THE BIG LIST
It’s very hard to keep up with all the new restaurants that are constantly opening up in Asheville. The list below is fairly complete for downtown, and it’s becoming more and more complete for the entire greater Asheville Area.
Click on the links below to visit each venue’s FaceBook page.
~ LAST UPDATED: JUNE 13th, 2019 ~
I: DOWNTOWN ASHEVILLE, SOUTH SLOPE, & MONTFORD
5 Walnut Wine Bar – Wine, cheese, nuts, people. Always packed with downtownies having fun. Live music. Tiny space.
67 biltmore downtown eatery + catering – Fresh, healthy food, served deli style, dine-in, take out. Big, sunny space, kid friendly, nice people! Best of Asheville
Addissae – Asheville’s only Ethiopian restaurant. Off the beaten path, behind the International District. Gluten free, windowless, dark, soothing.
All Day Darling – The former Todd’s Tasties has morphed and merged with High Five and Table to bring you this small, neighborhood cafe and restaurant.
Aloft Asheville Downtown – WXYZ, Asheville Bar, re:Mix, and re:Fuel are all inside of this hotel on Biltmore.
Aloha Cafe – New sandwich and poké place. It’s good!
Asheville Brewing – An Asheville local fave. Many popular local beers, OK food at OK prices. Giant jenga and corn hole. Kid friendly.
Asheville Pinball Museum – Yep. It is what it sounds like and they have a full bar with booze and bags of chips and stuff.
Asheville Wine Market – You can do free wine tastings and sample local cheese, buy stuff, hang out, eat drink. Good place. Nice people.
Asheville Yacht Club – Slick Willy’s Good Eats is in the Asheville Yacht Club. Straight forward bar food 4pm to 1am everyday.
Aunt Mary’s Catering Kitchen – Italian catering and event space. AWESOME food by Mike and Jon from Manicomio pizza, Veggie lasagna to die for, and more!
AUX Bar – My favorite chef, Steven Goff and crew are crushing it. Southern cookin’ with a hipster twist. Comfort food. Great drinks. Where the locals go. Open late.
Baba Nahm – Middle Eastern Street Food.
Barley’s Taproom & Pizzeria – Big, hardy pizza, and other standards. Beer on tap. A local fave. Family friendly.
Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar – Most unique atmosphere in downtown. Small snacks, cheese boards, wine, coffee, sweets, and champagne.
Bens Tune Up – Asian fare and locally brewed beer and saki! Good deep fried things. Live music and other events. A local fave.
Benne On Eagle – Located in the historic neighborhood known as The Block, Benne is co-owned by James beard nominated Chef John Fleer.
Bhramari Brewhouse – In-house brewed beer, full menu, great burgers, good brunch, live music, outdoor deck.
The Bier Garden – An Asheville standard from back in the day. Full menu. Bar food. Drinking crowd. Drink your way “around the world.”
The Blackbird – It looks like the Aloft hotel restaurant, but it’s not, it’s indie.
The Block Off Biltmore – Asheville’s first EcoVegan, Social Justice, Diversity Bar.
Blind Pig Supper Club – Owned and operated by Darlene and Chef Mike Moore, an Asheville tradition. Follow them on Facebook!
Blue Dream Curry House – International curry in the AVL International District. Great people, family friendly, big space, curry, and Asian food. Get yer pho here!
Bomba – Tacos and much much more. Great food. Teeny tiny space. Also great espresso, sweets, and other fare.
Bouchon Bistro – French food. The last time I ate there, I had an artichoke that was the consistency of a pine cone. I’ll have to go back and try again.
Brasilia Churrasco Steakhouse-Asheville – Meat meat meat and more meat!
Broadway’s – A dive bar / private club / local favorite and a classic of olde school Asheville. They pho, and Sundays are burger night with the famous Burger Gang.
Burgerworx – Great, greasy, flat, soft-bun burgers, with your choice of toppings, wrapped in foil, served with awesome fries. I love their burgers!
