What's New in Asheville, North Carolina
Whether you are visiting for the first time or returning to the city, Asheville has plenty of new dining options and attractions for you to visit this winter.
New Restaurants and Breweries
· Look out for recently opened restaurants like Neng Jr's, the first Filipinx restaurant in Asheville from non-binary chef Silver Iocovozzi; Gemelli, an Italian coffee shop by day turned wine bar at night is complimented with Sicilian pizzas, antipasti and more; and Dilbar, an Indian street food eatery and sister restaurant of Mehfil.
· A trip to the River Arts District in Asheville will reveal Guajiro, a new spot outside Asheville Cotton Mill Studios with Cuban comfort food just like "abuela" (grandma) makes it.
· Two beloved Asheville spots just reopened in September: Ole Shakey’s dive bar reopened at it new downtown location (38 N. French Broad Ave.) and Cultura reopened its doors in the South Slope with various dining options offered Thursday through Sunday.
· Check out the newest food truck in Asheville: the Tahini Jar. Inspired by Middle Eastern foods, its plant-based cuisine is perfect for any foodie looking for a new experience.
· Visitors looking for a new sweet treat can take a trip to the recently opened Mary's Mountain Cookies shop in downtown. Mary's specializes in gigantic cookies, brownies and ice cream sandwiches, which makes for a perfect companion for a day exploring Asheville's fall colors.
· When in the mood for a little trip while in the city, travelers can take a short drive to Black Mountain, a scenic small town with artsy energy and a surprising food scene. Visitors can't miss Foothills Grange, the newest concept from Foothills Meats as it celebrates 20 years as a hyperlocal butcher. Its large outdoor space features picnic tables, a large patio, kids play area and a permanent food truck.
· James Beard finalist and Top Chef star Ashleigh Shanti is slated to open Good Hot Fish, a fish camp style restaurant based on her popular pop-up of the same name, later in the season.
· Asheville, aka Beer City USA, is adding another brewery to the mix with the opening of 7 Clans Brewing. This majority female, indigenous-owned company opened just in time for fall and is located in South Asheville right outside of Biltmore Village.
New Tours, Arts and Experiences
· Travelers can kick back and relax amongst the trees with Shoji Spa & Retreat's new Treetop Package perfect for the winter, which includes three hours of relaxation and detoxification involving its private far-infrared sauna and Senjo salt scrub. Highly recommend this for you to include. Other favorite winter wellness options include the Asheville Salt Cave which offers a Turkish Hammam and special mindfulness events, Skinny Beats sound healing mediations and Namaste in Nature waterfall hikes only though November.
· Asheville's local experts share the inside scoop with these new tours: The North Carolina Craft Beverage Museum has partnered with Asheville Free Walking Tours to create a new walking tour that explores the history of craft beverages in Asheville and includes tastings of donuts, gin and honey from local businesses from downtown to the River Arts District. Mountain Mural Tours is an energetic way to get into the eclectic art and culture scene of Asheville. Asheville's big purple bus, LaZoom, has expanded its spooky tours with “Lil Boogers: Halloweenies Tour” – a one hour history comedy ride offered every Saturday in October featuring ghoulish figures that are appropriate for the whole family.
· Check out the new murals on display throughout Asheville's South Slope district from the Indigenous Walls Project, a grassroots organization that aims to amplify indigenous voices and enhance awareness of the diversity of indigenous people through provoking murals.
· Tyger Tyger is a "must-see" art gallery when in Asheville. The woman-owned and led space recently opened in the River Arts District and displays local, regional, national and international marginalized artists.
· The Omni Grove Park Inn in will host its 2023 Heritage Glitz & Glam Dinner and Blue Ridge New Year’s Weekend. It will also offer a winter concert series featuring two concerts the weekend of Jan. 13 and Feb. 10 tied to special overnight packages.
Newly opened in September, Wrong Way River Lodge & Cabins is a first-of-its-kind lodging option that combines the casual nostalgia of a campground with hotel conveniences. While the name seems counterintuitive, it was inspired by the French Broad River which it sits along, one of very few rivers in the world that flows north instead of south.
Sixteen A-frame "Scappalachian" dwellings marry the simplicity of Scandinavian design with the mountain warmth of Appalachian cabins.
Powered by James Beard semifinalist Ashley Capps’ and chef Travis Schultz’s Newstock Pantry, the onsite “canteen” will purvey a ready-to-go menu in harmony with the seasons and sustainably sourced.
Not just a place to stay and play, Wrong Way offers voluntourism opportunities and an outdoor-centered experience program so guests can get outside and into the Asheville vibe.
The Restoration Asheville in the former Bank of America building in the heart of downtown is set to open in December 2022. It’s directly across from Pritchard Park, the location of a 20-year local tradition of music and dance, the Asheville Drum Circle. The 60-room hotel will also have a restaurant on the ground floor and upper-level views of downtown and the surrounding mountains.
Zelda Dearest: Set to open in 2023 (TBD), located on Biltmore Avenue, the independently branded and operated hotel will preserve three of Asheville’s historic downtown homes. Plans for Zelda Dearest include construction of outdoor spaces such as a wedding/event patio, a game lawn, gardens, fire pits, and onsite visitor parking. The boutique hotel’s interior will be inspired by the Fitzgeralds’ lives and literary works.
Photos Courtesy of Explore Asheville and Wrong Way River Lodge & Cabins