Best Restaurants For Lunch In Asheville Locals Love

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Devour the best lunch in Asheville with these great restaurants perfect for tacos, sandwiches, pizza, and more from Asheville locals. We know where to get the best pho and famous North Carolina BBQ. Find something for everyone across budgets and cuisines.

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As Asheville residents who dine out weekly, we have endless city food and drink guides. Nicknamed “Foodtopia” with award-winning restaurants, it’s hard to choose. Don’t miss our best of Asheville eats guide. Dinner is only hours away.

12 Bones Smokehouse

Lunch in Asheville like a former president. The Obamas ate at 12 Bones, and it’s easy to see why. They cook up the best BBQ in the city along with Bear’s and Luella’s. Enjoy pulled pork and chicken, smoked turkey, sandwiches, and salads with “just a taste” options terrific for kids. Sides include mac and cheese, collard greens, potato salad, baked beans, and slaw.

Sit surrounded by vibrant street art at their River Arts District (RAD) location or enjoy their South Asheville dining room and brewery under the watchful eyes of Gus Cutty’s Anthony Bourdain mural.

12 Bones Smokehouse | River 5 Foundy St Ste 10, Asheville, NC 28801 | Arden w/Taproom 2350 Hendersonville Road, Arden, NC 28704

Haywood Common

One of our favorite casual West Asheville restaurants for lunch, craft cocktails, and coffee, Haywood Common promises local ingredients in their delicious sandwiches, poke bowls, burgers, and salads with a side of boiled peanuts. Sit on the shared patio with The Whale, which has a unique selection of beers, wine, meads, and cider. It’s healthy and fast.

Haywood Common | 507 Haywood Rd, Asheville, NC 28806

Wild Ginger Noodle Bar

A lesser-known and coveted local Asheville lunch restaurant, Wild Ginger is a must for pho and noodles. Located in an unassuming strip mall in South Asheville, this Vietnamese establishment features large portions, bubble tea, and banh mi. We devour Wild Ginger’s rice vermicelli, steamy pho, spring rolls, and gluten-free pork chops with rice. This is a casual dining experience with a large but busy parking lot.

Wild Ginger Noodle Bar | 1950 Hendersonville Rd. Suite 12, Asheville NC 28803

Slurp down the best soups in Asheville: Newer to West Asheville, we love Mizu for build-your-own ramen, pho, and curry dishes.

All Day Darling

Sandwich at All Day DarlingPin
Gluten-free bread (half Celiac household)

Open seven days a week and serving breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner in lovely historic Montford, All Day Darling is family and budget-friendly with quick service. Order at the counter; grab a seat inside or out.

All Day Darling’s lunch menu features burgers, classic sandwiches – a Reuben, chicken salad, steak – warm kale and rice bowls, salads, and toast with spreads. For kids, select from grilled cheese, a burger, rice and beans, or a chicken sandwich. They have a dedicated gluten-free fryer and make gluten-free bread.

All Day Darling | 102 Montford Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801

Eating in Asheville with dietary needs: With a household filled with lactose intolerances, ulcerative colitis, and Celiacs, we are pros at finding gluten-free food in Asheville. If you are vegan or vegetarian, for lunch in Asheville, we also love Laughing Seed Cafe and Pulp and Sprout.

Pupuseria Patty

Pupuseria Patty is a budget-friendly Honduran, Salvadoran, and Mexican restaurant in West Asheville located off of busy Patton Ave. Open from breakfast until dinner, choose from heaping plates of rice and beans paired with chicken, eggs, sausages, pupusas, and fried plantains. It’s special local places like this, tucked into unassuming gas station corners, that make Asheville so unique.

Pupuseria Patty | 1563 Patton Ave, Asheville, NC 28806

Wicked Weed BrewPub

Burger at Wicked WeedPin

The best lunch in Asheville should involve the city’s famed craft beer. Wicked Weed is a “tourist attraction,” but we go as locals and bring out-of-towners here. It’s good, especially for hummus with veggies, sandwiches, and burgers. Larger seasonal entrees typically include steak, fish, and pork chops. Along with beer, select from cocktails and wine.

Wicked Weed BrewPub | 91 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801

More fantastic pubs and taverns for lunch: We also enjoy Downtown AVL’s Pack’s Tavern and Biltmore Village’s Red Stag Grill. For first-time visitors, take a popular guided Downtown Asheville brewery tour.

Apollo Flame Bistro

Apollo Flame Bistro subwayPin

Apollo Flame is one of those places you love or don’t (we die on the hill of LOVE). Our go-to for tuna and Italian subs, huge salads, and grape leaves, this hole-in-the-wall diner is perfect for an NC Arboretum picnic or Blue Ridge Parkway hike.

Apollo Flame’s Hendersonville Road location makes them one of the most convenient places to eat near Biltmore Estate. We also recommend nearby Biltmore Village restaurants like Corner Kitchen and Village Pub.

Apollo Flame Bistro | South AVL 1025 Brevard Rd. Asheville, NC 28806 | Biltmore Area 485 Hendersonville Rd., Asheville, NC 28803

Sunny Point Cafe

BLT at Sunny Point CafePin

One of the busiest West Asheville lunch restaurants, Sunny Point Cafe promises casual burgers, sandwiches, and Southern classics like chicken and waffles, fried green tomatoes, and shrimp and grits. Their kids’ menu includes grilled cheese, quesadillas, and burgers. Grab a delicious local breakfast here too.

