Date Night Restaurants in Asheville: From Casual To Upscale

This article highlights the best date night restaurants in Asheville, NC. Whether you need an impressive first date spot, a perfect place for an anniversary, or just a casual night on the town with your love, Asheville is sure to have the perfect date night restaurant for you.

This list includes restaurants for every occasion, whether it’s an intimate date night in a cozy spot, a quick bite before you hit a show or maybe you are looking to share a few appetizers while you get to know someone new.

We share everything from upscale favorites with exquisite Mexican fare like Limones to casual dives with delicious vegan food and kombucha.

Let us help you plan your next date night in Asheville!


Upscale Date Night Restaurants In Asheville, NC

This list first highlights restaurants that we consider a bit more upscale and better for a fancy date night. These are great if you are celebrating something special or just looking for a fancy night out. Perhaps you want to impress someone! All of these fit the bill and offer excellent food and ambiance.

The perfect restaurant for an intimate date night in West Asheville

Jargon is our ideal destination for a date night in Asheville because it’s cozy with picture-perfect decor and delicious food.

Jargon’s menu is seasonal and ever-changing, but you can always count on excellent food and presentation. Their steaks are always exceptional and we love their various salads and small plates.

You can opt to sit inside or, when the weather allows, outside at their outdoor courtyard with bistro lights overhead.

If you’re up for it, opt for the Chef’s Counter when making reservations.

Casual atmosphere with elevated fare in West Asheville

The Admiral is such a treat! We absolutely love their outdoor tables with bistro lights overhead. It’s a great spot because the vibe is casual but the food is elevated.

You’ll find a small menu of French-inspired cuisine with a few options to share, pasta and around five main dishes.

Steak at The Admiral is always a great option, and they have a crowd-favorite beef tartare with horseradish cheddar.

Upscale Mexican spot with a delightful menu

Downtown Asheville’s Limones is a top recommendation of ours for a date night.

Their food is excellent, the menu is inventive, the location is great and the drinks + dessert are downright fantastic.

We recommend splitting a few plates like the lobster nachos, street corn, the three cheese relleno and the short ribs barbacoa gordita.

They have larger dishes as well but we can’t get enough of the appetizers (or the churros with sipping hot chocolate!)


Charming cottage with delicious fare near the Omni Grove Park Inn

The charming ELDR is located north of downtown Asheville in Grovewood Village. It’s new-ish to the Asheville dining scene, having opened in 2022.

You’ll find new American cuisine, natural wine, craft coffee and cocktails at ELDR. We recommend starting with the house focaccia!

They also have a few pasta options on the menu, as well as fish, duck and their ELDR burger with 24-day aged beef.

The restaurant itself is very cozy and charming. From the outside, you’ll get a Snow White and the 7 Dwarves feel but the inside feels modern. Make sure to admire their wood-fired oven!

Charming restaurant in the River Arts District

Vivian is an upscale European-influenced restaurant located in the River Arts District. They get everything right, from the food to the ambiance to the service.

The menu features dishes like beef tartare, Nordic deviled eggs with smoked fish, potato, and cornichon, and smoked oysters with miso shrimp butter.

When it comes to the entrees, their steak dinner is a true standout. The 14oz ribeye loin, served with creamy mashed potatoes and their renowned steak sauce, is a sublime choice.

For a shared experience, we suggest starting with a few appetizers and then splitting the mouthwatering steak entrée with your date.

Looking for something else to do before dinner? Head to Anoche for pre-dinner drinks! It’s an agave spirits and espresso bar located just a few minutes from Vivian in the River Arts District.

Classic American steakhouse featuring a live-fire dining experience 

If you are looking for a fun experience while dining, Asheville Proper gets our vote. This downtown Asheville steakhouse is located in the Grove Arcade.

Their specialty is steak cooked over an open flame, which not only creates such a wonderful flavor experience but a full sensory one, too.

From small plates and refreshing salads to enticing non-beef options like duck, fish, and a tofu ‘steak,’ there is something to please every palate.

The star of the show, however, remains their selection of fire-flamed steaks, with the ribeye standing out as an excellent choice. Each steak comes with the option to choose a sauce and sides are served à la carte.

For those seeking the ultimate culinary adventure, try the chef’s tasting menu. It’s available Sunday through Thursday (closed on Tuesday.)


Steak dinner in the less crowded North Asheville

Bone and Broth is an excellent destination for a nicer date night out in Asheville. It’s located just north of downtown on Charlotte Street.

They have a southern-inspired menu that features premium dry-aged steaks and six steak sauces (including tallow butter!)

Their baked goods are sourced from local Asheville bakeries and they use meat from their butcher neighbor Chop Shop and local Joyce Farms. They also have a Beyond Meats veggie burger on the menu for any vegetarian diners.

