Asheville's Cant-Miss Bucket List of 2024

Chai Pani

As we near the midway point of 2024, it's a great time to reflect on the exciting new experiences this year in Asheville while adding a few that have recently premiered. 

From highly anticipated restaurant openings, chic new boutique hotels, shops, bars, unforgettable festivals and immersive performing arts, the Asheville experience continues to redefine itself. Here are 21 new reasons why Asheville, North Carolina should be your bucket list destination for 2024.

New Restaurants in Asheville

New food

  • Chai Pani, the award-winning Indian chaat restaurant from Meherwan Irani, has officially relocated to the South Slope, opening its doors on May 21 in the former Buxton Hall location on 32 Banks Avenue. The new restaurant, described as "Bollywood wedding meets Bombay Gymkhana meets Tata truck parking lot," will offer three times the seating capacity (120 people) as its former location and four times the kitchen space. MG Road, a legendary party bar below Chai Pani, will be reborn as "MG Mini" in the mezzanine upstairs, where guests can grab a cocktail before being seated. The new Chai Pani has also expanded its menu behind new chef de cuisine Nick Barr. The former Chai Pani location in downtown Asheville is currently under construction and will become Asheville's second Botiwalla by Chai Pani. 
  • Italy meets Appalachia with the Italian eatery Luminosa, located inside The Flat Iron Hotel. Executive Chef Graham House’s concept features a wood-burning oven to add a kiss of fire to handmade pizzas and pastas made with locally sourced ingredients.
  • Consistently named “the most anticipated restaurant” in Asheville, Good Hot Fish is Chef Ashleigh Shanti’s ode to the fish-frying matriarchs of her family. The James Beard Award-winning chef and Top Chef participant is celebrated for her work highlighting Black food traditions in Southern Appalachia. The concept is a continuation of that story, without taking itself too seriously. Menu offerings include hushpuppies, trout bologna and cheese and sandwiches served on frisbees.
  • James Beard semifinalist Jacob Sessoms heads The Golden Hour, a chophouse-style restaurant inside The Radical Hotel will feature Southern ingredients and open, live-fire cooking that will include seasonal specials, shareable plates and small bites. Highlights include BBQ’d Japanese white sweet potato skewers, whole sunburst trout, slow-grilled porchetta and shellfish beignets. After dinner, head upstairs to the hotel’s rooftop bar, The Roof, to enjoy views over the French Broad River and an artfully crafted cocktail menu.
  • Mizu Noodle is the long-awaited noodle bar from the owners of YZ Asian Market in West Asheville. The extensive menu will include noodle bowls, poke, dim sum and curries. The ramen is a standout – offered in varieties like spicy miso or shoyu, and generously topped with bamboo shoots, nori and a perfectly jammy soft-boiled egg.
  • One of Asheville’s most celebrated taco spots, Taqueria Muñoz, opened its second location in South Asheville. In addition to Muñoz’s familiar Mexican tacos in handmade tortillas, the new spot features tortas, tamales, sopes and pupusas – a nod to the family’s ties to El Salvador. 
  • Salt Face Mule, near Weaverville (just north of Asheville), is a new family-friendly brewpub and sprawling event space featuring two mini-golf courses. The Brewpub’s selection of lagers and ales, like the “Sit a spell IPA,” is playfully named after Appalachian expressions.
  • Opened since October 2023, Voodoo Brewing in Arden features bar food with a twist like the delicious pickle pizza or hot dog flight. Voodoo Brewing’s flagship beers are on tap year-round, such as the “Oh Mama” golden American lager ― a collaboration with the rock band Styx.
  • Head to the cozy town of Black Mountain to try regional wild game at Beradu, a specialty market and restaurant. Owners Patrick and Maggie Beraduce want to share their knowledge about the benefits of consuming local fish and game. Guests can also purchase fresh meat and seafood, as well as house-made charcuterie and pastas.
  • Just steps away from Pritchard Park, Sweets & Seats Cafe is an Instagram-worthy spot to recharge during a day of browsing downtown shops and galleries. As the name suggests, this gleaming patisserie sells artfully crafted desserts and boba teas, as well as contemporary outdoor furnishings.

