The 18 Best Restaurants in Hendersonville: Eat Great on a Day Trip!
Downtown Hendersonville has really blossomed in the past few years. Whether it’s seen as the “city” by those living in the beautiful and rural areas of Western North Carolina, or a sojourn from the hustle and bustle of Asheville or Charlotte, this town is just right, not too big and not too small.
Many of the best options for places to eat in Hendersonville are near or on Main Street itself, so on a pretty day, you can survey all the places to eat in downtown Hendersonville by simply taking a stroll and checking out any specials on display outside each spot.
We tried to get you a cross-section of the excellent food available: from cuisines near and far, you can try Thai, Italian, German, Mediterranean, or Japanese food, and when it comes to American fare, you can eat high-end steaks all the way to humble and delicious barbecue sandwiches or pub burgers.
You’ll love the variety available, and there are plenty of local beers, well-sourced wines, and other flavorful beverages to pair with each of your great Hendersonville eats!
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The 18 Best Restaurants in Hendersonville, NC
1. Have an Elegant Evening at Umi Japanese Fine Dining
We can’t send you anywhere else until we offer up the “Best Restaurant in Hendersonville” that has won the award 12 years in a row – Umi! From Japanese entrees to fresh sushi, you’ll find all the best that Japanese cuisine has to offer, all in an elegant setting perfect for a special occasion or date night.
Midday, you can opt for an affordable and flavorful bento box, a takeout lunch that includes a dish like shrimp tempura or scallop teriyaki with a California roll or spring roll, a bean sprout salad, and a pork dumpling. It’s a varied and delicious lunch. There’s also the sushi roll combo special and a Thai curry available – plenty to satisfy your whole lunch crowd.
Pair your elegant dinner of specialty sushi rolls or Steamed Chilean Sea Bass with one of the various rice wines or sakes available at Umi. The best part is that at Umi, you can come back over and over and have something new each time, always with the fresh, authentic Umi spin on the flavors.
2. Get Some of the Luck of the Irish at Black Rose Public House
Black Rose Public House is an expansive Irish pub with a fun upstairs that includes pool and offers a late-night kitchen. They have 50 or more brews on tap at any given time, making it a particularly good place for the beer enthusiast in your life.
This is the place if you need a final spot for a drink and a snack while chilling on a comfortable couch or challenging a friend to a game of darts. For a place that feels like a homey pub, you’ll be pleasantly happy with the menu. From a high-quality arugula salad and the cozy shepherd’s pie to classic sandwiches and a few across-the-pond favorites like fish and chips, there’s something for everyone on the menu.
3. Chew With a View at Shine
This brewpub in the heart of downtown comes with a special distinction: it’s one of the best restaurants in Hendersonville that has a rooftop terrace! Shine even made our list of best rooftop bars in the Asheville area.
Reserve a table to have a truly memorable meal here, from the wide range of appetizers (I mean tuna tataki to hot wings to pate!) to the excellent variety of pasta, steaks, pork, and even mussels.
Don’t fear that Shine takes themselves too seriously since the mussels dish is literally called “Big Ass Bowl of Mussels,” and you’ll see that theme carried through: the most serious part of the meal is the food, which is crafted with attention to detail, but otherwise, this is an eclectic and warm place to have a meal.
They have a strong breakfast menu as well as an extensive cocktail list, so there’s something available for anyone. The lunch menu is simpler but includes just as much delicious variety, from a banh mi to a Cuban to a truly tasty goat cheese salad. When you have a group with diverse tastes, this is your spot!
4. Experience Authenticity at Boon Choo Thai Express
You might not expect to find authentic food from Thailand right in the heart of the mountains, but in Hendersonville (well, Flat Rock), you’re in luck! Boon Choo means “Good Karma” in Thai, and you’ll have good karma if you give this place a try.
