A Weekend in Asheville, NC
One of the first trips Lance and I ever took together was to Asheville and we’ve been going back at least once a year ever since. It is such a cool, laid back town with a lot to do. There are great spas, tons of breweries, hiking, and the food is INCREDIBLE! I’m going to round up what we did this time and give you a list of the places we know and love in Asheville.
Where to stay:
We have stayed all over Asheville. Here are our favorite places.
We have stayed here a bunch and it’s a new, modern hotel in a great location. It’s right between Wicked Weed and Cúrate, which are two of our favorite places.
This is an institution in Asheville. It’s a little bit outside of town, but getting an Uber isn’t an issue. The views are incredible and there are tons of chairs out back to enjoy them. They also build huge fires in the lobby, so we love to come back after dinner and have a drink by the fire at night.
This is where we stayed most recently and loved it. It’s a quirky old hotel smack in the middle of town. It is an former department store and is dated, but in a cool, kind of retro way. Our room and bathroom were both HUGE and you can’t get a better location.
This is also a little bit outside of town (about 2 miles), but it is nice if you want to have a kitchen or need several bedrooms. We actually have a funny story of when we stayed here (before Uber) and I was convinced at 2 AM that we would have no problem hailing a cab once we started walking home. Note: cabs are not very prevalent in downtown Asheville! We walked and walked and Lance finally refused to walk any more…so we called a cab company and they picked us up on the side of the road. When we told him where to take us, he thought we were joking…it was the next street. Haha!
Where to eat:
There are SO many great restaurants in Asheville, you really can’t go wrong. I’ll break it down by meal.
This is my personal favorite brunch spot. It’s a Mexican restaurant, but with a fresh twist.
Their biscuits are literally the size of my head and I LOVE IT! This place is SO GOOD and worth the splurge.
This was our go-to breakfast spot for years, but now that they have opened one in Charlotte we don’t feel pressured to go when we’re in Asheville. I will say that they have changed their menu and I liked the old menu better. It used to be straight forward comfort food (the best ever in my opinion), and it is now more chef-inspired dishes.
A cute little cafe with farm to table comfort food. A great traditional breakfast with a nice selection of vegan options, too.
Our goal this last trip was to try all new places, so here is where we ended up for breakfast.
This pops up on lots of lists at the best place for breakfast in Asheville, and I would have to agree. It’s in West Asheville, so you’ll have to drive (or Uber). And you’ll have to wait (we waited about an hour and half). They have a great space outside to wait in with self-serve coffee and water, plus you can order drinks from the hostess stand (and their Bloody Mary is amazing). Apparently their Huevos Rancheros won a contest on Good Morning America, so of course I had to try them. They were seriously incredible.
Huevos Rancheros and Fried Chicken and Waffles at Sunny Point Cafe
If you don’t have the No Wait app, go to the App Store now on your iPhone and download it…then use it to wait for your table here. This is a tiny little cafe so the wait can get long, but it was delicious. We just walked around and shopped while we waited for our table, which is always fun in downtown Asheville.
Our reason for this weekend in Asheville: front row for The Head and The Heart. Breakfast the next morning at Over Easy Cafe.
This has been our go-to lunch spot for years and we still love it. They have great cocktails with homemade ingredients and the food is outstanding. It is Mexican/Caribbean, but very different than anything I have eaten. They cram so many flavors into the dishes, it’s incredible!
This is eastern style BBQ in the west. Buxton Hall is in a former skating rink, so the old building is really cool. They use local ingredients and craft true, sinful comfort food. Everything is delicious and worth the calorie splurge.
We branched out this past weekend and tried:
I’ll be honest…we usually eat such a big breakfast (or just wait and go to Salsa’s) that we typically only have one meal during the day in Asheville and then maybe some apps at a brewery. This was a great place to stop after New Belgium Brewery for a few tacos. I will say…I am a queso addict, and I was not obsessed with this queso. I would say pass on the queso and just get tacos. The tacos were great! I got a shrimp and grits taco…yum!
The Bull and Beggar restaurant for dinner (see below) and tacos and chips from White Duck Taco Shop.
It’s hard for me to even know where to start here! I’ll start with my favs and end with where we went this past weekend.
Cúrate isn’t just my favorite restaurant in Asheville, it’s one of my favorite restaurants in the world. Bold statement, I know, but it’s true. We went to Spain a few years back and I LOVE the food there. Lots of small plates, cheese, and bread. Cúrate is literally just like being in Spain. The food and atmosphere are both super authentic. It’s tough to get a reservation, so if you can’t get in for dinner, this is a good place to go for lunch, too.
