At the best restaurants in Asheville, world-class chefs use the unique culinary roots of Appalachian cuisine to create interesting and unique dishes. Asheville has an unmatched creative vibe that is fueled by a collaborative spirit between chefs, local farmers, foragers, and food artisans. Here you will find Southern comfort food mixed with Appalachian fare, barbecue, and interesting Asian, Middle East and European infusion. If you’re trying to decide where to eat during your Asheville visit, take a look at our picks for the Best and Unique Asheville Restaurants.
Best Casual Dining Restaurants in Asheville
Sometimes when one is on vacation you just want a casual meal, maybe a picnic to bring on a hike or take-out to bring back to the inn. You’ll find an interesting brewpub or coffee house on just about every corner in Asheville and most serve fun casual food as well. Kick up your feet, let all the stress from everyday life go away, and enjoy all the many casual restaurants that abound in Asheville.
Gan Shan Station
85 Haywood Rd Ste 20, Asheville, NC 28806-4545. (828) 417- 7402 Visit Website
This hip international eatery is located inside a vintage gas station. Chef Patrick O’Cain, an Asheville native, creates visually stunning East Asian dishes like dumplings, ramen, and Korean fried chicken. With its neighborhood vibe and nearby picnic tables for outdoor dining, as well as easy online ordering for pick-up, they offer a wide variety of Asian Fusion options. They are vegetarian and vegan options and the portions are generous making for great food and value.
107 Black Mountain Avenue, Black Mountain (828) 357-9029. Visit Website
2 Huntsman Place, Asheville NC 28803
Looking for some take-out to bring back to the inn or to enjoy as a picnic. If you enjoy meat- this is the stop for you. They have two options: Take a short drive to Black Mountain and enjoy dinner in their neighborhood restaurant and bar that includes a butcher case featuring fresh, local products. If you are in Downtown Asheville they also have a food truck permanently located at Hi-Wire Brewing’s Big Top in Biltmore Village. There you will enjoy housemade hot dogs, cheeseburgers, and sandwiches..With an emphasis on supporting local businesses and farms, find fresh takes on everything from poutine and classic burgers to sandwiches and fries cooked in tallow fat. Severral vegetarian options are also available but definately the emphasis is on meat!.
12 Bones Smokehouse
5 Foundy Street, Suite 10 Asheville N.C. 28801 (River Arts District) (828) 253-4499 Visit Website
2350 Hendersonville Road Arden, N.C. 28704 (828) 687-1395
At 12 Bones Smokehouse, everything is made from scratch and smoked long & slow over select hardwoods. Roll up your sleeves and dive into drool-worthy ribs that are doused in either Cheerwine or blueberry chipotle sauce. For a lighter intro, dabble into the side plate (pick four) and the “just a taste” meat menu. Open for lunch only and take-out.
White Duck Taco
Flagship- 388 Riverside Drive Asheville, N.C. 28801 (828) 254-1398 Visit website
Downtown Asheville- 12 Biltmore Avenue Asheville, N.C. 28801 (828) 232-9191
The name White Duck Taco Shop originates from a nickname the Chef earned when she frequently got excited and talked too much to the kitchen staff. They called her “La Pata Blanca” which means White Duck. Super affordable taqueria with seriously good eats. The tacos are affordable and innovative. Fillings are quirky and appetizing with the fish taco having a perfect balance of flavors.
Downtown Asheville- 12 College Street Asheville, N.C. 28801 (828) 255-4863 Visit Website
South Asheville- 1829 Hendersonville Road Asheville, N.C. 28803 (828) 505- 7676
Home-cooked food and a revival of Southern foods and traditions. Recipes are simple and crafted from responsibly sourced ingredients. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Southern comfort food at its finest- don’t miss out on their fried chicken and pecan pie!
Flagship- 233 Montford Ave Asheville, N.C. 28801 (828) 505-3121. Visit website
West Asheville- 751 Haywood Rd Asheville, N.C. 28806 (828) 575-9903
South Asheville-33 Town Square Blvd Asheville, N.C. 28803 (828) 676-1807
Laid-back vibes, bountiful portions, and zesty, veggie-friendly dishes define the Caribbean-inspired restaurant. Chicken locally raised trout, and wild-caught tuna, mahi-mahi, and other seafood ground the menu of massive salads and pasta- and rice-based offerings. But fresh vegetables and flavor-packed dressings and sauces are the real stars. Almost everything on the menu can be made vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and/or dairy-free.
22 Battery Park Ave Asheville, N.C. 28801 (828) 254-4003 Visit website
Great Indian food! Chai Pani literally means “tea and water.”. It’s slang in India for going out for a cup of tea, a tasty bite, a snack, or “a little something.”. In Downtown Asheville (and now in Downtown Decatur) it means innovative, fun, affordable and delicious Indian cuisine. If you love Indian food this restaurant is not to be missed! The Sloppy Jai lamb and fish rolls are delicious.
