I’ve put together a list of my four family friendly restaurants in Asheville. I haven’t had the experience often but occasionally we show up at a restaurant only to be informed they don’t even have high chairs. These restaurants have high chairs and much much more!
Prior to having a child, my husband and I went out for a date night at a local Thai restaurant. About halfway through the meal we started bemoaning the family next to us. They were unsuccessfully trying to wrangle three small children. Children who were all engaged in some combination of screaming, running, and/or throwing.
Fast-forward five years. We now have one of those children and in hindsight I would be a lot less judgmental of that family. You can’t very well be expected to hide in your house until your child morphs into a well mannered citizen capable of sitting quietly at a dinner table for an hour. What you need is distractions. Sometimes I feel like I am carrying a whole play room with me and it isn’t enough.
I need distractions and novelty! Que two restaurants who brought their toddler friendly game by providing toys.
1. Sunny Point Cafe
Open for breakfast to dinner, the Sunny Point Cafe is high on most tourists’ lists when visiting Asheville. What prospective visitors may not realize is that the Sunny Point Cafe is not only delicious but super family friendly! The porch is dog friendly and animals are always a good child distraction. There is a kid’s menu which offers some of the adult menu staples but in smaller portions.
But I have saved the best for last. There are toys! Our waitress immediately plopped a Mr. Potato Head into my toddler’s hands. A new toy we have never seen before?! Distraction and novelty! I managed to finish my entire avocado toast. A breakfast time miracle!
Type of food: American, farm to table
2. Blue Ridge Biscuit Company
Not technically in Asheville, the Blue Ridge Biscuit Company is in Black Mountain, NC, which is approximately 20 minutes away. A great little town on it’s own – you should definitely consider spending some time here as well. And if you are in Black Mountain you need to stop by the Blue Ridge Biscuit Company. My father-in-law was headed out to get a breakfast sandwich from a fast food chain. What?! In one of the most beloved foodie areas in the country? Not on my watch! I suggested we instead pick up biscuits. We changed our tune when we walked into the Blue Ridge Biscuit Company. They don’t just have toys. They have an entire play area for the little ones! A cabinet full of toys compliments a child sized table and couch. Second breakfast I was able to finish in one trip. And did I mention the biscuit was the size of my head and delicious?! No wonder I gain weight when we go to Asheville!
Type of food: American, biscuits
Not all restaurants come with their own toy chest. But these two do a great job with friendly staff, kid friendly food, and fun atmospheres….
3. Chai Pani
If you are heading to Asheville, it’s likely you’ve already heard about Chai Pani. There isn’t anything new I can tell you. It is delicious, Indian food is awesome, it’s great how much diversity there is in Asheville’s food scene. What I can add is that there is a child’s menu that is awesome. Whenever trying a new cuisine it’s understandable you may be nervous how your child will react. Chai Pani’s kid menu offers Indian cuisine that will appeal to little fingers. Our daughter gets a dish reminiscent to a grilled cheese/quesadilla. It comes with yogurt sauce which she has now decided is totally appropriate for drinking. Picture below of my food and the everyone else’s half eaten plates (I couldn’t even get a picture before they dug in!).
Type of food: Indian
4. Doc Chey’s Noodle House
Located on a main drag in Asheville, Doc Chey’s is almost always busy and for good reason. One of the things we love about eating out with our toddler is that we tend to eat on “toddler time”. Meaning we like to have dinner at 4:30 or 5. That is almost always early enough to avoid a line even for a popular restaurant. Eating early will definitely serve you well at Doc Chey’s.
So what makes this restaurant so toddler friendly? Edamame. Have you ever seen a toddler try to eat edamame? Oh my goodness it is hilarious! Toddler’s are very independent. I’m sure you have heard, “I can do it” a million times. Meaning they won’t let you help them with edamame. Our daughter wants anything we have though so she HAS TO EAT IT. She will literally spend about an hour breaking into edamame shells. Another meal finished for mom? You bet!
Type of food: pan-Asian
What is your favorite family friendly restaurant in Asheville? Have you been to any with toys? Please share them in the comments!
If you are planning a trip to Asheville be sure to check out our guide to visiting the Biltmore with a toddler, hiking the Craggy Pinnacle and check us out on Instagram @thepaciport for pictures of our amazing rental through Greybeard Rentals.