Best LGBTQIA+-Owned Businesses in Asheville, North Carolina
Wining & Dining,  Attractions

12 Must-Visit LGBTQ+-Owned Businesses in Asheville

Supporting LGBTQ+ businesses is one of the most influential ways to create more inclusive and diverse communities. We all need to shop for things, so why not do it intentionally to make the change we want to see in the world? 

When purchasing goods or services from an LGBTQ+-owned business, you are creating an economic impact – which is great in a community that might face workplace discrimination – and a social impact by fostering a culture of acceptance and a more diverse society.  

Spending your money at an LGBTQ+-owned business creates more jobs within the community of gay people and allies. It also increases representation, visibility, and the feeling of being safe.

The Asheville Chamber of Commerce, the Carolinas LGBT Chamber of Commerce, and the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce are valuable resources for identifying LGBTQ+-owned businesses. 

I’ve compiled a list of some LGBTQ+-owned Asheville businesses. Of course, there are many more. Please let us know which ones are your favorites in the comments (self-promotions are OK!).

Here are some amazing things you can do to support LGBTQ+-owned businesses in Asheville!

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase or booking through one of our links we may earn a small commission (don’t worry, it’s at no extra cost to you).

12 Must-Visit LGBTQ+-Owned Businesses in Asheville

1. Get a 5-Star Massage at Urban Exhale Massage

Asheville LGBTQ Owned Businesses: Urban Exhale Massage
 Images courtesy of Urban Exhale Massage

Urban Exhale Massage‘s founder, Micah Haines, has been voted one of WNC’s best massage therapists in recent years by the Mountain Xpress readers for a reason. This LGBTQ+-owned Asheville spa is a massage haven offering some of the best treatments in town. 

You’ll love the curated decoration of each room, with lush tropical plants and orchids, flowering water, salt lamps, natural lighting, wooden furniture, and fine local art. You’ll feel like you are in a secret oasis in the middle of downtown.

You can choose between integrative massage, Thai massage, prenatal therapies, and neck and shoulder massage, with enhancements like hot towels, jade stones, and aromatherapy. Are you celebrating a special occasion? Book the fantastic Jade Orchid Couples Massage in the Garden Oasis treatment room. 

Great news for travelers staying at the Kimpton Hotel Harras: Urban Exhale Massage opened a second location on the 3rd floor within the fitness center! 

Location: 68 N. Lexington Ave., Suite 207, Asheville.

2. Try Mushroom Drinks at The Pot Stirred

LGBTQ Owned Businesses in Asheville: The Pot Stirred
 Images courtesy of The Pot Stirred

Besides being a unique women and LGBTQ+-owned Asheville business, The Pot Stirred Mushroom Cafe and Adaptogen Bar was the first of its kind in the country! It serves an array of mushroom and adaptogen-infused beverages.

Are you wondering what adaptogens are? They’re herbs and supplements with properties that help you adapt to stress and find balance without any hard or toxic effects. Mushrooms like cordyceps, lion’s mane, reishi, and shiitake are adaptogens, as well as maca, ginseng, and CBD oil, among other ingredients that can be found on the café’s menu.

The Pot Stirred is located on the upper level of the Art Garden art studios and plant shop in the River Arts District, which is a fantastic area to explore and chill. The vibe couldn’t be better, and you’ll love the roomy space, the fun decor, and the super-friendly staff.

In addition, they host events (poetry slam, anyone?) and sell mushroom mood-boosting supplements, botanical body products, alcohol-free wine, Delta 8 seltzers, and awesome vegan donuts from Stay Glazed. Follow their Instagram account to get updates.

Location: 191 Lyman St. #320, Asheville.

3. Join Asheville Drag Brunch’s Fundraising

Asheville LGBTQ Owned Businesses: Asheville Drag Brunch Shows
 Images courtesy of Asheville Drag Brunch Shows

The nonprofit Asheville Drag Brunch Shows is the longest-running professional drag brunch show in Asheville, doubling as a fundraiser for other local nonprofits that are doing great work in the community, like Loving Food Resources, Homeward Bound, Blue Ridge Pride, and Helpmate. 

