There are many fun things to do in Asheville. Fine dining abounds for couples looking for romantic ambiance, ranging from elevated New American fare and traditional Italian trattorias to Iberian-style tapas joints, Mexican-French fusion fare, and clever gastropubs and cocktail lounges.
Couples can also experience full-service afternoon tea at the Biltmore Estate Dining Room, which features white-linen table service and unparalleled views of the nearby mountain ranges.
Cúrate is a hip dining spot in downtown Asheville, owned and operated by award-winning chef Katie Button, who also manages the city's acclaimed Nightbell and Button and Co. Bagels restaurants. The restaurant, which is housed within a restored 1927 bus depot, focuses on Spanish tapas service, named in honor of a word that translates as "cure yourself" in Spanish. Delicious seasonally-rotating menus highlight hot and cold small plates, including charcoal-grilled selections. Authentic vermuterías and Ibérico cuts are also served up, along with a selection of bocadillo sandwiches and Spanish-style charcuterie boards. An all-Spanish wine list has been named as one of America's 100 best by Wine Enthusiast, paired alongside an extensive craft cocktail program.
13 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801, Phone: 828-239-2946
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Rhubarb is one of the latest restaurant offerings from award-winning chef John Fleer, a James Beard Award finalist who was recently named as one of the rising culinary stars of the 21st century by the James Beard Foundation. The laid-back restaurant is known for its unique "foothills cuisine" style, which Fleer also cultivated at his Tennessee restaurant Blackberry Farm. Dynamic menus highlight excellent land and sea entrees such as plancha-seared South Carolina wreckfish with pumpkin sauce, Kentuckian quail with bourbon pan sauce and braised parsnips and greens, and wood-roasted sunburst trout with lemon remoulade. Couples can share wood-roasted beeline snapper service for two, served with ancho pilacca and hot-water cornbread. Fine wine service is available by the bottle, with handmade craft cocktails and local draft beers available on tap from the restaurant's bar.
7 SW, N Pack Square, Asheville, NC 28801, Phone: 828-785-1503
3. Sovereign Remedies
© Sovereign Remedies
Sovereign Remedies is a clever upscale casual restaurant housed within Asheville's New Medical Building, owned and operated by restaurateurs Sunil Patel and Charlie Hodge since October of 2014. The restaurant, which is open for brunch, dinner, and late night service throughout the week, is named in honor of a term for homemade medicines in the Appalachian Mountain region, a nod to the hardship and lack of access to resources that early area pioneers faced in the 19th century. Elegant dishes are prepared by executive chef Graham House, including bavette steak, beef tartare, foie gras mousse, and chicken breast prepared with oyster mushrooms, turnip greens, and tomatillos. At brunch, couples can choose from seasonal omelette options, breakfast burritos, or house French toasts or share mocha-glazed doughnuts or carnitas fries. Day trips in NC offer a great way to explore the surrounding area.
29 N Market St #105, Asheville, NC 28801, Phone: 828-919-9518
4. The Blackbird Restaurant
© The Blackbird Restaurant
The Blackbird Restaurant is a refined Southern-style restaurant in the heart of Asheville's Rainbow Arts District, helmed by owners Cristina and Jesson Gil. The award-winning restaurant serves up unique upmarket entrees in a minimalist dining room complete with a full bar, offering delicious craft microbrews on tap along with American fine wines and specialty cocktails. Menus focus on meals crafted with locally-sourced ingredients, changing seasonally to reflect the bounty of North Carolina's incredible producers and purveyors. Lunch and dinner service are offered daily, with brunch available on the weekends. A full six-course tasting menu is available at dinner, featuring selections hand-picked by executive chef Michael Reppert. Entree options include goat cheese corn pies, cold-smoked pork chops, pan-seared salmon, and seafood pirlau, with many vegetarian and gluten-free options available for diners with dietary concerns.
