There’s never enough time to visit all the restaurants in Asheville that I want to visit, but how lucky am I to be just four hours away? Inspired by my most recent trip, I’ve cobbled together my Asheville restaurant list for you. Please consider this list an ever-growing, ever-evolving list.
Don’t skip the jam bar at Biscuit Head
If you’re not a fan of biscuits, what are you doing in North Carolina? Biscuit Head is a must-visit for all biscuit lovers in Asheville. Their menu can be a bit daunting because you’ll want to try everything, but I can personally vouch for the pulled pork biscuit. Don’t skip the famous jam bar. Another notable thing about Biscuit Head is their mission to reduce their carbon footprint on our poor planet. They are one of the first restaurants in Asheville to ban plastic straws!
Sip on Liquid Truffles at French Broad Chocolates
French Broad Chocolate Lounge specializes in craft chocolate confections and handmade desserts. They also carry wine, teas, and coffee to complement their confections. My obsession there is their liquid truffles, namely the salted caramel liquid truffle.
French Broad Chocolates
Indulge in wood-fired dishes alongside the river at Smoky Park Supper Club
We specifically picked Smoky Park Supper Club for their patio because we had dogs in tow. Their patio along the river is such a peaceful oasis. The menu features seasonal wood-fired dishes. Sugarface ordered the smoked chicken, and we shared their grilled oysters which were fantastic. If you know me at all you know I cannot resist smothered fries. So, of course, I had their brisket cheese fries as my dinner entrée.
Smoky Park Supper Club
3141, 350 Riverside Dr, Asheville, NC 28801
Get authentic Greek fare from Golden Fleece
Nestled in Grovewood, Golden Fleece has a cottage chic vibe. Their Greek menu is authentic and highlights fresh ingredients. The octopus bruschetta was as divine as it was colorful with the edible flowers and purple potatoes. The moussaka reminded me of my time in Greece a few years ago. That’s what I love about well-executed dishes, they have the power to transport you to cherished memories.
111 Grovewood Rd, Asheville, NC 28804
OWL Bakery, where being flaky is a delicious thing
OWL (or Old World Levain) Bakery specializes in leaven breads and European-inspired pastries. If you see their Maple Cream Cheese Danish, BUY THREE. Their croissants are excellent, and I’ll have to make a habit of grabbing some for the road every time I’m in Asheville.
545, 295 Haywood Rd, Asheville, NC 28806
Sunny Point Café is a bright light in the Asheville Community
Sunny Point Café slings an impeccable brunch and dinner service, but I’d like to commend their commitment to uplifting their community. Every month they pick a nonprofit to help fundraise for, and they report their totals on their site. Plus, their grits are SO good. They grow a lot of their own produce, living the spade-to-spoon way of life.
Sunny Point Café
626 Haywood Rd, Asheville, NC 28806
A visit to Asheville isn’t whole without Hole
HOLE doughnuts come highly recommended by both locals and frequent visitors. I was charmed by the darling cottage, with a low-level bar, giving those who sit there front row seats to the donuts being made to order. The misshapen shapes of these crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside donuts made me so happy.
P.S. If you’re based in the Triangle and doughnuts are your thing, you may want to read my Donut Guide to the Triangle.
168 Haywood Rd, Asheville, NC 28806
Gan Shan Station fuels Asheville with creative Asian dishes
Located in a repurposed gas station, Gan Shan Station brings a unique Asian flair to their menu that I haven’t seen much of in Asheville. In fact, in my two-plus years in North Carolina, Gan Shan Station’s menu was the first time I’ve seen okonomiyaki offered. Their okonomiyaki (pictured above on the left) may be the prettiest I’ve yet to eat, topped with pork belly and kimchi. Currently, they offer mouthwatering whole fish on Thursdays. Definitely order some dumplings for the table while you’re there!
Gan Shan Station
143 Charlotte St, Asheville, NC 28801
Get a Breakfast Taco at Taco Billy!
