Despite having so many great breweries in Asheville, sometimes you just need a hiatus from the hops. Those finding themselves in need of something a little stronger should consider trying a tipple from one of the city’s many creative craft-cocktail lounges and savvy wine bars. Even though it was illegal to sell alcohol by the glass in Asheville until 1979, locals have since brought the city up to speed, creating a lively and diverse bar scene that runs the gamut from the upscale, farm-to-bar Sovereign Remedies downtown to the old-school funk of West Asheville’s Double Crown (voted Best Dive Bar in last year’s Best of WNC readers poll).
Here are a few potential starting points for a cocktail and wine tour of Asheville:
- With its plush couches and candlelit tables, it’s easy to disappear into your drink for an hour or two at MG Road, the India-centric cocktail lounge that won Best Cocktails and Best Specialty Liquor Selection in the 2014 readers poll.
- If you’re craving wine, music and a great crowd, try poking your head into 5 Walnut The unpretentious downtown bar sports a massive by-the-glass menu, multiple $5 specials and free live music by quality local bands.
- Seeking a calmer atmosphere for enjoying a Chianti or cocktail? Slide over to Cucina 24, where Donnie Pratt, winner of the 2015 Bar Wars Asheville title, curates an impeccable cocktail list and an Italian-centric wine list.
- Oh, and if the weather’s fine, the World Coffee Café’s Skybar offers cocktails outdoors paired with a panoramic view of Asheville from the rooftop of downtown’s Flat Iron Building.