Asheville, North Carolina, a city surrounded by the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and named among the top destinations for 2019, has become one of America’s hottest food scenes.
Cradled by one million acres of pristine forests and hundreds of family farms—including the agricultural legacy of George Vanderbilt's Biltmore Estate—food culture in Asheville has gained national attention as a small-but-mighty hub for culinary creativity where Appalachian food traditions, global perspectives and artisan goods go together like a picnic and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Asheville’s collaborative food community has a rich legacy of living off the land. Chefs work directly with regional cheese makers, bakers, apiaries, flower farms, foragers, potters, dairies and family farms in a melting-pot food scene that is innovating cuisine, unearthing tradition and nabbing more James Beard nominations than the average small city.
Whether you’re a first-time visitor, or well-acquainted with our cool mountain getaway, here are 50 ideas to help you see, do, and explore the best Asheville has to offer.
Appalachian cuisine in Asheville is no mere trend. It’s a way of life with roots as deep as these mountains are old.
Stroll through a lively entertainment hub in the heart of Asheville, brimming with independent shops, farm-fresh eateries, and a remarkably distinctive mountain vibe.
Our foodie visitors enjoy guided foraging expeditions in the woods; they drink in mountain views atop rooftop bars; they sip Biltmore Estate-grown wines at America’s most visited winery; and they sample their way across farm tours, cheese trails, chocolate factories and farmers markets.
If craft beer is your passion, Asheville is a virtual beer garden. Closing in on 50 breweries—more per capita than any other U.S. city—the Asheville area is leading the industry with homegrown brewing icons, major craft-beer brands, and colorful breweries and tasting rooms where good vibes and good beer sync up in interesting ways. Try a pint in an antique caboose, a space-invaded movie house, on a mountainside farmstead or in an art enclave along the third oldest river in the world.
Asheville’s success with craft beer has naturally given rise to a burgeoning craft spirit and beverage scene. The city is now brimming with artisan moonshine, multiple cideries, rum and gin distillers and makers of saké, mead, kombucha and Appalachian-foraged amaro.
This inspired, friendly and free-spirited city tucked in the mountains of Appalachia has been called “Foodtopia,” but the locals just call it home. Plan a trip at ExploreAsheville.com.
With more breweries per capita than any other U.S. city, craft beer thrives in the mountains.
Visit one of Asheville's nearly 20 tailgate markets and you'll likely be rubbing elbows with some of the finest chefs in town.
The craft beverage community is dynamic, creative and dedicated to making quality drinks of all sorts, from mead to kombucha, spirits to soda, and sake to tea.