A Global Feast

A Global Feast: 25 restaurants to satisfy your diverse food cravings
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Asheville’s glowing reputation as a national culinary destination is deeply rooted in a farm-to-table ethos, mountain-grown foods, and time-honored Appalachian and Southern flavors with innovative twists. But over the past decade, the area’s restaurant scene has expanded its palate broadly to showcase a globe-trotting array of cuisines, from simple and traditional to cutting-edge fusion.

In Buncombe County, diners looking to be dazzled can jockey for reservations at nationally-celebrated restaurants serving award-winning Spanish tapas, Indian street food, and Filipino fare. Those pursuing more laid-back global food adventures will find them at hidden local gems serving everything from Vietnamese pho to Hawaiian musubi to German schnitzel.


Like many a smitten traveler, pastry chef and Cakes by Gray founder Melissa Gray was inspired to bring a taste of Hawaii home with her after spending time there several years ago. Happily for Asheville, Gray’s enchantment with Hawaii resulted in RosaBees. With the tagline, “savory Hawaiian meets sweet Asheville,” the River Arts District eatery pairs intentionally-crafted Pacific fare with a lineup of unforgettable, inventive desserts.

Chef Cookie Hadley, who has family roots in Hawaii, makes his own teriyaki-glazed Spam for the coconut sticky rice musubi appetizer. The poke bowl, with its tumble of fresh ahi tuna (or tofu), veggies, and mango salsa, is a classic choice for a light Hawaiian entrée, while guests craving something meaty can opt for the huli huli chicken with ginger-glazed Spring Mountain Farms chicken breast, chili green beans, and fresh pineapple salsa. Vegan alternatives are available for most items.

No matter what, it’s imperative to save room for dessert at RosaBees, as Gray’s sweets are not to be missed. The s’mores—house-made, hexagon-shaped graham crackers, homemade marshmallows in rotating flavors, and smoked chocolate—are always on the menu, as well as a tantalizing list of cakes, pies and other pastries. Be sure to make reservations in advance.

Grab a Bite:
27 Foundy St., Ste. #20, Asheville
Tuesday & Sunday 5 p.m.-9 p.m., Wednesday & Thursday 11 a.m.-3 p.m. & 5 p.m.-9 p.m., Friday & Saturday 11 a.m.-3 p.m. & 5 p.m.-10 p.m., closed Monday
(828) 417-7212; rosabees.com

Chai Pani

Whether it’s zingy bhel puri, addictive matchstick okra fries, or hearty butter chicken, a meal at Chai Pani—2022 James Beard Award winner for Outstanding Restaurant—is guaranteed to be mouthwatering and memorable. The menu at Chef Meherwan Irani’s cheerful Indian street food concept revolves around chaat, India’s boldly flavored, crunchy snack dishes. Along with the selection of shareable puris (dishes with puffed flour crisps), pakoras (fritters), and salads, there are also sandwiches like vada pav (spicy fried potato dumplings with green and tamarind chutneys on a toasted bun) and two types of thalis (individual meals featuring portions of several dishes).

Chai Pani doesn’t take reservations, and with its celebrity status there is often a long wait, so another option is to check out brand-new West Asheville sister restaurant Botiwalla. Like Chai Pani, Botiwalla’s interior is an explosion of bright colors, humorous murals and iconic Indian advertising and signage. Several Chai Pani favorites appear on the menu (yes, there are okra fries!) along with many other chaat and grilled meat dishes. Counter service makes Botiwalla a quick choice for either lunch or dinner.

Grab a Bite:
Chai Pani
22 Battery Park Ave., Asheville
Daily 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. & 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
(828) 254-4003; chaipani.com

697 Haywood Rd., Asheville
Monday-Thursday 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday & Saturday 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m., closed Sunday
(828) 209-8627; botiwalla.com

(Left to right) Chai Pani; Addissae.

