#160 of 109 Asheville Restaurants

The Malvern

The Malvern – Enjoy Deviously Good Food, Drinks, and Fun in Asheville
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Deviously good food, drinks, and fun always await your arrival at The Malvern in Asheville. A definite local gem, this gastropub sets the stage for a memorable meal and then delivers it in spades. Dining in is where it’s at, but takeout and delivery can keep the deliciousness going during your busiest days.

- The SmokyMountains.com Local Expert Team

A true local favorite, The Malvern is a friendly neighborhood bar offering good vibes and equally delightful food and drinks. The whole Asheville gastropub experience brings in the crowds, but you can still expect to get quality service. Want to take your food on the run? Call in to order takeout or use either Takeout Central or Kickback for delivery if you’re nearby.

You definitely need to get the full dine-in experience at least once, though. As you walk through the doors, you’ll get greeted with a hearty hello from the staff and a warm welcome to join the fun. There’s tons of fun to be had, too, like joining all the lively conversations at the bar or playing the table game, Skittles, with the crowd.

Before diving in, you’ll want to take a moment to gaze in awe at the modern bar aesthetic, completed by the warm red glow from the globe lamps above the bar. The lighting is dim at best, but the local artwork at every corner is worth squinting through the darkness to admire. Don’t forget to peek out onto the heated patio dining area, so you can decide where to sit down and enjoy your meal.

A seat at the bar is a must if you want to be at the center of the action. From that point of view, you can engage in friendly banter while watching all the magic happen before your eyes. No matter where you sit down, order a drink and appetizer before going for your main entrée.

Their full-service bar has all the fan favorites on tap, including cocktails, beer, wine, and champagne. For the ultimate dive bar experience, go with their liquor and beer pairings, like the El Camino—an icy cold Modelo alongside a shot of good tequila.

After whetting your appetite, select whatever speaks to you most for your main course. They have all the best gastropub creations available, and they rotate them out on the regular. So, go for the gold with your selection, and then get ready for imaginative homecooked fare to come your way.

Their most talked about menu items are:

Final Jeopardy
When you order Final Jeopardy, you get to enjoy an unlikely pairing: Narragansett Lager and a Jameson pickleback. It’s up to you to decide how to enjoy it, too. Kick back the shot first to start the experience with a zing of flavor. Or save it for later to delight your tastebuds mid-beer.

Mac & Cheese
There’s never a bad time to enjoy scratch-made Mac & Cheese, so why not start your meal off right with its bold flavors? They create this appetizer using a traditional recipe featuring loads and loads of cheese. Then, they put their own spin on it by adding a spicy cheese crumb over top right before baking.

Fried Chicken Sandwich
The Fried Chicken Sandwich promises to tantalize your tastebuds from the first bite through to the very last. This popular dish begins with the creation of their hand-battered fried chicken breast. Once that’s done, it goes on a potato bun with charred onion mayo, lettuce, tomato, chili crisp, and pickles. You can also choose a side, like their fries, fried cauliflower, broccoli, or a side salad.

In between your sips and bites, head over to the Skittles table to get your game on. The game is easy to learn yet amazingly difficult to master. You just have to spin a top and send it careening into the pins, which is easier said than done. As players get close to hitting all 12 in one shot, the bar erupts in excitement, making your visit even more magical every time.

Insider Tips:
-Ask your server what their current seasonal slushie flavors are before ordering your drinks. Otherwise, you might miss out on something truly delicious.
-They keep the music turned up loud from open to close. So, bring earplugs if you’re sensitive to a lot of noise.
-The last call for food is at midnight, so get all your orders in well before that time. Drinks continue until 2 am.