Serious About Coffee?
“I never drink coffee at lunch. I find it keeps me awake for the afternoon.”
-- Ronald Reagan
Asheville has a couple dozen local coffeehouses, with others nearby. In addition there are many Starbucks outlets in the area. This chapter includes both coffee houses/cafés that sell coffee by the cup (and may or may not roast their own beans) small-batch specialty coffee roasters that sell whole beans and ground coffee to consumers and businesses. Especially noteworthy spots are in RED.
Allgood Coffee (10 S. Main St., Weaverville, 828-484-8663, www.allgood.com), new in early 2013, has a lodge-like atmosphere. It sells coffee roasted by four local roasters but does not roast its own.
Asheville Coffee Roasters (85 Weaverville Hwy., North Asheville, 828-253-5282, www.ashevillecoffeeroasters.com) roasts and sells the egregiously named “Pitbull on Crack” French roast, “Dirty Nekkid Man” and other coffees.
Battle Cat Coffee Bar (373 Haywood Rd., West Asheville, 828-713-3885) is located in a colorful old house with a front porch in West Asheville. Fans like that it’s a congenial, funky, politically progressive place to hang out on worn vintage couches and have a cup. Cheap beer, too.
Bean Werks Coffee & Tea (753 Haywood Rd., West Asheville, 828-254-7766, www.beanwerkscoffeecompany.com) roasts its own coffee in a separate location and sells whole beans, ground coffee, tea and also by the cup in its shop on Haywood Road.
Bee Hive Coffee Bar (3732 Sweeten Creek Rd., Arden, 828-676-3188) is in Royal Pines, serving Dynamite Roasting’s organic coffees, plus pastries made in-house. Inside, the funky, jumbled collection of vintage signs, shelves, crates and art belies the location in a strip mall.
Biltmore Coffee Traders (518 Hendersonville Rd., South Asheville, 828-277-9227, www.biltmorecoffeetraders.com) micro-roasts its own and sells beans by the bag as well as coffees by the cup. In a small frame house on busy Hendersonville Road, it has a drive-thru.
City Bakery (60 Biltmore Ave., Downtown Asheville, 828-252-4426, and 88 Charlotte St., North Asheville, 828-254-4289, www.citybakery.net) is a long-established Asheville bakery known for its artisan breads, but it also a popular spot for breakfasts and a cup of coffee. The Charlotte Street location is particularly appealing.
The Coffee Garage (3461 Hendersonville Rd., Fletcher, 828-376-0198, www.garageon25.com) serves locally roasted coffees from Ingenious Coffee and loose leaf tea from Cornerstone Tea. It is part of a group of woman-owned businesses including an artisan com-munity, Garage on 25, and an art and crafts teaching studio.
Dobrá Tea (78 N Lexington Ave., Downtown Asheville, 828-575-2424, and 707 Haywood Rd., West Asheville, 828-505-4307, www.dobrateanc.com), while not a coffee place, is a fine alternative for tea, familiar and exotic, and sweet and savory snacks. The Moroccan-inspired decor of the Lexington location attracts a crowd who seem to know and relish their teas – green, white, black, yellow, ooh-long, puerh and others. Dobrá’ is at least an indirect offshoot of Dobrá Cajovna, a teahouse opened in Prague after the fall of communism. (Dobrá means “good” in Czech.) There also are other Dobrá locations in several cities around the country, loosely affiliated with the local teashops but under different ownerships.
Double D’s Coffees & Desserts (41 Biltmore Ave., Downtown Asheville, 828-505-2439, www.doubledscoffee.com) is hard to miss, as it’s located in an old red double decker British bus. You order on the first level and can sip your latte on the second.
Dripolator (221 W. State St., Black Mountain, 828-669-0999, www.dripolator.com) roasts its own coffees and sells good lattes and other coffees, smoothies, kombucha and pastries.
Duck Donuts (Merrimon Park Square, 182 Merrimon Ave., North Asheville, 828-575-2177, www.duckdonuts.com/location/asheville-nc/) is the local franchised outpost of the famous original location in Duck, on the Northern NC Outer Banks. You can custom-order your own donut combo. Coffee is just okay.
Dynamite Roasting Co. (3198 U.S. Hwy. 70 West, Black Mountain, 828-357-8555, www.dynamiteroasting.com) is a certified organic coffee roaster-retailer. You can sip a cup on the deck or by the fireplace at their coffee bar in Black Mountain. Dynamite also is served by many restaurants in the Asheville area.
Earthling Coffee + Espresso (867 Smoky Park Hwy., West Asheville, www.earthlingcoffeeespresso.com) has a double drive-thru location in a small building on the Smoky Park Highway.
Filo Pastries & Post 70 Indulgence Bar (1155 Tunnel Rd., East Asheville, 828-298-9777, www.filopost70.com) has pastries and Counter Culture coffee by day, cocktails by night.
