Typically we drive our home towards adventure but this small town lured us in with it’s over the top reputation for sustainable, farm fresh food and craft brews.
We hadn’t even heard of Asheville, North Carolina until a few years ago. We were passing through another part of North Carolina and wandered into a pub wanting to try some good NC craft beer. The gentleman at the pub pointed us towards Highland Brewery’s Gallic Ale. We thought it was tasty, asked where the beer was made and there began our interest in Asheville.
Since that day we’ve seen the town come up in magazines, online and in conversation for either its beauty, adventure and of course, the food scene. This is one town we were stoked to explore and that in its self is unsettling. Nothing like hyped up expectations to ensure an epic travel fail.
Our experience was honestly far better than what we could put together in a single video…but we tried anyway.
There’s definitely some running themes in town like fresh, local, and sustainable.
While the places we’ve highlighted really excelled at all of those, we were fairly hard pressed to find any restaurants or hole in the walls that weren’t participating in at least one of those aspects, if not all.
There are a lot of breweries in this town, possibly more than you can legally fit in one trip. Highland churns out consistently good brews and hands down has the cleanest facilities we’ve ever seen (have you ever toured Rogue in Oregon, that place is crazy…and awesome)! And if you’re a fan of the microbrew like we are, you’ll want to also check out Wicked Weed and The Wedge.
French Broad Chocolate Lounge is an extremely rare find and if at all possible take the factory tour! Very few chocolatiers, if any, are also cacao farmers themselves, and we’d venture to guess very few chocolate factories even know the farms from where their cacao comes from. This is NOT Dan and Jael, they are purists in the very best way. Not only does the couple have a cacao farm in Costa Rica but they work with small farms all over the world and they pay fair wages to everyone involved in the bean-to-bar process.
In their factory they roast, crack, winnow, grind, conche and temper chocolate in small batches.
Our taste buds are seriously addicted to this place (we found our way in 3 different times during our 10 day stay)! At a minimum I highly recommend taking a few bars home (or order online) and please please have a Vanilla Bourbon Caramel Truffle for me, it just might change, and ruin, your chocolate expectations for the rest of your life.
We love cider…good cider that is. Especially the fun, interesting and experimental kind we found at Urban Orchard. Not much beats a nice crisp, cold and just ever so slightly sweet cider on a hot day. And considering cider used to be more common than wine, we’re obviously not the only ones that think so.
Apples were one of the earliest known crops in the English-speaking New World and so of course it didn’t take long to start fermenting and making cider.
The American legend John Chapman aka good ol’ Johnny Appleseed was the American pioneer who introduced apple trees to states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and West Virginia. I can only imagine what Johnny Appleseed would think of the fermented awesomeness found at Urban Orchard!
Posana Cafe is one of those places we ventured into with reservations. You know what I am talking about, that uneasy feeling that tells you, this could either be really good or really bad. Sure it has great reviews and all the right buzz words on the website, but is it all hype? Luckily, not at all!
This place whipped up lobster mac n cheese that made me want to melt and bread pudding that was so comforting we practically fell asleep at the table.
And it was all gluten free! I didn’t even bother to ask what it was made from. I didn’t want to know. I am assuming it’s magic or some sort of chef wizardry. Because while we are not gluten intolerant we do have friends and family that are…and to be honest a lot of the gluten free baked goods taste like corrugated cardboard.
So there you have it, a foodie breakdown of our Asheville faves. What about you? Do you have a favorite foodie destination? We want to hear your stories in the comments below!
If you didn’t catch our Adventures in Asheville – Float. Fly and Forage make sure to click over and check it out.
If you’re headed to Asheville make sure to start your trip by stopping in at the visitors center. They’ll give you the scoop on what’s going on and can help you plan your trip. I know we owe a big thanks to Explore Asheville for showing us what foodtopia is all about!