Asheville’s food scene has been exploding for the past 4 or 5 years and it’s not stopping anytime soon.
Okay Charlotteans, hear us out. We really love Charlotte, and of course it’s got a lot to do, see, and eat. But have you ever wanted to just try a little something different? Sometime’s its fun to get in the car and head to a neighboring city where there’s a vast and unexplored food scene just waiting for you to savor. So we wanted to help you out with your next foodie adventure. Here’s 10 delicious, innovative, and unique restaurants to try next time you head into Asheville.
French Broad Chocolates had humble beginnings starting as an idea planted on a chocolate farm in Costa Rica to an independently owned space that has now grown to produce over 50 tons of chocolate each year. Sustainably sourced, this bean-to-bar spot has become a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Try a delicious box of handmade chocolates in a huge swatch of flavors, long slabs of chocolate in bars, or deliciously gooey chocolate brownies topped with ice cream or paired with coffee. You might have a hard time not trying them all.
Where: 10 S Pack Square, Asheville, NC 28801
An ode to eastern-southern cuisine, this Appalachian favorite is a go-to for hog. Pig’s not their only specialty either, this is a Southern joint after all. Try flaky, smoky catfish or skillet cornbread. All we know that if it’s smoked, it’ll likely be on a plate next to slow-cooked collars and cornbread or sandwiched between two buns and dressed to perfection.
Where: 32 Banks Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
Rhubarb, named after that delicious stalky pink and green herbaceous veggie, is an award winning restaurant serving up Appalachian cuisine. The food is meant to be simple and the dining experience transformative as meals around the table should be. Their menu is seasonal, and for the summer, they’ve got summer squash and tomato watermelon gazpacho on the menu perfectly to cool down those incredibly hot summer days. They take just as much pride in their cocktails using quality spirits and fresh fruit and herbs to create a divine pairing for your next meal.
Where: 7 SW, N Pack Square, Asheville, NC 28801
Come for the beer, stay for the high-dining New American cuisine. Wicked Weed Funkatorium location is one of the hippest breweries in Asheville, and that’s saying something. Asheville, also lovingly called Beer City, has consistently ranked as one of the top beer cities in the country. WWF is helping Asheville out with that title with their amazing pours. Just take a look at their online beer archive highlighting their funky and artsy beer cans that hold amazing beers ranging from sours to IPAs.
Where: 147 Coxe Ave. Asheville, NC 28801
Close your eyes, take a bite, and pretend you’re out in the Anadalucían coast or the Spanish capital, Madrid, eating salted seafood, pork, and hearty potatoes and bread. Cúrate is one of Asheville’s hottest tapas bars, serving up Spanish classics like jamón iberico, Galleigan Octopus, and chorizo. And that’s just a tip of the iceberg. Pair some authentic tapas with a small glass of sweet sherry, famous in the south of Spain, or a robust copa de vino tinto (or red wine). All the perks of a Spanish vacation without the long, droning flight.
Where: 13 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
6. Biscuit Head
We couldn’t have left chicken and biscuits off this list, and we love their tagline. “Put some South in your mouth.” Don’t mind if we do. When a place does chicken and biscuits right, they really don’t need much of an explanation. Crunchy, oily, seasoned fried chicken meets flaky, buttery biscuit, maybe top it with some gravy (of which Biscuit Head makes 5 unique ones), and you’ve got a recipe for sweet Southern hospitality. Enjoy.
Where: 417 Biltmore Ave #4f, Asheville, NC 28801
7. Chai Pani
Indian for “tea” and “water,” Chai Pani is one of Asheville’s highlights. Serving up Indian street food from four time James Beard Nominated Chef, Meherwan Irani is a place that combines unique Indian flavors with a Southern Twang. From vegetarian to carnivorous to vegan, they’ve got snacks like okra fries, savories like chicken tikka rolls, and desserts like kheer, a creamy rice pudding with cardamon, cashews, sliced almonds and raisins. We’d highly recommend giving them a try and going for a menu item that sounds a little intimidating. It will likely be incredibly delicious.
Where: 22 Battery Park Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
One of our favorite desserts of all time are donuts for their versatility, which is why we had to include a doughnut spot on this list. Here at Hole, you get your doughnut made-to-order and always fresh. Yeast donuts are sprinkled, smudged, and powdered with delectable sugars, chocolates, and cinnamon, and what’s the most charming about these doughnuts is their imperfect shapes and sizes. No two doughnuts look the same and that’s the sign of a doughnut made from hand.
Where: 168 Haywood Rd, Asheville, NC 28806
All Souls Pizza has a complete farm-to-table menu of delicious oven-baked pizzas to try. From their pizza topped with summer squash, pickled onion, garlic, oregano, fromage blanc, and mozzarella to their garlic sausage, sweet pepper ferment, red onion, oregano, and fontina pizza. Not to mention, they’ve even got polenta pizzas on the menu and two deliciously stacked sandwiches. Come hungry.
Where: 175 Clingman Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
The Bull & Beggar is not your typical French-inspired cuisine if their rotating menu has anything to say about it. On this week’s menu, you could try a platter of steak frites or a slow roasted goat’s leg. Their charcuterie board looks to die for and extravagant and their beef tartare could make the perfect starter for a delicious meal. Don’t leave without sampling one of their hand-crafted cocktails.
Where: 37 Paynes Way #007, Asheville, NC 28801