Food Downtown Asheville

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Food in Downtown Asheville at The Observatory

The Observatory Rooftop Bar and Lounge, located atop The Restoration Hotel, is a prime spot for experiencing the best food in downtown Asheville. This rooftop bar and lounge serves up delicious small bites that capture the essence of the local cuisine. With breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it’s the perfect setting to enjoy tasty food and unwind. Whether you’re stopping by for a quick bite or settling in for an evening with friends, The Observatory offers a unique taste of Asheville food right in the city center.

The Best Food in Downtown Asheville 

At The Observatory, located atop The Restoration Hotel, you’ll find some of the best food in downtown Asheville. This rooftop bar doesn’t just offer stunning views—it delivers a culinary adventure that reflects the innovative spirit of Asheville. The Observatory’s menu features thoughtfully crafted dishes that make dining at this rooftop bar a visual and flavorful experience. Popular for their small plates, The Observatory encourages a fun, shared dining experience. Take the Deviled Eggs, for example; elevated by locally sourced farm eggs and a hint of pickled mustard seeds, they offer a delightful twist with the rich flavors of bacon and fresh chives. The Kale Salad is another favorite food in downtown Asheville, mixing marinated mandarins and pickled shallots for a vibrant taste, balanced with crunchy spiced pumpkin seeds and smooth fig dressing.

The commitment to using local ingredients not only supports Asheville’s farmers but also ensures the highest quality and freshness. This philosophy brings out the best in each dish, showcasing authentic regional flavors while pushing culinary boundaries. The innovative approach and dedication to quality make The Observatory a standout in the competitive downtown Asheville food scene, offering an experience that leaves a lasting impression with both locals and visitors alike.

Small Plates Asheville 

At The Observatory, the allure of small plates in Asheville goes beyond just the variety of flavors; it’s about creating an interactive and engaging dining experience. This style of eating is inherently social, encouraging guests to order multiple dishes for the table, which leads to sharing and discussion about each culinary creation. This communal dining approach fosters a warm and inviting atmosphere, where food acts as a catalyst for connection and conversation. Dishes like the Pimento Cheese Biscuits & Country Ham, which meld rich, creamy cheese with the saltiness of ham, or the Pork Belly Steam Buns, featuring succulently braised meat accented with a spicy sriracha aioli, are not only delicious but also ignite dialogue and delight among diners. Each small plate is thoughtfully composed to evoke a sense of discovery and joy, encouraging diners to explore combinations they might not ordinarily try, and to engage fully with the company they keep. 

The small plates concept at The Observatory allows the chefs to showcase their culinary versatility and creativity. This format provides the kitchen with a canvas to blend traditional Southern ingredients with global influences, creating unique dishes that stand out in the Asheville food scene. For instance, the fusion of local Southern flavors with Asian-inspired elements in the Pork Belly Steam Buns represents a bold culinary experiment that pays off by offering guests a taste of something familiar yet entirely new. Such inventive offerings make each visit to The Observatory a fresh and exciting gastronomic journey. The rotating menu ensures that repeat visitors can always find something new to tantalize their palates, while first-time guests can indulge in a diverse tasting experience that captures the essence of Asheville’s innovative dining culture. This approach not only enriches the dining experience but also cements The Observatory’s reputation as a destination for those seeking the best food in downtown Asheville. 

River Arts District Food 

While The Observatory is not located within the River Arts District, the essence of artistic expression and commitment to quality that defines this vibrant area permeates through its culinary offerings. The restaurant draws inspiration from the district’s dynamic creative community, translating it into dishes that are as visually appealing as they are delicious. This artistic influence is particularly evident in how each dish is crafted and presented, with an attention to detail that rivals the work of local artisans. The Charcuterie & Cheese selection serves as a prime example of this artistry in action. Each component is carefully chosen and thoughtfully arranged to create a visual feast that complements the flavors. Local cured meats and cheeses are paired with an array of preserved vegetables, turning a simple appetizer into a showcase of the region’s best produce and craftsmanship. Accompanied by house-made lavash, Lusty Monk Mustard, and sweet Imladris Farms Strawberry Jam, this dish is a celebration of local ingredients and culinary creativity, reflecting the artistic spirit of the River Arts District. 

The Observatory’s commitment to local sourcing extends beyond aesthetics, playing a crucial role in supporting Asheville’s small-scale producers and contributing to the sustainability of the local food scene. By featuring ingredients obtained from nearby farms and artisan producers, The Observatory not only enhances the dining experience with fresh, high-quality components but also helps to maintain Asheville’s reputation as a hub of culinary innovation and community-oriented business practices. This philosophy of local sourcing and support mirrors the ethos of the River Arts District, where community and creativity flourish together. Patrons of The Observatory, therefore, enjoy more than just a meal; they partake in a rich cultural exchange that feeds both body and soul, making each dining experience a meaningful connection to Asheville’s unique artistic and culinary landscape. 

Savor the Best Food in Asheville at The Observatory

At The Observatory, the menu is crafted with a deep respect for the culinary traditions of Asheville while pushing the boundaries of innovation, resulting in dishes that are both familiar and refreshingly new. Each recipe is a canvas on which the chefs work their magic, integrating unexpected twists into classic flavors that surprise and delight the palate. For instance, traditional Southern dishes are reimagined with bold, global influences that reflect Asheville’s eclectic and inclusive spirit. This careful balance of classic and contemporary ensures that every item on the menu speaks to a wide audience, from local diners who cherish comfort food to adventurous eaters in search of new tastes. Moreover, the commitment to using only the freshest ingredients—sourced locally whenever possible—enhances the natural flavors of the dishes, contributing to a rich, authentic dining experience that is reflective of Asheville’s lush surroundings and vibrant local farming community. 

Complementing the impressive food offerings, The Observatory’s cocktails in Asheville are designed to elevate the dining experience further. The cocktail list is a meticulous collection of classics and modern concoctions, each crafted with high-quality spirits and fresh, artisanal components. The Aperol Spritz, a bubbly and aromatic staple, is perfect for those looking for a light, refreshing drink, while the Espresso Martini offers a sophisticated blend of coffee and vodka, ideal for a post-dinner digestif. For those who prefer non-alcoholic options, The Observatory doesn’t disappoint. Drinks like the Clear Morning Spritz combine complex flavors such as Ghia Amaro, lemon, and grapefruit to create a beverage that is both invigorating and enjoyable, proving that non-alcoholic drinks can be just as exciting and nuanced as their alcoholic counterparts. These thoughtful beverage options ensure that every guest, regardless of their drinking preferences, can find something to enhance their meal and overall experience at The Observatory, solidifying its status as a premier culinary destination in Asheville. 

Asheville Charcuterie 

No visit to The Observatory would be complete without sampling their exquisite Asheville charcuterie and cheese board. This popular choice for both locals and tourists alike features a thoughtful selection of the finest local meats and cheeses, accompanied by an assortment of breads and condiments. It’s perfect for pairing with one of the restaurant’s signature cocktails as you relax and take in the stunning views of the mountains—making it a quintessential Asheville experience. 

Enjoy Food in Downtown Asheville at The Observatory

If you’re looking for the best food in downtown Asheville, The Observatory should be at the top of your list. Not only does it offer some of the best food in town, but it also enhances your meal with stunning views and a vibrant atmosphere. Whether you’re in the mood for a light snack or a decadent meal, The Observatory promises a memorable culinary adventure that captures the essence of Asheville’s food scene.