Looking for local fare with a funky vibe? You’ll find Asheville’s grooviest restaurants on the west side which includes the River Arts District. Here’s my list of Best West Asheville Restaurants…
Admiral – when you walk in this place, you can’t believe it’s a 5 star restaurant. It looks more like a funky dive, which is exactly what the owners are going for. Their inventive cuisine and craft cocktails have catapulted the Admiral into local stardom.
Asheville Sandwich Company – if giant sandwiches topped with skinny fries rings your bell, then you’ll have lots of ringing going on at Asheville Sandwich Co. Their Philly Cheese Steak takes it to a whole new level.
Biscuit Head – if you miss all the other restaurants in town, make Biscuit Head a must visit before you head home. Their biscuits are as big as a cat’s head, and I’m not kidding. Get there early ’cause once the line starts, it never stops. Try the Asheville Benedict and all your dreams will come true. Make sure to load up at their jam and butter bar where you can sample 20-something homemade condiments for free with every biscuit you order.
Bin Beri Bon – healthy eats and unique concoctions you won’t find anywhere else in Asheville. Try their take on Avocado Toast, or order something unique from the deli case. Everything they make is healthy, so you can feel good about eating there.
Bonfire – quickly becoming one of Asheville’s favorite BBQ spots for tasty wings, tender brisket, and the best brussels sprouts this side of heaven. Seriously, they even have a salad called the Roman with fried brussels on top. Try their Sampler Platter and get a little bit of everything that’s enough for 2 to 3 people.
Bull and Beggar – gorgeous restaurant in the heart of the River Arts District. You may have to jump off a bridge to find it, but eventually you’ll get there. By all means, make a reservation or you’ll have a long wait. The oysters are delicious, but the Double Cheeseburger during Monday Happy Hour is insane. Caramelized onions on a Happy Hour burger? Stellar.
Dobra Tea – quaint tea room with over 100 loose leaf teas and yummy desserts. It’s the kind of place that has cubbies for your shoes while you’re seated. Ah, yes. When you decide what tea you’d like, just ring a little bell and one of their lovely tea makers will arrive at your table.
Early Girl West – southern comfort food made from scratch. If you’re craving farm to table, this is your place. Early Girl serves breakfast all day and it’s the bomb-diggity. They have lots of vegan, vegetarian and gluten–free options. Try their Vegetarian Herb Cream Gravy on a homemade biscuit. Or, splurge with their Fried Green Tomato Napoleon which is one of my favorite dishes.
Foothills Butcher Bar– do you remember what it was like to eat a real cheeseburger, the kind you would make outside on the grill if you could? Locals are quickly figuring out where the best burgers in Asheville reside, and Foothills Butcher Bar is at the top of the list. Order the Carolina Burger with mustard and slaw, or branch out and get a Cuban. They have great weekly specials and host a Local Night on Tuesdays.
Gan Shan Station – if you like dumplings, spicy Korean wings, rice bowls and ramen, this place is where it’s at! Check it out, but get there early ’cause everyone else is checking it out too.
Green Tea Sushi – favorite sushi restaurant on the west side of town. Green Tea has authentic Japanese decor and delicious sushi. Lunch is a great time to visit because they have a Maki Roll Special with soup or salad. As far as special rolls go, my favorite is the Spicy Tuna Wild Dragonwith avocado. They’re also known for their Asheville Roll with salmon tempura and cream cheese. Gotta go!
Haywood Common – a rustic restaurant with small plates, sandwiches, salads, soups and large plate fare. Try their Animal Fries with caramelized onions, cheddar, lemon sauce and sriracha lime. Uh huh.
HOLE Donuts – hot, handmade donuts in funky flavors. When I say hot, I mean they make these to order. Yes, they are handcrafted and cooked one at a time which is nothing short of amazing. Flavors change daily, but the light and fluffy goodness that comes out of their kitchen is worth the line out the door.
HOP Ice Cream Cafe – best salted caramel ice cream you’ll ever put in your mouth. This ice cream shop has it going on with unusual flavors and vegan options. Each scoop is handcrafted and homemade deliciousness. At their West Asheville location, they host Ice Cream Flight Nights on Fridays from 3 to 9 pm. Meet me at the Hop!
ISIS Music Hall – great food…great drinks…great music! The Isis is a fun place to watch your favorite band or catch a brand new act. Make a reservation before the show and enjoy dinner with dishes like their Ahi Tuna Tower and Seared Salmon Gratin. They have parking next door, which is unheard of in West Asheville.
Jargon – deep fried deviled eggs, beef tartare and shrimp and grits are some of my favorite dishes at Jargon. But, their Shrimp Cocktail Bloody Mary is off the charts!
Moose Cafe’ – a popular attraction next to the Farmer’s Market serving fresh veggies and breakfast entrees the way the farmers would. Best known for their fluffy biscuits and homemade apple butter that will melt in your mouth.
Nine Mile – Jamaican Mon! Ok, I have to admit, when I go out to eat, this is the first place that comes to mind. I can’t get their salads with His Majesty’s dressing or Cool Runnings with gouda gravy outta my head. If you order these two dishes, I bet you’ll succumb to the craving too, my friend.
