Asheville NC Restaurants: 16 of the Best for Unforgettable Meals
A mesmerizing mix of Blue Ridge Mountain nature and a funky bohemian spirit come together to make Asheville a destination for artists and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
However, many visitors to this North Carolina enclave of hiking and camping and aficionados of architecture and history may need to be made aware of its reputation as a foodie paradise. From finger-licking good BBQ to wood-fired pizza and vegan eats, restaurants in Asheville NC do it all. Follow along to discover the 16 best restaurants in Asheville NC.
Refuel after a heart-pounding trek through the Pisgah National Forest with a mess of spicy buffalo chicken tacos. Or, dine like the magnates of yore when you break bread at the Biltmore Estate.
Save yourself the trouble of scrolling and searching for ‘Indian restaurant Asheville’ or ‘dog-friendly restaurants Asheville’ and let your experts direct you to the most delectable dishes.
No matter if you are looking for downtown Asheville restaurants to satisfy your hankering for baked goods or want to devour the best jamon at a five-star Asheville tapas restaurant, we’ve got you covered.
Best Restaurants Asheville NC
Chic outdoor spaces, draping fairy lights, and a splash of Appalachian inspiration. Unique Asheville restaurants marry together flavor and ambiance to create an unbeatable epicurean experience.
Whether you choose to feast on croquetas at a Spanish restaurant Asheville or tuck into ceviche and creative cocktails at Limones, you’ll never go hungry in the Land of the Sky.
Hightail it to Biltmore Avenue for a supper of locally sourced ingredients served in a contemporary setting at Posana. Beloved by locals and visitors alike, Posana is a dining destination that boasts a sustainable menu, including ingredients from over 65 different local purveyors and farmers.
Snag a seat in their outdoor dining area and enjoy your supper with Fido (there’s even a special dog menu). Or, get cozy in their wood lacquered dining room with a seasonal cocktail such as the Up Beet.
Munch happily away on ricotta gnocchi served with ramp pesto or devour homespun favorites like the Sunburst Trout served with citrus quinoa, fennel, Swiss chard, and sumac.
The Grand Bohemian Asheville Restaurant
An intoxicating amalgam of modern and rustic, this Grand Bohemian restaurant located in Asheville has managed to become one of the city’s most unique eateries. The Red Stag Grill draws upon both Carolina and European influences to craft a one-of-a-kind culinary adventure.
Gather around a custom, live-edge wood dining table or explore their exclusive wine room. Sample their namesake Sazerac under the warm glow of wooden candelabras and stag heads, or opt for a bottle of their finest bubbly.
Pique your appetite with Elk Carpaccio, but save plenty of room for one of their signature mains such as the Pan Roasted Poulet Rouge or Red Stag Chop.
Buxton Hall Barbecue
Hungry enough to eat a whole hog? Swing on by South Slope for hearty helpings of East Carolina BBQ and mouth-watering Southern sides served in a stylish industrial space. Made with respect to both tradition and innovation, pigs reign king at Buxton Hall Barbecue!
Taste the difference of local livestock butchered in-house and slowly smoked for hours. While their pulled pork is legendary, their buttermilk fried chicken sandwich also always hits the spot. Don’t sleep on their sides, which include golden crispy hush puppies, and smokey cheddar mac and cheese served with toasted breadcrumbs.
Tupelo Honey Southern Kitchen & Bar
Got a hankering for some Southern comfort that just won’t quit? Enjoy sweet hospitality, responsibly sourced local ingredients, and a pinch of Appalachian spirit when you make a date with Tupelo Honey Southern Kitchen & Bar.
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With multiple Asheville locations, natives and visitors alike flock here to taste the difference 20 years of experience makes. Tap into the bounty of the Carolina mountains, as you savor plates of fried green tomatoes, buttermilk biscuits, and smothered chicken in gravy.
For an enticing chef-inspired spin on a Mason Dixon favorite, try the Tupelo Shrimp and Grits served with chorizo pork sausage, creole sauce, and heirloom grits with goat cheese.
