If you are a true foodie living in Charlotte, then boy do we have the day trip for you! Asheville, North Carolina is less than a two hour drive from the QC, and this mountain town is ranked one of the best in the nation when it comes to food. Taking 7th Place on Zagat’s 2016 list of the country’s hottest food spots, the drive is definitely worth it.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
Cúrate is a hip little restaurant in downtown Asheville that has made headlines for its gourmet tapas and small plates. The restaurant is in a building that was once a historic bus depot in the 1920s and the atmosphere is to die for - just like the food!
Specializing in Spanish tapas, some popular menu items include lamb skewers marinated in Spanish spices, peppers stuffed with goat cheese, and fried eggplant drizzled with honey and rosemary. Head Chef Katie Button has studied all over the United States and Europe and is a master at bringing traditional flavors together with unique ingredients to create a culinary masterpiece you won't want to miss.
Address: 13 Biltmore Ave., Asheville, NC 28801
2. Corner Kitchen
Corner Kitchen is a popular Southern restaurant located in Biltmore Village near the famous Biltmore Estate. In fact, this restaurant is so good that in 2010, President Obama made a stop here with the First Lady while visiting Asheville with guests. The restaurant even has a plaque engraved on the table where the Commander in Chief sat.
The Corner Kitchen is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but no matter which meal you choose to have here, we're sure you'll be pleased. The Corn & Crab Chowder is famous (and is one thing President Obama tried) and the Fried Oyster Salad is amazing. Dinner entrees feature everything from a BBQ Glazed Pork Chop to a Pecan Crusted Mountain Trout. We promise you'll love this quaint little Asheville favorite.
Address: 3 Boston Way, Asheville, NC 28803
Bouchon is a fantastic French restaurant located on the popular Lexington Ave. in the heart of downtown. Head Chef Michel Baudouin was raised in a small farming community outside of Lyon, France and his food reflects the freshness of the farm paired with North Carolina tradition.
If you like French food, this is the place to try when you visit Asheville. Entrees include Duck with a Sweet & Sour Orange Glaze, Steak au Poivre, and Poulet Cordon Bleu Bouchon. Amazing wines compliment each dish, and a dessert like Mousse au Chocolat or Crème Brulée is the perfect ending to a spectacular meal.
Address: 62 N Lexington Ave., Asheville, NC 28801
4. White Duck Taco Shop
White Duck Taco Shop is the perfect casual taco joint with the best fresh tacos you will ever taste. With the menu written in colorful chalk on signs hanging behind the counter. With colorful decor that includes turquoise picnic tables, this place is the perfect spot to gather with family and friends for an amazing Mexican meal.
White Duck Taco Shop offers any kind of taco you can dream of, from Banh Mi Tofu to Jerk Chicken to Bangkok Shrimp. Sides include Fresh Cut Watermelon with Basil, Kimchi and Green Chile Black Beans. Stop here for lunch in between sightseeing and let us know which was your favorite taco!
White Duck Taco Shop has two locations: 1 Roberts Street, Asheville, NC 28801 & 12 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801
5. Sovereign Remedies
Sovereign Remedies is a classic sidewalk cafe that offers amazing craft cocktails and farm-to-table brunch, dinner, and late night eats every day of the year.
Our favorite brunch specialties include Carnitas Fries (slow roasted pork shoulder with avocado creme fraiche, cilantro, cojita cheese and a sunny side up egg on top) or the Heirloom Tomato BLT (house cured bacon, lettuce, heirloom tomatoes and basil aioli served on a homemade foccacia bread). At dinner, try the House Tagliatelle with smoked eggplant and arugula or the Beef Tartare with watermelon radishes.
Address: 29 N Market St. #105, Asheville, NC 28801
6. Buxton Hall Barbeque
Buxton Hall Barbeque specializes in whole hog Eastern North Carolina barbeque paired with Southern sides and cold craft beers. A cool and open industrial space, Buxton Hall Barbeque has a great atmosphere and a fun vibe.
Featuring all locally sourced ingredients, the menu actually tells you which North Carolina farms your food comes from based on its category. Unique menu items include Mussels Cooked Under the Pig, which is mussels smoked in beer, San Marzanos, jowl bacon, and burnt lemon served with sourdough toast. The Buxton Barbeque Hash Plate with a BBQ meat, gravy, rice, slaw and cornbread. There's tons of good barbecue in North Carolina, but this is a top place to try when traveling the state for smoked meats.
