Asheville is quite a culinary town. It’s even referred to as a “Foodtopian Society.” There are so many restaurants to choose from. No matter what your taste buds crave, you’ll find something to please your palate.
One of the best ways to sample all the fantastic food Asheville has to offer is to take the Asheville Food Tour. As their slogan says, “Asheville Food Tours introduces you to the city bite by bite.”
It’s a two and a half hour walking tour of downtown, stopping at 7 to 10 different restaurants and/or specialty food shops to savor their flavors. We went to a total of 8 places, each of which gets a separate mini paw rating from Teddy.
Our guide’s name was Chris. He and his wife created Asheville Food Tours. And what’s great about it is that you get to sample more than just a few bites of food. You get to try items right off the restaurants’ menus or dishes specially prepared for the tour. By the time the tour is done, you’re full! And you get a discount card to use when you visit any of the stops at a later date.
Here are the 8 stops we made:
The Chocolate Fetish (3 mini paws) http://chocolatefetish.com/
Here we tried three different samples of chocolate: truffle, caramel and plain dark chocolate. And we got to see behind the scenes of their chocolate making process. It’s a nice place with lots of exotic chocolate options, but I still love the French Broad Chocolate Lounge. The owners, Bill and Sue Foley, are very nice people and they led the tour through their shop.
The Green Sage Café (3 mini paws) http://thegreensage.net/
This is one of Asheville’s “Green” restaurants. They recycle all paper products and compost all leftovers. And they pride themselves in being a restaurant that buys locally from local suppliers. We had zucchini soup and a vegetable hummus wrap.
Strada (3 mini paws)
This is one of the newer stops on the tour. Strada is an Italian bistro. We were served goat cheese pizza and a fig stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in prosciutto, along with red wine.
Olive & Kickin’ (2 mini paws) http://www.oliveandkickin.com/
This was a most unusual stop. This shop sells different types of olive oil and balsamic vinegars. And to taste the different olive oils, we did shots of them. Yep, shots of olive oil. Pretty odd. No dipping bread in the oil, just drink it up.
Mr. Frog’s Soul Food and Creole Kitchen (3 mini paws) http://mrfrogsavl.blogspot.com/
This was another fairly new restaurant. The chef talked at length about his history and why he started the restaurant. We had cucumber water, ribs, an oyster, and a Cheerwine truffle.
Chorizo (3 mini paws) http://www.grovearcade.com/shopping-dining/chorizo/
I’m not big on Latin food, but the pork quesadilla and fruit drink were very good. After the trip, I made the fruit drink (orange juice, pineapple juice, cranberry juice and club soda) at home, adding in some pineapple/coconut rum.
Karen Donatelli Cafe (3 mini paws) http://www.donatellicakedesigns.com/
By the time we got to this bakery, we were already pretty full of food. We sampled a pecan caramel square. Karen Donatelli mostly creates cakes, but she has some very creative desserts available as well. Wish we weren’t so stuffed!
The Spice & Tea Exchange (3 mini paws)
The final stop was the Spice & Tea Exchange. They feature a huge variety of spices, teas and flavored sugars. I bought an orange creamsicle tea sample to try along with maple syrup sugar and raspberry sugar.
Overall, the tour was great fun. Great experience, great food, great town. I’d do it again since Chris doesn’t necessarily go to the same stops each time.
Some things to keep in mind about the tour. They are held rain or shine. Wear comfortable shoes. There are no substitutions for dietary restrictions. Tours are limited to 12 people, so book early. Tours are held March through November, Tuesdays through Fridays at 2pm. The tour costs $39 per person.
There is a second tour offered that takes you through Biltmore Village, a quaint collection of shops and restaurants just outside the historic Biltmore estate. We plan to try that one next time.
Dates of Visit: May 4, 2012
If you enjoyed this post, you might like my other blog: http://ilovebritishtv.com