Downtown Asheville is a chocolate lover's dream. In addition to 50 restaurants with decadent desserts and a dozen coffee shops and bakeries, there are some must-stops for fine, handmade local chocolate:
French Broad Chocolate Lounge (pic at top)
10 S. Pack Square: The very popular Chocolate Lounge moved into their new location on Pack Square in the middle of downtown in late 2014. Bigger and better than ever. Relax with friends, admire local art, and sip a glass of wine paired with the perfect handmade artisanal chocolate truffles with organic ingredients, caramels, brownies, chocolate bars, cake and more.
Savor a decadent liquid truffle, their signature hot sipping chocolate, that come with flavors like Indian Kulfi (with rose, pistachio and cardamom), Masala Chai, cayenne and cinnamon, pure dark chocolate. The Lounge is open late (midnight on weekends) so it's a great spot to end the day with dessert after dinner.
Nearby is their Chocolate Factory where you can see their bean-to-bar process. They import organic cacao from Central and South America. Read more about the French Broad Chocolate Lounge & Factory.
The Chocolate Fetish
36 Haywood Street: A favorite destination in downtown Asheville since 1986, their chocolate collection in beautiful antique display cases is almost overwhelming. They recently expanded (located adjacent to the Haywood Park Hotel). They are home to America's Best Truffles and Ecstasy Truffles Premium American and European style chocolates. They use only the finest ingredients and all their signature products are made in small batches to assure you receive maximum freshness. They do not use chemical preservatives or vegetable oils.
Be sure to check out the special display case of chocolate art, with some stunning creations like cakes adorned with rose flowerssculpted out of fine chocolate shavings or a twig with spring blossoms that grows from a solid crystalline structure.
The Chocolate Fetish truffle bars take the classic chocolate bar to a truly gourmet level. Modeled after a traditional Spanish desert, ‘Turòn’ these handmade bars are filled with layers of luscious Belgian chocolates. Their Ultimate Crunch Bar is a tantalizing mix of almonds, apricots, cranberries, hazelnuts, krispies, and pistachios in a blend of fine European chocolates.
26 Battery Park: Step back in time to an old-fashioned confectionary! Choose from their 11 flavors of the world's best Mackinac Island fudge, 32 flavors of Kilwin's Ice Cream, six types of caramel apples, caramel corns and brittles, fresh candies and chocolaty treats. Plus, watch many of these delicious products being made right in the store.
Their cooks love to show off as they hand paddle creamy fudge; dip fresh granny smith apples in bubbly, rich caramel; spread fresh-made caramel corns and brittles onto a large marble table; and scoop out heavenly praline pecans from a copper kettle. You can also watch the creation of hand-made waffle cones and luscious chocolate-dipped treats. Get a free sample of fudge and ice cream. They are open late (until 11 PM on Friday and Saturday).
25 Broadway Ave: After six years in Black Mountain, Andrew and Sue moved their shop to downtown Asheville in 2011. Find the finest chocolates and gelato, all made by hand in small batches in the shop. They use the best ingredients, including white, milk and a variety of dark chocolates from Belgium. Also enjoy cake, cookies, brownies, hot chocolate, and coffee. They even sell chocolate pasta.
Their edible chocolate boxes make an extra romantic way to give a small gift. Or get a solid chocolate cakes for all kinds of occasions. Don't miss their many one-of-a-kind chocolate sculptures. Fascinated by chocolate making? Ask them about their classes.
For more options for chocolate and sweets downtown, see our Downtown Asheville Coffee Shop & Bakery Guide.