I think what I appreciate most about dining in Asheville is the variety. Just in the last few weeks I’ve covered everything from Nepalese to Italio-Southron fusion, and many of the restaurants I mentioned lie within walking distance of each other.
To continue this examination of Asheville’s endless opportunities, I turn now towards Asia, specifically east Asia, a region rich in diverse cuisine. As you now may come to expect, when it comes to Asian food in Asheville, one’s options are many, and so it is my particular honor to suggest the five places most worthy of being incorporated into your visit to the mountains.
For those yet unacquainted with Korean cuisine, I can think of no better way to discover its joys than through a visit to south Asheville’s Stone Bowl. Those already acquainted will know the reasons why.
The “stone bowls” themselves are served filled with steaming rice, vegetables, and about any protein you can imagine, prepared with distinctive Korean flavors. Outside of these bowls, one can expect noodles, hot-pots, stir-fry, and so on; the variety is inexhaustible. Dinner is served alongside a host of traditional aperitifs, providing a delectable survey of what Korean fare has to offer.
In short, for Asian food in Asheville with many options and flavors not quite like anywhere else, Stone Bowl has you covered.
My Order: Omu rice or dduk mandu guk, alongside hot tea.
To me, sushi has always been a dish of elegance, reserved for special occasions. Many such occasions I enjoyed at this north Asheville sushi bar, followed by ice-cream downstairs. I must say: I heartily recommend such an experience.
At Zen Sushi, one finds the superbly imaginative rotating specials and extravagant rolls which elevate sushi to its coveted position. Moreover, Zen Sushi’s location—close to both UNCA and downtown—means it should be easy to incorporate this beacon of Asian Food in Asheville into a visit to either locale.
My Order: The Downtown Roll, out of patriotism.
Outside of downtown, south Asheville’s Wild Ginger may just be the most popular restaurant in Asheville, and for good reason. Their Vietnamese-centered menu sports banh-mi and pho, dishes which once sampled, will make you a proponent for life.
Besides these Vietnamese classics, Wild Ginger also prepares a worthy vegetable curry and yakisoba, lending unexpected range to a relatively short menu. It’s the sort of place I can recommend everything with confidence.
But Wild Ginger’s prowess is no secret; most every Ashevillean counts this restaurant among their favorite purveyors of Asian food in Asheville. For that reason, I would recommend visiting outside of their busier weekend hours, preferably for lunch.
My Order: House special pho with Vietnamese coffee, followed up by sapin-sapin for dessert.
The time has come to take our tour of Asian food in Asheville into downtown’s remarkable Patton Avenue, host to restaurants of every kind. Among them lies Red Ginger.
This upscale tapas-stop serves steaming platters of dumplings of every stripe, alongside other east-Asian staples. A dinner here is best enjoyed with friends, so that every order may be shared and sampled.
I do recommend reservations in advance. There is nothing worse than having to wait outside for one’s dumplings.
My Order: I endeavor to order something new every time, but their honey-glazed roast pork is certainly something to come back for.
This newcomer to the grand host of Asian food in Asheville may just be my personal favorite. I have long been a connoisseur of Asheville’s Thai, yet forced to ride the relentless waves of restaurant closers and openings. I do believe Khao is the end to my travails.
Each dish is executed with the excellence which compels me to—in time—sample the entire menu. Their preparation of vegetables is particularly delicious, turning even the simple eggplant into an object of admiration. I could go on, but instead I will leave you with this: if you find yourself in south Asheville, you simply must try it.
My Order: Fried lotus root, tom kar soup, and pla rad prik (that is, fried whiting fillets in pineapple sauce). I subsist on this order for days.
Businesses Mentioned Stone Bowl Korean Restaurant
1987 Hendersonville Rd A, Asheville, NC 28803
640 Merrimon Ave, Asheville, NC 28804
Wild Ginger Noodle Bar
1950 Hendersonville Rd Ste 12, Asheville, NC 28803
Red Ginger Dimsum & Tapas
82 Patton Ave Suite 100, Asheville, NC 28801
Khao Thai Cuisine
2145 Hendersonville Rd, Arden, NC 28704