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14 Outdoor Dining Spots in Asheville

Where to Eat Outside in Asheville

One of the best things about Asheville is its weather, especially in summer. The city has its fair share of hot southern days, but it’s mostly pretty comfortable, temperature-wise. Pair the lovely weather with so many world-class restaurants in Asheville, and you have the perfect recipe for enjoying outdoor dining. Whether it’s a picnic in a park, enjoying a meal on a sidewalk patio, or taking in the flavors and sights from a rooftop locale, there are plenty of ways to eat outside in Asheville. Some of our favorite spots are listed below.

Patio, Daddy-O!

Cedric’s Tavern – The restaurant on the Biltmore estate has a menu of tavern fare and offers seating both inside and out on its patio. Its location in Antler Hill Village offers a nice vantage point for people-watching or listening to a live band on the Village Green bandstand. Through Sept. 29, it’s also a great place to grab a bite to eat after enjoying the Biltmore Gardens Railway display in both the village and the estate’s conservatory.

Wicked Weed Brewing – The patio area at the Downtown Asheville staple is flanked by oversized umbrellas that offer shade from the elements. In the evenings, diners can grab a drink and gather around the outdoor fire pit to warm up. There is also access to an outdoor space If you venture downstairs to the Beer Bar.

Mellow Mushroom – For a family-friendly outdoor dining experience, the patio at the Mellow Mushroom can’t be beaten. Not only is it in the heart of downtown, but it’s also pretty fun to look at – plus, the pizza is pretty amazing.  

Mayfel’s – If eating outdoors makes you feel like you’re being watched, the adorable courtyard behind Mayfel’s may be the perfect spot for you. It’s slightly secluded, and not out in the middle of a downtown sidewalk.

Smoky Park Supper Club – If the promise of eating in the “biggest shipping container restaurant in the U.S.” or the wood-grilled and roasted menu items don’t draw you in, the spacious outdoor dining options along the French Broad River will.

Up on the Roof

Capella On 9 – Perched atop the 9th floor of the AC Hotel downtown, Capella offers a full food menu as well as an impressive cocktail selection.

Pillar Rooftop Bar – Serving up Southern fusion cooking and small-batch liquor, the view of the Asheville skyline from the top of the building may make you think you’re in the Big City.

Hemingway’s Cuba Restaurant & Bar – Inspired by the restaurant’s founder’s childhood in Cuba, as well as the great author’s love for the country, this restaurant on the fourth floor Terrace of the Cambria Hotel downtown serves up Cuban cuisine and drinks with a view of the mountains.

The Social Lounge – the rooftop of this speakeasy-inspired bar and eatery has an industrial, urban vibe. If you can’t make it during the week, you must give a try on Saturdays and Sundays for the Rooftop Brunch from 11-3.

The Montford – If you’re in the mood for small plates and craft cocktails, the rooftop of The Hyatt Place Downtown is the place to be. The Montford offers stunning views of the mountains, plus the excitement of downtown people-watching.

Get your Pic-a-nic Basket

Although there are plenty of places along the Blue Ridge Parkway to roll out a blanket and have a picnic, there is one big caveat about picnicking in the woods: Asheville has bears. If you do take a lunch into the wilderness, make sure to take all food and trash with you when you leave, so as not to attract them to common human gathering spots.

Mt. Mitchell – before you reach the top of the highest point east of the Mississippi River, head over to the picnic grounds next to the parking lot. The views are breathtaking.

Folk Art Center – Tucked away on the Folk Art Center property is a picnic spot with parking, tables, shade trees, and space to roam.

Craggy Gardens – Enjoy the rhododendrons and take a short hike to the 5,220 feet for a sky-high picnic at one of this site’s available picnic tables (picnic grounds are at Milepost 367.5).

Pack Square Park – Venture to the green center of downtown Asheville with your blanket and basket for a meal in the city’s historic square. It’s a great spot for watching kids splash in the interactive fountain at Splasheville, performances in the amphitheater, or just relaxing in nature.  

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