2012 Food Year in Review: Restaurants that didn’t make it, Italian family foodie drama, more


Asheville loves food. From organic tempeh reubens to pork barbecue to artisan pizza to please God let us get a great Ethiopian place at last, Asheville is Food City U.S.A.

Here’s the food and restaurant year in review. Foodie news, new restaurants, restaurants coming soon, and the eateries we said goodbye to in 2012: Fiore’s, Pineapple Jack’s, Viva Deli, and later this month, the very tasty Magnetic Field.


The Lot: After a long and acrimonious battle, food truckers received the right to operate downtown. 51 Coxe, and you should go.

Rosetta’s goes retail: The beloved local cafe branches out, offering veggie burgers and peanut butter tofu at Ingles, the Co-op and select other markets

Tupelo and Chai Pani go big: Local restaurants open in new cities. Chai Pani in Atlanta, Tupelo in Knoxville and Greenville

Curate chef Katie Button cooks in New York: The young chef, not yet 30, made a splash when she was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Rising Star chef award AND invited to cook at a James Beard dinner in NYC. 

Mushroom market and more: Where else would the first wild foods and medicinals market in the U.S open? Kansas City?

Sante for sale: Carla Baden, the owner of Sante Wine Bar downtown, puts her bar up for sale

Asheville Brewing on Coxe to expand: Expect a music and event space as the pizzeria branches out 

Farm to Home Milk delivery service: The milkman’s back, and he’s bringing chocolate milk, eggs, and fresh bread

Asheville named U.S.’s first green dining destination

Smiling Hara survives salmonella setback (the company is now demo-ing to Whole Foods)

Drama at Fiore’s: Family feud as son leaves Fiore’s downtown to start Strada; furious father closes Fiore’s

Izzy’s West became BattleCat

The Dripolator became High Five Coffee Bar

Cafe Ello became Cafe 64

Mountain Java became Edna’s


Pho, Neapolitan pizza from the White Duck team, barbecue from an Admiral chef and more:

Oyster House Brewpub

Wicked Weed Brewing

Kitchen 643

Cecilia’s Kitchen (creperie)

BoBo Pho

Pizza Pura

Farm Burger

Zia Taqueria

The Bull & Beggar

Buxton Hill Barbecue

Chick-fil-a Merrimon Avenue


Biscuit Head


yet-to-be-named bar & charcuterie in the old Blue Water Seafood location

2012 OPENINGS OF NOTE: Coffee, Latin food, Italian and more 

Biltmore Coffee Company

Nuns on Top

Sabor Bustaurant

MG Road


The Isis Restaurant & Music Hall

Native Kitchen

Creekside Taproom

Mr. Frog’s Soul and Creole

The Imperial Life: New downtown bar looks gorgeous

Latin Flavor

Asheville Sandwich Company


The Blackbird

Juicy Lucy’s Burger Bar and Grill

Strada Italiano

French Broad Chocolate Factory & Tasting Room

Aqua Cafe & Bar

Magnolia Ray

Puebla (re-opened Swannanoa restaurant)

Wicked Weed

Sabor Bustararant

West Asheville Lounge & Kitchen (WALK)


Eat local and support the restaurants you love.


Never Blue

Palmyra Bistro

Books & Breadboard

The Cupcake Corner

Viva Deli

La Carreta (new Weaverville location is open)

The Magnetic Field

Baja Cafe

Pineapple Jack’s


Blue Water Seafood

Greenlight Cafe

Mr. Frog’s Soul and Creole

Mamacita’s Baja Cantina