#72 of 98 Asheville Things To Do

The S&W Market

S&W Market-Art-Deco Charm With Food Vendors & Brewery
Staff Score:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

The S&W Market is a renovated 1929 art-deco building featuring vendors, a bar, and a craft brewery. The atmosphere is casual, while the ambiance of the old building is something to behold.

- The SmokyMountains.com Local Expert Team

Our story began 90 years ago. The S&W Cafeteria chain commissioned architect Douglas Ellington to design their buildings. Ellington opted for the art-deco style popular in the 1920s, and the Asheville location opened on July 15, 1929. Frank Sherill, president of S&W, said, “Asheville deserved the finest of our chains because Asheville is one of the showpieces of our country.” The Cafeteria thrived for years but eventually closed in 1974.

The S&W sat dormant for years until Ellington’s two nephews, Douglas and Kenneth Ellington, purchased the building. They renovated the hall to bring it back to its art-deco glory and reopened it in June 2021. Currently, there are seven vendors in the S&W Market that offer a variety of food and drinks. In no particular order, here they are:

Highland Brewery’s
This story began 25-years ago when it became Asheville’s original craft brewery. They have returned to their roots and have taken up residency in the S&W Market. The Taproom is on the mezzanine level and has 18 taps serving small-batch and barrel-aged beers. There is ample seating, and you may take beers anywhere in the S&W Market. A smaller bar is on the ground level.

Buxton Chicken Palace
Buxton Chicken Palace serves a sandwich Bon Appetit Magazine crowned as the best chicken sandwich in the country. Diners describe the sandwich as having a spiciness similar to Nashville Hot Chicken. Others add that it’s not too spicy and has the perfect crunchy outside and mouth-watering juiciness on the inside. They offer a variety of dipping sauces, add-ons, and combos that come with seasoned waffle fries.

Bun Intended
This spot began as a food truck in Asheville serving Thai-influenced meals. Their S&W location showcases specialties Asheville has come to know and love. The homemade buns are packed with locally sourced protein and other mouth-watering delights. Every dish is colorful, uses innovative spices, and is very filling. They also have a variety of bowls ranging from a fresh curry sauce dish to Thai fried rice.

Farm Dogs
Farm Dogs takes the ballpark hotdog to a new level. Nut Gap grass-fed beef hot dogs and Vandele Farms sausages can be topped with chopped onions, sweet pickle relish, cheek chili, and green tomato chow-chow. The brat comes with Highland Brewing beer cheese, Fermenti sauerkraut, and Lusty Monk mustard. Try the Blunt warm pretzel knots with Lusty Monk mustard and Highland Brewing beer cheese for a side item.

Peace Love Tacos
This taco joint is the offshoot of the Mountain Madre Mexican Kitchen & Agave Bar. At the S&W market location, they serve ala carte favorites and, of course, tacos! They use locally-sourced meats and vegetables to create mouth-watering meals. One favorite is the Barbacoa that features slow-cooked round steak, caramelized onions, salsa verde, and cotija cheese. The menu also includes taco salads, Mexican street corn, nachos, and house-made sauces.

The Hop
This sweet treat has been in Asheville since the late 70s, and the S&W Market location continues to scoop out their time-honored ice creams. The menu features homemade dairy and vegan ice cream, milkshakes, sundaes, and made-from-scratch waffle cones. Along with their classic vanilla bean, chocolate, and salted caramel flavors, they create unique ice creams that showcase Asheville businesses.

The Times Bar
The Times Bar & Coffee Shop specializes in craft cocktails and specialty coffees. Libations range from seasonally-inspired drinks to timeless classics. For their coffee drinks, they use beans from Caffee Vita Coffee Roasters.

When you’re in Asheville, especially in the downtown area, be sure to visit the S&W Market. We believe the vintage art-deco architecture is the perfect backdrop to savor delicious food and drinks with family and friends.

Insider Tips:
If you’re looking for a quiet, intimate dining environment, S&W Market may not be your best option. The sound echoes off the vaulted ceiling and beautifully refurnished art deco walls and floors, making it noisy.