Curate Tapas Bar
Are small plates your love language? Discover the culinary treasures of Espana when you make a reservation at the best tapas Restaurant Asheville. Helmed by Chef Katie Button and her partner Feliz Meana, this oasis charcuterie, cheese, and savory snacks was founded on the belief that new flavors can cure the soul.
Tease your stomach with tasty morsels yet to come with an aperitivo of pan con tomate and an order of Curate’s world-famous cured pork. Next, devour sauteed shrimp in garlic, patatas bravas, and local roasted carrots served with romesco sauce. Wind down your meal of Spanish delicacies with a caffeine-infused “affogato” de chocolate y avellanas.
James Beard awards and street snacks don’t usually go hand in hand, but at Chai Pani, that’s just what you’ll find. Bright, colorful, and adorned with tiger artwork and exposed brick, this low-key eatery is a homage to the crave-worthy street snacks of India.
Chai Pai is slang for a tasty bite, and that’s exactly what you’ll uncover in downtown Asheville. Prime your tastebuds for an avalanche of crunchy, sweet, spicy, and tangy snacks. Sample crispy okra fries, Paneer Tikka Rolls, Kale Pakoras, and more, all washed down with sips of creamy Mango Lassi.
Rocky Hot Chicken Shack
For over a decade, fried chicken lovers have flocked to this Asheville staple for a little taste of Nashville in North Carolina. Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack has three locations throughout Asheville, all serving up their unique style of earth-shatteringly crispy fried chicken.
Take measure of your courage and select a spice level anywhere from ‘extra hot’ to ‘honey mild’ and commence your feasting. After you’ve taken down your fair share of fries, chicken, and collard greens, be sure to end with a bowl of sweet comfort. We are partial to their banana or butterscotch pudding.
12 Bones Smokehouse
Luscious, falling-off-the-bone BBQ sans rules? Sign us up! Showcasing old family recipes and new inventive flavors, this River Arts District hole in the wall has no qualms about mixing it up with Memphis, Kansas, and Carolina-style ribs.
A favorite of the Obamas, 12 Bones Smokehouse no-frills establishment has maintained their commitment to simple ingredients prepared with utmost care. Head to either of their locations and load up on Baby Back ribs in intriguing flavors such as blueberry chipotle or pineapple habanero.
Sneak by on Friday for a chopped brisket sandwich served with cornbread, or opt for a pile of their sensational pulled pork to go.
White Duck Taco Shop
Wanna taco about it? There’s no bad time for tacos, and with locations in both downtown Asheville and the River Arts District, White Duck Taco Shop makes it easy to fill up on your corn tortilla flavor combos.
Ignite your palate with unique pairings such as Duck with Mole Mushroom potato with Romesco, and Lamb Gyro. Even the veggie-inclined can get in on the fun with offerings such as Banh Mi Tofu and Black Beans. Round out your meal with a refreshing side of watermelon and mint or gut-friendly house-made kimchi.
Nothing pairs better with a crisp Blue Ridge Mountain morning than a piping hot latte and sugar-dusted Cardamom Bun. Heed your need for caffeine when you breakfast at the eternally charming and cozy Owl Bakery in West Asheville.
This Old World Levain Bakery focuses on naturally leavened bread and European-inspired pastries. Pick up a loaf of country sourdough for your next picnic. Or ask for a slice of their creamy custardy quiche to go. Not in the West End? You can also find another Owl location just north of downtown.
Save your fingers the trouble of scrolling for an ‘Italian restaurant Asheville.’ Nestled in Beer City’s downtown lies an oasis of wood-fired pizza, risotto, and salami misto. Cucina 24 prides itself on its emphasis on local ingredients combined with the traditional philosophies and techniques of Italian cuisine.
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For 15 years, Cucina’s kitchen has churned out seasonal plates that utilize the native fare of the American South. Sip away on a specialty cocktail as you dig into zucchini scapece accented by pillowy mozzarella di bufala or moan over their indulgently rich tagliatelle al ragù.
Grove Park Inn Restaurants
Whether you are a guest of the Grove Park Inn or not, every Asheville adventure deserves a nosh at this historic resort. This serenely historic Blue Ridge Mountain institution has been welcoming travelers for over a century.