Biryani Express

While Chai Pani qualifies as a legitimate superstar, Biryani Express falls into the equally exciting category of hidden local gem. Operating inconspicuously out of a strip mall in East Asheville, the casual neighborhood spot specializes in Pakistani as well as Indian cuisine. Alongside some more familiar Indian dishes like tikka masalas and kormas, the menu features lamb, chicken, and vegetable biryani—the unique South Asian spiced rice dish for which the restaurant is named. There are also several grilled and tandoori offerings, hefty shawarma naan rolls, and a huge selection of vegetarian curries. For dessert, Indian treats such as the rosewater- and sugar-drenched gulab juman or traditional frozen kulfi in various flavors should satisfy all sweet tooths.

Grab a Bite:
129 Bleachery Blvd. Ste. M, Asheville
Daily 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. & 4:30 p.m.-9 p.m.
(828) 424-7322; biryaniexpressasheville.com

Baba Nahm

Everything about downtown Asheville’s Middle Eastern restaurant Baba Nahm is bright and invigorating, from the sunny color scheme to the tangy, spicy flavor profiles to the friendly and fast counter service. Open for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch, the menu is choose-your-own-adventure, with a daily shawarma meat special, Tabrizi-style lamb and beef meatballs, or vegetarian chickpea falafels that can be added as the protein to a list of pita wraps, salads, and bowls with a selection of Middle Eastern sauces.

The robust chickpea and lentil harira soup is a good choice for a cold day, and the irresistible za’atar-seasoned Israeli fries are perfect any time. A little grab-and-go market offers take-home containers of tabouli and other salads, pickles, sauces, and Middle Eastern desserts made in-house at chef/co-owner Laura Smith’s Suladan Bakehouse.

Grab a Bite:
Grove Arcade, 1 Page Ave. #139, Asheville
Monday & Tuesday 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Wednesday-Saturday 11:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m., closed Sunday
(828) 575-2075; babanahm.com


One of the most unique stops on any global food tour of WNC is Addissae. With its entrance hidden in a downtown Asheville alley, it can be a little tricky to find, but it’s worth the extra effort to have the literal hands-on experience of enjoying Addissae’s menu of traditional Ethiopian foods. Fragrant, perfectly spiced dishes of various types of w’at (a thick stew), tibbs (cubed tempeh or meat), or kitfo (minced meat with spiced butter) are typically served on platters with a selection of specially prepared sides like collard greens, chickpeas, lentils, or beets, to be scooped up and devoured using one’s fingers and accompanying pieces of naturally gluten-free injera flatbread as the only utensils. Addissae is open for dinner only; reservations aren’t necessary. 

Grab a Bite:
48 Commerce St., Asheville
Thursday-Sunday 5 p.m.-9 p.m., closed Monday-Wednesday
(828) 417-7189; addissae.com

The Bush Farmhouse

A country with a complex and turbulent history, South Africa has a broad range of gastronomic influences, from European to Indian, that have blended to birth an entirely unique culinary tradition. Chef Mark Henegan grew up in South Africa and operated a South African restaurant in New York City for nearly two decades before bringing those flavors to Black Mountain in 2021 with the opening of The Bush Farmhouse. 

The Farmhouse’s dining room and bar have rustic South African-style charm, but guests can also choose to sit outside near the on-site garden with the resident menagerie of pigs, goats, and other farm animals. Brunch diners can get a sampling of traditional South African fare with the Bushman Breakfast, which includes boerewors sausage, mushrooms, tomato, and chakalaka (baked bean relish with cabbage and carrots) along with scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast. The lunch and dinner menus feature savory pies; Durban curries like the meatloaf, egg, and rice dish bobotie as well as a bread bowl and veggie dish with the amusing name: Bunny Chow. Reservations are accepted. 

Grab a Bite:
151 S Ridgeway Ave., Black Mountain
Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
(828) 357-5367; bushfarmhouse.com

Gypsy Queen Cuisine

Suzy Salwa Phillips started charming Asheville with the cuisine of her native Lebanon with her green Gypsy Queen Cuisine food truck several years before she opened her brick-and-mortar restaurant, deli, and market in 2015. Today at her welcoming little storefront, Phillips incorporates many WNC ingredients into her menu of Lebanese classics, including items like man’oosheh flatbread, stuffed grape leaves, baba ghanoush, kibbe, shawarma, tabouleh, fattoush salad with baklava, cookies, and lots of other temptations for dessert. Vegans will be thrilled to find plant-based options for most dishes, including hashweh rice crafted with house-made ground vegan seitan. 