Burial Beer – Always has a food truck bolted to the side of it.
Button & Co. Bagels – That’s right, the famous Spanish tapas chef and culinary super star, Chef Katie Button opened a bagel shop, and of course it’s great.
Buxton Hall Barbecue – Fantastic Carolina style BBQ, very authentic, the real deal, no joke. Chef Elliot Moss and crew are some of the Best of Asheville. I<3 It.
Cafe 64 – Decent food at decent prices. Quiet, friendly, sincere. Never at the top of my list, but I should go more often.
Calypso – St. Lucian Caribbean Restaurant with an Island Cocktail bar and late night weekend dance parties.
Capella on 9 – “Locally-sourced menu created by chefs Peter Pollay and Jordan Arace from Posana.”
Carmels Kitchen & Bar – Some of the best outdoor seating in Downtown. Good pizza, decent food at decent prices. Full bar, full menu.
Chai Pani – Indian street food from Chef Meherwan Irani and crew. Good golly, that’s good thali! Best of Asheville.
The Chemist – Gin distillery with meat boards and such in the tasting room.
Chestnut‘s – Lunch, Brunch, Dinner, Drinks. Comfortable, nice, great service, great desserts. A great place to bring a group of people in mixed age brackets. =
The Chocolate Fetish – Awesome truffles and other chocolate delights. Check out the chocolate sculptures, and “I Love Lucy” conveyor belt!
Chop House Asheville – Steaks and such. Went once, long time ago. Will have to go back.
City Bakery – Best house cup of coffee, consistently great sandwiches and other breakfast, lunch fare. Baked goods. Counter service. Fast, reliable. Best of Asheville.
Claddagh – Not the most authentic Irish Pub I’ve ever been to.
Conundrum Asheville – As if it weren’t difficult enough, this escape room has an absinth bar.
Creperie Bouchon – Crayyyyyyps!
Crow and Quill – Cocktail bar.
Crocodile Wine Bar – Haven’t been here yet, will have to update later.
Cucina 24 – Among the cream of the crop in downtown eateries. Chef Brian Canipelli and crew bring creative, high-end, intelligently sourced ingredients to Italian cuisine.
Cultura – New restaurant from Wicked Weed brewing.
Cúrate – Chef Katie Button‘s first restaurant remains one of the Best of Asheville. Spanish style tapas. Great coffee, drinks, desserts, and brunch.
Daphne at Twisted Laurel – The rebrand and new, rising star, Chef Mike Archberger at Twisted Laurel’s downtown location have truly brought it into the Asheville culinary scene.
Dobra Tea (Asheville, NC) – Tea, snacks, and groovy feelings. Though a Nat’l chain, the calm, peaceful, atmosphere is some of the Best of Asheville.
Double D’s Coffee and Desserts – Not a place for a latte and lap-dance, as the name might suggest, but Asheville’s most unique cafe is inside of a doubledecker bus!
EarlyGirlEatery – One of the oldest downtown eateries is still so popular, there are lines out the door nearly every day. Home-style cookin’ in a big, noisy space.
En La Calle – Bar and restaurant located in downtown Asheville, NC.
Farm Burger Asheville – Another small chain that kinda fits in with Asheville. It’s a great tourist sponge, sucking them up, and keeping them out of other local faves.
Foggy Mountain Brewpub – Dark & quiet inside, great outdoor seating. Off the beaten path. Fantastic chicken Alfredo. Chicken wings are some of the Best of Asheville.
Foundry Hotel Bar – A swank bar in a luxury hotel.
French Broad Chocolates – You’ve read about it, you’ve heard about it, you’ve dreamed about. Well, this it. Chocolates, coffee, and other stuff.
French Broad Chocolates Cookies & Creamery – The South Slope location is smaller, with more of a concentration on the house made ice creams, including soft serve.
French Broad Food Co-op – Primarily a small, healthy convenience/grocery store, FBFC also has a nice little hot bar featuring local restaurants, plus coffee, and 3 tables.