Delight in unparalleled views and cocktails from the Sunset Terrace. Followed by a sublime Prime Rib or Seafood Dinner at the farm-to-table Blue Ridge Restaurant.
Far from your average chips and salsa joint, Chef Hugo Ramirez’s Limones is a sparkling gem of the Appalachian Mountain culinary scene. Classically trained in French Californian cuisine in San Francisco where he worked under many of the city’s top chefs. Hugo combined his training with inspiration from his native country to create a menu bursting with innovation.
A loving homage to simple ingredients, techniques, and flavors from his mother’s kitchen and Mexico City. Limones wows with dishes such as Negra Modelo Lamb Cheeks Tacos and Lobster Nachos topped with black beans and serranos.
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Yearning for a tipple? This Mexican restaurant Asheville also delivers the most dynamic list of Margaritas. Sip away on a Maya Margarita mixed with Mezcal. Or evoke the ambiance of the desert with a Prickly Pear Margarita.
An iconic part of American architecture and history, the sweeping grounds and gardens of Vanderbilt’s home contain more than just priceless antiques and a 210-room luxury hotel. Discerning foodies flock here to score a coveted reservation at the Bistro. The Bistro at the Biltmore Estate is a shining showcase of estate-raised and regionally sourced ingredients.
Gather around the open kitchen and observe the master chefs at work or sample a delightful Biltmore Chardonnay. Enjoy stuffed quail with farro and sweet potato stuffing, beet-fat marble potatoes, and candied pecans. Or truly splurge with Estate Raised Rib Eye.
*Please note that to dine on the estate, you must have a daytime ticket, a Biltmore Annual Pass, or be a guest at one of the overnight properties.
Vegan Restaurants Asheville
Rosetta’s Kitchen & The Buchi Bar
Calling all veg-heads! Asheville may be known as Beer City, but this mecca of mountain madness is also a haven for plant-based eaters. Get your fill of vegan soul food when you stop by Rosetta’s Kitchen & The Buchi Bar for a casual bite.
Hang out by the window, and people watch on lower North Lexington Avenue. Or pursue their Zine Library as you debate your order. Local standouts include the Coconut Curry or the Family Favorite, a comforting plate of peanut butter-baked organic tofu, sautéed kale, and smashed potatoes smothered with Granny’s Gravy.
Dried-out veggie burgers and plant veggie plates have no place at Plant. A Zagat award-winning vegan eatery. Plant is up-leveling plant-based cuisine due to their use of thoughtfully chosen ingredients and multicultural techniques.
Deliver your body some powerhouse nutrients and flavor. When you tuck into dishes such as Crispy Mushroom Mole and Crusted Seitan Marsala. Don’t go home without sampling some of their decadent desserts, such as the coca almond-crusted Peanut butter Cheesecake.
Are you dreaming about sipping your morning coffee with a side of rugged mountain views? Before you dive into restaurants near Grove Park Inn or the best baguette, it’s time to lock down those lodgings.
Sleep in a modernly appointed suite just steps from the Biltmore Estate or enjoy budget-friendly rooms by some of the top restaurants Asheville NC. No matter what your style, we have Asheville Hotels for every type of traveler. Wherever you book, know you are guaranteed our lowest rates online.
Riotous hues of fall foliage, gushing waterfalls, and the lush flora of the Biltmore Forest. Asheville, North Carolina is home to countless natural wonders.
Nonetheless, in addition to Mother Nature’s bounty, this Land of the Sky has garnered a shining reputation for five-star eats.
Asheville restaurants are deliciously diverse in nature. Hungry visitors can easily load up on earth-shatteringly spicy fried chicken one day. Or try warming their tummies with creamy coconut curry the next.
Travel to South Asia when you feast on Saag Paneer and Daal. Or excite your taste buds with the freshest ceviche and cotija-dusted street corn at Limones.
Ready to Eat Your Way Through Asheville NC Restaurants?
Tell us in the comments below, what’s your favorite Asheville restaurant?