Asheville’s vibrant and varied food scene goes far beyond typical Southern fare (though you can find that here too). With nearly 250 independent restaurants, 20 farmers’ markets and several microbreweries, Asheville has established itself as a “Foodtopian Society.” Chefs at dozens of Asheville eateries are committed to farm-to-table principles, showcasing locally sourced (and often organic) produce, meats, fish and cheese. For a small city, Asheville has an impressive variety of cuisine too — Mexican, Jamaican, Indian, vegetarian and traditional Southern barbecue are just a few of your options.
Tupelo Honey Cafe
Address: 12 College Street
Word of Mouth: “I ordered the Eggs Betty which is a version of Eggs Benedict, only better. They use a biscuit for the bottom layer and the hollandaise was lemony, light perfection. It comes with ham or asparagus so of course I ordered both. Great idea. Really delicious dish. My husband ordered the chicken and biscuits and I’m having trouble finding the right superlatives for it. If you like chicken and biscuits you’re going to have trouble finding better ones anywhere.” — Kathy H
Address: 233 Montford Avenue
Cuisine: Caribbean, Seafood
Word of Mouth: “You’ll want to order everything on the menu, because it’s all festive and creative, with local and organic ingredients, plus the prices are good. I ordered the ‘Ambush in the night’ which is a jerk rubbed mahi-mahi steak with lime, spicy black beans, jasmine rice, and grilled asparagus. The fish was fresh and moist, and the spicy beans may have been the best part of the dish. It was the best meal I’ve had [this year].” — whitet86
12 Bones Smokehouse
Address: 5 Riverside Drive
Word of Mouth: “The ribs are to die for. I had chipotle ribs and my sister had the traditional rub and I’m still salivating over the thought of them 4 days later. The sides were outstanding. We had the corn pudding, jalapeno grits, and collard greens/bacon. You’ll need a double dose of your statin medication, but these are really worth it.” — Ladybugonbusiness
Address: 18 Brook Street
Cuisine: American, French, Bistro
Word of Mouth: “Our waitress was very helpful and I settled on the hanger steak, served over escarole and topped with a poached egg. BEST STEAK I HAVE EVER HAD! I frequently dine at fine steak houses, and this steak was cooked perfect (medium-rare), the sauce was delectable and the steak melted in your mouth.” — Ashley B
Address: 11 Biltmore Avenue
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Spanish, Tapas
Word of Mouth: “Having recently returned from Spain, Curate seemed like an oasis of small plates exploding with flavor and endless interesting wines. The hits kept coming from classic Spanish bonito tuna and tomato salad to zippy sliced garlic shrimp matched with reasonably priced wine by the glass. A full flavored experience enhanced by a warm, informed wait staff, the meal was the most interesting I have had in months!” — Garry F
Laughing Seed Cafe
Address: 40 Wall Street
Cuisine: American, Vegetarian
Word of Mouth: “We have been coming to Laughing Seed since 1993 and its food has NEVER disappointed. This is the restaurant to bring someone who isn’t sure about vegetarian food — the menu choices are creative, beautifully prepared, full of taste and texture and so satisfying that some carnivores I’ve brought here can’t believe they’ve eaten a meatless meal.” — GMR1954
Address: 1 Page Avenue
Word of Mouth: “Delicious food with unexpected twists … the salmon/avocado appetizer was as large as an entree. I had a vegetarian dish and my husband had a pork dish. We were both thrilled with the mix of flavors. Art by various local artists is painted onto the walls, making Chorizo a feast for the palate and eyes.” — Karen M
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