Hana Japanese Restaurant Asheville – Popular Asian restaurant.
H&H Distillery – Distillery tasting room right downtown
Haywood Park Cafe – The strangest, loneliest cafe ever, located right in the middle of downtown. I dare you to find it.
Heiwa Shokudo – Asheville’s oldest sushi place is still a local favorite. Tiny space, outdoor seating, kid friendly.
Hemingway’s Cuba – On top of the Cambria hotel, authentic Cuban food, cocktails, drinks, outdoor seating on the patio.
High Five Coffee – Best espresso drinks in downtown Asheville according to Chef Joe. Great snacks, sweets, paninis, etc. Beer and soda too.
High Test Deli & Sweets Shop – Subs, hot dogs, ice cram sandwiches. Good food, good prices, nice folks.
Hopey & Company – There’s a cafe inside the Hopey and Co on South French broad. Espresso drinks and snacks and sandwiches available.
Hyatt Place Asheville Downtown – The rooftop bar and lounge is slated to open in June 2016, and will serve food and drinks to the public.
The Imperial Life – Owned and operated by Chef Jacob Sessoms of Table and Tod’s Tasties, Imperial Life is one of the cooler cocktail bars in town, with a great menu.
Isa’s Bistro – Big, open, spacious, great service, great food by Chef Duane Fernandes and crew. Great place for brunch.
Izzy’s Coffee Den – Truly den-like, windowless coffee joint, with very limited snacks. The stereo music is usually some of the Best of Asheville.
Jack of the Wood – An Asheville staple. Irish-themed food, burgers and such. Beer beer and more beer, plus live jig music sometimes.
Jerusalem Garden Cafe – Downtown Asheville’s only Middle-Eastern restaurant, great atmosphere, great decor. In the international district!
Karen Donatelli Cake Designs – Karen’s pastries are the Best of Asheville! Plus coffee, and light lunch fare like chicken salad on a croissant.
Kathmandu Cafe – Tibetan food in the international district. Great decor and atmosphere.
Kilwin’s Chocolate’s, Fudge, and Ice Cream – This is a chain, but it’s one that I happen to like. I always thought it must be fun to work at a Kilwin’s.
Korean House – It’s Korean food, Yo. Great people, great food. Get the bulgogi bibimbap! It’s makes noise and it delicious.
Laughing Seed Cafe – An old Asheville fave. Vegan and Vegetarian fare in a large, interesting space. Outdoor seating.
The Lazy Diamond – Dive bar.
Liberty House Cafe – Located on liberty street, serving PennyCup and 1,000 Faces coffee and light snacks.
Limones – California style Mexican food. Small room, nice decor, great service.
Little Bee Thai – Thai restaurant in Asheville.
The Lobster Trap – Fresh lobster flown in daily from Maine, yo. Great food, great lively atmosphere, super nice people, including Chef Mike McCarty.
Loretta’s Cafe – An old Asheville fave! Great people, lot’s of space, healthy food, and beverages.
Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe – Enjoy coffee, and light snacks while surrounded by books, nerds, and old people.
Mamacita’s Taqueria – One of the locals’ all-time forever-faves. Great, healthy, Mexcian-style food at very reasonable prices. Best of Asheville year after year.
Manicomio – The “Mad House” features authentic pizza, subs, and more in a casual setting with indoor and outdoor seating and of course, pizza to go!
The Market Place Restaurant – Chef William Dissen‘s venue on Wall Street is HUGE and really nice inside. Locally sourced, farm-to-table food.
Mayfel’s – Very popular with tourists, offers outdoor seating and “NOLA” style fare. I happen to think they also have the most effed-up hours in downtown Asheville.
The Mediterranean Restaurant – One for the TRUE downtownies. Open at 6am, and serving traditional diner-style Greek and American food.
Mela Indian Restaurant – Big space, good Indian food. Full bar. Nice atmosphere.