New Eccentric Bars and Shops


  • Looking for a lowkey good time? Look no further than The Low Down. From the founders of the beloved downtown speakeasy Crow & Quill, this clandestine bar also has a cloaked entryway, only to be discovered by those who know where to look – 723 Haywood Road, Suite 01, that is. Following a golden arrow pointing down a flight of stairs, visitors will be dazzled by the bar’s ornate wood interiors and lavish craft cocktails, shrouded in a mystical ambiance.
  • A converted 1971 VW bus is the funky location for the new Roll Up Herbal Bar. Specializing in botanical mocktails, teas and adaptogen shots, this mobile bar pops up around town and can also be reserved for private events and weddings.  
  • The Pot Stirred is billing itself as “America’s first mushroom café.” This woman, LGBTQ-owned space is tucked away above Art Garden in the River Arts District. It serves lattes and teas with foraged mushrooms and botanicals, as well as a rotating menu of CBD-infused donuts from Stay Glazed.
  • Asheville's first inline and roller sports store, FishBrains Skate Shop carries the latest styles of inline skates, roller skates, protective gear and accessories. The shop also offers rental rollerblades and skates for use on Asheville's greenway trails.

New Places to Stay

The Radical breathes new life into a once abandoned building while preserving beautiful evidence of its past lives — from a 1920s breakfast cereal factory to a graffiti artists' vacant paradise. (Credit: The Radical)

  • Grit meets glamour at The Radical, a new boutique hotel that transformed a once abandoned factory into an unexpected work of modern art in the River Arts District. The Radical’s richly layered interiors – by Suomi and Kris Moran, set designer for Wes Anderson – features vibrant graffiti in every guestroom, both from decades past and modern additions.
  • Located in Asheville’s popular South Slope, Zelda Dearest is a nod to Asheville’s connection to Zelda Fitzgerald. This bespoke hotel connects three historic Victorian-style homes and features inviting outdoor spaces and interiors, inspired by the Fitzgerald’s lives and literary works.
  • The Flat Iron Hotel is a 71-room, Prohibition-themed hotel with a rooftop bar, and a hidden speakeasy. The historic downtown building speaks to Asheville’s period of creative and economic wealth in the 1920s and a desire to be more modern and “citified,” as a local historian explains.

New Music, Art and Culture

AVL Fest Concert Salvage Station

  • AVL Fest, the four-day music festival, debuted in 2023 spanning more than 200 performances across 22 stages. Headliners included Indigo De Souza, Kurt Vile and Toubab Krewe. 2024 promises to be even better, with more national acts and special events.
  • Eulogy is the newest venue to appear on Asheville’s vibrant live music scene. The space, part of Burial Beer Co.’s expansion of its adjacent taproom, features a full bar resembling a pipe organ, pouring 24 taps, house-made cocktails and wine. Later in 2024, Burial plans to open a rooftop wine and cocktail bar above Eulogy to spotlight VISUALS, Burial’s line of wine, cider and aperitifs.
  • Following years of development with community members, the Black Cultural Heritage Trail debuted in December 2023. It highlights historically significant sites and stories throughout the city, including Allen High School, a private boarding school for Black girls (whose alumnae includes Nina Simone), and Sylvester Owens, a master gardener at Biltmore Estate who became one of the greatest authorities on native azaleas. Don’t miss: the trail passes by several Black-owned businesses, like Noir Collective, an art gallery and boutique, and Grind AVLa coffee shop and community space.
  • As part of the Wilma Dykeman Greenway, which runs along the French Broad River, the first phase of the Karen Cragnolin Park project was completed. ADA-compliant and open to pedestrians, runners, cyclists and skaters of all ages, the paved path connects the art-infused greenway to Carrier Park in West Asheville.
Updated May 21, 2024