Embark on a culinary adventure with mitú as we partner with Explore Asheville to unveil the vibrant Latino food scene tucked away in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Asheville is a city primed for foodies to enjoy one of the best culinary scenes in the United States.

Known for its traditional Southern cuisine and barbecue, Asheville also boasts a best-kept secret: incredible Latino restaurants and food spots that will blow your mind.

From authentic Mexican taquerias to Cuban classics, pupuserias, and food trucks, these are our top 13 spots to enjoy amazing sazón on your next visit to Asheville.

1. Guajiro Cuban Comfort Food

Finding authentic Cuban food can be tough, but Guajiro Cuban Comfort Food in the River Arts District is changing that. This family-run restaurant serves abuela’s home cooking and no-nonsense. Their menus boast everything from Cuban breakfast, croquetas, guava and cream cheese pastelitos, coladas, an assortment of sandwiches, and more. You’ll be walking out saying, “Guajira! I love you too much!”

2. Little Chango

We’re continuing our selection of Caribbean flare at Little Chango. An adorable spot to enjoy lunch or a first date, the craft kitchen offers tradition with a twist. Take, for example, their coconut cardamom flan or their arepa Jíbara. We all want a piece!

3. Cecilia’s Kitchen

Owned by Argentine chef Cecilia Marchesini, this quaint restaurant brings delicious meals in a sophisticated setting. Known for its delectable empanadas and Argentine food, you’ll also find items like tamales and crepes on the menu, adding a touch of diversity. If you can’t make it to the restaurant itself, look out for one of her famous food trucks around the city.

4. Cousins Cuban Cafe

If you are in the mood to tour the surroundings, this spot is ideal. Located in Black Mountain, about 15 miles from Asheville, Cousins Cuban Cafe is the place for you. Fate brought chef Beatriz Martinez-Sperry and her family to Miami, Florida, and then North Carolina. Now, they’re serving some of the best Cuban food near Asheville, primos style. Yes, you can dip buttered Cuban bread in your café con leche here, and you can also delight in Media Noches, Cuban sandwiches, vaca frita, and their famous lechón asado bowl.

5. Mamacita’s Taco Temple

We couldn’t leave out some of the best Mexican food in the city, starting with Mamacita’s. Homemade tortillas serve as the perfect vessel for tacos al pastor, barbacoa, cod, and even some sopita Azteca to warm your soul through the winter months. Head over to this charming neighborhood spot and take your tastebuds for a ride.

6. Taquería Muñoz

This no-frills roadside spot is serving all the classics. Birria, lengua, carnitas, and all your favorite taco cravings are at Taquería Muñoz. Something else to love about this place? Their extensive salsa bar and tamales. Yes, tamales.

7. Papa’s and Beer Mexican Restaurant

This California-style Mexican restaurant is serving American-style tacos full of Mexican flavor. Big plates are filled to the brim with rice, beans, enchiladas, tacos, flautas and more. You can also delight in frozen or on-the-rocks margaritas. Also, because of its location, this is the perfect spot after hiking or biking along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

8. Café Bomba

Huevos rancheros? Chilaquiles? Arepa Perico? This Latino-inspired café has them all and more. Café Bomba is a laid-back spot in the heart of Asheville, bringing a mix of classics from diverse Latin American countries. Visiting in warmer months? Take a seat on their outdoor patio and enjoy your vacation.

9. Short Street Cakes

Mexican-owned Short Street Cakes is run by Olga Jiménez, who took over in 2016. The “spatula” was passed along after the previous owner, Jodi Rhoden, featured Jiménez in her book “Cake Ladies.” You can find classic cakes, cupcakes, and other delicious desserts made from scratch and with mucho, mucho amor.

10. Taste of El Salvador

Pupusas, tamales, chicharrones, and more await you at this piece of Central America in Asheville. Owned by Canduchita Molina, this small restaurant has all your favorite Salvadorian food, as well as vegetarian and gluten-free options.

11. Salsa’s

Whether you’re in for their selection of fresh salsas, their drinks, or extravagant guacamoles, Salsa’s is a treat you won’t soon forget. Known for blending Caribbean and Mexican cuisine, this restaurant is legendary to locals and visitors alike. Dip it!

12. Buggy Pops

If there’s one thing Latinos love, it is their paletas — and Buggy Pops has plenty to delight in. These handcrafted pops range in flavor from coconut matcha to blueberry mango. In the mood for something even cooler? Try one of their poptails— cocktails with pops in them — next time you’re in Asheville.

13. Limones

When life gives you lemons — grab salt and tequila. At Limones in Asheville, Mexican Chef Hugo Ramirez is standing on the shoulders of his mother’s traditional secret dishes and bringing them to the Blue Ridge Mountains. The menu combines Mexican food with Ramirez’s training in French-influenced California cuisine for items such as lobster nachos, three-cheese chile relleno, fish asado, and more. 

Grab your fork and join the feast! Visit exploreasheville.com for more!