Asheville has a vibrant food scene, which is well deserved and features many high-end restaurants and eateries. However, there are many authentic, and ethnic food vendors that may get lost in the mix. Smiley’s Flea Market is a hot spot of good eats. I found amazing Al Pastor, mangoes and tacos while casually strolling through the stalls and shops. Smiley’s is in Fletcher, just a short drive south of Asheville. It is well worth the trip to eat some of the best, and reasonably priced foods. The other great thing is the eagerness and willingness of people to share and talk about the food they are eating and making. I approached so many people with something delicious on their plate and they were proud to tell me about the ingredients and recommend I get some while there. I talked with produce sellers who had the most gorgeous fruits, peppers and vegetables, that put many other food markets to shame.
Do yourself a favor a plan a trip, and allow yourself time to wander from taqueria to taqueria and sample their offers. They have the best $2 tacos out there. There is so much color, so visually the place lends itself to photographs. It also hits the olfactory pretty nice, with smells wafting throughout the hallways and stalls. I spoke with a couple who observed me photographing and they told me how it reminds them of traveling to another country. I couldn’t agree more. One of the things I love about traveling is ability to connect with other cultures and customs, and at Smiley’s there is a warm invitation to do just that. If you see something and you’re unsure what it is, just ask. The nicest people will explain it with pride. Visit Taqueria los Gallos and thank me later.