Where to Eat in Asheville, NC + #AVL Giveaway
Visiting Asheville, North Carolina and need a restaurant recommendation? Let me help! We locals know all the hot spots in our little mountain town.
I love where I live.
But what’s more, seemingly everyone I meet in business and travel, loves where I live.
Over the last few years, as I’ve shared my hometown Asheville, North Carolina with you, I’ve started receiving emails… lots of emails.
Many of you have asked, “When we head to Asheville next month, where should we stay? What should we do? What are your restaurant suggestions??”
So today kicks off a 3 week series to offer you ALL my travel suggestions for Asheville, North Carolina, from a local’s standpoint. And of course, we’re starting with where to eat.
There is definitely something special about this funky little town in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s the weather, the greenery, the laid back atmosphere, the focus on the arts, the sense of nature pressing in on all sides, and let’s not forget the food scene.
Farmers, artisan producers, chefs, and foodies flock here to live, fine tune their art, vacation, and of course eat. For a small town, Asheville has an absurd amount of high quality locally-owned restaurants.
There are numerous stories of sought-after chefs, that had work opportunities all over the country, yet chose to settle here.
It must be the mountain air. Or the exceptional local produce.
So today I want to share my personal restaurant recommendations.
Am I telling you these are the best Asheville restaurants?
No, of course not. I would never say that…
I’m telling you, these are the places we frequent, and we have extremely good taste. *wink*
Many of these categories overlap, so please click over to see hours and menus.
Cucina 24 – Fine Dining Italian Fusion, $$$, but worth it. I suggest ordering something from every category of the menu.
Curate’ Tapas Bar – Rustic Spanish Tapas with a Twist, $$$. Must try the eggplant and cured ham selection.
Limones – Latina Inspired Cuisine and Amazing Cocktails, $$. Order the Caliente Margarita… or the Pomegranate Margarita.
The Junction – Nuevo Southern Cuisine in the River Arts District, $$. Fun environment and great ever-changing menu.
Bouchon – French Bistro, $$. Get the frites with aioli; they are fried in duck fat!
Wasabi – Fresh Sushi, Killer Squad Salad, $$.
Red Stag Grill – Southern Fusion Cuisine, $$$. Local flavors and high mountain style.
Nona Mia Italian Kitchen – Pizza and Italian Comfort Food, $$. My last meal on death row would be a Farmhouse Pizza from Nona Mia.
Rezaz Mediterranean Cuisine – Mediterranean Fine Dining, $$$. Always exceptional.
The Standard – A Pizza Dive and Proud of It, $. Lt. Dan’s favorite pizza in town.
Nine Mile – Carribean Cuisine with Whole Grain and Grain Free Options, $$. Love me some “Negril Nights” Pasta!
Storm Rum Bar & Bistro – Complex Cocktails and Southern Fusion Food, $$. If they have the crispy pig ears on the menu, you’ve got to try them!
Plant - Asheville’s most talked about Vegetarian/Vegan Restaurant, $$. Just north of downtown.
Chai Pani – Indian Street Food, $. Addictive. Different. Exceptional. Order the Bhel Puri and Kale Pakoras.
White Duck Taco – Tacos with a Twist, $. Gotta try the Bangkok Shrimp Taco.
Okie Dokie Smokehouse – Good Ol’ Carolina BBQ, $. Just a little east of Asheville in Swannanoa.
12 Bones – BBQ with a focus on Ribs, $$. Where the Obamas eat in Asheville, FYI.
Juicy Lucy – A locally-owned Gourmet Burger Joint with a great vibe, $. Love the outdoor seating.
Tod’s Tasties – Breakfast and Lunch Dive with Interesting Flavor Profiles, $. I love the Budha Bowl.
Coxe Avenue Food Trucks – You never know what you’re going to get, but it’s always good, $$.
Stone Bowl – Korean, $$. Must try the Pa Jun Veggie Pancakes.
Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack – Hot, I Mean Really Hot Fried Chicken, $. Start with Mild if you’re not sure, it’s still spicy.
Farm Burger – Walking around downtown and need a Big Juicy Burger? This is the spot, $. Amazing flavor combinations and vegan and paleo options.
Doc Chey’s – Quick Service Stir Frys and Noodle Bowls, $. My kids’ favorite lunch spot.
Sunny Point Cafe – This is a true Asheville favorite with lines out the doors nearly every day, $. You cannot make a bad selection here.
