Dining in Asheville? The area has a multitude of first-rate restaurant options, from casual pizza joints to upscale fine dining establishments to food-sensitive spots that pack in the flavor. We're not the only ones that rave about the restaurants and food in Asheville—just take a brief look at the press these places get, and you'll get the idea.
We have a number of local chefs and restaurants that have been nominees of the James Beard award, and we've earned the #1 spot on PETA's Top 10 Vegan-Friendly Towns and Small Cities list as well. Below, you'll find a list of some of our favorite Asheville restaurants serving up breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner.
Asheville Breakfast and Brunch
Not only does this West Asheville hot spot use all local ingredients, they also source some ingredients from their own garden. Breakfast all day and delicious dinner options too. Try their Huevos Rancheros or "The Breakfast Sandwich." Expect a line, especially on weekends, but they've got you covered with the essentials while you wait in the courtyard area -- hot coffee will be ready to go.
Expect a line out the door on weekends...and with good reason. This restaurant is entirely dedicated to carefully crafted and delicious ...biscuits. Biscuit options range from sizable portions with mimosa fried chicken, brisket, catfish, country ham or fried green tomatoes. Local coffee from Bean Werks is served and they also proudly serve Hickory Nut Gap and Joyce Farms meats. Don't forget to fill up at the house-made jelly/jam bar. If you're headed to West Asheville, don't miss out on trying out this place. Headed closer to downtown? They also have a Biltmore Ave. location.
Food is art at Corner Kitchen. This historic house/restaurant has roots that started growing with the Vanderbilts (of the Biltmore Estate), and was known as the "Biltmore Cafe in the 1930s. The setting itself makes eating here enjoyable and the food is also excellent.
For you doughnut lovers: this is paradise. Vortex was named one of "America's Best Doughnuts" by Food & Wine Magazine in 2015! Try out the ever-changing doughnut selections. They are also coffee fanatics (and make a really good cup o' joe).
Who doesn't like breakfast all day? You've got that and "normal" lunch and dinner options at Early Girl. Many of their vegetables, cheeses, and meats are produced/raised locally. Early Girl Eatery has had media mentions in publications such as Bon Appetit, The New York Times, and Southern Living.
This "hole in the wall" doughnut shop stays small with their doughnut selections, and we don't think you'll mind. They've got a few regular selections and then a revolving door of creative donuts such as Saffron Almond, Salt and Peppercorn Maple, Bourbon Milk Punch...who knows what will be available when you visit. Bon Appetit magazine voted Hole Doughnuts Best Dessert of 2016 and they were included in the Food Lover's Guide to Asheville by National Geographic. Their little shop and the people that work there make you feel right at home.
While you can visit any of its numerous locations sprinkled throughout the U.S., the original cafe was established in Asheville, NC in 2000, making our city the place to sample the traditional Southern cuisine with a healthy twist. Now home to Chef Eric Gabrynowicz, a four-time James Beard Award semifinalist that was named Top Newcomer from Zagat and voted Food and Wine Magazine’s “Peoples Best New Chef (New York),” this cafe is a delightful favorite of tourists and locals alike due to their scratch-made Southern food that revives and reimagines classic dishes.
Our favorites include the Fried Green Tomatoes, Fried Chicken & Cathead Buttermilk Biscuits (top with homemade blueberry jam and whipped butter to add some Southern sweetness), and the 'Old Skool' Breakfast Bowl complete with a creamy heirloom grit base that perfectly compliments the parmesan & rosemary potato cracklins and roasted red pepper sauce.
Check out Greybeard's best Asheville breakfast blog for more info!
Casual Asheville Lunch and Dinner
12 Bones Smokehouse is a popular choice for slow-cooked BBQ and ribs in Asheville. They have a location in the River Arts District beside The Wedge Brewery's new location as well as a South Asheville location. See what all the hype is about and then purchase their famous Blueberry Chipotle or Sweet Tomato sauces for the drive home.
This is just one of our all-time favorites. It's got a great name, is affordably priced, has delightfully unique taco mixtures with a good feel for Asheville! Try the Bangkok Shrimp or Jerk Chicken taco. If you're not feeling courageous, their Steak and Cheese tacos are equally as delicious. The original location is in the River Arts District on Roberts Street. The second location is on Biltmore Ave. in the heart of downtown Asheville.
Sitting comfortably in Asheville's South Slope brewing district, Buxton Hall Barbecue offers wood-smoked, whole hog barbecue with a nice atmosphere. And, wow, take a look at that press list.Elliot Moss and Meherwan Irani are both James Beard nominees and continue to delight with their Carolina BBQ.
The Cantina at Historic Biltmore Village is conveniently located right outside the gate of the Biltmore Estate and offers some really great "Fresh Mex" Mexican food ranging from quesadillas to burritos, including vegetarian and Gluten Free options. Cantina also has a really cool "Skip A Side" program where you can skip one of your sides that typically comes with your entree, and instead, donate it to our local Manna Food Bank.
Asheville Fine Dining
With placements in the Wall Street Journal, Food & Wine, Conde Nast Traveler and much more, there's a lot of hype around Curate's great food. Chef Katie Button was named a James Beard Rising Star Chef Semi-Finalist for three consecutive years. Come enjoy tapas!
Come enjoy an inventive cocktail and modern mexican/Californian cuisine at this Asheville hotspot.
It's not open for lunch, but plan a dinner outing to Bouchon French Bistro while you're in the area! There's nothing like some locally sourced French comfort food to end the day.
Okay, so the River Arts District isn't exactly known for its fine dining, but The Bull and Beggar is a delicious exception. Their mantra is "European inspired Appalachian cuisine" and includes menu options ranging from oysters, octopus, venison and lobster, to bone-in ribeye. Headed there for Sunday Brunch, if you're not feeling breakfast foods, their B&B Double Cheeseburger may be the perfect choice.
Centrally located on Biltmore Avenue, this popular Asheville restaurant serves American cuisine and creative cocktails in a refurbished space that reflects the 1920s, the era that it was built.
Zambra Tapas, Wine and Bar offers farm to table tapas (small plates) with tastes of Spain and North Africa and hundreds of wine options from the Iberian peninsula.
Jacob Sessoms, the head chef of Table Asheville, was the first chef in Asheville to be nominated for a James Beard award. This New American restaurant is located in the heart of downtown Asheville and has a revolving (and ever-evolving) menu. Sessoms' goal from the beginning has been to support and showcase regional and sustainable agriculture. Table also boasts its upstairs cocktail and charcuterie lounge, The Imperial Life.
The Red Stag Grill is located at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Asheville's Biltmore Village and offers a classy steakhouse option with a romantic ambiance.
We haven't even scratched the surface of the Asheville food scene. Discover more by visiting ExploreAsheville's Foodtopia site. If you are seeking out gluten-free dining options, look no further than our Gluten Free Asheville page.