Avenue M

Avenue M: North Asheville's Haven For Locavores and Craft Beer Enthusiasts
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Casual, yet luxe, Avenue M is the perfect place to chill with friends when you desire a relaxed vibe, local brews, and healthy, mouthwatering eats.

- The SmokyMountains.com Local Expert Team

Asheville residents were despondent when the beloved Usual Suspects bar closed down. Taking its place, however, is a wonderful restaurant that can please nearly any type of visitor. Already, Avenue M enjoys a dedicated following. Whether your ideal meal is vegetarian, chock full of meat, or served with maple syrup on a Sunday morning, you’ll appreciate the range of flavors available at this North Asheville gem.

Although not as conveniently located as some of Asheville’s better-known establishments, Avenue M provides easy parking and plenty of indoor space. Wait times are reasonable, even at peak hours.

Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-friendly options are in abundant supply on Avenue M’s extensive menu. Portions are smaller than some visitors anticipate, but they’re also expertly plated. If you’re feeling ravenous, you’ll either want to order an appetizer with your meal or eat elsewhere.

While Avenue M is primarily thought of as a dinner venue, it also serves a popular brunch every Sunday. From traditional eggs and bacon to chickpea crepes, Avenue M’s brunch offers something for everybody. Don’t forget to order your favorite brunch dish with a side of sweet potato fries — you won’t regret it.

Craft beer is a priority, as is the case at most Asheville establishments. Feel free to order a regional brew with your meal or at the bar. The restaurant also offers an extensive wine list. Better yet, treat yourself to a martini. Favorites include Puck’s Dream (with elderflower liqueur and habanero-infused tequila), the Peach Fuzz Buzz (featuring gin and peach puree), and the iconic Avenue M Cosmopolitan (complete with Absolut, white cranberry juice, lime juice, and orange liqueur).

If you’re visiting with children, you’re in luck; the restaurant offers a kids menu with all of the standards, including quesadillas, chicken tenders, and hamburgers. This special menu even boasts a vegetarian option: teriyaki tofu with rice. All kids meals come with fountain beverages and, most importantly, cookies.

A few of our favorite menu items include:

Buffalo Fried Chicken Tacos
Although technically labeled as an appetizer, the buffalo fried chicken tacos are satisfying enough to constitute an actual meal. They’re also, however, great to split with a friend as you await your entree. The tacos feature roasted sweet corn, napa cabbage, and tomatoes served with bleu cheese dressing and a unique sweet and spicy buffalo sauce.

Veggie Burger
Who needs meat when you can order such a delightful black bean burger? This Avenue M charmer features a medley of your favorite veggies, including zucchini, kale, sweet potato, and roasted corn. Your flavorful patty is topped with avocado, sour carrots, arugula, pickled beets, chipotle veganaise, and tomato. This unique combination of ingredients is served on a fresh house-made roll.

Merrimon Medallions
One of several gluten-friendly dishes served at Avenue M, this satisfying meal consists of pan-seared black Angus medallions complemented by a red wine rosemary sauce. Mashed red potatoes and a spring green salad complete the meal.

Farmhouse Pasta
All Avenue M pasta dishes feature house-made Fettuccine served fresh. If you prefer, substitute the restaurant’s standard noodles with fresh zucchini strips. Either way, you’ll find a delightful explosion of flavors in this popular pasta dish, which includes chorizo, roasted red peppers, mushrooms, caramelized onions, parmesan, and ricotta. Enjoy with a wonderful tomato basil sauce.

Moroccan Vegetable Tagine
Multiple vegetarian and vegan options are available on the Avenue M menu, but this vegan Moroccan dish is one of the most satisfying. Enjoy couscous and pita bread with orange-glazed tofu, simmered carrots, zucchini, butternut squash, and potatoes. Your meal is spiced with enticing cumin and cinnamon — and topped with toasted almonds.

Insider Tips:
-From charity fundraisers to dance parties, Avenue M hosts a variety of community events. Check the restaurant’s website or sign up for the email newsletter to get in the know about upcoming occasions.
-If you refuse to dine away from your beloved pooch, you’ll love the dog-friendly patio at Avenue M. Although most pleasant in the summer, the patio is heated in the winter to provide an accommodating outdoor space.