The Best Outdoor Dining Patios in Asheville
Go Al Fresco in Foodtopia
If there's one thing that drives home Asheville's moniker as "the Paris of the South," it has to be the outdoor dining scene. On a warm evening in downtown Asheville, diners are seated at sidewalk tables, tucked into courtyards and gathered around fire pits, enjoying the mild mountain climate with a side of world class cuisine. There are more than 100 restaurants/breweries with outdoor dining in and around Asheville.
Here's a brief guide to some of the area's favorite patios, courtesy of our Facebook fans and others:
Great Patios in Asheville, N.C.
Earning high marks from our fans are the patios at the Foundation in the River Arts District. Wildly popular 12 Bones Barbecue has a large patio area that is decorated with bright and vibrant street art and murals done by local artists (also check out the patio at 12 Bones' South Asheville location). The Wedge brewery, which shares the Foundation building with 12 Bones, has its own extensive patio area. Drive up the road just a couple miles to the patio at White Duck Taco on the French Broad River. With a large patio and ample parking, it's definitely a local and visitor favorite.
Downtown Asheville offers a wealth of outdoor dining options. Pack Square features some of the city's favorite patios including Rhubarb, Posana, Bomba, The Noodle Shop, and Farm Burger (just around the corner) All of these restaurants offer great people watching and you'll often enjoy entertainment from a busker (street performer)! On the other side of Pack Square, Twisted Laurel has attracted quite a bit of attention for its patio which includes live plants, twinkling lights and a mural. The patio is also very dog-friendly (ask about the menu just from dogs!).
At the Grove Arcade, an architectural gem in downtown, check out Carmel's Kitchen and Bar. You'll find a series of tables under white umbrellas at its corner location. Carmel's is just one of several restaurants at the Grove Arcade with outdoor dining. Also near the Grove Arcade is Isa's Bistro, a French restaurant with an Asheville twist.
Mellow Mushroom on Broadway Street received a high number of votes thanks to its quirky and colorful patio. Decorated with bowling balls, a pretty psychedelic sculpture that was once Ronald McDonald and plenty of other conversation pieces, it's a great place to feel the Asheville vibe as you bite into a fresh slice of pizza.
Across the street from Pritchard Park, where the Friday night Drum Circle is held, Mayfel's has a covered front patio and a quaint, almost hidden back patio where they serve Louisiana-style brunch and lunch Friday to Monday. They occasionally offer a pop-up Bloody Mary bar, which you can learn about via their social media. Other favorites downtown include: Tupelo Honey, Laughing Seed Cafe and Mountain Madre Mexican kitchen and agave bar, which has a lovely back courtyard.
Pick up your coffee from Double D's, a coffeeshop housed in a double-decker bus, then sit in the courtyard.
For diners seeking a different pace, check out these top patios in Asheville's outlining neighborhoods:
Just blocks from downtown in the historic Montford District, All Day Darling has a beautiful patio area along tree-lined Montford Avenue. The restaurant is within walking distance of the Asheville Visitor Center (36 Montford Avenue). On Charlotte Street, Jettie Rae's Oyster House has ample, covered outdoor space for noshing on fresh oysters, sharable seafood towers, po' boys, gumbo, and more coastal-inspired cuisine.
Known for its hip, laid-back vibe, West Asheville is a great place to dine outdoors. Sunny Point and Early Girl Eatery West are hot spots in the morning. Nearby, Haywood Common, The Whale craft beer collective, and Taco Boy West Asheville all have adjacent outdoor patio seating, and further down Haywood Road, Universal Joint has a great patio attached to a renovated 1930s-era gas station. Heading to experience Biltmore? Just outside of the estate in Biltmore Village, The Cantina and The Village Wayside, located in the original train depot, are among our fans' favorite patios.
And, just to the east of downtown Asheville in the Haw Creek area, dine al fresco at Creekside Taphouse, which has a large outdoor seating area and a playground for the kiddos, or RendezVous, which offers French comfort food and pétanque courts, a French sport similar to bocce.
According to our fans, Wicked Weed Brewing has two of the best patios around. The space in front of the brewery and restaurant features a large fire pit and high-top tables. The downstairs space in the back of the building offers picnic tables, complimentary pretzels and cornhole sets for casual hang-outs. The Funkatorium, their other location on the South Slope entirely devoted to sour beers, also has a great covered patio.
In fact, almost all of Asheville's more than 50 craft breweries have outdoor seating areas, as do popular craft beer bars. And, those breweries that do not have their own kitchens often welcome food trucks in the evenings and on weekends.
Stop by the visiting food truck on your way to Highland Brewing Company's Meadow or rooftop bar, which features cornhole and a clear view of Cold Mountain. Or, pedal your way over to the deck at New Belgium Brewing's tasting room, which overlooks the French Broad River. Enjoy a cold beer at French Broad Outfitters' Riverside Bar at their Hominy Creek Outpost. It's the launch site for their river adventures, but also a refreshing reward for those who walk or bike the Hominy Creek Greenway.
The South Slope District, just blocks from downtown, has several breweries with top-rated patios including, Burial Beer's outdoor space (complete with a vintage VW bus you can sit in and a notable mural of Sloth and Tom Selleck), and Catawba Brewing (which has picnic tables and a space for hammocks).
Evening on the Town
While these outdoor dining destinations are great at any time of day, the ambiance is especially welcoming in the evening.
Bottle Riot, a wine bar in the River Arts District, is on the lower level of the century-old Wedge Studios building. The cool lighted Bottle Riot sign and table top gas firepits are eye-catching.
Biltmore Village's historic buildings are all lit up at night with lights, making the patio at Corner Kitchen even more romantic when the sun goes down.
In downtown Asheville, dining at Pack's Tavern's patio provides you a view of the green space at Pack Square Park and the art deco City and County buildings.
And, treat yourself to a delicious dessert and great people watching at the outdoor space at Crave Dessert Bar.
Food with a View
One thing Asheville has that Paris lacks is the stunning beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and no place quite captures that view like the Sunset Terrace at The Omni Grove Park Inn. Stop in for an inspired lunch or a leisurely dinner featuring chop house cuisine, or step on over to Edison for comfy couches, fireplaces and an open-air table set with creative pub fare. One of the best views in downtown is from Hemingway's Cuba. Located in the Cambria Hotel, Hemingway's offers incredible views of the city skyline combined with delicious Cuban comfort food.
The Montford offers one of the most stunning views for sunset from its patio terrace. You'll want to stay for the seasonally-driven craft cocktails and small bites prepared with local ingredients. There's also a great rooftop bar at the Hilton Garden Inn downtown, Pillar Rooftop Bar. Other favorite rooftop patios include Aloft hotel and the rooftop patio at downtown's Social Lounge, a favorite for craft cocktails and summer breezes.
For more great rooftop bars, check out our guide to the 11 best rooftop bars in Asheville.
Small Town Charm
In Black Mountain, social media buzzed over patios at Black Mountain Bistro, My Father's Pizza, Black Mountain Kitchen and Ale House and The Trailhead. Weaverville's nods include Main Street staples Twisted Laurel, Soba, and Blue Mountain Pizza.