With its rich architecture and cutting-edge art scene, Asheville, North Carolina, really draws in the crowds. Set amongst the awe-inspiring scenery of the Appalachian Mountains, the city’s outdoors way of life provides the perfect accompaniment to the burgeoning culinary scene. With a superb assortment of dining experiences and dozens of local restaurants to choose from, the food community is thriving. Read on to discover Asheville’s top culinary spots.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Tupelo Honey Café
The award-winning Tupelo Honey Café is one of Asheville’s most iconic restaurants. No visit is complete until you’ve experienced the signature sweet potato pancakes or poached eggs with homemade crab cakes and lemon hollandaise sauce, a real taste of the South. The restaurant specialises in authentic southern favourites with an emphasis placed on creating flavours that are at the heart of traditional home cooking. Tupelo Honey Café boasts two locations, one downtown and the other south of Asheville, both are great for a lazy brunch with friends or a late night supper with the family.
The Market Place
Located in the heart of Asheville, The Market Place is a favourite amongst locals for its European and American cuisine. Established in 1979 the restaurant is well-known for its use of seasonal ingredients grown locally and sourced within a hundred mile radius of Asheville. If this doesn’t already sound like the perfect community-orientated restaurant, The Market Place also supports local charities, and the arts and education. Perfect for the casual diner, The Market Place offers a comfortable setting accompanied with a classic American bar that serves delightful handmade cocktails and local brews.
Perfect for those craving Mexican cuisine, Limones is a laid back, simple restaurant that has earned itself a solid reputation on Asheville’s dining scene. The driving force behind the restaurant, Hugo Ramirez, combines a huge variety of flavours to evoke the intense taste of his native hometown of Mexico City, along with a fresh take on contemporary Californian cuisine. Located just around the corner from the Fine Arts Theater in downtown Asheville, Limones is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat before catching a movie.
For a true, authentic taste of Italy, Cucina 24 offers honest interpretations of classic Mediterranean dishes. With the menus changing nightly and emphasis placed on innovative pairings of flavors, Cucina 24 is a fantastic opportunity to try something new. Come in early for a drink at the bar with the mixologist, or simply settle down with a brew in a comfortable, warm, inviting restaurant.
Hidden away in the sleepy corner of Biltmore Village, Corner Kitchen always provides an innovative take on traditional dishes. Set within one of Asheville’s Tudor-style cottages, Corner Kitchen has a deep-rooted culinary reputation, even having welcomed the Obamas in 2010. Inside, there are numerous cosy rooms with charming fireplaces, or if the weather is fine guests can take a seat outside on the patio and take in the beautiful views of Biltmore Village.
12 Bones Smokehouse
Priding themselves on creating every dish from scratch, the team at 12 Bones Smokehouse uses family recipes both old and new. With a barbeque joint ethos, they create tasty meat dishes by slowly smoking them over select hardwoods. Surrounded by old brick warehouses and located near to the river where a number of artists studios scattered, 12 Bone Steakhouse really does provide the setting for the perfect laid-back dining experience. Pop into the River Arts District to sample a bit of the culture on offer in this area.
Red Stag Grill, Grand Bohemian Hotel
Set in the rolling Blue Ridge Mountains, The Grand Bohemian Hotel brings a little bit of decadence to your dining experience. Allow yourself to be transported back in time to a place in Mid-Europe Bohemia at the Red Stag Grill, a rustic hunting lodge with chic decoration. Beneath simple beams, you’ll be seated in a cosy booth at a wooden dining table. Serving European comfort food complemented with local ingredients, a meal at the Red Stag Grill will deliver a casual atmosphere and outstanding cuisine.
Frogs Leap Public House
Frogs Leap Public House is a farm-to-table country pub celebrating the food, culture, beer and art of western North Carolina. Just off Main Street, in historic downtown Waynesville, you can try local craft brews or a one off cocktail from the seasonally changing drink list, all the while looking out onto the Great Smoky Mountains. The Frogs Leap kitchen provides a fresh, seasonal menu every few days featuring local, sustainable, organic and natural foods.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.