Last month Rob and I took a road trip up to Asheville, North Carolina. It’s a really fun mountain town that reminds me of Fort Collins or Boulder, Colorado. There are outdoor activities, a LOT of breweries, a fun downtown area and a vibrant arts scene. We only spent two nights there (one full day), so we tried to squeeze in as much as possible! Our friends gave us brewery and restaurant recommendations and we also talked to locals while we were there to see what their favorites spots were. Most of our trip was spent drinking flights of beer, walking around the city and eating. Below are some of our favorite finds!
WHERE TO DRINK:
- New Belgium Brewing Company. This was our first stop as we drove into town. Normally we like to stick to small breweries that don’t distribute nationwide, but New Belgium had a lot of unique brewery-only beers at their Asheville location. The Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin was my absolute favorite. It’s a pumpkin ale with habanero chili peppers so it packs a little punch! It’s not too hot, but adds a nice spice that makes it the most unique pumpkin beer I’ve ever tried. The brewery itself is MASSIVE! We didn’t take a tour, but I’m sure it would be cool to see!
- Hi-Wire Brewing. I love the circus themed beers and decor at this brewery. We went to the Big Top for a drink one evening and I loved the sour beer I ordered (although I forget exactly which one it was). This was one of the breweries that almost everyone we talked to recommended. It was definitely a cool atmosphere and they had a great selection of beers!
- Highland Brewing Company. This was another one that came highly recommended. It’s a really big space and they had live music when we attended on a Friday night. They had a tart raspberry ale that I really liked.
- Green Man Brewery. Rob’s favorite beer of the whole Asheville trip, the Trickster IPA, was from this brewery. I’m not an IPA fan, but I loved their porter and a fruity, sour beer they had on tap. The building itself is really impressive, with three stories, a “brewtique” and an indoor/outdoor taproom loft that has a view of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
- The Funkatorium and Wicked Weed Brew Pub. We went to The Funkatorium in the South Slope district and they had really interesting beers. They had a dark sour that sounded weird, but the bartender suggested I give it a try and it was amazing!
- Wedge Brewing Company. We went to the location at Wedge Studios, which is in the heart of the River Arts District. It has a cool outdoor seating area and great beers. Plus you will sometimes find live music and food trucks.
- We didn’t get a chance to visit these watering holes, but I hope to try them next time we are in town: Twin Leaf Brewery, Asheville Brewing Company, Urban Orchard Cider Co., Archetype Brewing, Skybar (rooftop bar with a view of the city), Jack of the Wood, Zebulon Artisan Ales, Lexington Avenue Brewery
WHERE TO EAT
- White Duck Taco Shop. These street tacos were the perfect lunch! Rob and a shared the Korean Beef Bulgogi, Thai Peanut Chicken and Fish tacos. They were really flavorful and reasonably priced. We went to the River Arts District location and it had a nice outdoor area with picnic tables as well as indoor seating.
- 12 Bones Smokehouse. This is another great spot located in the River Arts District. It’s a really cool space covered in artfully done graffiti. We ordered the ribs with the blueberry chipotle sauce which was amazing! I also loved the side of corn pudding. This restaurant has been in the press a lot, especially since President Obama has been there.
- Biscuit Head. OMG this place was unreal! There was quite a long line, but totally worth it! Rob ordered the pulled pork biscuit, which was delicious, and I went with the mimosa fried chicken biscuit. Obviously I wasn’t going for healthy! It was a biscuit with mimosa fried chicken, sweet potato butter, Sriracha slaw and a poached egg. Seriously. SO. GOOD! We also tried the biscuit doughnuts which were served with a delicious lemon curd. I also liked that they had a bar of unique flavored butters and jams to add to your biscuit. Needless to say, we were not hungry for a long time after this meal.
- Standard Pizza Co. This pizza place was close to our Airbnb and in the same parking lot as Hi-Line Brewery’s Big Top, so it was very convenient for us. It was good and stopped me from getting hangry, but looking back I wish we had tried a restaurant that was more unique since you can find pizza anywhere. We ordered the white pizza, which was good but nothing super special. I did like the atmosphere a lot, though! It had a cool industrial look.
- French Broad Chocolate Factory & Tasting Room. We came across this chocolate shop as we were brewery hopping in the South Slope district. They had samples of their café au lait truffle and it was SO good! Very creamy and you could tell it was high-quality chocolate. We left with a bag of dark chocolate raspberry truffles which didn’t last long!
- People we talked to also recommended: Doc Chey’s Noodle House, Cúrate, Farm Burger, Posana Restaurant, The Chocolate Fetish, Tupelo Honey, Izzy’s Coffee Den, OWL Bakery
(Outfit details in this post)
Have you ever been to Asheville? I would love to hear about your favorite places in the comment section below!