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Good Eats in Asheville, NC?

  • d

My wife and I are doing a long weekend in Asheville, NC and we are looking for some excellent restaurants with great food and service.

Here's what we have so far:

The Market Place
Carmels
Sunday Brunch @ Biltmore's Deerpark - Because we're already there and we're spending the day.
Table
Flying Frog
Rosetta's Kitchen

Any other recommendations or any of the above that we should avoid? We are grateful for your feedback.

Any suggestions to catch some live music? Jazz, Blues, Rock or Country?

Thank you!

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    1. re: dmb09

      Market Place has a new concept called "Bar 100" offering food like cheeses and meat along w/ vegetables that all come w/in 100 mile radius of Asheville. We've tried it and really liked the offerings.
      Carmels we've only been to once and were not so impressed
      Table - it's been a while since we've been there. Have heard good things lately though
      Flying Frog - same as table
      You can find lots of recommendations on Asheville restaurants here.
      I'd probably steer you towards Sugo or Zambra as well.

    2. I'd check out Laughing Seed if the weather is nice for their great food and patio. I like Cucina 24 as well. Your list looks good - Never been to Carmels and have heard mixed reviews but mainly favorable. Be sure to let us know what you liked and where!

      1 Reply
      1. re: jbyoga

        Will do and thank you for the feedback.

      2. I agree with the Laughing Seed recommendation. Some of the best vegetarian/vegan food I've ever had. I also recommend Tupelo Honey. Contemporary Southern cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere.

        1. I love love love visiting asheville on the weekends and have experienced some really cool places you should visit. First, for breakfast brunch, tupelo honey cafe is the place to be. They even have a bloody mary bar if you want to get your morning started right. Another cool breakfast spot is called over easy down biltmore ave. For lunch, try the laughing seed cafe, really good fresh food or this mexican restaurant on the corner of biltmore and patton, just can't think of the name, you can't miss it because there's usually a line. And for dinner time, my favorite is barley's taproom and pizzeria, fresh pizza dough makes good pizza and they have the best selection of draft beers in the area. I suggest pisgah beers-- especially the pisgah solstice-- nothings finner. For dessert go to the Chocolate fetish, it will blow you away. And for a great music pub, go to Jack of the wood, they brew their own 'green man' ales and have good bluegrass music. There's so many other places as well, asheville is an overall pleasing town. And i haven't been to anything that i think you should avoid, so that says alot.

          6 Replies
          1. re: peppa57

            Peppa57 mentioned chocolate and I think you will do well by checking out the French Broad Chocolate Lounge because it rocks! IMHO it is the better of the 2 chocolate (aren't we lucky here to be able to choose?) shops in A'ville. try a spice-nibby brownie...mmm...

            1. re: peppa57

              Barleys pizza is good, but no where near the best in the area. The Pisgah brew recommendation is spot-on.

                1. re: jbyoga

                  i know from other posts that you are a big Marcos fan but I just don't get it. We ate there recently and the bottom of the pizza was burnt (again) and it was just sort of ho-hum.

                  1. re: leahinsc

                    That is so odd....I have honestly never had anything other that great pizza there (Merrimon location) I usually get a Margharita pie with garlic and mushrooms and they have been very good...

                    1. re: jbyoga

                      I agree...we eat Marco's almost every Sunday and it is great! I always ask for extra marinara as I think it is some of the best I have ever tasted. Maybe the Hendersonville location is not as good? If that's where you went...

            2. I've never eaten at Carmels, but I've looked at the menu, and I've looked at people's food when I walk by the sidewalk tables. It doesn't look too good. I know that's not the greatest way to judge a restuarant, but there are so many places....

              For casual food, I do Chorizo (sidewalk cafe nuevo Mexican), Sunny Point(brunch-ish), or Salsa. For evening, I like Zambra (spanish tapas) or Fig (french). Rosetta's is good as long as you understand what it is. I would go to Laughing seed if you wanted slightly less casual vegetarian.

