Best Asheville Restaurants of 2021
For such a small mountain town, Asheville has long been known and nationally recognized for having a robust restaurant scene. Asheville restaurants often grace top lists for reasons to visit the town. From high-end fine dining to brunch and bbq, Asheville restaurants have any and everything one could ask for!
Starting in the early 2000s, Asheville restaurants were some of the first in the nation to adopt a sustainable and local food model. One Asheville restaurant that has led the charge for locally sourced food is Homegrown. They emphasize a menu chock full of local meats and produce and have a 100-mile rule for where they will get their goods. Homegrown is one of the few Asheville restaurants that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, featuring what is considered the best-fried chicken in town. It’s located not far from downtown. Not only is the food locally sourced but it’s also a favorite Asheville restaurant of Asheville natives.
- HomeGrown, 371 Merrimon Ave, Asheville, NC 28801, (828) 232-4340
Most Asheville restaurants have a robust selection of locally sourced food and have been doing so for longer than most other cities and have long been one of the major draws for Asheville restaurants!
Edgy Fine Dining
Any local will tell you that the fancier the decor inside an Asheville restaurant, the sooner they will go out of business. Locals in the city have a high standard for their food. They are more concerned with the culinary quality than the crown moldings. And because there are so many high-quality Asheville restaurants, the ones that don’t invest enough in food and service don’t last long at all.
A dingy, small building in West Asheville that looks more like a locals-only bar is the toughest Asheville restaurant to get reservations. Seating about 60, The Admiral has been one of Asheville’s best restaurants since 2008. Starting out as a hipster PBR bar, The Admiral soon transitioned into a cutting-edge culinary experience. Tourists and locals alike agree that The Admiral remains the best Asheville Restaurant. But, be sure to make a reservation a few weeks out!
Other more traditional fine dining joints include The Marketplace downtown next to Cucina 24. You can’t go wrong with either place. Rezas in Biltmore Village is also top-notch food and service.
- The Admiral, 400 Haywood Rd, West Asheville, North Carolina 28806, (828) 252-2541
- The Market Place Restaurant, 20 Wall St, Asheville, North Carolina 28801, (828) 252-4162
- Cucina 24, 24 Wall St, Asheville, North Carolina 28801, (828) 254-6170
- Rezas – Pan Mediterranean Cuisine, 28 Hendersonville Rd, Asheville, North Carolina 28803, (828) 277-1510
Top BBQ Joints
A southern town isn’t complete without a strong BBQ scene. Fortunately, Asheville boasts some of the best! From the boutique blueberry ribs at 12 Bones Smokehouse to the Red Hot Mama smoked wings at Luella’s BBQ or the fall off the bone ribs at Buxton Hall, Asheville restaurants thrive off of the business of the bbq scene. There’s something for every bbq aficionado in Asheville, and it’s tough to pick one restaurant over another. So, see it for yourself!
- 12 Bones South, 2350 Hendersonville Road, Arden, North Carolina 28704, (828) 687-1395
- Luella’s Bar-B-Que North Asheville, 501 Merrimon Ave, Asheville, North Carolina 28804, (828) 505-7427
Best Breakfast and Brunch
No one has time to cook the most important meal of the day when you’re traveling. Breakfast and Brunch take on higher importance. Asheville is high on brunch and breakfast as well. Whether you’re staying downtown, west side, or up north, brunch isn’t too tough to find.
Perhaps the most frequented and famous brunch spot is Sunny Point. Long the brunch and breakfast standard-bearer for Asheville restaurants, this joint is always packed. But, the wait is worth it. The biscuits and gravy or the stuffed French toast are to die for. Also, like Homegrown, their fare is locally sourced and they even have a garden onsite where they grow a lot of their produce. Locals only trick: An hour wait will kick in every weekend. Call and order take out. It tastes just as good from the comfort of your hotel room or rental.
Other notable joints include Biscuit Head which has a west side location and a South slope spot. The biscuits here are enormous and the portions are as well. It also may have the only jelly bar in all of the Asheville restaurant scene.
Some options downtown include Over Easy, Early Girl Café, and Rhubarb. Homegrown is on the north side, as has been previously mentioned. And never forget Waffle House. The Asheville restaurant scene would not be complete without the WaHo!
- Sunny Point Café, 626 Haywood Rd, Asheville, North Carolina 28806, (828) 252-0055
- Biscuit Head, 733 Haywood Rd, Asheville, North Carolina 28806, (828) 333-5145
- Over Easy Cafe, 2 Broadway St, Asheville, North Carolina 28801, (828) 236-3533
- Early Girl Eatery, 8 Wall Street, Asheville, NC 28801(828) 259-9292
- Rhubarb, 7 SW Pack Sq, Asheville, North Carolina 28801, (828) 785-1503
Favorites for Ethnic Cuisine
Long considered one of Asheville restaurant’s weak parts of the scene, the city has stepped up its game in recent years. From sushi to Indian to Thai, you’ll find a lot of what you’re looking for.
Locals particularly flock to Green Tea sushi, just west of downtown. A large comfortable dining room boasts some of the best sushi rolls of all the Asheville restaurants! While Wasabi comes in a close second, their cramped quarters and downtown location make getting in there kinda tough. If you wanna sushi like a local, hit up Green Tea Sushi.
Asheville restaurants boast two particularly good and different Indian joints. Chai Pani, located near the Grove Park arcade is considered more of a lunch spot and features Indian Street food. Mela downtown off of Lexington Avenue is a more traditional dinner spot with wonderfully warm décor. They have a great lunch buffet as well. But, if you wanna eat like a local, head out to Tunnel Road and order take out from India Garden. It’s in a strip mall so it’s not the best ambiance for Asheville restaurants. But, the food is amazing.
Keeping with the theme of light on décor and heavy on culinary quality, Little Bee Thai is hands down the best Thai in town.
- Green Tea Japanese Restaurant, 2 Regent Park Blvd, Asheville, North Carolina 28806, (828) 252-8300
- Wasabi Japanese Restaurant And Sushi Bar, 19 Broadway St, Asheville, North Carolina 28801, (828) 225-2551
- Chai Pani, 22 Battery Park Ave, Asheville, North Carolina 28801, (828) 254-4003
- Mela Indian Restaurant, 70 N Lexington Ave, Asheville, North Carolina 28801, (828) 225-8880
- Little Bee Thai, 45 S French Broad Avenue #190, Asheville, North Carolina 28801, (828) 239-8808
Asheville restaurants have a little something for everybody. You’re gonna read about Curate (tapas place) or the Grove Park Inn in the more mainstream foodie spots. This list will help you enjoy the scene like a local and avoid hang-ups of waits, parking issues, and such as by providing more than one option for a particular food genre.