Wildberry Lodge, LLC

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7 Must-Try Locally-Owned Restaurants in Asheville, NC

Nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville, North Carolina, is renowned for its vibrant arts scene, breathtaking scenery, and a rich culinary landscape. While the city has many dining options, we will spotlight our favorite locally-owned restaurants near Asheville, NC, and Wildberry Lodge and some notable farm-to-table options closer to downtown. Downtown Asheville and the surrounding area have a vibrant and thriving restaurant scene. Various tastes await, from good ol’ Southern barbecue to award-winning fine dining.

Due to our region’s extremely productive soil, Western North Carolina has historically been a major agricultural center, with a plethora of large and small farming operations. Many of our locally-owned, independent restaurants take pride in featuring locally sourced ingredients. Wildberry Lodge is pleased to give some of our local favorites a ‘shout-out’.


Closest to Wildberry Lodge

Papa’s Pizza

Hours: Open daily, closed Sundays

Right around the corner from Wildberry Lodge on New Leicester Highway, Papa’s Pizza is family owned and operated, serving affordable homemade food since 2002. Papa’s only uses locally produced ingredients, including deli meats without artificial preservatives and all-natural, organic beef. Select from various pizzas, pasta dishes, Greek dishes, small plates, sandwiches, subs, and homemade cheesecake and tiramisu. Papa’s Philly cheesesteak is the real deal for those who pine for an authentic, honest-to-goodness South Philly-style cheesesteak. You can order online or by phone and pickup for enjoyment on the road or back at the Lodge.

Shortie’s Drive-Thru BBQ

Hours: Closed Sunday & Monday
Outdoor seating or takeout

Shorties Drive-Thru BBQ is the closest place for some authentic Southern barbeque. They slow smoke with hickory, apple, hard maple, and cherry. Don’t forget the sides, including Wicked Baked Beans, hushpuppies, coleslaw, and fries. You will have difficulty choosing between the pulled chicken, pork, or brisket. They smoke turkeys and hams in season.

Grateful Roots Market and Deli

Hours: Closed Sunday & Monday

Grateful Roots Market and Deli has organic produce from their farm and Amish deli meat and cheese. Stop for a salad, sandwich, locally baked cakes, and other baked goods. Don’t leave without trying the Amish ice cream! Many items are perfect for a picnic lunch or add local beer or wine to round out the meal.

Splurges for Exceptional Farm-to-Market Offerings

Corner Kitchen

Hours: Daily Brunch 9:30-2:30pm, Dinner 5-9pm

The Corner Kitchen is in a Victorian home in Biltmore Village. The atmosphere in this 125-year-old building is nothing but memorable, and the food will not disappoint. Menu choices range from pecan-crusted trout to their special meatloaf, served with grits and collard greens. Don’t forget the fried green tomatoes.

The Blackbird Restaurant

Hours: Dinner daily starting at 5 pm

The Blackbird Restaurant seeks to create modern Southern food with ingredients sourced locally in the Carolinas. Enjoy local farms’ freshest offerings and seafood caught on the coast. Wash it down with micro-brews, specialty cocktails, or a specially chosen wine. Options will please every palate.

The Marketplace Restaurant and Lounge

Hours: Dinner Daily starting at 5 pm

The Marketplace Restaurant and Lounge has been open since 1979 and is one of the first restaurants in the area to popularize local ingredients. Their core philosophy is to be an integral part of the community—not only in sourcing ingredients—but in giving back. The New York Times, Southern Living, the Food Network, and USA Today have recommended them. With that many accolades, the food must be outstanding!

Plant Vegan Restaurant

Hours: Dinner Tuesday through Saturday starting at 5 pm
Online reservations only

Plant Vegan Restaurant is a transformative experience. All ingredients are vegan and 90% organic. With just 13 tables, make a reservation if you want to participate in the experience. The chefs want to improve your well-being from the inside out. They have innovative takes on everything from ramen to lasagna and mole. They have biodynamic wines, locally crafted beers, and cocktails.

Lodging Near Asheville’s Restaurants

Whether you choose barbeque, shrimp and grits, or pizza, you will love your meal from these locally-owned restaurants near Asheville, NC. We will warn you to save some room for our fabulous breakfast in the morning. That shouldn’t be a problem with all of the fun activities to occupy your time during the day, including a day of ziplining or skiing if there is snow.

If you aren’t sure how to spend your getaway (when you aren’t eating), we can help with that! First, take out your calendar and pick a time to book your escape. Take a minute and pick out the perfect room or suite and picture yourself in the evening sipping a beverage inside our custom tipi, with the fire pit flickering. Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?


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