Intimate space for French comfort food and a romantic night

Bouchon in downtown Asheville is such a gem. It’s a charming French restaurant with exposed brick walls, a cozy dining room and excellent fare. It’s the perfect restaurant for special occasions, like celebrating an anniversary in Asheville.

Their menu features traditional French dishes like escargot, steak frites, and moules frites. It’s the perfect place to linger over a delicious meal.

Don’t forget to make reservations in advance if you are planning to eat at Bouchon. You can choose from the dining room, the bar or the patio located in the alleyway.


Downtown Asheville tapas restaurant with outdoor seating

Tapas restaurant Zambra is the perfect spot for a memorable date night in Asheville.

They specialize in tapas-style dining and have cozy outdoor seating in the breezeway when weather allows.

Their dishes range from patatas bravas and mixed sautéed mushrooms to crispy fried chickpeas and tortilla Española with smoked goat cheese.

Pair your dishes with OWL Bakery bread served with vinegar and olive oil—it’s a match made in food heaven!

Farm-to-table fare and creative dishes

Rhubarb is a farm-to-table restaurant in downtown Asheville with an ever-changing menu. The atmosphere is rustic but refined, with both small 2-top tables and larger group tables.

Every single dish at Rhubarb is sure to impress, from the creative combination of flavors, the beautiful presentation or the freshness of the ingredients. Whether you’re indulging in a perfectly seared steak or savoring a vibrant vegetarian creation, each plate is a work of art.

Share tapas at an award-winning spot

We can’t have a list of great date night restaurants without mentioning one of Asheville’s crown jewels. Cúrate gets it right every time, as you may imagine since they won the 2022 James Beard Award for Best Hospitality.

Their menu includes Spanish tapas, excellent wine options and decadent desserts. As far as tapas go, we have loved everything we have tried. The chistorra & chips is a great place to start while you check out the menu. The sauteed mushrooms are also fantastic, as well as the piquillo peppers stuffed with goat cheese.

Cúrate is a fun date night restaurant because you can spend the entire meal reviewing and discussing the menu. You know, in case you realize you don’t have anything else to talk about.

Authentic Appalachian soul food in an upscale space

Benne on Eagle is an upscale restaurant in downtown Asheville. It’s located at the Foundry Hotel, which is an excellent hotel in downtown Asheville.

Their menu includes a few salads and small plates in addition to several entrees. The fare at Benne on Eagle is best described as Appalachian Soul Food.

Though the menu changes, you’ll can expect dishes like an elevated fried chicken with mac & cheese + yam puree with a hot honey drizzle. Their Catfish Florentine is also divine.

Benne on Eagle is owned by seven-time James Beard nominee John Fleer. He is a renowned Southern chef and also the owner of Rhubarb and The Rhu.

Rooftop dining at an Italian restaurant downtown

Strada is an Italian restaurant in downtown Asheville. They offer a daily dinner as well as a weekend brunch. We their chicken picatta, garlic ciabatta and the amazing vodka sauce.

Their menu includes hand-tossed pizza, chicken parmesan, lasagna and even rib bolognese. Strada also has a great Italian dessert selection, with everything from classic cannoli to spumoni and NY cheesecake.

There are several different seating areas at Strada (main dining room, cocktail lounge or rooftop patio) and you can pick your preferred area if you make reservations in advance.

We recommend the rooftop patio, but be warned that it is only accessed by stairs. It’s actually at their sister bar (Social Lounge) but the full Strada menu is available and you make reservations through Strada.

Local wine and cheese bar with live music

Though 5 Walnut Wine Bar isn’t the place to fill up on a large dinner, it’s a great stop for small bites and an extensive wine list.

It’s located in downtown Asheville and is really charming inside, with brick walls and rustic wooden tables.

Enjoy a glass of wine, people-watching from the window seats and live music for a fun date night.

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Casual Date Night Restaurants In Asheville, NC

While we love a fancy night out in Asheville, you can typically find us at more casual spots when we have time for a date night. Our top picks for casual date night spots in Asheville include everything from a casual burger joint to a James Beard award-winning Indian restaurant.

Baby Bull

10/10 burgers and picnic tables in River Arts District

Baby Bull is a casual burger joint in the River Arts District and a favorite of ours for any occasion. It opened in 2021 as a result of the fanfare over the burger at sister restaurant Bull and Beggar.

It’s an order-at-the-counter spot with picnic tables out front. There’s also indoor seating if you prefer. We typically get their classic cheeseburger and a side of fries, but everything on the menu is delicious. They also have a chocolate milkshake as well as seasonal flavors.

Not only is Baby Bull a fun date night spot, but it’s also a great restaurant for kids if you want to take the whole family out.

