Asheville’s food scene has you covered for every food craving, and dessert is no exception. From Polynesian-inspired sweet treats, churro fondues, and vegan donuts to pie flights, liquid truffles, and sippable desserts, there is something for everyone and lots of vegan, sugar-free, and gluten-free options.
Of course, the definition of dessert is broad, and we’ve included a list of frozen treats, cakes, classic desserts, baked goods, and everything in the middle! You can start your evening with drinks at a rooftop bar, enjoy a world-class dinner in one of Asheville’s award-winning restaurants, and end the night with a fantastic dessert in another spot.
Or you can have dessert and coffee or wine whenever you want, before or after dinner (because you are an adult now!). Remember: stressed is desserts spelled backward, and one of life’s simple pleasures is to sit down and take a break to slowly savor a sweet something while letting the worries fly away.
Don’t forget to check out our web story: The 15 Best Dessert Places in Asheville
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Where to Get the Best Dessert in Asheville
RosaBees’ desserts are out of this world, making it one of the best dessert places in Asheville. RosaBees has been featured on Netflix’s Sugar Rush (season two, the “Nutcracker” episode). But, of course, the food is also phenomenal, and they serve unique cocktails.
Some of RosaBees’ favorites are the Right Side Up Pineapple Butter Mochi (a hexagon butter mochi with pineapple curd, bruleed pineapple, cherries, and macadamia nuts), the Peanut Butter Brownie Bombe (a hexagon chocolate butter mochi with a peanut butter mousse dome), and the Ube Haupia Pie (layered Hawaiian purple sweet potato, creamy coconut, macadamia nut shortbread crust, and an ube chiffonade).
So if you’re visiting our town, don’t leave without taking your taste buds on a fantastic journey at RosaBees. (Note that they do suggest making reservations.)
Old Europe Pastries has often been selected as “WNC’s Best Dessert Place,” and it’s the sweet spot for locals and tourists. It’s one of the oldest downtown shops (it opened in 1994), offering decadent, European-inspired cakes, pastries, and desserts, as well as wine, mimosas, bubbly beverages, and non-alcoholic drinks to go with their desserts.
This Asheville bakery provides a broad selection of traditional cakes and seasonal desserts, like the fantastic Pumpkin Roulade or the Pumpkin Cheesecake, served in the fall (both are gluten-free!). Their menu has something for everyone, from the decadent Chocolate Diamont to perfect macarons (they come in six seasonal flavors).
My family and I love the tiramisu (my birthday is not my birthday without it!), the eclair, the crunchy-creamy-fluffy Hazelnut Napoleon, and the French Creamy. For a less sugary treat, they have pound cakes (the vegan lemon-poppy seed is my favorite) and an excellent date-oatmeal vegan and gluten-free bar. They also serve delicious savory croissants and quiches.
The concept is so attractive: comfy seats and cozy corners in a beautifully designed space to enjoy some of life’s greatest pleasures without guilt. Crave Dessert Bar serves tapas, decadent desserts, dessert wines, and cocktails. Plus, there are hookahs!
Located in the heart of downtown, it’s a few steps from some of the best restaurants in Asheville, making it the perfect spot to give your evening the sweetest ending. Or you can pick something from their tapas menu (the flatbreads are so good, and the Chicken Pesto is one of my favorites!). There’s also seating on the patio, which is so fun on warmer nights.
The dessert menu is extensive. Some of the fan favorites are the Drunken Tiramisu (coffee-soaked lady fingers with mascarpone mousse), the Mexican-inspired Churro Fondue (cinnamon churros covered in just the perfect amount of sugar, chocolate fondue, and chilled milk), and the Golden Girl Cake (made with 24 karat gold leaf, caramel pineapple upside-down cake, and NY cheesecake!).
The selection of libations is even broader, and it features signature and classic cocktails, red and white wines, wine desserts, beers, amaros/digestivos, and sippable desserts. In addition, they offer hookahs and many blends of shisha.
Tienda Los Nenes is a Latin American shop that’s been open since 2010, and it now has another store in Hendersonville. It sells many Latin American (Mexican mainly) pantry foods and antojitos (snacks) and has a bakery.
Los Nenes has the best Pastel Tres Leches in town. This cake is a very popular Latin American dessert, similar to an angel food cake. The whipped egg whites in the batter make it extra light. After baking the cake, you poke holes with a fork and pour three types of milk over the top: evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and whole milk (“tres leches” = three kinds of milk).
What’s Los Nenes’ Tres Leches secret? It’s not as sweet as others. The fillings can be peaches, pineapple, coconut, or walnuts. You can buy cake by the slice or order a whole cake (call two days in advance).
They also have flan, choco-flan, and a variety of Mexican sweet bread (the pan dulce Mexicans eat in the early evening with coffee or chocolate). I love the Pan de Muerto they have for the Day of the Dead.