              Jack of the woods for bluegrass in a very casual setting...generally you cough up $5 at 9:00 and the show starts a little later. Check listings for the Orange Peel if you want potentially nationally known bands.

              1 Reply
              1. re: danna

                Sunny Point uses locally-grown vegetables and locally-raised meats I beleive. For breakfast, it is a great place to get your day started and your belly full of grub. Salsa's has their jalapeno margaritas, and their great food!

              2. Strongly recommend Salsa's for excellent pork fajitas and more. And love Zambra for Spanish style tapas and a good wine list.

                1. The Laughing Seed HANDS DOWN! Try the artichoke dip and the Caribbean Empanadas, they have curried butternut squash in them YUM!

                  Salsa's though it may be good...I was there a few weeks ago and their rating was almost a B! gross. Like a 90 or something.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: vmd1123

                    I checked it out and you were right.....not very good.

                  2. The report:
                    First we would like to thank you all for your recommendations. There are no shortages of excellent restaurants in Asheville.

                    Zambra's - Excellent meal, wine, and service. Awesome and the absolute best of all that we tried. The lamb osso bucco was fabulous. The pork spring rolls were absolutely divine.

                    Salsa's - So good we went for lunch one day and had to visit again for dinner on our last night. For some reason we thought the lunch experience was a tad bit better than dinner. Perhaps due to the value perception. Portions were the same but dinner was $10 more. The food was dynamite and the service was laid back and to the point. The flavors of the dishes were incredible!

                    Rosetta’s Kitchen – We sat here to listen to the music during Downtown After Five (music event). We enjoyed great organic wine that was REASONABLY priced! The food looked great and I enjoyed a taste of their peanut butter tofu. We did not order any food but I think that it would be a good place to try for vegetarian/vegan fare.

                    Carmel’s – We went to grab a bite after Downtown After Five (music event). We ordered the bbq chicken pizza and it was delicious! We sat out on the patio and received excellent service. Their menu offered lots of great choices.

                    Hawg Wilde – ( in Brevard, NC) – We found this spot after driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway and attempting a visit to Sliding Rock. The bbq was very good and seasoned. The staff, while young, was very attentive. This is definitely a place to try if you find yourself in the area.

                    The Market Place – Our party had mixed opinions of this place. I will say that the cold cucumber soup was good. Our server did a great job! Take into consideration that the expectations are always higher when the cost is greater.

                    DeerPark – (Biltmore) – We ate Sunday Brunch here and the food was good. The weather was a bit warm and it was alfresco dining.

                    Sante – ABSOLUTELY! This is a must! We sat out on the patio and enjoyed a great bottle of wine after dinner. They have a retail shop where you are able to purchase your wine and then you pay a $5 corkage. The owner was our server and she was great! We highly recommend Sante!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: dmb09

                      Great report. I'm so glad you liked Salsa's. Its one of my favorites and I just don't understand the negative reports it receives on here. Thanks for the tip on Sante...I'll have to try it out.

                    2. My BF and I just got back from a mini vacation in Asheville. We enjoyed a few great meals there, including:

                      Flying Frog - funky combination - German and Indian food. We had a bit of both and while the Saag was different from what we've had in the Boston area, was still delicious. The Schnitzel was outstanding. Service and style both great.

                      Salsa's - very casual place, but the pork empenada and jerk chicken enchiladas were better than anything I've had back home. Full of complex flavors. (Definitely get the Papusa if you go for an appetizer).

                      We took a sidetrip to Black Mountain one day - had brunch at Que Sera - both of us really enjoyed great meals and service there. I had banana french toast and BF had country ham and eggs.

                      Jerusalem Cafe for lunch another day - we enjoyed splitting a falafel sandwich and the vegetarian plate. Very fresh and tasty!

                      The owners at the Inn recommended the Fiddlin' Pig to catch some great country and blues music. We never got there though - ran out of time.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: chowciao

                        I ate at fiddlin' pig for my mothers birthday and the food was inedible. Tasted like cardboard.