My hometown of Asheville, NC was recently named the #1 food destination in the U.S. on Yelp's 2022 top cities for foodies list. It was also on Eater's Best Food Cities to Travel to in 2023 list, which included cities from across the globe like Sardinia, Italy and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Asheville is the perfect destination for a spring break or a weekend trip. It's got it all- beautiful hikes, tons of craft breweries, and of course an amazing restaurant scene. Who needs Daytona Beach?

Over my 21 years of living in Asheville, I've had the opportunity to dine at many incredible local spots. Here's a few of my all time favorite Asheville restaurants for your next trip to the mountains.

La Bodega by Cúrate

Moriah House

La Bodega by Cúrate is a casual all-day Spanish cafe, market, and wine bar. It's part of Katie Button restaurant group, which includes the James Beard award-winning Cúrate Bar de Tapas. Every time I've eaten at La Bodega, the food, service, and atmosphere has been incredible. I am always impressed by the quality of the ingredients and the care put into the presentation. I mean, just look at that beautiful Ensalada! Made up of gem lettuce, oranges, dates, sheep's milk cheese, and lemon-pistachio vinaigrette. I added the Gambas Fritas (fried prawns), and they were perfectly tender and crispy- well worth the upcharge! Also pictured is my favorite sandwich of all time, the Bocadilla de Jamon. It features Serrano ham on a baguette with fresh grated tomato and manchego. The perfect balance of toothsome baguette, salty, buttery ham, and a little zest from the tomatoes and manchego, I've ordered this exact sandwich at least 10 times (and I'm not planning on stopping anytime soon). If you are craving high quality ingredients, beautiful presentation, and excellent service without all the fuss and expense of fine dining, La Bodega is the place to go! And don't forget to pick up a 4-pack of Palmeras cookies on your way out. Just trust me on this one. 

Taco Billy

Moriah House

If you are a person who enjoys eating tacos (AKA everyone, I hope) you need to get yourself to Taco Billy. This cheerful goat-themed eatery serves an array of unique tacos for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. One of my personal favorites is the Migas, featuring eggs, onions, jalapeños, tomatoes, crispy-fried tortilla strips, and cheddar-jack cheese. You're gonna need a fork for this one, but it's so worth it! And if you're looking for a vegan option, the Support Group is here for you. It features cumin-roasted sweet potatoes, sautéed spinach, black bean hummus, avocado, & coconut crema, served on a plantain tortilla. Oh yes, they have plantain tortillas, and they are delicious!

Moriah House

And it's not just tacos! Taco Billy also offers a variety of drinks and sides, including chips and guacamole, queso especial, and frozen margaritas. With it's cozy atmosphere, generous portions, and unique menu featuring locally-sourced ingredients, Taco Billy is the perfect spot for a fun and flavorful meal in Asheville.

#SpoonTip: Stop by on a Thursday for $5 frozen margaritas and chips and queso!

Chai Pani

Moriah House

It's no exaggeration to say that many people have traveled to Asheville just to eat at Chai Pani. And for good reason! This fun, delicious, and affordable Indian street food spot was the winner of the 2022 James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant, and the line has been out the door ever since. My family has been eating at Chai Pani since they opened 13 years ago, and I fondly remember many meals of kids rice and daal and hot chai. 

Recently, my go-to order has been the Crispy Masala Fish Roll. This generously portioned wrap is bursting with perfectly seasoned flaky white fish, crunchy onions, and a tangy masala slaw, all brought together by warm, buttery-delicious naan. It is so good, and even better when washed down with a hot cup of chai. 

#SpoonTip: Chai Pani does not take reservations, so I would recommend visiting during a less busy time (such as weekday lunch) for a shorter wait. 


Moriah House

Dilbar is also an Indian street food restaurant, but the menu and vibes are quite different from Chai Pani (and you probably won't have to wait as long for a seat). The first thing I noticed about Dilbar was the amazing atmosphere. There are tons of cool posters, multiple TVs playing Bollywood films, and even a bike hanging from the ceiling! And then there's the delicious food. Dilbar offers an extensive menu, including a selection of Indian-Chinese noodle and rice dishes. I went for the chicken Szechuan noodles, which came with Szechuan sauce, garlic, ginger, spring onions, marinated chicken, and eggs. They were a perfect blend of hot and sweet, and I loved the unique mouth-numbing flavor of the Szechuan sauce. If you like things spicy, this is the dish for you! Dilbar also offers a selection of dosas, which are thin pancakes made from a fermented lentil and rice batter. My mom opted for the paneer cheese masala dosa, which was filled with paneer cheese and masala potatoes, and served with lentil curry and coconut and tomato chutneys. She was nice enough to share with me (thanks mom), and I loved dipping pieces of the cheesy, fluffy dosa in the tangy chutneys. Everything was perfectly seasoned and generously portioned. Dilbar is a great option for a unique, fun, and flavorful meal in downtown Asheville!

Asheville Pizza

Moriah House

Every city has a favorite local pizza place, and Asheville's is  most definitely Asheville Pizza. I mean, the name says it all. But don't just take my word for it- Asheville Pizza has been voted (by locals) the best pizza in Western North Carolina for 19 years running. They now have three locations, but my personal favorite is the one in North Asheville, which has a dine-in movie theater with the cheapest tickets around. It's where I went as a child and watched everything from Kung Fu Panda to Harry Potter- all while eating delicious food, of course! Asheville Pizza offers a variety of delicious appetizers, sandwiches, and salads in addition to pizza. My personal favorite item of theirs is the Popeye's Spinach Burger, a vegetarian spiced spinach patty with sautéed portabella mushrooms, red onions, swiss cheese, and secret sauce served on a brioche bun. Get yourself a side of tater tots, and I promise you won't miss the meat! As for the pizza, they have lots of unique and delicious options, but my family's go-to order is the Shear Delight. It comes with a sesame seed crust, pesto sauce base, portobello mushrooms, walnuts, and gorgonzola, and it is (true to it's name) a delight. If you want to experience Asheville's unique character, eat delicious food, drink craft beer, and just have a good time, Asheville Pizza is the place to go! 

Little Chango

Moriah House

Little Chango is a casual hispanic kitchen serving up flavorful arepas, tasty sides, and hearty lonchera plates. They have a super unique and fun vibe, encapsulated by their slogan- "Gregarious by nature, Gluttonous by choice." You really can't go wrong with any of the delicious menu options, but my standard order is the Pepiada Arepa. It's the perfect balance of creamy chicken salad, avocado, and zesty cilantro sauce, all on top of a perfectly fluffy corn cake. And don't forget to add a side of the Tostones, you won't regret it!

#SpoonTip: Little Chango's seating is limited, so consider getting takeout if you have a larger party. Their food travels well, and is just as delicious at home (or in your hotel room).

See you in the Mountains!

Moriah House

Asheville is home to so many incredible restaurants, and I couldn't possibly include them all. These are just a few of my favorites, which I think capture the weird and wonderful spirit of the city. With beautiful nature, a vibrant arts scene, and tons of delicious dining options, Asheville is the perfect destination for your next weekend trip or spring break travels. If you are lucky enough to find yourself out for a meal in Asheville, I hope you'll consider trying one (or all) of these amazing local restaurants!

Still looking for the perfect spring break destination? Here's Where to Travel for Spring Break, Based on Your Go-To Drink Order (Hint: If you like craft beer, you're already in the right place)