We hope you’ve packed your appetite. This month, we’re finishing our Hit the Road series with a foodie foray into Asheville. Whether you’re interested in taking a tour of Highland Brewing, putting your skills to the test at a cooking class at Asheville Mountain Kitchen, or trying the build your own breakfast burrito at Trout Lily Deli & Market, this driving-distance destination is every foodie’s dream.
Before you start packing your bags, here’s everything you need to know about the area + our insider recommendations.
Drive time: ~4 hours from downtown
Est. population: 96,829
Avg. high in August: 84°
🎟️ Things to do
Asheville Urban Trail
Lace up your sneakers and head out to this 1.7-mile trail with 30 official stations, shedding light on some of the city’s accomplishments. Check out the interactive map at each location.
Izzy’s Coffee Den
Head to 74 N. Lexington Ave. to explore one of the oldest coffee shops in The Land of the Sky, featuring gourmet coffee + espresso drinks. Pro tip: Place your order ahead of time and pair your caffeine fix with some apple bread.
South Slope Mural Trail
Calling all artists: Explore nearly 20 works from Asheville’s local artists including Lara Nguyen, Brushcan Custom Murals, and Ian Wilkinson. Bonus: The trail is self-guided and spans approximately two miles.
Chow Chow Asheville
Looking ahead to September, check out this culinary event series from Sept. 8-11 celebrating Southern Appalachia while encouraging dialogue about issues that impact the community. Events include a five-course dinner, zero-proof cocktail seminar, and makers market.
🍲 Memorable eats
The S&W Market
Head to this food hall adjacent to The Times Bar & Coffee Shop at 56 Patton Ave. to explore award-winning fried chicken sandwiches. Not your cup of tea? Check out the Thai street food — it is a food hall, after all.
Vivian, 348 Depot St.
This airy, sophisticated River Arts District eatery melds together classic European cuisine such as tartare, scallop quenelle + French pastries with funky, Appalachian hits like deviled eggs and fried chicken. We recommend making a reservation for the Sunday brunch + ordering the deep fried chicken biscuit, plus a platter of scratch-made pastries for the table.
Chai Pani, 22 Battery Park Ave.
The rest of the country may have been shocked when an Indian street food restaurant from a small mountain town earned the 2022 James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant, but the vibrant, tangy, spicy, and accessible flavors of the self-taught superstar Chef Meherwan Irani speak for themselves, and most Ashevillians know that.
Pro tip: If you want to bring home a flavorful souvenir, check out the Spicewalla Pop-Up Shop — located across the street in the Grove Arcade (1 Page Ave.) — and shop from 250+ herbs and spice blends developed by Chef Meherwan and his team.
🏨 Foodie accommodations
Cambria Hotel Downtown Asheville, 15 Page Ave.
This newly-constructed hotel features a rooftop bar and authentic Cuban restaurant to enjoy while you take in the views of the city.
The Omni Grove Park Inn, 290 Macon Ave.
Whether you’re headed to the farm-to-table concept Blue Ridge, sipping on award-winning wines at the Sunset Terrace, or in the mood for a blend of American and French cooking at Vue 1913, this hotel offers something for everyone.
AC Hotel, 10 Broadway St.
Explore tapas-style restaurant Capella on 9 in this local hotel featuring signature cocktails and craft beer with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The kale caesar salad is calling our names.