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Diners' Choice: Lively restaurants in Asheville / Western North Carolina

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OpenTable
Updated July 05, 2024

Looking for restaurants that have the most vibrant bar scenes in Asheville / Western North Carolina? You’re in the right place. Each month, OpenTable analyzes nearly 2 million global diner reviews from the past four months. We sort the results by location and category to help you discover new favorite restaurants. It's a great partnership: you reserve, eat, and review. We listen...and deliver the results for all to benefit. Enjoy!


A photo of Claywood restaurant
4.9
4.9 (155)
$31 to $50
French American
Hendersonville
About the restaurant
Claywood is a popular space that encourages people to engage with one another—as in, talk and laugh and share, and not stare at a phone. Whether that involves a couple, a family, a group of friends or even complete strangers who are open to chance encounters, Claywood invites connection.

Claywood’s food menu features a variety of wild game meats alongside small entrees like truffle mac & cheese, caramelized brussel sprouts and prosciutto wrapped asparagus. Claywood features artisan charcuterie boards, which include hearty selections of meats and cheeses.

The whiskey menu is similarly impressive and the wine menu includes a brilliant offering of old world wines.
If you’re free for Sunday brunch, check out Claywood’s exotic meat carving station, which could include elk, antelope, wild boar, venison or pheasant, which pair well with its mimosa and “mary” beverage boards.

And if that doesn’t give you something to talk about, we don’t know what will!

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jul 7, 2024
It was an altogether wonderful and unique dining experience.
A photo of Limones Restaurant restaurant
4.7
4.7 (6206)
$31 to $50
Mexican
Asheville
About the restaurant
Around the corner from the Fine Arts Theater in downtown Asheville, Limones Restaurant provides an inspirational mix of Mexican and Californian cuisine along with inventive bar selections served by a warm, professional staff. Long before working and training under some of San Francisco’s most talented chefs, Hugo Ramirez was raised on the intense and varied flavors native to his hometown of Mexico City. In fact, he still calls on his mother for the secrets of traditional Mexican dishes, which he reinvents in innovative and surprising ways. At Limones, Hugo’s love of Mexican food is combined with his training in french-influenced California cuisine.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 2 days ago
We always enjoy Limones when we are in Asheville. Great service and food. Lobster nachos are amazing. Our main dish this time was good not great.
A photo of Ukiah restaurant
4.7
4.7 (1590)
$31 to $50
Asian
Asheville
About the restaurant
Welcome to Ukiah Japanese Smokehouse, where Japanese Soul Food meets American BBQ by James Beard Nominated Michael Lewis. “Japanese Smokehouse” is defined as merging Japanese ingredients and flavors with American BBQ techniques, and everything in between.

Menu highlights include light and refreshing dishes such as Wagyu Tataki with house kimchee, yuzu kosho and savory soy or Tuna Takaki with fire roasted peppers + ponzu, to bolder flavors such as Smoked Pastrami Short Rib with toasted rye, fire roasted kimchi + yuzu pickles We are open 7 days a week, for Dinner and Sunday Brunch!

Please note, our dining room consists of booths, regular tables and high-tops. We will try our best to accommodate you at your prefer location, but sometimes it is not possible due to party size. Our outdoor tables can be requested but not guaranteed when booking on open table.

Arrived Early? Visit our casual, seasonal concept next door, HOTBOX. Perfect for a pre-dinner cocktail, or post show snack!

Top review
NicRvip
Dined 7 days ago
This was one of the best meals I’ve had in some time. Highly recommend.
A photo of The BEACON Butcher Bar restaurant
4.6
4.6 (552)
$31 to $50
Contemporary Southern
Boone
About the restaurant
The Beacon Butcher Bar is a labor of love from Tina Houston, owner of Reid’s Café & Catering Co., established here in the High Country since 1999. The Beacon is located in the heart of Boone, NC adjacent to the iconic Water Wheel. Just as we value beautiful ingredients in our catering, The Beacon adheres to a similar message.

In the kitchen, we value the fashion from scratch details as small as the aiolis and dressings we use, to the housemade desserts and pastries, cured and smoked meats, and naturally fermented pickles. Behind the bar, we strive for innovation and discovery from our unique and inspiring cocktails. We work within the seasons of the Blue Ridge to present a deliberate and thoughtful menu. We love the intentional, the specific, the well-cared-for.

Respectively, our market offers a unique selection of local goods and treats. From our featured cloister honey to housemade single origin chocolates, we present the craft and exceptionality of local, artisanal talent.

Top review
DougBvip
Dined 4 days ago
We will become regulars at The Beacon! A delightful experience!
A photo of Carmel's Kitchen & Bar restaurant
4.6
4.6 (24)
$31 to $50
American
Asheville
About the restaurant
Dine under the umbrellas in Asheville’s Historic Grove Arcade! Featuring downtown Asheville’s largest outdoor dining patio, the iconic Carmel’s Kitchen & Bar has something for everyone with fresh, seasonal menus, curated wine list, local craft brews, and full bar with signature cocktails and drink specials.

