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.



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Whether you're in the mood for just drinks or for a full dinner, Charlotte Street Grill and Pub is your place. The reasonably priced, traditional American menu includes pastas, burgers, steaks and seafood. Some say the atmosphere in the dining room alone is the reason to come here. The room boasts dark wood walls and features deep, red velvet booths.


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Chelseas Cafe & Tea Room


 

Located in Biltmore Village, Chelsea's is a quaint little dessert place tucked away in a gift shop. Here you can find a unique gift for a lady, French and European antiques, wonderful desserts, fancy foods and even a proper English tea.


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Laughing Seed Cafe
Photo courtesy of ExploreAsheville.com


 

Named after an Indonesian legend extolling the seeds of a plant that supposedly promotes divine conversation and physical satiation, this cafe has been a city mainstay for decades. Dedicated to local, organic ingredients and a global food sensibility, it puts folks at ease as it caters to their myriad tastes. As such, it presents salads, sandwiches, roll-ups, empanadas, pastas, and dishes like pad Thai and a rosemary cider-braised seitan steak. A friendly waitstaff is also a constant, along with an all-natural vegetarian menu. Also offers a juice bar and seasonal outdoor dining.


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Salsa's


 

This tiny, local success story is just the sort of place you want to frequent when the weather's chilly and spring seems far away. It turns out amazing Latin-Caribbean fare, lavishing freshness and flavor on its menu with abandon and attracting a strong, loyal clientele in the process. While the interior is subdued, the food absolutely sings. Lush soups, lively, savory fish burritos, exemplary margaritas, a wonderful pork plate, shrimp empanadas and fresh, zesty salsas are among the delicious options. The menu changes to feature seasonal ingredients, and the place even sells its own hot sauce.


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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.


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Loretta's


 

When there's a line out the door, you know the place has got to be good. And such is the case here. Crowds assemble each day to order soups, salads, and sandwiches that are uniformly fresh and tasty. Be prepared to take your lunch back to desk (or the park), though – Loretta's has very little room inside to sit.


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Grove Park Inn
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.


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Blue Ridge Dining Room


 

If you're looking for an impressive place to dine, the Grove Park Inn is one of the area's finest establishments. Sophisticated diners appreciate the elegant affair, which is set against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains. A wall of windows lets you take in the scenery as you enjoy rack of lamb, a hearty Appalachian Paella, and Drunken Salmon with white cheddar grits. The restaurant is also known for its Friday night seafood buffet, Saturday evening prime rib buffet, and an exceptional Sunday brunch.


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Ophelia's World Cafe & Bar


 

Cozy lighting and atmosphere make this enticing cafe a good bet when you want a meal with flavors beyond the status quo. The kitchen at the funky New American restaurant uses fresh, locally-grown, organic ingredients to create outstanding "urban world" dishes. What this means is a menu that sifts through global cuisines and then presents their best dishes. It includes a Middle Eastern platter, habanero pulled pork quesadillas, chimichangas, and lots of seasonal offerings. Colorful desserts are also worth sampling.


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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.


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