Located in West Asheville, TacoBilly has become a haven for culinary treats and social interaction.
The smallest of canvases can contain the biggest of ideas.
“You can take anything and put it in a taco. There are so many options with tortillas—the possibilities are endless,” said Hunter Berry.
Every day for Berry is a wild and crazy day at his popular restaurant, TacoBilly, in West Asheville. When asked what it has been like for his business since it opened in 2015, Berry’s face lights up.
“I’ve been surprised at how well accepted and supported we’ve been by the locals in this community. The local business owners and officials have all come out and shown their support,” he said. “Greater Asheville seems to prioritize any local movement or organization. I didn’t realize it was that strong when I moved here, but it’s very apparent.”
Originally from Texas, Berry bounced all over the central part of the state as a kid. And though he moved around a dozen times during his adolescence, what remained constant in his life was his love for food.
“I’ve always liked to eat. My parents always liked to joke that I would ask what was for breakfast as we were eating dinner,” Berry smiled. “I always liked the idea of cooking, of being a chef with a specific skill set. With tacos, I know what I like to eat, and I knew I wanted to start a business.”
Berry spent several years in Mexico, soaking up the country’s rich culinary traditions, Eventually, he and his family decided they wanted to relocate back to the United States. But, where to?
“When we decided to leave Mexico, Asheville kept coming up,” he said. “My wife and I wanted seasons, a city with 100,000 people or less, some element of tourism, good schools for my kids, great food, and an outdoor scene. We visited here and fell in love with it. You can get in your car and drive in any direction and just find beauty here.”
Once in Asheville, Berry discovered the city and its incredible food scene would be the ideal place to launch TacoBilly.
“I always liked the idea of cooking, of being a chef with a specific skill set. With tacos, I know what I like to eat, and I knew I wanted to start a business.” —Hunter Berry, TacoBilly
“The local food movement was pretty strong and alluring. The fact that there are farmers markets every day of the week around here was real enticing,” he noted.
When you drive by the small restaurant on the large downhill along Haywood Road, you’ll see a line out the door of eager customers. Many are die-hard locals in search of breakfast and lunch tacos. All are asking for more sauce into which to douse their cravings.
When you step into TacoBilly, you’ll also see and immerse yourself in the buzz of a social hub for the city.
“I’ve always enjoyed people and small talk, just getting to know a little bit about people,” Berry said. “And the volume of people I’ve been able to meet at TacoBilly has been incredible. To hear all their stories and what their lives are like—it’s become a little scene that’s been a lot of fun.”
This post is adapted from our annual Welcome to Western North Carolina magazine. Click here to read more online, or click here to order your own free copy. Learn more about TacoBilly at tacobillyasheville.com.