The 16 Most Romantic Restaurants in Asheville
When you’re taking the time to plan a romantic night out, it only makes sense that you want to go to one of the best date night restaurants in Asheville. Your date deserves something truly memorable, a nice place that will wow them and promote a great conversation between you.
While there are many romantic things to do in Asheville, from a walk on the Biltmore Estate grounds to a beautiful mountaintop picnic, many of the award-winning restaurants in town are also beautiful, with low romantic lighting and servers ready to showcase just how special the food and drinks are.
Don’t settle for a spot you’ve always gone to when it comes to date night: use this list to try out the most romantic restaurants in Asheville that are topping lists for ambiance and for flavors. Whether your date is likely to be impressed by hip and contemporary or cozy and opulent, we’ve got the atmosphere you’re going for covered somewhere on our list of romantic Asheville restaurants!
There’s also cuisine to fit anyone’s tastes, from familiar comfort food to elevated and unusual flavors. You’ll be amazed by the stories of how local chefs source their highest-quality ingredients and brainstorm their unique combinations, all of which adds to the memorable nature of these incredible and romantic Asheville eateries.
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1. Jet Set to Spain With the Flavors of Zambra
Stepping into Zambra feels like stepping into a hidden treasure room. The unassuming storefront on a quiet tucked-away block feels like it’s a best-kept secret, even though it’s a perennial favorite as one of the coolest restaurants in Asheville.
Inside, the tapas-style menu works so well for a date where both people want to try more than one thing. Tapas tend to be small plates that, each on their own, aren’t enough for a meal, but if each person chooses two or three plates, you get not only a huge variety of flavors but also a very full stomach.
Spanish cuisine is very different from Latin American food, with more seafood and flavors reminiscent of some parts of Greece and Italy – a true Mediterranean diet. The menu features some favorites that anyone who has been to a bar in Spain will have seen, like the Tortilla Española with Smoked Goat Cheese, but also innovative new items, like the Pomegranate Braised Pork Spring Rolls with Avocado.
As you sink your teeth into perfectly crisp Patatas Bravas (fried potatoes) dipped in popular sauces, chat with your date about your own travels even as you travel in your minds over this meal. For those who want a bigger serving, the “Plates” section of the menu offers more typical restaurant portions of excellent fish, seafood, or beef, with flavors rotating as the menu is updated.
Location: 85 W. Walnut Street, Asheville
2. Sink Into French Cuisine at Bouchon
Bouchon’s “French Comfort Food” philosophy is about bringing together all the best cozy aspects of a comfort food menu with all the elevated beauty of a French restaurant. Think of this as the best date night restaurant in Asheville for people who love fine dining but don’t want tiny portions in the middle of large white plates kind of dining.
Warm up on a cold evening with their French onion soup, sample a fresh green salad with homemade vinaigrette, or savor every bite of steak frites with sautéed farm vegetables. This restaurant is the brainchild of Michel Baudouin, who was born in France. His own father was an amateur winemaker, and his mother’s food was so popular that people sometimes just “happened” to be around at dinnertime on Sunday.
It makes sense that Baudouin’s labor of love has been creating a fancy restaurant in Asheville that has familiar flavors alongside unusual ones (yes, there is escargot) that is now a standard among romantic Asheville restaurants. Don’t miss it!
Location: 62 N. Lexington Avenue, Asheville
3. Eat Elegant Italian at Glass Onion
Glass Onion literally comes from a love story. Two New York head chefs moved to small-town Weaverville and brought their top-tier skills to a little Northern Italian bistro on Main Street. Few bedroom communities like Weaverville could boast their pedigrees, so stepping into Glass Onion is truly a chance to see attention to detail on display in every dish.
Whether you opt for a casual date at the high-top table near the window or a later seating in the simple, well-appointed dining room, you’ll love the beautiful flavors of the Arugula, Prosciutto, Local Apples, and Pecorino salad, the Grilled Scottish Salmon with Creamed Local Leeks, and the traditional tiramisu for dessert.
