If you’re coming to Asheville, you better bring your appetite. The city is famous for great food, and local restaurants serve up their specialties in style.
A Trip for the Taste Buds
You can travel the globe just by exploring Asheville’s restaurant scene, from the fancy North Carolina Day Boat Fish with Truffled Mushroom Broth served at Horizons restaurant in the Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa to the Baja-style fish tacos at Mamacitas.
In the mood for French cuisine? Try the smoked trout and goat cheese salad at Bouchon. The popular Tupelo Honey Café is known for Southern cuisine with a twist, such as cajun skillet catfish, goat cheese grits and sweet potato pancakes. The café has been written up in The New York Times and Southern Living and is known for combining great Southern staples in fresh new ways.
Seafood fans won’t want to miss the Maine lobster and Alaskan king crab legs at The Lobster Trap.
Fresh from the Farm
If there’s one thing all Asheville’s independent restaurants agree on, it’s that fresh is best. Most local restaurateurs have gotten on board the farm-to-table movement, purchasing their produce, fish and meats from area farms.
There are also several natural foods stores toting healthy organic products throughout Asheville, including Earth Fare and Greenlife Grocery. Both grocers support the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, a nonprofit organization working to create a safe, nutritious and economically viable community-based food system. ASAP produces a local food guide and a local food and farm map, publications that provide information about tailgate markets, area orchards and you-pick farms, and grocers and restaurants featuring locally grown foods.
Amazing food isn’t the only thing Asheville’s culinary industry has going for it. There’s also a growing microbrew community that has earned Asheville the nickname of Beer City, USA. Several years ago, there were only three craft brewers in the city, and now there are over a dozen in Asheville and the surrounding area. Together, they formed the Asheville Brewers Alliance, a local coalition of industry businesses working to raise awareness of the area’s burgeoning beer scene.
A few notable microbreweries include Asheville Pizza & Brewing, French Broad Brewing and Lexington Avenue Brewing. There are also a number of beer festivals, including Brewgrass, Oktoberfest and Winter Warmer, throughout the year. For a sampling of several local brews, take a ride on the Asheville Brews Cruise, a roomy van that takes guests on tours of three microbreweries and lets them sample around 15 different beers along the way.