Welcome to a food and drink lover's dream! If you are a foodie that loves culinary adventures with plenty of local flavor, the Asheville and surrounding mountain area is the place for you. We were even voted a Top 10 Foodie City in the USA, based on the high frequency that locals eat out, the amount spent on food, access to healthy food options, the number of farmers markets and the large number of restaurants and James Beard Foundation Award winners. Here are our top things to taste in "Foodtopia."
From casual to sophisticated, there are restaurants for all tastes. In downtown Asheville, choose from 60+ locally-owned restaurants with cuisine from around the world. Many feature "farm-to-table" seasonal specials with local food. Check out our favorites.
Bed & Breakfasts
Imagine waking up in a grand home and walking downstairs to the dining room, where you are served a gourmet feast! Feel like royalty and get pampered in one of the many B&Bs in our area. Enjoy a leisurely morning and relax after breakfast, rocking on a porch or by a roaring fire with your coffee. What a way to start the day!
With 25 craft breweries in the North Carolina mountains near Asheville, where to begin? Use our Beer Guide to plan your strategy. You can walk to many breweries in downtown Asheville, especially in the South Slope Brewing District. Two recent big additions include Sierra Nevada and New Belgium.
Wild Food Foraging Tours
Take a "forage to table" tour with No Taste Like Home and play with your food. Our area is a Garden of Eden with over 300 wild edibles. During a guided tour, gather wild mushrooms, plants and other “extreme cuisine.” Then a chef transforms your finds into a delicious meal.
Winery Visits & Tours
In addition to the nation's most visited winery at Biltmore, take a winery tour in the foothills area including around Hendersonville and Morganton. Sample the local wines while enjoying the mountain views. See our Top Wineries to see in western North Carolina.
Coffee, Tea & Sweets
Downtown Asheville has some great hangouts for java, tea and yummy sweets. Find coffee shops, tea houses and bakeries to unwind while you read or visit with a friend.
We are lucky to have so many chocolatiers in the Asheville area. The hottest stop is the French Broad Chocolate Lounge in downtown and their nearby chocolate factory. And don't miss longtime favorite, The Chocolate Fetish. Check out the stops on our Chocolate Lover's Tour.
BREW-ed Brewery & History Walking Tours
Take the only brewery tour in Asheville led by a certified beer expert! Learn how beer is made and how to taste it. Get special access to Asheville's breweries and learn the stories behind the pints. On the short walks between breweries, your guide will share stories of the early days of Asheville.
We have the perfect picnic spot for any occasion! Take a backpack on a hike to a waterfall or picnic atop a mountain summit with panoramic views. You could also stop along the Blue Ridge Parkway and spread a blanket on the grass. While there are many designated picnic areas along the Parkway and in the national forests surrounding Asheville, you can also create your own picnic spot.
Wine & Cocktails
Unwind after a busy day of sightseeing at one of the many wine and cocktail bars in downtown Asheville. Our favorite is the Battery Park Champagne Bar in Grove Arcade (pic). Social Lounge has a great rooftop!
Ultimate Foodie Tour
Discover incredible sights, tastes and history with Creative Mountain Food Tours. Take a 2-3 hour walking tour to taste food and sip drinks at an eclectic representation of at least five Black Mountain eateries. A special treat for foodies and history buffs. Top chefs and owners share what inspired them to call this mountain town their home.
There are dozens of farmer's markets throughout the mountains. The biggest by far is the Western North Carolina Farmers Market that is open every day in Asheville. In downtown, the City Market on Charlotte Street is every Saturday 8 AM-1 PM and the French Broad Co-op Market is Wednesdays 2-6 PM. Find more markets and pick up the Local Food Guide by the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project.
The Western North Carolina Cheese Trail includes several small cheesemakers and farms near Asheville. Sample cheeses and buy some to take home. Looking Glass Creamery is an easy drive from downtown Asheville.
Summer Food Festivals
There's seldom a weekend in the summer without a great outdoor festival in Asheville and the surrounding small towns that includes plenty of food.
Farm Visits & Tours
Visit farms and learn about their local food. See buffalo and alpacas, sample local cheeses, watch bees make honey, visit wineries, pick apples and more. Plus, tour historic farms at Biltmore and in the Great Smoky Mountains.
Asheville Wine & Food Festival
Friday, August 18, 2017 to Saturday, August 19, 2017
The finest regional wines, exceptional local chefs, craft beer and spirits, and handcrafted artisanal foods. A weekend of palate-pleasing sampling in downtown. Multiple events.
Saturday, June 3, 2017
Get a free livermush sandwich with live music, best dressed pig contest, cooking contest and more in downtown Marion.
Saturday, June 10, 2017 to Sunday, June 11, 2017
Since Asheville is one of the top USA cities for vegan living, find many events all weekend. SpeakerFest at Masonic Temple is Saturday and the big outdoor festival in Pack Square Park is Sunday 11 AM-5 PM. All events are free. Fundraiser for local animal sanctuary.
NC Apple Festival
Friday, September 1, 2017 to Monday, September 4, 2017
Downtown Hendersonville features more than 150 vendors lining eight blocks of the main event area. There is continuous entertainment from 10 AM-10 PM each day. The King Apple Parade, always held on Labor Day, culminates the Main Street activities.
Saturday, October 7, 2017
A great celebration of the local beer scene, mixing Bavarian traditions with Asheville's eclectic vibe. Downtown. Tickets required if you are tasting!
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