Asheville: vegan goodness down south

Asheville, NC signEvery year we head south for Thanksgiving in Wilmington, NC, but this year we decided to see more of the state. We had heard that Asheville was a great place for vegan food, and an all around lovely town. So we decided to check it out.

Before arriving in Asheville we stayed in a quaint little town called Black Mountain, and had some of the best coffee ever at the Dripolator. The atmosphere at the Dripolator was warm and inviting, you really feel at home. Their coffees, organic, shade grown, and fairly traded, are served in perfectly sized ceramic mugs, a welcomed change from the paper cups given out by most NYC coffee shops (don't use paper cups get a Klean Kanteen insulated mug). The vegan food options are not plentiful in Black Mountain, but we found a wonderful place for dinner called The Morning Glory Cafe. We ordered the tempeh burger, local tempeh made by Smiling Hara Tempeh, avocado, tomato, red onion, and seasoned fries. The next day we set out for Asheville.

coffee at the Dripolator - Asheville, NCinside the Dripolator - Asheville, NC

Meg's vegan, caramel vanilla, latte at Dripolator.

Where the magic happens at Dripolator.

 train station - Black Mountain, NCBio Diesel - Black Mountain, NC

Black Mountain train station.

We found Bio Diesel in Black Mountain.

Our first stop in Asheville was Firestorm Cafe & Books, a worker-owned cooperative offering a wide selection of vegan food and alternative literature. Having researched all the vegan food options for Asheville, we continued our vegan food tour with dinner at Plant. A fairly new restaurant, Plant is a must for anyone visiting the Asheville area. Chef Jason Sellers did not disappoint, serving up some of the best vegan meals we've ever had. Plant holds it's own against any vegan restaurant in NYC. We started our meal with the nightly soup and the flame and herb seitan skewers. For our entree we had the jerk char broiled seitan with smashed sweet potatoes, braised kale, and plantains. We ended our dinner with three desserts: Blackout pie - a must for any peanut butter chocolate lover; apple cranberry pie; and the float - with Uncle Scott's handmade root beer. We enjoyed eating at Plant so much, we came back the next day for brunch. Brunch consisted of one of the best cinnamon buns we've ever had, you must try one to believe it; the breakfast sandwich; and the 5-grain pancakes.

Firestorm Cafe and Books - Asheville, NCbooks at Firestorm - Asheville, NC

And now ... the front of Firestorm.

Vegan books at Firestorm, the important stuff
- cupcakes.

hot apple cider at Firestorm- Asheville, NClunch at Firestorm - Asheville, NC

Josh's hot apple cider at Firestorm.

Our delicious vegan maple BBQ panini
sandwich at Firestorm.

soup at Plant - Asheville, NCdessert at Plant - Asheville, NC

A wonderful soup we had at Plant, can't
remember what it was.

One of our desserts at Plant, apple cranberry

cinnamon bun at Plant - Asheville, NCbrunch at Plant - Asheville, NC

The best vegan cinnamon bun we've ever had,
for breakfast.

One of our other breakfast goodies,
vegan veggie meat and cheese biscuit.

While walking around the town we stumbled upon Double D's a very unique coffee and dessert shop located in an English double decker bus, a very delightful place. Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar was another great find. The atmosphere was cozy and inviting; a wonderful place to drink wine or hot apple cider while perusing the book shelves. Two more vegan restaurants not to miss while in Asheville (and we missed one of them) are Laughing Seed and Rosetta's Kitchen. We had some really tasty jalapeno onion fries, the Havana Cuban sandwich, and the dinner special, pecan crusted seitan, at Laughing Seed. The one that got away, until next time, was Rosetta's Kitchen.

Double D's - Asheville, NCinside Double D's - Asheville, NC

Double D's double decker bus cafe.

... and the inside.

One of the most refreshing things about Asheville was it's walkability, and for us this is something we always look for in an area when we travel. So if you are looking for a great vegan get away down south, Asheville is the place to visit. We can't wait to go back!

For more photos from our trip check out our flickr.

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