Grab a Bite:
807 Patton Ave., Asheville
Daily 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
(828) 575-2758; gypsyqueencuisine.com

Red Ginger Dim Sum & Tapas

At Red Ginger Dim Sum & Tapas in downtown Asheville, diners won’t find the traditional rolling cart of plated choices found at Chinatown restaurants in New York City and San Francisco. But they will discover an impressive menu of authentic dishes freshly prepared with many local ingredients by chefs Kevin Jiang and Ben Chen. 

Sharable small-plate choices include familiar favorites like pan-fried dumplings, scallion pancakes, lo mein, and salt-and-pepper prawns. But guests can choose a different type of adventure with dishes like foon zao (steamed chicken feet), gua bao (Chinese pancake sandwich with pork belly), or steamed sticky rice with pork, chicken, shiitake mushroom, and carrot wrapped in lotus leaves. Red Ginger is open for lunch and dinner. Dining is walk-in only; reservations are not accepted.

Grab a Bite:
82 Patton Ave., Asheville
Monday-Thursday 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. & 
5 p.m.-9:30 p.m., Friday 11:30 a.m.-
3 p.m. & 5 p.m.-10 p.m., Saturday 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Sunday 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
(828) 505-8688; redgingerasheville.com

(Left to right) Thai Pearl; Neng Jr.’s & Ukiah Japanese Smokehouse.

Wild Ginger Noodle Bar

Guests should plan to arrive early to find a seat at Wild Ginger Noodle Bar, South Asheville’s go-to spot for Vietnamese cuisine. Several varieties of traditional pho anchor the menu, along with beef, chicken, pork, fish, and tofu iterations of the classic, craveable Vietnamese banh mi baguette sandwich.

But there’s so much more to explore, like the lemongrass beef satay with green papaya salad or the ca chien—a whole fried fish with ginger-lime fish sauce and spring onion oil. And adventurous diners with a sweet tooth shouldn’t sleep on the dessert menu, which features over-the-top Asian treats like halo-halo, a rainbow-colored stack of sweet beans, flan, cornflakes, and vanilla ice cream. Finishing with a Vietnamese coffee is, of course, a must. Wild Ginger is open for lunch and dinner. Reservations are not accepted. 

Grab a Bite:
1950 Hendersonville Rd. Ste. 12, Asheville
Wednesday-Monday 11 a.m.-9 p.m., 
closed Tuesday
(828) 676-1827; wildgingernoodle.com

Thai Pearl

Thai Pearl had the misfortune of opening in West Asheville in early March 2020. But the high-quality Thai cuisine crafted by owner and executive chef Sujitra Chubthaisong—better known as Chef May—instantly drew a loyal following despite the upheaval of the pandemic. Trained in the culinary arts at the Royal Palace in Bangkok, Chef May creates authentic traditional favorites, including pad Thai, pad see-ew, tom yum soup, and curries. But the menu is also sprinkled with exciting dishes such as yen ta fo (“pink noodle soup” with red tofu and bean paste broth), kao yum kai todd (fried chicken salad with Thai basil and a sweet chili-lime dressing), and a green papaya salad topped with crushed peanuts and Thai chili-lime dressing made with fish sauce. Thai Pearl is open for dinner daily. Reservations can be made by calling the restaurant. 

Grab a Bite:
747 Haywood Rd., Asheville
Daily 2 p.m.-9 p.m.
(828) 412-5905; thaipearlasheville.com

Stonebowl Korean Restaurant

Finding something delicious and filling isn’t a problem at Stonebowl Korean Restaurant in South Asheville, but making a decision can be. The sprawling menu starts with over a dozen appetizers, including kim bab (Korean sushi), several types of pa jun (Korean savory pancakes), and bang-bang shrimp, before meandering on to an exhaustive list of noodle and rice dishes, hot pots, stir fries, grilled items, and of course, the eponymous sizzling stone bowls filled with rice, vegetables, and a variety of protein topped with a sunny-side egg. But before the main course even arrives, guests are served a classic Korean spread of tasty banchan—little snacks of kimchi, pickles, and vegetables traditionally shared by all at the table. Stonebowl is open for lunch and dinner; reservations are not necessary.

