Lunch

Going out to eat isn't always about cravings. Often enough, mealtimes dictate our choices, limiting restaurant possibilities. When circumstances narrow the options, let 10Best help. We'll direct you to the best Lunch restaurants in Asheville and save you the hassle of calling around for business hours. 10Best readers find much to enjoy at Burgermeister's thanks to its all-around good offerings. It's also hard to beat Salsa's, which serves just what you're looking for when you're in the market for a great Lunch.

10 Tupelo Honey Cafe
Dark wood floors, muted yellow walls, bistro tables topped with flowers and additional sidewalk seating give this eatery upscale appeal. The kitchen serves tantalizing breakfasts such as New Orleans-style French toast, sweet potato pancakes and omelets with complimentary hot biscuits all day. Dinner options include shrimp and grits, nutty fried chicken with mashed sweet potatoes, and a veggie plate that might include organic honey-glazed carrots, marinated grilled tofu or candied ginger cornbread with peanut butter. (828-255-4863)

9 Early Girl Eatery
This café offers Southern breakfast favorites like eggs, grits, and toast with your choice of bacon, local or vegan sausage, or country ham. The kitchen offers healthier options as well, including granola with fresh fruit. Among the enticing brunch items are a vegan tofu scramble with peas, red onions, mushrooms, tomato, and spinach, and multigrain buttermilk pancakes with organic maple syrup. Seafood dishes highlight the dinner menu, along with a rib-eye steak, BBQ pork roast, and vegetarian options. (828-259-9292)

8 Over Easy Cafe
This unassuming cafe and juice bar specializes in organic and vegetarian breakfasts. It does a brisk business serving local folks free-range eggs and antibiotic-free meats farmed by reputable suppliers. Everything is created in small batches, ensuring quality and excellent flavor. Look for huevos rancheros, a tofu or tempeh scramble, thick-cut French toast, and basic eggs and sausage. Pancakes, build-your-own omelets, sandwiches, and lots of delectable juices also ensure a good start to your morning. (828-236-3533)

7 Jerusalem Garden Cafe
Rich colors adorn the dining room of this Middle Eastern restaurant, and a back room, known as "the tent," features low tables with pillow seating and exotic chandeliers. On Saturday nights, belly dancers entertain guests and a special menu is served in the tent Thursday-Saturday nights. Reasonable, tasty fare and inexpensive drinks add to the café's popularity. (828-254-0255)

6 Table
Lined with light-colored square table tops and cherry-stained chairs, this dining room sports a clean, minimalist design. The frequently changing menu offers savory starters such as marinated olives or bruschetta with wild mushrooms and main course dishes that might include lamb with couscous and cucumber gazpacho, or a seafood bouillabaisse. For dessert, splurge for the ricotta doughnuts with coffee anglaise. (828-254-8980)

5 Doc Chey's Noodle House
This popular Atlanta-based noodle joint enjoys comparable appeal in downtown Asheville, and it's pretty certain that you'll have to wait for a seat if you don't go early. Serving a wide variety of Asian-themed dishes, Doc Chey's offers large portions at incredibly reasonable prices. Thai coconut chicken soup makes for a wonderful appetizer, as do the shrimp rolls. Main courses include everything from Szechuan vegetables to Vietnamese vermicelli and udon noodles. Broths, tinged with fresh herbs, are flavorful and ideal for slurping. (828-252-8220)

4 Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company
At first glance, this restaurant/brew pub/movie theater never fails to attract attention. It boasts a metallic, oddly curved exterior and an enormous, purple gorilla, and first-time patrons often wonder just what to expect. Inside, the sparse, gently used decor is a perfect backdrop for the restaurant's extensive selection of locally crafted microbrews and its eclectic menu. Diners can choose from a variety of salads, quesadillas, sandwiches, pastas, and pizzas, each named after movie and television icons. The local favorite is Popeye's Spinach burger, a savory spinach patty with grilled onions, mushrooms, and cheese. There are also gourmet pizza selections as well as a create-your-own pizza option and a wide variety of crusts and sauces from which to choose. Two movies play nightly on the big screen, and selections change weekly. (828-254-1281)

3 Heiwa Shokudo
Within an intimate downtown space, diners thrill to a delicious selection of Japanese dishes prepared with an unwavering eye toward freshness. Noodle bowls, salmon katsu, and beautifully prepared sushi are among the temptations, and the flavors are always spot-on. A certain creativity adds occasional flair to some options, but the chef's inventiveness is always to your benefit. Ideal for when you want the exotic bite of miso, garlic, soy, tobiko, and peppers. (828-254-7761)

2 El Chapala
When you're in the mood for good, basic Mexican fare at reasonable prices, give El Chapala a try. It's not a concept restaurant, but it turns out the satisfying dishes you've grown to love, and it does them well. The flavors are appealing, and whether you're in the market for enchiladas, burritos, combo plates, or more, you'll be pleased with the results. Expect to see groups of people sharing chips and salsa and indulging in large, frosty margaritas. (828-258-0899)

1 Mela Indian Restaurant
Richly outfitted in radiant colors that reflect the warmth and lushness of its cuisine, this well-attended Indian restaurant is an Asheville favorite. In a space dotted with candlelight, representations of Hindu deities, and other exotic artifacts, eager patrons tuck into samosas and pakoras as prelude to entrees based on seafood, vegetables, lamb, and chicken. Tandoori selections are tender and perfectly spiced; menu standouts include a classic saag paneer, tongue-tingling lamb vindaloo, and Kerala fish curry. Traditional breads and desserts help round out the bounty. (828-225-8880)

Maps and Directions

1
Tupelo Honey Cafe 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Southern
Dining Options: Bar Dining, Catering
Neighborhood: Downtown
COST: $
2
Early Girl Eatery 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Southern, Vegetarian
Dining Options: Non-Smoking
Neighborhood: Downtown
COST: $
3
Over Easy Cafe 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American
Neighborhood: Downtown
COST: $
4
Jerusalem Garden Cafe 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Disabled Accessible, Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Cuisine: European, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Moroccan
Neighborhood: Downtown
COST: $$
5
Table 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, New American
Dining Options: Non-Smoking, Pastry Chef
Neighborhood: Downtown
COST: $$
6
Doc Chey's Noodle House 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian
Dining Options: Catering, Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Neighborhood: Downtown
COST: $
7
Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, European, Italian, Pizza
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Neighborhood: GROVE PARK INN
COST: $
8
Heiwa Shokudo 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Japanese, Sushi
Dining Options: Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Neighborhood: Downtown
COST: $
9
El Chapala 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking
Cuisine: Latin, Mexican
Neighborhood: GROVE PARK INN
COST: $
10
Mela Indian Restaurant 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Catering, Family Friendly, Non-Smoking
Cuisine: Indian
Neighborhood: Downtown
COST: $