Location: 18 N. Main Street, Weaverville
4. Sample Chef-Driven Mexican Dishes at Limones
I wasn’t sure what to expect the first time I tried Limones. I’m a huge fan of the regular old Mexican restaurant, with delicious dishes that feature lots of refried beans and cheese, but Limones really takes some of the core sensibilities of Mexican food and delivers them in a beautiful, classy setting.
From the many options for a craft margarita (anything from a tamarind-infused Maya Margarita to the Elder Margarita that features St.-Germain) to the Ceviche Sampler that makes use of high-quality fish and shrimp, you’ll find that freshness is truly top of mind here.
Sample Leg of Lamb al Pastor Tacos, Lobster Nachos, or Roasted Mushroom Enchiladas, all made with spicing and side dishes that perfectly complement them. For your significant other that is always in the mood for a burrito but still likes a nice dinner out, Limones is both in the comfort zone and the perfect Asheville date night restaurant.
Location: 15 Eagle Street, Asheville
5. Luxuriate in Elevated Appalachian Food at Rhubarb
Rhubarb’s location couldn’t be more perfect for a date night restaurant in Asheville. Looking out onto busy Pack Square and just across from the Asheville Art Museum, you’ll have all you need for an elegant night out right at your fingertips. Rhubarb is a great spot to impress a date while also “eating local,” as the American food they serve is typically focused on uniquely Appalachian flavors.
They make liberal use of local ingredients and partner with all kinds of farmers and vendors in Western North Carolina and beyond. Rhubarb is a great option for a double date, with the menu divided into “Snacks,” “Passing Time,” “Middle of the Table,” and “Full Plates.”
To sample multiple flavors, your group could start with the savory and flavorful boiled peanuts while ordering drinks, then sample seared South Carolina shrimp and seasonal bread with butter. Digging into a sunburst trout fillet, rabbit confit, or pork loin can be a solo experience, or you can swipe a bite off each other’s plate – sharing is very encouraged!
Location: 7 Southwest Pack Square, Asheville
6. Enjoy the Hustle and Bustle of Strada Italiano
Strada Italiano and its sister space Social Lounge next door are wonderful spots for Italian food in downtown. Italian food offers crowd-pleasing favorites that are just as good if you’re having your first date at the most romantic restaurant in Asheville or if you know that Italian food is your spouse’s favorite after 30 years together.
Crispy arancini risotto balls are incredibly tasty with their tomato cream sauce, and the crispy thin-crust pizzas all pack strong flavor combinations. Main courses like Tuscan Duck and Figs or a bowl of Shrimp Basilica Pasta offer a wonderful balance between recognizable favorite flavors and a little newness.
Like any good relationship, Strada balances the classic feel of an Italian eatery in your neighborhood with the incredible sourcing and chef-driven specialties that make a night out in Asheville ever so special. The main Strada dining room is a bit more formal, while the Social Lounge section is a bit more boisterous while still serving the same full menu of tasty favorites. Both sides win as some of the best restaurants in Asheville!
Location: 27 Broadway Street, Asheville
7. Dine on Delicate Vegan Favorites at Plant
Even plant-based eaters deserve an amazing night out, and Asheville date night restaurants can deliver for vegans too! They describe their food as “flavor-sophisticated, scratch-made food.”
From sourcing the best-textured nut-and-seed-based cheeses to crusting tempeh with hazelnuts and ramps, Plant finds ways to fill your stomach with flavors that draw their power from spices, veggies, fruits, and nuts rather than animal products. With an unprecedented amount of options available for vegans, Plant has created dishes that burst with umami and creaminess and regularly win awards.
Don’t skip the extensive dessert menu, from Saffron Crème Brulée to Peanut Butter Cheesecake, they’ve mastered the sweet treats. The North Asheville location is plain on the outside but beautifully minimalist on the inside. But the brightest decor in the space is the luxurious food and drinks!
Location: 165 Merrimon Avenue, Asheville
8. Make it a Celebration at Bone & Broth
Bone & Broth is a great spot to bring a date because of the lovely atmosphere of Charlotte Street, which has a bit of walkability but is out of the main downtown of Asheville, just a bit to the north.