The Blackbird is among downtown Asheville’s best restaurants and one of the best brunch spots in town. It’s open for brunch, lunch, and dinner. In addition to being one of the best spots in Asheville for southern comfort food, the desserts are mouthwatering!
So, you’ll be topping a wonderful meal made with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients with the best dessert in Asheville. All the desserts are made in-house by pastry chef Dawn Alexander.
Blackbird serves “modern Southern food with a nod to tradition.” Its most famous dessert is the melt-in-your-mouth Southern Custard Coconut Cake (coconut custard layered with cream cheese frosting and toasted coconut).
Other popular desserts are the tiramisu (a house-baked cake with Dripolator coffee and mascarpone cheese) and the Blackbird Cobbler (seasonal fruit, seasonal ice cream, brown sugar cinnamon cookie crumbles, topped with in-house made cream). The selection of dessert wines and amaros/digestivos is excellent. It gets busy, so definitely make reservations.
The Hop is one of the most beloved local independently-owned businesses and one of the best dessert places in Asheville. Everyone loves its owners, Greg and Ashley Garrison, and they do great work in the community, starting with their goal “to provide happiness through the ice cream we make.”
This unique ice cream shop makes and serves high-quality, handcrafted dairy and from-scratch vegan ice cream. They use locally-sourced ingredients, and the flavors are so creative and surprising. Imagine Lavender Vanilla, Blueberry Kale, Cardamom, Bees Knees, Fresh Ginger, and Sweet Beet!
They also have sundaes, milkshakes, banana splits, floats, ice cream cakes, and seasonal frozen treats (like the famous ice cream Yule Logs). The Hop’s menu has its staples, but it also shifts with the seasons. (You can follow its Instagram account for the updates, and make sure you say hi to Greg, who personally manages it!)
Oh, and they make ice cream for dogs, too! Check out The Hop’s online store and its new addition, Pop Bubble Tea.
The idea that planted the seed for the French Broad Chocolate Lounge started with a trip to Costa Rica. It’s now the most renowned Asheville chocolate shop and a favorite of locals and visitors.
Located in an iconic blue building in Pack Square, it has something for everyone, from house-made ice cream to artisan bonbons and caramels, cookies, cakes, and brownies, and a great selection of drinking chocolates. The Liquid Truffle is their signature chocolate drink, and I also love the Cold Sipping Chocolate for the summer months.
All of the chocolate they use for their treats is made in their chocolate factory (you can even book a tour, and it includes a tasting!). The menu has plenty of vegan and gluten-free choices.
The sweet creations often feature locally grown and produced ingredients. Many local businesses feature this chocolate in their beer, popcorn, desserts, and ice cream.
The indoor seating area is ample, but I love sitting outside – it’s the perfect spot to relish the downtown Asheville vibe. Next door is a boutique where you can get ice cream, coffee, chocolate, and packaged goodies for snacking, gifting, and baking. You can also purchase their products online.
“Tasty, local, twisted” – that’s Vortex Doughnuts in a nutshell. Western North Carolinians have voted Vortex Doughnuts as one of the three “Best Donut Shops in Asheville” in the annual Mountain Xpress contest (alongside Hole Doughnuts and Duck Donuts).
It opened in 2014, and 90 percent of its donuts are vegan, with a few exceptions. The menu also has gluten-free donuts. Vortex has a classic menu of espresso drinks, signature drinks, and drip and pour-over style coffees.
It works like this: they have the same flavors in a yeast or cake donut. Their flavors are so unique! Be ready to be surprised when you visit the shop because all the menu items and flavors are subject to change daily. You should definitely try their sweet potato curry donut with green curry coconut and lime or one of the donuts made with local beer and pretzels!
In the summer of 2016, Kirsten, the founder of Baked Pie Company, and her daughter were looking for a place in South Asheville to sit and enjoy a slice of homemade blueberry pie and a cup of coffee. Guess what? There was no such place.
But that was the beginning of what’s today one of the best dessert places in Asheville, loved by locals (nearby out-of-towners are also willing to drive a couple of hours to get these pies). They serve amazing pies baked daily with the freshest and highest quality ingredients. They also offer a selection of cream pies, which are so good!
Baked Pie Company offers a super welcoming and friendly ambiance, perfect for relaxing, having coffee, and making new friends. Gluten-free, vegan, and sugar-free pies are always available. If you can’t decide on one, check out the pie flights! You get to choose three flavors of pie plus a scoop of ice cream.
You can order whole pies (call 48 hours in advance) or just grab a slice. The menu changes daily, and they post their specials on their Facebook page.
10. Sunshine Sammies
Sunshine Sammies opened during the summer of 2013 as a hand-built solar-powered pushcart full of sweet treats. Since then, it has opened a store in the heart of downtown, and locals consider it one of the best dessert places in Asheville. It’s still one of our favorite food trucks in Asheville.
They serve handcrafted ice cream sandwiches, making everything from scratch using local, fresh, and seasonal ingredients. Their flavors are adventurous, fun, and so yummy!
