Sometimes it’s nice to get away from your room or campus to study, create and write. You can look up and not recognize someone, for once, and you can be inspired by an ever-changing atmosphere. I prefer it, even. The surroundings are very important for me when picking where to go. I am introverted when it comes to my study style, so I like to be able to close off the craziness of the world for a bit and get away in a nice, quiet spot. Being a college student also makes it quite hard to really pay for $5 coffee every time I have a paper due, so I look for reasonable prices which isn’t easy to find in a world that loves their high-dollar espresso. And good chai. Always good chai. Check out my favorite spots to wind down, drink coffee and get inspired in the Asheville area below.
373 Haywood Rd, Asheville, NC
If you’re anything like me, you have to be surrounded by people doing shit in order to get your own shit done. Battlecat is a beautiful mix of Asheville flavor and hard work, artsy flare and quiet time. I love this place mostly for their low prices and iced specialty drinks like their iced chai (my go-to order) or their thai iced coffee, a wonderful blend of thai tea, cream and coconut. The wifi is fast, the chairs are comfy and the vibes are great. Go here if you feel like blogging or finishing up some homework in nice natural light. In the back of the coffeehouse, Tigerbay Cafe houses colorful, fresh brunch options for the early parts of the day, and the room is covered in a signature Paper Frank mural of pink, yellow and tigers. The crew is super friendly also.
13 Rankin Ave, Asheville, NC
Oh how I love this little spot! You’ll probably catch the Let It Be Yours team here on a random morning planning and plotting, ‘cause this is our favorite place to get things done. The coffee is delicious every time. Although it is a little pricey for my college wallet, I learned what suits me and I love supporting the High Five crew of talented baristas. This place fills with sunlight early in the day, with awesome seating high up or down low. The tunes are eclectic, ranging from old school hip hop to chillstep. The cool thing about High Five on Rankin is that it stays open until 8 p.m., even on weekdays. So even if you’re procrastinating that paper, you can still start it here as the sun is going down.
1155 Tunnel Rd, Asheville, NC
This is quite possibly Asheville’s coffee scene’s best kept secret. Filo is a one-room stone house in East Asheville serving up fresh pastries, warm coffee and dinner to a cozy crowd. I went in here during exam week alone not knowing what to expect. I ordered their supposedly popular grilled cheese dinner with a vanilla latte and man did I fall in love! The grilled cheese rested lightly on a homemade tomato soup, serving as a sauce to the sandwich. They are open until 12 a.m. (yeah, seriously) so they are pretty much a godsend to the late starters in search of an off campus hideaway.
32 Banks Ave #106, Asheville, NC
Okay, yes, this place might have the best doughnuts you’ve ever tasted. But stop for a sec and focus. I know. The coffee here is actually just as dope. Yes, it’s true. And the vibes, even better. Head down to Vortex Doughnuts to not only be overwhelmed by the aroma of glaze and sweet, sweet icings, but also head down there to finish that paper due at 5 p.m. Go! This spot is beautiful and comfortable, with lots of space to breathe and think. You’ve gotta grab a doughnut, of course, but you’ll want to come back for another flavor, another drink, and another spot near the window. You’re welcome.
1 N Pack Square, Asheville, NC
Wondering where all the cultural flare in Asheville is at? I’d like to argue it all resides within the walls of Bomba, right across the street from Vance monument downtown. Walking into this half-windows, half yellow establishment will warm you up instantly. The menu is Mexican and Latina-inspired with lunch and dinner dishes with delicious espresso creations. It’s slightly cramped, but the food is worth it. Take a seat on the side and people watch like crazy. Oh, and please order the plantains.
This place is always open. Like, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it closed. Known for being downtown’s oldest coffee shop, Old Europe keeps an old timey style in pastries and coffee drinks. The vibes give it a romantic quality that makes it great for studying or hanging out with significant others. I wouldn’t study here alone, but the coffee selection is reasonably prices and the desserts are to die for.
Best book selection in town although the coffeeshop side is kinda over-priced. Great events and meetups for twenty-somethings throughout the week. If you dig social justice, you’ll love this spot.
Coffee lacks where the vibes pick up. Sometimes the baristas were pretty rude to me, but I brushed it off because of the cool factor and artsy quality of the spot.
Super touristy, tasty, and upbeat spot. Although the priciness breaks my heart, the coffee specials are so on point and great for dessert-drinks. Treat yoself.
Weird place and the wifi sucks, but it’s very spacious and has an eclectic menu. I’ve gotten lots of things done here, and it’s north Asheville location is nice to get away from downtown sometimes.
This red european double-decker bus in the heart of downtown may be a super hot tourist spot, but they definitely have some of the best coffee and prices in downtown Asheville. Climb up to the top floor of the bus to find some nice quiet space when downtown isn’t too hectic.