The following list was compiled by the users of Reddit. The list is a great starting point to get locals insight into the restaurants around town. I do not take credit for the list and have only visited 20 of the places. We are using the list as a checklist to visit.
Casual Dining around Asheville
Biscuit Head – West Asheville. Great breakfast, but sometimes the line is very long. Luckily it moves quickly. 2nd Location on Biltmore Ave just south of downtown. Highly recommend and look at the specials each day. The Biltmore Ave location has always accommodated a hi chair. The gluten free biscuits are worth the $1 Upgrade.
Early Girl Eatery – Downtown, Local organic southern comfort food.
Homegrown – North of Downtown, locally sourced ingredients, great brunch.
King Daddy’s Chicken & Waffles – West Asheville, the name says it all.
La Carreta – Great Mexican food at amazing prices. Huge plates of food, two people can stuff themselves for under $20. Beer and Margarita specials for happy hour. $8 26 ounce Margarita and $3.75 huge beer drafts.
Local Joint – Fairview, fantastic diner-style with nearly entirely local ingredients
Nick’s Grill – North Asheville. Local Diner serving quality food at normal prices. Outside of the tourist hotspots, expect a no frills lunch or dinner at a regular price. Check the specials each day. The place is packed during weekday lunch hours.
Over Easy– Downtown, Serves breakfast, lunch, and brunch.
Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack – West Asheville, Great fried chicken as hot as you like it.
Tod’s Tasties – Montford Area near Downtown, Small cafe serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Tupelo Honey Cafe – Downtown and South Asheville, Famous new-southern style eats. Always packed and has a long wait. We have never stopped by with less than a 40 minute wait.
Universal Joint – West Asheville, Great burgers and a few rare-ish beers on tap.
Village Wayside Bar & Grille – South Asheville, old train depot. Great pub food, burgers, and nice selection of beer.
Vinnie’s – North Asheville, neighborhood style Italian.
Walk – West Asheville, great food, good place to catch a sports game while you eat/drink.
Babaganouj – Located in the Asheville Mall, some of the best gyros in town. Great Gyros, shawarmas and falafels.
Best Breakfast Spots
Disclaimer – We refuse to wait more than 20 minutes to sit for Breakfast with a toddler. So we don’t head out to breakfast often. We have had a few mornings where we leave for a late breakfast, arrive in town and realize how bad the wait is and head somewhere else or head home.
- Biscuit Head – West Asheville. Great breakfast, but sometimes the line is very long. Luckily it moves quickly. 2nd Location on Biltmore Ave just south of downtown. Highly recommend and look at the specials each day. The Biltmore Ave location has always accommodated a hi chair. The gluten free biscuits are worth the $1 Upgrade. Depending on the time, your wait will vary.
- Sunny Point Cafe – West Asheville.Consistently ranked the best breakfast in town, and the customers know this. We have never stopped in as the line is always out into the parking lot. If you have the patience, the cafe is worth the stop.
- Tupelo Honey Cafe and Early Girl Eatery – Both are consistently ranked at the top of the list. Located in Downtown and being trendy places, the few times we stopped in we were told two hour waits. If you are visiting downtown, place your name on the waitlist before exploring then head back for breakfast.
Bouchon – Downtown, French comfort food.
The Admiral – Consistently voted Best Dive Bar and Best Fine Dining every year. Make of that what you will. You will need to make reservations a few weeks in advance.
Cúrate – Spanish tapas bar.
The Market Place – Downtown, all ingredients sourced from with 100 miles.
Rezaz – Near Biltmore, Mediterranean and seafood.
Vincenzo’s – A staple of downtown, Vincenzo’s serves Northern Italian fare. Live jazz/blues downstairs every night.
The Laughing Seed – Downtown, located above Jack Of the Wood pub.
Plant – North Asheville. 100% vegan. Fancy and expensive. Solid choice for special occasions. Rosetta’s Kitchen – Downtown, mostly vegan. Unique atmosphere, open late, great people watching. There’s a bar downstairs.
Asheville Pizza & Brewing – Two locations: Merrimon Ave is a lounge-style movie theater combo; Coxe Ave is more restaurant style with lots of outdoor seating.
Marco’s Pizzeria – Two locations: North (Merrimon Ave.) and South (Hendersonville Rd.), “New York” style pizza.
Mellow Mushroom – Downtown, Regional chain but still good pizza.
Standard Pizza Co. – West Asheville, great pizza but a little pricey.
BBQ in Asheville
12 Bones – River Arts District and South Asheville, World renowned ribs and the BBQ is stellar too. President Obama famously eats here when in town.
Luellas – North Asheville, Gives 12 Bones a run for its money on the BBQ front. Crowded without long waits. Coloring pads for the kids and large portions.
Okie Dokies Smokehouse – Swannanoa, Traditional barbecue outside of the normally crowded places
Moe’s Original – Sweeten Creek Rd near Biltmore Village – Delicious BBQ, daily special sides, an outdoor seating area that is dog friendly, and a free to play multicade. (technically a chain)
Buxton Hall Barbeque – Trendy place located downtown. The place is decorated well and prides itself on the ingredients. It seems to be hit or miss on recommendations. For the price of the food, you get small portions and everything costs extra. I prefer other restaurants.
Mexican, Tacos, Burritos
El Chapala – North Asheville, Good place for Mexican north of town (multiple locations).
The Lucky Otter – West Asheville, A great option for your burrito fix.
Neo Burrito – West Asheville, great burritos and large portions. Also, if you look up the daily password on the website, $1 breakfast burrito.
Papa’s & Beer – One location on Tunnel Road, one on Brevard Road, and one in West Asheville on Patton Ave called as El Que Pasa. The go-to for Mexican in town.
White Duck Taco – River Arts District, Many argue for these being the best tacos in town. Usually closed for about a month during the winter (December/January). New location Downtown.
Ay Caramba – East Asheville/Oakley – Great prices, friendly staff, and some unique dishes on top of the usual stuff. (Try the Pollo Edgar.)
Nine Mile – Montford Area and West Asheville, Caribbean style eats.
Green Tea Sushi – West Asheville
Heiwa – Downtown, half off sake during the week
Sogo Fusion – South Asheville
Wasabi – Downtown, consistently winner of Best of WNC award for sushi
Zen – North Asheville
French Broad Chocolate Lounge – Downtown, Great place to sit back and enjoy coffee/wine and delicious made-from-scratch chocolates.
The Hop – Locations in North and West Asheville, Fantastic ice cream. Dairy, goat milk, vegan, sugar-free, and gluten-free options. North location has a small set of kids toys to play with while ordering. West location hosts dance parties for kids during weeknights.
Old Europe – Downtown, Fresh desserts and coffees/teas.
The Chocolate Fetish – Downtown, the original place for artisan chocolates in Asheville.
Credit to /r/Asheville subreddit community for putting together most of the list. If you read through and still have questions, posting on the subreddit will be enough to solve your problems.