Asheville’s Best Coffee Shops, Cafe’s, and Bakeries

Jan 22, 2023


A list of my favorite cafe’s to grab a cup of coffee while you are visiting Asheville

Best Coffee in Asheville

When one thinks of visiting Asheville, North Carolina, one might think about a variety of different popular attractions. From the storied Biltmore Estate to the stunning vistas of the Blue Ridge Parkway, there truly is something for everyone. But while everyone will rightfully point you in the direction of their favorite brewery, shopping area, hike, or restaurant, there is one facet of everyday Asheville life that may be overlooked but should not be understated: its vibrant coffee scene!

While Asheville has risen to the forefront of the minds of beer and spirit connoisseurs over the last few decades, the truth is that not everyone likes to drink. However, almost everyone enjoys the atmosphere that a coffee shop, cafe, or tea shop provides and the little big city nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina has risen to meet that need. The amount of coffee shops in town are numerous and the following list are some of my favorites of all time. I sincerely hope you enjoy them while you are in town!

Odds Cafe

West Asheville

First on the list is Odd’s Cafe located in ever-so-kitschy West Asheville. This cozy coffee shop has been around for almost a decade and once you have had the Odd’s experience, you can begin to see why. The inviting atmosphere, the aroma of locally sourced coffee and baked goods, and  the friendly baristas are an immediate draw as soon as you walk in the door. 

Odd’s Cafe has a little something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a traditional espresso style beverage, a certain style of tea, or a sweet caffeinated beverage, the talented baristas will make one for you. Odd’s also has a food menu, offering house made New York style bagels with fixings as well as smoothies. They even serve a selection of beer if you’re in the mood. Combine that with plenty of seating, a small library of books to read, local art pieces on the walls and a wonderful location, It is one of the best little coffee shops in town.

Summit

River Arts District, Asheville, North Carolina

If you live in the Southeastern United States and Summit Coffee Company sounds familiar to you, It is probably for good reason. Since its founding in 1998, Summit Coffee Co. has been steadily growing and opening locations in surrounding cities and states since it opened its flagship cafe in Davidson, North Carolina. It has two locations in Asheville.

Summit’s first location is in the eclectic River Arts District within walking distance of various shops, galleries and artistic graffiti. The second location is in the heart of downtown nestled in the historic Grove Park Arcade which is also filled with a wide variety of stores and galleries. As with all Summit locations, the ones in Asheville each have a beautifully crafted atmosphere and decor making for a delightful coffee shop visit. When you blend that with their delightful coffee that they roast from ethically sourced beans, their selection of teas, and local beers and wines, Summit Coffee Company is hard to top!

Rowan Coffee

Downtown Asheville

Next up on the List is Rowan Coffee. While Rowan might be one of Asheville’s newest coffee bars, It has quickly become one of the most popular in town. Once you step through the door, it is easy to see why. The owners of the shop have successfully curated one of the most comfy and appealing interiors and atmospheres in all of Asheville. The inside has the feel of an old-timey speakeasy or a pub that you might find in a London side street but with a nice touch of early 20th century design.

With so much intention that was paid into the decor and atmosphere, as much or more has gone into the quality and service of its coffee drinks. Using over a decade of coffee industry experience, the owners and baristas strive to make your coffee drinking experience as enjoyable as possible with emphasis on where they source their beans and consistency of their drinks. Rowan’s location is also one of its perks as it is situated smack dab in downtown Asheville on the bustling Broadway Avenue making it the perfect place to stop in for a pick-me-up during a busy day of shopping and sightseeing! 

Izzy’s Coffee House

West Asheville

If you prefer your coffee drinking experience to be more on the funky side, Izzy’s Coffee is the experience for you. With one location in downtown Asheville and another in West Asheville, both spots offer one of the most unique and Asheville-centric settings in town. Both locations are also regarded as local favorites and once you’ve had a cup in either spot, it’s easy to see why.

The downtown location, Izzy’s Coffee Den is located on North Lexington Avenue within walking distance of many of Asheville’s excellent restaurants, shops, bars, and breweries. This location is the smaller of the two but provides no less of a funky and artsy experience to the discerning coffee drinker. The other location is in an old yellow-painted house on Haywood Street in West Asheville and is also close to several of the quirky shopping and dining establishments that West Asheville has to offer.

Both locations serve up lovingly crafted caffeinated and non-caffeinated beverages as well as delicious food items made in house. The walls in both locations are adorned with rotating pieces from local artists and all are available for purchase as a way of supporting the local art scene. If you are a coffee lover visiting Asheville, the Izzy’s Coffee experience should not be ignored!

Owl Bakery

North Asheville

For this next spot, it’s time for the obligatory, “Technically not a coffee shop but you should still totally check this place out!” shop. OWL Bakery or Old World Levain Bakery is exactly that. Located on the East end of West Asheville, OWL specializes in sourdough bread while also serving a wide variety of European style pastries. And since it also serves delicious coffee, this lovely little cafe had to make it on this list.

When one walks into the shop, it feels as if you have stumbled into a bakery somewhere in a French village. The brightly lit space and the aroma of baking breads and pastries and fresh brewed coffee immediately fills up one’s senses. Using local fresh-milled whole grains and flours along with regionally sourced ingredients, OWL has successfully crafted an award winning selection and has earned mentions in national magazines for its efforts. 

The effort and love dedicated to its bread and pastry making also extends to its drink menu. Also using regionally sourced ingredients, OWL offers a wide variety of espresso drinks, drip coffee, caffeinated and herbal teas as well as a rotating menu of unique signature drinks. Whether you’re looking for a loaf of artisan fresh-baked bread or pastries, a delicious cup of coffee, or both, OWL Bakery cannot be more highly recommended!

Liberty House Coffee & Cafe

North Asheville

Last, but certainly not least on this list is Liberty House Coffee and Cafe is one of the finest places in Asheville to grab a coffee. Located in North Asheville in a lovingly restored house built in the 1920s, Liberty House has been serving food and beverages to the surrounding community since 2016. The interior has a lovely atmosphere with plenty of seating and on nice days, it has one of the best outdoor seating areas of any coffee shop in Asheville.

Using coffee sourced from local roasters and locally sourced food ingredients, Liberty House offers one of the best menus in Asheville as well. The cafe also utilizes a large garden on the property to augment its already wonderful food. The coffee menu is well crafted with all of the usual favorites plus a few tasty specialty drinks. Everything is made in house and the cafe is staffed by some of the most friendly and welcoming people in town. The owners can frequently be seen working hard behind the counter as well. It is a community driven establishment and the community has responded in kind. Be sure to show up early for their excellent brunch on the weekend because it is very popular!

With so many wonderful coffee shops and cafes in Asheville, it is almost impossible to narrow the list down to just six. No matter where you find yourself in Asheville, you are never very far from a respectable cup of coffee. I hope that this list helps to point you in the right direction while you are in town and I hope to see you soon!

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