pink, plant aesthetic is next to none. The coffee also has an amazing, rich flavor.

This article was originally published in The Bagpipe, Covenant’s student newspaper.

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