This past weekend, we were supposed to camp out at the Blue Ridge Parkway with our family but Hurricane Florence had other (constantly changing) plans. So, we changed up ours and finally checked off a weekend getaway in Asheville that we’ve been wanting to do for so long! With so much to do, see, and more importantly: eat and drink in Asheville–at only a little over two hours away from the Queen City, this trip was a no-brainer for us here at CLT.Remedy.
AVL proudly calls itself “Foodtopia” with its community of culinary collaborators ready to open their doors to welcome everyone and prepare a feast like no other in their kitchens! With only 52 hours in Asheville, we packed in as much as we could but we definitely will have to go back! Here are some of the highlights of our trip:
For more information about Asheville’s Foodtopia culture and scene, check out Explore Asheville by clicking here!
But first, a pit stop at Silver Fork Winery in Morganton, NC: Trust us, you want to stop here—whether on your way into Asheville or back to the Queen City (or honestly, just a day trip all on its own). Hands down, SFW has got to be one of our all time fave NC winery. Start with a tasting and chat with their knowledgeable team, and then slow time down with a bottle or two while you sit back in one of many Adirondack chairs and just enjoy the sweeping mountain views. They also sell local cheeses and crackers and on certain days have an on-site “food truck” but pro tip: you can also just pack a picnic of your favorite charcuterie board essentials! Just remember that outside alcohol is not allowed on property. On this latest trip, we actually didn’t have a set itinerary and were in no rush to get into AVL. As soon as we saw the highway sign for SFW, the blinkers came on and we immediately took the next exit. It was definitely a great way to start off our foodtrip to AVL!
We eventually managed to peel ourselves from the mountain views of Morganton and made it through the rest of the drive to check into the Cambria in Downtown Asheville for the weekend. It was our first time at this hotel and we’d likely go back! Their very welcoming staff, attention to detail, very prompt valet, and the well-appointed room with a view were fantastic (mind you this is not an ad! But anytime the Cambria wants to comp us a room, we’re down! 😉 Hehe!)
Another bonus of the Cambria Hotel is its great location in downtown Asheville. We were within walking distance of many shops and places to eat. Our first afternoon/evening was spent checking out charming bookstores, cool shops, and eventually dinner at Chai Pani! Y’all! Any time somebody says, “street food”, we are down! And this spot was so good.
Here is our dinner spread at Chai Pani. The matchstick okra fries are definitely the best fried okra we’ve ever had anywhere. Another table favorite was the chicken Tika roll. The sauce in that wrap was money!
Once we woke up from the coma induced by the Indian street food we consumed the night before, we were ready to start off our first full day with some Biscuit Head. I’m pretty sure your trip to AVL doesn’t count if you don’t actually go to BH! As you can tell from the pics below, we definitely put some south in our mouth. Give us all the biscuits and THAT jam bar!!!
Carbo-loaded and fueled up, we were ready for the day’s adventures! Our sister and niece drove in for the day and with two little kiddos in tow, we decided to check out the Western NC Nature Center and the NC Arboretum.
At the WNC Nature Center, the littles enjoyed gem mining for about ~$8. These are just some of our treasures. We even got some fool’s gold.
The adult’s favorite part of the Arboretum is probably the bonsai garden. As for the kids, hands down it was the model train set complete with Thomas and his friends! What a hit!
Eventually it was time to feed ourselves again and we made our way to the South Slope district. We had to check off Buxton Hall BBQ–again, another AVL staple that’s a must. We had a difficult time deciding what to order, so we pretty much got one of everything including three slices of pie at the end!
While we really had no more room in our bellies for anything else, there were two more spots in South Slope that we wanted to check out: the Chemist for Manny and the Vortex for Kriska! LOL!
Let’s just say that our inner pharmacists were nerding out like crazy–and Manny’s inner mixologist was geeking way, way out!
And as for Kriska and the little kids–the case of doughnuts at Vortex was enough to get a crazy happy dance going! The moms had to caffeinate just to make sure we could keep up with the doughnut’s effects on the littles.
We eventually had to retreat back to the Cambria to crash, while the kiddos peaked on their sugar sprinkle doughnut high! The adults took turn taking naps as the cloudy weather and the entire day’s adventures required it! Once refreshed, eventually it was time for dinner. Yes, it was time to eat again! LOL! The rain called for some comfort food–so ramen and all the other goodness of Ghan Shan Station it was!
Everything was all the noms! Dim sum, ramen, shishito peppers…their menu changes regularly depending on what’s fresh, and you can really tell how inspired each dish is!
So of course we fell into another food coma and the next morning required a quick pick-me-up to power us up to pack our stuff for check out. Lucky us, Trade and Lore was just a short walk away!
After check out, there was only one more logical thing to do–BRUNCH. Have we eaten enough yet? I don’t think so. With so many places to brunch at in AVL, it was quite the task to narrow it down to one, but we eventually picked out SOVEREIGN REMEDIES. We literally just wanted to move in. Their space was total goals. We wanted to just hang out by that window space all day if we could. Of course, their brunch and cocktail program were just as great. We practically all licked our bowls and plate clean.
And well, speaking of dream spaces and goals–there was one last AVL stop on our list. Flora (& Forage). I mean, c’mon! Every plant mom and plant dad addicted to coffee and tea have to stop in here. There’s just no excuse if you don’t make it in. So, we hung out here for a few minutes to check out all their little pretties and grabbed a dirty chai latte for the road!
And well, I think that’s finally it. Who knew you could fit so much into just 52 hours! We really enjoyed our time in AVL and just loved the vibe of this city. They’re all about building a community and embracing different cultures–and most importantly, welcoming everyone! And speaking of COMMUNITY, as we keep the the coastal Carolinas and towns devastated by Hurricane Florence on our minds, I know many of us want to help. Here are some verified groups that you can partner with to help rebuild the coast and help those in need:
American Red Cross: make donations on their site by clicking here.
Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC: find out how you can help here.
Salvation Army: make donations on their site by clicking here.
Have you ever been to Asheville? What are your favorite spots, things to do, and noms to eat in AVL? We can’t wait to plan our next trip and would love more recommendations! Hope some of these help you plan your trip to Foodtopia, Asheville!
This Asheville guide recommended by Kriska!