Coined as the ‘San Francisco of the east,’ Asheville, NC is a city that has it all. From its gorgeous mountain landscapes, vibrant arts and culture, to America’s largest home – The Biltmore Estate – you could spend weeks exploring this southern hot spot.
And let’s not forget about its nationally-acclaimed food scene. Asheville is a melting pot of culinary creativity and fresh experiences where chefs work directly with local farmers, dairies, and cheese makers. And with award-winning chefs like Katie Button, a chocolate factory set in the mountains, and a plethora of farm-to-table dining options, there’s something to satisfy every foodie’s taste.
Ready to taste Asheville’s food scene, but don’t know where to start?
Below I’ve outlined the best of the best places to eat and drink in Asheville, NC.
Where To Eat In Asheville
Best Breakfast in Asheville:
Sunny Point Cafe
Vibrant decor, exceptional service, and of course, the mouth-watering food, Sunny Point Cafe delivers on all levels. This family-owned, award-winning restaurant has been serving upscale comfort food since 2003. Morning, noon, or night, Sunny Point takes pride in its ‘made from scratch and farm-to-table’ approach.
Should you visit during their busiest times, enjoy unlimited coffee in the shaded outdoor waiting area. You can also take a stroll through the garden, located adjacent to the restaurant, before or after your meal to get an up-close look at the ingredients harvested for their specials. As for the menu, you really can’t go wrong with any of the selections. We indulged in the Philly Cheese-steak Hash and the mushroom and gruyere omelet, both of which were heavenly!
** Pro-tip: Arrive early! We waited WELL over an hour for a table. (I would have waited longer.)
Best Brunch Buffet in Asheville:
It’s worth noting that I’m not really a brunch gal, or a buffet gal. But the Sunday Champagne Brunch Buffet at Blue Ridge? It’s one of those rare extraordinary culinary experiences.
A glass of complimentary champagne is offered upon entering and as you’re escorted to your table, you’ll pass through three spacious rooms that literally offer EVERYTHING. You’ll enjoy incredible options ranging from a doughnut bar, fresh salads, cheeses, to pancakes, omelets, prime rib stations, and so much more! And be sure to save room for dessert; dozens of decadent indulgences await.
** Pro-tip: Make reservations well in advance as this is a popular dining event. Children 5 and under eat free with an adult, too!
290 Macon Ave | inside the Omni Hotel
Best Lunch in Asheville:
Laughing Seed Cafe
For over 20-years, ‘Asheville’s original vegetarian restaurant,’ The Laughing Seed has been serving the highest quality, organic, local farm-to-table cuisine. And with a menu full of fresh, hearty salads, grain bowls, and kombucha on tap, Laughing Seed will definitely hit the spot.
My personal favorite dish: The Lotus Bowl.
Best Vegan Restaurant in Asheville:
Ranked as ‘one of the best vegan restaurants in the country,’ Plant prides itself on creating ‘scratch-made food using thoughtfully chosen ingredients from Earth.’ And whether you’re a plant-lover or of the meat-eating kind, at Plant, they promise that you’ll enjoy your experience whether you’re vegan or not.
It is a small, intimate space with only 13 tables so be sure to confirm reservations well in advance.
Our favorites? The Plant Cheese and Actually Crispy Potatoes.
Best Couples Date Night Spot in Asheville:
In Spanish, Curate means ‘to cure yourself.’ And through their traditional menu, unrivalled service, and energetic atmosphere, you’ll do just that. Home to local chef, Katie Button, this lively tapas bar brings the sensual flavors of Spain to downtown Asheville.
The small plates menu celebrates community and sharing good food with family and friends. In fact, neighboring guests are often seen chatting and offering insight to the menu or suggestions from the Spanish-only wine list.
Best Family Diner in Asheville:
Early Girl Eatery
Many ‘family-friendly’ restaurants offer activities and menus for kids, but when’s the last time family friendly and good food went hand-in-hand? Enter Early Girl Eatery.
Early Girls’ homemade foods capture the local flavor of the western North Carolinian mountains like none other. From biscuit french toast to Southern Fried Chicken and Grit Cake Stakes, their menu reflects the true diversity of Southern comfort food.
And for the kids? Early Girl serves breakfast all day. (Who doesn’t want to eat chocolate chip pancakes for dinner?!) They also offer crayons and coloring paper, as well as a whole box of cars, trucks, blocks, and other small toys to keep them well-entertained as they wait for their meals.
Best Dessert in Asheville:
French Broad Chocolates
Since 2008, French Broad has been crafting ‘pure, beautiful, and delicious’ chocolates in their small factory in the mountains. They stand behind their strong values focused on sustainability and connecting its consumers to its source. And it shows.
From ice cream and cookies, to cakes, brownies and artisan truffles, there’s something for everyone at French Broad. They also offer a wide array of vegan and gluten-free options, as well as an entire menu of sipping chocolates! Definitely save room for dessert and make a visit to French Broad Chocolates a priority, it’s truly a sensory experience like none other.
Best Cafe in Asheville:
Double D’s Coffee and Desserts
‘We’re not just a pretty bus. We serve fancy drinks and delicious desserts.’
Located in the heart of downtown Asheville, kids and adults alike will enjoy hopping aboard Double D’s. This vintage, double decker bus turned coffee shop serves organic, locally roasted coffees, specialty espressos, and a wide array of baked goods and desserts. Enjoy your coffee on-the-go, or head upstairs to grab a seat and enjoy your treats in this unique red vessel.
**Pro-tip: Bring cash as they do not accept any other forms of payment.
Restaurant with the Best Views in Asheville:
Nestled atop Sunset Mountain, the Omni Grove Park Inn boasts some of Asheville’s best views. Sunset Terrace, located off the main lobby of the Grove Park Inn, is an outdoor, fine-dining venue with views that will not disappoint. And if you’re seeking hand-cut steaks, chops, or fresh seafood, Sunset Terrace is definitely for you.
Our favorites: The roasted brussel sprouts.
290 Macon Ave
So there you have it. Where to eat in Asheville, NC!
Whatever it is that you’re looking for, whether that be fine dining with an award-winning chef or savoring locally-sourced chocolates, there’s something to please all palates in Asheville.
Have you visited Asheville? If so, what was your favorite restaurant?
Stephanie is the blogger, social media creator, e-course instructor, photographer behind Destination Graves – a family travel blog that introduces families to world-class destinations. Alongside her husband and three kiddos: Aviana (5), Adalyn (5), and Rory (23-months) she aims to show families that luxurious accommodations and exceptional service does not have to be compromised simply because you have young children. Based in Raleigh, NC they seek out the best of the best resorts, restaurants, and activities the southeastern US has to offer.