Rhubarb serves contemporary American cuisine. The dishes are innovative and the ingredients are high quality and fresh.
Table is also innovative, contemporary American cuisine that pays homage to the South. Table tends to serve dishes that are less heavy and a little more fancy…which is a nice change of pace from some of the other indulgent restaurants!
The Admiral is definitely one of the best restaurant in Asheville (it’s in West Asheville). They call it ‘New American’ cuisine, but it’s basically innovative dishes with super fresh ingredients (you see the pattern here?). It’s a tiny little place, be sure to get a reservation.
Here are the new places we tried this past weekend!
This is a French restaurant in the River Arts District. It came highly recommended from several people, and is definitely a crowd pleaser. We had raw oysters to start and they were great. The rest of our food was very good (Lance loved it), but I’m basically just not a French food person. It tends to be too heavy and too much meat. I do still recommend going here…everyone I know that has been loves it!
Modesto is an Italian restaurant by the same owner at Salsa’s, so this seemed like a natural choice for us. They have homemade pastas and lots of fresh seafood. I would rate our meal as good, not great. It could have been what we ordered (we were both boring and I got eggplant parmesan and Lance got chicken parmesan). My salad to start was overdressed, but my eggplant parmesan was absolute delicious. I had a really good cocktail and the fresh focaccia bread was excellent. I would have liked to try something a little more interesting then eggplant parmesan to really get a feel for their food. I would definitely try it again!
Our dinner at Modesto.
Where to drink:
This is the place we never miss when we come to Asheville because we love their beer. The main brewery has lots of outdoor seating and really great food. They have another location that serves mostly (or maybe all) sour beers, which we love.
There are TONS of breweries in Asheville…the best way to see them is a Brews cruise…we have done two different tours with Asheville Brews Cruise and loved them both!
Some new places we checked out this past weekend:
This spot is across the river from the River Arts District and it’s SUPER cool. It’s nearly brand new and has tons of indoor and outdoor space. We didn’t do it, but you can sign up for a brewery tour on their website. If you didn’t know, New Belgium started in Colorado and brews the famous Fat Tire beer.
Flight of beer at New Belgium.
This was my kind of place. It was the perfect pre-dinner stop. They had an incredible cheese and charcuterie board that we snacked on and the cocktails were truly craft and super interesting and delicious! It’s upstairs above Table, so that would make the perfect night out.
Drinks and cheese board at The Imperial Life.
This is another perfect pre-dinner stop. We didn’t have any food, but it all looked really good. We did have wine, and they have a nice selection and a range of prices.
Nightbell is the same owner as Cúrate and a great restaurant. I put it under drinking spots because to me, the cocktails are the star here. The food is delicious, but small servings, so would make the perfect appetizer before dinner (Lance and I like to eat…haha!). This spot is upstairs and super cozy and loungey-feeling.
I have to add this on because while we didn’t go to a spa on this trip, we have almost every other trip. Here is where we have been, all are excellent!
This is a Japanese hot tub spa. They have hot tubs outside built into the mountain (all private) and soak for an hour before going inside for a massage. We love this place and have been here more than any other spa.
This is one of the most famous spas in the United States, and I can see why. They have incredible pools built under the hotel, so a big part of the luxury of this experience is spending time in the pools, the sauna, and the cold plunge before enjoying your massage.
If you’re looking for convenience, Spa Theology is right in the middle of downtown. We had a great experience here! We actually went here on our first trip ever and Lance had planned it. He booked me a manicure, pedicure, and massages for both of us. They asked him what he was going to do while I got my mani/pedi, and then suggested he get one, too…so he did! I still remember that. They also offered us champagne when we came in, which Lance turned down and I said ‘You never turn down bubbles!’ He hasn’t turned down bubbles since…whenever he is offered champagne, he says, ‘I never turn down bubbles!’ Too cute.
No Asheville to-do list would be complete without mentioning the Biltmore. Lance and I visited the Biltmore on our first trip to Asheville and it is unforgettable! There are several tours, a winery, restaurants, and even hotels on site. I highly recommend going at Christmas for the Candlelight Christmas Evenings. When Lance and I visited, we did an audio tour during the day, spent the afternoon at the winery, had dinner at one of the restaurants on site, and then toured the house again by candlelight. It was everything!
So there you go…a solid round up of all of our favs in Asheville! Now GO!