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Asheville’s culinary landscape offers a kaleidoscope of flavors that range from the weird and wonderful to the trendy and obscure.  Its choices of places to eat and drink are impressive and most visitors will need to return again and again to discover all that this funky “Foodtopia” has to offer. 

Places to Eat in Asheville

It’s difficult to pick just a few, but here are some that top our list: 

Tastee Diner: This restaurant’s tagline is “Comfort food for the curious and adventurous.” Are your tastebuds ready to get turned inside out? Chef Steve Goff and his crew will get the job done.  

Tastee Diner's Chef Steve Goff

Chef Steve Goff, owner Tastee Diner

Cucina 24: The chef here works diligently to meld the traditional philosophies of Italian cooking with ingredients sourced from the mountains.  Four-course family meals are a fun way to sample a few different things. 

The Bull and Beggar: Sure, you can get a fabulous double patty burger and fries here, but you may want to reserve that order for their sister locale – Baby Bull. The Bull and Beggar serve some top-end steaks, seafood towers and oysters to die for – though we’re pretty sure you’ll want to live to eat some more. 

Vivian: You’ll find the perfect balance of European flavors and Southern heritage when you book a table here. The chef was primarily influenced by his grandmother who threw lavish Julia Child-like dinner parties when he was growing up. 

Vivian Asheville

Crudo! Raw golden tilefish from the coast, butter-poached shrimp, charred onion, and orange juice. Photo: Vivian Facebook

Neng Jr’s: A relative newcomer to Asheville’s food scene, this 17-seat café brings a taste of the Philippines to Asheville. Getting a reservation may be a challenge, but it’s well worth the wait. 

Curate: James Beard award-winning chef, Chef Katie Button, has been welcoming people through her restaurant doors since 2011. Spanish tapas is served in a warm and lively atmosphere. And, her nearby La Bodega is a smaller Spanish-style restaurant, bakery and market. 

Table: This “New American” gem is the brainchild of chef Jacob Sessoms, a two-time James Beard award nominee.  He offers many American classics with a Southern twist. 

Wineries, Cideries, Breweries – oh my!

One thing’s for sure, you’ll never go thirsty when you visit Asheville. 

Beer time: While spots like Wicked Weed and Highland Brewing often top tourists’ lists, there are more than 40 breweries where you can wet your whistle. And speaking of whistles, the Whistle Hop Brewing Company has a train-themed taproom and outdoor playground for all ages. 

Wine not? If beer’s not your bag, Asheville is home to some top wine spots too. Bottle Riot has an extensive wine list, imports beers, spirits and small bites. Pleb is another wine lover’s destination and offers flight experiences in a relaxed environment. You can also visit their winery and learn about their sustainable growing practices or have a tasting at the Aventine –across from the Grove Arcade

Private Wine “Sips with a Somm!” Looking for that extra special experience to top off the vacation? Melissa Ward is our top local wine sommelier offering private wine tastings. With Melissa’s skilled guidance and fabulous personality — you’ll want to pack her up and take her back home with you. Contact Melissa here.

Cocktails anyone? Cultivated Cocktails takes you from the distillation process through the cocktail creation. And, Antidote’s setting is reminiscent of an old apothecary and claims to be “the cure for the common cocktail.” Its gin distillery, Chemist Spirits, is right next door.    

Cider and mead, please. As the first cider producer in Asheville, Noble Cider is a fun place to sample craft cider, wine, hard cider spritzers, and mead. And, the Botanist and Barrel offer up an extensive menu and eclectic flights. 

Take a Farm or Food Tour 

Asheville Food Tours is the original walking food tour of downtown Asheville and they offer a variety of choices. For cheese lovers, the WNC cheese trail is the perfect pick. Visit a few or try them all. Or, maybe you’re more into mushrooms – the edible kind that is. Alan Muskat is the creator of “No Taste Like Home” and has been teaching people how to forage for food, specifically mushrooms, for more than 20 years. 

Have Fun at a Food Festival 

Chow Chow was founded in 2019 by some of Asheville’s most renowned chefs. It’s designed to be an immersive four-day experience of tastings and workshops in the heart of downtown Asheville. And, Eating Asheville hosts an elaborate wine and food festival – one of the largest of its kind. Both are ideal places to discover local chefs and sample some of the region’s best food and drink. 

Learn to Cook Something New

A cooking class is also a fun way to enjoy the Asheville food scene and Cottage Cooking is not your average cooking school. They focus on small format classes of up to six and all classes are held in the hosts’ home. They have more than 20 menus and most classes include an appetizer, entrée and dessert. 

Indulge in Chocolate 

No culinary roundup would be complete without chocolate. The French Broad Chocolate Lounge and the Chocolate Fetish never fail to satisfy that sweet tooth. 

For a comprehensive list of places to eat and drink, food tours and food festivals, visit https://www.exploreasheville.com/things-to-do/tours/culinary/ to get the full scoop on the fabulous Asheville food scene and make sure to book your Inspired Getaway