Your Vacation in Asheville - Top Five Asheville Restaurants Part 1

Eclectic Southern, Medium-Priced

Tupelo Honey CafeCredit: © Tupelo Honey Cafe

Asheville, North Carolina, often celebrated as “the Paris of the South” and recently named the top small city arts destination by American Style magazine, also enjoys an incredibly diverse and high-quality restaurant scene. Flavor-driven, affordable meals in unique and beautiful spaces abound. Follow along for a list of the Top Five Restaurants in Asheville in Part 1 of this local review for medium-priced fare.

Tupelo Honey Cafe 12 College Street website
Probably the most well-known restaurant in Asheville, Tupelo Honey Cafe has grown in popularity over the last decade. The flagship location in downtown Asheville, overlooking Pritchard Park, drips with warm Southern elegance: dark hardwood, bright pops of color, just the slightest touch of country kitsch. Inside you’ll find a busy hostess, a bustling kitchen and tables both inside and out on a small covered patio. Order anything on the menu and you won’t ever be disappointed.

  • Personal favorite: Charleston Chicken Sandwich with Sweet Potato Fries

Mayfel’s 22 College Street website
Another popular restaurant in Asheville, Mayfel’s is just steps away from Tupelo Honey Cafe. An eclectic interior filled with ornate frames and glittering knick knacks adds a unique ambiance to the New Orleans-inspired menu. Overflowing in its large white plates and bowls, you’ll come back again and again for the food. And probably also for their Mayfel-ade, an after-work cocktail that will hit the spot!

  • Pro tip: Mayfel’s is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Be sure to check our their courtyard bar if it’s open!

Village Wayside 30 Lodge Street website
This little stand-out Asheville restaurant is located in historic Biltmore Village in the old 1896 train depot building. Don’t drive by their bright purple logo! Their menu seems to be a little of this and a little of that, showcasing the owners’ favorite dishes. While this wide-cast net could turn a few people away, what it really means is that each dish truly shines: these are the owners’ favorite creations and they are so good they want to make them over and over again! Inexpensive local beers on tap, a broad menu to hit any taste and super-friendly staff. I eat here with alarming frequency!

  • Personal favorite: Anything with their house-made Cheerwine BBQ sauce (uniquely Southern!) and hand-cut potato chips.

Early Girl Eatery 8 Wall Street website
Local Southern farm-fresh food explosion! That’s a pretty good description for Early Girl Eatery. Scrumptious breakfast offered all day long and locally-sourced daily specials for lunch and dinner. Hickory Nut Gap meats, local berries and jams, home-made biscuits. There is a decadence in this restaurant that cannot be topped. Try the Local Sausage and Sweet Potato Scramble or the Early Girl Benny. Another surprising favorite: their take on the Grilled Chicken Sandwich, topped with spinach and goat cheese and double-cut bacon that will forever make you reconsider a plain-jane chicken sandwich!

  • Pro Tip: Ask for a table by the windows on a Friday night and listen to the beat of the weekly drum circle in Pritchard Park!

Sunny Point Cafe 626 Haywood Road website
From the line out the door and around their sign, you can tell right away that this is a happening place. Once inside grab a cozy seat and get ready to get full! Hearty portions of home fries and strong coffee will accompany your savory breakfast selections, or grab a local brew on tap and save room for some large slices of cake and pie. From my usual suspect - the Breakfast Sandwich on a croissant, stuffed with roasted tomatoes, a sharp cheddar cheese omelet, unbelievable maple black pepper bacon and chipotle aoli - to the Fried Green Tomato Sandwich, their menu delights. And in case you were wondering, it’s worth the wait in that long line!

  • Personal favorite: Spring for the $15.99 Chicken and Waffle, served with salad, bread and pesto. The gravy is to die for!

While you can’t go wrong when you’re traipsing around the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains, these are five strong, medium-priced restaurants in Asheville, NC, recommended by an Asheville local.

Check these five restaurants out, and if you’ve been and experienced the bliss, please leave a comment below with your ravings!