It’s no secret that the Asheville restaurants are pretty stellar. With so many options, how do you choose? As locals, don’t miss our favorite restaurants in Asheville for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
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When we first moved to AVL, all of the Asheville restaurant guides seemed to have the exact same places to eat. “You must go to Curate, French Broad Chocolate Lounge, Tupelo Honey, Jargon, Rhubarb, All Souls Pizza, Buxton Hall, and Biscuit Head.”
Yea; yea… Those are indeed some of the most popular and famous Asheville restaurants. They are delicious. You should go to them — don’t get me wrong.
But, what about dining in an old church at Chiesa? Or, the best vegan and vegetarian places like Laughing Seed Cafe and Plant? I live for Plant’s vegan cheese platter.
Along with Chai Pani, we crave Mela’s spicy Indian sauces. Jerusalem Garden Cafe is a must that forces difficult choices against its downtown neighbor, Red Ginger Dimsum — endless Asian tapas anyone? One word: Dumplings.
Personally, The Edison makes my mountain heart sing with those jaw-dropping sunsets and seasonal craft cocktails. I devour Yum Poke bowls any chance I get, and sitting at Chestnut’s bar warms my soul.
Like Chestnut, Posana is classic. And, what about when you need a hole-in-the-wall grinder from Apollo Flame Bistro?
Known as Foodtopia, the restaurants in Asheville are plentiful and amazing. So, how do you pick? As Asheville, locals, we are sharing our favorite Asheville, NC restaurants.
We’ll let you know the popular and tourist Asheville restaurants that are still musts along with what we personally think are the best restaurants in Asheville. And yes, of course, this list will be contentious and not include every single restaurant in Asheville — so, put those trolling fingers away.
What are the unforgettable Asheville restaurants? Let’s get started!
Delicious Asheville Restaurants – Our Top Picks
*Although we update our lists frequently, please double check all information by visiting each Asheville restaurant’s website or calling.
In 2021, please know that many of these restaurants frequently change hours and procedures for the pandemic. We are also including restaurants in Asheville that we love for dine-in and takeout. Grab our favorite Asheville takeout restaurants here→
152 Montford Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
Chiesa is by far one of our favorite restaurants in Asheville, and we go here to celebrate pretty much everything. Tucked into historic Montford, this converted church and former community center serves delicious and authentic Italian food — not the goopy fake Italian-American stuff.
With gluten and lactose intolerances, the chef always meets our needs with coveted dishes like risotto, and I love drinking a church-themed cocktail on their patio. Think Brussel sprouts, duck, and house-made pasta. I highly recommend making reservations.
165 Merrimon Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801
One of the Asheville restaurants we live for, Plant is everything. Plant is food. We are not vegan, but Plant is truly for everyone.
One of the best vegan restaurants in Asheville, I’m obsessed with their cheese plate. We love sitting outside on the patio on a breezy spring day with their fresh cocktails and endless small plates. Dishes change seasonally and are mostly organic and gluten-free. Beets, curries, veggie lasagna…need I say more? Call for a reservation.
45 Asheland Ave. Unit 101, Asheville, NC 28801 | (828) 505-2277
100 Julian Shoals Dr.Arden, NC 28704 | (828) 676-3800
For the best poké restaurant in downtown Asheville, Yum has both build-your-own sushi burritos and poké bowls. What’s not to love? Pick your protein and rice or salad, and load up with the goods. My favorite mix-ins with tuna and salmon are carrots, mango, roe, cucumber, avocado, seaweed salad, fried garlic, and scallion.
Grab our complete list of Sushi Restaurants In AVL.
70 North Lexington Ave., Asheville, NC 28801
One of our favorite Asheville Indian restaurants, Mela offers large portions of North and South Indian-inspired cuisine. You can find vegan and gluten-free options, too. They boast of fresh and local ingredients, and their sauces are to die for.
We love Mela’s tandoori chicken, chicken tikka masala, and lamb Chettinad — which may set your mouth on fire. For us, Mela is one of the absolute best Indian restaurants in Asheville, NC.
82 Patton Avenue Suite 100, Asheville, NC 28801
One of my all-time favorite Asian restaurants in Asheville, Red Ginger Dimsum and Tapas is home to dumplings and sushi. Find fried rice, every type of delicious dumpling, Asian pancakes, bento boxes, summer rolls, and vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. You want to order 2-3 plates per person and because they are Asian tapas, you can also share across the table.