They have a rotating cast of queens who bring their performances to different restaurants, bars, and breweries, where folks can enjoy a hilarious brunch with all profits benefiting amazing organizations. Most drag brunches are kid-friendly, making them excellent events for the entire family.

They also offer other shows, like the Drag Queen Bar Crawl in the spring and summer, featuring local breweries and the sassiest tour guide; Katarina’s Taylor Swift Saturday Cabaret; and Homo for the Holidays, a fun idea to celebrate Christmas in Asheville with drag storytelling and sing-alongs. 

4. Buy Honey from Asheville Bee Charmers

Support LGBTQ Community Businesses in Asheville:  Asheville Bee Charmers
Images courtesy of Asheville Bee Charmers 

Visiting Asheville Bee Charmers is more than going to a fun shop; it’s an experience and should be part of every Asheville bucket list. This women and LGBTQ+-owned business sells between 25 and 35 honey varieties and features the only Asheville honey-tasting bars.

You’ll love the cozy ambiance and the friendly service, but the free tastings will be the highlight of your visit. A BEErista will guide you through a sensory experience where you can appreciate the taste of honey and differentiate its color and aroma.

Asheville Bee Charmer is one of the best places to shop downtown. There is something unique for everyone, from divine gift sets and baskets to body care products, honey candles, honey straws, and delightful pure and infused honey varieties that will be the jewels of your kitchen.

Honey lovers and wannabe connoisseurs will love the variety of products. My favorites are the cinnamon/orange/clove-infused honey, which I spread over toast, and the spicy Smokin’ Hot Honey by the spoon, which makes me feel all the exciting feelings.

Battery Park: 38 Battery Park Ave, Asheville.

Broadway: 32 Broadway, Asheville. 

5. Dance at Asheville Beauty Academy

When it’s time to party, Asheville Beauty Academy offers one of the most inclusive, safe, and fun venues in town. Everyone is welcomed and cheered! Located in a historic downtown building where a beauty parlor used to be (hence the name), there is never a dull moment here.

From late-night ’80s and ’90s dance parties to trivia and karaoke nights, supporting an LGBTQ+-owned Asheville business has never been easier. You’ll love the Life’s a Drag Brunch, which happens every Sunday and includes a Bloody Mary, a buffet, and a saucy drag show (21+).

Follow their Instagram account to keep up with all the events, including high tea parties with their local Queendom, live music sessions, and an enigmatic Porn Star Karaoke.​ 

Location: 28 Broadway St., Asheville.

6. Eat Incredible Food at Neng Jr.’s

Neng Jr.’s opened in 2022 and has received multiple recognitions since then, including being featured in “The New York Times,” “Bon Appetit,” and the 2023 Time100 Next list. It was also selected as a 2023 Best New Restaurant James Beard Awards finalist. 

In addition, Filipino Chef Silver Iocovozzi was an honoree of the 2023 Them’s Now Awards, featuring LGBTQ+ whose work and stories represent the cutting edge of queer culture today. Even their fabulous wedding in Tybee Island was highlighted by a “Vogue” article! 

Located on the iconic Haywood Road in West Asheville, this Asheville LGBTQ+-owned business seats only 17 people. Known for its outstanding hospitality, it serves Filipino-inspired food presented in the most creative way. 

The food and cocktails menu changes often, but it’s always interesting and exciting, so be ready to be surprised. As you can imagine, making reservations is a must. 

Location: 701 Haywood Rd. Ste. 102, Asheville.

7. Be Creative at Different Wrld 

Different Wrld (no, it’s not a typo) is “A creative venue. Made for creatives, by creatives.” Its mission is to support the underground arts and music scene. This translates as a space where artists from all walks of life can perform, create community, and access the necessary gear that is often too expensive to buy or rent.

For example, emerging artists can use a photo studio on-site and benefit from these shared resources put together by other artists. How cool is that? Now, you have no excuses not to make your dream come true!

Do you want to be part of the magic? Different Wrld’s business model is a combo of business revenue, grant funding, and community support. You can donate here and attend super fun events ranging from art installations to dance parties and mechanical bull riding.

Location: 701 Haywood Rd. Ste. 101, Asheville.

