“Good food & good company are two of life’s simplest yet greatest pleasures…”
What does your ideal vacation look like? Relaxing on the water? Hiking to see beautiful vistas? 5 star dining? If you answered yes to any of these questions, I would highly recommend that you visit Asheville, North Carolina. I was fortunate to turn a recent business trip into a “bleisure” trip and experience the beauty and culinary delights of this city. A special thank you to my friend Jenny who drove in from Charlotte to spend time with me here. Also, I need to give a shout out to my friend Brooke who is almost always game for an adventure with me and drove down from Cincinnati to explore Asheville with me.
Below is where I (or we) ate and hopefully this will help you make your future Asheville trip one your taste buds will remember!
Where I Ate
Well-Bred Bakery: This quaint bakery located in the Biltmore Village (right outside the entrance to the Biltmore Estates) had a large spread of pastries and goodies. As my 2-year-old nephew Simon would say, “I can smell the treats!” I tried a pot de crème which was delicious and tasted like a mixture between cheesecake and custard. YUM!
Tupelo Honey Cafe: I actually went here twice. Once for dinner and once for brunch and it was DELICIOUS both times. It’s good ole’ southern cookin’! For dinner, I tried fried okra, Appalachian johnny cakes, Cackalackie pulled pork, crispy brussels sprouts with lemon & fresh herbs and baked mac-n-cheese. Please note: There was another person with me at this meal :). For brunch, I tried their Appalachian scramble filled with sausage, blueberries (a bit odd but tasted good), arugula, kale and Havarti cheese.
The Corner Kitchen: This was definitely a splurge meal for me because the entrees started around $25…but it was an amazing experience!! It is also located in the Biltmore Village and basically anyone who is famous that comes to Asheville eats here. Guess what?! I got to sit at the same table, in the same chair, that President Barack Obama sat in. My cod dinner and raspberry hard cider were great but the quaint setting and my easily starstruck nature made this meal easily one of my favorites.
Sunny Point Cafe: I tend to be a bit type A and like to have a set agenda when I go on trips BUT I’m learning to go with the flow more often. Brooke and I sort of stumbled across this cafe and just decided to try it. Brooke and her cute top knot & Tevas concluded it was the best bacon she’d ever eaten. Make sure you try to sit outside in their patio area!
French Broad Chocolates: This is every chocolate lover’s dream. Chocolate EVERYTHING and EVERYWHERE! I got the Oaxaca hot chocolate and a hazelnut caramel dark chocolate truffle. Brooke and I also had a nice view of people BATHING IN THE FOUNTAIN. For the most part, they kept their clothes on but it sure did make for some interesting dessert entertainment.
Cúrate: If I ever started a restaurant, I would want it to be just like this one. Spanish tapas, sangria and good conversation are overflowing in this intimate setting. This was my last night in Asheville and I realllllly wanted to go to this restaurant, so Brooke and I waited a short bit (only about 30 minutes) to sit at the bar here. Folks will sometime wait hours to get into this place so we felt pretty lucky! Spanish olives, rubujito and an amazing dessert ensued. Both Brooke and I had conversations with the people sitting on either side of us and I just felt happy to not see people constantly on their phones. (BONUS: I also discovered my dream man’s heritage! The man sitting to my right had grandparents from Sevilla, Spain but grew up in Puerto Rico. Yep, if he hadn’t been so many years my senior, I would’ve fallen in love right there on the spot.)
Farm Burger: Asheville is just about as hippy as you can get. Just as I finished my delicious burger, a group of protesters walked in with pictures of sad looking farm animals shouting things like “murder” and “cruelty” and proceeded to stand on the tables. Needless to say, I didn’t stay there too much longer but the burger was delicious. (Please note: I love animals but I am not a vegetarian. Also, I’m pretty sure those protesters didn’t change anyone’s mind in there about becoming one.)
White Duck Tacos: I tried one spicy shrimp and one crispy fish. Both were very good. This is a great casual spot to pick up some “fast food.”
In upcoming posts, I’m also going to feature the activities I did in Asheville (to burn off all those calories I consumed), as well as the breweries I visited (where I regained those calories).
Question for you: What city do you think has the best food scene?