A Taste of Appalachia in Asheville – Part One

Recently we took a road trip to beautiful Asheville, North Carolina where we spent four days exploring the city. If you’re not already familiar with this great mountain town, we hope to make you a believer by showing off the culture (and of course the food).

The identity of Asheville is exactly what we love: a nature lover’s paradise with a walker and biker friendly downtown packed with amazing coffee, food, and craft beer options. And when adventure calls, the Blue Ridge mountains are just a short drive from downtown.

Day One

We couldn’t hit the road to Asheville without our morning coffee, and it was a convenient day for the Hindsight coffee truck to be parked in Twickenham Square. We were able to start the trip on an excellent note with some cappuccinos.

Upon arrival at the hotel, the valet took care of the car so we were able to quickly check in and head to our room. The staff was friendly and let us know they were more than willing to help if we needed dining recommendations. Little did they know we totally had that part of our trip covered 😉

Walking into our room, the gorgeous view of the foggy mountains was the first thing to get our attention. I already knew waking up to this view the next three mornings was not going to be a problem!

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The rooms at Hotel Indigo are modern, spacious, clean, and the showers are HUGE! One added surprise we really enjoyed was the addition of water stations on select floors where you could fill up the provided carafe with hot or cold filtered water. In addition to the many great amenities, it’s hard to overlook the biggest perk: we were able to walk to EVERYTHING and didn’t use the car once. Hotel Indigo’s downtown location is ideal for those looking to spend a few days exploring all the city has to offer.

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We already had a list of restaurants to visit far before arriving in town, but Korean House was an unexpected hit that we stumbled on while out walking. The menu choice was obvious for both of us: kimchi stone pot. The portions were large and came with an array of great side dishes. Let’s just say we made a good choice deciding to come here! Where can we get something like this in Huntsville?!

After dinner, we decided to stop by Old North which we had heard great things about through Instagram. We were excited to see them carrying Red Wing Heritage boots, jeans from Iron Heart, Levi’s Vintage Clothing jackets, and Carhartt Work in Progress apparel (among other great gear). Carrying these specialty lines that have workwear roots with a modern refined twist really fits the casual, craft-oriented style of this town.

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In a town with such a strong selection of craft breweries, it was time to check out a local favorite. Wicked Weed was an all around fantastic experience and great way to end the first day in Asheville. The style of the taproom was exactly what we were looking for. It was a nice mix of rustic and modern design and had an inviting feel. And most importantly, the double IPA was delicious!

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Day Two

The next morning we decided to start the day off at Trade & Lore Coffee. The shop was situated in a quaint alley and only took us a couple minutes to walk to from the hotel. There was a light drizzle outside so when we arrived at the coffee shop we were happy to find a mellow environment that would allow us to take our time enjoying our coffee while planning the day ahead. The lattes were outstanding, and we really enjoyed the laid back vibe.

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I don’t think either of us would argue that the meals enjoyed at Over Easy Cafe were our favorites of the entire trip. This place was highly recommended to us and was one of the restaurants that had been on our list since the beginning of planning the trip. That’s a lot of hype to live up to, but the brunch here was everything we expected and more. The menu here is unlike any that can be found back home, and part of the fun when traveling is to have new experiences. Sitting in a cozy restaurant with others who value fresh ingredients and attention to detail as much as we do gave us one of the quintessential Asheville dining experiences.

Pictured here is the huevos rancheros: tostada, sea island red peas, pico, chorizo, guac, and fermented aji dulce crema, topped with two over easy eggs. We also ordered the seasonal hash bowl filled with vegetarian goodness including tempeh, radishes, heirloom cherry tomatoes, chiogga beets, shishito peppers, red potato, frisee, gouda, and you guessed it, an over easy egg.

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After brunch we knew exactly what we wanted…DOUGHNUTS! Vortex Doughnuts had been on our “must try” list for a while, and we had been dreaming about the day when we could finally indulge in one of these sweet treats. The line forms quickly here, but don’t let that discourage you; these doughnuts are well worth the wait! The Vortex for her and the Cherry Orange for him. They also have a full coffee bar if you’re looking to add a little caffeine to your day.

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The area around Vortex Doughnuts is loaded with street art everywhere you look. From parking lots to sides of buildings, it’s a photographer’s dream. We particularly loved this wall. Any guesses why? 😉

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Earlier in the day someone stopped us on the street and asked us for directions to the Funkatorium (apparently we look like locals). The…what? We were unsure exactly what the Funkatorium was, but now we were intrigued. Imagine our surprise when we were walking back to the hotel and spotted it! Owned by Wicked Weed, the Funkatorium is the first East Coast sour and funky beer dedicated taproom. Next time we’re in Asheville, we’ll be making a stop here for sure (and probably running across the street for a doughnut!).

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We decided the perfect ending to the night would be a stop at Old Europe for a dessert and cappuccino. This is the ideal late night coffee spot in town, and we feel the best time to plan a visit is actually night time. It’s small, intimate, dimly lit, and a great spot to enjoy cheesecake, macarons, and coffee after dinner. We got lucky and grabbed the best seat in the house. We were nestled right at the open window where we could feel the breeze of the crisp fall air, sip our coffee, and watch the people walk about the town.

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Here are some final thoughts from days one and two:

  1. Asheville has a TON of breweries.
  2. There are restaurants EVERYWHERE.
  3. The downtown area is ideal for walking and biking.
  4. Chain shops/restaurants are practically nonexistent.
  5. This might be the easiest place in the Southeast for finding vegetarian and vegan dining options.

The fun didn’t stop here. Look for part two coming soon!

 

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