Lakota R. Denton, PA

Asheville’s Best Restaurants

Our Top 5 Favorite Restaurants in Asheville

13 Biltmore Avenue
Asheville NC 28801

Curate is a Spanish tapas bar in the heart of downtown Asheville. The restaurant has become so popular that you really can’t get in without a reservation. However, you can usually squeeze into a seat at the long bar that runs the length of the kitchen area behind the bar. From the bar seats, you can see all of the food being prepared. The food is incredible, and unlike anything else you will find in Asheville. My favorite is the fried eggplant that is drizzled with honey and fresh rosemary. The menu includes tapas plates that you likely have not heard of, or even thought of – such as the Carabinero, which is the “famous large head-on Mediterranean prawn” and the Brandada de Bacalao, which is “Traditional cod and potato puree served hot with crisp bread”.


13 Eagle Street
Asheville NC 28801

Limones is a bit of a hidden gem in Asheville simply because it sits on a little side street off of Biltmore Ave. It’s also a pretty small space. Reservations are almost always required. Described as “Modern California and Mexican cooking”, Limones is some of the very best food in Asheville. The bar makes fantastic drinks (try the blood orange margarita), and the menu is one of a kind. Do not think of Limones as a Mexican restaurant – Although they have a great chile relleno and Mexican coffee, they also serve vegetarian ceviche, seared sea scallops and my personal favorite, lobster nachos.


85 West Walnut Street
Asheville, NC 28801

Zambra was one of the first great restaurants in Asheville. A “farm to table tapas bar” in the best location in all of downtown. It’s worth going just for the food, but the atmosphere is quintessential Asheville. The small outside patio sits in an alleyway tucked back from the street and is nice and quiet. The inside of the bar is incredibly decorated with a low lit mellow vibe. The live music is never too loud or in the way, and the bar winds around with ample seating. The menu is also great, and the wine menu is long and varied. Try the pan-seared local trout plate and the locally sourced Hickory Nut Gap Farm steak taco.


Laughing Seed Café
40 Wall Street
Asheville, NC 28801

The Laughing Seed is a vegetarian restaurant that is also quintessentially Asheville. Before all the new hotels and the tourists and the $800,000 condos came to Asheville, Laughing seed was going strong as a classy vegetarian restaurant, and still is. Even if you don’t consider yourself vegetarian, you will find great food at Laughing seed, and great drinks. Try the indian pakoras, the jalapeno onion fries and the shitake “sardines”. You will appreciate that the vegetarian menu is anything but boring. Also have the bartender make a special cocktail that you can get nowhere else in town, like a “fireflower margarita” with tequila, Cointreau, rosewater, lime and kombucha.


Chai Pani
22 Battery Park Ave
Asheville NC 28801

Chai Pani is an Indian street food restaurant, inspired by the owners travels throughout India. The vibe is more casual than the other fancy restaurants in town, but the food is just as good. Pakoras, samosa, and Indian thali plates are the traditional small bites that you’ve already heard of. But Chai Pani also does uttapam, which is a kind of Indian crepe, okra fries (a southern tradition with Indian spices) and Bombay chili cheese fries. Go for lunch when it’s not too crowded.


click to read our post about Asheville’s best cocktail bars.

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