Grab a Bite:
1987 Hendersonville Rd., Ste A, Asheville
Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. & 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m., 
Saturday & Sunday noon-9:30 p.m.
(828) 676-2172; stonebowlasheville.com

Ukiah Japanese Smokehouse

Ukiah Japanese Smokehouse isn’t strictly authentic Japanese cuisine—the downtown Asheville spot bills itself as “Japanese soul food with influences from American BBQ.” But it is the perfect place to go in the evening for izakaya snacks like edamame, grilled shishito peppers, and grilled wagyu beef or sea bass on a stick. Enjoy a memorable bowl of steaming-hot ramen, pillowy bao buns, a perfectly-fried tempura beech mushroom, and smoked Carolina pork shoulder with toasted rye, kimchi, and yuzu pickles. 

The brunch menu delivers an even more obvious Southern-Japanese flavor fusion with dishes like a savory shishito pepper-cheddar biscuit with Japanese sausage gravy or the karaage chicken and waffles with salted butter and matcha sugar. The creative cocktail list changes constantly, but tends to showcase concoctions with Japanese-inspired ingredients like the Purple Rain with purple shiso and ube sweet potato-infused shochu, dry curacao, lemon, and egg whites. Reservations are accepted and recommended. 

Grab a Bite:
121 Biltmore Ave., Asheville
Monday-Thursday 5 p.m.-9 p.m., Friday & Saturday 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
(828) 470-7480; ukiahrestaurant.com

Neng Jr.’s

Finding Neng Jr.’s is a bit of a physical journey—the entrance is tucked in an alley on a West Asheville side street then up a flight of narrow, red-walled steps. Then after stepping through the door, the tiny, welcoming space with its glowing colors, warmly attentive staff, and intimate seating feels like a sweet little realm of its own. Just opened in July 2022, Neng Jr.’s and its chef/owner Silver Iocovozzi have already captivated not just Asheville but the US culinary world, garnering a James Beard Best New Restaurant finalist slot in 2023 and similar lofty nods from Esquire, Eater, The New York Times and Time magazine. 

The lively, ever-changing menu, inspired by Iocovozzi’s Filipino roots, has found perpetual stars in the always-surprising seasonal fruit plate and the adobo oyster with cured quail egg yolk and delicately-salted sea grapes. Other innovative dishes blossom from the chef’s love of their mother’s homeland, the Philippines, and are always shifting—crab fried rice, lumpia, sinigang smoked wings, longanisa sausage, and the unusual and divine house-made cheese ice cream are just a few possible options. Specialty cocktails from bartender Q and a concise wine list from the chef’s spouse, Cherry Iocovozzi, round out the experience. With only 18 seats and a place in the national spotlight, reservations at Neng Jr.’s are an absolute must and should be made well in advance. 

Grab a Bite:
701 Haywood Rd. Ste. 102, Asheville
Wednesday-Saturday 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m., closed Sunday-Tuesday
(828) 552-3880; nengjrs.com

Taste of El Salvador

The logo with the smoking volcano marks the Patton Avenue storefront that houses Taste of El Salvador, the casual little eatery where chef and owner Canduchita Molina and her family have showcased authentic Salvadoran cuisine since 2015. The extensive menu is anchored by many varieties of El Salvador’s national dish, the pupusa—a thick rice- or corn-flour tortilla stuffed with cheese, meat, beans, or combinations of ingredients. 
But there are plenty of other traditional dishes to explore, such as Salvadoran-style tamales wrapped in banana leaves, pork chicharrones, fried yucca and plantain, and Salvadoran carne asada with grilled shrimp. For dessert, diners can try a guava or plantain empanada and wash it all down with one of the house-made aguas frescas of the day. The menu notes the healthy number of options that are vegan and gluten-free. Taste of El Salvador is open for lunch and dinner. No reservations are necessary. 