47 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801, 47 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
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5. 131 MAIN Restaurant Asheville
© 131 MAIN Restaurant Asheville
131 MAIN Restaurant Asheville is a refined New American-style restaurant located within the Biltmore Park Town Square mixed-use shopping center and community, offering daily lunch and dinner service in an upscale-casual setting. Diners can choose from elegant land and sea entrees such as double-cut pork chops, cedar plank salmon, Danish-style baby-back ribs, and Maryland-style crab cakes, served up alongside pasta favorites such as linguine limone and Southern-style choices such as shrimp and grits with Cajun Creole sauce and corn salsa. A variety of clever burgers and sandwiches are also available at lunch, ranging from sterling prime rib sandwiches with hot au jus to New England-style ultimate chili dogs with mustard, onions, and a deviled egg. Fine wines are available by the glass or by the bottle to complement all meals, along with a menu of craft cocktails, specialty martinis, bottled beers, and fine spirits.
308 Thetford St, Asheville, NC 28803, Phone: 828-651-0131
6. Avenue M
© Avenue M
Avenue M serves up locally-sourced, globally-inspired entrees within the heart of North Asheville, offering a spacious, pet-friendly porch overlooking the majesty of the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains. The restaurant is open for dinner service Wednesdays through Sundays, with a brunch menu served throughout the morning and early afternoon on Sundays. Unique entrees highlight vegetarian, vegan, and health-conscious fare, including chickpea crepes stuffed with curried potato and cauliflower, Moroccan vegetable tagine with orange-glazed tofu, and vegetable or protein stir fry prepared with fig ginger sauce. Land and sea choices range from blackened fish tacos to sauteed salmon pesto, with protein and vegetarian quesadillas and pasta entrees also available. A full wine menu highlights fine options by the glass or by the bottle, while a craft cocktail list features unique martini selections.
791 Merrimon Ave, Asheville, NC 28804, Phone: 828-350-8181
7. The Biltmore Estate Dining Room
© The Biltmore Estate Dining Room
The Biltmore Estate Dining Room is located within Asheville's historic Biltmore Estate, which preserves the spectacular rooms and grounds of the Châteauesque-style constructed at the end of the 19th century for George Washington Vanderbilt II, the largest privately-owned estate in the United States. Today, the mansion remains one of North Carolina's top tourist attractions and one of the best preserved examples of Gilded Age architecture in the United States, open to the public daily for tours and exploration. Diners can enjoy world-class cuisine at the estate's dining room, which is decked out with white-linen tablecloths, fine china service, and elegant crystalware. The restaurant, which has been named as one of the 100 most romantic restaurants in the United States, serves up sumptuous gourmet fare at breakfast and dinner, along with a full-service afternoon tea experience highlighting fine cheeses, sweet and savory canapés, and delectable Newby teas.
One Lodge Street, Asheville, NC 28803, Phone: 828-225-1699
8. Restaurants in Asheville: Bouchon
Bouchon is the first certified Green Restaurant and Green Dining Destination in Asheville, making it a stellar choice for couples looking to escape for a romantic night out on the town while remaining conscious of their carbon footprint. The restaurant is helmed by executive chef Michael Baudouin, a founding member of the Asheville Independent Restaurant Association, who strives to craft high-quality farm-to-table fare infusing French bistro dishes with North Carolina flavors. Diners can enjoy all-you-can-eat moules frites on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, prepared with Mediterranean, Creole, Parisienne, and beer-infused flavors. Spectacular entrees include boeuf bourguignon, le canard a l'orange chocolate, and poulet roti au thyme. A romantic selection of fine French wines is available to complement all meals, along with a rotating selection of regional craft beers on draft.
62 N. Lexington Ave, Asheville, NC 28801, Phone: 828-350-1140
Chestnut is a delightful fine dining destination in downtown Asheville, located in close proximity to top area attractions such as the Orange Peel, the Diana Wortham Theatre, and the Fine Arts Theater. The restaurant, which was opened to the public in 2012, highlights creative takes on classic American and European dishes, including elegant entrees such as red wine-braised short ribs, garlic-herb pork chops, en papillote salmon, and pan-seared daily fish catches served with Italian herb risotto cakes. A full charcuterie program is available in large or small plate sizes, highlighting three types of fine cheeses produced in Western North Carolina and three styles of locally-cured meats smoked in house. Carefully-concocted cocktails are also prepared to order, featuring freshly-pressed juices, top-shelf liquors, and a variety of locally-sourced ingredients. On the weekends, the restaurant offers clever eggs Benedicts, oysters, and cocktails at brunch service.
