Cozy And Romantic Restaurants In Asheville Worth Every Penny

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Whether it is Valentine’s Day, date night, or an anniversary, uncover the most romantic restaurants in Asheville, NC, perfect for intimate conversations and special occasions with loved ones. These are our favorite spots to eat as locals with cozy vibes and unforgettable food.

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Our Top 5 Date Night Restaurants

As Asheville locals and a couple that has been together for more than 13 years, we dine out often, craving those private, cozy spots with tables tucked into warmly lit corners full of historic charm. We love breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountain sunsets and quaint outdoor patios. These are our top favorite date night restaurants in Asheville:

  • Plant
  • Tall John’s
  • Bouchon
  • Leo’s House Of Thirst
  • The Pure & Proper
Tom, a white brunette male in maroon sweater doing a cheers with Christine with two glasses filled with white wine at The Pure and Proper Restaurant in Black Mountain, North CarolinaPin

After dinner, be sure to read more about all of the romantic things you can do in Asheville, including strolling the RAD Riverwalk, watching a movie, or grabbing nearby drinks. A few of our favorite date night bars include Little Jumbo (Montford), The Times Bar (Downtown), and Bottle Riot (RAD).

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Most Romantic Restaurants in Asheville

From the most authentic French cuisine to the finest meats and Filipinx treats, dine amongst glowing candles and the prettiest chandeliers. Fall in love with each other and our Asheville home. We’ve included one of our favorite restaurants near Asheville in Black Mountain too.

Limones

Chicken over rice with thick yellow sauce from Limones Restaurant in Asheville, NCPin
  • Historic, romantic charm
  • Reservations: Highly recommended; OpenTable
  • Neighborhood: Downtown Asheville
  • Price Range: $$ – $$$
  • Cuisine: Mexican and French-influenced Californian
  • Contact: 15 Eagle St, Asheville, NC 28801; (828) 252-2327

For a romantic dinner in Downtown Asheville, Limones sits nestled in a historic building adorned with candle chandeliers, long mirrors, and quirky art. If you are lucky, they’ll seat you in one of the two window seats.

Executive Chef Hugo Ramirez, a Mexico City native, brings a touch of San Francisco flair to Limones with simple yet divine Mexican and French-influenced Californian cuisine. Opt for tapas and those famous margaritas. We suggest starting with fresh ceviche or lobster nachos.

Then, move on to fusion-cuisine entrées, including BBQ fish, scallops with salsa, ramen short ribs, and enchiladas with vegan cheese. Cap off your meal with Mexican-inspired desserts like churros or Tres Leches cake, complemented by craft cocktails, Spanish dessert wines, and Mexican coffee.

The Bull And Beggar

  • Memorable & meaty fine dining experience
  • Reservations: Highly Recommended; Resy
  • Neighborhood: River Arts District
  • Price Range: $$ – $$$
  • Cuisine: New American
  • Contact: 37 Paynes Way #007, Asheville, NC 28801; (828) 575-9443; on-site parking

One of our favorite romantic restaurants in Asheville to celebrate a special occasion or anniversary, The Bull And Beggar is great if we are craving the meats (if you are vegan/veggie, this River Arts District establishment might not be the best for you).

This gourmet dining experience boasts the most enchanting decor including chandelier lighting, brick walls, and a book-filled bar. Start with one of the best charcuterie boards around or order steak tartare and oysters. For a main entree, we suggest any steak, duck, or seafood entree.

Afterward, head to Bottle Riot with wine glasses the size of your face. Or, grab a local brew at Wedge, a popular Asheville brewery. The entire area – the River Arts District – is great for mural spying. We always enjoy an after-dinner stroll along the Riverwalk. Plan your River Arts District activities with our guide.

Neng Jr.’s

  • Award-winning & most unique dining experience
  • Reservations: A near-must; Resy
  • Neighborhood: West Asheville
  • Price Range: $$ – $$$
  • Cuisine: Filipinx
  • Contact: 701 Haywood Rd Ste 102, Asheville, NC 28806; (828) 552-3880; street parking/back door entrance

Embark on a unique culinary journey at Neng Jr.’s, a newer (2022) gem in West Asheville. With speakeasy vibes (that back alley entrance!), this Filipinx restaurant promises an intimate space and a daily to seasonally changing menu featuring sharables and large plates, all thoroughly explained by the attentive staff.

