The Hop’s dairy mavens look no further than their own stomping grounds when culling the fresh, local ingredients they use to concoct their gourmet ice cream. Since it’s illegal to scream for ice cream in a crowded building, servers sate fierce cravings for the glacial delight by plunging creamy scoops into organic sodas, piling them into housemade waffle cones, and drizzling them with the shop’s own hot fudge and chocolate syrup. In addition to indulgent confections, The Hop caters to health-conscious gourmands with vegan, gluten-free, and sugar-free ice creams made from scratch, as well as fresh-fruit sorbets and fair-trade coffee.
In addition to appeasing sweet teeth, The Hop also serves as a welcoming hangout spot where guests can enjoy free, family-friendly events, including live music, magicians, and jugglers scheduled every Tuesday. The cheerful, carefree setting also hosts birthday parties replete with a build-your-own-sundae bar and face painting.
The Asheville International Children's Film Festival entertains all-ages audiences with a tightly packed schedule of 70 cinematic works from artists in 25 countries, divided into seven blocks of short films and one feature-length movie. On Saturday, families gather in Asheville Pizza & Brewing's colorful theater to witness Round the World and Home Again, a live-action flight through the lives, dreams, and playground treaty negotiations of children in seven countries. Wee ones release exhilarated squeals at 13 shorts in Once Upon an Adventure, which fills the screen with animated and live-action feats that delight juniors without the stress of adopting a litter of knights.
Though lush, verdant, and rich with history, the mountains of Western North Carolina just can’t produce coffee; but that hasn’t stopped The Biltmore Coffee Company from fulfilling their mission of providing their customers with a flavorful and aromatic cup of Joe. They partner with the artisanal and Alabama-based roasting company H.C. Valentine to source their organic, fair trade beans from the hills of Honduras and Mexico, resulting in more than five roast varieties with subtle hints of cherry and chocolate flavors. They also prepare fresh cuisine such as salads or club sandwiches with turkey, ham, and peppercorn bacon to pair with their steaming cups of rich coffee.
You have to pay attention at Asheville Radio Cafe, because you might be on the air. In addition to serving up organic and local food such as gourmet chicken-salad sandwiches and black-bean wraps, the eatery is home to 95.7 The Choice, an FM radio station. The Choice broadcasts local, regional, and popular artists 24/7 while visitors relax in a casual atmosphere and sip on warm drinks such as hot chocolate, chai tea, and mocha. Asheville Radio Cafe also hosts live music every Friday and Saturday night and broadcasts interviews with the artists before each show.
More than 30 gourmet syrups and Ghirardelli sauces mean that customers at Gatlinburg Parkway Coffee can completely customize their drinks, choosing from flavors such as peppermint, salted caramel, pumpkin spice, toasted marshmallow, and pomegranate. In addition to a full menu of hot and iced coffees and lattes, the baristas pour hot apple cider and hot chocolate into waiting mugs. For those in search of a chilled treat, frozen lemonade and heaping portions of shaved ice cool off tongues on hot days.
Smoothie King co-founder Steve Kuhnau began mixing fruit, nutrients, and proteins in the late 1960s, in a successful attempt to assuage his own health conundrums. By 1973, he?d begun selling vitamins alongside his health-boosting concoctions, and soon, more than 600 Smoothie King locations were operating worldwide. Today, the shop?s patrons customize real apple, mango, and banana smoothies with sundry health-bolstering mix-ins. More than 70 blendable multivitamins, minerals, enzymes, nutrients, and amino acids fortify frosty smoothies, helping bodies to stay healthy or lift semi-trucks. Snacks, such as veggie chips and high-protein cookies, augment shakes in both health and deliciousness.