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May 19, 2008 06:54 AM

Asheville & environs (Bryson City, Pisgah)


My husband & I are spending a couple of weeks in the Asheville area - our focus is on Mountain biking, kayaking & good food & are looking for some food recommendations - we eat pretty much anything - we're driving down from CT so local flavors would be great, also great icecream, local farm stands etc

We have two nights in downtown Asheville - currently planning on Table & Bouchon for dinner, Tupelo Honey & Early Girl for breakfast.

Then a week out near Bryson City - planning on hitting Relias at NOC, any other recommendations in the area? We'll be in a cabin so will probably cook ourselves some nights - we'd like to stop & buy some provisions in Asheville at the farmers market.

Then 4 nights just outside Asheville - off of 112, think it's near the Biltmore Square Mall ? Close enough to downtown to go in again, but if there's anything out that way that's good that would be great.

We're also planning a side trip to Shelby to the BBQ place out there.

Anything else we should be looking for - good side trips etc?

Thanks in advance


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  1. Hi - You are going to have a great time. I'm a mountain biker and Pisgah is paradise.

    I'm sure you've read the multitude of threads about Asheville and are making your dinner and b-fast plans accordingly. I will say, Table and Bouchon would not be my top pics, but they should be OK. I would pick Salsa, Zambra, Cucina24, Fig for dinner. Your breakfast choices look pretty good, although I would sub Sunny Point for Early Girl.

    Ice Cream - Ultimate on Hwy 70...worth finding.
    I haven't been to Relia's in a long time, but last time i was there it was great!
    You'll see the town of Sylva on your way from Asheville to Nantahala...stop at Annie's bakery and get some buttermilk currant, or any of their breads (bread MUCH better than pastry there) If you like beer, get a "howler" at the local brewery...i forget the's very German. (you may well be staying in a dry county if you are near NOC)

    I went to the City Market farmer's market this Saturday, it was heaven. Try to find the lady with the strawberry brownies. Spinning Spider makes some delicious (although not cheap) chevre w/ rosemary,black pepper, and fig preserves that is delicious.

    While you are staying near Biltmore Square (riding Bent Creek, are you?) make sure you go in the NC Arboretum ($6 for a car, free on bike) and see the bonsai exhibit. Even if you think bonsai is boring...these are native plants...azalea bonsai?'s cool.

    In that area, you are so close to downtown Asheville it should not affect your dining plans. There is a church very near Bent Creek that has a country cooking lunch. I have not been, but if you're looking for something unusual, perhaps ask your inn keeper.

    In Hendersonville (if you get that far south) West First is a great place for pizza pasta, and it's sister restaurant and bakery in Flat Rock, Flat Rock Village Bakery, has perfect preride fuel ...if your idea of preride includes coffee and chocolate chip scones or sticky buns, or walnut/cranberry bread hot out of the brick oven, etc.

    If you need mountain bike tips, you should be able to find my email by going to the link on my profile page. HAVE FUN!!

    5 Replies
    1. re: danna

      heinzelmannchen is the brewery. good beers. i especially like their oktoberfest.

      oh, and i think you might have meant "growler," not "howler" ;).

      for the op, if you're staying near biltmore square, the only decent restaurant in the immediate vicinity is papas and beer. the rest of the stuff near the mall is pretty abysmal.

      1. re: mark

        har, har, can tell i'm not a beer person.

      2. re: danna

        Danna, where is the City Farmers Market?

        1. re: pilches

          Funny you should ask...i'm not from Asheville, so I'm not sure the name of the street. If you are heading up biltmore ave from Biltmore village toward downtown, you take a right hand veer before you get to the Coop. That road would eventually pop on tunnel rd.

          someone help me? I read about it on chowhound and just sort of drove around til I found it. sorry

          1. re: danna

            It's at the corner of Charlotte & Eagle.
            Here's the link ~

      3. While not a dinning destination, Anthony's Restaurante Pizzeria in Bryson City is a great place to sit back, have a few slices and a beer or two at the end of the day. If the weather is nice, sit out on the front porch. It is located directly across from the GSMRR station.

        3 Replies
        1. re: blewgo

          You are close to Sylva there... I love Lulu's on Mainstreet. And as you come back to Asheville from Bryson Whitman's Bakery in downtown Waynesville is very good in my opinion. If you were to go over to Robbinsville to the Joyce Kilmer Forest there is a quaint restaurant in town called the Dungeon that wasn't bad the last time I was there...but that was years ago.

          1. re: leanpig

            There are lots of places if Waynesville/Magge Valley if you are in the "neighborhood". Check out prior posts for recommendations. Have a good trip!

          2. Looks good - you'll have a blast! I might suggest Cucina 24 over Table though...

            3 Replies
            1. re: jbyoga

              Thanks so much for the recommendations
              Cucina 24 is also on the list.

              I'll take a look at Waynesville too

              Quick question - I've just realized that smoking is allowed in NC restaurants (gotten spoiled by CT, NY, FL & ME) - are there any restaurants that are particularly bad for smoking? Or totally non smoking?

              Also what are the implications of staying in a 'dry' county - I assume alcohol is not for sale, can you bring your own to restaurants?

              1. re: ctbrit

                i don't find smoking to be much of an issue. some bars allow smoking after 9/10pm, and can get pretty hazy. there are a few places like the tastee diner that allow smoking, and can get noxious. same for places with patios. you shouldn't have issues with any of the places in asheville discussed here. if you're uber sensitive, dine before 9 and don't sit outside.

                all i can say re the dry county thing is, no, alcohol won't be for sale, although it might be within municipalities.

                1. re: mark

                  Most of the restaurants in Asheville are non-smoking. Even a few bars. There is a website put out by the American Lung Association that shows the restaurants in our area that are smoke free!


            2. If you are staying near the Biltmore SQ. Mall then I'd go to Papas and Beer for the areas best affordable Mex (in my humble native Californian opinion). for at least one meal. This place is friendly and could hold it's own easily on the West coast. Look for the self serve salsa bar - good stuff!

              1. An out of the way place that you might try if you are in the mood is the Sourwood Inn. Small Inn located on windy roads and down a gravel road about 15 minutes outside Asheville. No alcohol but you can bring your own. I loved the food when we stayed here especially a cake that the chef said was a recipe of her mothers--and I usually don't care for cakes. A set menu --call them to see what is on. A charming inn, by the way, not victorian, but modern, with some great hiking trails and views. Those windy roads might be nice for a biker. .