27 Foundy Street, Suite #20, Asheville, NC 28801
We stumbled upon Rosabees in the River Arts District (RAD) after enjoying the street art, pleb urban winery, and Wedge Brewing. A Polynesian restaurant, Rosabees has delicious poke, rice, and noodle dishes. This a great off-the-beaten-path Asheville dining option.
78 Patton Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
When some of the other downtown Asheville restaurants get slammed, it’s nice to sneak into Jerusalem Garden Cafe, which is colorful, serene, and delicious. They specialize in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, and we actually love their Saturday and Sunday brunch. Think falafels, hummus, salads, and gyros.
1 Page Ave #151, Asheville, NC 28801
One of the new downtown Asheville restaurants that opened in 2020, Asheville Proper is your proper steakhouse. Located in the historic Grove Arcade, they invited us out for a pre-opening dinner. Um, speakeasy cocktails and delicious steaks with fresh sides?! Yes, please. You’ll love the trendy atmosphere and live-fire dining experience.
Biltmore Estate | 1 Lodge St, Asheville, NC 28803
Antler Hill Village & Winery
I make no promises to be the ‘best’ Asheville local, and I love Biltmore in all its touristy glory. Biltmore Estate’s history is captivating, and their food is delicious. We are annual passholders, and for Asheville restaurants, Cedric’s Tavern is a go-to. You will need a pass/ticket to enter, and I suggest reservations, too.
Cedric was the Vanderbilt’s beloved St. Bernard, and the restaurant is an homage to him. I love their in-house pickles, Lusty Monk mustard, seasonal cocktails, fish and chips, and sandwiches.
Get the most out of your Biltmore ticket. Along with delicious food, see all the Things That You Can Do At Biltmore.
Biltmore Estate | 1 Lodge St, Asheville, NC 28803
Next To Biltmore House & Gardens
Another delicious Biltmore property restaurant, Stable Cafe is a must. I mean when else can you say that you ate in George Vanderbilt’s horse stables? I love the chicken and tuna salad paired with a cocktail. This is the perfect stop if you are spending all day touring Biltmore.
Typically, you would want to visit the Biltmore House first, peruse the gardens, and then grab lunch at Stable Cafe. Afterward, beeline it for the Biltmore Winery. You will need a ticket to dine here, and I recommend reservations.
100 Stone Ridge Blvd Asheville, NC 28804
One of our favorite Thai food restaurants in Asheville, Siam Thai is our takeout go-to. Located in North Asheville, you can devour home-style authentic Thai food.
We order a handful of appetizers like tofu, fresh rolls, dumplings, satay, and chicken wings. Pair these small plates with delicious Thai noodles. Don’t miss their Pad-Thai, Pad Z-Ew, and Pad Woon Sen.
Don’t miss all of the Best Thai Food Restaurants In Asheville.
675 Merrimon Ave, Asheville, NC 28804 | (828) 254-1281
77 Coxe Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801 | (828) 255-4077
1850 Hendersonville Road Suite A, Asheville, NC 28803 | (828) 277-5775
Our go-to for pizza restaurants in Asheville, Asheville Pizza and Brewing is the best. They have multiple locations across North, South, and downtown Asheville. If you are vegan and/or gluten-free, they offer vegan cheese and gluten-free pizza crust.
Along with pizza, don’t miss their delicious craft beer. I love their stout coconut blends and ambers. They have more bar food items like tater tots, sandwiches, and burgers. The Merrimon location also has a movie theater where they play the oldies but goodies.
Don’t miss the Best Breweries In Asheville.
290 Macon Ave, Asheville, NC 28804
Don’t stalk us out, but as Asheville locals, we probably frequent The Edison more than we should. The Omni Grove Park Inn, like Biltmore, is a huge part of Asheville’s history. You cannot beat those sunset views over the mountains, either. P.S. The Grove Park Inn view is also the inspiration for Uncorked Asheville’s logo.
We love to have lunch at the Edison with seasonal craft cocktails and local beers. They also serve lighter fare like sandwiches and salads and are cheaper than their other restaurant, Sunset Terrace.
More Unforgettable Grove Park Inn Restaurants:
Sunset Terrace is a stellar high-end Asheville restaurant, too. I love their scallops and steak. Look at those views.
You can also order snacks and drinks at The Great Hall Bar and sit outside beyond Sunset Terrace.
Looking For A Place To Stay To Tour All Of The Asheville Restaurants?
