You might miss this place as you’re driving out of town. The Local Joint stands, unassumingly, alongside a small gas station. A chalkboard taller than you are is littered with the dozens of different local vendors they get their ingredients from. Every dish brought to your table is fresh and locally grown. The same goes for their beers, wines and spirits.
If you’ve been to Asheville, you already know about Tupelo Honey Cafe. It’s often the first place recommended to visitors and there is a good reason for that. The food is unbelievable, offering an imaginative twist on Southern comfort food. Their Bloody Marys are strong enough to leave you needing another the next morning. The staff, much like most people in Asheville, are so friendly and helpful, you’ll want to invite them all out for drink that night. Not only will they come out, they’ll send you off with a handwritten list of all the best bars in town.
Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar is exactly what it sounds like. This multi-level space is stacked floor to ceiling with used books to browse through, worn and dusty, filled with that intoxicating old book smell. Hidden between the crowded bookcases and around narrow corners, you’ll find huge plush couches to lounge on. Enjoy a bottle of champagne as you discuss the works of Nietzsche or Chomsky and pretend you know what you’re talking about.
Three words – vegetarian Cuban sandwich. If you happen to be one of the rare vegetarian Cuban Americans who have made the bold decision to abstain from pork consumption, this sandwich is your saving grace. Typically, this sandwich is a masterpiece of flaky Cuban bread pressed together with a filling of ham, pork, swiss cheese, mustard and pickles. Laughing Seed Cafe made a few adjustments. They replaced the ham and pork with perfectly prepared tempeh and added a fresh black bean spread.
Over Easy Cafe knows how to do brunch. Wild flowers adorn every table and coffee is being poured as soon as you take your seat. They have scramble bowls bigger than your head, mile-high pancake stacks drizzled with fruit and syrup and bottomless mason jars of fresh mango mimosas. There isn’t a better way to spend your hung-over Sunday morning in Asheville.
If you need a quick caffeine bump after all that day drinking, Izzy’s Coffee Den will do the trick. Izzy’s is a tiny coffee shop hidden among the thrift shops and record stores of Lexington Avenue. As their website boasts, ‘All are welcome at Izzy’s’. Work from local artists fill the walls while an expertly crafted playlist fills the space with sound. Free wi-fi also flutters through the air.
Mayfel’s serves up Southern hospitality. Located in the heart of downtown Asheville, Mayfel’s is known for its eclectic atmosphere, reminiscent of the New Orleans French Quarter. Live music and performances, both day and night, entertain patrons as they enjoy Southern classics like catfish po’boys and collard greens.