Firestorm Books & Coffee (610 Haywood Rd., West Asheville, 828-255-8185, www.firestorm.coop) is a worker-owned, queer, feminist, anti-capitalist cooperative bookstore and café. It is more Portland or Eugene, Ore., than Asheville, and more of a statement than a coffee shop, but it does sell “vegan coffee.”
Flora (428B Haywood Rd., West Asheville, 828-252-8888) is a combination of flower shop and coffee shop, so you can smell the roses while you sip your java. It's in the former of the Yarborough-Sluder Willys dealership in West Asheville.
Fractals Coffee Shop and Cafe (547 Haywood Rd., West Asheville, 828-505-2650, www.fractalscoffee.com), which claimed to be more of an “interactive experience” than a coffee shop. Unfortunately, Fractals closed in late 2019 due to a dispute over its lease. It is looking for another location.
Green Sage Coffee House & Café (5 Broadway St., Downtown Asheville, 828-252-4450, www.thegreensage.net), once with just a location near Pack Square, has grown to four locations around town, including 633 Merrimon Avenue (North Asheville), 1800 Hendersonville Road (South Asheville) and Westgate Shopping Center (West Asheville). It must be doing something right. Green Sage offers mostly organic breakfasts and other lunches, along with coffee.
High Five Coffee Bar (190 Broadway St. #2., North Asheville, 828-398-0209, www.highfivecoffee.com) is often rated on social media as the top coffee house in Asheville. Customers like the friendly, knowledgeable service. Besides the location on Broadway in Downtown, High Five has a location at 13 Rankin Avenue Downtown and 2000 Riverside Drive #54 in Woodfin (North Asheville), which is right by the French Broad River and a pleasant place to go in summer. All locations serve Counter Culture coffee, a roaster based in Durham.
High Noon Coffee Roasters (191 Charlotte St., Suite 101, North Asheville, www.highnooncoffee.com) is a woman-owned startup that shares space with Mountain City Coffee Roasters (see below) and specializes in single origins as well as curated blends. High Noon coffee is available at several restaurants and shops around Asheville as well as direct from the roastery.
HOLE – Hot Doughnuts and Fresh Coffee (168 Haywood Rd., West Asheville, 828-74-5667, www.hole-donuts.com) serves delicious, though somewhat pricey, donuts and coffee from PennyCup Coffee.
Ivory Road Café and Kitchen (1854 Brevard Rd. Arden, South Asheville, 828-676-3870, www.ivoryroadavl.com) is a restaurant and tea house in a charming rock house in Arden. It has an all-day breakfast menu, along with lunch, dinner and brunch some days. It serves High Noon coffee.
Izzy’s Coffee Den (74 N. Lexington Ave., Downtown Asheville, 828-258-2004, www.izzyscoffeeden.com) is an alternative, slightly hipster spot on a funky part of Lexing-ton. It serves Counter Culture, Mountain Air, Blanchards and Stumptown coffees, rather than roasting its own. Izzy’s also operates Izzy’s Coffee House at 976 Haywood Road in West Asheville.
Karen Donatelli’s (57 Haywood St., Downtown Asheville, 828-225-5751, www.donatellicakedesigns.com) creates beautiful and delicious pastries and cakes, but there are a few tables where you can enjoy coffee and a sweet. It’s like a European pastry shop.
Liberty House Coffee and Café (221 S. Liberty St., North Asheville, 828-412-3225) is a neighborhood café and coffee shop. It’s in an older house a little north of the I-240 expressway. The atmosphere is pleasant, both inside and outside beside an organic garden that supplies some of the ingredients for the cafe’s menu.
Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café (55 Haywood St., Downtown Asheville, 828-254-6734, www.malaprops.com), while mainly a bookstore, has a pleasant café with espresso and other coffees from Counter Culture Coffee and pastries from West End Bakery.
Malvern Hills Bakery (1570 Patton Ave., West Asheville, 828-785-1930, www.malvernhillsbakery.biz) is both a full bakery and a coffee shop, with breakfast sandwiches and pastries.
Mountain Air Roasting (828-423-0321, Asheville, www.mtnairroasting.com) is a micro roaster with varietals sourced from East Africa and the Americas. You can order their beans online, and Mountain Air also sells wholesale to restaurants.
Mountain City Coffee Roasters (198 Charlotte St., North Asheville, 828-407-9258, www.mountaincity.com), in a large new roasting facility on Charlotte Street, is Asheville’s oldest roaster of specialty coffee. Prices for whole bean coffee are a bargain since they sell to everyone at wholesale. We like the Ethiopian single origins. Mountain City, in collaboration with High Noon, produces a popular cold brew, Last Dance. Some interesting information and photos on the history of coffee roasting in Asheville are on the website.
Notorious Coffee Roasting Co. (828-575-4150, Marshall, www.notoriouscoffee.com) has good coffee beans at modest prices.
