12 Awesome Restaurants In Arden, NC

This article highlights the best restaurants in Arden, NC. It includes restaurants both in Arden and those close by, sharing what we love about each, what to order and more.

A Note About Arden, NC

So, Arden is kind of weird. It’s an unincorporated community in southern Buncombe County. There isn’t really a town center and for the most part it just kind of gets labeled as “South Asheville”.

As such, this guide to the best restaurants in Arden includes a few restaurants that aren’t technically in Arden. They are close enough, though, that they shouldn’t be overlooked. The Arden/South Asheville area just kind of blends in together, so this guide will too!

Arden On A Map (Kind Of)

If you aren’t familiar with Arden, NC, we generally think of it being bordered by I-26 to the West and Hendersonville Rd to the east. The north and south borders are Long Shoals Rd and Airport Rd.

While this isn’t actually the case (there are parts of Arden outside of these borders), it may serve as an easy way to kind of visualize the area. This is where the majority of the restaurants on this guide are located, anyway.

And if you are wondering if Biltmore Park is in Arden, it’s not. But the CVS at the entrance is, so we have included Biltmore Park restaurants in this guide to Arden restaurants. Again, it all kind of runs into each other.

What You’ll Find In This Article

Where To Eat In Arden , NC

Below is a map of the restaurants highlighted in our guide. As you’ll see they kind of border the area we called out above as ‘Arden’ in our minds. The two outliers are Dripolator (the top coffee shop around!) and Abeja’s House Cafe (because we love spreading the word of awesome eateries in Asheville!)

Below you’ll find our top picks for where to dine in Arden. This curated list caters to every craving, occasion, and budget. So, let’s get to it and discover your next delicious meal in Arden!

Exterior of Rocky's Hot Chicken in Arden, NC

Nashville hot chicken in Arden with outdoor seating and awesome sides

Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack is a local legend restaurant in Arden, NC that serves Nashville hot chicken, salads and southern sides. It’s a casual, order-at-the-counter restaurant. Expect a line, but it moves fast!

The hot chicken comes in 8 different spice levels— everything from plain to extra hot. Two of the spice levels include honey in the hot sauce (both are awesome!)

As far as the chicken goes, you can choose from chicken legs, thighs, breasts and tenders. They also have not chicken breaded cutlets made using Quorn products.

While the fried chicken at Rocky’s is absolutely delicious, the sides are just as noteworthy. Make sure to try the mac & cheese! It’s a crowd-favorite.

Rocky’s is a locally-owned restaurant. They have two locations in Asheville and one in Greenville.

Exterior of Vinnie's Italian Eatery in South Asheville, NC

Casual Italian restaurant with excellent service and delicious fare

Vinnie’s Neighborhood Italian is truly one of Asheville’s best Italian restaurants. It’s very approachable and family-centric with a great menu full of delicious Italian favorites.

As far as food goes, we especially love their chicken parmigiana, pasta al funghi and spaghetti with their signature Sunday Gravy. Their chicken marsala and twice-baked meat lasagna are also crowd favorites.

For the younger diners, Vinnie’s has a kids’ menu with spaghetti, chicken tenders and baked ziti. And for dessert lovers, don’t miss their NY ricotta cheesecake and cannoli.

One of the things that makes Vinnie’s special is that you can order many of the entrees family style, which is a great option for groups. The restaurant also has a daily specials menu, so be sure to check their Instagram for the latest offerings.

Outdoor dining at Abuela's Little Kitchen in South Asheville

Locally-loved eatery for chilaquiles and huevos rancheros

Abuela’s Little Kitchen is a restaurant in South Asheville that serves traditional Mexican and American dishes. They have awesome breakfast options like chilaquiles and huevos rancheros.

You’ll find seating inside as well as an outdoor patio. It can get really busy on the weekends! Everyone is super friendly and they serve breakfast until 3pm.

Exterior of Dripolator coffee shop in South Asheville

Coffee shop with baked goods, bagel sandwiches and a touch of charm

If you are looking for a coffee shop near Arden, head to Dripolator! Their South Asheville coffee shop is their third location and it’s perfectly cozy and calm. While it’s a bit out of the zone we consider Arden, it’s close enough for a visit if in the area.

They roast their own beans that they sell by the pound. If you’re local, check out their glass jar program that they will fill up at a discounted rate. Otherwise you can buy by the bag.

Dripolator has fresh baked goods available daily, as well as croissant and bagel sandwiches. They also have smoothies on the menu.

Exterior of Murasaki Japanese restaurant in South Asheville.

Sushi restaurant with outdoor seating and takeout

Arden’s Murasaki is one of our top picks if you are looking for sushi near Asheville. Their fish is fresh hibachi is perfectly seasoned and appetizers can’t be topped. Seriously, try the dynamite shrimp!

Parking is pretty easy because it’s in a large shopping area with a parking lot in the middle. Welcome to Arden! They have an outdoor dining patio and offer sushi take out.