10 Shady Oak Dr
Asheville, NC 28803(828) 505-4452 Visit Website
Hidden just outside Biltmore Village in Burial Beer Co.’s complex, Forestry Camp’s carefully preserved 1930s-era wooden building housed members of the Civilian Conservation Corps during the construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Experience the range of executive chef J.T. DeBrie’s locally sourced, whole-animal, in-house butchering program with the rotating butcher board, or cover all your bases with the five-course tasting menu, which offers plenty of dishes highlighting veggies and mushrooms grown in the surrounding mountains.
Best Asheville Restaurants for Fine Dining
13 Biltmore Ave
Asheville, NC 28801(828) 239-2946 Visit Website
It’s a happening Spanish tapas restaurant and bar housed in a 1927 bus depot. Respected Chef Katie Button takes diners on an edible journey through prized Spanish small plates. This restaurant is extremely popular and requires advance reservations weeks in advance. Many agree that the meals here are show stoppers!
29 N Market St #105
Asheville, NC 28801(828) 919-9518
Quirky cocktails and inventive American fare. Cool atmosphere with delicious Asian-inspired food. Great drinks, cool atmosphere, and really delicious Asian-inspired food. Chef Graham House has a way of reinventing the wheel by turning simple, locally sourced ingredients into edible pieces of art
7 SW, N Pack Square
Asheville, NC 28801(828) 785-1503 Visit Website
This rustic, chef-driven restaurant in the heart of downtown with many vegetarian options. You’ll find great North Carolina cheeses on the menu and an entire eat your vegetables section.
400 Haywood Rd
Asheville, NC 28806(828) 252-2541 Visit Website
A fine dining restaurant with dive bar vibes. Romantic atmosphere and every changing small menu. Everyone comments that while the outside looks are a little scary the inside never disappoints. If ribs are on the menu it will be the highlight of your evening along with their cornbread which never disappoints.
24 Wall St. Asheville, NC 28801 (828) 254-6170 Visit Website
An Italian eatery with a Southern touch that’s perfect for date night. Chef Brian Canella keeps it real with traditional Italian intertwined with regional ingredients. Currently doing only a 5-course dinner for $60 per person with optional wine pairing. A delicious take-out option is available that can be booked online that includes some phenomenal pizzas, antipasti, and daily offerings.
Plant Vegan Restaurant
165 Merrimon Ave Asheville, N.C. 28801 (828) 258-7500 Visit website
Considered by many to be the nation’s best vegan restaurant. Operating from a modest standalone building on busy Merrimon Avenue just north of downtown you’ll also find their ingredients to be 90% organic and mostly gluten-free. But the bold and artful flavor profiles executive chef Jason Sellers coaxes from his ingredients lack nothing. The t menu changes daily including togarashi tofu curry to applewood smoked mushroom steak. The selection of house-made aged vegan cheeses and ice creams are delicious too.
Asheville, NC 28806 (828) 785-1761
A casual, cozy restaurant in West Asheville that has creative cocktails, a nice wine list, and a good selection of beautifully presented, modern Amercvian food. All of their food is sourced from local growers, so their menu changes frequently.
Best Places in Asheville for Quick Bites, Coffee, and Picnics
French Broad Chocolate Lounge
10 S Pack Sq, Asheville, NC 28801 (828) 252- 4181 Visit website
Chocolate in every form, French Broad offers three different brownies, a full gelato bar, a variety of chocolate cakes, and lots of other sweets.
Double D’s Coffee and Desserts
41 Biltmore Ave Asheville, N.C. (828) 505-2439 Visit Website
Ashville’s iconic Double Decker bus cafe Double D’s is a charming experiential cafe inside an English-style double-decker bus that’s permanently parked under an apple tree on Biltmore Avenue. (The tree blooms gorgeously in the spring, which is why it’s worth mentioning by name.)
Even though people are initially drawn to the gimmick, the coffee and desserts here are absolutely lovely. Double D’s serves organic gourmet coffee, tea, and desserts to universal critical acclaim.
They sell killer fruit bars, coffee cake muffins from The Rhu (see below), and wonderful seasonal specialty coffee drinks with alternative milks, coffee syrups, and whipped cream on demand. All of it is excellent, whether you go minimalist (Cafe au lait, Americano) or heavy (try their “Shot in the Dark” blend of coffee and espresso).
Best Asheville Restaurant
And leaving the VERY best Asheville restaurant for last- your hosts, Connie & Proal at the Sourwood Inn also orchestrate an astounding Farm Direct Dining experience at the lodge Thursday- Sunday. Here you will find nothing but the best- locally sourced protein and vegetables, prepared by the inn’s chef, Casey. Connie & Proal also have a background in wine and have curated a fabulous wine list for you to enjoy during your stay.
Best Hotel to Stay In Asheville
If you want a central location to rest while you explore everything that Asheville has to offer, check out the Sourwood Inn. We offer unmatched luxury accommodations in Asheville, North Carolina. All of our rooms include central air-conditioning, wood-burning fireplaces, private balconies with mountain views. We’re especially known for our beautiful views, rustic luxury, and unparalleled farm direct dining.