Just imagine Sophie’s Mint-er Wonderland – Penny Cup coffee ice cream with house-made white chocolate peppermint patties rolled in candy canes on one chocolate and one sugar cookie. Or my favorite Oolong tea cookies with cardamom ice cream.
They still have their ice cream trucks, and I love it when I’m at home or sitting on my front porch and I hear “The Entertainer” (the theme song from The Sting). I run around the house to get my wallet to get ice cream cookies for everyone!
If you are not local but have loved our Sunshine Sammies, you can find them all over the Southeast. The menu changes often, so follow Sunshine Sammies on Instagram to keep us with their specials.
WNC locals have voted Whit’s Frozen Custard as the number one “Best Frozen Treats Other Than Ice Cream” for a reason. Its custard is fantastic! Frozen custard is a cold dessert similar to ice cream but made with eggs in addition to cream and sugar. It’s usually kept warmer than ice cream, so it has a denser, creamier texture.
Whit’s Frozen Custard has four daily flavors, but you can also create your own blended flavor. Follow Whit’s Frozen Custard’s Instagram and Facebook accounts to check their daily specials.
They also offer additional flavors and delicious custard cookie sandwiches in their grab-and-go freezer and vegan and sugar-free options. It’s not unusual to find a long line ahead of you, but it moves fast. Please don’t leave without trying their custard!
12. Well Bred Bakery
Well Bred Bakery has been voted “Best Bakery in Western North Carolina” annually since 2014 and is easily one of the best bakeries in Asheville. Founded in 2002, it has four locations: Weaverville Main Street, Biltmore Village, Grove Arcade (downtown Asheville), and Reems Creek Food Truck. The downtown and Biltmore locations can get busy with visitors, but the staff handles the amount people with grace and super-efficient service.
Well Bred restaurants are great lunch and breakfast spots, and their desserts and baked goods are remarkable. The cookies are excellent, and you have to try the Monster Cookie. Other favorites are the Key Lime Pie with graham cracker crust, the Mountain Eclair, and the Peanut Butter Pie Brownie.
I love the Apricot Rugelach with the locally roasted coffee. They have gluten-free and vegan options. Follow Well Bred’s Instagram account to see their specials. You can also order a whole cake if you give them 72 hours’ notice).
13. OWL Bakery
OWL Bakery is one of the best bakeries in Asheville. They bake naturally leavened bread and offer a variety of beautifully presented European-inspired pastries made by hand using local, seasonal ingredients. You can also find Owl’s goodies at the seasonal North Asheville Tailgate Market.
Their beverage menu is excellent, and a portion of the proceeds from the Barista’s Choice is collected each month and donated to local non-profit organizations or causes.
They also serve wine! Some of OWL’s favorites are the Cardamom Buns, the Seasonal Fruit Strudel, and the Lemon Curd Tart, with the perfect combination of sweet and tart. The menu varies seasonally, so follow Owl Bakery’s Instagram account to check out the specials. Before you leave, grab some of the best bread in town to enjoy back at home!
Jason Sellers, Leslie Armstrong, and Alan Berger opened Plant in the summer of 2011. Since then, the restaurant has achieved notoriety in the Asheville food scene and has gained national attention, making lists from Zagat, Food & Wine, and PETA.
Plant is a vegan, 90 percent organic, often local, and primarily gluten-free restaurant. No animal products are used in-house, and almost everything is made from scratch using four types of organic oil: extra virgin olive, regionally produced sunflower, coconut, and toasted sesame.
Plant offers a small but great selection of desserts and dessert beverages. Some of the favorites are the Saffron Crème Brulée (with a hibiscus-poached pear, pistachio crisp, and raspberry sauce) and the Peanut Butter Cheesecake (with a cocoa-almond crust, salted PB and jam sauces, and peanut-pretzel brittle).
It can get busy, so they suggest making reservations.
Limones is one of the best downtown Asheville restaurants. The chef and owner is Mexican-native Hugo Ramirez, who moved to Asheville from California 14 years ago. He started Limones to serve a fusion of French, Californian, and Mexican cuisines. The results are rich, fun flavors that make you feel you’re traveling instead of simply eating at a local restaurant.
Limones’ menu is full of surprises, and the desserts and dessert beverages are no exception. The Warm Bread Pudding with ice cream and caramel sauce is pretty special (order it with the Organic Mexican Coffee with tequila, Kahlua, and whipped cream – it’s the best!).
The Cinnamon-Brown Sugar Churros with caramel sauce and sipping hot chocolate and the Tres Leches Cake with peaches and pecans are also favorites. The next time I eat there, I’ll l try the Paleta de Naranja: Vanilla vodka, Cointreau, and fresh squeezed OJ, shaken and served up.
There you have it! The 15 best dessert places in Asheville, NC. Which places do you think serve the best dessert in Asheville? Let us know so we can check them out!
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