Grab a Bite:
1565 Patton Ave. Ste. D, Asheville
Monday-Saturday 11:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. (open until 9 in the warmer months), closed Sunday
(828) 255-0666; tasteofelsalvador.com


An Asheville favorite for more than 20 years, chef Hugo Ramirez’s downtown restaurant, Limones, is loved as much for its dreamy ambiance as for its imaginative Mexican-inspired cuisine. Located in an historic building, the space pops with color and intriguing artwork, setting the perfect stage for either a romantic dinner or a transportive staycation meal. 

A native of Mexico City, Ramirez crafts a rotating menu ranging from simple Mexican street corn and multiple varieties of ceviche (a sampler dish allows guests to try them all) to the wildly-popular lobster nachos to innovative seafood, steak, and vegetarian entrées prepared with market-fresh ingredients. A lengthy list of margaritas with rotating choices like prickly pear, blood orange, and watermelon make it hard to stick with just one cocktail. Limones is open for dinner only. Reservations are a must. 

Grab a Bite:
15 Eagle St., Asheville
Monday-Thursday 5 p.m.-10 p.m., Friday & Saturday 5 p.m.-10:30 p.m., closed Sunday
(828) 252-2327; limonesrestaurant.com

Nine Mile

At Nine Mile, the feeling of escaping to the Caribbean extends well beyond the invigorating, veggie-forward menu bursting with island-influenced pasta and rice dishes. The entire atmosphere at all three Asheville locations feel breezy, laid-back, and steeped in Jamaican culture. The restaurant is even named after reggae legend Bob Marley’s birthplace in Jamaica, and the names of individual dishes reference Jamaican landmarks and reggae music.

The Mayfield Falls, for example, features wild-caught mahi mahi with mango jicama mint salsa and veggies in a dairy-free ginger-coconut sauce served over linguine or rice. And while Soul Rebel refers to both a song and an album by Bob Marley and the Wailers, at Nine Mile, it’s also chipotle-maple-glazed wild salmon with massaman curry coconut sauce and banana-mango-apple chutney. Dishes tend to be on the spicy side, but upon request the chef will ease up on the heat. The menu is extremely versatile with many options and alterations available to accommodate diners with food sensitivities. Nine Mile doesn’t take reservations and is one of Asheville’s most popular restaurants, so there is often a wait.

Grab a Bite:
233 Montford Ave., (828) 505-3121
751 Haywood Rd., (828) 575-9903
33 Town Square Blvd., (828) 676-1807 
(all locations in Asheville)
Daily 4 p.m.-9 p.m.

Mikasa Criolla

Thanks to Chef Santiago Vargas and his Mikasa Criolla concept, the distinctive flavors of the Andes Mountains are as close for WNC residents as the S&W Market food hall in downtown Asheville. Vargas is originally from Lima, Peru, and received his culinary training at Peru’s Cordon Bleu Institute. 

Vargas’s menu at Mikasa Criolla focuses on Peruvian-style empanadas in a rambling variety of vegetarian, meat, seafood, and even sweet combinations, from the simple queso con choclo (queso fresco and Peruvian corn) to the rich lomo saltado (local beef, tomatoes and red onions) and decadent dulce de leche for dessert. Guests can also choose from a couple of salad options—the quinoa-based Inka Power Bowl and the classic huancaina, which features boiled potatoes, boiled eggs, and Botija black olives in a creamy queso fresco sauce. For an adventurous Peruvian beverage, there’s the chicha morada, a traditional Andean purple corn drink. Service is fast-casual, and reservations are not accepted.  

Grab a Bite:
56 Patton Ave., Asheville
Monday & Thursday 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday & Saturday 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m., Sunday 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m., closed Tuesday & Wednesday
(631) 873-5041; mikasacriolla.com

Cousins Cuban Cafe

As a first-generation Cuban-American who grew up and owned a restaurant in Miami, FL, Betty Martinez-Sperry knows a thing or two about Cuban culture and cuisine, and generously shares the gift of her heritage with WNC at Cousins Cuban Cafe in Black Mountain. 

