#78 of 109 Asheville Restaurants

Tupelo Honey Cafe (South Asheville)

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Tupelo Honey Cafe: Where Everyone Eats Like a Local
Written by: David Angotti
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Tupelo Honey in South Asheville is well worth the wait, especially if you want a taste of good country cooking with a creative twist. To avoid frustrations, be sure to make reservations and plan your visit around commuter traffic.

- The SmokyMountains.com Local Expert Team

The original Tupelo Honey Cafe in downtown Asheville has long been known to locals and visitors alike as one of the best places to eat in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Although nothing beats eating comfort food while watching downtown’s buskers and bohemians go by, the original Tupelo Honey doesn’t have the most accessible parking, which can be an issue for some visitors. Here’s where the convenient South Asheville location comes into play.

Tupelo Honey Cafe at the South Asheville location features the same homemade specialties with a creative twist, not to mention several refreshing spirits. The South Asheville location offers plenty of parking and limited online reservations, both essential features if you intend to have brunch on a busy weekend. No matter what your nutrition requirements may be, Tupelo Honey strives to meet every need with available gluten-free options and vegetarian selections.

The restaurant’s sheer number of country-comfort menu items can overwhelm you, but we’d suggest ordering one of the following:

Buttermilk Fried Chicken
Tupelo Honey’s top seller is perfectly battered and fried like great-grandma used to make, only better. The fried chicken plate gets served with creamy milk gravy and two country sides, but you can also order the fried chicken in other menu items, including served up with greens, biscuits, or sweet potato pancakes, or packed inside a Southern Fried Chicken BLT.

Fried Green Tomatoes
Name one appetizer that’s more Southern than fried green tomatoes. Chances are you can’t, but why would you want to? Tupelo Honey knows how to do fried green tomatoes justice in a way you’ve never experienced. The appetizer features flavors of fresh basil served over goat cheese grits with a roasted red pepper coulis. They’re so good, in fact, that you may consider making a meal out of Tupelo Honey’s shareable appetizers alone, which include favorites such as fried okra and avocado toast.

Regardless of the menu item you choose, you won’t find a wrong way to eat at Tupelo Honey Cafe. Everything on the menu gets cooked to perfection in the Southern heritage tradition, which ensures you’ll come back for more.

Tupelo Honey’s South Asheville location is on busy Hendersonville Road at the end of a small shopping plaza. Its brick facade may look brand new, but Tupelo Honey has served up Southern classics at the downtown location since 2000. The South Asheville chain is simply a much-needed extension to original perfection.

Given the restaurant’s popularity, however, the place can get crowded. Reservations are recommended if you plan to visit during peak brunch, lunch, or dinner hours on the weekends. Weekdays are not as busy, although Tupelo Honey can see an influx of suppertime diners any night of the week.

Service is attentive, but the kitchen can get somewhat slow, especially when the cooks get backed up with orders. The wait is worth the effort, though, and your server will give you complimentary biscuits and jam to tide you over.

We cannot stress enough that Tupelo Honey is the neighborhood gem you need to discover. As one of the favorite eateries in Asheville, you don’t want to miss it.

Insider Tips:
-The iconic downtown location does not accept reservations, which can result in at least a 45-minute wait for a table. The South Asheville Tupelo Honey’s reservation policy can make trying this chain’s delightful menu easier, so even if you’re staying at a downtown hotel, consider venturing out.
-If possible, avoid Hendersonville Road during rush hour. Traffic can get heavy, and accidents are common.
-Tupelo Honey South is less than 10 minutes from the entrance to Biltmore Estate. Consider enjoying breakfast or an early lunch at the cafe before heading to the estate.