Feast on excellent soups and salads, a variety of top-notch steaks, or a signature dish like their Tortellini in Brown Butter or their Rosemary Sambal Lamb Chops. Sandwiched between a lovely local bakery and an artisanal butcher shop, it feels like the neighborhood restaurant that anyone would want to return to just to try more of the beautifully plated, thoughtfully sourced food.
It doesn’t hurt that the mood lighting and cozy seating area have just the romantic air for a date night in Asheville!
Location: 94 Charlotte Street, Asheville
9. Survey the Mountains From the Grove Park Inn’s Sunset Terrace
While Asheville offers many lovely hotels, none is quite as famous as the Omni Grove Park Inn, a sprawling resort complex tucked into a residential section of North Asheville and offering everything from a beautiful spa to truly magnificent vistas.
Even if you’re not staying at the inn, however, making a reservation at the Sunset Terrace during the summer months will offer you seating with a splendid view of the mountains surrounding Asheville. The menu includes hearty fine dining options, including steaks, chops, and seafood.
Be aware that because it is entirely open to the elements, this particular restaurant closes during the cold months, but the Omni Grove Park Inn has various other romantic venues for a meal out, including Viu 1913 for art deco decor and delicious filet mignon, Blue Ridge for a sumptuous artisanal brunch buffet, and Edison for a contemporary vibe and regionally inspired food.
Location: 290 Macon Avenue, Asheville
10. Sample Farm-Fresh Fare at Posana
On the Historic Pack Square, you’ll find a corner-building spot with lots of windows full of diners ready for some of Posana’s award-winning food and drink. This contemporary American restaurant works with 65 local farmers and vendors of other kinds to bring the best flavors to their menu, and their elegant dining room, as well as private dining spaces, offer a truly lovely option for taking someone special out on the town.
If you’re headed to see a show, an early seating of a prix-fixe menu called the Pre-Theater Menu can get you a delicious salad, one of three popular main courses, and a memorable delicate dessert all for one simple price. Dinner here can be much more varied, though, with anything from Spanish Octopus on the starters menu to Lamb Rack with parsnip puree to Goat Cheese Cheesecake with rosemary and beet for dessert.
Don’t think that Posana is stuffy – their website literally features a dog menu, offering doggie biscuits, chicken and brown rice, and even a dog-friendly beer-like drink from Bowser Beer for canine friends dining with their owners on the patio. It’s a delight that has stood the test of time since 2009.
Location: 1 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville
11. Get to Know The Block at Benne on Eagle
Every part of Asheville has its own neighborhood history, and The Block is no different. This spot of downtown is known as a predominantly African-American neighborhood, and when Founding Chef Ashleigh Shanit opted to start Benne on Eagle here, she knew that the roots went deep in the neighborhood.
Bring your date here for the incredible interpretations of soul food classics and the beautiful atmosphere. While you wait for a table at this sought-after location, sample their inventive cocktail menu at the bar like the Chili and Lemongrass, made with local gin for an herbal, spicy taste, or the Everybody Loves the Sunshine, a rum drink with ginger, citrus, and vanilla alongside pineapple and a rum-based liqueur called Velvet Falernum.
Try a dish with a history or a twist on a Southern classic, from catfish and waffles to fried green tomatoes. Whatever you opt for, know you’re sampling the fare of one of the coolest restaurants in Asheville.
Location: 35 Eagle Street, Asheville
12. Step Back In Time at Sovereign Remedies
The historic Market Street building was ripe for creating a romantic new restaurant in 2014, when Sovereign Remedies opened. The seven-story building was once a spot for doctors, dentists, a drug store, and a barbershop.
The ultra-high ceilings made it a perfect spot to add lush plants in the windows, and the name refers to a kind of family-specific medicinal herb mixture that was common in the Appalachian mountains when more mainstream formulations of medicine weren’t easy to come by.