Chai Pani

Casual spot for ‘mindblowing’ Indian food

Chai Pani is a must-visit restaurant in the heart of downtown Asheville. It’s a vibrant and lively eatery that takes inspiration from the street food culture of India.

The menu features a perfect blend of traditional Indian flavors with a modern twist, all crafted using fresh and locally sourced ingredients. We love their fish sandwich, various chaats and the okra matchstick fries.

The inside is colorful and fun, the staff is always friendly, and the menu transports you to the bustling streets of India. Be prepared to wait, though, because they don’t take reservations and it’s a popular spot.

Chai Pani is also a great place to grab a delicious lunch in downtown Asheville.

Gan Shan West

Delicious Asian-fusion in West Asheville

We think Gan Shan is such an underrated restaurant in Asheville. It is so, so good but it seems to fly under the radar. Anyway, it’s a delight! They have great food and nice outdoor seating. It’s shared with OWL Bakery but they operate at different hours so it’s never an issue.

Their GSW Rice Bowl is one of our favorite dishes in town. We always get it topped with Korean pulled pork. There are a ton of toppings on it and some can get really spicy. If your babysitter cancels, bring the kids! Ours love Gan Shan’s pork and chive dumplings.

Gan Shan West is one of our most recommended places to get takeout in Asheville. It’s easy to order online and always hot and ready. Plus, it’s fantastic!

Archetype Brewing

West Asheville Brewery with a Rooftop Patio

Speaking of Gan Shan West, you should check out their next-door neighbor Archetype for a change of scenery. In fact, you can even bring your Gan Shan meal with you!

Archetype is a great brewery in West Asheville to enjoy a rooftop beer. While they don’t have food service, their proximity to both Gan Shan West and Pizza Mind more than make up for it. Get takeout from either and enjoy delicious takeout!


Caribbean + Mexican restaurant with a fun atmosphere

With its festive atmosphere and colorful decor, Salsa’s creates the perfect setting for a fun and delicious dining experience. Their outdoor patio on the side is perfect for people-watching. It serves as the path to One World Brewing downtown so there’s a lot of action.

Salsa’s menu features a wide range of authentic yet elevated Mexican dishes, from sizzling fajitas and mouthwatering tacos to flavorful enchiladas and fresh guacamole.

Rosetta’s Kitchen + The Buchi Bar

Vegan food in downtown Asheville (with a kombucha bar!)

Rosetta’s is a very popular vegan restaurant in downtown Asheville. They offer awesome vegan comfort food, like mac and cheese, burgers, and fried chicken. We especially love their cornbread and collard greens and the vegan queso basket appetizers.

If you are into kombucha, check out the Buchi Bar located downstairs at Rosetta’s. Not only do they have a great kombucha menu, but you can order from the full Rosetta’s menu. The best of both worlds!

You’ll find a ton of kombucha cocktails at Buchi Bar, with everything from a Damp Salty Dog (vodka, orange cream syrup, grapefruit, buchi water) to your choice of shot in a pint of local Buchi kombucha. You can even get growlers of kombucha.

Wild Ginger

Cozy spot for pho in South Asheville

If it’s cold out and you are looking for a place to stay warm and get your fill of delicious food, head south to Wild Ginger. They have the best pho in town and its definitely worth the drive!

Choose from their house speial pho with several types of meat all the way to plain noodle soup. They also have noodles, rice dishes, sandwiches and salads. We typically get a few things, including pho with steak and vermicelli rice noodle salad. The wild ginger wings are also great.

Thai Pearl

Our go-to for Thai food in West Asheville

If you are looking for great Thai food in West Asheville, we definitely recommend Thai Pearl. It’s relaxed and casual, which isn’t always the case with Thai restaurants. We love their drunken noodles, various curries and Pad Thai.

Thai Pearl was opened in 2020 by Chef May, who trained and cooked at The Royal Palace in Bangkok, Thailand. Thai Pearl also has a full bar with a selection of local craft beers, Thai imports, and wines.

Nine Mile

Laidback restaurant for Caribbean-inspired food

Nine Mile is an Asheville gem! Their food is absolutely amazing with an upscale feel, but the atmosphere is more local neighborhood.

Nine Mile is a great spot for a fun date night. We definitely recommend starting with their Live and Give appetizertortilla chips served with queso, daily hummus, and your choice of salsa.

And then don’t miss their Mayfield Falls mahi mahi that comes with a creamy yet somehow dairy-free sauce.

Mahi mahi takeout dinner from Nine Mile in Asheville NC

Though Nine Mile has multiple locations around town (West AVL and South AVL), our favorite is the one in Montford. All locations have the same daily menu, though.

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