Asheville is a beautiful historic city located in the Blue Ridge Mountains at the confluence of the French Broad River and the Swannanoa River. It is home to the historic Arcade Building or also called The Grove Arcade. It was built in 1926-1929 and is now one of the most famous destinations in North Carolina.
The downtown area is also well-known for its rich historical and cultural scene, as well as restaurants serving the finest artisan gourmet food. So we were so excited when we got to join another food tour in this beautiful city.
We met our guide for the food tour at the Grove Arcade building. There were 15 of us in the tour. Our guide introduced himself as Patty, and he started out really funny so I knew this was going to be a fun tour.
1st stop: Modesto
We started our food tour in this beautiful Italian restaurant called Modesto. They have a farm-to-table scheme when it comes to their menu, so the dishes served changes per day or depending on what ingredients are in season. You also get the assurance that everything served to you is fresh.
We had their Minestrone soup together with some wine. The soup was very flavorful and you can really taste the freshness in the vegetables used. The wine complemented it well and actually opened up my appetite for the next stops.
I like the place and the food so much and definitely recommend it. This minestrone soup is to die for.
2nd stop The Chocolate Fetish
Our next stop is one of the best chocolate shops in North Carolina, or even the US. They were included in Los Angeles Time’s “America’s Best”, they were also named as the “Best Chocolatiers and Confectioners in America” by the International Chocolate Salon.
It was built in 1986 by a couple who still manages the place today together with their daughter. We were met by their manager, Eric, who gave us a lot of information about the store and chocolates in general.
We learned that the shop have no other location other than in Asheville but they do sell their products nationwide and online. We also learned that a good chocolate should be shiny, indicating its good cocoa butter content. Good chocolate, like the ones they have, should also break nicely without crumbles when snapped, and it should evenly spread on palette.
They have a variety of rare and expensive flavors like Truffle, Blossom lemon, and saffron chocolates. We were given chocolate tastings and I loved all the chocolates I was given. I would have wanted to try the others too but I need to reserve some space for our next stops. They also took us to the kitchen windows so we can watch how they make their chocolates, so that was kinda cool.
3rd stop: White Duck
If you’re intrigued by the name of this place, you are not alone. The name “white duck” is actually a nickname earned by the Chef when she frequently got excited and blabber so much to the staff. They would call her “La Pata Blanca” which translate to white duck.
Apart from its quirky name, what sets White Duck to other taco shops is the uniqueness of the food they offer. They have a wide range of taco offerings from Korean Beef to Thai Peanut Chicken.
We had their Chips and Salsa for snacks and their Bangkok Shrimps Taco made with fresh Bangkok Shrimps, pickles, and aioli. This may not be a usual pick for most but it was seriously so good. A lot of us in the tour liked it very much and would definitely recommend it for anyone who tries White Duck for the first time.
4th stop: Blue Dream Curry House
This place doesn’t need an introduction because I wanted to get straight to the food. I don’t know how many times I have mentioned before how much I love Panang Curry. I have tried authentic Panang Curry during my visits in Thailand but this one is actually superb! It was so delicious, the sauce was so thick that I could easily finish a whole plate of this.
5th stop: Twisted Laurel
Our next stop was at a restaurant called Twisted Laurel. The first thing I noticed is how cozy the ambiance is.
We were served mussels and clams with some veggies and bread. To be honest, I wasn’t so thrilled with this one. It was okay, the mussels and clams were pretty good, but the bread was too hard and I guess it could have been better. Nevertheless I still think this is a good place to try. The place was pretty.
6th stop: Social Lounge
The next place we went is a famous place for locals. It is a place to eat and drink and a perfect meeting place to catch up with friends. The ambiance is very cozy with very interesting paintings and décor.
They won “The Best Cocktail in Asheville” for 5 times already. Luckily for us, they served us with some delicious ravioli with cheese and spinach and of course we got to sample their award-winning cocktail.
7th stop: Brewery Lab
This stop was among my favorite stops in this tour. The same can be said with the others in the tour. The interior has a sort of like an industrial but modern look which gives a chill vibe kind of atmosphere and overall appeal.
As for the food, we had their burger which was undeniably a crowd favorite. You can taste the meat to be of really good quality and it was so tasty. I love it so much, and the fact that they served it with a glass of beer made everything better.
8th stop: Honey store
Our last but definitely not the least stop was at a local honey store which sells a variety of honey flavors. We learned about the origin and differences of the different honey flavors. I liked the chocolate honey and the wild flower.
They have a lot of flavors to choose from. If only I had enough luggage space, I would have bought a lot more. However pooping in and learning new things about honey was a good experience.
The tour was worth $55 all in all but it was so worth it. We got to try a lot of amazing food all at the same time learning about the history and culture of downtown Asheville. I loved everything about this tour and would highly recommend it for everyone.
Asheville food tours offers other tours aside from the Downtown one, and choose for an alcoholic or non-alcoholic one. You can book a tour via their website ashevillefoodtours.com/buy-tickets or email at info@ ashevillefoodtours.com.
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