With a variety of noodle dishes, tasty stir-fries, and Thai-style curries, you’ll not lack for choice. The menu features two sizes for meals, cheekily named “Hungry” and “Really Hungry.” Thai food doesn’t use a lot of dairy or eggs, so much of the menu can be ordered vegan or vegetarian, so it’s a great place to bring family members with these dietary requirements.
For carnivores, most meals can be paired with chicken, pork, beef, or shrimp, allowing you to customize your curry or noodle dish. Don’t forget to end with a sweet treat like mango sweet sticky rice or a Thai donut, and there are plenty of beers, wines, and non-alcoholic drinks to wash down your tasty meal. Be ready for leftovers, especially if you order the Really Hungry portion!
5. Approach Fine Dining With Relish at Postero
If you’ve got something to celebrate while you’re in Hendersonville, make a reservation at Postero. The warmth and care that is behind every bite here is unmatched, and even though it’s a fancier spot than some, you’ll find familiar favorites done to the nines here.
Start with chips and dip or crispy ribs, or get adventurous with the duck pate or goat cheese, beets, and orange starter. Pasta, chicken, flounder, and steak all find their way onto the main course menu, all at prices that would be a bargain just an hour away in Asheville.
Enjoy the level of service that you come to expect from top-notch restaurants while eating a comforting, flavorful meal on Main Street. You won’t be disappointed!
6. Fire Up the Brick Oven at Mezzaluna
There’s something completely different about a pizza that is baked in a brick oven. The even, bready crust of a typical takeout pizza can still be delicious, but the stretchy, chewy, crunchy combo of brick oven pizza is amazing!
Mezzaluna is a top pick among downtown Hendersonville restaurants because of their extensive tap selection, their variety of Italian favorites, and, yes, their crispy perfect brick oven pizzas.
7. Travel Around the World at Never Blue
If you need a first-date restaurant, somewhere not too serious but with seriously perfect food that will definitely keep the conversation flowing, give Never Blue a try. With an award-winning chef at the helm, Never Blue offers friendly but intricate cuisine that pairs fresh ingredients in ways that offer worldwide flavors in one restaurant.
The menu is extensive, but the heart is the tapas menu, where small plates allow a group (or a couple!) to order a few things and try them together. Split the incredible Duck Wontons, Chicky Po’Babies, and Eggplant Fries, or add on an order of Korean BBQ Pork Nachos – there’s truly no end to the list of options, and you’ll find something exciting to order every time you stop in for a bite.
There’s also tacos, salads, and main plates with traditional steaks and pastas if you are in the mood. Save room for their incredible dessert menu, which includes a set of dates stuffed with caramel, peanut butter, and honey-roasted almonds, then covered in chocolate!
8. Take Your Slice Detroit Style at Pi-Squared
While there are a variety of yummy slices in town, Pi-Squared offers both square Detroit-style pizza and traditional round pizzas. You’ll distinguish them by the crust: square pizza at Pi Squared has a fluffy interior with caramelized cheese on the outside (mouthwatering!), and the round pizzas come on either a super-crispy thin crust or a gluten-free crust, allowing all to enjoy the tasty flavors.
If you’re not in the pizza mood, you’re still in luck at Pi-Squared, since you can order sub sandwiches, wings, calzones, or salads, all of which are crafted with fresh ingredients and can be enjoyed either in the restaurant or as takeout.
These aren’t all traditional pizzas either: the Chicken Pesto pizza swaps out your typical red sauce for basil pesto and gets topped with grilled chicken, mushrooms, and roasted red peppers. The Fig-et About It offers figs, gorgonzola cheese, and even a drizzle of honey – a memorable pizza!
Personally, I’m intrigued by both the Boozy Bacon (made with peaches, of all things, as well as a bourbon barbecue drizzle) and the Cheeseburger pizza – only in America, right?
