Be prepared to expand your waistband when visiting Asheville, as you will be spoiled for choice by the amazing restaurants. The Tupelo Honey Cafe is certainly one of the top restaurants in Asheville. The Tupelo Honey Cafe features seasonal and local produce that are used to create delicious Southern-style dishes with a unique twist. Examples of their delicious specialties are the rosemary peach lemonade, the nutty fried chicken, and the deep-fried okra. If Asheville isn't on your upcoming trip schedule but you can’t wait to try their amazing food, you can purchase a Tupelo Honey Cafe cookbook to recreate some of their favorites at home.
Asheville, North Carolina is a foodie’s heaven. The center of that heaven is The Early Girl Eatery located in the heart of downtown Asheville. The Early Girl Eatery serves Southern Comfort food using mostly ingredients from local farmers. You should arrive early, as the lines for the restaurant can be quite long. Smaller parties are seated together at larger tables, which fosters mingling between customers. The interior of The Early Girl Eatery is welcoming and homey, with bright colors on the walls. Overall, the menu is creative, the food is amazing, the service is fast, and the prices are reasonable.
Double D’s Coffee and Desserts, located in downtown Asheville, is a cafe inside of a large red Double Decker bus. The bus is from Bristol, UK and arrived in Asheville in 1999, after being used as a party bus in Georgia in the 1960's and 1970's. Double D’s serves only organic coffee from the Notorious Coffee Roasting Company. It is a unique experience to enjoy your coffee and treats while looking out of the windows of the second floor of a Double Decker bus. If you are lucky, you can peek outside of the second floor windows into a courtyard that is frequently filled with musicians and performers.
The window display full of illustrations, photographs, and information immediate draws you into the restaurant, Chai Pani. Chai Pani serves the best and most creative Indian I have ever tried. The authentic Indian street food that they serve transports you to directly to the chaotic streets of Mumbai, Bombay, or New Delhi. Like most other restaurants in Asheville, the serving sizes at Chai Pani are huge, therefore it would be best to eat family style. The menu is incredibly creative and eating family-style will allow you taste a little bit of everything they have to offer. The interior is full of brightly colored decor.
The White Duck Taco Shop in Asheville, North Carolina has a frequently evolving menu that is full of creative flavors wrapped into tacos. Some unique taco flavors include Banh Mi Tofu, Korean Beef Bulgogi, Thai Peanut Chicken, and Duck with Mole. Additionally, they serve soups, sides, and desserts. The individual tacos are small, so order a few to try out several different flavor combinations. The inside of the restaurant is expansive and decorated with street art. After ordering at the front counter you collect your number and after a few minutes your flavorful tacos will be brought to you. The food is affordable and the atmosphere is casual.
The Battery Park Book Exchange, located in the historic Grove Arcade in downtown Asheville, is one of the coolest cafes that I have ever visited. You can also browse or purchase the used books that are offered on the two floors of the cafe. They offer an abundance of books in an opulent atmosphere full of plush cushions, comfortable chairs, and cozy work-spaces. The free WiFi they offer makes it an excellent place to spend an afternoon working. If your work is complicated you may want to order a coffee, or better yet, a cocktail from their fully stocked bar.
Malaprops Bookstore and Café is the largest locally owned bookstore in Asheville. Malaprops sells books from local authors and has a special section for area-specific books. To make it even more special the staff pick their favorite books and write short descriptions of the stories to entice readers. Malaprops also has a shelf for “blind-dating” a book, which means that the book is wrapped in paper and the potential reader is only provided with a small description. Malaprops also has a cafe that serves house blended coffees and locally-baked goodies. The Malaprops Bookstore is one of the best bookshops that I've visited. It has a huge variety of books and often has events with visiting authors.