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49 Best Places to Eat in Asheville NC – A Food Bucket List

Asheville is known for its breweries, but it’s also become a mecca for foodies. The city is growing so much (and quickly) that it’s difficult to keep up with the Asheville food scene, but we made a list of the best of the best places to eat in Asheville NC whether you’re there to explore town or experience the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Many of these restaurants have proven themselves year after year, but we’ve also sprinkled in some who are up and coming. The list has a mixture of both fancy, high-end dining and cheap eats. The best part? You can come as you are without having to worry about getting dressed up.

49 Best Places to Eat in Asheville NC - Your Ultimate Food Bucket ListPin

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Last Updated: January 1, 2023

49 Best Places to Eat in Asheville NC – Food Bucket List

Note: It’s common for restaurants to be closed on Monday. A good handful of them on this list are and sometimes Tuesday as well, so be sure to check their hours when planning your trip.

West Asheville

  1. Hole Doughnuts (pictured below, Donuts, 💰) – Best Dessert in the Country, 2016, by Bon Appetit. It’s a cute shop and everything is fried to order. Definitely makes the list of our favorite donuts in the US.
  2.  The Admiral (New American, 💰💰💰)– They have amazing thick cut pork chop and scallops. If you order the pork, we recommend ordering cooked medium.
  3.  Sunny Point Cafe (Breakfast & Brunch, 💰💰) – Everything here is a hirt, but their chipotle grits and maple pepper bacon really stood out to us.
  4.  OWL Bakery (Bakeries, 💰) – We love their raisin flax bread. It’s so moist and loaded with raisins.
  5.  Tiger Bay Cafe (Barbeque / Sandwiches, 💰) – If you love BBQ and sandwiches, you should check out this spot..
  6.  Early Girl Eatery (Southern / Brunch, 💰💰) – Critically acclaimed restaurant that has been highlighted in several food magazines. Locally owned and features southern, local and seasonal ingredients.
  7.  Flora (Coffee & Tea, 💰💰) – This cute shop is great for plant lovers. They serve organic coffees and teas, and fresh baked goods.
  8.  Taco Billy  (Tacos, 💰💰) – This restaurant serves unique plantain tortillas. Their breakfast tacos are the best!
  9.  Green Tea Sushi (Japanese, 💰💰) – We love the dancing shrimp roll and the Asheville roll.
  10.  Gypsy Queen Cuisine (Mediterranean, 💰💰) – Try the fried cauliflower with tahini dressing & garlic aioli. Yum!
  11.  Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack (Southern, 💰💰) – When you’re looking for tasty chicken tenders, they serve the best in town.
  12.  WALK (Breakfast & Brunch, 💰💰) – The shrimp poboy is the highlight for us. Their bread is straight from Gambino’s in Louisiana.

More:101 Things to Do in Asheville

Hole Doughnuts (49 BEST PLACES TO EAT IN ASHEVILLE NC) - Best Dessert in the Country, 2016, by Bon Appetit. Fried to order! // localadventurer.com

Downtown Asheville Restaurants

  1.  Isa’s French Bistro (French, 💰💰) – Pei mussels are a must!
  2.  Cúrate (Tapas, 💰💰💰) – One of the best Asheville restaurants downtown, Cúrate asheville has a yummy Calamari Sandwiches that are paper-thin crunchy fried.
  3.  Limones (Mexican, 💰💰) – The three cheese chile rellenos always has us drooling.
  4.  Cucina 24 (Italian, 💰💰💰) – We love their wood roasted vegetables, in fact, all of the vegetable dishes here are top notch. They also have distinctive cocktails.
  5.  Mamacita’s (Tacos, 💰) – Get the carnita taco, simmered with smoky peppers.
  6.  Little Bee Thai (Thai, 💰💰) – The Panang Curry is our favorite
  7.  Mela Indian Restaurant (Indian, 💰💰) – We always crave the Saag paneer and kozi milagu chettinad.
  8.  Chai Pani (Indian, 💰💰) – Warning! They have okra fries that are habit forming.
  9.  Sovereign Remedies (Tapas, 💰💰) – The pimento cheese puffs are light as air.
  10.  Strada Italiano (Italian, 💰💰) – Tons of fresh, gluten free pastas.
  11.  Rhubarb (New American, 💰💰💰) – On Eater’s essential Asheville restaurants, Rhubarb Asheville serves contemporary Appalachian cuisine.
  12.  French Broad Chocolate Lounge (Chocolatier, 💰💰) – Ganache based drinking chocolate and a dizzying array of truffles, all made from bean to bar or brownie or pot de creme.
  13.  Table (New American, 💰💰💰) – Try the thick and rich chocolate budino.
  14.  Zambra (Tapas Bars, 💰💰) – Pan seared local trout and small plates set in a romantic dining experience.
  15.  Jerusalem Garden (Mediterranean, 💰💰) – Baba ganoush that will have you licking your plate clean.
  16.  Red Ginger (Dim Sum, 💰💰) – Try the pork dumpling in shanghai style and dan dan noodles.
  17.  Heiwa Shokudo (Japanese, 💰💰) – Altenderfer roll with tempeh, avocado, and maple almond butter is our go to order.
  18.  Farm Burger (Burgers, 💰💰) – One of the popular Asheville downtown restaurants. Check out the No. 1 burger and The Superfood Salad. They also have a brewery downstairs.
  19.  The Montford Rooftop Bar (New American, 💰💰) – We love the hand-formed house tater tots and the Purple Potato Pie cocktail. Let us know what you think!
  20.  The Noodle Shop (Noodles, 💰💰) – We absolutely love the Basil eggplant.

