Photo courtesy Foothills Meats
Whether you’re looking for late-night munchies or a lunchtime staple, nothing satisfies quite like a burger. Lucky for us, there are plenty of juicy, tender burgers to be had around Asheville—these are our favorites.
784 Haywood Rd.
If you’re looking for a variety of the everyman’s sandwich, Universal Joint delivers. Toppings range from the predictable (swiss and mushrooms) to the guilty pleasure (the Smokehouse includes fried onions, smoked bacon, swiss, cheddar, and BBQ sauce), but we’re particularly fond of the Steinbeck: pimiento cheese, bacon, and pickled jalapenos. If you’re feeling fancy, upgrade to the bison patty. In the heart of West Asheville, UJ is beloved by locals for its burgers, of course, as well as its late-night eats and perfectly fried tots.
Rankin Vault Cocktail Lounge
7 Rankin Ave.
Another late-night pleaser, the Vault’s award-winning burger is hailed by many as the best in Asheville. The classic features Hickory Nut Gap ground beef, bacon, white cheddar, red onion, arugula, and spicy mayo. Just feeling peckish? Get it as a slider. For you veggie lovers, there’s also a black bean burger. Whatever you choose, pair it with a bowl of tots and their spicy mayo, a drink special, and, if the weather suits, a seat on their downtown patio (perfect for people watching).
Foothills Food Truck
2 Huntsman Pl.
You know what pairs really well with burgers? Beer. That’s why the Foothills Food Truck, permanently parked in the Hi-Wire Big Top parking lot, is such a crowd pleaser. The burgers and hot dogs slung out of the window are made with local, pasture-raised meats, making for particularly flavorful sandos. The burgers are Southern style, with a bun slathered in Duke’s, lettuce, tomato, sweet onion, house pickles, ketchup, mustard, and American cheese. The tallow fries are the perfect, salty accompaniment. (When you’re in Black Mountain, stop by their flagship store and butcher shop for even more meaty goods.)
Village Wayside Bar & Grille
30 Lodge St.
The burgers at Wayside are undeniably worthy of our list. They’re unique and decadent, like the Depot burger: chargrilled black Angus beef with bacon bits, cheddar cheese, and Cheerwine BBQ sauce, topped with a beer-battered onion ring on a brioche bun. But what really sets Wayside apart is its service. The waitstaff is the best in Asheville, always serving up these mile-high burgers with genuineness and a laugh.
575 Haywood Rd.
If you’re looking for a meaty hangover cure, may we suggest Tastee Diner? This simple fare is far from healthy, but it’s sure to cure what ails you. When it comes to burgers, it’s another variety show. Try it Carolina style (chili, slaw, onions, and mustard), or try something new with the Big Kahuna: double patty, cheddar, bacon, pineapple-jalapeno relish, onions, and slaw. If you’re really throwing your diet out the window, pair your burger with a housemade milkshake.