Asheville, North Carolina may be nestled high in the Blue Ridge mountains, but this fast-growing city has no shortage of amazing places to eat. Asheville has everything from fine dining, food trucks, and laid-back diners serving up Southern classics.
If you’re planning a weekend trip to Asheville, this blog post will share some of the best restaurants in the city. So grab your travel planner and get ready to add these top places to eat in Asheville to your list.
Best breakfast in Asheville, NC
Asheville prides itself on being a southern city at its roots. That means visitors can expect a delicious lineup of Southern classics. And nowhere is that more evident than in breakfast. Asheville has some amazingly delicious breakfast spots to fill up your belly before your big day of exploring starts.
Below are a few of the best breakfast restaurants in Asheville.
Sunny Point Cafe
Sunny Point Cafe (West Asheville) offers traditional breakfast options with a southern twist. Think sausage and gravy, shrimp and grits, and sausage and cheese-stuffed French toast. You can sit on their outdoor patio or in their super charming indoor seating.
Just be prepared for a wait. I’ve gone two separate times (both super early) and there was always a 20 – 40 minute wait to get seated. They also serve lunch and dinner, although their breakfast is what they’re known for.
Biscuit Head is an institution in Asheville, NC. This spot is known for its lineup of southern biscuits and gravy with the most enormous biscuits you’ve ever seen. While it is delicious, it’s become rather touristy and very busy. To avoid the crowd, go to the West Asheville location.
Hole Doughnuts (West Asheville). Hole Doughnuts isn’t your traditional doughnut shop. Every doughnut is made to order, hand formed from their yeasted dough recipe, fried to perfection in rice oil, and then hand glazed and dressed right in front of you.
There are only four doughnut flavors to choose from:
- Vanilla glazed
- Toasted almond sesame cinnamon
- Cinnamon sugar
- The seasonal flavor that changes weekly
All of them are delicious but the toasted almond sesame with cinnamon is our favorite. Hole Doughnuts gets busy, so don’t be surprised if you have to wait in line — it’s worth it though. If Hole Doughnuts doesn’t seem like your style, you can get more traditional doughnuts from Vortex which also uses great quality ingredients, made in-house daily with no trans-fat oils.
Best lunch in Asheville, NC
If we’re being honest, lunch is our least favorite meal of the day. We love a hearty breakfast and rarely find ourselves in need of a mid-day meal before dinner. However, if you’re on the hunt for delicious lunch spots in Asheville we’ve got you covered. Most of these places also serve dinner if you’d like to give it a try later in the evening.
Chai Pani is arguably Asheville’s most famous restaurant. Now with several locations throughout the southeast (including Ponce City Market in Atlanta), Chai Pani serves creative Indian-style street food. Chef Meherwan Irani was given the James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant in 2022.
Specializing in Indian street food (chat), its dishes are a perfect balance of flavors and textures. We’ve been twice now, and both times have been amazing. There are no reservations, so if coming on a weekend, make sure you get there early to get a spot in line. Suggested items to order are the okra fries, bhel puri, vada pav, and saag paneer.
Buxton Hall BBQ
Buxton Hall BBQ is one of the few restaurants on this list we haven’t personally eaten at. But it has been recommended to us time and time again. If you like BBQ, we’ve been told this is one of the best BBQ spots in all of Asheville. Their somewhat rival, 12 Bones Smokehouse is another fantastic option, too. 12 Bones was one of The Obama’s favorite spots during their trip to Asheville.
White Duck Taco
White Duck Taco is a no-frills taco shop with a ton of unique taco fillings. White Duck Taco has several locations throughout Asheville to grab some food from. However, we love the downtown location. It’s casual, fast, cheap, and delicious. As an added bonus it has vegetarian and vegan options to choose from. If you’re looking for more traditional Mexican tacos give Taqueria Muñoz a try.
Burial Beer Co.
Burial Beer Co doesn’t just have amazing beers but it also has incredible food. The chef and Kitchen Manager Chris Miller uses fresh and seasonal ingredients from local farms to make simple but delicious meals. It’s also worth noting he’s a James Beard nominated chef for Asheville’s Cucina 24 (a great dinner spot). We came for the beer but stayed longer for the food. We got the mezza platter and highly recommend it for a mid-day snack.
White Labs is a brewery and restaurant melding the art of experimental fermentation. They use experimental yeast in their doughs and beers which creates a very unique and delicious menu for both food and drinks. We ordered the kimchi fries and a pizza and loved both. Although the kimchi fries stole the show. Seriously, we will forever dream of these kimchi fries.
Sierra Nevada Brewery
Sierra Nevada Brewery is one of the largest breweries in Asheville, NC. It’s also a great lunch spot. They offer brewery tours with a tasting room and a full restaurant. Their food was super tasty and they have nice grounds for enjoying a warm day in Asheville.
Best Asheville restaurants for dinner
Asheville shines at night. I personally believe some of Asheville’s best restaurants are open for dinner service. Most focus on creative menus that feature local and fresh ingredients. The Appalachian mountains are a great climate for growing fruits, vegetables, and livestock giving restaurants access to incredible ingredients.
Below are a few of the top places to eat dinner in the city.
Rhubarb is seasonal, local, and so creative. The brainchild of five-times James Beard Award finalist John Fleer, you’ll be blown away by their ever-changing menu. Their portions are smaller, more like a tapa-size plate than an entree, but we loved everything we ordered. Their cocktails were also very creative and delightful.
Limones is one of the older restaurants in the city. Its nearly 20+ years in operation is a testament to the quality of its food and the wonderful dining experience you’ll have here. Limones serves Mexican and Central American-inspired foods that will leave your taste buds buzzing. Reservations are highly recommended although you always have the chance of grabbing a spot at the bar.
Curate is known as Asheville’s best restaurant from James Beard award-winning chef Katie Button. Serving authentic Spanish tapas and dishes. This restaurant is extremely tough to get a reservation at. We ended up snagging a canceled reservation (sign up for that here) and finally got to see what this restaurant was made of.
The food was good, it wasn’t the best we’ve ever had. It’s definitely worth a visit, and if you haven’t been to Spain, Curate’s tapas are authentic. But we feel Asheville has other incredible restaurants to try if you are short on time.
Plant is an upscale, vegan, plant-based restaurant that is getting a ton of recognition for its innovative menu. We finally got a table here during our last stay and it did not disappoint. Even if you’re not vegetarian or vegan (we aren’t), their food is super creative and delicious. This will be a restaurant we return to every time we come back to Asheville, no matter what.
Nine Mile has also come highly recommended to us. But we haven’t personally been to this upscale Caribbean restaurant. Several friends have and they had only great things to say. Almost anything on the menu can be made vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free. It’s a great choice if you want a healthier yet still flavorful option for a nice meal out.
We went to Jargon during our last trip to Asheville and it’s quickly become one of our favorite restaurants in the city. Located in West Asheville, Jargon offers both creative cocktails and a seasonally changing menu.
We loved everything we got on the menu and highly recommend it if you’re looking for a nice meal. Once again, reservations are highly recommended if you want a table. But we sat a the bar and enjoyed getting to watch them make the wild cocktails.
Asheville, NC is one of the cities we could return to over and over again and continue to find new amazing places to eat. It is growing quickly and loads of new chefs are opening up restaurants there, meaning you can come back in the future and still have more delicious restaurants to try.