It’s that time of year again Foodtopia… when everyone hustles to the purple newsstands to see who has snagged the locally famous “Best of WNC” awards. For those of you not familiar; the “Best Of” awards are put on annually by Moutain Xpress and offers an opportunity for the community to weigh in on their local Asheville favorites. The awards range from best acupuncturist to best restaurant and anywhere in between. Because the votes are cast by peers, it is an especially high honor to be given an award.
Not at all a surprising for a foodie city like ours, the “Eats and Drinks” section of the awards is always the most heavily voted, and requires it’s own separate issue! That issue was published yesterday, and we are so excited to see so many Eating Asheville favorites topping the list! Below are some highlights on several awards snagged by many of Asheville’s best:
A long time Eating Asheville favorite, White Duck Taco, has been sweeping up awards every year since 2011. So really it came as no surprise to see this delicious spot snagging FIRST PLACE for 5 CATEGORIES. Their awards this year included best taco, best lunch restaurant, best value, best quick meal AND best restaurant in the River Arts District. They are also now officially in the WNC Best Of Hall of Fame. Congratulations White Duck taco!!
Strada Italiano was another big winner this year; ranking #2 for best Italian in town and #3 for best pasta. We also could not be more proud to see one of our all time favorites, Anothy Cerrato voted as #2 best chef!
While we’re sure it comes as no surprise to locals and visitors alike; Zambra took home (for about the 1ooth year in a row) the #1 most romantic restaurant. It’s hard to beat their ambiance- the dimly lit space filled with candles, pillows and flowers practically oozes romance. But in addition to their beautiful setting, stellar service and award winning food- Zambra’s wine selection is also out of this world. Did you know that Zambra’s wine list was featured in Wine Spectator magazine a few years back? We are thrilled to see that this year they have been recognized as #1 wine list in Asheville.
Other #1 titles include Bier Garden for best sports bar, Lobster Trap for best seafood, Blind Pig Supper Club for best pop-up event and French Broad Chocolates for best chocolate. Big congrats friends!!
If it’s more than food you’re after, many Eating Asheville favorites were listed amongst great places to drink as well. Imperial Life was ranked amongst the top upscale bars, Sante was #2 in the wine bar category, and Battery Park Book Exchange got a nod for being one of the best coffee or tea houses to read a book. (couldn’t be more true!)
In 3rd place we were proud to see Steve Goff at Aux Bar as best chef, Cucina 24 as best Italian, Rhubarb for local food emphasis and Baba Nahm with the best quick meal.
The Best of WNC Awards are always a wonderful reminder of all the amazing dining options we have here in Foodtopia. We find the list a great inspiration for new (or old favorite) Asheville restaurants to try. The great news is that every single one of these restaurants are featured on our daily walking food tours!! So snag your spot today for an afternoon that will allow you to try several of Asheville’s best restaurants all in one day!