9. Try the Favorites at Moe’s Barbecue
Moe’s got their start with slow-barbecued meats and stellar sides north in Asheville, but now they’ve joined the ranks of the best restaurants in Hendersonville as well. The simple style of the menu is just a few choices. The simple style of the menu offers just a few choices. Do you want your slow-smoked food on a sandwich or as a plate? Which of the standard and rotating sides do you want? And what will you use to wash it down?
They have a sweet and tangy original barbecue sauce or an Alabama-style white barbecue sauce. And don’t forget the shrimp po’boy or their vegan sandwich, a tempeh and black bean burger sloppy-joe-like combo. Moe’s space offers plenty of seating, and the upstairs has a good space for either reserving for parties or coming over to listen to live music.
One of the best reasons to keep Moe’s in your mental rolodex is for catering. With the option to pick up big trays of their delicious mac and cheese, banana pudding, or slaw alongside a barbecue station with buns, you’ll have your big event managed and everyone amply fed for a very reasonable per-person rate.
10. Stay, Sip, and Savor at Harvey’s at The Henderson
The Henderson is a large 17-room bed and breakfast with a ton of fun vintage details and an onsite bar and restaurant, Harvey’s. Hendersonville is understandably not a big city, so being able to stay in the heart of town and wander downstairs for your dinner reservations is a nice offering.
Harvey’s is a great spot to dine al fresco, with rain screens and heating to keep outdoor dining going year-round. Executive Chef Michael is a surprise to find in a smaller town. With his extensive experience in major restaurants and cruise lines, he now brings his attention to detail to a small-plates dining experience that is open to the public as well as the guests of the hotel.
With cuisine from all over, expect everything from Indian Poppadum (a crispy bread served with sauces) and Wild Mushroom Empanadas to Berkshire Pork Belly Bao Buns and Chorizo and Saffron Arancini with red pepper-bacon jam. Rather than being restricted to just one cuisine, eat off the small plates menu to try a few different top-notch dishes.
11. Get Some Fresh Air at Hubba Hubba Smokehouse
Just outside of town in Flat Rock, Hubba Hubba Smokehouse has gotten a reputation for flavorful, delicious plates served entirely al fresco. Due to this, they are a seasonal restaurant, so definitely check their website before heading out their way to make sure they aren’t shut down for the winter.
During a good weather day, though, there’s something perfectly idyllic about taking your spot among the flower gardens, free ranging chickens and barn cats, and waiting for your plate to get served up real quick. Whether you opt for pork, brisket, chicken, or the “Indecision Plate” (a mix of pork and brisket!), you’ll be happy with their low-and-slow barbecued meats.
Tasty sides like apple slaw, pimento cheese grits, and succotash all put the Hubba Hubba spin on a classic flavor for a barbecue place. You’ll be glad you stopped by this off-the-beaten-path favorite.
12. Book it to Bavaria at Haus Heidelberg
German cuisine features so many tasty classics, and at Haus Heidelberg you can celebrate the cultural traditions of schnitzel, sausages, sauerbraten, and dumplings. This cozy and welcoming spot offers all kinds of dishes popular in Germany, with their style inspired by the German owners of the restaurant.
There are takeout options in the deli section and plenty of baked goods to take home as well. The authentic decor will make you feel like you’ve stepped into another culture, and you’ll be happy to discover that the freshness is unmatched: they use local farmer’s markets to source their delicious food whenever possible. Make this one of your top picks for where to eat in Hendersonville!
13. Eat the Mediterranean Way with Pita Express
We don’t have a ton of breakfast options on our list, so don’t sleep in on the day you’re considering trying Pita Express. From the Greek bagel, a breakfast dish with grilled lamb, tzatziki, feta, and eggs, to the Turkish omelet, with seasoned chicken, feta, eggs, and grilled peppers, the options for breakfast here are unusual but absolutely on point.
For lunch, you’ll find the Mediterranean standbys, including gyros, hummus, falafel, baba ganoush, tabouli salad, and other salads that are all made fresh. If you’re eating with a combo of vegetarians and carnivores, this restaurant ends up being a great choice due to so many options.