The friendly little breakfast and lunch spots is the WNC nexus for café Cubano, cortadito, and other Cuban coffees, plus guava pastries, revoltillo (scrambled egg with onions, tomatoes, and cheese) with plantains or Cuban toast, pressed Cuban sandwiches (there are vegan options as well as classic pork and chicken), yucca fries, croquetas, and other traditional Cuban dishes. Guava tres leches and coconut flan are among a handful of authentic dessert choices. The atmosphere is casual, and no reservations are needed.

Grab a Bite:
108 Broadway Ave., Black Mountain
Sunday-Tuesday & Thursday-Saturday 
9 a.m.-3 p.m., closed Wednesday
(828) 357-5513; cousinscubancafe.com


At Zambra, the atmosphere is as much a part of the restaurant’s appeal and character as the Mediterranean-meets-Appalachian tapas menu and the expansive Spanish wine list. From the stone floor to the amber lighting, jewel-toned accents, arched entryways, and softly-lit breezeway dining area, Zambra’s captivating setting has earned it a reputation as one of Asheville’s most romantic restaurants for more than 20 years. 

The food and wine more than hold their own. Snacks include imported Spanish cheeses and boquerones (fresh anchovies), while classic tapas dishes like tortilla Española, patatas bravas, and albondigas (meatballs) are often made with ingredients fresh from Western North Carolina farms. Zambra is only open for dinner. Reservations are accepted and are a good idea, particularly on weekends. 

Grab a Bite:
85 W Walnut St., Asheville
Sunday-Thursday 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m., Friday & Saturday 5 p.m.-10 p.m.
(828) 232-1060; zambratapas.com


Besides being a longtime Asheville sensation and winner of the 2022 James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Hospitality, Cúrate is an ideal spot to sample authentic Spanish tapas and vermutería culture without having to hop on a jet to Europe. Jamón ibérico—ham from acorn-fattened Spanish Ibérico pigs—is one of the shining stars of executive chef Katie Button’s menu, but perennial favorites like the berenjenas con miel (fried eggplant drizzled in local and garnished with rosemary), patatas bravas (crispy fried potatoes with tomato and garlic sauce), and the sea-essenced rossejat (paella-style noodles with squid, squid ink, shellfish stock, garlic, and salsa verde) are also exceptional. 

The bar offers a range of Spanish vermouths, sherries, and ciders worth exploring along with Spanish-inspired cocktails, wines, and beers. Reservations are usually a must at Cúrate, but are not always necessary at nearby sister restaurant La Bodega by Cúrate, which offers a more casual, all-day café, bakery, and market experience. 

Grab a Bite:
13 Biltmore Ave., Asheville
Tuesday-Thursday 4 p.m.-10:30 p.m., 
Friday-Sunday 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m., closed Monday
(828) 239-2946; curatetapasbar.com


Those in the mood for authentic Italian fare will find it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and everything in between at chef Anthony Cerrato’s latest venture, Gemelli. From morning until mid-afternoon, Gemelli offers casual coffee shop-style counter service and a little grab-and-go market with freshly baked breads, pastries and espresso drinks. The space transitions to a fancier wine bar vibe in the evening. 

Breakfast features dishes like vegetarian muffalata and the cornetto sandwich with smoked bacon, egg, smoked mozzarella, and arugula on an Italian croissant. Lunch and dinner selections include antipasti like house-made focaccia, ciabatta, and creamy burrata, as well as scratch-made risottos, pizzas, and pastas from simple, classic cacio e pepe to the gorgeous ravioli verde with smoked mozzarella and herbed ricotta. Vegan and gluten-sensitive options are available for numerous dishes. 

Grab a Bite:
70 Westgate Pkwy., Asheville
Daily 9 a.m.-9 p.m. 
(828) 565-6111; gemelli.restaurant

(Left to right) Gemelli; Zambra & Rhubarb.

Berliner Kindl

Everyday feels like Oktoberfest at Bavarian-themed Black Mountain landmark Berliner Kindl. For lunch, there are plenty of sandwiches from Reubens to schnitzel to braunschweiger. Dinner specialties include several varieties of schnitzel, bouletten (German-style hamburger steak), and kassler rippchen (smoked pork chop), plus a large selection of sausage platters, from bratwurst and knackwurst to varieties more elusive in WNC, such as weisswurst (veal sausage). 

