"Where should we eat tonight?"

When people visit Asheville, North Carolina, there is a big decision they make every day: "Where do we eat dinner?" Now you could decide to picnic just off the Blue Ridge Parkway and enjoy a amazing and restful mountain view (this is about my speed), but if you want to find a restaurant downtown, oh my...there are so, SO many choices, and everyone has their own opinion as to the correct answer to this question so...I figured this would be fun to talk about, since I definitely have my favorite hangouts around here. And just a quick note: the list and descriptions below are not in any specific order. I am listing local restaurants as they come to my mind...

Chai Pani

This place is honestly probably my number one favorite restaurant in Asheville. This is a celebration of Indian street food. Heck, some of the best food of any country is its street food, and Chai Pani features chaat - crunchy, spicy, sweet, tangy, brightly flavored Indian street snacks. And because there's nothing more comforting and delicious in any culture than a home cooked meal, Chai Pani also serves thalis - traditional family meals highlighting India's amazing culinary diversity. Either way you go (the chaat or thalis), you won't be sorry.

22 Battery Park Ave
Asheville, NC 28801

(828) 254-4003

The Market Place

The Market Place has been a fixture in downtown Asheville since 1979. Though it’s beginnings rose in the streams and mountains of western North Carolina – a place of mountain trout and small farms – it also has a hand and heart inspired by traditions far from our borders. This mélange of local food prepared with other worldly traditions of the table may have helped the Market Place garner national attention but the keen reverence for the heritage and roots of Appalachia has always remained at the center of what we do. Joy took me here for my birthday last year and it was truly remarkable.

20 Wall Street
Asheville, NC 28801

(828) 252-4162


Cúrate is a celebration of traditional Spanish cuisine. If you have ever visited Spain, Cúrate’s menu will transport you back to the country of flamenco, olives, almonds, and sherry. If you’ve never been to Spain, Cúrate will introduce you to the country’s lively tapas bar tradition of small plate dining on foods flavored with a touch of sherry, or perhaps smoky paprika, and always the choicest olive oil.  Cúrate should definitely be on your short list of awesome restaurants to try in Asheville.

13 Biltmore Ave
Asheville, NC 28801

(828) 239-2946

Wicked Weed Brewing Pub

If you like great food and amazingly interesting beer, then you need to try Wicked Weed Brewing Pub. Located in downtown Asheville, the Brewpub is the original home of Wicked Weed Brewing housing a full restaurant, downstairs beer bar, bottle shop, and original 15 barrel brewery. If the weather is nice, I'd recommend sitting outside in their ample patio area.

91 Biltmore Ave.
Asheville, NC 28801

(828) 575-9599

The Admiral

This is on my list so that Joy doesn't yell at me. If I want to really celebrate and my my wife happy, I take her to The Admiral. But I have to remember to make reservations several days in advance). I'm not kidding about that. The restaurant itself is absolutely and completely unremarkable. It's a shoddy cinder block building. But OMG, go inside and sit down and look at the menu. It's absolutely amazing. This chill West Asheville American dishes up a globally inspired seasonal menu that changes frequently, featuring plates like Korean fried chicken, duck leg adobo and elk loin.

West Asheville
400 Haywood Road
Asheville, NC 28806

(828) 252- 2541

For more recommendations and things to do in the area see my page about the River Arts District.