Asheville’s food scene is ripe for indulgence. James Beard-recognized chefs create luxurious meals that inspire lingering conversations. Afternoons are spent sipping craft beverages and tasting the season’s bounty at local farms and markets. Delight runs deep here, and so does good taste.
Take time to savor each moment with these top Asheville culinary experiences.
A stroll through Asheville reveals a myriad of restaurants where chefs mix modern techniques with cherished traditions to create phenomenal dining experiences around every corner. Local ingredients sing at Appalachian farm-to-table restaurants like Rhubarb and The Marketplace. Barbecue joints are everywhere, each with its own flair. International flavors abound, ranging from Indian street food to upscale sushi. West Asheville overflows with neighborhood gathering spots like West End Bakery and WALK, and travelers can take their pick of pizza parlors and coffee roasters in nearby Black Mountain.
Pack flavor into every minute on a foodie tour. See where Foodtopia’s ingredients are grown with an Asheville Farm to Table Tours guided tour, then have a fresh lunch made with the farm’s produce. The WNC Cheese Trail is a self-guided tour of the region’s cheese makers and small dairies and a beautiful excuse to get out in the countryside. Go off the “eaten” path on a No Taste Like Home wild food adventure, led by nationally known forager Alan Muskat. Learn basic foraging skills and try dozens of wild edibles.
South Slope is a playground for beer lovers where eight of the area’s 27 craft breweries serve up wildly original brews. Burial Beer Co. offers an array of beer brewed with fruits, flowers, and specialty hops. Wicked Weed’s Funkatorium is right around the corner and specializes in sour beers that can’t be found anywhere else.
Beer is just one way to experience Asheville. Dozens of other craft beverages can be found all over the city. Urban Orchard Cider Company in West Asheville offers house-made hard cider and snacks in its cozy tasting room. The most-visited winery in America is located on the grounds of Biltmore Estate and offers a behind-the-scenes tour and tasting. And Dobra Tea’s tranquil tearoom in nearby Black Mountain boasts tremendous selection of loose-leaf teas.
Break bread with the region’s finest bakers, millers and farmers at the Asheville Bread Festival in April. The Asheville Food and Wine Festival includes bites and sips from top restaurants, vineyards and distilleries each August. In October, the HardLox Food and Heritage Festival brings Jewish delicacies like knishes and matzo ball soup to downtown. Farmers markets are like mini food festivals each weekend and often offer cooking demonstrations and activities for kids.
Go mobile at one of Asheville’s dozens of food trucks. 51 Coxe Ave. in downtown Asheville is home to a rotating cast of food trucks during the workweek. Food trucks are often parked outside of breweries like The Wedge, and the Asheville Food Park on Amboy Road attracts hungry tubers and cyclists from nearby Carrier Park. Look for tacos, coffee, gourmet grilled cheese and everything in between.
Variety is the spice of life in Asheville, so pick up a fork and revel in every bite.