The requisite German potato salad, sauerkraut and other sides are available, and guests can say “prost!” to the meal with German beers and wines. For those who want to bring a bit of Deutschland home with them, Berliner Kindl has a little deli and retail area with German gift items, beer, and candies. Reservations are accepted. 

Grab a Bite:
121 Broadway St., Black Mountain
Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m.-8 p.m., closed Sunday & Monday
(828) 669-5255; berlinerkindlgermanrestaurant.com


Chef Josiah McGaughey’s menu at his Asheville River Arts District restaurant, Vivian, excels at using Carolina ingredients and flavors to put an Appalachian spin on classic European dishes. McGaughey received a James Beard Foundation Best Chef Southeast nomination in 2023 for his brilliance in crafting perennial favorites like the luxurious Lyonnaise scallop quenelle and Nordic deviled eggs with smoked fish and caviar, as well as seasonally-rotating offerings decided by the harvests at local farms. Sunday brunch features brioche doughnuts, bear claws, and other tempting pastries, plus rotating quiches and other seasonal dishes ranging from lobster parfait to smoked lamb benedict. Vivian is very popular and the space is small, so reservations are a must. 

Grab a Bite:
348 Depot St, Ste. 190, Asheville
Wednesday-Saturday 5 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Sunday 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., closed Monday & Tuesday
(828) 225-3497; vivianavl.com


Chef Michel Baudouin, who grew up on a farm near France’s famous Rhône Valley wine region, shares the French comfort food and pastoral lifestyle of his childhood at RendezVous. Housed in an old church in the quiet East Asheville residential area of Haw Creek, RendezVous is a laid-back yet lovely neighborhood hangout spot with plenty of seating, both inside the warmly-decorated dining room and outside on the covered patio. Outdoor diners might catch a match of pétanque happening on one of the eight courts Baudouin built for himself and other WNC enthusiasts of the French lawn-ball game.

The menu features traditional French dishes such as escargot bourguignon, canard à l'orange, and poulet cordon bleu made with ingredients sourced from local farms. The fantastically flavorful pommes frites are consistently voted Asheville’s favorite fries and are not to be missed. Be sure to get reservations, especially on weekends. 

Grab a Bite:
184 New Haw Creek Rd., Asheville
Tuesday-Thursday 4:30 p.m.-8 p.m., 
Friday & Saturday 4:30 p.m.-9 p.m., closed Sunday & Monday
(828) 348-0909; ashevillerendezvous.com


One of the beautiful things about travel is that it tends to strengthen the wanderer’s appreciation of home. When home is WNC, an excellent place to appreciate the Southern Appalachian region’s cuisine is award-winning chef John Fleer’s Asheville restaurant, Rhubarb. The chef leverages his solid relationships with local farmers and foragers to offer a menu that showcases the simple but delicious traditional fare of the mountains. 
At Rhubarb, guests can snack on crispy fried hominy or pimento cheese hush puppies with comeback sauce before moving on to items like a spoonbread pancake with elote dressing, a salad of local lettuces, or a rabbit and country ham dip with Appalachia’s favorite condiment, chow-chow. Roasted North Carolina sweet potatoes, WNC-raised trout and locally farmed meats are all ingredients commonly found on the rotating list of entrées. Reservations are accepted and usually needed. 

Grab a Bite:
7 SW Pack Sq., Asheville 
Sunday-Thursday 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m., Friday & Saturday 5 p.m.-10 p.m.
(828) 785-1503; 

Photographs by (Chai Pani) by Tim Robison; (Biryani) by Donald Latham; Grace Dickinson; (wild ginger, Stonebowl) by Allison Sherman; (El Salvador) by Allison Sherman; (Neng Jr.’s) by Johnny Autry; (Limones) by Brad Boughton; (Mikasa) by Zy Luzader; (Cousins) courtesy of the restaurant; (Cúrate) by Jordan Hughes; (Nine Mile) by Lysianne Peacock; (Rhubarb) by Food Photography Corner; courtesy of restaurants