Asheville is one of the top food destinations in the South, and the best restaurants in Asheville tend to transform local ingredients into jewels on the plate through creative interpretations and preparations.
From Indian and Mexican food to Southern barbeque and Spanish tapas, Asheville visitors can find just about any global cuisine represented in downtown Asheville and the greater Asheville area. Check out one of these incredible restaurants the next time you’re in the Paris of the South!
The Best Restaurants in Asheville
13 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
Known for its mouth-watering Spanish tapas, Cúrate is housed in a former bus depot and is one of the best restaurants in Asheville garnering hungry repeat visitors. Plan on ordering one to two dishes per person and enjoy them as they each come out at a leisurely pace.
What should you order at Cúrate? Try the pan con tomate – toasted bread rubbed with fresh garlic and tomato, then drizzled with olive oil and sea salt. The gambas al Ajillo are a generous serving of sizzling prawns sauteed in garlic and chili oil. If you’re with a large group, definitely order the paella! This dish traditionally takes at least 45 minutes to prepare, so if you know you’re going to want one, it’s best to put your order in early.
End your memorable dining experience at Cúrate with churros con chocolate – thick, crispy fried dough sticks dunked in mesmerizing chocolate sauce. Guaranteed to hit your sweet spot without being overwhelming!
- 417 Biltmore Ave, Ste 4F, Asheville, NC 28801
- 733 Haywood Rd., Asheville, NC 28806
- 1994 Hendersonville Rd, Asheville, NC 28803
Rise and shine! You’ll want to head out early to be first in line to this illustrious breakfast establishment! Years after its founding, Biscuit Head still entertains patrons who line up outside their doors, hankering for dishes as extravagant as biscuits with a flight of gravy. Good thing there are multiple locations, so you can cruise by the storefront until you find the least crowded option (what – you’ve never done that?)
That’s correct – you can order whopping cathead biscuits and drown them in your hearts delight with savory fried chicken gravy, espresso red eye gravy, and sweet potato coconut gravy. Biscuit Head also whips up a mean mimosa fried chicken biscuit or pork rind benedict, which you can enjoy with – you guessed it – a sparkling mimosa made from fresh-squeezed OJ! Biscuit donuts are another popular option, coming in flavors like maple bacon, vanilla sugar, and raspberry jam.
We should probably advise you that meals at Biscuit Head tend to cast diners into a unique breakfast-ian stupor, so it may be best to refrain from any hiking, biking, or physical activity for at least half an hour after eating. We’re not kidding. It’s that good. Make plans to visit one of Biscuit Head's several locations, as all three are some of the best restaurants in Asheville for a fantastic brunch!
7 SW Pack Sq, Asheville, NC 28801
Rhubarb’s farm-to-table menu changes, predictably, with the seasons, showcasing some of the best produce and protein the Western NC area has to offer. Most ingredients come from local purveyors and farmers.
If you’re seeking a dish that will prompt you to melt into your seat, the slow-roasted pork shoulder with root vegetables, braised kale, and apple butter is a perfect autumn dish guaranteed to warm your heart. The sunburst trout shows off one of Western NC’s most prevalent freshwater fish, and Rhubarb arranges it pan-seared atop a cornbread puree, then accompanies it with braised collard greens and pickled onions.
Are you enjoying the Asheville culinary scene during the week? If so, stop by Rhubarb on Tuesdays, as this is the day the restaurant serves a three-course, family-style meal. With a novel preparation each week, Rhubarb is one of the best restaurants in Asheville where you can truly experience local lifestyle.
15 Eagle St, Asheville, NC 28801
Que delicioso! Limones – which translates to ‘lemons’ in Spanish – has been serving creative interpretations of traditional Mexican dishes since 2004.
Who doesn’t love a gargantuan bowl of chunky, flavorful guacamole? After starting with chips, guac, and one of Limones’ signature margaritas – such as spicy cucumber version – move on to a ceviche samplers or eclectic tacos served atop house-made tortillas.
If you see lobster nachos and feel compelled to find out what that’s all about, we can’t blame you. The short ribs barbacoa enchiladas are equally tantalizing and the warm bread pudding waving to you at the bottom of the menu is begging for indulgence. Limones is one of the best restaurants in Asheville where you can enjoy unique recreations of traditional Mexican fare.
400 Haywood Rd, Asheville, NC 28806
The flavor-packed dishes at The Admiral will have you wanting to salute someone. Venture out of the downtown area to West Asheville, where you can find New American cuisine served in an unassuming concrete gastropub.
Trust that whatever you order from the menu will prove tasty and original. Hors d’oeuvres like frog legs, halibut cheek, and smoked mackerel larb appear curiously desirable, while less adventurous diners can stick with any option from the cheese and charcuterie boards section.
Selecting your entree will be challenging, as enticing options like charred lemon beurre blanc scallops, confit dug leg with baby bok choy, and ribeye over lyonnaise potatoes call your name from the kitchen. The Admiral is one of the best restaurants in Asheville to go to when you want to treat somebody (or yourself!).
22 Battery Park Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
Have you been to street food paradise? If you find yourself at the threshold of Chai Pani, you’re in for a real treat. This Indian restaurant in Asheville famously serves Indian chaat (street snacks) in addition to more traditional platters called thalis. The vibe is both funk and laidback, and Chai Pani is one of the best restaurants in Asheville to dine with kids, as well.
The question here is not so much what should you order, but what should you not order? Everything looks amazing! The kale pakoras is a top reviewed street snack in the form of savory kale fritters lovingly made with curried chickpea batter. Dip the fritters in the bright green chutney and sweet yogurt which accompany it, and you have a satisfying gluten-free snack.
If you’re interested in trying one of the thalis, you can never go wrong with Chai Pani’s butter chicken. The chefs take marinated Joyce Farms chicken and sear it in an aromatic tomato cream sauce along with butter and jaggery (an unrefined sugar).
Buxton Hall Barbeque
32 Banks Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
You’d be hard-pressed to travel all this way to Asheville – one of the food capitals of the South – without trying some delicious Carolina barbeque! Buxton Hall Barbeque is surrounded by a horde of popular breweries and specializes in whole-hog barbeque with toothsome Southern fixins. Buxton Hall’s barbeque can be considered sweet and juicy. It's one of the best restaurants in Asheville not requiring reservations, as the establishment is first-come, first-served.
In the appetizer section, you can expect familiar Southern staples like pimento cheese included in creative adaptations like a BBQ hash poutine over waffle fries, while the restaurant’s crispy Brussels sprouts are accompanied by goat cheese, lardon, pickled onion, candied pecans, and Granny Smith apple – perfectly crisp and bright to match the fattiness of the hot barbeque.
Most of the plates at Buxton’s come with your choice of several sides. Go with the half smoked chicken or pulled pork plate, then bolster it with coleslaw, baked beans, savory corn pudding, or potato salad. That is hardly an exhaustive list, and you can even get a plate with four different sides!