We suggest double-dating here with friends and ordering it all. Our favorite finds: Neng Jr.’s BBQ mushrooms, vegetables simmering in peanut butter and coconut sauce, and roasted duck with gravy. Order oysters with those salty quail eggs, ice cream covered in cheddar cheese and olive oil, and seasonal and tangy fruits. This is one of those Asheville date night restaurants you won’t soon forget.

Explore more of the best Asian restaurants for Pho, noodles, veggies, dumplings, and more. You won’t be disappointed. Ukiah Japanese Smokehouse is another solid choice.

Bouchon

  • Local ingredients, open kitchen, and dog-friendly, outdoor patio
  • Reservations: Highly Recommended; Resy
  • Neighborhood: Downtown Asheville
  • Price Range: $$ – $$$
  • Cuisine: French Comfort Food
  • Contact: 62 N Lexington Ave, Asheville, NC 28801; (828) 350-1140

Bouchon is not only one of our favorite date night restaurants in Asheville but also our readers, especially out-of-towners who make it a point to eat here every time.

This atmospheric restaurant in the heart of Downtown Asheville promises the best of both worlds: a fine dining experience meant to transport you abroad with French comfort food and a charming ambiance, including a dimly lit interior and outdoor patio. We’ve even sat at a hidden outdoor table in a private nook.

Along with a decadent French wine list and cocktails poured with a heavy hand, we enjoy the famous French fries (I’m serious!), duck, beef, and seafood entrées. Boeuf Bourguignon? Yes, please!

Afterward, head to Crave Dessert Bar for after-dinner cocktails, hookah, and fancy desserts.

The Pure & Proper

Flat-iron steak on plate with vegetables and large steak knife at The Pure and Proper in Black Mountain, NCPin
  • Cozy local hot spot off the beaten path
  • Reservations: Highly recommended; Resy
  • Town: Black Mountain
  • Price Range: $$ – $$
  • Cuisine: Traditional American
  • Contact: 114 E State St, Black Mountain, NC 28711; (828) 357-8539

If you don’t mind driving about 20 to 25 minutes east of the city, you’ll find some of the most romantic and delicious restaurants in Black Mountain, one of our favorite Western North Carolina towns for shopping, food, and hanging out.

Newer to the area, we love The Pure & Proper, an all-day eatery serving up both casual and fancier American cuisine. For date night, sit in the wine cellar or bustling dining room while eating seasonal fresh vegetables with meat and seafood entrees. I can never resist any type of tartare, and we suggest ordering a bottle of wine. Who knew a former gas station could be so cozy?

Edison (The Omni Grove Park Inn)

  • Rooftop restaurant with stunning sunset mountain views
  • Reservations: Recommended; OpenTable
  • Neighborhood: North Asheville
  • Price Range: $$ – $$$
  • Cuisine: American
  • Contact: 290 Macon Ave, Asheville, NC 28804 | (800) 438-580; on-site parking

Even though The Omni Grove Park Inn is a luxury resort and a top attraction, it also houses some of the most romantic restaurants in Asheville, especially with that sunset appeal. Think Edison and Sunset Terrace, two terrific rooftop restaurants.

Imagine sipping on handcrafted cocktails while eating dinner as the sun sets over Downtown Asheville and Mount Pisgah, transforming the sky into vibrant purples and oranges.

Diners will find moderately priced American handhelds and entrees on Edison’s seasonal menu. We’ve ordered everything from wings and Thai lettuce wraps to salads, pasta, and soups. Edison makes a stellar grilled octopus, and who can resist a juicy burger? We also take guests here for the “wow” factor.

If you are visiting Asheville in the winter, enjoy the Grove Park Inn’s free annual National Gingerbread House Competition. It’s sure to put you in the holiday spirit.

Casual Spots Full Of Ambiance

For a romantic dinner in Asheville that won’t break the bank, we appreciate these local restaurants. Plus, after a day of hiking and chasing waterfalls in the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains, you might want a more casual spot.

