Historically, September is a busy time for our family. This year was no different. Last week, Nick flew to Nashville for a work conference and I flew to Manchester, NH, to visit my family. When we returned home, we really wanted to reconnect and celebrate our upcoming engagement anniversary.
We live only two hours from Asheville, NC, and thought a quick 24 hour road trip would be perfect! The goal of our getaway was to rest, eat and explore the downtown. Here are 5 Places to Eat and Drink Gluten Free in Asheville, North Carolina.
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10/26/2018 UPDATE: We revisited downtown Asheville and I’ve reviewed 5 Must-Visit Gluten Free Restaurants in Asheville, NC.
1. Over Easy Cafe
With a full day of walking ahead of us, we started the day with a healthy breakfast at Over Easy Cafe. This small, eclectic restaurant featuring local artist’s work opens at 8 AM and fills up fast. It’s a first come, first serve style which means you need to show up early if you are hungry. We showed up at 8:15 and were seated at the last table inside. I ordered two scrambled local farm eggs, gluten free bread, locally sourced sausage and fresh fruit. Nick ordered a side of gluten free hash browns, which were sauteed nicely with onions. Big breakfast meals aren’t for everyone. Stop by Over Easy Cafe and pick up a smoothie or fresh squeezed juice!
If you are staying at the Windsor Boutique Hotel, AC Hotel by Marriott or Renaissance Asheville, Over Easy Cafe is a short walk away.
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2. Trade & Lore Coffee
The second most important part of any morning, besides breakfast, is coffee. I had read that Trade & Lore Coffee was one of the top ten places to visit for coffee in Asheville and I wasn’t going to miss it. The cafe is located one block away from the Grove Arcade down a quiet side road. The inside of Trade & Lore Coffee is minimalist in style with hanging Edison bulbs, brick walls, exposed ceiling and wood floors. You can cozy yourself on a couch or step outside and enjoy the morning light at a picnic table. I ordered a latte with almond milk, which was served to me in a vintage coffee cup and saucer.
3. French Broad Chocolate Lounge
My heart still skips a beat thinking about this little piece of heaven. If you can only choose one place to eat gluten free dessert, please visit the French Broad Chocolate Lounge. In all honesty, we visited twice! Our first visit, we ordered an iced coffee and gluten free chai creme brulee.
On our second visit, we ordered the gluten free raspberry cheesecake and a latte with almond milk. Everything we tried was top notch. There are so many gluten free and dairy free dessert options, it’s hard to choose!
4. Farm Burger Asheville
Nick always likes to try a local burger whenever we visit a city. Farm Burger Downtown Asheville was an easy choice as their burgers are made from grassfed beef, dry-aged and ground fresh. If you are looking for ethical eating, this restaurant is for you.
My burger of choice was simple, a grassfed burger with lettuce, tomato and onion on a gluten free bun. Nick ordered the No. 5 with grassfed beef, round mountain creamery goat cheese, arugula, local peach chutney and basil dressing on a gluten free bun. He also ordered a side of kale slaw. Ordering is easy. Pick up a menu, choose your burger, order and pay and wait at your table. Our burgers arrived within 5 to 10 minutes!
5. The Cantina at Historic Biltmore Village
We left downtown Asheville for dinner at The Cantina at Historic Biltmore Village. The restaurant is located in a little quaint village of shops and restaurants located 3 minutes from the entrance to the Biltmore. If you are in the mood for gluten free Mexican food, I recommend this location. When our server heard I was a Celiac, she double checked my order with the chefs and made necessary changes. I ordered the Black and Blue Nachos and Nick had the Simply Grilled Tacos on corn tortillas. There is indoor and outdoor seating. Parking is limited, but free.
Downtown Asheville: Where We Stayed
Our getaway was only 24 hours, which included one night’s stay in a hotel. We are Marriott Rewards Members and like to stay within the Marriott brand hotels. As it was a Thursday night, we received a wonderful rate on a King Guest Room on the 9th floor with beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains at the Renaissance Asheville.
What we loved about the Renaissance Asheville Hotel:
- Free parking
- Walking distance to everything downtown Asheville
- LIVE music on Thursday nights from 6:30 Pm to 8:30 PM
- Comfortable lobby
- Views of the Blue Ridge Mountains
Other Notable Gluten Free Restaurants
I hope you enjoy your visit to Asheville, NC. I noted a few additional gluten free restaurants above that we just didn’t have time to visit. I hope they are helpful to you. We are already planning our next trip!