48 Biltmore Avenue Asheville, NC 28801, Phone: 828-575-2667
10. Restaurants in Asheville: The Corner Kitchen
© The Corner Kitchen
The Corner Kitchen is a charming New American restaurant within downtown Asheville's historic Biltmore Village, originally designed in 1985 by famed Central Park landscaper Frederick Law Olmsted as part of a master community plan by George Washington Vanderbilt. The restaurant, which has been in operation since 2004, serves up elevated American fare at breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily, with reservations strongly encouraged for all meal seatings. Diners can choose from elegant land and sea entrees such as mango habanero-glazed pork chops, smoke-roasted tempeh, Lakota maple duck breast, and coriander-crusted salmon, paired with shareable starters and sides for the table such as crispy calamari, almond-crusted brie, dashi poached mussels, and locally-sourced charcuterie boards. At breakfast and brunch, diners can choose from Latin American-inspired breakfast bowls, fresh griddle Johnny cakes, or homestyle biscuits and gravy, available with bottomless Pennycup coffee or a selection of fresh juices.
3 Boston Way, Asheville, NC 28803, Phone: 828-274-2439
Cucina24 is a high-quality dining destination in downtown Asheville, originally opened in 2008 by award-winning chef Brian Canipelli, a James Beard Award semifinalist in 2016. The restaurant strives to blend the culinary traditions of the American Southeast with the cooking philosophies of fine Italian dining, working closely with a number of regional farms and producers to offer fine farm-to-table fare at dinner nightly. A rotating seasonal menu highlights fine land and sea fare such as seared North Carolina flounder, confit duck leg, and grilled quail, paired alongside classic antipasti offerings, family-style soups, and pasta dishes such as testaroli and canestri. A selection of clever craft cocktails is available to pair with all meals, featuring unique liquors and locally-sourced ingredients.
24 Wall St, Asheville, NC 28801, Phone: 828-254-6170
12. Romantic Restaurant in Asheville: Fig Bistro
© Fig Bistro
Fig Bistro a charming New American and French fusion restaurant in downtown Asheville, owned and operated by restaurateurs Traci and Treavis Taylor and executive chef Kelly Tantalo. The cafe offers stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and a seasonal menu of dishes prepared with locally-sourced ingredients, including daily chef's specials. Brunch, lunch, and dinner service is offered throughout the week, showcasing upscale entrees such as Angus New York strip steak, shrimp and white cheddar grit cakes, Chilean salmon, and pan-seared duck breast. At lunch, diners can choose from more casual fare such as soup and salad combos, seasonal quiches, and signature Bistro burgers, which are prepared with Apple Brandy beef, housemade ricotta, and hardwood-smoked bacon. A delightful selection of classic desserts are paired with after-dinner drinks and a selection of fine looseleaf teas.
18 Brook Street, Asheville, NC 28803-2684, Phone: 828-277-0889
13. Limones Restaurant
© Ruslan Mitin/stock.adobe.com
Limones Restaurant is an excellent choice for couples looking for pre-theater service, conveniently located around the corner from downtown Asheville's Fine Arts Theatre. The restaurant, which is open for dinner service throughout the week, is helmed by executive chef Hugo Ramirez, a Mexico city native with experience at some of San Francisco's top culinary destinations. Traditional entrees blend Mexican recipes with French-Californian influence, resulting in unique upscale modern selections. At dinner, diners can choose from options such as black Angus beef tenderloin with lobster macaroni and cheese, rioja slow-braised short ribs, tequila-lime beef fajitas, and three cheese chile rellenos with smoked chile crema. Brunch menus are available on Sunday mornings, adding options such as huevos revueltos and smoked chipotle chilaquiles.