Stop in for a charcuterie board known as Meatz and Cheeses, eat one of the many plant-based dishes or delicately prepared salads, or dig into the Herby Chicken Thigh Pot Pie, the Autumn Duck Confit “Purses,” or any of the other delicious and local main courses. Elevated versions of everyday desserts like the PB&J Poptart and Pumpkin Swiss Cake Roll are a sweet way to end your date night.
Location: 29 N. Market Street, Asheville.
13. Join the Neighborhood Crowd at Avenue M
When you want a romantic night out in Asheville, a great spot to be guided to tasty wines is Avenue M, a restaurant that describes itself as a neighborhood hangout but also has a beautifully restored interior, creative pairings and platings for their food, and high-quality ingredients throughout.
Located in an unassuming spot in North Asheville, you’ll find a space full of loyal regulars who have seen the restaurant through many years. For a spot that fits like a glove and feels welcoming to all, this is one of the most romantic restaurants in Asheville.
Dig into simple and delicious burgers with the signature special sauce, or order one of the tasty special pastas like their Tortelloni with candy roaster squash and 10-year balsamic vinegar. The Chicken Cordon Bleu or New York Strip for two make great options for your main course and leave room for sorbet or cake for dessert.
The wine list is long, and the sommelier will happily guide you to a bottle or a glass that fits what you’re craving and what you’re eating. Get treated with warmth and comfort at Avenue M!
Location: 791 Merrimon Avenue, Asheville.
14. Enjoy Your Reflection at Jargon
West Asheville is a bit off the beaten path for Asheville tourists, so even if you are a visitor from out of town, stepping into Jargon is one way to get a unique dining experience that differs from the downtown mainstays. The married couple that began Jargon, Sean and Shelly Piper, revamped this condemned building and renovated it into something beautiful, from the decor on the walls to the lovingly hand-mosaicked tile.
Delight your date with Candy Roaster Pumpkin-Coconut Soup, Masa Fried Quail, and Lavender Honey Glazed Duck Breast. The flavor profiles defy a single origin and instead work to create surprising, wonderful combinations that work like they were made for each other.
Don’t skip dessert – from Miso Caramel Apple Bread Pudding to Purple Sweet Potato Cheesecake with date syrup and sage, their “something sweet” is just as unique as their many popular dishes.
If you’re stopping in for a cocktail, you’re in luck: the coffee-forward Cold Fashioned or the Jargon Slush featuring whiskey and peach black tea with mint are complex and delicious, carefully crafted by the bartender, and sure to start your romantic evening off right.
Location: 715 Haywood Road, Asheville.
15. Have A Tasty Meal Before the Show at Chestnut
Chestnut’s owners knew what they were doing in 2012: their location is within easy walking distance from the Fine Arts Theatre, the Diana Wortham Theatre, and The Orange Peel, one of the most iconic live music venues in Asheville.
When date night means dinner and a show, get a reservation at Chestnut, a new American cuisine restaurant that is equal parts cozy and upscale. You’ll be able to have a leisurely drink like the Likety Split made with honeysuckle vodka and fernet foam, a tasty bowl of the Soup of the Day, and dive into the best Crow’s Own Shrimp and Grits or some Espelette Dusted Scallops.
The restaurant is living wage certified, making sure its workers are well compensated and just adding to the positive vibes.
Location: 48 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville.
16. Date Night at Home? Consider Kickback AVL and Takeout Central
Many of the nationwide food delivery apps will deliver casual and fast food to you at your home or rental while you visit Asheville, but to get some of the top-notch food listed above, you’ll need to go off-road a bit.
Local delivery service Kickback AVL and state-specific service Takeout Central include many restaurants that aren’t featured on the major apps, so impress your stay-at-home date with high-end, locavore eats from one of the lesser-known delivery services.
Get soup and entrees from Chestnut, Southern favorites from Rhubarb, and artful American food from Avenue M. It’s a great way to have a date night on the couch while your children sleep or to simply take a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life to sample some of the innovative cuisine available in town, all from the comfort of your own abode!
There you have it! The 16 most romantic restaurants in Asheville. What is your favorite place to go for a date night in Asheville? Let us know so we can check them out!
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