Oyster House Brewing Pub – local seafood pub with stellar food (their Blue Cheese Oysters rock) & potent oyster beer. It’s our favorite ‘Cheers’ neighborhood spot…the place to go where everybody knows your name. Try their Supermoon Stout, a high gravity beer brewed with oyster shells and hints of cocoa and coffee. But, don’t leave without ordering the best burger in town!
Owl Bakery – cozy little bakery that serves European pastries and naturally leavened breads. I like to drop by and see what’s new. But, I’m kinda partial to their Chocolate Croissants.
Pizza Mind – cool little pizza parlor with Build Your Own Pizzas. They make it as you watch! They also have signature pies and salads where you can add ingredients to make your own. Located beside Archetype Brewing and Gan Shan Station.
Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack – spicy fried chicken with yummy sides. I do believe they have the best Mac & Cheese in town. And their Corn Pudding rocks the Casbah (isn’t that a song?) It’s definitely our favorite hang out for all things southern. Try their Chef Salad and prepare to be dazzled.
Salvage Station – Asheville’s coolest riverfront restaurant, full bar, and concert space. They serve Southern-inspired smoked meats and sandwiches to large crowds gathering on the river to listen to music or hang out with friends. This place is huge…I’m talking ginormous…and they stay open really late. Order up their Im’Peached Steak Burger topped with sweet Georgia peach BBQ pork, applewood bacon, garlic aioli, monterrey jack cheese, and fried onion rings. Yeppers.
Standard Pizza – don’t let the name fool ya..this pizza rocks! It’s one of the few places in town where you can get a giant slice of pizza and a drink for under $5. Their Spinach Salad is also the bomb!
Short Street Cakes – dessert yumminess! It’s the number one bakery for natural, scratch-made cakes for birthdays, parties or weddings.
Sand Hill Kitchen –who knew this little cafe inside a gas station could serve up some of the best sandwiches ever? Have you tried their Love Burger yet? How about their Turkey Sandwich or Reuben? It’s time to venture to the west side and discover a whole new world of tasty.
Smoky Park Supper Club – mellow little spot to watch the tubers floating down the river in summer. Meet for dinner nightly (except Mondays), and catch a delicious brunch on Sunday. This place is actually made from shipping containers brought in on an 18-Wheeler. It’s a fun location to snag a drink on the deck and gaze up at the Bowen Smoky Park Bridge which towers over the restaurant.
Stone Ridge Tavern– over on the west side near the Outlet Mall, you’ll find one of the few places in town where you can still order a baked potato and salad combo. They have a large selection of fresh seafood including some of the best Mountain Trout around. Try it blackened and add Grilled Shrimp for a real treat. We’re also fans of their Baby Back Ribs and Filet Mignon which is consistently tender.
Sunny Point Cafe – Just go. Eat the Huevos Rancheros or Shrimp & Grits. Everything’s crazy good! Make sure you take a tip from the locals and show up early or wait until 2 pm. You can make reservations for dinner which is your best bet at getting near the place. They serve breakfast all day long, so you don’t have to go when everyone thinks you do. (Local tip right there.)
Taco Billy – down home funky little spot that serves big breakfast tacos from open to close. They have lunch tacos too, in fun flavor combos you may not have tried before. Check out their Support Group taco, or build your own and wash it down with a 5$ margarita.
Tastee Diner – this joint has been a staple in West Asheville for ages, but they now have a rocking new menu. Where else in town can you order a Ribeye steak for $12? They’ve got it all here…breakfast, sandwiches, burgers, dogs, fried chicken and milkshakes! It’s a diner to love.
Universal Joint – an old garage converted to a neighborhood joint with yummy food and a nice patio. One of the first beer bars in West Asheville with really good food. They still have one of the best burgers in town called the Steinbeck. Take my word for it and order the Spicy Egg Rolls. Ahhh-mazing.
Urban Orchard – who knew this snazzy little cider house had some of the best sandwiches in Asheville? Go for their Turkey Reuben or Grilled Caprese. Their salads are great too. Wednesday is wiener day! Get a hot dog for a crazy price!
Vivian – American food with a French slant. This new restaurant in the River Arts District is being touted as one of the best in the city. I can’t get past their French Onion Soup Dip or the Smoked Oysters on the small plates menu. The Truffle Flight is also an amazing dessert. Brunch is just as delightful as dinner. Try the Croque Madame with a Kentucky Cappuccino. Cheers!
West End Bakery – pastries not to be missed in West Asheville. They make the best bread on the west side of town, but they also have yummy bagels, toasts, paninis, baked goods and desserts. Oh my, my.
WALK – the coolest thing about the WALK is that they’re mega chill. Most of the time you seat yourself unless you go on Taco Tuesdays which is insanely busy ’cause the tacos are ridiculously cheap. So, it’s worth the insanity. But, the WALK has some of the best prices in town every day of the week, so we visit there often. If you like things spicy, give their Jalapeño Margarita a whirl. Yes-sir-ree-bob!
Westville Pub – is Asheville’s original pub with lots of beer choices and fun bar food. They also have a game room with a pool table, shuffleboard and video games. Try their Fish and Chips which the locals think are the best in town.
White Duck Taco – under the Bowen Smoky Park Bridge is Asheville’s favorite taco shop with fun flavors like Bangkok Shrimp, Duck with Mole, and Thai Peanut Chicken.
Zia Taqueria – their Baja fish tacos are to die for! My favorites are the Portabella Mushroom Quesadilla and Chicken Yucatan Salad. Be still my heart.
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