13 Eagle Street Asheville, NC 28801, Phone: 828-252-2327
Posana is delightful contemporary American restaurant located within downtown Asheville's Historic Pack Square, offering delicious seasonally-changing menus focusing on unprocessed high-quality ingredients from more than 65 regional farmers and purveyors. The restaurant, which also operates its own garden sourcing facility in West Asheville, is helmed by owners Martha and Peter Pollay and offers dinner service Tuesdays through Sundays, with additional brunch hours on the weekends. Excellent dinner entree options include delicacies such as pan-roasted rack of lamb prepared with blood orange and feta, roasted oyster mushrooms with parsnip puree and pickled radish, and seared scallops with butter pumpkin and winter squash. At brunch, diners can choose from griddle options such as sorghum pancakes and brioche French toast, paired with a selection of unique morning cocktails such as bourbon mimosas and cider spritzers. An extensive wine selection is available from the restaurant's wine cellar, with signature cocktails, fine liquors, and gluten-free beers available from its 13-seat bar.
1 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801, Phone: 828-505-3969
15. Restaurants in Asheville: Red Stag Grill
Red Stag Grill is the signature restaurant experience of the Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville, an Autograph Collection hotel by international hotelier Marriott. The gourmet rustic-chic steakhouse showcases farm-to-table cuisine prepared with locally-sourced North Carolina ingredients, open to the public for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner service throughout the week. Couples can dine in a sultry, European-style dining room with low-lit ambiance and enjoy a glass or bottle of the restaurant's Kessler blend wine as a complement to all meals. During the morning hours, diners can choose from favorites such as malted Belgian-style waffles, cinnamon-apple French toast, or traditional shrimp and grits prepared with country ham and cream gravy. An exceptional brunch buffet features a full carving station, charcuterie display, and create-your-own omelette station, along with a bottomless cocktail bar. Lunch and dinner options range from roasted fennel meatloaf and pan-roasted salmon to casual burgers, sandwiches, and shareable appetizers.
11 Boston Way, Asheville, NC 28803, Phone: 828-398-5600
16. Romantic Restaurant Near Me: Strada Italiano
© Strada Italiano
Strada Italiano is a traditional neighborhood Italian trattoria housed within a renovated historic building in Asheville's Victorian-style downtown, named in honor of the Italian word for "boulevard." The restaurant, which is helmed by executive chef Anthony Cerrato, serves up a pan-Italian menu of traditional family recipes, crafted with locally-sourced ingredients from regional producers and purveyors. Dishes such as hand-tossed 14-inch specialty pizzas, savory traditional pastas, and sauteed and grilled land and sea fare are served up in the restaurant's richly atmospheric dining room, which features romantic wood elements and custom copper architecture. An extensive drink selection highlights organically-produced biodynamic Italian wines, along with a selection of craft cocktails, fine liquors, and local craft beers on tap. At the adjacent Social Lounge, couples can enjoy rooftop patio relaxation and craft cocktails, with access to the restaurant's full menu service. A weekend brunch menu highlights Old World fare such as breakfast poutine alongside Southern-style entrees such as shrimp and grits.
27 Broadway St, Asheville, NC 28801, Phone: 828-348-8448
17. The Admiral
© The Admiral
The Admiral is a delightfully intimate restaurant in downtown Asheville, owned and operated by Jonathan Robinson and Drew Wallace since 2007. Tables are structured to accommodate small groups only, perfect for bringing a date or double dating with another couple. A daily-rotating dinner menu highlights global fusion fare, often focusing on land and sea entrees such as lamb shank, six-ounce strip steak, heritage chicken, and swordfish. Small plate service is also available for table sharing, highlighting delicacies such as duck liver mousse, carrot confit, fried rabbit legs, stewed quail, and beef tartare. Dishes are frequently modified to take advantage of the best available seasonal produce. An extensive wine list is offered, along with bottled beers, North Carolina spirits, and a menu of fine handcrafted cocktails.
400 Haywood Rd, Asheville, NC 28806, Phone: 828-252-2541
18. The Bull and Beggar
© The Bull and Beggar
The Bull and Beggar is an upscale New American restaurant located within a gorgeous bi-level space in Asheville's River Arts District, owned and operated by The Admiral's Drew Wallace since 2013. The restaurant, which showcases industrial-chic decor and beautiful rustic chandeliers for romantic ambiance, serves up elegant land and sea fare at dinner, cultivated by executive chef Matt Dawes. Entree options include smoked sea bass, corned beef and calves' tongue, Berkshire pork chops, filet mignon, and dry-aged côte de boeuf ribeye with housemade butter and creamed spinach. Shareable hors d'oeuvres and small plates can also be enjoyed by couples, including double-tiered raw bar platters, charcuterie and ploughman's plates, beef tartare, and escargot.
