The Asheville area has undeniably one of the best per capita independent restaurant scenes in the country, if not the world. And that’s not just the locals bragging. In 2016, U.S. News & World Report named the city one of 15 “Best Foodie Destinations in the USA.”
Asheville residents have nearly every option imaginable, from delivery to small plates to fine dining to fast casual, and enough different ethnic foods to fill in a surprising portion of a world map for a city this size. Whether you’re thinking about walking to your nearest brewery for a pint and a nosh or driving across town to meet friends at your favorite dinner spot, you’re never short on options.
But, as locals, do you ever think to have your dinner in a hotel?
Over the last few decades, Asheville’s renaissance has made it a key destination for lovers of local food, local beer, local art, local music, local businesses…. You get the idea. And much to the consternation of area locals, the growth of the tourism industry has recently led to a boom in hotel construction and expansion. While on the surface it’s easy to write of these spaces as “for tourists only,” they are, in fact, anything but.
Whether independent hotels or members of large, recognizable chains, hotels across the city have striking and innovative food and drink options. Here are just six of many bar and restaurant options open inside Asheville hotels.
Blackbird (Aloft Hotel)
Originally located in Black Mountain, Blackbird can now be found along Biltmore Avenue under the Aloft Hotel. The award-winning restaurant’s menu features produce from local farms and seafood from the Carolina coast. Among their local food vendors are Rayburn Farm, Moonsprouts, and Dynamite Roasting Co. A member of AIR, Asheville’s Independent Restaurant Association, Blackbird also sources business vendors locally, working with 11Eleven Creative for marketing and Chris Bryant for food photography.
47 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville | (828) 254-2502 | theblackbirdrestaurant.com
EDISON craft ales + kitchen (Omni Grove Park Inn)
Named for Thomas Edison’s frequent visits to the hotel open its opening, EDISON craft ales + kitchen offers a regionally inspired menu in a contemporary setting. In addition to being a member of AIR, the restaurant also showcases local artists in their indoor dining area. Local farms and purveyors currently on the menu include Carolina Bison, Hickory Nut Gap Farm, Ivy Creek Family Farm, Lusty Monk, Mountain Food Products, and more.
290 Macon Avenue, Asheville | (800) 438-5800 | omnihotels.com
Iron Hen Cafe (Hilton Garden Inn)
Opened in September 2016, the Iron Hen Cafe is the second location of the Greensboro-based restaurant of the same name. The restaurant sources 85–90% of its products within the state, and the Asheville location is working on an 80% source rate from the Asheville area, according to a recent Mountain Xpress interview. Regional providers already include Annie’s Bakery, Hickory Nut Gap Farm, Imladris Farm, and PennyCup Coffee.
309 College Street, Asheville | (828) 575-1187 | ironhen.com
oneFIFTYone Boutique Bar & Kitchen (Hotel Indigo)
The oneFIFTYone Boutique Bar & Kitchen is committed to providing quality breakfast and dinner by emphasizing local ingredients and local flavors. In the morning, guests wake up with fresh-brewed coffee from Dynamite Roasting Co. in Black Mountain. For dinner, hotel guests and local diners can enjoy fresh, organic, and seasonal ingredients that support local farms and businesses. On their menus, local items (from a 90-mile radius) are pinned for easy ordering.
151 Haywood Street, Asheville | (828) 239-0239 | ashevilleindigo.com
Roux (Hilton Asheville)
Located in the lobby of the luxurious Hilton Asheville in Biltmore Park, Roux isn’t blinded by its setting. The AIR member is focused on environmental stewardship and local partnerships. They use solar hot water and recycle their cooking oil into bio fuel. They also patronize local farms and businesses for their meats, cheeses, breads, and more, and shop at the Biltmore Park Farmers Market, located just steps away, when the market is in season.
43 Town Square Boulevard, Asheville | (828) 209-2715 | rouxasheville.wordpress.com
Writer’s Bistro (Renaissance Asheville Hotel)
Located adjacent to the front entrance of the Renaissance Asheville Hotel, the Writer’s Bistro is inspired by Asheville’s rich literary history. Diners will find quotes from Thomas Wolfe on the wall and cocktails inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald on the menu. The menu is inspired by the local movement for farm-to-table dining and features a number of locally grown and raised ingredients.
31 Woodfin Street, Asheville | (828) 252-8211 | marriott.com
More on the Way
Listed above are great dining options in half a dozen existing Asheville hotels. But there are another half a dozen hotels on the way—and with them, more local dining options. In a February 18 post, Ashvegas sums up many of the construction projects in the works, as well as what we know already about the dining options they will house.
Which ones are you curious to try?
All real estate is local. In order to make confident real estate decisions, we believe it is important for you to have timely and neighborhood-specific information. If you would like more information about dining in Asheville, our experts at Beverly-Hanks & Associates and NAI Beverly-Hanks Commercial are here to help. Contact us to speak with a Beverly-Hanks real estate agent today.