Asheville’s West Side Gets Accolades for Amenities, Neighborhood Vibe
When Men’s Journal named West Asheville one of the best neighborhoods in the Southeast back in 2009, locals feared that an influx of new people would wreck the area’s funky charm. Happily, that hasn’t been the case, and the unique vibe that sets West Asheville apart is still very much in evidence.
No Cars Needed for Residents
The area is known for its small, unique Craftsman-style homes, many of which boast large, well-tended yards and gardens. The main thoroughfare of Haywood Road is dotted with restaurants, galleries and more, all walkable from the residential streets that intersect it.
Walkability and charm were the draws for io design & illustration’s Hugh Munro, who has been living and working in West Asheville for 10 years now.
“It’s a real neighborhood,” Munro says. “You end up knowing all your neighbors and you can walk to parks, get to bike paths, all sorts of goodness. You can access pretty much everything you might need without having to drive.”
West Asheville Restaurant Scene Thrives
West Asheville has also proven to be fertile ground for businesses of all shapes and sizes. For more than a decade, West End Bakery has worked with local farmers to help sustain local agriculture. Everything’s made from scratch, and organic is the watchword for these tasty treats.
Over at the Sunny Point Café, the patio has expanded to become an all-season gathering spot for locals who want to pick up breakfast, lunch or dinner, as well as just hang out and people-watch.
At Nona Mia Ritrovo, what Chef Peter Affatato calls “Italian-American soul food” dominates the menu, everything from pizza and sandwiches to Nona’s Penne with Sunday Gravy, along with weekly specials.
South of the border appetites are sated at Neo Burrito, where the food is served up along with a strong message of the need for ecological sustainability.
And at the Lucky Otter, the West Asheville made-from-scratch tradition continues. The produce is local, as are the beers. Inside tip? Try the margaritas.
Lastly, there’s Burgermeister’s, which serves up the American classic in both meaty and meatless versions, as well as soups, salads and more. The awards keep coming, so something’s definitely being done right.
Even as new businesses take root here, the locals work to ensure that the small-community feel doesn’t ever go away. That’s something that’s unique to West Asheville, Munro says, and part of why he’s pleased to have put down roots here.
“It’s very popular, and people come here a lot, especially on the weekends,” he says. “But the area has that small feel to it, probably because we have small houses. There are certainly no mansions in West Asheville! It has been great to be in a community and see it grow and succeed, but also stay just like it is.”
Learn about other neighborhoods in Asheville.