NC Made's Food & Shop Guide to Asheville



Biscuit Head


We spent some serious time planning our trip to Asheville to make sure we squeezed every last drop of fun from this eclectic mountain town. Our geographically plotted, color-coded schedule was so glorious, in fact, that we thought we'd share it with you in full. So here you have it -- 

A Day and a Half in Asheville with NC Made


Stay in West Asheville -  a walkable, low-key neighborhood with loads of restaurants and locally-owned shops. Airbnb has plenty of affordable + comfortable options like this one and this one

DAY 1
Early morning risers! Stop for breakfast at Biscuit Head (733 Haywood Rd) where the biscuits are SO FLUFFY and the breakfast sandwiches are built to satisfy. Don't forget to load up on the various house-made toppings from their Jam Bar in back. They've got the toastiest vanilla lattes and the Asheville Benedict schmeared with scallion cream cheese and roasted red peppers was eye-rollingly good. 

Now that you've been fortified for the day, head downtown for some shopping! 
Horse + Hero (14 Patton Ave) shows the work of local artists, has a vast selection of affordable art prints and cool t-shirts, and is run by the founders of the popular The Big Crafty, so you know they're tapped in. 

Duncan and York Modern Market (33 N Lexington Ave) is a 2 min walk away and features tons of fun gift items like boozy Sugarfina gummies, cute enamel pins, and clever greeting cards. 

East Fork Pottery

East Fork Pottery (82 N. Lexington Ave) is a gorgeous showroom filled with the simple hand thrown tableware that the local pottery team is known for, along with a curated selection of minimal home goods. Their plates are used in eateries all over Asheville. 
 
Cúrate

Cúrate (13 Biltmore Ave) is a great option for a relaxed lunch since they serve the same menu all day and getting a dinner reservation has gotten a bit more difficult thanks to chef Katie Button's most recent James Beard Award nomination. They do traditional Spanish tapas beautifully. Highlights include their famous Pan con Tomate with a side of sliced manchego, soft white asparagus supported by a light, frothy mayonnaise, crispy salt cod fritters coated in rosemary honey, and grilled ibérico pork that tastes like steak. And for dessert? A tidy scoop of orange sorbet and a swoop of dark chocolate custard, sprinkled with candied corn nuts and chocolate lava rocks. 

Roll down the hill and pop into the French Broad Co-op (90 Biltmore Ave) to roam the aisles stocked with organic goods and local food products. 
 
Then head across the street to homegrown brewery Wicked Weed --- if their tables are all full, the bottle shop has plenty of popular and harder-to-get options for carry out. 
 
Cucina 24

You may need a nap (we did), and at this point you're probably not even remotely hungry (we weren't), but you MUST have dinner at Cucina 24 and you must most certainly order the tasting menu that changes daily. A round of Aperol Spritzes will help. Nine inventive dishes come out in succession and they are truly all amazing, but the breakout star was definitely the embered celery root topped with trout caviar and pea tendrils. The polenta custard with brown butter and thyme gelato was also insanely good. 

Hole 

DAY 2
It's time to eat the doughnuts. Don't let the crowds at Hole (168 Haywood Rd) deter you from queuing up -- once inside, the space is cozy, the line moves quickly, and the fried-to-order yeasted doughnuts are absolutely worth the wait. Their Toasted Almond Sesame Cinnamon and seasonal Orange Cardamom came out piping hot and crispy.

Flora (428 B Haywood Road) is a sweet florist/plant/home goods shop that sells jewelry and perfume among the gardening tools. They also have a small cafe called Forage serving up coffee, tea, baked goods, and a calm, cool atmosphere. 
 
Nearby Whilst (444 Haywood Rd) is chockablock with notecards, journals, gift wrap, tote bags, scented candles, novelties, toys -- if you've got a gift to buy, you're bound to find something thoughtful and unique. 
 
Back downtown, French Broad Chocolates (10 S Pack Square) had another enormous line, but we endured to pick out a lovely assortment of their award winning truffles -- The London Fog was divine -- and a Peanut Butter Brownie for the ride home. 

Rhubarb 

We did lunch at Rhubarb (7 SW Pack Square), another well-regarded downtown restaurant with an elevated yet approachable farm-to-table focus. We went full dairy and shared a North Carolina cheese plate to start, then settled into a giant plate of Bagel and Lox Nachos -- house-made everything bagels chips piled high with cheese cheese mousse, pickled red onions, and smoked trout. The Big Cheese was the obvious final choice, somehow simultaneously stuffed full of gooey gouda, mozzarella, and cheddar cheese and then enrobed in more crispy cheese. All delicious. 

We took a detour on the way home to visit a scenic overlook off the Blue Ridge Parkway, because what trip to Asheville would be complete without a breathtaking view of the mountains? 

 

previous