For Fall break, I took a road trip west and spent just a little over twenty-four hours browsing the eclectic storefronts of downtown Asheville, North Carolina. Tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is known for its rich art scene and historical architecture, as well as its vibrant array of restaurants and coffee-shops. Read on to check out some of my favorite spots.
When I arrived in downtown Asheville late the first night, I was in dire need of a warm cup of joe. Just a little ways down Broad Street, I found a coffee shop called Old Europe. Drawn by their gorgeous neon sign, I entered to find myself in a dimly-lit space that felt more like the cozy foyer of a mansion than a restaurant. They had a variety of espresso beverages and a beautiful selection of tiny Italian desserts. I 10/10 would recommend checking this spot, even if just to pretend it’s the eighteenth century and sit in a corner with a feather pen.
For dinner, I went next door to a small Thai restaurant called Suwana’s Thai Orchid, which the barista at Old Europe recommended as the best Thai food in Asheville. My friend and I split a chicken pad thai and the massamun curry, both of which came out of the kitchen looking absolutely gorgeous. Each dish was spicy and bursting with authentic flavor, plus the service was great. I’d definitely recommend for fans of Thai food and mysterious fortune-cookie fortunes.
On my second day in Asheville, I stumbled by a storefront teeming with potted plants and coffee-shop goers and decided to pop in for my first caffeine fix of the day. I got a steaming black cup of their drip, and my friend got their famous chocolate chai latte (which was excellent). We nabbed a seat in front of the window and got to observe city life while we sipped, wrapped in the spacious atmosphere. I’d definitely recommend Asheville Chocolate for their coffee, and the truffles they had on display looked nothing but scrumptious.
By far my favorite restaurant we tried was White Duck Taco Shop on Biltmore avenue, which reminded me a lot of Chapel Hill’s Bartaco or Durham’s Nanataco, but even better. With a order-up-front service style, White Duck provided fresh and fast specialty tacos. I ordered a fish taco and a bean and cheese taco, both of which were not only phenomenal but filling. The hip atmosphere and amazing flavors were just the right choice to wrap up my twenty-four hour Asheville trip.