The AdmiralThe Admiral restaurant is very unassuming with it's cinderblock building exterior and its hole-in-the-wall vibe. Don't let the scruffy exterior and dive-bar aesthetic fool you into thinking all the praise this restaurant has attained has somehow steered you wrong; rest assured that the unbelievably small kitchen is cranking out culinary magic and this West Asheville diamond in the ruff (per the New York Times) is absolutely as great as everyone says it is. Inside, a dark wood finish is set aglow by neon beer signs and those sitting down for a meal will enjoy a selection of amazing dishes sporting ingredients like imported oysters and foie gras. The menu has a variety of items sure to please all members in your party. Call them directly for more information (828) 252-2541
CúrateThree years and two James Beard nominations later, Chef Katie Button's restaurant, Cúrate, has become one of the most celebrated culinary achievements in Asheville, and it's clear this is a must-visit restaurant when visiting the city. Cúrate's cuisine is Spanish tapas and the menu is full of dozens of simple, small plates with bold flavors that not only stand as a testament to Button's culinary training at both El Bulli in Spain and Jean-Georges in New York, but also to her staunch support of local agriculture. Call direct for more details (828) 239-2946.
The Corner KitchenTables dot both floors of the quaint, historic home that is Corner Kitchen, one of several restaurants in the historic Biltmore Village but the only one visited by President Obama. Guests will enjoy the ever-changing menu while they take in the ambience of this one hundred and eight year old historic structure. Menu favorites include such items as the pecan-crusted trout and the herb-roasted pork. Like a lot of Asheville chefs, the culinary team at Corner Kitchen keeps the cuisine pretty simple and lets the ingredients speak for themselves without overdoing it but they're never afraid to kick their Pan-American fare up a notch with imaginative reductions and sauces. This is a very popular hot-spot, reservations are highly recommended. (828) 274-2439
Posana CafePosana Cafe is a contemporary American restaurant in the heart of downtown Asheville on Historic Pack Square. With a focus on serving local, seasonal, and sustainable cuisine, Posana sources unprocessed, premium ingredients from nearly 65 different local purveyors and farmers each week and regularly changes the menu. The restaurant’s warm welcoming main dining room is ideal for a weeknight dinner, weekend brunch, or a special occasion celebration. Diners will enjoy such items as the Sunburst Farm Trout and Hickory Nut Gap Pork sourced from Asheville's most famed farm. With a bar set high from years working with Wolfgang Puck, Chef Peter Pollay shows that even gluten-free food can pack a tasty punch. (828) 505-3969
White Duck Taco ShopWhite Duck Taco Shop opened in the River Arts District in 2011, and while the picnic-tabled, quick food spot joined a slew of fun and eclectic eateries in the district, it has certainly emerged as a standout. There's almost always a line out the door, especially during peak lunch and dinner times Monday through Saturday. Inside, a colorful chalkboard displays the kitchen's offerings, including a dozen varieties of tacos with a nod to a plethora of international cuisines. The White Duck's concept is fresh and affordable food. They deliver the freshest, most awesomely creative food every day. Jerk Chicken, Bangkok Shrimp and Lamb Gyro are just a few of the options, all of which are best enjoyed alongside a serving of mint watermelon and a glass of house made white or red sangria. Since this venture has been such a success, owners opened a second location downtown on Biltmore Avenue.
Call for more details (828) 258-1660
Vue 1913Vue 1913, a European-style restaurant with American cuisine bolstered by local farm fare. With Chef James Lumley at the reigns, the kitchen cranks out an endless array of haughty plates that aim to vie for each diner's affection while they sit flabbergasted by the panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It's a tough match-up, but judging by reviews from critics applauding the classic fare, Vue 1913 is holding its own alongside the epic vistas. (828) 252-2711
The Dining Room at Inn on BiltmoreIntricate carpets play off an ivory-painted room with coffered ceilings, a dry-stacked stone fireplace, and luminous chandeliers in this elegant establishment. You'll dine Vanderbilt-style, as you enjoy the estate-raised beef and lamb and fresh–picked ingredients from our kitchen gardens in a setting of white tablecloths, beautiful views, and gracious service. Start your meal with a bit of caviar service, and then shift to pastrami-crusted bison carpaccio. With such richness, you'll be hard-pressed to choose an entree from their amazing selections, be sure to take a second glance at the roasted breast of pheasant with thyme jus, wild Tasmanian steelhead salmon with tarragon aioli, or a Black Angus filet mignon we've heard it's "to die for". The entire memorable experience is certain to be second to none. Estate admission fees may apply. Call for more details (828)225-1333 or (800) 411-3812
12 Bones SmokehouseWhile President Obama's multiple visits to this much-loved barbecue hotspot may have garnered 12 Bones some national attention, Asheville locals have been singing its praises for years. The restaurant, which has two Asheville area locations, is perhaps best known for its River Arts District locale where a line of hungry loyalists begins to form by 11am each weekday. 12 Bones Smokehouse makes everything from scratch. Their meats are smoked long & slow over select hardwoods. The recipes are both old family favorites & new ones and they believe that simple ingredients & lots of care in preparation make the best food. Some things on the menu change daily...Inside this no-frills, red-roofed quick-serve on Riverside Drive, a steady supply of pulled pork, beef brisket and slow-smoked baby back ribs are served with finger-licking sauces, including Blueberry Chipotle, which is available in bottles to take home. All of these savory delights are best enjoyed accompanied by 12 Bones' stellar sides, which include mashed sweet potato, collards and the legendary jalepeno cheese grits. Call for more details (828) 253-4499
Tupelo Honey CafeGuest to Tupelo Honey Cafe will enjoy Southern Comfort Food "re-imagined"...with tantalizing breakfasts such as New Orleans-style French toast, sweet potato pancakes and omelets with complimentary hot biscuits all day you can't go wrong with a meal here. Other dinner options include shrimp and grits, nutty fried chicken with mashed sweet potatoes, and a veggie plate that might include organic honey-glazed carrots, marinated grilled tofu or candied ginger cornbread with peanut butter. Asheville has a great Saturday and Sunday morning brunch scene, and this is definitely an area favorite thanks to the breakfast pies people will line down the street for. Call for more details (828) 255-4863