Mellow Mushroom Asheville – The BEST Mellow Mush in the country, Yo! Our Mellow Mushroom is something special, and for families especially, it is Best of Asheville.
MG Road – Awesomely dark, hip, retro-mod bar with a rotating food menu of creative themes and guest chefs. One of the Best for Asheville for sure!
Modesto Trattoria – Outdoor seating on Page Ave in the Grove Arcade building.
Mojo Kitchen & Lounge – Constantly winning Best of Asheville for their wings and tacos, Chef AJ Gregson and the Mojo crew rule. Home of the Bluegrass Brunch.
Montford Rooftop – Drinks and light fare with best views in all of downtown Asheville.
Mountain Madre – Mexican cuisine for lunch and dinner.
New Mountain Asheville – A sprawling live music venue with The Sol Bar inside, featuring coffee, tea, “tastes and treats.”
Nine Mile – A casual full-service vegetarian-friendly restaurant with two locations in Asheville, NC: Montford & West Asheville.
Noodle Shop, Asheville – More Mediocre Asian food. We need better Asian food in this town.
Nutz About Fudge – It’s pretty much a lot of fudge. Like, tons and tons of fudge.
Old Europe Pâtisserie – Great sweets and coffee! Really nice people! Best of Asheville.
oneFIFTYone Boutique Bar & Kitchen inside the Hotel Indigo – Serving breakfast & dinner, open to “anyone who’s hungry.”
Over Easy Cafe – Limited hours. Selection of yummy breakfast standards. Limited space indoor and out. Nice decor, nice people.
Packs Tavern – Frickin’ HUGE space, great booths, family style, sports-bar-ish. The food used to be better, but for family night out, it’s fine.
PennyCup Coffee at the YMI – Great coffee, super nice people, light snacks, big space, in Asheville’s historic YMI Building. Check out the mural! Best of Asheville. Listen to an interview Master Roaster Bill Tanner by clicking HERE.
Polanco – Elevated Mexican fare in a cozy unique setting. Taco Tuesday!
Posana – Chef Peter Pollay and crew make food that is truly some of the Best of Asheville. Great atmosphere, great location, nice people. Great for brunch.
Rankin Vault Cocktail Lounge – Great space, small & cozy, sit inside the vault if you can. Outdoor seating is usually smoke-filled :( Their burger is the Best of Asheville,
Roman’s Deli Asheville – An old-school holdout. My friend/official co-stalker Rick says “If you don’t love their burger, I’ll pay for it!”
Red Ginger Dim Sum & Tapas – Authentic Dim Sum in the heart of downtown Asheville.
The Rhu – Beautiful space, lots of room and sunshine. Deli style service, featuring the food of Chef John Fleer and crew, from Rhubarb.
Rhubarb – Chef John Fleer and crew live here. One of Asheville’s top-rated venues. Good place for brunch. Great place for dinner. Best of Asheville
Rosetta’s Kitchen – Another old Asheville locals’ fave that’s been around for a million years. Great, healthy food, really nice people.
Rustic Grape – Great little wine bar with great little bites. Some of the best biscuits and pimento cheese in Asheville!
Salsa’s Mexican Caribbean Restaurant – For over two decades Salsa’s has been an Asheville standard. Large, creative dishes in a small, busy space.
Salt & Smoke – Permanent kitchen at Burial Beer Co serving up food that explores the link between old world European traditions & southern fare.
Santé Wine Bar and Tap Room – Great outdoor seating away from the tourists and crowds, wine on tap and by the bottle. Good menu. I like the pizza.
The Social Lounge – Great craft cocktails, nice little bar menu, cozzy interior, awesome little rooftop bar. One of Asheville’s hidden-in-plain-sight downtown gems.
The Soda Fountain – Located inside Woolworth Walk, great traditional soda fountain food. Get a hot dog and milkshake. The most bad-ass chicks in town work here.
Sonora – Mexican food, beer, wine, cocktails in the Heart of Asheville.
