Asheville is all the rage right now, and with good reason! The scenery is beautiful, the food is top-notch, and the beer in Asheville is some of the best around. After a recent visit to this booming North Carolina city, we learned that the bar scene is pretty notable too. Here are three bars in downtown Asheville we found to provide a little something extra!

    The Montford

    Glass with logo that read The Montford Rooftop Bar Asheville North Carolina overlooking mountains, trees, and brick buildings

    Located on the roof of The Hyatt Place hotel, The Montford is newer to the scene but quickly being recognized as one of the best bars in downtown Asheville. Picture a rooftop bar with floor to ceiling windows that pull back on pleasant evenings. Edison bulbs and the dimly lit atmosphere lend to the speakeasy-style vibe, as does the bar design and checkered shirts worn by the staff.

    But it’s is more than a cool looking bar with a good view. We were lucky enough to meet with Executive Chef, Philip Bollhoefer. He’s helping shape this spot into not only one of the best bars in Asheville but into a best bar – period.

    Cocktail in orange coffee mug and one in a rocks glass overlooking mountain view

    The craft cocktail and food menus rotate seasonally to ensure the freshest ingredients. And of course, fresh ingredients means they’re locally sourced whenever and wherever possible. Philip can literally walk you down the menu and explain where each ingredient is from. Some of them even come right from The Montford itself, as they have their own rooftop garden!

    The theme here is quality local ingredients, present from the food, to the drinks, to the mugs and plates on which they’re served. Seriously. The Montford collaborated with a local pottery company, East Fork Pottery, and uses their products throughout the restaurant.

    White sunglasses that read The Montford, Asheville NC sitting on wooden table

    Recommendation: Get the bison meatballs if available! Or the tater tots! Or, anything to eat. And of course, wash it down with a Montford Mule or a Pecan Old Fashioned. You can thank us later.

    Pillar Rooftop Bar

    Red umbrella with lights strung above with mountains in the distance

    Pillar Rooftop is another Asheville bar with a lot of heart. Located on the top floor of the Hilton Garden Inn, Pillar is a great place to kick back and enjoy a nice evening. The back wall has garage doors that fully open, expanding the indoor/outdoor feel. But fear not – if the weather is iffy, the inside of Pillar is pretty big too.

    The cocktail menu changes seasonally, and the bartenders get to help build it, so there’s a level of ownership and fun to picking your drink! They also feature local beers on tap and have an extensive wine menu to round out your options. If you’re hungry, you can also order food from Pillar Restaurant, located on the ground level.

    Smiling man with beard and blue shirt standing behind a bar
    Smiling brown haired man in black shirt standing behind a bar with his hands folded

    In strong support of the Asheville people, Pillar Bar also features artists in a gallery-type setting that they rotate once a quarter. And of course, there’s music! Their music calendar is full of jazz bands, DJs, and they even have karaoke on Sundays.

    If you’re staying in downtown Asheville or plan to explore the city for the day, Pillar offers something you might find useful. Together with the Hilton Garden Inn, they run a shuttle that will pick you up and take you back anywhere downtown. And you don’t have to be staying at the hotel. Pretty handy perk if you want to explore a few more of the bars in downtown Asheville!

    Two yellow cocktails, on in small glass, one in pint glass sitting on table in front of blue mountains

    Recommendation: Talk to your bartenders about which cocktails they put on the menu – and get one of their crafty concoctions!

    Ben’s Tune Up

    Old building with red windows and red and yellow sign that reads Ben's Tune-Up

    You’ll love the concept of this next place. Ben’s Tune Up has their own housemade sake and beer that they serve in a beer garden-type setting. The building is an old auto shop, and the food is Asian fusion. So, it’s quirky. It’s a little random, but it’s a pretty awesome and original place!

    Of the three bars in downtown Asheville listed here, this is the only one in the South Slope area. It’s an area known for its beer, so you may be there to brewery hop. Just make sure to add Ben’s to the list of places to visit! You’ll need to grab some food anyway, so this is a perfect spot.

    We also have to say that the staff here was so welcoming! It made for a great atmosphere that invited you to sit and stay all day. They play fun oldies music, and you can even bring your dog!

    Brick building entryway with sign that says Ben's Beer Garden Open

    Recommendation: Keep it in the Ben’s family and either get a house brew or a sake. It’s small batch, so the flavors change regularly, meaning you’re always in for a treat!

    man in black and woman in blouse drinking beer on couch with yellow sign above that reads turn up at the tune up

    Other Bars in Downtown Asheville

    These are just some of the many awesome downtown Asheville bars you can check out when you visit! When we go back, we’d love to try The Imperial Life and Sovereign Remedies for their notoriously good craft cocktails!

    We love checking out bars in different cities! If you liked this post, you might also like our posts on bars in St. Augustine, Florida and bars in Charlottesville, Virginia

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    We’d like to thank The Montford and Pillar Rooftop Bar for hosting us during our visits to each. They provided the food, drinks, and stories so we could share our experience with you. But as always, our reviews are honest and genuine. We do not guarantee a positive review in return for assistance.


    Kate is Co-Founder and Content Creator at Intoxicating World, a travel blog featuring the history, culture, and booze of the world. She loves a good cabernet, won’t turn down a dirty vodka martini, and will usually order the Hefeweizen on tap.
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