Saturday, April 27, 2013

Asheville's Best of the Best - #2: Amazing Food and Beer Scene

Reason #2 of my top five reasons to visit Asheville, NC is the never-ending, always changing, amazing Asheville Food and Beer Scene.  Asheville has awesome food and beer with a culture that supports "farm to table" dining.  And an abundance of microbreweries with fantastic tasting rooms, restaurants and bars - Asheville has been voted "America''s Beer City," the last four years in a row (beating out cities like Portland, Oregon and San Diego, California).  To sample what downtown restaurants and microbreweries have to offer, be sure and take the Eating Asheville Walking Food Tour or Beer Tour.  

These are wonderful ways to sample what the city has to offer in both food and drink as well as learning more about this fascinating city through a guided walking tour of the historic downtown area (with wonderful guides, I might add!).  Asheville has received numerous awards and national recognition for its wonderful cuisine as well as organic, vegan and vegetarian options at many of the restaurants, some with exclusively vegan or vegetarian menus - enjoyable by all kinds of "eaters!"

The community of Asheville is in support of the small independent restaurant, and independent restaurants are alive and well in this city.  Be sure and look for members of the  Asheville Independent Restaurants (AIR) and others supporting the farm to table culture.

Another not to miss destination is the French Broad Chocolate Lounge (often on the Food Tour)- check out the French Broad Chocolate Factory as well as the lounge, where cacoa beans are roasted right in downtown on Buxton Street, with the "parabolic trough solar concetrator" (aka, solar powered cacoa bean roaster!!).  Factory tours are on Saturdays at 2pm.  


Favorite and distinct Areas to drink and dine - check them out!   These are all very distinct areas within Asheville City limits, all within a few miles of each other:

Park in any one of these distinct area and walk around enjoying the sights, sounds, musicians and street scenes, until you are drawn to into one (or more!) of the many amazing restaurants and micro-breweries.

Microbreweries and tasting rooms abound in Asheville and the Asheville Area.  If you wish to get a quick overview, try a tour for an introduction and overview, or check out the Beer City Guide and take yourself on a tour to the one or many of the local breweries.  There is enough of a concentration in downtown Asheville to enable you to walk to several in a reasonable amount of time.  Some are further afield and worth the visit.  Many host live music, events and more.
Beer, tasting rooms, breweries, and yes even distilleries are what Asheville is all about. 


And if you don't want to dine out for every meal, or if you wish to take home local gifts and food, look for one of the many Tailgate markets in Asheville and the Asheville area.  Meats, vegetables, cheeses, jams, jellies, pastries, crackers, honies, flowers, local crafts and gifts, all locally grown and made, will entice you at every turn.  The tailgate markets are wonderful to find and a great place to shop - for gifts and for yourself!

If you are visiting Asheville and need a place to stay, try one of the many bed and breakfasts, Cabin or Vacation Rentals, for which Asheville is well known.  Just give our information and reservation offices a call, 828 994 2627, 9am - 7pm daily.