14. Get a Little Fancy at The Book & Bee Cafe and Tearoom
For a whimsical breakfast, lunch, or afternoon tea, you will love the book-themed tearoom in Hendersonville. The meals at The Book & Bee are themed to books, from Steinbeck’s Chicken Salad sandwich to The Alchemist sandwich made with meatloaf and cheese.
Tasty salads like The Secret Garden (mixed greens with pistachios, goat cheese, and dried cranberries) and soup of the day round out the regular lunch menu. The main attraction, though, is the afternoon tea, where you’ll be served a three-tier serving tray full of finger sandwiches, scones with jam and Devonshire cream, and more.
For a simpler version, you can order the cream tea, which refers to a pot of tea served with scones and all the toppings. You’ll leave plenty full from any meal at The Book & Bee, but much of the fun is to sip your tea at your leisure in a fun and beautiful setting, enjoying conversation along the way.
15. Try the Best Hot Dog in NC at Hot Dog World
Sure, fancy fine dining is great, but if you want to find the best places to eat in Hendersonville, you want casual bites too. One of the best crowd-pleasers is Hot Dog World, a simple spot for burgers, dogs, sandwiches, and salads.
Having won many awards, you’ll be glad that, of all the hot dogs in the world, you picked one here. You’ve got options on the hot dog menu, too. From relish to cheese to sauerkraut to a veggie dog, you can customize your dog.
Kids will find plenty of recognizable and incredibly affordable options on this menu, and the popularity (thousands of positive reviews online!) speaks for itself. For fast, simple, and delicious, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything more affordable and tasty in town!
16. Travel Back to the 1950s at Mike’s on Main
For a true soda fountain experience with a great sandwich shop experience, step out to Mike’s on Main – no poodle skirt or saddle shoes required. One of the best restaurants in Hendersonville, this diner will quickly win you over, from the dripping-with-fudge milkshakes to the tasty hot wings made with a variety of homemade dipping sauces.
For breakfast, their homefries, biscuits, and omelets don’t disappoint, and all are served in a delightful and retro setting. You’ll feel like you’re headed to the sock hop every time you step foot in Mike’s.
17. Sample the Good Life at Brandy’s on Main
The artistic and culinary talents that owners Lance and Cindy bring to this lovely fine dining experience are a big reason to stop in for a meal. This is a restaurant with excellent sourcing, from aged beef to fresh veggies and seafood, and their sommelier has curated an excellent wine list.
Make Brandy’s on Main your birthday or anniversary destination, and you’ll feel treated to a memorable night. Start with a Lobster Bacall (lobster with veggies and pasta) or Brie Bardot (puff-pastry-wrapped soft cheese topped with pecans and served with crostini). Continue with a seafood dish like the Scallops Rembrandt, or opt for the delicious Tyler and Gene’s Out-of-Bounds, a steak served with crab stuffed shrimp – surf and turf in the same meal!
They pride themselves on being a scratch kitchen, making soups, sauces, dressings, and desserts on-site so that every detail is crafted for your enjoyment.
18. Try a Little Bit of the Big Apple at Joey’s New York Bagels
No list of the best restaurants in Hendersonville is truly complete without a great breakfast spot or two. Joey’s New York Bagels consistently gets the New York breakfast bagel right, and they have hundreds of reviews to prove it. Expect chewy, flavorful bagels are made fresh every day with a variety of cream cheese schmears, as well as omelets and a variety of sandwich and wrap options for lunch.
You’ll be in flavorful food heaven even with the simple space – all the focus is on the great food. Keep an eye out on Wednesdays when there’s a special on getting a dozen bagels. It may be the best deal in town for feeding a crowd!
There was no mention of Season’s at Highland Lake. they have been doing fine dining in the area for 20 years and surprised there is no mention, as it seems everybody else made the list.