Sovereign Remedies – Great space, super-nice people, GREAT food and drinks. Lunch, brunch, dinner, bites. Farmer Sunil’s Sunday Supper is something special. Best of Asheville.
Storm Rhum Bar and Bistro – Chef Owen McGlynn and crew are keepin’ it real. Quiet, dark room, great food, great desserts, full bar.
Strada Asheville – Chef Anthony Cerrato’s family Italian joint. Try the Florentine ravioli and if you like wine with dinner, these folks know their wines.
Sunshine Sammies – YAY! The fan fave food truck and push cart moguls and amazing ice cream sandwich makers finally have a brick and mortar!
Suwana’s Thai Orchid Restaurant – People frickin’ love this place. I can take it or leave it. Nice space, good service, but mediocre food in my opinion.
Table Asheville – Chef Jacob Sessoms‘ Table restaurant is definitely one of the Best of Asheville, Fancy eatin’, elegant atmosphere, great service, great food!
Times at S & W – Located in the historic S&W Cafeteria building in Pritchard Park, this craft cocktail bar also has a small menu.
Thai basil (aka Thai Tara) – Big space, nice atmosphere. I used to love Thai Basil, but haven’t been since it turned into Thai Tara. I’ll have to go back.
Trade and Lore Coffee – Brand new! Great space, great coffee, sweets, nice people. Best of Asheville
True Confections – Pastry Chef Carole Miller knows how to bake stuff! Her house-made twix bar is awesome! She also offers a pretty full lunch menu and good coffee.
Tupelo Honey restaurant – The lines to get into this place are crazy. It’s completely worth missing if you ask me. Pricey, mediocre food from a small chain.
Twisted Crêpe – Good crepes! Good prices. Kind of a depressing atmosphere, but whatevs. It takes, like 2 seconds to eat a crepe, and then you’re outta there.
Underground Cafe – Home of Chef Jay Medford’s “Doughp” doughnuts and so much more! Burgers, meatloaf, pork belly, YUM!
Urban Orchard Cider Company South Slope – The famous hard cidery’s South Slope location has small bits, like Roots hummus and bread.
Vortex Doughnuts – My guys at The Vortex’s make coffee that is some of the Best of Asheville, and the donuts are getting better and better. Now I want one.
Wasabi Asheville – Great space, very lively, tight fit, bustling and noisy. It’s fun to sit at the bar, but I find the food to be less than amazing.
Well Played – Over 500 board games, plus food, coffee, wine, and beer!
Weinhaus – Wine shop with a bar, and regional cheeses and bread. Live music!
White Duck Taco Shop – Pretty good tacos in wacky combos. Big, bench-style seating . Lines out the door most of the time. Closed on Sundays.
Wicked Weed Brewing – Super-popular with the tourists. Outdoor seating galore. I find the food to be nothing special. Beer drinkers love this place.
Wicked Weed Funkatorium – An offshoot of Wicked Weed Brewing, this seems to be the mellower little sister of the two.
Wine & Oyster – Wine bar with oysters, sandwiches, charcuterie, and other bites.
World Coffee Cafe Asheville – The coffee ain’t great, and the food is pretty bad, but the people watching is awesome, and the space is cool and secretive.
Yum Sushi Burrito & Poke – Coming to Asheville soon.
Zambra – An Asheville classic, and a personal fave of mine and my GF’s. Great food, great atmosphere, great service, truly one of the Best of Asheville for sure.
And there you go. That is officially an ASSLOAD of eateries, Yo. I’m sure I left some spots out, so please let me know in the comments section if I’ve missed any. Below is the start to an even more monumental task of cataloging the eateries that are all over the rest of Asheville!
II: RIVER ARTS DISTRICT & RIVERSIDE ROAD
12 Bones River – Asheville’s favorite Barbecue joint, and President Obama’s too!
All Souls Pizza – One of my past Restaurant of the Year winners, Chef Brendan Reusing and crew are making amazing salads, sides, entrees, desserts, and of course pizza!
