The story of Vienna’s Chattanooga Cafe and Grill

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Chattanooga Cafe and Grill, located in Vienna, Austria | Photo provided by Chattanooga Cafe and Grill

Picture this: You’re on a vacation in Vienna, Austria. You turn around the corner of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, famished after spending a day walking around the city center. Suddenly, you stumble across a little café with folks enjoying the food outside under umbrellas. Then, you see the café’s name — Chattanooga.

Yes, located in the heart of Vienna is a café and grill bearing the same name as our Tennessee town (plus, menu items like “Chattanooga spare ribs” and a “Chattanooga burger”).

But why? Well, there’s actually some speculation about how the Austrian restaurant got its name. Here’s a few of the rumors from past travelers:

  • Supposedly, several World War II soldiers stayed in the area post-war and began creating restaurants in the city — according to a Reddit traveler, the original owners of the restaurant were from Chattanooga + decided to name the spot after their hometown.
  • This TripAdvisor post suggests that the restaurant was modeled after the Chattanooga Choo Choo.
  • Another Redditor claims to have spoken with the owner, who said that their father opened the spot in 1961 with two investors from the US. Apparently, the name was chosen because Glen Miller’s “Chattanooga Choo Choo” was constantly playing on the radio during that time.

No matter how the spot really got its name, we’re interested in what those spare ribs taste like — according to local traveler Jim Johnson, who leads bike tours in Vienna with his company, they’re “just as good as any… in the south.” 👀

And, as it turns out, Vienna wasn’t the only place inspired by our city — Chattanooga also shares its name with restaurants in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Rome, Italy; and even a surf and skate shop in Paris, France. If you all beg the two of us to make a trip to one of these places — for work, obviously — we suppose we could try to make it happen (hint, hint, 6AM City).