Sara and I had heard from several people that Asheville was a beautiful and fun place. We finally got to experience it for ourselves last October. It really is a foodie and beer lovers paradise. There's a brewery on almost every street corner and so many amazing restaurants. We were pretty impressed with how much we tried during our 3 days there, but we didn't even get to experience a fraction of what Asheville has to offer. Eating yourself sick like we did? Not recommended, but hard to avoid.
Where to eat in Asheville:
The Lucky Otter - After our 5 and a half hour drive, we needed food and some drinks. We started our trip at the the Lucky Otter thanks to a suggestion from our AirBnB host. The Lucky Otter sources all of their produce locally, only serves beer that is brewed in Asheville and pretty much everything is made in house. They also make their own sour mix for their margaritas. I tried the Zorba the Greek burrito, which had tzatziki sauce, olives, chicken, tomatoes, and feta.
Sara ordered the 'Lesson of the Sage,' which featured chicken, potatoes, garlic, broccoli, cheese, mushrooms and a Parmesan sauce. The sauce was rich, and the garlic remained on the tastebuds for hours after, but was a really delicious choice.
Unique burritos and margs are just what we needed to welcome ourselves to Asheville.
Buxton Hall Barbecue - When we saw that Buxton Hall Barbecue was called the #9 Best New Restaurant in America in 2016 by Bon Appetit, we knew we had to try it. Fried chicken is one of my guilty pleasure so I decided to try their fried chicken sandwich (Bon Appetit also said this was one of the best fried chicken sandwiches that they ate in 2016). The sandwich is huge! The chicken is dipped in buttermilk and then deep fried. It's then topped with American cheese, pimento cheese, white barbecue sauce, and then some bread and butter pickles. Sara ordered some ribs, which were deliciously smoky. I don't know if I'd call it the best barbecue place ever, but it was pretty close.
Pro Tip: Try to get there when they first open for dinner. If there's a long line, put your name down and then go right next door to Catawba Brewing Co. to grab a drink. They'll call you when your table is ready.
King Daddy's Chicken and Waffles - If you couldn't guess it, King Daddy's is a restaurant that focuses mainly on chicken and waffles. The chicken and waffles come ala carte. You first choose your chicken. You can choose between fried, gluten free, grilled, heirloom, habanero sweet potato, korean, and chicken gravy and then you pick your waffle. You can pick a belgian, pumpkin, cracklin, vegan/gluten Free, or a cornmeal waffle. I went with just the fried chicken and a cracklin waffle and Sara really enjoyed the habanero sweet potato chicken and a pumpkin waffle. We also started with the poutine, which was incredibly good.
Bhramari Brewing Co. - We randomly stumbled upon Bhramari on one of our first nights in Asheville. They use a lot of locally grown and raised produce, beef and beer ingredients. They offer a variety of beers and ciders and a very unique menu. I highly recommend ordering the burger, as did our waiter who said it's what they're know for. It comes with candied bacon, oaked mayo, crispy onions and smoked black truffle American cheese (YUM). It definitely has a distinct smoked flavor.
Where to drink in Asheville:
New Belgium - New Belgium is probably one of the most well known breweries that calls Asheville home. Their tap room features a large selection of beers on tap, ranging from Dunkelweizens to Sours to IPAs, and allows you to choose 4 to create your own flight. I missed out, but if you get to go anytime soon, you can try their Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough golden ale, which apparently tastes just like the ice cream. I'm definitely intrigued. They have a great outdoor area that overlooks a river and allow you to tour their facility as well.
Funkatorium - The Funkatorium was probably one of my favorite places we tried. They offered a HUGE variety of uniquely infused sours and other funky beers. I really enjoyed the Genesis, which is a blonde sour aged and then infused with pineapple, mango, guava and papaya, and then the Oblivion, which is a sour red ale aged in wine barrels with blackberries and dates.
If you prefer stouts or IPAs, this may not be your first choice, but their main brewery, Wicked Weed, is also just up the road.
Burial Beer Co. - Burial seemed like a place where a lot of locals would hang out. The taproom had a very unique atmosphere and offered unique beers as well. They have a kitchen with an always changing menu and you can also tour their facility. I just wish we had visited on a nicer do so we could have enjoyed their patio.
Hi-Wire Brewing - Sara and I spent a good amount of our first day here just hanging out. We both ordered a flight and then sat by one of their giant open windows. We both ordered flights so that we could try a few different things. Hi-wire has some very inventive beers. In my flight, I included a beer that tasted just like pink lemonade. They offer a wide selection of interesting sours as well if that's more your taste.
Urban Orchard - Urban Orchard only serves cider so it was a nice change of pace. We suggest trying their Dry Ridge cider, which tastes like apple and has hints of tropical fruit, and then their Sidra Del diablo if you're feeling adventurous. This cider is made with vanilla, habaneros, and creeper spice. Definitely not your typical cider. We all split a charcuterie plate as well which really hit the spot. Urban Orchard partners with local businesses to provide all of their food. When it's nice out, they have an outdoor area filled with several Eno hammocks you can lay in. Sounds like a perfect afternoon to us.
We definitely weren't able to try everything but these were a few of our favorite places! Have you been to Asheville? Let us know what restaurants and breweries you loved!