A Piece of CAKE Guide to Asheville Grocery Stores, Part 2: Go Local or Go Home

Sometimes it seems like Asheville is having a bit of an identity crisis. We’ve been dubbed Beer City USA, Bee City USA, and even saw a half-hearted push for Brunch City USA. But in the past year or so, our little town has felt like Grocery Store City USA.

The CAKE staff has been rounding up their favorite grocery stores and have offered up a few tips on what to buy where. This week, we’re talking local! If you haven’t heard about Asheville’s fanatical support of local businesses, head to any spot downtown with a Walmart bag, wait 10 minutes, and someone is bound to let you know!

Keep reading to hear about some of our favorite local grocery stores—and if you haven’t already, be sure to check out CAKE’s Guide to Asheville Grocery Stores, Part 1: National Chains.

Hopey & Co. (Formerly Amazing Savings)

This local favorite offers a winning combination of fresh produce, bulk goods, and competitive prices for organic food. They have affordable seasonal produce from farms here in the mountains. With a butcher on site, the cuts of meat are pretty good and some of the best prices in town. And if you’re looking for adventurous flavored chips, this is the store for you.

An impressive bulk section awaits you at Hopey & Co.

An impressive bulk section awaits you at Hopey & Co.

Hidden Gems at Hopey & Co.

Keep your eye out for citrus! Hopey and Co. consistently has excellent grapefruits. They’re borderline perfect every time.

French Broad Food Co-Op

This community-owned co-op is a favorite for their high quality, healthy, and often locally sourced products. As Neeley stated, “The Co-Op is a great choice for organic, local produce.”

Hidden Gems at the French Broad Food Co-Op

Adding a little extra flavor is quick, easy, and cheap. Neeley loves their inexpensive, high quality spices.

Chop Shop Butchery

If you’re looking for fresh cuts of meat, there’s no excuse to make do with the slim offerings at regular grocery stores when we have our very own whole-animal butcher shop! According to Neeley, “Their per pound meat prices rival Ingles, with the added bonus of superior quality.”

Hidden Gems at the Chop Shop

Authentic Italian deli meats right here in the mountains, sliced by experienced hands. Jessica points out, “They’re one of the very few places in a wide radius that offer prosciutto de Parma at a price that doesn’t feel like you’re booking a flight directly to Italy.”

North Asheville Tailgate Market

While technically not a traditional grocery store, the North Asheville Farmer’s Market offers super fresh and diverse food along with a chance to meet the people who made it. Aimee says, “This is my favorite ‘grocery store’ because of the incredible variety and freshness. Everything is so flavorful!”

Beautiful vegetables at the farmer's market last longer than grocery store produce. Photo courtesy North Asheville Tailgate Market

Beautiful vegetables from the farmer’s market last longer than grocery store produce. Photo courtesy North Asheville Tailgate Market

Hidden Gems at the Farmer’s Market

Asheville farmers are known for growing an incredibly diverse range of food. So look past those glorious vine-ripened tomatoes and piles of sweet corn if you can; you never know what you’ll find! Aimee adds, “There are many unusual treasures at our local farmer’s markets. You can find colorful chicories, flavorful guinea hens, succulent white peaches, offbeat mushrooms, darling quail eggs, fragrant aged cheeses, and more.”

Earth Fare

Founded in 1975 as the first natural food store in Asheville, Earth Fare hasn’t strayed far from their roots: food as close to the ground as it gets. Shawn enthuses, “I love Earth Fare because it’s conveniently close to home, the staff is friendly, they offer a rewards program for shopping there, and the food/beverage options are plentiful!”

A Hidden Gem at the Earth Fare

This store likes to keep you on your toes with rotating daily specials. Shope points out, “Earth Fare has the best cheese selection. On most Wednesdays they sell cheese sampler packs that usually have 4 or 5 different cheeses and a little thing of almonds sold together.”

Notable Mentions:

Here are some great reasons to visit more of our well-loved local grocery stores.

Biltmore Grocery

“I like Biltmore Grocery because it is on my route, has a friendly staff and patrons, and is the only place in Asheville I know where you can get a single 6oz Budweiser.” —Jason Holland

Green Life

“Green Life’s hidden gem is a particularly delicious quesadilla in the ready to go case. It’s cheesy comfort food at its finest.” —Clark Mackey

Fresh Market North

“Fresh Market North has the best produce and the best meat. Their Market Style bacon is the best in town.” —Jason Shope

GO Grocery Outlet

“I love GO Grocery Outlet in Fletcher for cheap beer, dairy, and veggie burgers.” —Carla Heatherly

What are your favorite Asheville grocery stores and gems within them? Let us know in the comments below!

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