18 hours in Asheville, North Carolina
Today’s guest post comes from Gluten-Free Getaway’s Celiac sister.
In May, my husband and I stayed a short 18 hours in Asheville, North Carolina, on our way to Myrtle Beach. Initially I wavered on whether such a quick trip would be worth it since it was a bit out of our way, but ultimately it ended up being a highlight of our week-long vacation.
We arrived late Saturday afternoon and got settled in our Airbnb in the historic Montford neighborhood. The home was easy mile walk to downtown Asheville, and we enjoyed strolling through the area and checking out the beautiful, older homes. The downtown area is full of unique local shops, galleries and restaurants featuring any cuisine you could possibly imagine.
Dinner took us to The Creperie, which, as you might have guessed, is inspired by French cooking. The weather was perfect, so we took advantage of sitting out on the patio. I had called in advance with some GF dining questions, and the staff was incredibly knowledgeable.
Whenever there is a dedicated gluten-free fryer french fries are a must. These fries did not disappoint. The Herbes de Provence sprinkled on top and the roasted red pepper aioli for dipping took them to another level. My mouth is watering just thinking about these again!
The crepe batter is naturally GF, and none of the crepe additions contain gluten, so I felt very safe ordering this meal. We tried the Farm to Table and the Cochon, and both were delicious. The portions are generous, so much so that we didn’t have room for a dessert crepe. Maybe next time!
We wandered through more boutiques, but unfortunately didn’t realize many of the stores closed around 6 p.m. or 7 p.m. We had eaten an earlier dinner to try to beat the graduation weekend and prom rush, but in hindsight I wish we would have eaten later and better used our time to browse through the shops.
The Grove Arcade area was on our list of things to see, but sadly everything was closed by the time we got there. However, we did stumble upon Battery Park Book Exchange, a used book store/Champagne bar/coffee shop with a really cool atmosphere. We enjoyed sipping fun cocktails while sitting among old stacks of books and listening to live music. It turned out to be a relaxing way to wrap up the evening.
On Sunday morning we were up bright and early to soak up as much time as we could exploring before we had to get back on the road. We enjoyed taking in more of the downtown area and got lucky with pretty much perfect weather.
The absolute highlight of our stay in Asheville was brunch at Posana. While I had done my research on safe GF dining, somehow I had missed the fact that this gem of a restaurant is entirely gluten free. Its website doesn’t clearly market it as such, but maybe that’s a business strategy to appeal to a larger crowd. We were definitely glad we had made a reservation, as the restaurant filled up quickly, but that might have also had something to do with the fact that it was Mother’s Day.
We started with the doughnut holes as an appetizer. They may not be the most photogenic, but let me assure you, these were SO good. Can’t remember the last time I had anything resembling a donut, so this was a treat!
I proceeded to take an unreasonable amount of time trying to decide what to order while drooling over everything else on the menu. My husband went with the pork belly benedict, and I chose the biscuits and gravy. I only had minor order envy when I saw another table’s brioche french toast. All of the food was absolutely incredible! The pork belly benedict was served on a sweet cornbread, which was the perfect balance to the saltiness of the pork. We were so busy enjoying and devouring our food that we forgot to take pictures 🙂 The dinner menu also looks delicious, but I’m glad we went for brunch since we got to enjoy things like biscuits and donuts that are much harder to find GF. Can’t recommend Posana enough!
On our way to South Carolina we decided to make one more pit stop at Burntshirt Vineyards, a family-owned winery about 30 minutes south of Asheville. We enjoyed a tasting, which included 10 samples of their fruity or dry wines. There is a beautiful patio to sit and enjoy a glass of wine as well. We picked up a bottle of Chardonnay to enjoy later that week.
We can definitely envision returning to explore more of the Blue Ridge Mountains and would make hiking a priority on our next visit. The Biltmore Estate also would be a must-see next time when we have more time to truly take it all in.
- Grove Arcade (Make sure to get there before shops close at 6 p.m.)
- Battery Park Book Exchange
- Biltmore Estate
- Downtown Asheville
- Blue Ridge Mountains and hiking
- Burntshirt Vineyards