Sunny Point Cafe | 626 Haywood Rd, Asheville, NC 28806

Twisted Laurel

Chicken sandwich at Twisted LaurelPin

Twisted Laurel promises a terrific Western North Carolina craft beer selection. For starters, order hummus, Brussels, meatball sliders, wings, and nachos. Sandwiches include fish, BLTs, burgers, fried chicken, turkey clubs, and pastrami.

We especially enjoy their Weaverville location (Sunday brunch too) for a stroll around Lake Louise. Weaverville’s Well-Bred Bakery and Yellow Mug Coffee Lounge are equally worthy lunch restaurants near Asheville.

Twisted Laurel | Downtown Asheville 130 College St, Asheville, NC 28801 | Weaverville 10A S Main St, Weaverville, NC 28787

Jerusalem Garden Cafe

For lunch in Downtown Asheville, Jerusalem Garden Cafe is one of our top picks. Enjoy authentic Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine in a gorgeously decorated and intimate space. Think falafels, hummus, and pita. We also crave Jerusalem Garden Cafe for weekend brunch in Downtown Asheville. Mimosas with grape leaves? Yes; please!

Jerusalem Garden Cafe | 78 Patton Ave, Asheville, NC 28801

More Downtown Asheville Dining: Tupelo Honey Cafe is popular for its fresh ingredients and chicken, and we love Red Ginger Dimsum for Chinese dumplings. Try Huli Sue’s BBQ or Baba Nahm (historic Grove Arcade) and Isa’s Bistro.

Cedric’s Tavern, Stable Café, & Village Social

Lunch in Asheville like a Vanderbilt. We are Biltmore annual passholders for the trails, estate restaurants, and Biltmore Winery. If you are visiting Biltmore Estate for the day, we highly recommend grabbing lunch at Cedric’s Tavern, Village Social, or Stable Cafe.

Enjoy tavern eats, the best craft cocktails, and memorable dining experiences. Where else can you eat in former horse stables and pay homage to a beloved Saint Bernard? You need a ticket, annual pass, or Biltmore property hotel reservation to dine on the estate. Make advanced reservations.

Biltmore Estate | 1 Lodge Street, Asheville, NC 28803

Mamacita’s Taco Temple

Tacos at Mamacitas Taco TemplePin

One of the best lunch spots in Asheville for tacos, Taco Temple promises quick, simple, and delicious eats in the coolest setting. While Taco Temple serves breakfast tacos and Mexican hot chocolate, for lunch, select from tortas, milled corn tortillas, and tamales. We recommend starting with two tacos, and know some are spicier than others. We also like their guacamole. Find salads and a kids’ menu.

Mamacita’s Taco Temple | 132 Charlotte St, Asheville, NC 28801

More North Asheville hot spots to love: While in the area, you cannot go wrong with White Labs for pizza, Zen for sushi, Liberty House Cafe, or Green Sage Cafe for organic and vegan options.

Early Girl Eatery

Sandwich at Early Girl EateryPin

Early Girl Eatery serves all-day breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and they emphasize farm-to-table cuisine. Choose from mushroom sandwiches, beet burgers, shrimp Po’boys, fried chicken platters, fish and chips, and salads. They will be bustling with locals and visitors just like nearby The Market Place.

Early Girl Eatery | Downtown 8 Wall St. | West 444 Haywood Rd. #101 | South 1378 Hendersonville Rd. Suite A

Manicomio Pizza & Food

Pizza at Manicomio Pizza PlacePin

Biltmore Ave. is a popular Downtown Asheville lunch spot, and if you are craving some of the best AVL pizza, head to Manicomio. Although located in the heart of the city, Manicomio Pizza feels more like a small hometown joint. UNC-Asheville students tend to flock here on breaks. Order at the counter and grab pizza by the slice or select a full pie.

When many lunch restaurants in Asheville are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, Manicomio stays open 7 days a week. We also recommend Asheville Pizza and Brewing and 828 Family Pizzeria.

Manicomio Pizza & Food | 27 Biltmore Ave Asheville, NC 28801

Chai Pani

Corn Bhel from Chai PaniPin
Corn bhel

Chai Pani is one of the best Indian restaurants in Asheville, winning the James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant. Samantha Brown dropped in to grab a bite to eat and chat with Chef Meherwan Irani for her PBS series, Places to Love. We annihilate Chai Pani’s chicken pakoras, okra fries, corn bhel, and bhel puri.

Chai Pani | 22 Battery Park Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801 (moving to South Slope)

Guajiro Cuban Comfort Food

Pulled pork from Guajiro food truckPin

Asheville has a jumping food truck scene, and we love the River Arts District’s Guajiro Cuban Food. Devour an authentic Cuban breakfast and lunch including Cuban sandwiches, yucca fries, and pork, rice, and bean bowls.

Afterward, explore the River Arts District artist studios, and stroll the RAD Riverwalk. White Duck Taco and Baby Bull (best local burgers around) are out this way.

Guajiro Cuban Comfort Food | 122 Riverside Dr, Asheville, NC 28801

Christine and Tom selfiePin

Christine Frascarelli

Christine (pronouns: she/her) is the owner and lead writer of Uncorked Asheville. After falling in love with those gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains, Christine and her husband Tom decided to call Asheville, North Carolina home. When her pointy Italian nose isn’t stuck in a book, Christine is adopting all of the kitties, getting lost in the forest, and drinking an ESB. She has a BA in English and History from Smith College, her MLIS from USF-Tampa, and is a former U.S. Fulbright Scholar - Indonesia. Christine also owns The Uncorked Librarian LLC with books and movies to inspire travel.

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