The Corner Kitchen – Classic southern cooking in Biltmore Village, $. The Cream Cheese Scramble and Corned Beef Hash are divine!
Over Easy – A funky little breakfast bar downtown with awesome juice blends, $. Two words: killer omelets.
Early Girl Eatery – The essence of Asheville AM, $. Anything smothered in tomato gravy is fine by me.
Biscuit Head – A newer Asheville breakfast spot in West Asheville, with enormous flaky biscuits and a Jam and Butter Bar! $.
Chorizo – Latin breakfast at its finest, $. Sit out on the sidewalk to take in the local color.
Pubs & Breweries (With Good Food)
Wicked Weed – One of our newest breweries with excellent eats and seasonal brews, $$. Try the Lobster Burger (in season) Brussels Sprouts and the Freak Double IPA.
Jack of the Wood – Great old world atmosphere and irish pub grub, $$. Don’t miss the Green Man Porter and ESB.
Universal Joint – A relaxed outdoor space in West Asheville with great local brews, $$. Must order the Sunset Dip.
Thirsty Monk – Need a pint of bacon with your pint of beer? This is the place. $.
The Wedge – Incredible beer and food trucks outside, $. Go on Monday or Saturday for El Kimchi food truck snacks.
*There are TONS of breweries in Asheville (Beer City USA) that don’t focus on food, but have ridiculously good brews. View more here.
Snacks, Coffee Shops, After Dinner Drinks
MG Road – Great ambiance, plus exotic cocktails and bar snacks, $. The perfect place to go before dinner, after dinner, or for a light dinner!
5 Walnut Wine Bar – An airy wine bar with live music most evenings, $. Try the Smoked Trout Dip.
High Five Coffee Bar – Just north of Downtown, this coffee shop is a favorite with the locals, $. Must have the Cuban Coffee.
Izzy’s – Another local favorite coffee shop, downtown and in west Asheville, $. Best mexican mocha ever!
Dough – Killer bread and pastries in North Asheville, $. I would pay for the aroma alone, when you walk through the door.
The Gourmet Chip Shop – Fresh made gourmet potato chips with big flavor, $. Try the Napa and Italiano chips.
Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar – Cozy environment, nestled in all the books, great wines, coffee drinks and simple snacks, $.
The Imperial Life – A little cocktail lounge with stellar snacks, $$. Love the house-cured charcuterie.
Appalachian Vintner – Just north of Biltmore Village, a wine shop with great events, and a small corking fee! Plus you can bring in your own food.
Enoteca – The cafe/bar side of Rezaz restaurant has an amazing pastry case and gelato selection, $. Look for the chocolate dome.
Well-Bred Bakery – North of Asheville, in Weaverville this quaint little bakery serves up the most amazing chocolate cake around, $. You can’t go wrong with any of the cakes. (Opening a second location soon in Biltmore Village.)
French Broad Chocolate Lounge – Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate, $. A local favorite for splurging and chatting.
Chocolate Fetish – If I were a truffle, I’d want to be a Chocolate Fetish truffle, preferably the “Velvet Sin” or “Ancient Pleasures.” $-$$.
Posana Cafe – A completely gluten free restaurant with daring desserts, $$. These treats look like art and taste like heaven.
Ultimate Ice Cream – Tucked away in East Asheville, this ice cream shop is know best among true ice cream connoisseurs, $. Striking flavors that will keep you coming back for more.
So… When are you coming?
If you have no current plans to visit Asheville, let me help you make some!
Today the Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau is offering a Fabulous Asheville Weekend Giveaway just for you.
One lucky reader will win an Asheville Getaway Including:
- Two nights stay at the Homewood Suites by Hilton Asheville
- Two Biltmore Estate Tickets
- Two tickets to Asheville Brewery Tours
- Gift certificate for lunch for Two at Early Girl Eatery
- Gift certificate for lunch/dinner for Two at Chai Pani
- 30-Minute Private Tour for Two from Looking Glass Creamery + a Local Cheese Board (3 Looking Glass Cheeses, Roots & Branches Crackers & Hickory Nut Gap Farm salumi) + a WNC Cheese Trail Map
- $15 in tokens for the Asheville City Market from ASAP
Sound’s like fun, right?
There are so many Foodie Adventures happening in Asheville this fall!
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Disclosure: The Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau provided the giveaway for this post. All opinions are definitely my own.
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