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.
Yet 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 I’ve decided to share 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 maybe the exceptional local produce.
So today I want to share our 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 – Artful Italian fusion food. 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. We’ve been going here for 13 years and have never had a bad meal. Make a reservation! $$
En La Calle – Can’t get into Limones? Go next door to Limones’ slightly more casual sister restaurant. This is one of our favorite hang outs! $$
Rhubarb – One of my favorite new spots with southern-inspired favorites, reborn. Plus its right smack in the middle of down town. $$-$$$
Bouchon – French Bistro. Get the frites with aioli; they are fried in duck fat! $$
All Souls Pizza – Fresh and fabulous pizzas and so much more. I’m always surprised when we visit All Souls. $$
Wasabi – Fresh Sushi, Killer Squad Salad, $$.
Rezaz Mediterranean Cuisine – Mediterranean Fine Dining. Always exceptional. $$$
The Standard – A Pizza Dive and proud of it. Lt. Dan’s favorite pizza in town. (2 locations) $$
Nine Mile – Caribbean Cuisine with Whole Grain and Grain Free Options. Love me some “Negril Nights” Pasta! (2 locations) $$
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! $$
Plant – Asheville’s most talked about Vegetarian/Vegan Restaurant. Just north of downtown. $$
The Bull & Beggar – Creative uses of offal and seafood. If you happen in on a Monday, enjoy juicy dripping burger and fries when you buy a beverage. $$
Red Ginger Dimsum – Asheville’s only dimsum bar. Sit at the counter and order classic dumsum dishes like barbecue pork buns, crispy fried shrimp balls, and shanghai pork dumplings. $$
Copper Crown – Located in East Asheville, this casual neighborhood restaurant has quickly become one of our go-to spots. With inspired southern small plates and entrees, and gorgeous presentation, we never get tired of eating here. Check out the nightly cocktail specials. $-$$
Bar Taco – Great atmosphere. Fabulous cocktails. Killer Tacos! Sit outside by the fire and enjoy the best caipirinha in town. $-$$
Pizza Mind – My favorite new pizza joint in West Asheville. All the pizzas are amazing! Try the meatballs and arancini as appetizers. $-$$
Chai Pani – Indian Street Food. Addictive. Different. Exceptional. Order the Bhel Puri and Kale Pakoras. $
Little Bee – Amazing Thai cuisine in a casual (dive) environment. What Little Bee lacks in ambiance, it makes up for in quality and flavor. The daily chalkboard menu brings in the masses, so be sure to show up early! $
White Duck Taco – Tacos with a Twist. Gotta try the Bangkok Shrimp Taco. (2 locations) $
Asheville Sandwich Company – A funky little sandwich shop in West Asheville, with amazing sandwiches and fries served right on top! $
Buxton Hall – Southern barbecue at its best, plus an award-winning fried chicken sandwich. Order all the sides and save room for dessert! $
Tod’s Tasties – Breakfast and Lunch Dive with Interesting Flavor Profiles. I love the Budha Bowl. $
Coxe Avenue Food Trucks – You never know what you’re going to get, but it’s always good, $$.
Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack – Crunchy saucy hot fried chicken… And I mean really hot. 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. $
Wild Ginger – A hole-in-the-wall favorite in south Asheville, serving up traditional Vietnamese Pho Soup. $
Okie Dokie Smokehouse – Good Ol’ Carolina BBQ, $. Just a little east of Asheville in Swannanoa. $
Sunny Point Cafe – This is a true Asheville favorite with lines out the doors nearly every day. You cannot make a bad selection here. $
Hole – Best donut shop in the whole wide world as far as I’m concerned. Order your donut(s) then watch as they’re fried and glazed right in front of you. Must try the cinnamon sesame seed donut. $
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. $
Taco Billy – Serving fabulous breakfast tacos, and at lunch slow cooked meat fillings and fresh-made toppings. $
Early Girl Eatery – The essence of Asheville AM. Anything smothered in tomato gravy is fine by me. $
Biscuit Head – A newer Asheville breakfast spot, with enormous flaky biscuits and a Jam and Butter Bar! (2 locations) $
Mayfels – Southern classics served in a fun environment. $
Bomba – A downtown corner coffee shop serving, quite possibly, the best Huevos Rancheros in the whole wide world. $
King Daddy’s Chicken & Waffles – Chicken and waffles, any way you like it in West Asheville. Don’t miss the Korean wings! $
Pubs & Breweries (With Good Food)
Sierra Nevada Mills River Taproom – A little drive south of Asheville you’ll find Sierra Nevada’s newest brewery with a fabulous restaurant and tasting menu. Order a flight of brews, cannibal chips, and the soft pretzels with pimento beer cheese. $$
Hillman Beer – Our new favorite brewery lunch spot. Great beers, casual atmosphere, AMAZING sandwiches! Go with the pastrami or the smoked turkey salad! $
Wicked Weed – A local favorite with excellent eats and seasonal brews. Try the Lobster Burger (in season) Brussels Sprouts and the Freak Double IPA. $$
Bhramari Brewhouse – The tap room has a great atmosphere, with local favorite beers on tap, and in house small-batch brews. Make sure to try the burger! $$
Jack of the Wood – Great old world atmosphere and irish pub grub. Don’t miss the Green Man Porter and ESB. $$
Universal Joint – A relaxed outdoor space in West Asheville with great local brews. Must order the Sunset Dip. $$
The Wedge – Incredible beer and food trucks outside. Go on Monday or Saturday for El Kimchi food truck snacks. $
There are TONS of breweries in Asheville (Beer City USA) that don’t focus on food, but have ridiculously good brews. View more here.
Snacks, Coffee Shops, After Dinner Drinks
MG Road – Great ambiance, plus exotic cocktails and bar snacks. The perfect place to go before dinner, after dinner, or for a light dinner! $
Top of the Monk – Unique cocktails and free snacks! Enjoy the deck overlooking downtown.
Pennycup Cafe – Best coffee shop for serious coffee drinkers. Pennycup coffee is small-batch roasted in Asheville, and used in many of our favorite restaurants. $
5 Walnut Wine Bar – An airy wine bar with live music most evenings. Try the Smoked Trout Dip. $
Capella on 9 – The biggest rooftop bar in all of Asheville. Enjoy 360 degree views from the top of the AC Hotel. The food and cocktails are pretty spectacular as well! $-$$
High Five Coffee Bar – Just north of Downtown, this coffee shop is a favorite with the locals. Must have the Cuban Coffee. (2 locations) $
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. $
Sovereign Remedies – Craft cocktails and inspired bar snacks. Open until 2 am. $
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 – This quaint little bakery serves up the most amazing chocolate cake around. You can’t go wrong with any of the cakes. (In Biltmore Village and Weaverville.) $
Sunshine Sammies – Freshly baked cookies and homemade ice cream sandwiches, made to order. The snickerdoodles are ridiculous! $
French Broad Chocolate Lounge – Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate. A local favorite for splurging and chatting. Make sure to try the homemade gelato and sea salt caramels. $
Chocolate Fetish – If I were a truffle, I’d want to be a Chocolate Fetish truffle, preferably the “Velvet Sin” or “Ancient Pleasures.” $-$$.
Posana Cafe – A completely gluten free restaurant with daring desserts. These treats look like art and taste like heaven. $$
The Hop – Crazy ice cream flavor combinations… That work! The Hop offers a fun atmosphere and great coffee. $
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?