Top review
Juliavip
Dined on Jul 1, 2024
We sat outside, and thankfully they had one spot not near a speaker so we could hear each other talk. Ruben was our server, and he was delightful. He took great care of us. Our food was delicious.
A photo of Twisted Laurel Downtown restaurant
4.5
4.5 (1055)
$30 and under
American
Asheville
About the restaurant
***** We always save space for our walk-in customers *****

Twisted Laurel Downtown focuses on farm to table New American cuisine including a full house made pasta program. With a modern industrial chic atmosphere and a knowledgeable waitstaff with a genuine desire to give their best, Twisted Laurel offers a unique dining experience. Offering a full craft cocktail bar, local taps and an always changing seasonal menu, Twisted Laurel is the perfect blend of exceptional food, great service and a welcoming environment. Plentiful outdoor dog friendly patio seating available.


Top review
VictoriaC
Dined 5 days ago
The smash burgers were DELICIOUS, come prepared with a big appetite. Great service too.
A photo of Rye Knot restaurant
4.4
4.4 (54)
$30 and under
American
Asheville
About the restaurant
Rye Knot is the first restaurant in North Carolina to brew its own beer and distill its own spirits. We serve outstanding plated pub fare. Our top sellers are Dry Aged steaks, fish and chips, burgers, smoked meatloaf, Reubens and Shaved Ribeye Sammies. Chef Ben Dunbar is a master cook whom delivers exquisite cuisine in both variety and presentation. Our bar has a dozen large screen televisions. We have plenty of outdoor seating. We also offer several gluten free and vegetarian options. Rye Knot is a neighborhood joint. Come join us...Rye Knot?
Top review
PHeller
Dined on Jun 21, 2024
Rye Knot offers a wonderful variety of delicious dishes! The salmon is outstanding, the grilled chicken Sammy is yummy, beet salad with shrimp is a favorite of mine too. I could go on and on. Servers are welcoming, ambiance is artful . We love dining at Rye Knot !
A photo of The Restaurant at the Embers restaurant
4.4
4.4 (75)
$31 to $50
American
Blowing Rock
About the restaurant
An unforgettable dining experience in the Embers Hotel.
Top review
ClaudiaRvip
Dined 4 days ago
We sat at the bar and had excellent service, drinks and dinner . Highly recommend
A photo of Hemingway's Cuba restaurant
4.3
4.3 (2707)
$30 and under
Cuban
Asheville
About the restaurant
Recognized as the best Cuban food in the state of North Carolina by Big 7 Travel, come savor our savory Cuban dinner menu in Asheville, North Carolina. We pair traditional Cuban cuisine with Asheville flair to deliver an experience that keeps you coming back for more. Paired with the stunning panoramic views of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, Hemingway's Cuba is a favorite Asheville restaurant and rooftop bar for visitors and locals alike.

Thank you for booking your reservation at Hemingway’s Cuba! We look forward to having you. If you’d like to sit on our rooftop terrace, please put your request in the notes. Please note that terrace seating is not guaranteed due to high demand and weather restrictions.
Book Hemingway's Winter Cabanas here: https://bit.ly/47gYW1m

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 4 days ago
The outdoor patio has a very nice view of the mountains in the distance. The gentle breeze made for a pleasant evening to dine outside. While the view of the sunset wasn't perfect, it was still a good experience. Our waiter was very attentive to our needs and compensated us for a mixup on our order without having to ask. The corn quest with soft pretzels was very tasty and quite good. I ordered the tacos to be prepared vegetarian and they were very delicious. THey had the perfect amount of kick in the sauce used to dress them. Then the decadent chocolate desert was wonderful. My friend lost her keys at the table and the staff was very kind to call us and let us know they had found them before we noticed they were missing. Overall, it was a great experience. Good ambiance, good food, good service, and good drinks.
A photo of Wicked Weed Brewpub - Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort restaurant
4.1
4.1 (682)
$31 to $50
American
Cherokee
About the restaurant
An Asheville favorite since 2012, Wicked Weed can now be enjoyed at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort - via the Wicked Weed Brewpub.

Located on the second floor of the casino next to the events center, our Brewpub offers 18 beers on tap and 14 bottled beers. Chef Kayla Snipes creates beer-inspired delicacies like Wicked Nachos with Pernicious Beer cheese sauce, cheese curds, and smoked bacon; house-made Pimento Cheese Dip with jumbo Pretzel; or you can pair the West Coast IPA with our Double Smash Burger.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 7 days ago
The prices look expensive but the amount of food you get is well worth the cost.
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