More:25 Top Free Things to Do in Asheville NC

River Arts District

  1.  Bull and Beggar (Seafood, 💰💰💰) – The double cheeseburger and raw oysters are to die for.
  2.  All Souls Pizza (Pizza, 💰💰) – Sounds crazy, but try the smoked shrimp pizza with fermented chiles.
  3.  Grey Eagle Taqueria (Mexican, 💰💰) – We recommend the carnitas arepa with smoky and super tender confit pork and the 39. Also try the fiambre salad.

More:25 Most Popular Instagram Spots in Asheville NC

Grey Eagle Taqueria + Asheville Best RestaurantsPin
  1.  Smoky Park Supper Club (New American, 💰💰) – This is the first shipping container restaurant of it’s kind built with 18 containers! Try the smoked Carolina shrimp.
  2.  12 Bones Smokehouse (Smokehouse, 💰💰) – We love the Blueberry Chipotle ribs with a side of collard greens and corn pudding.
12 Bones BBQ (49 Best Places to Eat in Asheville - Ultimate Asheville Food Bucket List) // localadventurer.com

Grove Park

  1.  Ultimate Ice Cream (Ice Cream, 💰) – Their ice cream is full of flavor and not overly sweet. Strawberry and coffee ice creamare our favorites.
Ultimate Ice Cream (49 Best Places to Eat in Asheville - Ultimate Asheville Food Bucket List) // localadventurer.com
  1.  Edison Craft Ales + Kitchen (Gatropubs, 💰💰) – On Eater’s 10 Hottest New Restaurants 2017. They feature North Carolina beers and local and regional flavors.
  2. Vue 1913 (New American, 💰💰💰💰) – Brasserie-inspired New American fare & mountain views.

More:15 Best Hikes Near Asheville NC

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Miscellaneous

  1. Farm and Sparrow Bakery (Pizza, 💰💰) – Sold at All Souls Pizza and seasonal farmers markets. Try their wood fired bread, house milled flour, and chocolate croissants. Yum!
  2.  Buxton Hall Barbeque (South Slope, Southern, 💰💰) – Best New BBQ Joint, 2016, by Bon Appetit. Try the lightly smoked, then fried chicken sandwich.
  3.  Biscuit Head (Breakfast & Brunch, 💰💰) – Delicious breakfast options that will make you wish you had the recipes for them.
  4.  Wild Ginger (South Asheville, Asian Fusion, 💰💰) – Outstanding chicken pho.
Wild Ginger Chicken Pho Ultimate Ice Cream El Kimchi (49 Best Places to Eat in Asheville - Ultimate Asheville Food Bucket List) // localadventurer.com
  1.  Plant (North Asheville, Vegan, 💰💰) – Asheville’s only fully vegan and vegetarian restaurant. We love the Lasagna Cruda.
  2.  Barley’s Taproom & Pizzeria (Downtown, Pizza, 💰💰) – Don’t skip out on their garlic knots!
  3.  Copper Crown (East Asheville, New American, 💰💰) – They serve inventive, New American bistro.
  4.  Moe’s BBQ (Southern, 💰💰) – Head to Biltmore Village for smoked chicken wings and griddled cornbread.
  5.  El Kimchi (location changes daily, Korean & Mexican Fusion, 💰) – Spicy Korean burrito and bi bim bap are the way to go.

More:15 Best Hikes Near Asheville NC

El Kimchi (49 Best Places to Eat in Asheville - Ultimate Asheville Food Bucket List) // localadventurer.com

More Places to Eat in Asheville NC – Honorable Mentions

  • Rosetta’s Kitchen and The Buchi Bar (Vegan, 💰💰)– Get the Buddah bowl!
  • Nine Mile (Caribbean, 💰💰) – Any salad with “His Majesty’s” dressing. They have a gluten free menu.
  • The Hop (Ice Cream, 💰) – Salted caramel ice cream? Yes, please.
  • Chestnut Asheville (New American, 💰💰) – One of the best casual restaurants Asheville has to offer.
  • Jargon Asheville (New American, 💰💰💰) – Another great spot that makes a lot of the Best Restaurants in Asheville NC lists.

Where to Stay in Asheville NC

More:15 Best Places to Stay in Asheville NC

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Caroline + Erin

They are entrepreneurs and creatives who are good at finding adventure, both big and small, everywhere they go. The two have made a daily practice of sharing vulnerabilities, truth telling, and side splitting laughter. Both value being able to spend time getting to know a place but understand that life doesn’t always allow one to really settle into a place. So, they’ve honed the art of traveling fast and seeing and doing all of the things that an adventurer can do in a day or two. The couple lives in Asheville, North Carolina and spend as much time as possible in the mountains.

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