Greetings Foodtopia fans! We hope the new year has been treating you all well so far. During these cold months it’s easy to curl up and avoid venturing out too much. However, Asheville is constantly evolving and offering up new exciting things inspiring us to get out and explore. It’s precisely this evolution that caught the attention of southern magazine Garden & Gun. This past fall the publication highlighted some exciting new things happening here in Foodtopia- most of which are now up and running and ready to be explored! We are particularly excited about the new ventures brought to us by James Beard nominated chefs Brian Canipelli and John Fleer, as well as the opening of Hemingway’s Cuba– which offers traditional Cuban fare in a beautiful rooftop setting. In addition, the Asheville staple Tupelo Honey Cafe has expanded and opened a beautiful new space in their original downtown location. Check out the article below for details on new ways to enjoy our mountain city!
What’s New in Asheville
A dozen new spots for eating, drinking, and playing in the mountain city this fall
If Asheville were a kingdom, it could make a moat out of all the beer that’s brewed there and isolate itself as a mountain empire. Thankfully, the Western North Carolina city is a welcoming one, and there’s a lot more going on these days than craft drafts. Asheville is also a major player in the coffee, cocktail, and Southern food scenes, not to mention a dreamy place for outdoor activities. If you bookmarked the foliage prediction map, you might well have noticed that peak color is now arriving in the mountains of North Carolina. Plan accordingly and bring this guide to a dozen new places to visit, including another worthy spot to sip a pint.
EAT and DRINK
Start with coffee at either the Waterbird on Charlotte Street, a charming nook that doubles as a cocktail bar by night, or Simple Cafe & Juice Bar in West Asheville. Simple is a new favorite for prop and food stylist Charlotte Autry, a regular G&G contributor who lives in Asheville. She orders the whipped ricotta toast and a Kale Mary juice, loaded with cucumber and tomatoes and kicked up with cayenne.
Meander to one of two local favorite brunch joints that have recently expanded: Early Girl Eatery, known for its rotating special eggs benedicts and homey charm on Wall Street recently added a second location on Haywood Road. And although it now boasts locations around the South, the original Tupelo Honey Cafe downtown is worth a pilgrimage (don’t miss the sweet potato pancakes). It recently added some needed square footage with a new bar and additional seating.
James Beard Award-nominated chef Brian Canipelli has stayed busy the last couple years with his lauded Cucina 24restaurant. Lately, he’s also taken over menu planning at nearby Burial Beer Co. and will help the team launch its hotly anticipated Forestry Camp brewery, bar, and restaurant near Biltmore Village. Set within six former Civilian Conservation Corps buildings and across two acres, the additional site is a couple miles south of the flagship and should be ready to open by the end of the year. If you’re in town the first weekend in November, stop by Burial’s Burnpile harvest festival with a preview of the bites to come from Canipelli.
In the hip River Arts District, plan for dinner at Vivian, the grownup brick-and-mortar iteration of a food truck. Josiah and Shannon McGaughey deliver Europe-meets-the-South dishes such as seared duck breast with muscadines, and a whole local apple wrapped in puff pastry and filled with almond cream.
Never overlook the Biltmore, the gilded-age Vanderbilt manse and estate. Fly-fishing and sporting clays have been mainstays for sporting enthusiasts, but a recent outdoor activities addition has taken flight—falconry on Thursdays and Saturdays. And here’s a cozy insider’s tip from decade-long Biltmore employee LeeAnn Donnelly: “We sell s’mores kits in Antler Hill Village and Winery,” she says. “They’re perfect for the weekend bonfires we host near the farmyard.”
Let someone else plan the rest of your afternoon or evening with recently launched culinary and crafts tours. The new Art & Agriculture Adventure Tour runs every Saturday afternoon and includes stops at a pottery studio to meet artists, and a creamery for farm-fresh cheese. To enjoy the best views with a hot toddy in hand, consider the Rooftop Bar Tours, which run almost every day of the week and combine history, panoramic views, and cocktails. The best part: a driver.
In the midst of a hotel boom in Asheville, the Cambriastands out for its epic Blue Ridge views and primo downtown real estate right next to the Grove Arcade shopping area. After check-in, relax at Hemingway’s Cuba restaurant and patio bar, where you’ll want to order the namesake daiquiri.