In case you haven’t been following the Facebook or Instagram adventures, we spent this past weekend in Asheville, North Carolina. We had 48 hours to eat our way through the entire city. After extensive research, hours of Yelp-ing, and reviewing menu items over and over and over again, we narrowed our list down and were not disappointed with the results. Every sip, every bite, every crunch we took was worth the 10 pounds I put on.
Here are the top-rated (and personally-confirmed!) places to eat in Asheville.
Best Places to Eat in Asheville:
1) Chai Pani
Home of the Bombay Chili Cheese Fries. This Indian “street food” restaurant itself is so colorful and inviting. They have Bollywood music playing, Indian paintings on the wall, and other Indian trinkets and decorations around the place. Ankur ordered a Butter Chicken Thali which consisted of basmati rice, daal, raita, and roti – all served on a metal, round plate. And I ordered the Kathi Kabab Roll – a roti stuffed with chicken and lentils. They also have authentic Indian drinks like Mango Lassi and Nimbu Pani (!). I loved everything about this place. Pro-tip: order the Bombay Chili Cheese Fries or the Okra Fries!
Let me start off by saying that I am – in no way, shape, or form – a vegan. I love my chicken and would never give up dairy. This place makes me forget about the existence of those things. I ordered the Tofu Bibimbap and Ankur ordered the “Cheese” plate. We polished off our plates. The food is great and the atmosphere is upscale, but not too pretentious. (e.g. one man came to dinner in his business attire and another man came in his baseball cap and short-alls). Pro-tip: make a reservation! (Unless, you’re like us and eat dinner at 5:30PM!)
I know it seems ridiculous to pay $11 for avocado toast. But you gotta pay $11 for avocado toast. If you’re going to eat anything, that’s the thing to eat. The French toast was OK – nothing fantastic. But the avo-toast and the coffee drinks were delicious! Ankur ordered a chai and I ordered a soy mocha. Both were fabulous. Pro-tip: pay the extra $1 to get an egg on your toast!
I’m a self-proclaimed chip connoisseur. I will analyze the taste, the crunch, the ease at which you can scoop them up and stuff them in your mouth. To sum it up, I love chips. So when we found a place that specializes in homemade gourmet chips, I was sold. Lucky for us, the paninis on the side were also pretty phenomenal. The chips can come “dry” with only the seasonings or “wet” with fresh toppings like garlic, bacon, or cheese. And if you’re not a potato fan they also make chips from taro, plantains and sweet potato! Pro-tip: Pick up a few $6 bags of chips on your way out. The shelf life of chips is 6 months so they will bring happiness to your life for HALF A YEAR!
An Asian fusion restaurant. There is a no-tipping policy. They are “living wage certified.” The menu items are slightly pricier as a result, but it’s pretty comforting to know that the people that are serving your food are happy employees and enjoy being there! Ankur ordered the Korma Curry with Chicken and Paneer (served raw, crumbled up on top! Interesting!). I ordered the Panang Curry (pictured above) and was pleasantly surprised at how tasty everything was (without being oily or buttery like some curries can be!). Pro-tip: You MUST order the Naan Taco to start off with. Must, must, must.
6) Biscuit Head
I’m still drooling over this place. I am not usually a fan of biscuits. Sure, I’ll eat ’em. Because carbs. But, I wouldn’t choose biscuits. This place makes me want to choose biscuits. I ordered a breakfast plate – which comes with two eggs, two sides, and a biscuit. The moon fries were good, but I would probably choose something more unique next time. They have a “jam bar” that consists of different jams and butters and honeys to put on your biscuit. My absolute favorite was the cinnamon sugar butter and the strawberry jam. Pro-tip: Fried green tomatoes and fried chicken were both phenomenal. (Both are available as sides!) And you can pay a teeny bit extra for a side of the “daily gravy” on the side. Do it.
Best Places to Drink in Asheville:
A two-story used bookstore that looks very European. You can order a glass of champagne or wine (or coffee) and walk around the maze of books. They have any type of book genre you can possibly think of (including: huntin’ and fishin’). What’s even better is that they have all sorts of nooks and crannies with comfortable seating so you can truly enjoy your drink, your book, and your company! Pro-tip: you can call ahead to reserve a table or seating nook!
This rooftop bar is a great place to watch the sunset. Get there 45 minutes before the sun sets to make sure it’s not too crowded! You get to ride an old-timey elevator operated by a person on the way up. (Tip him/her a couple dollars!) Once up there, there isn’t an actual bar to order at; the bartenders walk around and take your order and bring back your drink. Not the most efficient way to serve people. However, it’s worth the experience. There is live music, beautiful scenery, and a fun atmosphere. Pro-tip: Bring a jacket or extra layers. It gets windy.
3) 5 Walnut
It’s a small place, but it’s so vibrant and lively. The wine isn’t ridiculously priced (even though it very well could be!). They have live music and the whole place floods with people. Seriously. People spilling out onto the stairs, watching the band through the windows. People walking up and down the street will stop to hear the music. It’s that good. They have live music every night and you can check out their entertainment schedule online. Pro-tip: Get there early if you plan on staying for the music!
Question of the Day:
- What would you add to this list?