HOW TO EAT & SIGHTSEE IN ASHEVILLE, NC
So, I FREQUENTLY have clients ask about where to eat after a shoot or while they're in town.. because I tell them about all of the great food that I eat around here. Today I baked Birthday cake chocolate chip cookies for my son's Kindergarten teacher, so I'm in the mood for some food talk before we hit wedding season full on and it's all white dresses and wedding cakes.
HERE are some local spots that I love. Keep in mind,.. I live in Hendersonville NOT Asheville, so I'm more in tune to our culinary scene. Like, really in tune.
• Honey & Salt in Flat Rock. The best breakfast you’ve ever had, and it’s steps away from..
• The Flat Rock Bakery which has the best scones you’ll ever have in your life. Great hiking snacks are found here.
• Hendough - Fried Chicken & donuts & biscuits. N’uff said.
• Mean Mr. Mustard - Beatles themed breakfast place, very VERY good food. Get the potatoes. I REPEAT get the potatoes.
• Joey’s NY Bagels - ALL THE CREAM CHEESE OPTIONS IN THE WORLD.
• *Technically* in WAVL Biscuit Head. All the hipsters, but for good, fluffy & golden reasons.
• Sunny Point Cafe - Mimosas while you wait an excruciatingly long time for the best waffle and bacon of your life.
• OWL Bakery - LEGIT pastries, OWL stands for “Old World Levain* and it’s off the chain, and super cute. Small space, get in, get out. Near New Belgium Brewing on the water.
• Mountain Deli - You will never feel the same way about a sandwich (any sandwich) ever again. This place makes everything from scratch, I eat here once a week if possible. Get the chef’s special, whatever it is, or the Rachel. Or the Reuben. Or the Chicken Salad.
• Dandelion Cafe - I eat here almost daily. It’s a restaurant run by the shelter women from Safelight, so they’re learning a skill in return for free & safe housing. The tomato pie, chicken pot pie, tuna salad sammie and all the salads literally keep me alive because I do not cook for myself.
• Hannah Flannigans - Traditional Irish pub food, all the beer. A HVL staple. Get the burgers, they’re divine.
• Black Rose Pub - Like Hannah’s 2.0. Classier, probably cleaner, but without the endearingly sketchy vibes.
• Hubba Hubba BBQ - Next to the bakery AND Honey and Salt, the best BBQ ever, cooked by a real live smokehouse master. It’s a legit thing, there are like 50 in the world or something.
• White Duck Taco - Again, hipster tacos, expensive and tasty. Small portions.
• Mamacitas - REAL Mexican food. Amazingly good. Large portion sizes, more grease.
• Green Sage Cafe - Healthy Food.
• Tupelo Honey - Good for lunch or dinner, lunch is cheaper and less crowded, but similar menu.
• Chicken Salad Chick - By the AVL Mall, tasty AF chicken salad.
• West First Pizza - Okay, it’s the same owner as the Flat Rock Bakery (Can you tell it’s my favorite?!) and I have LITERALLY never eaten anything bad here. It’s our date night every week. We follow dinner here with dessert at….
• POSTERO. HVL’s nicest restaurant, we cheat and only go for coffee & dessert because it’s the best coffee and dessert money can buy. OH and the COCKTAILS are 🚀
• Mezzaluna (Or the “Mezz” as my Dad calls it…) Really good Italian food, right downtown
• Umi - The best sushi you’ll find within 100 miles of here. Nowhere in AVL or Greenville can compare.
• Moe’s BBQ - AMAZINGGGG BBQ, good price, pay before you eat so no waiting for a check. Good if you’re short on time or would rather brewery hop than eat so much. Or have kids.
• NEVER BLUE - Tapas restaurant, really reallllllly good food. Pricy-is, but if you go…. Get the mejool date thing, and the Big Ass Brownie. That’s it’s real name. You have to order it when you sit down because they make it fresh.
• PACKS TAVERN - Our AVL pick every time. American food, but like… next level American, not microwave American.
• Travinia - Biltmore Park exit, reallllllll good food. Michael Jordan eats here. For real.
• 12 Bones - Barrack Obama’s fav ribs in the world. He comes once a year, and maybe has them teleported weekly?! We’re not sure.
• Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack - Also for lunch, but has realllllly authentic southern chicken and fixin’s.
• Takosushi - Half western, half sushi. Perfect for the couple that wants it all.
• Strada - If you wanna treat yourself to expensive and nice Italian.
• Rhubarb - If you wanna treat yourself FOR REAL. Get the steak. Don’t look at the price.
• Carl Sandburg House - A WONDERFUL outdoor walking site with history, GOATS and a cool lake. Hike up to big glassy for a gorgeous view!
• Jump Off Rock - More hiking, a parkway view but without the drive and it's pretty wheelchair friendly too! This also makes a great venue!
• Walking around downtown - This is a classic. It seems boring, but checking out all of the shops, getting ice cream at Kilwins and enjoying the local brew are what make me happy that Hendo is home!
• DuPont Forest - Not right in HVL, but just a short drive away lies a mountain bike & trail heaven! Tons of waterfalls and outdoors stuff.
• The Park at Flat Rock - REALLY nice walking / jogging park with a playground! Used to be a golf course, now it is a family friendly hang out zone.
• Team ECCO Aquarium downtown - Has a touch tank and some neat fish exhibits!
• Rhythym & Brews - Look online for the official schedule, but R&B is a monthly event downtown with music, beer and fun!
• Asheville Museum of Science - Right in downtown, adult & kid friendly!
• Grove Arcade - Neat collection of shops, and an escape room across the street!
• The Biltmore Estate - HANDS DOWN the best thing to do in the area, really gorgeous and tons to eat / see / do! If you are local-ish, consider the year pass for enjoyment all the time & the Christmas lights specials!
• Grove Park Inn Spa & Golf - TREAT YO SELFFFF at the Grove Park, love love this place!
• AC Hotel rooftop bar - This place is new, and it's nice. It's what locals hate, which is more hotels.. but the bar is great!
• Dueling Piano Bars - Really talented musicians and a lively crowd make for an unforgettable night.
• Scandals / Tiger Mountain / The Lazy Diamond / SkyBar - Some of the most "fun" bars in town after a certain hour.. be prepared to see the full scope of nightlife and get yo booty shaking on! Or your people watching, whatever you prefer.
• Lazoom Tours / Pubcycle / Haunted Tours - All of these are ways to traverse downtown AVL and see & learn about the weird and unusual things of Asheville. After all, we're known for having some eclectic roots!
• Malaprops - The neatest bookstore around, and one of the country's first bookstores to have a coffeeshop + book haven combo! Do the "blind date with a book" thing, and you won't be let down! I've done several!