2021 Guide to the Asheville Food Scene

Asheville restaurant
Photo credit: Jamey Price

It’s easy to love Asheville: the mountain-town-meets-urban scene, with its endless views and cooler temps, make the short two-ish hour drive from Charlotte feel like a real getaway. Home to about 100,000 full-time residents, Asheville is beloved for another of its characteristic offerings: the Asheville food. From bars to bites, gourmet to street food, Asheville has been dominated by creative, challenging, and changing chefs of all kinds. And, as tends to happen in all great foodie cities, each neighborhood is emerging with its own type of distinctive style.

Whether you gravitate toward casual dining, gourmet experiences, Southern comfort food, or the greenest vegan fare, we’ve got you covered with the best Asheville has to offer this year. And trust us: You’ll want to come hungry.

For a date night: 

The Admiral 

A small, nondescript concrete building evokes “divey,” but this place is anything but. Known for its small plates and the chef-driven, creative menu, The Admiral offers a rustic, wholesome dining experience with a globally-inspired palate. 


The Market Place

Chef William Dissen serves up American farm-to-table food in an eclectic space in downtown Asheville. The locally sourced menu changes frequently, and the food is as unique as it is delicious.


Gan Shan West

This frequently packed out eatery is an interesting melding of Asian-fusion and Appalachian fare. The team offers a diverse array of noodle dishes and a seasonally-evolving menu. Eat in at the relaxed neighborhood hangout with its popular outdoor courtyard or grab your goods to-go.


Sovereign Remedies

This imaginative cocktail lounge also offers a seasonally-driven food and drink menu featuring whatever is being harvested from area farms. Expect bright herbs, fresh produce, and plenty of options for both dine-in and take-out.


For the health-nut: 


If you like your health food to actually taste delicious, check out this organic, globally inspired eatery, serving a full breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and even a bakery, barista, and a bar. There’s organic meat and eggs, as well as plenty of gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian eats, too. 



Just north of downtown, Plant serves an inventive all-vegan menu that’s also roughly 90% organic and mainly gluten-free in all of its offerings. The menu changes daily, and they serve for dine-in and takeout.


Green Sage 

The food at Green Sage (with three locations around Asheville) is all carefully picked. It’s always nutrient-rich, chemical-free, 95% organic, and thoughtfully sourced. The menu is also impressively extensive, and the team serves breakfast, brunch, lunch, juice and smoothies, sweets, coffee, and more. The breakfast burritos are reliably delicious, as is the kimchi reuben. 


For the beer lover:

Archetype Brewing Company

Asheville has long been known as a brewery destination, and West Asheville has been quick to capitalize on the popularity of the hoppy beverage. Archetype boasts a large, open taproom with regular live music, events, activities, and outside space. Sit down with a glass of craft beer and watch the brewers at work in the 10-barrel brewhouse. 

Urban Orchard Cider

The Urban Orchard Cider Bar allows you to sip on any one of the hard ciders made on site. The atmosphere is casual and inviting, so you can post up in a comfortable chair with your beverage and some good friends.

UpCountry Brewing 

UpCountry Brewing is a perfect place to gather craft beer, local music, and for getting outside. With a large backyard, intimate indoor seating, and a generous space for live local music, UpCountry Brewing serves a wide variety of craft beer styles while providing a full brewpub food menu.

asheville brewery
Photo credit: Jamey Price

For the Southern food lover:

Buxton Hall Barbecue

The Asheville classic is still at, serving up Elliot Moss and Meherwan Irani’s wood-smoked BBQ in a renovated former 1930’s skating rink. On Sundays, you can also find Chef Moss’ pop-up, Little Louie’s, on site as well. 


Doc Brown’s BBQ

A food truck turned brick and mortar, this casual barbecue joint serves smoked meats, Southern sides, and housemade dessert. Get there early because the ribs, St. Louis-cut spare variety with a Memphis dry rub, sell out quick.

Biscuit Head

Southern tradition meets unique flavor combination at this couple-owned, biscuit-heavy brunch spot. The team sources as much produce and products from local farms and suppliers as possible and recycle everything they’re allowed.


For the experience-seeker:


Inside a cozy historic building in West Asheville is this unique “melting pot” dining experience, featuring creative, locally-sourced dishes, many of which are meant to be shared.


Asheville restaurant
Photo credit: Carolyn Marie Photography for Jargon Restaurant

Chai Pani

Chef Meherwan Irani’s homage to Indian street food is a forever favorite in the heart of downtown Asheville. Perfect for a snack or a full meal, Chai Pani features bright, modern Indian flavors and twists on classic street dishes.


Hole Donuts

All of the doughnuts are made from a single, yeasted dough recipe. Doughnuts are always made-to-order right in front of you and served piping hot. You can also enjoy a hot cup of coffee freshly roasted by their neighbors at PennyCup Coffee for a perfect breakfast or midday snack. 


Located in the River Arts District, RosaBees offers up a marriage between savory Hawaiian classics and sweet, inventive pastries. Expect everything from poke and saiman noodle soup to cinnamon sugar banana lumpia and black sesame shortbread.


For the grab-n-goer:

West End Bakery

West End Bakery on Haywood is a long-time neighborhood staple, serving up breakfast all day with their assortment of homemade baked goods. You can also pick up a loaf of hand-made bread, house sandwiches, or pastries. The team uses only high quality ingredients, sourced from many local farms, with no preservatives.


Taco Billy 

If you’re up early and have a craving, this family-owned taco joint dishes up some of the best breakfast tacos around. They set themselves apart with organic ingredients and authentic flavors, and make for a perfect grab-and-go West Asheville meal. 


Standard Pizza Co.

This casual pizza place dishes up a mix of classic and unusual pizza toppings plus a few other dishes, making it perfect for a night in or lunch on-the-go.

The Rhu

The younger sibling to John Fleer’s dinner restaurant, Rhubarb, serves a wide selection of breakfast sandwiches, salads, bowls and more, plus a full coffee menu. Swing by to start your day or post up with your laptop for the morning.


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