Asheville NC restaurant recommendations

(saregama) #1

Planning my first trip to Asheville later this year - seeking your advice on what to eat!

We are also likely driving from Charlotte airport, so any ideas for lunch nearby or en route would be great too!

Thanks!

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(John Hartley) #2

The only place I know in Asheville is Tupelo Honey. A good dinner there back in 2013.

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#3

I personally find Tupelo Honey to be overrated, but there are those who disagree. Try Early Girl Eatery instead. I consider Curate a “don’t miss” and Katie Button’s second restaurant, Nightbell, is also outstanding. Chai Pani is quite nice and White Duck Taco is a local favorite. John Fleer is the chef at Rhubarb, so 'nuff said there. 12 Bones and the Admiral are also each worth the trip by themselves. Take home some sauce from 12 Bones and make sure to order the corn pudding. If you can’t get into Curate, consider Zambra. It suffers by comparison but is still pretty darn good. Consider stopping by the Moose Cafe to buy some apple butter - best I’ve ever had - but don’t feel obligated to eat there.
There are many others that are outstanding, but those are my favorites. You’ll have to ask someone else about brewpubs, but Asheville is also a beer lovers paradise. It’s a lovely city with incredible food. Have fun!

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(ChristinaM) #4

Oooh, yay!

So many delicious treats are in store for you. We should meet up if you have time!

I just wrote my friends an email with recommendations and am posting parts of it here for expediency’s sake:

There’s a good fast-casual Mediterranean joint downtown called Baba Nahm we tried recently and liked. The sabiche and lamb pitas are very good. Definitely get the za’atar fries!

https://yelp.to/qTKq/h3dtfivA2O

White Labs Kitchen & Tap is a brewpub with great beers, wood-fired pizzas, meat plates, a decadent house salad, and amazing-looking hot dogs, hot chicken sandwich, and lacto-brined French fries. They have parking, too:

https://yelp.to/qTKq/a8J6C3nC2O

Funkatorium is Wicked Weed’s sour beer brewery - great brews and the cheese and charcuterie boards and burgers look fantastic:

https://yelp.to/qTKq/78pN8NTB2O

Really delicious, seasonal brunch and sandwiches at Over Easy Cafe . An Asheville must. Often a wait but worth it. Not crazy overpriced either. Closes at 2pm:

https://yelp.to/qTKq/z5Rdu6RC2O

Cúrate is Asheville’s most famous tapas restaurant, and for good reason. All really good. Nice sherry list. Open for lunch. Reservations helpful.

https://yelp.to/qTKq/fq8uIHED2O

Chai Pani is an Indian street food place that got great press when it opened a few years back; haven’t been recently, but we liked it pretty well 3-4 years ago (for me, cocktails over food):

https://yelp.to/qTKq/Xixx3w5B2O

For rustic, exotic homestyle cooking, check out Calypso St. Lucian Caribbean Cuisine & Rum Bar (opens at 2pm). Whole fish…yum:

https://yelp.to/qTKq/lfb8XSeB2O

Aux Bar (small plates, fermenting, Southern, cocktails) has gotten some good reviews:

https://yelp.to/qTKq/cOKATpsB2O

Sovereign Remedies is a local favorite for cocktails, seasonal food:

https://yelp.to/qTKq/KwnM2IzB2O

-Dinner Only-

Cucina24 is fantastic seasonal Italian, or at least it was a few years ago. Haven’t been back recently, but heard it’s still great. Dinner only:

https://yelp.to/qTKq/kdfHkv5C2O

Nightbell was fantastic–and pricey. Seasonal, farm to table, creative, sustainable…I could go on. Amazing cocktails, too. Dinner only:

https://yelp.to/qTKq/Qs2AuKhD2O

The Imperial Life (above sister restaurant Table) has fantastic cocktails, wine list, charcuterie, beef tartare, and appetizers. Dinner only:

https://yelp.to/qTKq/8QXxJ6oH2O

The Times at S&W is a beautifully restored Art Deco craftcocktail lounge and Greek restaurant. I’ve read good things. Fun fact: the owner was recently busted for possession of inordinate amounts of cocaine:

https://yelp.to/qTKq/de6lQ3sI2O

-Breweries/Wine Bars/Dessert/Coffee-

Burial Beer is the best brewery downtown, maybe in all of Asheville:

https://yelp.to/qTKq/ZVv8B2zC2O

Try chocolate and truffle samples next door at French Broad Chocolate Factory : https://yelp.to/qTKq/Hbuih5EC2O

Green Man is an AVL institution and the place for porter beer. IPA is also good:

https://yelp.to/qTKq/it0QFWVD2O

Catawba has a lot of interesting brews and nice outdoor space, often music: https://yelp.to/qTKq/p7z8jb1D2O

Santé Wine Bar And Tap Room is a wine bar with a nice vino selection, cheese plates and nibbles:

https://yelp.to/qTKq/5GHB4KIA2O

French Broad Chocolate Lounge has a vast selection of cakes, ice cream, and desserts. Karen Donatelli is (apparently) the place to go for fancy pastries and tortes.

There’s good coffee to be had at Trade & Lore, High Five, and Izzy’s Coffee Den .

For what it’s worth - many of the places you hear about, like Buxton Hall, Tupelo Honey, White Duck, 12 Bones, etc. are skippable.