Address: 32 Banks Ave., Asheville, NC 28801
7. Gàn Shān Station
Gàn Shān Station is a trendy Asian fusion restaurant that features dishes from Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, China, Japan, Singapore, and more.
Whether you are looking for ramen or curry, fried rice or stir fry, you'll find it here and it will make your mouth water. The Korean Beef Short Ribs are a great starter, followed by the Drunken Noodles entree. Finish the meal with an Asian coconut popsicle and you'll be set at this Asheville favorite.
Address: 143 Charlotte St., Asheville, NC 28801
8. Cucina 24
Cucina 24 is a traditional Italian restaurant that offers a modern, contemporary atmosphere. They have been in business since 2008 and have become a local fixture and favorite place for high end Italian fare.
Dinner is served family-style and the menu rotates seasonally. Pasta is made in-house and entrees like quail, steak, and seafood are all prepared with a beautiful Italian flare. Pizzas are done in a wood-fired oven and desserts include panna cotta and sorbet. Dining here is like dining around an Italian grandmother's family table. The food and atmosphere is enlightening and the conversation is always captivating.
Address: 24 Wall St., Asheville, NC 28801
9. Local Provisions
Local Provisions is a neighborhood hot spot located on Biltmore Ave. Serving brunch and dinner, this restaurant is a great place to check out in between bar hopping or shopping in downtown Asheville.
The menu features a variety of small plates and larger entrees that are perfect for sharing. The Fall Squash Soup is a popular choice in the winter months, and their braised pork belly will melt in your mouth. Cozy up with a glass of wine and plenty of bites to share at this friendly restaurant. You'll never want to leave.
Address: 77 Biltmore Ave., Asheville, NC 28801
10. Biscuit Head
Biscuit Head is a famous breakfast restaurant in Asheville that will most likely have a line outside the door when you visit. Opened by a husband and wife team, Biscuit Head strives to minimize their carbon footprint while offering guests the best food they will ever taste.
With a menu that centers around biscuits, you'll be in awe at how many different varieties of dishes you will find made with the fluffy, light breakfast delicacies. From savory biscuit sandwiches, like this pulled pork biscuit with bacon and pimento cheese, or sweeter options, like Biscuit Donuts served with sugar and lemon curd, this restaurant has the biscuit for you.
Biscuit Head has two locations: 733 Haywood Ave., Asheville, NC 28806 & 417 Biltmore Ave. 4F, Asheville, NC 28801
11. Chai Pani
Chai Pani is an eclectic restaurant that serves some of the best Indian street food you will ever find. Featured in the
New York Times, GQ Magazine, The Huffington Post, and Fox News, this restaurant has garnered a lot of well-deserved attention for their authentic dishes and flavorful meals.
A favorite menu item is Chai Pani's famous Bombay Fries, which takes a typical cheese fries appetizer and adds an Indian twist. Other favorite dishes include Butter Chicken, Lamb Burgers and Saag Paneer.
Address: 22 Battery Park Ave., Asheville, NC 28801
12. Wicked Weed
Wicked Weed is an awesome craft brewery and tasting room that has become insanely popular. Not only is this a fun place to drink and take a brewery tour, it also has amazing food.
The burgers and fries make an awesome compliment to those craft beers and a fried chicken sandwich with blue cheese coleslaw always hits the spot. Wicked Weed is a great place to spend the day, as it also has a bottle shop, souvenir store, and offers live entertainment on a weekly basis.
Address: 91 Biltmore Ave., Asheville, NC 28801
13. Red Ginger Dimsum & Tapas
Red Ginger Dimsum & Tapas is the only Dimsum restaurant you will find in Asheville. An open kitchen is visible from the dining room and guests can watch chefs prepare their food from their table.
A menu of traditional steamed buns, dumplings, and spring rolls makes it hard to choose just one item. Meats and seafoods like Pork Short Ribs, Szechuan Wontons, and Curry Soft Shell Crabs make a perfect second course, and you'll just want to keep on going down the menu at this restaurant. Enjoy a great sake with your meal and take it all in as you figure out what your next dish will be.
Address: 82 Patton Ave., Asheville, NC 28801