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11 Best Restaurants in Asheville

Asheville North Carolina is a destination that has the complete package–jaw dropping scenery, outstanding and varied food, and memorable activities. Here are 1 of what we consider the best restaurants in Asheville, plus chocolate bonus–so many great choices!!

1. Chai Pani

Best Restaurants in Asheville–Dinner

Don’t be afraid of the lines, this place was our FAVORITE dinner of the trip. Being first-timers, we asked the waitress to help us order, and she guided us through four compatible sharing plates. Even if the combination sounds odd, it’s going to be the best thing you have ever tried. Trust me.

Start with Bhel Puri, which is “a crunchy explosion in your mouth” according to our extremely helpful server. Do NOT miss the okra fries. I don’t care if you don’t like okra. You will plant your face in this plate and wish you had more. Other standout options: try the Butter Chicken and Pav Bhaji (spicy). Their naan bread is a dream…https://www.chaipani.com/asheville

2. Sunny Point Cafe

Best Restaurant in Asheville–Breakfast

I’d heard to expect long waits to get into this very popular breakfast spot, but on a weekday morning we got lucky and got seated right away. This cafe has gardens on site which provide most of the produce used in the menu, and they make some pretty awesome side salads.

The dressing is surprising—try maple Dijon or poblano ranch—and the greens are tender and soooo fresh. Topped with edible flowers, presentation is appealing and portions are generous.

Try anything, but especially the Salmon Cake Benny, Huevos Rancheros, Mushroom Omelette. Don’t miss the very tall and buttery biscuits with house made jam. Wow. Also, Shrimp and Grits are supposed to be epic, but will have to wait for a return trip. Don’t forget to stroll around the gorgeous gardens after breakfast! https://sunnypointcafe.com

3. Gypsy Queen

Best Restaurants in Asheville–Dinner

After hiking, we explored this surprising Lebanese/Mediterranean restaurant in a very unassuming strip mall well out of the trendy areas of Asheville. It’s so worth the trip!!! Don’t be put off by the surroundings, Gypsy Queen is a standout. Family owned and very authentic, you won’t go away hungry. In fact, beware ordering too much as portions are huge. However, it is so much fun to sample everything that it’s a great idea to go with a larger party and share.

Try the Lamb Kibbe (strangely shaped delicious meatballs with pita and fixings, with tangy delicious yogurt sauce), the Lamb and Beef Shawarma (marinated meat chunks in pita with sauce and pickled veggies), or the Falafel wrapped in pita. The Lebanese fries are also great, and bonus: try the Turkish candy up by the front register. Everything is bright, well presented, and perfectly made. https://gypsyqueencuisine.com

4. Hole Donuts

Best Restaurants in Asheville–Dessert

This absolute gem of a place stole my heart. It’s a tiny shabby chic cottage furnished with really random salvage items from old houses, in which the very friendly owner works the cash register and gives big hugs to regular customers. The donuts are star quality. Made right in front of you, they come hot to your table in crazily irregular shapes and irresistible flavors.

Try all of them. Favorites are Sesame Almond and Vanilla, but don’t neglect Cinnamon Sugar and the fairly not-sweet Dry Rub Cocoa. This last is excellent because the flavor of the dough really stands out. But the crunchy salty sweet Sesame Almond was the winner for me! https://www.hole-doughnuts.com

5. All Day Darling

Best Restaurants in Asheville–Breakfast

A very healthy, locally sourced and fresh cafe in the historic Montford District north of downtown, this cute indoor/outdoor breakfast restaurant has a casual feel and looks out into the lush foliage surrounding it. Try the All Day Breakfast with their maple bacon and breakfast salad for fuel for hiking the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains trails.

I highly recommend a walk after breakfast into the intriguing Historic Montford neighborhood, to stare at the big and widely varied old houses in a lush wooded setting. https://www.alldaydarlingavl.com

6. Omni Grove Park Inn

Best Restaurants in Asheville–Dinner

This giant extravagant pile of rocks was built in 1913, and is grandly furnished in Arts and Crafts Style, with fireplaces big enough for several people to stand up in! Enjoy the row of rocking chairs in front of the fireplaces on either side of the Great Hall, and listen to live music while you check into your room.

