The Best Cafes and Coffee Shops in Asheville, North Carolina

Real coffee
Real coffee | © olle svensson/Flickr
Shawndra Russell

When one of the local mottos is “Keep Asheville Weird,” you know a strong coffee scene must be nearby. Luckily, a local coffee shop can be found in almost every nook and cranny of Asheville. They range from the eclectic Battlecat in West Asheville to the touristy-but-lovable Double D’s double-decker coffee truck located on a prime downtown corner. So, scroll through this list of the best cafes and coffee shops in Asheville and pick out the one that’s right for you. They all have strong coffee games, so it may be hard for you to pick just one.

1. Izzy’s Coffee Den

Cafe, American

The owners behind Izzy’s have opened multiple locations of this locally loved quick-stop coffee shop. Their no-nonsense approach means no complicated dishes or fluff–just a few straight-up coffee drinks and some small tables to sit in peace and work.

2. Odd's Cafe

Cafe, Coffee Shop, American

Another place that locals like to work at is Odd’s Cafe in West Asheville. The airy shop has a large garage door that’s swung up whenever the temperature breaks 60°F (16°C)–sometimes even before that. You’ll usually see a smattering of business meetings or friends hanging out, so it’s not for those looking for a quieter environment.

3. Double D’s Coffee & Desserts

Cafe, Coffee Shop, American

As mentioned, this eye-catching, double-decker red bus sits smack in the middle of downtown near several hotels and the bustling Biltmore Avenue. Double D’s looks a little comical without being an eyesore and has become quite a landmark. A caffeinated menu keeps people coming back for more, with some patrons even returning later in the day for an all-fruit smoothie, ice cream milkshake, or classic dessert like a brownie sundae.

4. OWL Bakery

Cafe, Coffee Shop, American

OWL stands for Old World Levain as this coffee shop is known for its naturally leavened bread and old-world pastries. Another way it pays homage to the way bread and pastries used to be made is through its commitment to using local ingredients, including milk from grass-fed cows. Filling croissants, both the sweet and savory kinds, should not be missed.

5. Dobra Tea

Cafe, Coffee Shop, American

Head here if you’re hoping for tea to transport you to a more zen-like state of being. The staff members have a breadth of tea knowledge and seem to enjoy talking with guests about the menu, as well as the large tea selection. One area of the cafe has pillow seating on the floor and low tables, while the front area has a few small tables and a cozy couch corner. Dobra has expanded to several locations in Asheville and beyond, including Black Mountain.

6. West End Bakery & Cafe

Cafe, Coffee Shop, American

The West End Bakery is the kind of place that often caters to moms with strollers, folks talking shop, and a few people with headphones and laptops. More restaurant than coffee shop, this cafe has been serving the people of West Asheville long before most businesses opened along Haywood Road.

7. PennyCup Coffee

Cafe, Coffee Shop, American

These local roasters also have a couple of small, simple coffee shops that focus on premium coffee and to-go beans. Their funky cafes have plenty of charm and are known for a solid espresso game. You can find their roaster and tasting room at the main branch on Depot Street in West Asheville.

8. High Five Coffee

Cafe, Coffee Shop, American

This three-location coffee destination has adopted a seed-to-cup philosophy and has upheld its mission to become a community-centered business, where the owner and baristas become neighbors and sometimes friends. High Five Coffee is perfect for coffee nerds and pour-over fans.

9. Trade and Lore

Cafe, Coffee Shop, American

This coffee shop looks like it could vie for a chance to be a set for a television show or movie location. The high ceiling, professional lighting, brick walls and artistic touches make the venue homey, yet sophisticated. Trade and Lore’s owners aimed to make the space feel like a “coffee shop apothecary” with a commitment to sourcing locally. It is quite the experience, so be sure to save a few minutes for a drink and a bite.

10. BattleCat Coffee Bar

Cafe, Coffee Shop, American

An interesting morning can be spent sitting in the courtyard of BattleCat in West Asheville’s most colorful section of town watching college kids and laid-back residents support their favorite neighborhood residential-house-turned-coffee shop. This coffee shop has also managed to keep its prices affordable with coffees starting at $1.50 (£1.07) and specialty drinks coming in at $4 (£3) a pop.

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