When Hendersonville, North Carolina, was established in the mid-1800s, one of its founders decreed that Main Street should be wide enough to turn around a coach pulled by four horses. Although the horse-and-carriage days are over, that wide, winding Main Street continues to benefit the Blue Ridge Mountain town.
Downtown Hendersonville boasts 24 independent restaurants, and several of them offer alfresco dining on the spacious sidewalks. Never Blue, a tapas-style restaurant with worldly flavors, rolls up its garage-door front on pleasant evenings. Diners enjoy powerful cocktails, creative tacos and decadent desserts topped with house-made ice cream.
Postero, another Main Street standout, presents New American fare that is both familiar, yet innovative. The chicken and waffles is garnished with foie gras maple syrup, and kimchi rémoulade tops the lunchtime burger. The menu changes seasonally and showcases local ingredients.
International flavors abound in the heart of downtown. Mezzaluna specializes in wood-fired pizzas and homemade pastas. Although its menu is Italian, its craft beer lineup is heavy on local labels. Just up the street, Umi serves fresh sushi and sashimi, and several bento boxes for those who want to try a little of everything. Sol Y Luna combines the cuisine of California and Mexico for flavorful entrees and killer margaritas.
As shoppers peruse the boutiques, gift shops and galleries along Main Street, they enjoy midday snacks from several downtown eateries. The sweet smells wafting from McFarlan Bakery have drawn in customers for more than 80 years. Homemade apple turnovers, bear claws and cake doughnuts keep customers coming back. Newcomer HVL Donuts packs a lot of flavor into its tiny space with a walk-up window. Its artisan doughnuts come traditionally glazed or topped with such unexpected additions as bacon crumbles or a bourbon glaze.
For more information about these Hendersonville restaurants and other downtown attractions, go to www.VisitHendersonvilleNC.org or call (800) 828-4244.