Here’s a few of our suggestions:
Asheville, NC Hotels
Hotels and B&Bs tend to book up fast in Asheville, especially in the fall, spring, and around holidays. Make dinner reservations wherever you can, too. A few hotels to consider that either we, our friends, or others highly recommend include:
Near The Asheville Outlets/Biltmore
Hampton Inn And Suites Asheville Biltmore Area *Our second favorite pick. We stayed here before we moved.
DoubleTree By Hilton Biltmore/Asheville
Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville
The Omni Grove Park Inn *We frequently stop by the Grove Park for sunsets, drinks, and food.
1900 Inn On Montford
If you need a place to stay, don’t miss out on these Airbnb properties→
233 Montford Ave, Asheville, NC 28804 | (828) 505-3121
751 Haywood Rd, Asheville, NC 28806 | (828) 575-9903
Biltmore Town Park Square, Town Square Blvd, Asheville, NC 28803 | (828) 676-1807
We love Nine Mile’s Monford-Asheville location. Nine Mile is a vegetarian-friendly restaurant with Caribbean-inspired pasta and rice dishes.
For Asheville restaurants, Nine Mile has a large menu key for gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, nuts, dairy-free, honey, and dishes that they can adjust.
40 Wall St, Asheville, NC 28801
One of the first Asheville restaurants that we ever ate at before moving here, Laughing Seed Cafe is a delicious vegan and vegetarian downtown restaurant. They also have fantastic gluten-free options.
We enjoy Laughing Seed Cafe’s veggie burger, ‘Reuben,’ and vegan manicotti along with craft cocktails. Laughing Seed Cafe is also the perfect takeout spot for the holidays — think pies, sauces, and meals for the entire family.
48 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
For one of the popular downtown Asheville restaurants on the fancier side — and where people go before concerts or for brunch — Chestnut is sleek and trendy. Although they make delicious meals, nothing beats a charcuterie and drinks at the bar. They also serve Southern dishes with large portions of the MEATS.
20 S Spruce S., Asheville, NC 28801
I love a restaurant with a cozy tavern feel. If you are looking for delicious lunch restaurants in downtown Asheville, Pack’s Tavern offers convenience, ambiance, and beer. We enjoy sitting on the outdoor patio with Asheville views. They have your typical tavern go-to’s like sandwiches, burgers, and salads.
22 Battery Park Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801
One of the best downtown Indian restaurants in Asheville and also a popular spot, don’t miss Chai Pani. Chai Pani is best known for its Indian street snacks and has been featured in The New York Times, GQ Magazine, and New York Magazine.
We love Chai Pani’s okra fries, chicken pakoras, and simple rice and daal plate. Chai Pani has vegan and gluten-intolerance-friendly options, too.
Don’t miss all of Asheville’s Indian Restaurants.
12 College St, Asheville, NC 28801 | (828) 255-4863
1829 Hendersonville Rd, Asheville, NC 28803 | (828) 505-7676
Full disclosure that Tupelo Honey Cafe is certainly one of the most touristy downtown Asheville restaurants on this list (and a franchise), especially for brunch and lunch — but we love them. Make reservations…
Known for locally-sourced ingredients, Tupelo offers southern cuisine, brunch all day, and incredible cocktails. People love their chicken, and they are food-intolerance friendly. Tupelo Honey is also super supportive of their local blogger community.
10 S. Pack Square, Asheville NC 28801
If you are looking for dessert restaurants in Asheville, French Broad Chocolate Lounge is a chocolate lover’s dream. This is also a big tourist spot but worth the line out the door. Find desserts, hot cocoa, truffles, bonbons, cakes, custards, cookies, coffee, brownies, booze, and ice cream. The Chocolate Lounge has lactose-free, gluten-free, and vegan options, too.
Looking for more dessert cafes and restaurants in Asheville? Explore our favorite AVL Donut Shops.
11 Broadway St., Asheville, NC 28801
One of the most popular Thai food restaurants in Asheville, Suwana’s serves up authentic Thai food. Suwana’s is our favorite for Thai takeout next to Siam Thai. You can order it all: noodles, fried rice, stir-fry, and curry. We love Suwana’s Pad Woon Sen and Pad Thai.
3 SW Pack Square, Asheville, NC 28801
One of our favorite tinier downtown Asheville restaurants, The Noodle Shop is all about noodles, stir-fry, and rice dishes. I’m always a fan of their soup, and I can never say no to a fresh spring roll — not fried. Conveniently located in Pack Square, you can head over to French Broad Chocolate or the Asheville Art Museum afterward.
1 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
One of the first fancier restaurants in downtown Asheville that we ate at before moving here, Posana is another AVL restaurant that is always jumping. They have a dedicated gluten-free kitchen, which is perfect for my Celiac husband.