Odd’s Cafe (800 Haywood Rd., West Asheville, 828-505-7776, www.oddscafe.com) purveys Counter Culture coffee, baked goods (including gluten-free goodies) and loose-leaf teas. It features Terrence the T-Rex, a giant wall painting, as well as rotating local artwork. Ashevillians flock here to work on laptops or lounge on the deck out back. Odd’s opens early and stays open fairly late every day.
Olarié Coffeehouse (45 S. French Broad Ave., 828-333-0367, www.olariecoffee.com) opened in October 2019 in the same building as Grail Movie. It gets its coffee primarily from Stumptown Coffee and also works with Wood Burl Coffee and Cooperative Coffee. Pastries are from Rhu bakery.
Old Europe (13 Broadway St., Downtown Asheville, 828-255-5999, www.oldeuropepastries.com), long a fixture in Asheville though at different locations, remains popular for its freshly made Hungarian pastries. They get coffee from Dynamite in Black Mountain.
OWL Bakery (295 Haywood Rd., West Asheville, 828-785-1770, www.owlbakery.com) specializes in European-style pastries (great croissants!) and naturally leavened breads, along with good coffee. OWL stands for Old World Levain.
Panacea Coffee Company (66 Commerce St., Waynesville, 828-452-6200, www.panaceacoffee.com) is a rustic coffee house and café in Frog Level in Waynesville. You can sit out back by the creek and sip coffees roasted in-house.
PennyCup Coffee (39 S. Market St., Downtown Asheville, 828-505-3609, www.pennycupcoffeeco.com) is a high-quality small-batch roaster, using Fair Trade organ-ics, that has four locations around town: Besides on Market Street Downtown, there are location at 362 Depot Street in the River Arts District, 857 Merrimon Avenue in North Asheville and 6 Beverly Road in Haw Creek in East Asheville.
Rejavanation Cafe (909 Smoky Park Hwy., Enka-Candler, 828-670-5595, www.rejavanationcafe.com) is the go-to independent place for coffee in the west end of the county. It has coffee, sandwiches and beer and wine. Formerly Mountain Java.
Smoky Mountain Coffee Roasters (444 Hazelwood Ave., Waynesville, 828-452-1212) has been in business in Haywood County since 1997. It roasts its own coffee and sells coffee and tea by the cup, along with pastries and bagels.
South Slope Coffee (Smoky Park Hwy., Candler, 786-486-5759, www.southslopecoffee.com), despite the name, isn't located in the South Slope of Downtown Asheville but west in the county, in Candler. The owners of this micro-roaster are originally from Venezuela by way of Miami. They sell a rotating selection of about six varietals via their website.
Summit Coffee (4 Foundry St., Ste. 20, River Arts District, 704-895-9090, www.summitcoffee.com) is a Charlotte-based roaster that opened a location in the River Arts District in 2017. It’s in a cool location near 12 Bones and the newer location of The Wedge.
10th Muse Coffee (8 London Rd., Biltmore/South Asheville, 702-210-5100, www.10thmusecoffee.com) has a lot of creative coffees, teas and other drinks, with flavor-ful combinations you may not have seen before (like a Nutella cappuccino or peanut butter and raspberry jelly). 10th Muse uses only biodegradable cups and packaging.
Trade and Lore Coffee (37 Wall St., Downtown Asheville, 828-552-5353, www.tradeandlore.com) is a coffee shop on what is arguably Asheville’s most charming street. There’s indoor and limited outdoor seating. It gets its coffee from Mountain Air Roasting and teas from Dobrá Tea. Besides coffee, tea and pastries, Trade and Lore serves alcohol. It also has a location in Charlotte.
Ultra Coffeebar (formerly Clingman Cafe, 242 Clingman Ave., River Arts District, 828-253–2177, www.ultracoffeebar.com), near studios and galleries in the River Arts District, attracts an artsy crowd for its fair trade organic coffees and light meals. The café has rotating shows of paintings, photography, pottery and sculpture.
Vortex Doughnuts (32 Banks Ave., South Slope, Downtown Asheville, 828-552-3010, www.vortexdoughnuts.com) serves drip, espresso and cold-brew coffee from 1000 Faces, along with (expensive) freshmade donuts.
World Coffee Café (18 Battery Park Ave., Downtown Asheville, 828-258-3999, www.worldcoffeecafe.com) has a terrific location on the first level of the Flatiron Building, the original site of Old Europe. Part of the Flatiron Building is being converted to a hotel, so the future of this café is unclear.
Zuma Coffee (7 N. Main St., Marshall, 828-649-1617, www.zumascoffee.com) is a cool coffeehouse in a cool little town. Thursday evenings they have bluegrass jams.
All content copyright © Lan Sluder except selected photographs used by permission and brief quotations or other fair use text, which are owned by the copyright holder.
We have made every effort to confirm the accuracy of information on this website, and in the Amazing Asheville book and ebooks, but travel information is subject to frequent change, and no warranty is made, express or implied. Please notify us of any errors or omissions, and we will attempt to correct them as soon as possible. All opinions expressed are those of the author, Lan Sluder, unless otherwise noted.