5 Best Coffee Shops to Work at in Asheville, NC
Whether you're visiting Asheville on a trip, or you've just moved here and you're looking for somewhere to enjoy a good cup of coffee while being able to get some work done, I've got some recommendations for you. As an Asheville native of 25+ years, I know by now some of the best places to get some work done and enjoy a quality cup of coffee, without it becoming a stressful experience. There are countless coffee shops in the Asheville area, so I'm gonna give you my top 5 recommendations, based on my criteria of what's important to me in a coffee shop where I plan on working remotely in.
Getting out of the house when you're a solopreneur, or someone that works remotely is a great way to break up the work day or work week, get some fresh air, get inspired, and get motivated to get some work done if you're stuck in a rut!
My criteria are based on:
That being said, let's get right into my recommendations! Please note that these are in no particular order, either.
The Dripolator in Candler
The Dripolator, also known to some as "The Drip" located in Candler, just a few minutes from West Asheville, is one of my favorite places to go get some work done. This is one of their two (soon to be three) locations in the area. I've had client meetings there, and co-working sessions with some other business owners, and I've just gone and gotten some work done there by myself numerous times as well.
Their coffee is killer, and by that, I mean their signature iced coffee drink, The Killer Bee is absolutely phenomenal and is a must-try from their menu. They have a great selection of food and drink options! Speaking of their menu, they also offer a good variety of food options as well if you're looking for a good breakfast or lunch option while you're getting some work done— I particularly love their wraps!
While they have a little bit less seating than the coffee shop used to back when the space was owned by another coffee shop/cafe, there's still ample seating for you to go and sit for a while. They have high-top tables, regular tables, and outdoor seating, and they have couches as well indoors. The Dripolator is always clean, the staff is always super friendly, the restrooms are clean, and it's always a good experience. While their location isn't necessarily close to downtown or anything, I particularly love that they have plenty of parking spaces, and a nice, large parking lot so I don't have to fight the stress of looking for street parking or trying to fit in a tiny 8 car parking lot like a lot of Asheville coffee shops. The Dripolator is definitely one of my favorite places to go and work and get out of the house!
An added bonus is that they're open later than most of the coffee shops in Asheville, so if you're looking to go out and get some work done past 1pm, then I'd definitely go here. At the time I'm writing this, they're currently open 7 days a week, from 6:30am to 5pm.
Summit Coffee in River Arts District
Summit Coffee is a coffee shop I was recently turned onto by a fellow local business owner who loves to go there to co-work and also meet clients. We recently went together to co-work for a few hours and it was my first time there, despite me being a local, haha. Right off the bat, I loved that they were located off Lyman Street in the River Arts District, with plenty of parking, which is always a make-or-break for me if I can't find a parking spot anywhere.
When you walk in, they have their tables downstairs with a good amount of seating- long tables, smaller tables, and even bar seating. They also have an upstairs with a long table for you to sit and work at as well as outdoor seating. We snagged a spot at one of the long tables downstairs, and I ordered a blueberry iced coffee with vanilla cold foam and some banana bread, and both were delicious!
They don't have a huge menu, but they do have your standard coffee beverages available, along with some featured drink recipes, which is great, but when it comes to food, they have a smaller menu offering. My friend I was with is gluten-free for health reasons and didn't get to order anything unfortunately because they (shockingly) didn't offer any gluten-free menu items. It's not a deal breaker for me, but just know that if you're gluten-free and you're looking to get something to eat while you're at Summit Coffee, they don't offer any GF options at this time.
As far as the environment, it's a great place to work. Depending on how busy it is when you're there, it can get a little bit loud, but nothing too loud where you can't concentrate on what you're doing. We were able to carry on a conversation just fine the entire time we were there, even though the whole place was packed. The friend I was with said the times she's been there before it was nowhere close to as busy as it was while we were there, so I don't know if that depends on the day of the week you go, or if there just so happened to be a ton of people that wanted to go to Summit that Thursday morning, haha. I will say, if you're planning on going there to sit and read a book, you may not be able to concentrate on that as much if it's busy!
Overall, I definitely loved working there, seeing as it was easy to get to and park, they have good coffee, good seating, and the environment is cozy, and I will definitely be going back there to work, and meet clients. Summit Coffee is also open 7 days a week, and is open until 5pm and 6pm, which is great if you're wanting to work in the afternoon, vs early morning!
Ultra Coffee Bar in River Arts District
River Arts District in Asheville has a ton of coffee shop options, and Ultra Coffee Bar has been one of my go-to haunts for good coffee and good company. Everyone that works there is super friendly, they have a great food and coffee menu with a variety of local options. It's definitely one of my favorite places to go and meet with clients or just go and get some work done outside of the house.
