The glowing warmth and friendly atmosphere of Urban Orchards offers respite from dreary winter evenings. At this West Asheville cider house and eatery, the rotating ciders are as delicious as they are innovative, from the habanero and vanilla infused Cidre de Diablo to sweet potato hot cider with cinnamon and nutmeg—served with a toasted marshmallow. Keep it dry and spicy with the kicky ginger champagne cider, or recall the sweet tang of summer with blackberry cider, which will be on tap later this month.
You’ll be surprised at how bright and uplifting this traditional English drink can be, especially when it’s made from local apples and fermented right downstairs. “Cider isn’t heavy and it won’t make you sleepy, the way beer can,” says owner Josie Mielke. “And spice has a warming effect.”
Urban Orchards sources their ingredients from local vendors such as Hickory Nut Gap Farm, Looking Glass Creamery, and the West End Bakery, creating a compelling menu of entrees, small plates, and cheese boards. And selection of beers from local breweries are on tap as well. Cards and board games are kept on deck, or you can sit at the bar and chat about local events with the server. Says Mielke, “We have a super friendly staff- it can feel a little bit like Cheers in here!”
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