In our neck of the woods (West Asheville/River Arts District)…

We have a bunch of other favorites: All Souls Pizza, Bull & Beggar, District Wine Bar, Pennycup Coffee, OWL Bakery, Haywood Common, the Whale Craft Beer Collective, Taqueria Muñoz, Urban Orchard Cider Company, Summit Coffee, HOLE Coffee & Donuts, The Hop Ice Cream, the Wedge brewery, Crucible cocktail bar, ISIS/Grey Eagle/the Mothlight (music venues), New Belgium brewing, Archetype brewing, Smoky Park Supper Club…and on! Man - you’re gonna need a longer visit :wink:

Touristing:

[walkable downtown] Center for Craft, Creativity & Design, Black Mountain College Museum & Art Center, Woolworth Walk, walk around Broadway/Pack Square/Wall Street, Grove Arcade (check out the bookstore-champagne bar, Battery Park), Pritchard Park drum circle, Asheville Bee Charmer (honey and beeswax products) and the local AVL foods shop next door

[drive to] River Arts District galleries, scenic overlooks on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Grove Park Inn (one of the best views in AVL), Grovewood Gallery (inc. antique car museum), Folk Art Center, Saturday farmer’s market at UNC AVL campus, hike a trail, see a waterfall, Fairview NC excursion (Looking Glass Creamery, Whistle Hop brewery, Hickory Nut Gap farm), Ginger’s Revenge ginger beer brewery, walk around Beaver Lake and bird sanctuary, go tubing/kayaking on the French Broad River, antiquing, Biltmore mansion and gardens

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(equal opportunity eater in the NC Triangle) #5

I agree. Tupelo Honey was very good 20 years ago. I haven’t been impressed with any of their other locations. The lines for the original downtown Asheville location are ridiculous. 12 Bones never did it for me either.

Is Sunny Point still good for breakfast? It was always my go-to when I lived in W. Asheville.

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(ChristinaM) #6

12 Bones was pretty horrible the last time I was there in June. The pulled pork was tough and tasted old, potato salad underdone and overdressed, brisket super dry. Louellas is waaaaay better.

The best barbecue though is in Waynesville - Haywood Smokehouse…OMG drool the ribs drool the brisket.

I have been to Sunny Point twice (down the block from my house) and just find it horribly overhyped, overrated, and overpriced. The chicken-waffle sandwich I ordered was ruined by way too many goopy, sweet, greasy toppings. Their fried green tomatoes pale in comparison to many others (Mayfel’s, etc.) around town. Sigh.

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(ChristinaM) #7

My friend here calls their food “Chili’s level” :joy:

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(equal opportunity eater in the NC Triangle) #8

I’m sorry to hear that. I was last there 5-6 years ago and our breakfast was still quite good. The weekend wait is nuts though.

Louellas opened about the time I moved away so I never tried it. I have had good BBQ at Okie Dokie’s Smokehouse out towards Swannanoa.

Now when I visit I seldom get to try restaurants. It’s easier to catch up and linger at friends homes. So I visit the grocery stores and we cook and eat together.

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(ChristinaM) #9

It is worth going for the squash fritters with lemon-verbena creme fraiche alone!!!

There is also a cocktail on the menu right now that’s like a reverse Manhattan - delicious. Their cocktailista is on her “A” game.

And berry clafoutis with corn ice cream is yummy, too

@Saregama these are all on the menu now - lucky you!

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(ChristinaM) #10

Their cocktail list right now is outstanding. I want to drink everything! So many fresh, creative options.

The food menu looked wonderful about a month ago, but I didn’t try anything. My friend loved the grilled cornish hens/squab with pepper ragout, though!

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(saregama) #11

Wow! Thanks for an amazing response! Would love to meet up - I’ll be with a couple of girlfriends, plans are still in flux but I can let you know as we get closer!

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(saregama) #12

Oh my. This all looks very good.

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(saregama) #13

Maybe we can pick up ribs to bring back to Charlotte… don’t trying we’ll be able to eat them while in Asheville because one friend doesn’t eat any red meat.

BUT… Charlotte friend, hubby, and kids (and I :roll_eyes:) would definitely enjoy them :wink:

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(saregama) #14

Curate was just recommended to me by another friend who visited last year - sounds wonderful!

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(Steve R.) #15

We really liked Nightbell. However, Rhubarb would be the place that I’d go back to if I only had one dinner there. And, if you happen to hit the day right, Fleer does a “Family Dinner” that I thought was fantastic. We sat with a table of 10 that he put together, locals and other tourists, and he served a meal with commentary.

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(saregama) #16

Ok, so I have Nightbell and Curate booked for dinners. I know I want to get to ChaiPani - maybe lunch? Or snacks… :smiley:

I have to map this out a bit more… we’ll get in from CLT probably late afternoon, no time for much other than a downtown wander and dinner. Next morning breakfast, maybe the arts district, lunch, some more wandering, and then massages followed by dinner.

We’ll drive back to Charlotte after breakfast/brunch - maybe Over Easy Cafe.

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(ChristinaM) #17

The wait on weekends can be prohibitive unless you can make it there before 8:00/8:30 a.m. Izzy’s Coffee Den a few streets over is a good place to grab java while you wait.

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(ChristinaM) #18

Please please go to All Soul’s Pizza right by there and have some incredible pizza and seasonal salads! (Note this is not Fresh West or whatever that middling pizza joint right by the galleries is called!)

Summit coffee is really good if you end up at the galleries on Lyman Street. And there’s also a sweet little Japanese-type cafe / bakery in one of the pottery galleries there, too.

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(saregama) #19

This sounds awesome! Are you around Friday / still up for meeting up?

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(ChristinaM) #20

We have brewery plans with friends early (5:30pm) but I might be able to sneak out after bedtime - email me christinaemason (at) gmail.com

Would be fun!

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