City Portrait

Asheville, North Carolina’s Hot Spots

The best of Asheville’s booming beer culture and more

Photo: Stacey Van Berkel


The Admiral
The toughest table to secure in town is at this hip, friendly eatery hidden in a seedy-looking cinderblock building in West Asheville. Along with its fried sweetbreads and braised maple pork belly, it’s known for dance parties on Friday and Saturday evenings.


Asheville Brewing
This under appreciated local brewery has three locations; its downtown spot gets packed with students from UNC–Asheville who come for its thin-crust pizza as well as its much-loved Shiva IPA and Ninja Porter.

Bar service at Barley's.

Photo: Stacey Van Berkel

Bar service at Barley’s.


Barley’s Taproom & Pizzeria
The catalyst for downtown’s revitalization and Asheville’s thriving craft beer culture, this pioneering pizza pub offers the widest selection of local beers on tap.


Ben’s Tune Up
Besides its house-brewed American sake, former Admiral chef Elliott Moss’s new spot, set to open in June and housed in a converted 1920s auto body shop, will focus on Japanese-inspired fare with American flavor and Asheville ingredients. Naturally, there will be an outdoor beer garden, too.


Photo: Stacey Van Berkel



Chef Katie Button’s nationally recognized Spanish tapas bar serves dishes such as North Carolina littleneck clams in white wine with imported Iberico ham and toasted pine nuts.


Early Girl Eatery
Everything at this all-day breakfast spot on Wall Street is made from scratch—from the biscuits to the granola—and almost all ingredients are sourced locally.

Highland Brewing Company owner Oscar Wong cracks open a cold one.

Photo: Stacey Van Berkel

Highland Brewing Company founder Oscar Wong cracks open a cold one.


Highland Brewing Company
The open-air tasting room at Highland Brewing buzzes from 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays with a young crowd of post-college professionals and families. Live music blares from the stage, and the throngs swell onto the back lawn.


Lexington Avenue Brewery
Located in the heart of pedestrian-friendly Lexington Avenue, this restaurant brewery fills early on weekend afternoons and stays packed through the evening as patrons savor its selection of hoppy ales.


Oskar Blues
More than a decade ago, Colorado-based outfit Oskar Blues—maker of Dale’s Pale Ale and established by Alabama native Dale Katechis—came up with the ingenious idea of putting craft beer in a can. Now it’s opened a plant and tasting room in nearby Brevard. On weekends, hop on the free brewery shuttle at the Aloft Hotel in Asheville. An on-site restaurant and music venue are in the works, too.


Wedge at Wedge Studios
The Wedge Brewing Company’s 10-barrel brewery and tasting room occupy the first level of an an old warehouse near the French Broad River. Enjoy a cold pint on the outdoor patio while taking in all that the up-and-coming River Arts District has to offer.

Wicked Weed's bison burger.

Photo: Stacey Van Berkel

Wicked Weed’s bison burger.


Wicked Weed Brewing
The latest brewpub to hit the local scene, Wicked Weed prides itself on offering ten to twenty small-batch brews on tap, to go with its high-end grub.



Brews Cruise
Throughout the week, this bus tour carts buzzed and happy riders through a gauntlet of local breweries.

Photo: Stacey Van Berkel

Bruisin' Ales

Crusing for brews.


Bruisin’ Ales
It doesn’t look like much on the outside, but this bottle shop is the place to pick up a growler (or two) of the hot new small-batch pilsner or porter. Beerheads hang out here the way music nerds used to linger at record stores.


Pisgah Brewing Company
With some fifteen beers on tap, this Asheville-area favorite offers plenty of hops but doubles as a cozy music venue, attracting a surprising lineup of top-notch Southern bands and national acts such as Grace Potter and the Nocturnals and the New Mastersounds. Indoor shows are held within its Black Mountain taproom.



Grand Bohemian Hotel
If you’re after local mountain flair—in the larger-than-life style of neighboring Biltmore Estate—try the Grand Bohemian. The hotel’s lobby is designed like a nineteenth-century robber baron’s hunting lodge, complete with a massive stone fireplace and antler chandelier.