Best Outdoor Dining in Asheville
March 17, 2021
Asheville is known as Foodtopia, home to a community of culinary collaborators crafting an experience to nurture your soul. In shaking off our winter layers, now is the time to celebrate spring with a meal al fresco. In a town full of restaurant choices, here are some favorites we return to time and again.
Undoubtedly, our favorite spot for an outdoor dinner happens to be two blocks from our bed & breakfast, Pinecrest. Chiesa, which means church in Italian, means delicious to us! The chef makes pasta and sauce in-house daily. Extraordinarily crafted entrees fill the small menu. Daily specials feature local seasonal produce. Diane’s favorite is the Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Ravioli with Antonia’s Sicilian Red Tomato Gravy. Add the house-made HNG Italian Meatball to round out the meal. Lastly, save room for the Limoncello Mascarpone Cake for dessert.
Choose one of these restaurants with covered patios lest rain ruin dinner. We highly recommend reservations, particularly on weekends.
Rhubarb serves seasonal, regional American fare sourced from nearby farms and dairies. Before moving to Asheville, Chef John Fleer put Blackberry Farm in Walland, TN on the map. Moreover, John is a five-time James Beard nominee. We recommend the house-made Burrata appetizer. Hopefully communal Sunday Suppers can return post pandemic.
Do not judge a book by its cover. Copper Crown’s location is an unassuming strip mall. They serve some of our favorite farm-to-table dishes in Asheville. We are fond of the “smaller plates” menu section. Unquestionably, our order starts with Crispy Brussels Sprouts. When in doubt, order the double-patty Lo-Fi Burger and fries!
Tupelo Honey Cafe began in 2000 in the heart of downtown Asheville. Make reservations early for one of two covered patios. Indulge in Southern fare inspired by the foods of the Carolina mountains. The extensive menu offers appetizers, salads, sandwiches, entrees, and more. Breakfast for dinner, anyone?
With two outdoor seating areas, Pack’s Tavern is another favorite. If you have not made plans, then the tavern is a great option since they do not accept reservations. The extensive menu is loaded with pub favorites. Order from the wood-fired menu, particularly the pizza or subs. What’s more, Pack’s Tavern hosted our daughter’s wedding reception so we hold them dear in our memories.
If you need lunch, then go to Bomba. First, order at the counter off their Latin-inspired menu. Second, seat yourself at one of the outdoor café tables then watch the people walking by. Next enjoy your entrée, like the 1/2 Charcoal Chicken or Cuban. Unquestionably my favorite is the Bomba Roll with a mimosa. Life is short. Drink champagne.
Asheville is nicknamed “The Paris of the South.” Given that, go to Sovereign Remedies to experience a sidewalk café. Local season products highlight the everchanging menus. The cocktail menu never disappoints plus they have a full complement of wine and beer. If you can not decide, then order the Local Charcuterie & Cheese Plate. Divine perfection.
Choose The Montford Rooftop Bar for stunningly beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Let the elevator whisk you to the eighth floor, one hour before sunset. Order a signature cocktail, perhaps the Montford Mule. If beer suits your taste, imbibe with a local pint from Highland Brewing. While waiting for the sun to dip below the horizon, satisfy your appetite with eats such as House Tater Tots with Ivy Creek Farms beet ketchup. Do not be frightened by a few clouds or deceived when the sun sets. The best color bursts from the clouds about one-half hour later. Just enough time to order one of three flatbreads; we’re partial to the pepperoni. Reservations recommended.
While The Montford is rustic, Cappella on 9 is uptown chic. With not one but two rooftop decks, stunning mountain views can be seen in every direction. Combat the wind with layers or cozy up on the couches by the firepit. Eat from the tapas-style menu such as Patatas Bravas with smoked tomato jam. Drinks run from cocktails on tap to the Ole #4 made with Capella’s Private Selection Maker’s Mark. Who is thirsty?
Drink like a local at Burial Beer Co. on the South Slope. This is a chill place to hang with friends at a picnic table outside. The tap list evolves weekly, each brew’s name tells a story. If the taproom is open, so is the kitchen in a permanent food truck. Do not expect the usual bar food as the menu leans heavily on seasonal produce and local products. Never fear, there is a burger and fries, in case. Forestry Camp is the second location of Burial, located near Biltmore Village. Camp began in the early 1900s as housing for the Civilian Conservation Corp. Now restored, choose from fine dining on the rooftop deck or counter-service at the picnic area which is first come, first served.
Wedge Brewing Company is named after the shape of the warehouse at Wedge Studios. Upstairs is home to artists with the rear downstairs, Wedge at Wedge Studios, housing the brewery. Beer meets art at this location in the River Arts District. Rotating food trucks serve up hearty fare. One of our favorites, El Kimchi, usually parks on Wednesday afternoons. Korean Bibimbap meets Mexican tacos which all taste great with beer. Wedge at Foundation is their second location which happens to be neighbors with 12 Bones Smokehouse. This iconic BBQ joint is best known for serving President Barack Obama on the campaign trail in 2008. However, 12 Bones is only open weekdays for carryout from 11:30 am to 5:30 pm but that is still plenty of time to order some ribs. Then go next door for a beer to wash them down.
Last but not least, drink your grapes, fermented, at Bottle Riot. Also located in Wedge Studios, this wine bar is focused on small production, sustainable varietals, offered by the glass or bottle. Beers here are imported from Europe. Open daily from 2 until 9 pm, there is outdoor seating and a fire table. Recently, Strada took over the food menu which now leans Italian. We can’t wait to order the Roasted Tomato Burrata with Rosemary Crackers.
If drinking wine, why not sip from Burntshirt Vineyards, perennial winners of the North Carolina Winery of the Year. The flagship winery is located in Hendersonville with outdoor seating overlooking the vineyards. For even more stunning views, visit Burnshirt Tasting Room & Bistro at Chimney Rock. The covered patio is at the base of Chimney Rock and Hickory Nut Falls, best remembered as the waterfall in the movie “The Last of the Mohicans.” The wines surprised us as we assumed they would be overly sweet. Buyer beware of the case discount. We are proud owners of Gruner Veltliner and Rock Bottom Red!
Pinecrest Bed & Breakfast is conveniently located in historic Montford. Just one mile to downtown Asheville, home of many outdoor patios ready for your enjoyment. Book Direct at our secure website. Start your day with our hot fresh breakfast then head out to explore all Western North Carolina offers.