I was telling the Taco Billy staff member manning the counter that Taco Billy reminds me of Austin’s Torchy’s Tacos. She then told me that one of the owners of Taco Billy is from Austin! This detail warmed my Texan heart. My favorite breakfast taco by Taco Billy is Mama’s Favorite, which has sausage, eggs, spinach, sweet potato, and goat cheese on a plantain tortilla.
201 Haywood Rd, Asheville, NC 28806
Chai Pani lives up to the hype
Let me just say, I’m always so happy AND sad when I’m in Asheville. There’s never enough time. In my efforts to experience more, there’s hardly any time to revisit places I absolutely adore. Chai Pani is one of those places! With four-time James Beard-nominated Chef Meherwan Irani at the reins, you’re in for a flavorful experience. What I wouldn’t give to be eating the Crispy Masala Fish Roll right now! Treat yourself to puri (center in the photo) as a fun and light appetizer while you wait for entrées. I’m definitely prioritizing Chai Pani during my next visit. It’s been too long.
22 Battery Park Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
Mela Indian Restaurant has been serving downtown Asheville for over ten years
If Chai Pani is overbooked and you want another Indian option, Mela Indian Restaurant fed us Christmas Eve dinner one year and it made all of us quite happy, omnivores and herbivores alike. I vividly remember the rack of lamb was so perfectly seasoned and tender. The space is beautifully furnished with a relaxed vibe.
Mela Indian Restaurant
70 N Lexington Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
Travel to another era through Vivian’s Old World European-influenced fare
Located in the River Arts District and owned by husband-wife team Shannon and Josiah McGaughey, Vivian would make a solid upscale option for date night! Their menu is influenced by European cuisine and is sourced by local ingredients. The menu is ever-changing, but if you spy smoked oysters, souffle omelet, or beef tartare, consider those my recommended dishes! I’m looking forward to experiencing Vivian’s popular Sunday brunch soon.
348 Depot St Ste 190, Asheville, NC 28801
Sip on lattes from Summit Coffee while you admire urban art
Also in the River Arts District is Summit, a coffee shop. Grab yourself a cup-to-go and walk around the murals. Or if you’re like me and are always on the lookout for remote offices, this is a great spot to work from!
4, Foundy St suite 20, Asheville, NC 28801
Foothills Meats has been supplying locals “honest meats” since 2002
Foothills Meats, a whole-animal butcher shop located next door to their butcher bar-restaurant in Black Mountain, so graciously took some time to chat about farm-to-butcher-to-table and demo butchery of a whole hog. I learned they plan out their production and processing three months ahead of schedule to help with their effort to utilize every part of the animal to dramatically reduce food waste. They even smoke the pork skin and tail to make dog treats and supply the tallow to a local business to repurpose into artisanal soaps. Talk about eliminating food waste! The attached restaurant to the butcher shop in Black Mountain serves a robust menu made with their meat and other locally sourced ingredients. The brisket poutine, butcher board, chicken wings, and Reuben sandwiches were all so flavorful. There’s just something sacred about truly knowing where your food comes.
I was so inspired by Foothills’ commitment to dramatically reducing waste that I uploaded my first IGTV clip of the Foothills leadership discussing more of their whole-animal butcher philosophy.
After lunch at Foothills Meats, pop over to Dripolator for an afternoon pick-me-up
Just around the corner from Foothills Meats in Black Mountain is Dripolator Coffeehouse. Grab a latte here and take a load off or sip it while you explore the neighboring shops. They got me with their seasonal Cheesecake Latte.
221 W State St, Black Mountain, NC 28711
Early Girl Eatery could convert me to a part-time vegetarian
I often poll my audience on Instagram before my trips to Asheville to crowdsource some places to check out. Early Girl Eatery is often suggested to me for breakfast. I ordered Early Girl Eatery’s Veggie Bowl, a bowl loaded with brown rice, eggs, black beans, sweet potatoes, spinach, and avocado as an act of penance for all the french fries I had for dinner the night before. It was so good I can see myself ordering them again during my next visit! I also quite enjoyed the chorizo sweet potato hash. My must-order suggestion is their Spinach Potato cake. It’s vegan AND 💣.