Tall John’s

  • Perfect for nearby date ideas afterward
  • Reservations: Doesn’t take reservations
  • Neighborhood: Montford
  • Price Range: $$ – $$$
  • Cuisine: European-American
  • Contact: 152 Montford Ave, Asheville, NC 28801; (828) 782-5514; street parking

Let’s start with the most important tidbits about Tall John’s: they have the best bathroom wallpaper… and my favorite dry martini in the entire city. Plus, Tall John’s is one of the best date night restaurants in Asheville because of its Montford location: In the spring through fall catch free Shakespeare in the Park after dinner or walk the gorgeous historic neighborhood.

This neighborhood tavern boasts small plates like nuts and olives with craft cocktails, medium-sized dishes with salads, shrimp cocktail, and steak tartare, and large plates including burgers, grilled fish, pork schnitzel, and a half-roasted chicken. Tall John’s also boasts weekend brunch. We double date here with friends.

Vinnie’s Neighborhood Italian

White plate on table in front of Tom, a white brunette male in a green t-shirt, filled with pasta and sausage with red sauce from Vinnie’s Neighborhood Italian restaurant in Asheville, NCPin
  • Our nostalgic happy place with family-style portion options
  • Reservations: No reservations
  • Neighborhood: North & South Asheville
  • Price Range: $$ – $$$
  • Cuisine: Italian-American
  • Contact: See their website for each location

Growing up Italian/Sicilian-American, we have pretty high standards for both authentic Italian and Italian-American cuisine. We avoided Vinnie’s for so long, worried it would be a disappointment. However, now we go when we get homesick. Vinnie’s is sure to put a smile on your face.

For romantic Asheville restaurants that truly feel like your Italian grandparents’ homes, we enjoy the music we grew up with paired with that iconic decor and food; it feels like a slice of our childhood with the best service. Tom loves their gluten-free pasta with sausage, and I prefer their Chicken Marsala (modified for dairy-free). This is also the sister restaurant to Jettie Rae’s (seafood), another great date night option.

Bone & Broth

Christine, a white Brunette female in black top, eating a plate of mussels with bread at Bone and Broth Restaurant in Asheville, NCPin
  • Elevated Southern classics
  • Reservations: Highly recommended; Resy
  • Neighborhood: North Asheville
  • Price Range: $$ – $$$
  • Cuisine: Meat lovers
  • Contact: 94 Charlotte St, Asheville, NC 28801 | (828) 505-2849; on-site parking

We cannot rave enough about Bone & Broth. Either sit in the bar/tavern area for a slightly more casual experience or enjoy their romantic dining room. Regardless of where you sit, expect delicious local meats from their butcher neighbor, The Chop Shop.

I can never turn down mussels and bone broth with a seasonal cocktail. Tom enjoys their burger but know that they also specialize in even richer seafood and meat entrees. Afterward, walk the historic Chestnut area, spying funky fun older houses and Little Free Libraries.  

Cozy Wine Bars With Small Plates

True to our namesake, we are pros at enjoying the best wine bars in Asheville. Along with extensive wine lists, these intimate spots promise delicious food in a romantic setting. They are also budget-friendly and perfect if you love to drink and graze.

Leo’s House Of Thirst

  • Wine, tapas, soups, and handhelds
  • Reservations: They do not take reservations
  • Neighborhood: West Asheville
  • Price Range: $$
  • Cuisine: Lighter American Fare
  • Contact: 1055 Haywood Rd, Asheville, NC 28806; (828) 505-8017; on-site parking

For a romantic dinner in Asheville, Leo’s House of Thirst boasts a beautiful outdoor garden patio as well as an intimate indoor space. Along with Haywood Common and Thai Pearl, this is also our favorite West Asheville haunt.

Sit outside and enjoy the heaters in the cooler months, picnic tables with your dog, and hanging lights. Sit under the trees while enjoying handhelds, soups, and pastas. Choose from raw dishes like red snapper or order lighter fare such as cheese, olives, and charcuterie. I always order a vegan soup, raw fish, and cheese-less charcuterie. You might just catch the smoker in action too.

