Asheville City Guide: Where To Brunch
Leaf season is upon us!!! For those of you not in the mountains, this might not mean a whole lot (growing up in GA, I literally had no idea this was a thing until I moved to NC). But, for those of us in the Blue Ridge, this time of year is BIG. The influx of tourists that come to Asheville to see the leaves change colors during October is astounding. But, can I blame them? Abso-freaking-lutely not. These colors are seriously breathtaking.
Though right now is one of our biggest times of year here in the mountains, Asheville itself has been getting attention year round for its plethora of attributes for years now. We’re one of the “Best New Cities for Beer Lovers” by Fortune, one of “The Best Cities in North America” by Travel + Leisure, one of the “Best Foodie Destinations in the USA” by US News & World Report, I could go on and on, (and those titles were just awarded in 2016!). Basically, Asheville is getting a lot of hype, and as a two year resident (I know it’s not long, but I’m working on it…), I’m going to have to agree that it's well deserved. It has that small town feel (because we are small - only 90,000 year-round residents) but with big city buzz. Come to Asheville, and you will never be bored.
I (along with anyone I’ve ever known who has lived in Asheville) get a phone call, email, or text, at least a couple of times a month asking advice about where to go, what to do, and what to drink here in our “little mountain town” while visiting. We’re a destination for families, bachelorette/bachelor parties, romantic getaways, foodies, beer nerds, you name it. I see about 2-3 bachelorette parties every weekend downtown, no matter the time of year. Well, after having a long saved note in my phone for over a year, I decided to put it all together in a nice and concise format - here on the blog. Of course, all of my recommendations are ever-changing as I try new places in my town. And since I have so many suggestions, I’ve split this series up into several topics covering brunch spots (today’s, duh), date night dining, hiking spots, family fun activities, shopping hot spots, and so many more - seriously, I love this town so much that I keep thinking of more things about it to share with y’all. Some of these you may be familiar with and some are local secrets (Asheville friends, please don’t kill me). Enjoy - and please share with friends!
Where Eat Brunch in Asheville
Obviously, we must start with the most important meal of the day. Many visitors come to Asheville on the weekends, and like many of our top travel destination counterparts (lookin at you, Charleston), we do brunch up right.
Sunny Point has quickly become a monthly staple for me. Seriously, I go at least once a month for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Last month, I went 4 times, don’t judge. Yep, they serve both lunch and dinner, but they’re brunch menu is the best - they even offer it all day. When I made the move from North Asheville to West Asheville a year ago, I moved just down the street from Sunny Point. Granted it was a 30 minute walk, but we made that walk often. I mean, we could have driven, but after indulging ourselves for a few hours, that walk home was necessary. Be prepared for at least an hour wait for brunch - no matter what time you go. But, unlike some other places where a wait is expected but not very fun, this wait is pleasant. You sit in a little courtyard with a self-serve coffee bar available and waitstaff coming around with bloody marys and "mega-mimosas". I told you it was the best, didn’t I?
What to order - Huevos Rancheros or the Brunch Burger; the Breakfast Salad is good, too, but c’mon, indulge yourself. And be sure to grab some jam to go - that shit is GOOD.
I tried Tod’s for brunch for the first time this past weekend. I’ve been picking up dinner from there for a while, but never made it over for brunch. Shoot, yall, it was exactly what I had been missing in my brunch game. Asheville is all about the donuts, which is all fine and well, except when you lived in NYC and desperately miss a damn good bagel. Tod’s satisfied my bagel fix and more. I tried a bite from just about everyone at my table (French Toast, Boss Bowl, Big Papa & Big Momma) and OMG, they’re doing something right here. Best part? No wait.
what to order - any bagel option, the special (they switch it up but this past weekend it was french toast), the Boss Bowl
This one is so. obvious. But, whatever, it’s good so it’s here. Let me warn you, though, flocks, and I mean flocks, of people gather at Biscuit Head every Saturday and Sunday. Be prepared to wait - in a very long line. They have two locations (West Asheville + Biltmore Ave). I thought one may be quicker than the other, but I think the wait is about the same at both on weekends. Pro tip: go before 9am if you can. But really, it’s busy from open to close on weekends. If you’re lucky enough to get to Asheville on a weekday - you should be good to go at most any time of day.
what to order - Mimosa Fried Chicken Biscuit; The Asheville Benedict; Fried Green Tomato Biscuit
Secret Local Spot: King Daddy’s Chicken and Waffles
Okay so this one has apparently gotten lots of press attention so it's not exactly a secret anymore, but I've still never had to wait longer than 5 minutes to eat here. When I made the move over to west, my tastebuds got a treat. There are so many good little local spots in West Asheville that I never would have had the chance to discover had I stayed in North. Case in point: King Daddy’s. Not just chicken and waffles, but that is their speciality. Also open for lunch and dinner. (and, I just found out that these folks also own the Early Girl Eatery, noted below in the honorable mentions, + worked at Hominy Grill in Charleston, SC - aka they're brunch pros.)
what to order - Waffle Benny (so.good.); Belgian Waffle with Heirloom Chicken; Pumpkin Waffle with literally anything; Sweet Potato Hushpuppies
These are going to be on Yelp's Top 10, but keep in mind that they will probs be the most crowded
Alright, friends, where's you fave spot to brunch in Asheville? Any major deliciousness I've missed? Let me know in the comments, and stay tuned for our next edition of the Asheville City Guide - I've got more tricks up my sleeve ;)
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