Here is a round-up of some of my favorite casual places to eat in downtown Asheville. Most of the lunch options also serve dinner if you are looking for a casual dinner spot!
Buxton Hall BBQ
Located on the South Slope, next door to Catawba Brewing, Buxton Hall BBQ is shaking up the Asheville restaurant scene. The all-star team serves up Eastern Carolina style BBQ plates and fixin’s in a historic building. Enjoy a classic pulled pork sandwich, St. Louis style ribs (Thurs-Sat), fried chicken, and their unparalleled buttermilk jalapeño hush puppies. Come for the BBQ and stay for a house special liquor slushie
Chef Hector is the mastermind behind Salsa’s, Chorizo, Modesto, AND Bomba. You might think he would be overstretched… but would be wrong. Every restaurant delivers its own unique spin on Latin American cuisine. Bomba is our favorite for a morning coffee (with Bomba roll) and long casual lunches al fresco. In addition to arepas, pupusas, and tacos, enjoy their all-star salad line-up for a fresh and flavorful meal.
In a world of make-your-own burger joints, BurgerWorx is a cut above the rest. Bring your vegetarian friends because for the dynamite veggie burger complete with a wide array of vegetarian topping choices. If you like spicy food, don’t miss the Atomic burger- or at least add some habañero pepper relish to your order.
When the burrito-craving strikes, hop down to Mamacitas for fast and fresh Mexican cuisine. With a wide-array of meat and veggie options, you can please everyone in one stop! If you are visiting on a (Taco) Tuesday, watch out for the extra long line.
Rhubarb’s little sister, The Rhu is holding their own among Asheville restaurants on Lexington Avenue. Take it to go, or eat-in for breakfast and lunch. Their well-curated wall of local goods is your one-stop-shop for hostess gifts and take-home goodies. Relive your childhood with their elevated peanut butter and jelly toast, or go-big with the sausage egg and cheese muffin. For lunch, you can’t go wrong with their rotation of fresh salads and sandwiches
Over Easy Cafe
For downtown breakfast and brunch, try Over Easy Cafe. If you are looking for a boozy brunch, they offer mason jar mimosas and spicy Bloody Marys. This is another spot that everyone can enjoy, since they offer a wide array of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options. Expect a line during peak hours.
Rosetta’s Kitchen & the Buchi Bar
Rosetta’s Kitchen is Asheville’s downtown whole foods kitchen, serving up breakfast, lunch, and dinner Monday through Saturday! Even meat eaters will enjoy the hearty vegan menu and bold flavors. Want to bring the healthy vibes home with you? Grab a growler of local Buchi to-go!
Grab a crepe and a mimosa on the relaxing patio at Bouchon Creperie. If you need an afternoon pick-me-up, we recommend the French picnic platter. Their crepes and mussels make delicious full meals. Make sure to try the French fries, they are addictive and should not be missed! Their sister-restaurant, Bouchon, offers fancier French comfort food- you can’t go wrong with either of these Asheville restaurants.
Little Bee Thai
Once only served by food truck, Little Bee Thai can now be enjoyed at their new brick and mortar location. Small bites like spicy wings, noodle dishes, hearty stir fries, and balanced curries are the hallmark of the Little Bee Thai experience. Check them out for lunch, but be ready for a line during peak hours!
Chai Pani will delight you with their creative and accessible Indian street food. Enjoy small plates, salads, sandwiches, and traditional thali platters (vegetarian and non-vegetarian offerings rotating daily). Order a variety of Chaat (street snacks) to share for the table and cool off with a refreshing Mango Lassi, their housemade chilled yogurt drink with sweet mango pulp & cardamom.
Wicked Weed Brewing
Visit the downtown pub location ofWicked Weed Brewing for a full beer and Asheville dining experience. The menu features gastro-pub staples like burgers, salads, and creative small bites (boiled peanuts, house made chips, and a local cheese plate to name a few). The pub normally has 16 of their renowned beers on tap. If you are craving more local beer, venture to the Funkatorium, their sour beer outpost on the brewery heavy South Slope.
No round-up of Asheville restaurants is complete without breakfast darling, Biscuit Head. Don’t let the line wrapping around the door scare you off, it is worth the wait. You can’t go wrong with any of their biscuits (surprisingly delicious and fluffy GF biscuits available), but we especially recommend the Asheville Benedict, Mimosa Fried Chicken, Pulled Pork, and Fried Green Tomato biscuits. Grab the bacon of the day and their gravy trio to share if you want the full experience. Insider tip: grab a coffee, mimosa, or bloody mary from the to-go counter to drink while you wait.