I would love to revisit this incredible hotel as a guest, but dinner and drinks at Edison on the terrace with a view of the mountains was pretty spectacular. Don’t forget to check out the famous Spa, which is underground in a rocky grotto. You must be a hotel guest and buy a guest pass to use the spa, and different services like massage are add-ons.

We took a recommendation from our fellow tourists at Biltmore Estate and tried Edison, which is a New American Style restaurant with a twist on southern favorites. On the server’s recommendation, try the Jalapeño Bacon Wrapped Bison Meatloaf served on a bed of roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes.

For drinks, try Asheville Alchemy (gin, grapefruit, luxardo liqueur and cinnamon) or Martini. Non-drinkers should try the Pear Ginger non-alcoholic cocktail, which is not too sweet but light and very spicy. https://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/asheville-grove-park

Pear Ginger Mocktail
Martini at Edison, one of our 10 best restaurants of Asheville
Bison meatloaf at Edison

7. Crave Dessert Bar

Best Restaurants in Asheville–Dessert

Moody and trendy, this dark and hipster vibe dessert hotspot featured small plate savories, their signature dessert specialties, and—surprisingly—hookah. It’s a fascinating place. Try the Triple Strawberry Shortcake or Bourbon Pecan Cheesecake. https://www.cravedessertbar.com

8. Antidote

Best Restaurants in Asheville–Drinks

West Asheville is a very interesting place. Young and vibrant, this district features many great restaurants, breweries, distilleries, and live music venues. We went to Antidote to hear the Little Posey Trio, a smooth jazz/swing trio that was very danceable. Antidote is a feast for the eyes as well, a vintage recreation of a Gilded Age speakeasy, complete with antique salvage decor and extravagant woodwork.

The bar opens onto a beautiful terrace for nice days, and there is a LOT to look at inside. Drinks are exquisite and curated, befitting a distillery. Try the Vesper Martini and the Gin and Tonic. Non drinkers should try the very tangy and refreshing NonAlcoholic Gin and Tonic, with pine syrup, elderflower tonic, grapefruit, and rosemary. https://www.antidote.bar

Gin and Tonic at Antidote

9. Early Girl Eatery

Best Restaurants in Asheville–Breakfast

An adorable light-filled cafe in Asheville, this hearty and chic southern breakfast with a healthy twist will suit any taste from decadent to veggie lovers. Try the Yam Scram, Veggie Breakfast Bowl, and DEFINITELY the Pulled Pork Tostados. Very unique breakfast but wow, so fresh. If you’re feeling decadent—we were protein oriented—go for Bow to the King, which is fried chicken tenders with cinnamon battered biscuits topped with whipped cream. All the options were great, you can’t go wrong. https://earlygirleatery.com

Pork Tostadas at Early Girl Eatery, one of our best restaurants in Asheville

10. Strada

Best Restaurants in Asheville–Dinner

This very authentic and cozy Italian restaurant features house-made fresh pasta and delicious sauces. Try the Short Rib Bolognese, Roasted Ravioli, or one of their specialty pizzas. https://www.stradaasheville.com

Bolognese at Strada

11. Green Sage

Best Restaurants in Asheville–Breakfast

This healthy and fresh local option has several locations in Asheville, and offers great options for vegan, vegetarian, as well as meat options. Try the Appalachian Trail—great bacon!—or the Mediterranean omelette. The root hash that comes with is uniquely spiced and totally delicious. Bonus: The vegan gingerbread cookie is a must if you like ginger. https://www.greensagecafe.com

Appalachian Trail at Green Sage


1. French Broad

This is the most famous chocolate shop in Asheville, and it was delicious and the atmosphere was totally chic. Try the Panna Cotta and Truffle Torte. https://www.frenchbroadchocolates.com

2. Chocolate Fetish

This was my favorite chocolate, tucked away in a small downtown shop. Wow!! Try the hot spicy caramel truffle or Floral Blooms. https://www.chocolatefetish.com


Asheville is an incredible destination for a girls trip, solo traveler, couples retreat, hiking paradise, and of course–foodie destination. We just ran out of time to try everything, so hopefully a future trip will add more favorites to our 11 best restaurants in Asheville!

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