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.
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.
Bar, Diner, Market, Restaurant, American, European, Cocktails, Wine, Beer, $$$
The Market Place, Asheville | Courtesy of The Market Place
Located in the heart of Asheville, The Market Place is a favourite amongst locals for its European and American cuisine. Established in 1979 the restaurant is well-known for its use of seasonal ingredients grown locally and sourced within a hundred mile radius of Asheville. If this doesn’t already sound like the perfect community-orientated restaurant, The Market Place also supports local charities, and the arts and education. Perfect for the casual diner, The Market Place offers a comfortable setting accompanied with a classic American bar that serves delightful handmade cocktails and local brews.
Deerpark Restaurant, Asheville | Courtesy of Deerpark Restaurant
Set against the cinematic backdrop of The Biltmore estate, The Deerpark Restaurant provides a spectacular setting for a unique occasion. Located in what was once a historic barn, today the restaurant has been transformed into a beautiful courtyard venue with a rustic elegance, perfect for the Biltmore estate. Here, the aesthetics of the restaurant live up to the authentically southern flavours of the food. With a contemporary take on a traditional menu of poached salmon, hand-carved prime rib, salads, vegetables as well as Appalachian specialties, the setting, and cuisine is sure to leave a delightful taste in your mouth.
Perfect for those craving Mexican cuisine, Limones is a laid back, simple restaurant that has earned itself a solid reputation on Asheville’s dining scene. The driving force behind the restaurant, Hugo Ramirez, combines a huge variety of flavours to evoke the intense taste of his native hometown of Mexico City, along with a fresh take on contemporary Californian cuisine. Located just around the corner from the Fine Arts Theater in downtown Asheville, Limones is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat before catching a movie.
Bar, Restaurant, Italian, Contemporary, American, Vegetarian, $$$
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.
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.
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 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.