It’s been said that Asheville is the “Paris of the South;” a city where culture, architecture, art, and great food and drinks come together in a way that feels almost European, with a signature southern flair. After visiting Capella on 9, it’s easy to understand this nickname.
Located inside the AC Hotel by Marriott Asheville Downtown, Capella on 9 perches high above Broadway atop the roof of this classy hotel. Take the elevator to the 9th floor, and you’ll feel like you’ve entered a different world.
The impressive restaurant boasts a large indoor seating area, with marble, glass, and soaring ceilings. A variety of seating options, ranging from the sleek bar to cozy couches and armchairs, to traditional tables offer options for every type of group. A glass-encased fireplace gives the area a warm and inviting feel.
However, the true majesty of this location can be found outside. The bar and restaurant offer not one, but two outdoor seating areas, each offering a very different view of the area below. On one side is a small patio with 7-10 tables, overlooking downtown Asheville. If you time your visit right, you may be able to take in the sounds of the street musicians down below as you sip a cocktail or nibble on some tapas.
On the other side of the restaurant is a very large outdoor dining area, complete with fire pits, heaters, couches, and delicate tables and chairs. This is where the real view is. This site offers sweeping, panoramic views of the lush Blue Ridge Mountains. On a sunny day, this is a truly breathtaking view that you’d be hard-pressed to beat anywhere in the city.
A cocktail bar at its core, Capella on 9 serves up a unique slate of thoughtfully crafted cocktails, along with wine, beer, and cider. Don’t let this distract you from the food, though. Capella offers a small but impressive menu of small bites, shareable tapas, entrees, and desserts.
They also serve breakfast daily, including individual menu items, as well as a buffet-style “Spanish Communal Offering,” including meats, cheeses, bread, and fruits.
We stopped in for drinks and snacks and loved what we ordered. Here are a few of the most memorable:
See what they did there with the name? This drink was as smooth and enjoyable as the voice of Lady Ella herself. A complex combination of flavors, it combines gin with a sweet and warming honey cardamom syrup, bitter angostura, tart lemon juice, and a sweet orange swatch, before topping the whole thing with a delicious foam.
For those looking for something that is fruity without being oppressively sweet, we recommend Pear Pressure. Pear vodka serves as the base of this cocktail and is combined with pineapple juice, lemon juice, and an allspice dram. Finally, the glass is rimmed with cinnamon sugar. We’d certainly order this one again!
Crab Cake Duo
These two expertly created crab cakes feature jumbo lump crab meat, mixed with just the right ratio of breading. Accented by piquillo remoulade and roasted garlic aioli, and served alongside charred asparagus, the crab meat is allowed to be the star of this dish, without being overpowered by its other components.
Look, it’s our belief that when you go to a bar, no matter how fancy it is, you have to order wings. It’s just a thing you must do. And boy, are we glad we did. These tender wings are coated in a tasty buffalo chimichurri and served with rainbow carrots and delicious house-made ranch dressing.
We couldn’t leave without trying one more bar staple – the burger. This one certainly met our expectations! The juicy beef patty is topped with pickled peppers, candied bacon, melty cheddar cheese, savory grilled onions, and fresh arugula. It’s topped with piquillo pepper aioli and served with unique, smoked paprika and chive potato chips. Burger lovers, this one is a must-try.
Next time you’re in Asheville, go to Capella on 9 for the unbelievable views but stay for the tasty food and drinks. And let us know what you liked best!
-Traveling with a furry friend? The smaller outdoor area, which overlooks downtown Asheville, is dog friendly!
-Capella on 9 can be easy to miss. While there is a sign for it on the Marriott building, you sort of have to be looking for it to see it. Instead, just treat the AC Marriott on Broadway as your north star. When you see it, you’ve arrived.
-This spot becomes incredibly beautiful at sunset. It’s the perfect spot for a date night or a special occasion. If you can, time your visit so that you can see the sun setting over the mountains.
-Capella often offers a DJ or live music in the evenings. Call or check online to see their lineup.