More often than not, tipsters, readers, friends and family of Eater have one question: Where should I eat right now? What are the new restaurants? What’s everyone talking about? While the Eater 18 is a crucial resource covering old standbys and neighborhood essentials across the city, it is not a chronicle of the “it” places of the moment. Enter the Eater Heatmap, which will change continually to highlight the spots crowds are flocking to at the moment or generating a big buzz. Folks are asking, “Have you been yet?” Try one of these newbies today.Read More
9 Hottest Restaurants in Asheville Right Now
From veg-heavy small plates to brisket and cheese hoagies
Famed pitmaster Elliott Moss makes his pandemic pop-up permanent with the opening of Little Louie’s in West Asheville. Located in the space previously held by the Malvern (the pool table, staff, and decor remain), Little Louie’s serves brisket and cheese hoagies, chicken Parmesan hoagies, a selection of pierogis, smoked wings, Louie fries, and more.
The Trashy Vegan
Popular food truck the Trashy Vegan brings its plant-based fare to a permanent address in West Asheville. There are zero animal products in the cheeseburger, chicken sandwich, or “trashy” cheesesteak. Loaded fries come with the sauce of the day, onion, pickled jalapenos, fried soy curls, tomato, and lettuce on a bed of crisp fries.
West Asheville mainstay Tastee Diner finds new owners with former Jargon chef Steve Goff and partner Sam Goff. They still serve comfort food, but now it’s a bit more interesting, like a baked ziti sandwich, smoked wings, or a giant smoked bologna stack with whipped pimento cheese.
Chef Anthony Cerrato of Asheville’s Strada Italiano and Social Lounge recently opened all-day cafe Gemelli. The space serves as an Italian coffee shop (complete with baked goods like cannolis) during the day and turns into a wine bar at night with Sicilian pizzas, antipasti, and more Italian favorites.
Neighborhood tavern Tall John’s focuses on well-executed European-American classics like pork schnitzel, Parker rolls, steak tartare, and a signature burger from owner/executive chef Trevor Payne. The restaurant aims to be a spot for “all occasions” in the historic Montford district.
Owen and Mindi McGlynn of Grove Arcade restaurant Asheville Proper opened their second restaurant, Little D’s, with an emphasis on small plates and seasonal produce. Current dishes include charred carrots with smoked feta, duck breast with citrus-miso glaze, and grilled broccolini with cardamon labneh.
La Bodega by Cúrate
In 2018, chef Katie Button and Felix Meana, the duo behind nationally acclaimed Spanish restaurant Cúrate, opened Button & Co. Bagels on the ground level of the former Nigthbell space. The New York-style bagels were a hit, but the pandemic forced Button and Meana to turn the bagel shop into La Bodega by Cúrate, a Spanish food and wine retail shop, out of necessity when dining rooms were forced to close. Now the space buzzes with customer ordering pintxos, pressed croissant sandwiches, and tinned fish. Open for breakfast (takeout), lunch, and dinner.
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New American restaurant Eldr serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a century-old cottage nestled amid the trees in historic Grovewood Village. Eldr is Old Norse for “fire”, which is fitting, because the restaurant relies on a wood-fired oven for many of its dishes. The menu includes roast chicken, pork schnitzel, duck wings, and more.
Abuela’s Little Kitchen
Abuela’s Little Kitchen has a new location and is receiving new attention. The larger dining room allows the family to serve even more Mexican breakfast favorites like huevos rancheros and chilaquiles next to American classics like pancakes and bacon.