37 Paynes Way #007, Asheville, NC 28801, Phone: 828-575-9443
19. The Market Place
© The Market Place
The Market Place specializes in farm-to-table elevated American cuisine, known as a fixture on downtown Asheville's dining scene since 1979. The restaurant, which is helmed by executive chef William Dissen, crafts unique fare prepared with global culinary traditions in mind, focusing on dishes crafted with locally-sourced, healthy ingredients. Dinner menus offer large and small plate service, highlighting fare such as wood-grilled pork shoulders with Mexican street corn, roasted beet and goat cheese agnolotti, pan-roasted quail, and Carolina gold rice risotto with roasted maitake mushrooms. Couples can also share plates featuring items such as Appalachian corn fritters, locally-sourced charcuterie, mussels and white wine, and truffle herb fries. At brunch, diners can enjoy banana bread French toast, spinach and goat cheese omelettes, and Market breakfasts prepared with bentonâs bacon and jalapeno biscuits.
20 Wall St, Asheville, NC 28801, Phone: 828-252-4162
20. Vinnie's Neighborhood Italian
© Vinnie's Neighborhood Italian
Vinnie's Neighborhood Italian is a charming traditional Italian trattoria in downtown Asheville, owned and operated by Eric Scheffer since 2008. The restaurant calls to mind the classic atmosphere of Italian neighborhood joints in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Boston, serving up traditional comfort fare at dinner service throughout the week. High-quality pasta dishes include spaghetti carbonara, penne vodka, rigatoni bolognese, and linguine pescatore, served alongside land and sea classics such as chicken parmesan, veal marsala, and linguine and clams. A wide variety of specialty pizzas and calzones are also available, with customizable topic options perfect for sharing with a date. Clever martinis are served up alongside traditional Italian desserts such as ricotta cheesecake, tiramisu, cannoli, and flourless chocolate torte.
641 Merrimon Ave, Asheville, NC 28804, Phone: 828-253-1077
21. Romantic Restaurants Near Me: Vue 1913
Vue 1913 is the signature brasserie of the Omni Grove Park Inn hotel, opened as part of an overhaul redesign following the hotel's centennial anniversary of operation in 2013. The charming European-style restaurant is operated by executive chef James Lumley, showcasing stylish decor and unparalleled views of the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains. High-quality dinner entree options include flora and fauna fare such as sweet potato and brown butter gnocchi, miso with charred broccolini and lemon, lamb with potato dumplings, and butcher's cut steaks with a selection of peak season vegetables. As one of only two AAA Four-Diamond restaurants in Western North Carolina to receive the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence each year, the restaurant partners with Orin Swift Wine Cellars to offer a spectacular menu of fine wines available by the bottle or by the glass. Six-course chef's tasting meals are available for couples to enjoy, pairing with wines selected by sommelier Kathleen Apocada.
290 Macon Ave, Asheville, NC 2880, Phone: 800-438-5800
22. Restaurants Near Me: Zambra
Zambra was named as North Carolina's most romantic restaurant in 2017 by USA Today, known as the city's premiere space for tapas service. The restaurant, which is helmed by restaurateur Peter Montague and executive chef Adam Bannasch, is known as a pioneer among Asheville's farm-to-table scene, serving up Iberian-style tapas and other cuisine items native to the Western Mediterranean. Spanish and Moorish decor accents adorn its rustic dining room space, which showcases an amber-lit ceiling and a beautiful polished stone floor. Locally-sourced ingredients are used to prepare small plate options such as Spanish-style patatas bravas, harissa-spiced tofu, pomegranate-braised pork spring rolls, sesame-crusted scallops, and grilled North Carolina shrimp with chimichurri and pickled onions. Larger plate options include grilled boneless lamb rack, pan-seared trout with hazelnuts and oranges, and Angus beef hanger steak prepared with piquillo mojo and roasted garlic.
85 W Walnut St, Asheville, NC 28801, Phone: 828-232-1060
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