Asheville restaurants are known for their exceptional flavor and diversity. Some of our favorite bites in the state can be found here!
We absolutely love Asheville for its close proximity to amazing hiking, its unique culture and history, but most of all for its food scene.
While our list of restaurants we still need to try is ever-growing, we are excited to share our current favorites with you. From the bustling downtown to the artsy River Arts District, and everywhere in between, you’ll find endless options to indulge in.
The S&W Market: Delicious Eats in a Historical Setting
Food halls are growing in popularity across North Carolina and we aren’t upset about it. Perhaps the coolest one we’ve been to has been the S&W Market in Downtown Asheville.
The S&W Building dates back to the 1920’s and is still catching eyes with its stunning art-deco architecture. Whether you’re admiring the extravagant design or admiring the view from the second-story windows, you will have a memorable visit coupled with tasty food. What more could you want?
Here’s a glimpse at a few of our favorite food vendors.
Starting off with my favorite bite in the food hall, Bun Intended blew me away and I still find myself daydreaming about driving 4 hours to Asheville just to eat it again. Thai-inspired street food including steamed buns, fried rice, and curry bowls. I loved everything about this one!
Buxton Chicken Palace
It’s like your favorite chicken fast food joint, except they’re open on Sundays. Cheers to that! Buxton Chicken Palace specializes in crispy fried chicken sandwiches and seasoned waffle fries. Don’t forget the pimento cheese on your sandwich!
Farm Dogs is changing the hot dog game with their unique creations and ingredients that are sourced from the best local butchers, farms, and bakeries. Start with a dog or a brat and build a dreamy hot dog.
The Hop Ice Cream
The Hop Ice Cream has multiple locations in addition to the S&W Market one, and you need to visit one of them. This handcrafted ice cream is one of my favorites in the state because of its creamy texture and unforgettable flavors!
Looking for something comforting?
Fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, biscuits, and potatoes. These are the spots I’d recommend when you want to be wrapped in a warm, carb-loaded hug.
Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack
Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack is absolutely delicious, even for guests who typically shy away from the word “hot.” Their fresh fried chicken ranges anywhere from plain (no heat) to mild (heavy on the sticky honey) and finally to extra hot (I’ll pray for you).
Don’t miss their other sides like the incredible macaroni and cheese, and finish with a slice of their famous Coca Cola cake.
Early Girl Eatery
We had brunch at Early Girl Eatery and it satisfied every late-morning carb cravings we had. They source local, quality ingredients and make all of the food in house, including sauces.
Have you ever tried french toast made from cinnamon-battered from-scratch biscuits and topped with fried chicken? Well, now is your chance and I suggest you take it!
I love a good biscuit. It’s in my blood and has been passed down through 13 generations of North Carolinians. Biscuit Head is an obvious choice for me when visiting Asheville.
They have mimosa fried chicken, sweet potato butter, sriracha slaw, and a poached egg on top of a biscuit the size of your….you guessed it: head. If that doesn’t make you drool, I’m afraid you cannot be helped.
Other Asheville restaurants you need to try
If there’s one restaurant on this list I want you to remember, it’s Nine Mile. It wasn’t on any of the major blogs and lists I read to prepare for our trip, but a few followers recommended it and I went for it. It ended up being my favorite meal of the trip and remains one of my favorite restaurants in the state.
The Caribbean-inspired menu is full of surprising and outstanding creations, many of which can easily accommodate vegetarians and vegans.
I highly recommend the two dishes I scarfed down. Cool Runnings comes with cajun chicken, smoked gouda chipotle queso, rice, beans, and jalapeno pineapple salsa. The Nolan comes with coconut sriracha sauce with linguine, scallops, and mango jicama salsa. Both incredibly unique and unbelievably delicious.
Coming in hot with another one of my all-time favorite Asheville restaurants. RosaBees serves a Hawaiian-inspired menu in a whimsical island atmosphere.
We opted for carry-out and it traveled well and still absolutely blew me away. The crispy pork belly bowl are what dreams are made of and I never want to wake up.
Don’t miss their desserts either! One of the owners is an accomplished pastry chef.
White Duck Taco Shop
White Duck Taco Shop is just plain cool and the food is fantastic. There are a few locations, but the one in the River Arts District is in a really neat space with a great riverfront patio.
The menu changes, but you’ll always find unique tacos with some great vegetarian options.
PIE.ZAA is serving up ridiculously large slices of NY-style pizza that impress in taste as well as size. You can order a massive 28 inch pizza or stop by to indulge by the slice.
It’s a great late-night option as its open until midnight on weekdays and 1am on weekends.
Can’t forget the donuts!
Asheville has a couple famous donut joints that differ greatly in texture and flavor, but share superb quality.
Hole Doughnuts is one of the most famous donut joints in North Carolina. Its reputation comes from its simple, but beautifully executed menu of hand-crafted yeast doughnuts. These are served fresh, hot, and deserve to be eaten right away so you can fully embrace the crispy outside and fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth inside.
Vortex Doughnuts are fluffy, soft, and range in diverse, rotating flavors. Most of the menu is vegan even though you’d never know it and there are gluten-free options as well. You’ll find flavors that range from traditional like vanilla, to unconventional like sweet potato curry or mango pistachio!
Tell me your favorites!
I know I’ve just scratched the surface in Asheville. It’s overwhelming (in a GREAT way) how much food there is to explore in the city. Here are a few more I’ve got my eye on for my next trip:
Chai Pani serves Indian street food that I hear is absolutely incredible. We couldn’t make it there on our last two trips but I refuse to miss it on the next one!
Curate is a lovely modern eatery that serves elevated Spanish small plates. It’s not the kind of place I want to bring my kids to, so I’ve been waiting for a couple’s trip with my husband. Curate will be the first reservation I make!
Let me know your favorite so I can add them to my next itinerary! This work never ends (luckily for me) and I have a lot of great food in my future.