The Bull & Beggar – Hidden in RAD is one of the best restaurant sin Asheville, or the country. Chef Matt Dawson and crew helped lead the way for our food scene.
The Bywater – Full bar with outdoor drinking area and social club on the river side. Food trucks and buskers.
Fresh Woodfired Pizza – Good folks making good pizza in the fanciest, jewel encrusted pizza oven in Asheville!
Grey Eagle – Asheville’s oldest music venue with a full bar and taqueria inside
Grey Eagle Taqueria – Some of Asheville’s best tacos for lunch, dinner, and late night when there’s an event live music on stage.
Nourish and Flourish – Very calming and peaceful juice bar, with one or two small things to eat, like granola bars and such..
Ole Shakey’s – Dive bar / biker bar / hipster hangout with outdoor grills. Bring your own meat. Home of the annual Jerk Off beef jerky competition.
PennyCup Coffee Co. – Roastery and original cafe for the award coffee. Some in-house baked goods, breakfast tacos from Tacobilly, bagels form Joey’s NT Bagels.
Salvage Station – Live music and events, full bar and kitchen, past winners of the Battle of the Burger.
Smoky Park Supper Club – Headed by Chef Michelle Bailey, excellent menu, great atmosphere, wonderful outdoor seating, hard to miss, as it is made out of shipping crates.
Summit Coffee – Located in the Foundation aka “Foundy” area of the RAD, featuring great coffee, some small bites, great atmosphere.
Ultra Coffeebar – Smack dab in the middle of the RAD. Breakfast and lunch items, great coffee, and house-made baked goods!
Vivian – My 2018 Restaurant of the Year and Best new Restaurant. French and north European fare from Shannon and Chef Josiah McGaughey.
Wedge Brewing / Wedge at Foundation– Brewery with two locations in the RAD, one Roberts Street, the other in Foundy. Were there be breweries, there be food trucks.
Yuzu Patisery – Wonderful little Japanese cafe located inside of the Akira Sataki ceramics studio in the Foundy section of the RAD.
III: WEST ASHEVILLE
Links and descriptions coming soon!
Asheville Food Park
Asheville Sandwich Company
A Taste of El Salvador
The Desoto Lounge
Edna’s By The River
El Paraiso Mexican Grill
El Que Pasa
The Farmacy Juice Bar
Flora / Forage
Green Tea Sushi & Japanese Restaurant
Gypsy Queen Cuisine
The Hop Creamery
The Hop West
Isis Music Hall
Izzy’s Coffee House
Just 1 More
King daddy’s Chicken
New 1 China
New Belgium Beer
Old World Levain (OWL) Bakery
Oyster House Brewing Co.
Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack
Short Street Cakes
Sunny Point Cafe
The Tastee Diner
The Universal Joint
West Asheville Lounge and Kitchen (WALK)
West End Bakery
West Village Market
Yama Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi
IV: NORTH ASHEVILLE
Links and descriptions coming soon!
Bone and Broth
Charlotte Street Pub
Ghan Shan Station
High Five Coffee
Liberty Street Coffee
Ultimate Ice Cream
V: EAST & SOUTH ASHEVILLE
VI: FOOD TRUCKS
Amazing Pizza Co.
Appalachian Chic Food Truck
Avery’s Hot Dogs
Belly Up Truck
Chef Daddy’s Food Truck
The Coffee Pedlar
Deli Llammma Food Truck
Grateful Roots Food Truck
Motorcycle Coffee Club –
Out of the Blue Peruvian Fusion Cuisine
Ron’s Taco Shop
Sugar & Snow Gelato
Salt & Smoke
If you have questions for me, about where to eat, or what to eat, just PM me through my FaceBook page!
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Stu Helm is an artist, writer, and podcaster living in Asheville, NC, and a frequent diner at local restaurants, cafes, food trucks, and the like. His tastes run from hot dogs and mac ‘n’ cheese, to haute cuisine, and his opinions are based on a lifetime of eating out. He began writing about food strictly to amuse his friends on Facebook.