Whether you are craving Southern classics like fried chicken or something on the sweeter side, like artisan chocolates and hand-dipped ice cream, the restaurants in Asheville don’t disappoint! Below, you will find a comprehensive list of 10 of the best restaurants in Asheville, NC. However, they are just the beginning of what you’ll find near the city. For more places to go, download our free Chimney Rock/Lake Lure Vacation Guide. It is full of over 100 recommendations on local breweries, wineries, outdoor recreation, top attractions, and more!
10 of the Best Restaurants in Asheville, NC
1. Farm Burger
If you are craving a juicy hamburger, then we have the perfect place for you. The bodacious burgers at Farm Burger are made with ingredients that come from organic, local farms. We guarantee that you won’t leave hungry! If burgers aren’t your thing, then you can also indulge in farm-fresh salads or a basket of our hand-cut fries. Vegan burgers are also available.
Plant is a vegan eatery that serves up dishes that can make even a staunch carnivore reconsider. From stuffed tamales to their green curry and togarashi tofu, Plant’s menu is full dishes that don’t disappoint. Remember to save room for dessert! Their carrot cake is highly recommended.
3. Biscuit Head
The name says it all. Biscuit Head serves biscuits, and they do a darn good job. These aren’t those lousy biscuits you get in the drive-thru – they’re giant, gravy-drenched starch-monsters. Feel free to pair yours with fried chicken, grits, or collard greens for a truly authentic Southern experience.
4. Tupelo Honey Café
Brunch is a quintessential part of any Asheville getaway. At Tupelo Honey Café, diners will find a myriad of brunch classics like shrimp and grits, omelets, blueberry french toast, and sweet potato pancakes. Wash it all down with a mimosa or Bloody Mary and you’re ready to take on the day!
5. 12 Bones Smokehouse
Skipping out on barbecue is considered a crime in North Carolina. Luckily, you can avoid that mistake at 12 Bones Smokehouse! The menu features tender BBQ favorites like pulled pork, beef brisket, ribs, and more. Everything is scratch-made and the recipes are crafted by friends and family. They even have cookbooks available for purchase!
6. White Duck Taco Shop
In the mood for Mexican? Stop by the White Duck Taco Shop in the River Arts District. Jerk chicken, Bangkok shrimp, lamb gyro and more are all available in taco form. Check out their menu for even more delicious options.
7. Chai Pani
Chai Pani has been praised by the likes of GQ Magazine and The New York Times. It’s the perfect place to go for light snacks, lunch, dinner, or take-out! Guests can enjoy traditional Indian dishes with plenty of vegan/vegetarian options. They even have a kid’s menu! Their laid-back and casual atmosphere makes it the perfect addition to a day well-spent in downtown Asheville.
Cúrate is a traditional tapas restaurant located on Biltmore Avenue. This popular eatery serves up everything from croquetas de Pollo to patatas bravas and brings the essence of Spain to downtown Asheville. There are plenty of sherry wines and mixed drinks to accompany your meal as well. Read our blog for more information!
9. French Broad Chocolates
If you are craving something on the sweeter side, head on over French Broad Chocolates for a treat. Artisan chocolate bars, hand-dipped ice cream, and a whole lot more are yours for the tasting if you’re patient enough to wait in the (understandably) long line. Yum!
Located in the heart of downtown Asheville, Chestnut is the perfect place to go for craft cocktails and brunch. Their brunch menu is full of classic favorites like baked cinnamon rolls and pulled pork omelettes. In addition, their dinner menu is equally as impressive! We recommend making reservations in advance.
Where to Stay
Nestled in one of the most incredible canyons, you will find the Esmeralda Inn & Restaurant. Our inn is only a scenic, 30-minute drive away from each of these amazing Asheville restaurants. However, our guests don’t need to travel far to enjoy some of the best farm-to-table cuisine in Western North Carolina. Our very own restaurant, The Esmeralda Restaurant, is known throughout the area as the No. 1 restaurant in Chimney Rock. Our menu changes with each season and showcases only the best and freshest local ingredients.
When you book any of our lovely cabins, like the Rocky Broad River Cabin, you can always look forward to the best amenities, packages, and top-notch service. Daily hot-plated breakfast and beautiful views of the Hickory Nut Gorge are just a few things to enjoy during your stay. If you are ready to plan your next vacation, check our current specials and book your stay. We can’t wait to host you at The Esmeralda Inn & Restaurant!