Ultra Coffee Bar doesn't have a ton of seating options— I'd say they have probably 10 tables to sit inside in their little shop— a few high-tops, a few regular tables, and a booth. Then they have probably around 6 outdoor tables with umbrellas for you to sit at as well if the weather is nice. So if you get there on a day or during a time that it's busy, you may run into some trouble getting a good seat to sit and work and enjoy your local cheddar biscuit and coffee! My best tip is to get there early.
The environment is great, the coffee and food are great, and the overall atmosphere is nice! If you snag a seat at one of the high-tops, you're able to get good outlet access to charge your computer which is great. The only two downfalls with coming here are that 1) they have now put out signs kindly asking people to try not to stay for longer than an hour since they don't have a lot of seating, which I totally get, but if you're looking to stay a while and knock some work out, this might not be the best coffee shop for that. It's perfect if you're just wanting to get out of the house, or your hotel room for a little while and get some fresh air and good coffee. The only other semi-downfall is parking. They have a little lot that holds about 6 cars or so, and then you can park along the street nearby where there is also other shops and businesses, which is usually what I do so I don't have to maneuver their parking lot, haha.
Overall, I love Ultra Coffee Bar, and it's definitely one of my favorite places to go and get some work done outside of the house! I highly recommend it!
Starbucks in West Asheville
Hear me out... I know Starbucks isn't a local coffee shop, and I should be at local coffee shops spending my money there, which is what I do probably 80% of the time and prefer to do, but there are times that I just prefer working at Starbucks in Candler, for a number of reasons. For one, they have great parking, and a spacious lot, so I don't have to stress out about finding somewhere to park.
For two, they have lots of tables and seating- high tops, small round 2-seater tables, and 4-seater tables. It's especially where I go if I've driven all over my go-to local coffee shops and couldn't find parking anywhere. I've held lots of client meetings here, and it's nice, especially if you're wanting to just get out of the house and sit and work for a while. They also have covered outdoor seating if you're wanting to enjoy the weather!
You're pretty much guaranteed a spot to sit when you get there, because while it does stay consistently busy throughout the day, it's never full with nowhere to sit, which is nice! Of course, Starbucks also has a huge menu, with so many different foods and drink items for you to choose from, as well as clean restrooms.
The only downfall I've discovered is that if you're planning on going out to a coffee shop for a Zoom meeting, is that it can be super loud. With the espresso machine going, all the coffee-making happening, the loud chairs people obnoxiously scooting across the floor, etc, it can get loud, making it hard to hear people over Zoom, and for them to hear you without all the background noise. It's great for in-person meetings though, and it's one of my favorite places to go to meet clients in a stress-free environment!
At the time I'm writing this, this specific Starbucks' hours are 7 days a week, from 5:30am / 6am to 8:30pm, which, again, is a great option if you're staying nearby and need to get some work done in the evening, or if you're local and need to get out of the house to work for a few hours!
Farewell in Downtown Asheville
Farewell is a little coffee shop in downtown Asheville that is fairly new (in my opinion, being a local) and has been in business for a few years now that used to actually be a locally owned tire shop until the tire shop moved next door! It's a bright and cozy little shop with not a whole lot of seating but has great coffee, a big garage door for enjoying the weather on nice days, and some outdoor patio seating as well. They have your standard coffee menu, but not a lot of food options, which is no big deal if you're just there for some good coffee!
You can park on the side of the building, and if it's all filled up, you can go up the street/hill a bit and pay to park in the parking lot nearby. The shop is full of beautiful plants, it's painted white inside which is bright and airy, and overall it's a super nice environment. It's fairly quiet from what I can remember, making it a nice option to go and get a little work done in the downtown area while enjoying some great coffee. This is especially nice if you're here on a business trip (or even leisure), and you're staying close to downtown and need to get some computer work done!
At the time I'm writing this, they're currently open 7 days a week, from 7am to 7:30pm, which is fantastic if you're looking to get some work done in the evening with a little pick-me-up evening coffee. I highly recommend stopping by here to get some work done if you're in Asheville! I haven't had any client meetings here, but I did get some branding photos done here a few years back, so I'll include a photo of that below!
To Wrap This Up
There are countless coffee shops in the Asheville area where you can go and get some work done, enjoy a quality cup of local coffee, and enjoy your surroundings. These are just my top 5, go-to picks, that I recommend all the time! There are others that I enjoy that aren't on this list because they don't meet most or all of the criteria I mentioned at the beginning of this post.
If you've ever been to any of these coffee shops and love to work in them, please be sure to comment below and let me know what you love about them! Or, if you have any other great recommendations for Asheville coffee shops to work at, comment those below too!
One thing I'd like to add is that depending on the time of year you're visiting the Asheville area, these coffee shops can be much busier than usual, or a little less dead! The time of day you visit plays a part in that as well— I've found that the earlier you get to these shops, the more likely you are to find good parking and a good seat!