This past weekend, my person and I spent a weekend in Asheville, NC.
We were supposed to partake in some elopement styled shoots at Max Patch, but due to the crazy weather those were cancelled (definitely want to make a return trip for that though, shooting an elopement at Max Patch is a dream of mine). It was too late to cancel our AirBnB so we decided to venture out into the Chattanooga Snow Storm of 2020 and head to Asheville anyway. We only had about one full day in Asheville, so we knew we wanted to make the most of it. We are both huge foodies and love going to new restaurants and coffee shops anytime we go on vacation, so that's pretty much how we spent the majority of our team. Eating and drinking - my ideal getaway.
1st stop, the best tacos
Ok so technically it was our second stop because we actually stopped at K-Brew coffee shop in Knoxville, which, sidenote, is one of my all time favorite coffee shops. If you've never been to K-Brew, you really need to go. It's amazing. Anyway, back to tacos. My person and I both love White Duck Taco Shop so we knew we wanted to make time for that. We arrived at our AirBnb sometime Saturday afternoon and found out White Duck Taco Shop was only 5 minutes down the road! Obviously, we wasted no time and headed straight there after dropping off our bags because we were both starving - and I get hangry very quick. The original White Duck is built right on the river and has both indoor and outdoor seating. If it hadn't been snowing, I would have loved to sit outside at one of their colorful picnic tables. They also have a "beer bus" outside, which I presume sells beer during nice weather.
When you first walk in, you are greeted with a large, colorful menu board that boasts several unique taco offerings. My personal favorite is the pork belly taco, but we decided to go with something new this time around. We ordered one lamb gyro taco and one fish taco as well as an order of chips and queso because why not. Both tacos were absolutely delicious but I think my personal favorite was the lamb gyro taco. The queso was really tasty as well but the chips were a little too salty for my preference.
2nd stop - Futu Buta for the best ramen I've ever eaten.
After eating tacos, we went back to our AirBnB to change into not sweat pants so we'd look a little nicer for our next food stop. We walked around downtown Asheville for a bit, stopping in lots of little shops along the way and deciding where we wanted to eat breakfast the next day. Once we'd worked up an appetite again we headed over to where would we be eating dinner - Futu Buta Ramen. AKA the best Asian cuisine I've ever eaten. It was so hard to decide what to eat because it all sounded so good. We ultimately decided to order some tori kara age (Japanese fried chicken) and what they called the Buta bowl. Both dishes were the best I've ever eaten of either. The Japanese fried chicken is like fancy Chick-fil-a so obviously that was amazing. Then they brought out our ramen bowl and y'all I have never seen such a pretty bowl of ramen. It had so much in it - chicken and dashi broth, double noodle, pecan smoked pork belly, onsen egg*, duck conﬁt, spicy ground pork, ono chili sauce and sweet white corn. Hands down the best ramen I've ever eaten. They make the noodles by hand and after eating handmade noodles, it's hard to go back. If you are ever in Asheville for a weekend and looking for the best restaurants to eat at, I highly recommend this restaurant. We only ordered two of their dishes but everything else looked amazing as well. I'd like to go back to try their bao buns because I'm a sucker for those. My person ordered a Tokyo Mule while we were there as well, I think it was like a Moscow Mule but made with sake? Not entirely sure but I tried it and it was really tasty. After a weird interaction with our waiter when I picked up the check instead of my dude, we headed to our next location.
Our next stop was brief, but worth mentioning if you like cocktails. We went by Antidote, which is a cute cocktail lounge in downtown Asheville. A bit rowdier of an atmosphere than I would typically want to be in, but it was still fun and the drinks we ordered were delicious.
Best Breakfast and best Coffee in Asheville
Our second day is Asheville was even more jam packed than the first (trying to make the most of a weekend in Asheville!). We started our day by getting breakfast at The Rhu. They had the cutest little retail area with local products from Asheville for sale. We ordered our first coffee of the day and two breakfast sandwiches on their house-made breads. After breakfast at The Rhu, we walked a few streets down to High Five Coffee for our second coffee of the day. Also I'd just like to take a second to say, I'm so thankful to have a person that likes to try new foods and coffee as much as I do. It makes life so much more fun. Anyway, back to Asheville things. I think if I had to pick the best coffee shop in Asheville, it would be High Five Coffee. They serve my absolute all time favorite coffee, Counter Culture and we ordered a cold brew with their house-made maple syrup and added a little half-n-half. It was AMAZING. Still thinking about it to be honest. After hanging out at High Five for a bit we continued our coffee hop and went to a place called Trade & Lore. I've been to this coffee shop a lot and I really like their drinks. The atmosphere is not my favorite (they've always been really rude), buy they make really good coffee so I deal with it haha. We ordered their sweet potato latte and let me tell you, trade your PSL for a SPL. 10x better than any pumpkin spice latte I've ever had. When we finished that latte we made our way to our final food stop of the day and what ended up also being our 4th coffee stop of the day. I don't eat a ton of sweet stuff, but locally made donuts are one of my favorite treats (along with ice cream). So obviously, I had to make a stop at one of my favorite donut shops Vortex Donuts. They have so many different flavors and varieties of donuts that just about anybody can find something they like. They also have a surprisingly good coffee menu, which is why when ended up getting a 4th coffee. They had a mocha and charcoal latte that sounded too interesting to pass up, so we got a bag of donuts holes and a latte to share for the road.
One last stop
I couldn't visit Asheville without making a stop at my favorite ever grocery store Trader Joe's. We don't have one in Chattanooga currently (#bringtraderjoestochattanooga2020) so any time I visit a city that has one, I have to stock up on my favorite items. It was the perfect way to end our little mini getaway to Asheville and I'm already looking forward to going back soon.