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Asheville, NC: My Kind of Town

We just returned from a wonderful trip to Asheville, North Carolina. I had always heard great things about Asheville and wanted to visit it for years. Last week we finally went, and it exceeded my expectations in every way. Surrounded by dramatic mountains and home to the famed Biltmore Estate, Asheville is artsy-craftsy, progressive, and a great destination with lots to see and do. It’s also extremely vegan-friendly.

The downtown area is filled with fun and funky shops and diverse restaurants. Our favorite veg restaurant was the Laughing Seed, where we enjoyed a great house-made seitan sandwich on focaccia for lunch. For sides, I had the orzo salad and Jon got the jalapeño-onion fries. We went back for dinner the next day to try the bourbon-pecan seitan (served with potato gratin and marinated green beans) and were glad we did.

There are several great Thai restaurants in Asheville, and we especially enjoyed Kanpai Sushi-Thai which serves a great selection of vegan sushi that we enjoyed along with some Thai favorites. Among my favorite sushi rolls were the mango-basil roll and the tempura sweet potato roll. We had a great meal of Indian street food at Chai-Pani, where we feasted on uttapam served with sambar and coconut chutney and a refreshing bhel puri made with puffed rice, chickpea noodles, cilantro, and tamarind chutney. At a Jamaican restaurant called Nine-Mile, many of the dishes can be prepared vegan and the jerk tofu is really good.

We stayed at a lovely bed and breakfast called the Lion and Rose in the historic Montford area of town. The owners, Jim and Linda Palmer, were gracious and wonderful hosts who are very accommodating to vegans and other special dietary needs, such as gluten-free. Jim is a terrific cook and took great care to prepare breakfasts for us that were every bit as delicious and satisfying as the non-veg counterparts. We especially enjoyed getting to know Jim and Linda’s adorable dog, Cedric, who loves getting belly rubs. Here’s a photo of the inn:

We came home feeling rested and relaxed and very happy to have discovered this true gem of a town nestled in the mountains of western North Carolina.

Here are just a few photos of the food we enjoyed:

Tofu coconut curry with sweet potatoes and cashews:

This sushi roll was filled with avocado, asparagus, oyster mushrooms, and other goodies:

Spring roll with two sauces:
There would be more photos, but I was too busy enjoying Asheville to stop and take pictures!