Given that Asheville’s nickname is “the Paris of the South,” it should not be a surprise that there’s a good food scene here. Heck, there’s even a castle with a winery and a McDonald’s with a grand piano in the dining area. (I’m unashamed to admit that, yes, McNuggets taste better when you’re surrounded with an aura of pomp and circumstance.)
This doesn’t mean the city is all about fancy food—though it certainly has that side. From the best grits of your life (trust me) to rooftop cocktails fit for city-loving royalty to tacos to write home about, Asheville is full of tasty treats. Here’s how to navigate your tastebuds through Asheville, North Carolina on a three-day trip.
Temperatures can vary throughout the day (and at different elevations) so dress in layers.
If you only have time for one thing, make it a brewery tour.
Start your trip by getting acquainted with one of the town’s best breakfast spots: Sunny Point Cafe. After shrimp and grits or chicken and waffles, take a guided e-bike tour, a Segway tour, or a walking tour to get to know the town. Afterward, grab lunch at Chai Pani (for fresh Indian fare) or Buxton Hall Barbecue to start your trip off on the right foot.
Next, head to the Biltmore estate—essentially, a castle—and its onsite winery. When you’re done counting staircases and chandeliers, Biscuit Head, Wild Ginger Noodle Bar, and the White Duck Taco Shop are all worth a stop. After dinner, hop on a haunted booze tour.
On day two, head to West Asheville, the neighborhood where locals hang out—and eat. Hop on a tour or take a stroll down Haywood Road to see what all the fuss is about, stopping at places like Haywood Common or the Rabbit Hole (an extension of Sunny Point Cafe) for a bite.
In between meals, there’s one other thing you really have to experience: the Blue Ridge Parkway, a 469-mile (755-kilometer) drag winding through the mountains. Enjoy as much of the scenery as you like, and when you’re done, loop back and head to Rendezvous, Highland Brewing Company, or Creekside Taphouse for excellent drinks and fare.