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The Most Recommended Restaurants in Asheville, NC

May 13, 2019

Oysters, local IPA & sparking rosé from Bull and Beggar

 

We've got ourselves a proper foodie scene here in Asheville, so much so that it's hard to choose where to go sometimes!  My list of new restaurants to try is growing by the day, and of course, there are always old favorites I love to go back to when I get the chance.  I have my go-to spots I like to recommend but I know there are so many places I haven't tried yet that need to be on people's radars! 

 

I get asked a lot by people planning trips to Asheville where they should eat and I want to give y'all the best recommendations.  So!  I turned to my IG tribe and let other locals weigh in on where to get the best bites in town.  The three most popular restaurants as of April 2019 to come out of my poll are Zambra, Nine Mile, and En La Calle.  Here are the other most recommended restaurants to try in Asheville divided into price tiers.

 

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The Admiral

Inventive, global cuisine and cocktails served in a modest cinderblock building. Reservations heavily recommended.  (West Asheville)

 

Bull and Beggar

High-end, New American fare and wine served in a rustic, bi-level venue.  Get there early for their half-off raw bar happy hour Mon-Sat.  (River Arts District)

 

Cucina24

Refined Italian fare and wine served in a contemporary setting.  Adventurous Italian that never disappoints!  (Downtown)

 

Curate 

Elevated small plates serving authentic Spanish cuisine and cured meats.  Voted one of America's 100 Best Wine Restaurants by Wine Enthusiast Magazine 2018.  Also named to Food & Wine's '40 Most Important Restaurants' list.  (Downtown)

 

Limones

Mexican fare and cocktails infused with California flare in a homey setting.  Try their sister concept, En La Calle, next door for a more casual atmosphere. (Downtown)

 

Rezaz 

Eclectic Mediterranean cuisine, wines, and craft beer. Highly recommend the Chef's 3 Course Tasting Menu for $36 per person.  Best way to sample different dishes, flavors, and each course is a good size!  (Biltmore Village)

 

Rhubarb

Farm-to-table New American fare ideally shared around the table.  Chef John Fleer is a five-time finalist for the James Beard award for 'Best Chef in the Southeast.'  We love to let the server guide our meal with a variety of dishes and staff favorites.  (Downtown)

 

Table

Southern-inspired American fare on a daily changing menu, served in a modern setting with loads of ambiance.  Awesome cocktail bar, The Imperial Life, located upstairs where you can order small plates and snacks.  (Downtown)

Buxton Hall Sunday brunch: chicken biscuit, mussels under the hog, beer battered catfish, jelly roll

 

 

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Buxton Hall Barbecue

Casual southern fare focusing on whole-hog East Carolina-style BBQ, classic southern sides, and cocktails on tap.  Try the BBQ and a non-pork entree like the mussels or beer battered catfish.  Don't forget dessert from James Beard nominated pastry chef Ashley Capps.  Great Sunday brunch and kid friendly.  (Downtown/south Slope)

 

Chai Pani

Indian street food snacks and homestyle platters.  Chef Meherwan Irani named a finalist for the James Beard 'Best Chef in the Southeast 2019' award.  I always have to get the Chicken Pakoras.  (Downtown)

 

Chestnut

Creative cuisine and finely crafted cocktails served in a restored 1920s space.  Sister restaurant of The Corner Kitchen in Biltmore Village.  (Downtown)

 

En La Calle

Latin tapas and cocktail bar in a vintage, art-inspired setting.  Friendly staff will make great suggestions for both cocktails and rotating menu.  Highly recommend the Blood Orange and Mil Noches margaritas.  (Downtown)

 

Gan Shan Station

Creative Asian fare featuring locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients.  Sharing several plates is recommended.  Check out their satellite location, Gan Shan West, for ramen and classic small plates like steam buns and dumplings.  (North and West Asheville)

 

Gan Shan Station dumplings, Szechuan cucumbers, and cocktail

 

Jargon

Self-styled 'Continental Social Cuisine' inspired by "eclectic culinary styles and life experiences."  Live music during Sunday brunch from 11a-2p.  (West Asheville)

 

Little Bee Thai

Casual, authentic Thai fare on a daily changing menu that's only posted to their Facebook page.  (Downtown)

 

The Lobster Trap

Seafood focused menu in a casual setting with nightly live music.  (Downtown)

 

Nine Mile

Caribbean-inspired cuisine with vegetarian-friendly options.  Three locations in Asheville: Montford, Haywood Road, and Biltmore Park (coming soon).

 

Posana

Contemporary American restaurant dedicated to locally-sourced seasonal ingredients with a gluten-free kitchen and specialty menu.  Lovely outdoor patio space on Pack Square in downtown Asheville.  Kids welcome.  (Downtown)

 

Salsa's

Mexican and Caribbean casual fare featuring local, seasonal ingredients in a cozy Latin bistro.  Creative, scratch-made cocktails.  Always blown away by the mix of bright, vibrant flavors and ingredients.  Never disappoints!  (Downtown)

 

Sierra Nevada Taproom

The restaurant located within the Mills River brewery features casual, beer-focused fare with southern flare.  Small to large plates, seated or take-out-style options.  Super kid friendly.  Live music on the outdoor stage Saturdays and Sundays.  (Mills River)

 

Strada

Italian cuisine featuring dishes from regions all across Italy.  Gluten free and vegetarian options available.   (Downtown)

 

Tupelo Honey

Scratch-made classic southern fare, every bite infused with southern charm.  Every meal starts with their homemade biscuits.  Locations in downtown and south Asheville.  Breakfast, lunch, and dinner served downtown.  (Various locations)

 

Zambra

Western mediterranean fare with a focus on globally-sourced Iberian tapas and Spanish wines.  Amazing ambience with stone floors and walls, and an amber-lit ceiling.  (Downtown)

White Duck Taco house margarita and salsa trio at their south AVL location

 

$

 Barleys Taproom & Pizzeria

Personality and pizza dominate this laid-back taproom featuring loads of craft beer, pub fare, homemade pizzas, TVs, and billiards upstairs.  Kid friendly.  (Downtown)

 

Bhramari Brewing

Casual fare with perfect pairings on their beer menu.  Local food critic Stu Helm's favorite burger in town.  Brunch, lunch, dinner, and late-night menus available.  (Downtown)

 

Bold Rock Cidery

The Bold Bites Mobile Kitchen churns out BBQ and other southern fare all week long.  Check out their site for specialty food nights including wings and burgers.  Large outdoor garden perfect for kids and leashed dogs.  (Mills River)

 

Green Sage Cafe

A health-food cafe serving mostly organic, sustainable fare.  Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options available, but so are burgers.  Fresh juices and coffees served, too, at all Asheville locations: downtown, Merrimon Avenue, Westgate Shopping Center, and south Asheville.  (Various locations)

 

White Duck Taco

A la carte casual Mexican fare including tacos, salsas, desserts, and fresh margaritas and seasonal sangria.  Three Asheville locations: River Arts District, downtown, and south Asheville/Skyland.  (Various locations)

 

Zia Taqueria

Mexicali food served in a southwestern atmosphere.  A variety of proteins including carnitas, beef barbacoa, pastor, and carne asada available to fill tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, and salads among other menu items.  Homemade margarita mix makes for delicious cocktails.  Dog friendly front patio.  (West Asheville)

 

 

 

 

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