As a western North Carolina native, Asheville is my go-to place for a weekend out. Nestled just off of the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, Asheville is the quintessential mountain city. Filled to the brim with independently owned stores, farm-to-table eateries and microbreweries, Asheville loves to do things differently.

1. French Broad Chocolate Lounge


Photo courtesy of French Broad Chocolates on Facebook

Flocks of tourists and natives alike line up outside just to taste the orgasmic delight that is produced in the heart of Asheville. With creamy house-made chocolate, coffee, ice cream and homemade pastries like the decadent apple cider tart above, the French Broad Chocolate Lounge will certainly satisfy the chocolate lover in you.

In the mood for chocolate cake? Try their Quintessential Chocolate Cake. Not a chocolate lover? Their creme brûlée and house-made ice cream are to die for.

2. Wicked Weed Brewery Pub


Photo courtesy of Wicked Weed Brewing on Facebook

If you’re craving craft beer, bison burgers, and classic southern food, Wicked Weed is the place to go. This cleverly named brewery was created in 2011 to push the boundary of craft brewing.

In addition to mouth watering, locally sourced food, the pub and beer bar houses over 25 unique beers including cask, nitro, and limited releases. The brewery also produces more than 200 different types of beer annually.

3. Cucina 24


Photo courtesy of Cucina 24 on Facebook

A mash-up of Appalachian and Italian culture, Cucina 24 is a seasonal restaurant located on historic Wall Street in Asheville’s downtown.  Maintaining a menu with fresh vegetables, meats and cheeses, this restaurant caters to everyone’s diet. Don’t be intimidated by their menu; their wild Alaskan Halibut is to die for. Plus, there’s always pizza if you don’t want to try something too wild.

4. Rhubarb


Photo courtesy of Rhubarb on Facebook

More of a novelty in western North Carolina, this unique “foothills cuisine” uses local ingredients to create 5-star dishes. Rhubarb is the place where family and friends (old and new) can come together and share uncomplicated food created to be enjoyed.

In addition to a regular menu, they also have a unique “Sunday Supper” where you can go and enjoy a family style three course meal at a communal table.

5. Creperie Bouchon


Photo by John Warner

Located in the French Quarter of Asheville, Creperie Bouchon brings authentic French food and farm-fresh ingredients to the table. This restaurant serves delicious sandwiches, salads, and both savory and sweet crepes. Plus, all of their crepes are gluten free.

6. Green Tea Sushi Resturant


Photo courtesy of Green Tea Sushi Japanese Restaurant on Facebook

If you’re as picky me, you’ll know that its hard to get a really good piece of sushi in the South. However, not only have I found that Green Tea Sushi Restaurant has fantastic sushi, it also houses an authentic Japanese tea house and excellent Japanese fusion meals.

Their expansive menu even has an Asheville roll with smoked salmon and avocado. Doesn’t that jalapeño tuna tartare above look wonderful?

7. Strada Italiano


Photo courtesy of Strada Italiano

I have found that there is absolutely nothing better than authentic Italian food. However, Strada Italiano is not only an authentic family-owned Italian restaurant, but it’s also locally sourced, and has gluten-free options. Imagine sitting at a cozy table sipping on a crisp white wine while sampling hot out-of-the oven bread.

8. Twisted Laurel


Photo courtesy of Twisted Laurel on Facebook

If you’re looking for an affordable and gourmet Mediterranean style meal, Twisted Laurel is perfect for you. Their menu consists of classic Greek and American dishes, a variety of craft beers on tap and daily specials like the Mahi-Mahi, asparagus and risotto shown above. My favorite is their crispy pepperoni served with a house made jalapeno ranch.

9. White Duck Taco Shop


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Last but certainly not least, the White Duck Taco Shop is a tourist favorite. This restaurant serves over 16 different types of tacos and snacks filled with fresh ingredients. Priced at $3.25 each, they certainly fit a college student’s budget. But if you can’t make it to Asheville, they now also have locations in Johnson City, TN, Charleston, SC, and Colombia, SC.