Like Chiesa and Chestnut, Posana is the perfect restaurant for celebrations, and they serve local and contemporary American cuisine. The executive chef and co-owner graduated from The Culinary Institute of America.
1025 Brevard Rd., Asheville, NC 28806 | (828) 665-0080
485 Hendersonville Rd., Asheville, NC 28803 | (828) 274-3582
One of our bi-weekly go-to Asheville restaurants is a hole-in-the-wall diner. I am praying Apollo Flame Bistro doesn’t think that’s an insult because I LIVE for their grinders after a visit to The NC Arboretum or Blue Ridge Parkway-Pisgah area. It’s our personal tradition to grab grape leaves and grinders after a hike.
There are two Apollo Flame Bistro Asheville locations – one near the outlets and Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) and one close to Biltmore.
1000 Brevard Rd, Asheville, NC 28806
Clayton from Knox Road Tripper — who is an AMAZING person and blogger — introduced us to Papa’s & Beer. Watch out; they have addicting Mexican food. Get a burrito. With multiple locations across Asheville, this is the perfect Asheville takeout restaurant on the way home from a hike, too.
A family-run business, Papa’s & Beer serves authentic California-style Mexican cuisine. They have flautas, burritos, enchiladas, tacos, seafood, and so much more.
Popular Asheville Restaurants
I didn’t want to have a list of Asheville restaurants without listing just a few of the big ones that you’ll see on every foodie list. Because these establishments land on pretty much every bloggers’ and tourism board’s “best restaurants in Asheville” post, I wanted to give you different AVL restaurants first.
That’s not to poo-poo on these delicious or even award-winning Foodtopia options, by any means. Do not come for me. Above, there are quite a few big “tourist” Asheville restaurants, too.
When I say “Asheville,” though, everyone seems to know the below Asheville restaurants, which are equally fabulous dining options.
A few more popular restaurants in Asheville, NC:
Curate – 13 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801 – Spanish tapas in a former 1927 bus depot.
Jargon – 715 Haywood Rd, Asheville, NC 28806 – Fancy American cuisine with a Southern twist.
Rhubarb – 7 SW, N Pack Square, Asheville, NC 28801 – Farm-to-table contemporary American and Appalachian cuisine.
All Souls Pizza – 175 Clingman Ave, Asheville, NC 28801 – Local and seasonal pizza pies.
Buxton Hall BBQ – 32 Banks Ave, Asheville, NC 28801 – Whole-hog East Carolina BBQ and sides.
Benne On Eagle – 35 Eagle St, Asheville, NC 28801 – Located in The Foundry, a restaurant showcasing African-American roots of Appalachian cooking. This one is on our Asheville bucket list.
Biscuit Head – One location: 417 Biltmore Ave #4f, Asheville, NC 28801 – Everything Southern biscuits.
Farm Burger – 10 Patton Ave, Asheville, NC 28801 – Locally-supported burgers and fries with gluten-free options.
Vinnie’s Italian – 641 Merrimon Ave, Asheville, NC 28804 – With lines out the door, Italian, Italian, Italian.
Delivery For Asheville Restaurants: Services & Apps
What are the best ways to get delivery in Asheville if you don’t want to pick up your order or dine-out? Of course, you can see if the restaurant has its own delivery service.
We are also big fans of phone apps like Takeout Central and GrubHub.
Did you know that North Carolina has its own takeout app and delivery service, Takeout Central? Just download the free app, and you’ll see all of the areas and restaurants they serve, including Asheville.
Place your order in the app, add a payment method, and drop any notes for the restaurant or driver.
As a partner of Takeout Central, if you use the code uncorked, you’ll be eligible for a free delivery.
Along with Takeout Central, we also use GrubHub. Sometimes they have slightly different menus — even though the restaurant is the same — and/or they service different establishments.
Within Asheville, you can also use Uber Eats, Kickback AVL, and DoorDash, but we mostly rely on Takeout Central and GrubHub for the best Asheville delivery options.
Are you ready to tour the best Asheville restaurants?
Which of these restaurants in Asheville have you tried? Is there an Asheville restaurant that is your go-to or part of your AVL tradition? Are there any Asheville restaurants that you don’t love as much? Let us know in the comments!
If you need a place to stay, don’t miss out on these Airbnb properties→
Foodie Posts You May Also Enjoy:
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Spicy Indian Food Restaurants To Love
Best Takeout & Delivery Restaurants In Asheville
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Don’t forget to check out our best things to do in Asheville, too→