Early Girl Eatery
Sovereign Remedies for elevated bar bites and craft cocktails
During my last visit to Asheville, Emilie from Chestnut Street Inn mentioned that Sovereign Remedies had bone marrow tater tots, and the first thing I did was immediately walk over to experience these tots. The tater tots are stuffed on the inside with bone marrow which melts as the tots fry. This is easily the prettiest and most creative tater tots I’ve had. And you should know, I’m tot obsessed. If you’re not into either tots or bone marrow, know that Sovereign Remedies has earned a reputation for superior craft cocktails and an exceptional food menu. I can’t wait to work my way through their menu during future visits to Asheville.
29 N. Market Street, Asheville, NC 28801
Waterbird: coffee shop by day and sexy bar by night
This North Asheville coffee shop bar is a great spot to socialize in between meals and activities while in town. The superficial details from glassware, funky light fixtures, hip furniture, and living plant decor are enough to take your breath away when you first walk in. The service is kind and approachable. Waterbird’s cocktails are impressive and I appreciate that they have delicious drinking vinegar in their non-alcoholic offerings. Word on the street is Waterbird is a great place to work during the day!
197 Charlotte St, Asheville, NC 28801
Get spirited at Cultivated Cocktails Distillery
And while we’re talking cocktails, Cultivated Cocktails Distillery would also be a solid date night stop. An award-winning local distillery located in the heart of Asheville, Cultivated Cocktails Distillery has a tasting room where you can sample their craft distilled spirits for free and learn more about their family business. The tasting room also has a cocktail menu you can order from. The current holiday special cocktail features my favorite of their spirits, their coffee liqueur.
Cultivated Cocktails Distillery
29 Page Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
Corner Kitchen is a cornerstone in the Asheville restaurant scene
The Corner Kitchen is in a historic house in Biltmore Village, built 125 years ago. One of the owners of Corner Kitchen, Kevin Westmoreland is a native of Asheville. His childhood phone number is the restaurant’s phone number today! I had a wonderful time exploring the menu here. Who knew miso and charred carrot can be a winning flavor profile for broth? Corner Kitchen knew. My absolute favorite bite though was the bread pudding. Its texture was so fluffy; it could be the lovechild of bread pudding and flan.
Try dining on a Wednesday if you can. Every Wednesday, Corner Kitchen will donate a portion of their proceeds to local nonprofits.
The Corner Kitchen
Casual Fine Dining at Chestnut
Chestnut is the sister restaurant to Corner Kitchen, located in the heart of Asheville’s downtown. I always mentally bookmark restaurants where the adventurous eaters can break bread with the nonadventurous eaters. Chestnut is one of those restaurants, offering classics that satisfies the general palate with a touch of innovative excitement. I enjoyed a Koren Fried Chicken sandwich pictured above.
Just like its sister restaurant, Chestnut will donate a portion of their Wednesday proceeds to local nonprofits.
48 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
Enjoy the cozy fireplaces both indoors and outdoors at Omni Park Grove Inn
Even if you’re not staying at the Omni Grove Park Inn, definitely put their property on your Asheville bucket list. The mountain view from their multilevel patio deck is just breathtaking. If you go in the winter, you’ll catch their annual gingerbread house contest and fancy hot chocolate. The hot chocolate is pricey, but you get to keep the mug!
P.S. I tweeted the 2019 winner of the gingerbread house contest.
Omni Grove Park Inn
290 Macon Ave, Asheville, NC 28804
Sip on coffee and nibble desserts from a double-decker bus at Double D’s Coffee and Desserts
Anytime you can order coffee from a double-decker bus, I say you order that coffee and hang out! Not pictured is the chandelier. Double D’s Coffee and Desserts is serving up caffeine and sweet treats from a hip spot. There’s an adjacent patio, but my favorite perch is one of the tables on the top level of the bus! Please note they’re cash only.
Double D’s Coffee and Desserts
41 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
Sadly, I didn’t get hit up other local favorites…
But here’s my running list of restaurants in Asheville I’m excited to try during my future trips.
Buxton Hall BBQ
The Lobster Trap
Whew! That concludes this guide to restaurants in Asheville. Did I miss any of your Asheville favorites?
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