8. Join a Rooftop Bar Tour

LGBTQ Owned Businesses in Asheville: Asheville Rooftop Bar Tours
Images courtesy of Asheville Rooftop Bar Tours

Asheville Rooftop Bar Tours offers one of the best Asheville tours. It won the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award in 2020, 2021, and 2022. Tours include visits to three rooftop bars in downtown Asheville, amazing cocktails or mocktails, and spectacular vistas while offering a unique historical perspective on Asheville’s growth and transformation over the years.

Asheville LGBTQ Owned Businesses: Asheville Rooftop Bar Tours

This acclaimed LGBTQ+-owned Asheville business offers two slow-paced tours. One takes place at sunset, and the other is extended into the evening so folks can appreciate the city lights. Both will give you enough time to savor one of two rounds of drinks, order tapas, and take tons of Insta-worthy photos.

They also offer private custom tours for groups of up to 20 people, making it the perfect way to have a bachelorette party, a family reunion, or a team-building experience.

9. Visit the Oldest Gay Bar in NC

Named one of the best gay bars in America by “Esquire,” O. Henry’s was established in 1976, and it’s the oldest gay bar in North Carolina. It’s downtown, near Montford, and hosts some of the best late-night drag queen shows. It also has an underground space for private events.

Fridays are for Drag Queen Karaoke, with drag shows and DJs on Saturdays. O. Henry’s has cultivated a fantastic community, and there are Sunday potluck gatherings. This is a great place to get to know the local gay community.

Although the law in North Carolina changed a few years ago, O. Henry’s is still a private club. But don’t worry; anyone older than 21 with a valid ID can become a member at the front door for a few dollars. Memberships are good for a year. 

Location: 237 Haywood St., Asheville. 

10. Shop at Bellagio Art to Wear 

Bellagio Art to Wear features a curated collection of fine, independently crafted clothing, jewelry, and accessories to enhance your wardrobe or give an excellent Asheville gift. 

Located in the historic Biltmore Village, around the Biltmore Estate, this LGBTQ+-owned Asheville business focuses on the finest artisan qualities and fair-trade practices. You’ll love the personalized attention and the variety of colors, textures, and styles offered, ensuring everyone will find something they love.

They host events, including trunk shows and open houses, and participate in the many Biltmore Village events throughout the year, like Dickens Christmas and the annual Village Arts and Crafts Fair. 

Location: 5 Biltmore Plaza, Asheville.

11. Go to a Drag Show at Scandals 

LGBTQ Owned Businesses in Asheville: Scandals Nightclub
Image courtesy of Scandals Nightclub

Scandals Nightclub is another LGBTQ+ Asheville institution. It’s been around for 35 years and is the longest-running dance club in Asheville. They have late-night drag shows on Fridays and Saturdays and host other events, like early evening Zumba parties.

Scandals is downtown and a safe space for all. It has a super welcoming, fun, ‘80s vibe. Spending a night dancing to the music of live DJs is one of the best ways to celebrate special occasions. Of course, this is another favorite one for bachelorette or bachelor parties.

In addition to the nightclub, there are three excellent spaces to host private parties. 

Location: 11 Grove St., Asheville.

12. Unwind at Sovereign Remedies

Support LGBTQ Community Businesses in Asheville:  Sovereign Remedies
Images courtesy of Sovereign Remedies

Sovereign Remedies is an LGBTQ+-owned Asheville bar and restaurant in a historic seven-story building downtown. It offers a rotating menu of excellent craft cocktails and “hyper-seasonal” dishes served in a multi-leveled space with lots of natural light, plants, and funky decor.  

You’ll love sitting outdoors on the patio during the warmer months. It’s the perfect spot for a date night, an evening of sweet and serene conversations, or a solo dinner with fun people-watching opportunities.  

Location: 29 N. Market St. #105, Asheville. 

There you have it! 12 must-visit LGBTQ+-owned businesses in Asheville. Did we miss any cool LGBTQ+-owned businesses? Let us know in the comment below!

Born in Argentina, Laura is a journalist who's lived in Asheville for 10 years. She loves all things Asheville, from the vast business scene to the beautiful nonprofits, magical people, and marvelous nature. She loves being involved in projects that are the change she wants to see in the world.

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