Our go-to order includes their black panther roll, their double-decker roll, chicken hibachi, gyoza, miso soup and their dynamite shrimp. Definitely try the dynamite shrimp appetizer!

Taco Boy at Biltmore Park Town Square in Asheville, NC

Tacos and outdoor seating in Biltmore Park

Taco Boy is a Mexican restaurant in Biltmore Park. It’s originally out of Folly Beach, SC and has two locations in Asheville. The first Taco Boy location here is in West Asheville in the former Zia Taqueria spot.

As you’d expect, you’ll find several varieties of tacos on the menu. They have everything from a classic Al Pastor taco to a buttermilk fried chicken taco.

Their tacos are served on in-house corn tortillas using heirloom blue corn. Tacos are available individually or you can get a platter with either 2 or 3 that comes with Mexican rice and beans. You can also opt to make your tacos ‘quesatacos’ for an additional charge.

Apart from tacos, you’ll find tortas, a burrito, enchiladas, quesadillas and salads on the menu. They also have a kids menu and brunch.

Exterior of Mosaic Cafe in Biltmore Park in South Asheville

Excellent breakfast sandwiches and lunch fare at a laidback cafe

Mosaic Café is a great local breakfast and lunch spot in Biltmore Park. It’s a casual, counter service cafe.

They are known for their excellent sandwiches, both for breakfast and lunch. Speaking of, their Lumberjack is easily a top contended for the best breakfast sandwiches in Asheville. It has bacon, sausage, ham, egg and cheese on a pretzel bun. Yes, it sounds like a lot… but it’s so darn good!

For lunch at Mosaic, try their turkey club, chicken salad sandwich or muffuletta. Their menu includes both hot and cold sandwiches, and everything is made to order so you can customize as needed.

Exterior of Itto Ramen in South Asheville.

Authentic Japanese ramen in Arden

Itto Ramen Bar serves authentic Japanese Ramen and a wide range of Japanese tapas.

As you may imagine, ramen is the star of the show at Itto. They offer a variety of broths from classic miso to adventurous yellow curry and even black garlic oil. Each of their main ramen bowls come with their signature ramen noodles, melt-in-your-mouth chashu pork, and fresh toppings like bamboo shoots, seaweed, and seasoned eggs.

And if you’re not in the mood for ramen, the tapas are a great way to try a wide range of Japanese dishes and flavors. The menu features a variety of Japanese-inspired small plates like grilled squid, gyoza, and beef tataki.

Exterior of 12 Bones Smokehouse South location in Arden

BBQ Ribs, corn pudding and a casual atmosphere

12 Bones Smokehouse is one of the top BBQ restaurants in Asheville. We’ll cut to the chase, their ribs steal the show. Hands down, 12 Bones has the best ribs in town! They have four flavors– everything from Nekkid (er, plain) to their traditional brown sugar rubbed ribs and even a blueberry chipotle version.

But don’t overlook the rest of the menu! You’ll find mouthwatering pulled pork, smoked turkey, and tender brisket, all cooked to perfection.

You order at the counter and then they’ll bring it out to you. If you prefer to take it on the go, just specify when ordering. It’s actually one of our top recommendations for to-go food in Asheville, especially in the Arden area!

Outdoor seating at White Duck Taco Shop in Arden, NC

Local taco shop in Arden with outdoor seating and global flavors

White Duck Taco Shop in Arden isn’t your average Asheville taco joint. It’s a vibrant, creative and fun spot with a great menu of tacos inspired by global flavors. Think: Korean Bulgogi, lamb gyro and Thai peanut chicken tacos.

We absolutely love their queso, carnitas taco and the chicken BLT taco. And the bulgogi one, of course! They have a classic ground beef taco, too.

Exterior of Big J's Bubba-Q in Asheville, NC

Takeout-only BBQ in Arden at a roadside stand

Big J’s Bubba-Q is a hidden gem BBQ restaurant in Arden. It’s a small takeout-only spot serving delicious BBQ and home-cooked sides. You can taste the experience and care that goes into every bite you eat.

Big J’s offers traditional Carolina style BBQ including, pulled pork, ribs and chicken. This no-frills BBQ joint has no dining room and just a few picnic tables making it a perfect option for take-out.

Exterior of Abeja's House Cafe in South Asheville NC

Latin American breakfast and lunch fare in a casual cafe setting

Abeja’s House Cafe is a breakfast and lunch spot in South Asheville with Latin American food. They have excellent chilaquiles and huevos rancheros.

You’ll find a few vegan breakfast options at Abeja’s, like a vegan breakfast burrito. Their food is fresh and everything is delicious. We love trying out their various daily specials.

Abeja’s is located a bit north of Arden on Hendersonville, but it’s only a few minutes away. They have an excellent outdoor patio as well as indoor seating.

Disclaimer: Hours, pricing, menus, etc. may have changed since we last updated this post, so make sure to confirm all of this directly prior to visiting any business or attraction listed on our site.

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