La Bodega by Cúrate

  • Charming ambiance perfect for lunch or weekend brunch
  • Reservations: Recommended; Resy
  • Neighborhood: Downtown Asheville
  • Price Range: $$
  • Cuisine: Spanish tapas
  • Contact: 32 S Lexington Ave, Asheville, NC 28801; (828) 630-0330; nearby pay lots

If you are searching for a more budget-friendly and easier-to-get-into option over renowned Cúrate, we enjoy their casual wine bar a bit more. Head to La Bodega by Cúrate for breakfast, weekend brunch, lunch, or dinner.

Savor wine and Spanish tapas in a historic building full of ambiance. Depending on the time of day, I am always a fan of prosciutto and melon, a breakfast sandwich, grilled octopus, and anything with pork belly. Afterward, shop for wine and charcuterie board treats for your next romantic picnic.

Two more popular Downtown wine bars include Zambra and 5 Walnut. We also enjoy the Red Stag Grill in The Grand Bohemian Hotel (Historic Biltmore Village) for drinks and charcuterie.

Gluten-Free, Vegan/Veggie, & Food Intolerant Friendly Places

As a half-Celiac household, with two lactose intolerant members – and I also have ulcerative colitis – finding romantic Asheville restaurants with gluten-free and dairy-free choices is a must for both of us. These are our top picks. We also have extensive guides for gluten-free dining and dairy/lactose-free city restaurants.

Strada Italiano & The Social Lounge

Sunday Brunch with southwestern egg bowl with peppers and waffle fries at Social Lounge in Asheville, NCPin
  • Romantic rooftop weekend brunch or Italian dinner
  • Reservations: Highly recommended; Resy
  • Neighborhood: Downtown Asheville
  • Price Range: $$ – $$$
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Contact: 27 & 29 Broadway St, Asheville, NC 28801; (828) 348-8448

For romantic restaurants in Asheville, Strada Italiano and The Social Lounge are fantastic; they are sister restaurants, which is why we combined them.

If you are craving Sunday brunch or a late-night Asheville bar, The Social Lounge is perfect with intimate booths and a quaint rooftop overlooking Downtown Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains. We love grabbing breakfast bowls to live music before attending a festival in Pack Square.

Strada is a traditional 2-level Italian restaurant in an 1880s Victorian building with rich, deep wood; you’ll feel like you are at our Sicilian family’s home. Choose from Italian meals of antipasti, pizza, and zuppe. There’s eggplant and chicken parm, salmon, and chicken marsala. Their gluten-free and vegan options are delicious, including GF bread, pasta, and pizza.

Plant

  • Healthy eats with a covered patio
  • Reservations: Highly recommended; Resy
  • Neighborhood: North Asheville
  • Price Range: $$ – $$$
  • Cuisine: Vegan
  • Contact: 165 Merrimon Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801 | (828) 258-7500

With a dedicated vegan menu and plentiful GF options, Plant specializes in multiculturally-influenced dishes. Mix and match tapas and entrées. I am obsessed with Plant’s vegan cheese plate and roasted beets. Favorites also include ravioli, ramen, lasagna, and chips and salsa.

Do we even need to talk about vegan desserts like flourless chocolate cake, gelato, and creme brulee? Plant is one of our top Asheville date night restaurants in the northern part of the city – and one that we crave over and over again.

Nine Mile

  • Best food intolerance-friendly restaurant
  • Reservations: None
  • Neighborhoods: Montford; West & South AVL
  • Price Range: $$ – $$$
  • Cuisine: Caribbean-inspired
  • Contact: Multiple locations; see their website; street parking

For a menu catering to gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, nut-free, dairy-free, and honey-free preferences/allergies/intolerances, head to Nine Mile; they don’t play when it comes to your dietary needs, and we love them.

We frequent their flagship Montford location. Here, enjoy seafood, pasta, and rice dishes, including Cajun chicken and coconut curry shrimp. My go-to is the Irie Ites, and Tom devours their Back-A-Yard Bowl. This is the best of the best for casual date night restaurants in Asheville.

Before You Go…

Where do you like to grab a romantic dinner in Asheville for date night? Please let us know your favorites in the comments.

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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