Best Places to Shop in Asheville, NC

The interior of a shop with rounded white counters with wooden surfaces. The floor is a tan color and the aesthetic is modern. There is a yellow and light pink logo on the right-side wall that says Garden Party. The furthest wall is dark orange and to it's left is a wooden partition with lots of vertical slats. Lots of products for sale sit on top of the display counter but the feeling is still minimal.

Maybe you live here and are looking for the perfect gift for someone. Or you’d like to treat yourself. Maybe you’re visiting from out of town and want to take home a souvenir. Whatever the reason, keep reading to see our top picks for the Best Places to Shop in Asheville, NC.

Asheville Bee Charmer | Two locations (Downtown)

Four wooden shelves are backlit with a string of white lights behind them. The top level of shelving has glassware on it in neat rows as well as a sign that says Honey For Life with a bee on it. Each shelf below that one has neatly arranged jars of amber honey in different bottles on it. There is a black pipe that goes down the middle of the photo that holds the shelves up.

This is your one-stop shop for all things honey! In addition to the numerous varieties of honey from around the world including local honey, there are t-shirts, soaps, candles, skincare products, books, teas, and even jewelry related to honey and bees. Plus, there’s a free honey-tasting bar at both locations (there are two and they are both downtown.) Guests at the tasting bar can sample as many of the honeys that they like with the help of a bee-rista who will guide you through your tasting tour.

Emote | 508 Haywood Road (West Asheville)

The exterior of a shop has a glass window and in it you can see a red neon sign in all cap letters that says "EMOTE" There is also a teal neon sign above it that says OPEN. Below that is a black sign with white chalkboard lettering that says "EMOTE your queer art + vintage shop" It has a chalk drawing of an abstract clown on it. Behind, and inside, you can see a mannequin dressed in cool clothing and a black backwards hat. A person sitting at a table with a white tablecloth is wearing a black mask.

Emote is a queer-owned and operated art and secondhand space in West Asheville where you can buy and sell cool clothing. They also frequently have pop-ups and artists tabling in their space. Unlike a lot of places, the vending table space for queer artists at Emote is free. One of our favorite aspects about this shop is that they often have cool events within their space or with partners around town such as Different Wrld and The Getaway.

Garden Party | 315 Haywood Road, Suite 113 (West Asheville)

Shopping at Garden Party is like hanging out at your really cool friend’s place. The difference is that, rather than just admiring your cool friend’s place and wishing it was yours, you can actually purchase the things you admire and take them home for yourself, thus making your own space and your own head, a little, well, cooler. You should shop here if you’re into CBD products, unique grinders, mushroom-themed jewelry, cool books and zines, lighters, etc.

Harvest Records | 415 Haywood Road, Suite B (West Asheville)

Audiophiles rejoice at this local record shop in West Asheville. This independent record store is a must-visit for any music lover. You’ll find new and used vinyl, CDs, cassettes, stereo equipment, books, DVDs, vinyl accessories, and even their own merch in case you want to show your own Harvest Records love. If you’re curious whether or not they have the random, obscure, or very popular artist that you’re looking for, you can check out their extensive database via spreadsheet found via their website or give them a call at 828-258-2999. And if you’re feeling lucky, you can try to win free tickets to some of the best live shows in town by playing along on their Instagram @harvestrecordsavl.

Horse + Hero | 14 Patton Avenue (Downtown)

I can get kinda awkward in shops that sell art because I always want to look at the art but often everything is out of my price point. That’s not the case at Horse + Hero and it’s one of the reasons we really like it and are suggesting it on our Best Places to Shop in Asheville list. Because not only do they sell some of the coolest prints, stickers, and original artwork in Asheville, but you can literally take something home for less than $5.

Madam Clutterbuckets Neurodiverse Universe | 21 Battery Park Avenue, Suite 101 (Downtown)

A wooden rectangular tray is filled with circular buttons and pins on it that say Madam Clutterbuckets on it. The logo of a persons hair and a brain  and face is surrounded by all kinds of flowers. The text at the bottom reads Neurodiverse Universe. There are also stickers in the box that are sitting upright. Above the stickers is a white sign that says in handwritten black ink, our logo! In sticker form! $2.99 To the right of this box and sign is a metal sheet with lots of bottlecaps bearing various NC designs. All of this sits on a wooden table. Part of a mission statement sits to the left of the box of pins.

A must-visit shop in Asheville, NC is Madam Clutterbuckets Neuordiverse Universe. Why? Well because it’s unique! There’s vintage Pyrex displayed next to pillows with cute cats in red glasses and knitted hats on them as well as cross stitch kits that say things like Punk is Not Dead, Disability advocacy stickers, and even LGBTQ patches and stickers. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are also socks, t-shirts, bags, and more. Also, this family-owned local shop is staffed by adults with developmental disabilities. And in addition to hiring people with disabilities, the shop also sells things such as jewelry, hot sauce, and art that’s made and produced by people with disabilities. We love what Madam Clutterbuckets is doing to build community in Asheville and are excited for more people to check them out!

Malaprop’s Bookstore and Café | 55 Haywood Street (Downtown)

Two wooden bookshelves are pushed together so they seem as if one. A big prominent white sign in a silver outline says "Gender Studies" on it in black. It is proudly displayed on the top shelf and there are books on either side of it and below that are about Trans people, queer people, sex, and more. There is a small sign attached to the lowest visible shelf that says LGBTQ+ Non-Fiction. The background is mostly a white ceiling with some green trim and a few lights that are on.

Long live the independent bookstore. Malaprop’s is a wonderful place to go shopping in Asheville. They have a great selection of new titles as well as a western North Carolina section and even an LGBTQIA section. And if there’s something that you want but it’s not in stock, they can order it for you. Plus, they have a ton of events ranging from live streams to in-person book clubs. Also, if you’re looking for a reasonably priced used book, head on over to Malaprop’s sister shop Downtown Books and News where you never know what you’ll find including rare books.

Mtn Merch | 22 Lodge Street (Biltmore Village)

This shop is a solid go-to pick if you want to take home a souvenir or gift of your time in Asheville because literally everything in it is locally made or produced. They’ve got everything from 12 Bones BBQ sauce to Biscuit Head Biscuit mix, locally made t-shirts, jewelry, trucker hats, and of course stickers and patches.

Noir Collective | 39 South Market Street, Suite C (Downtown)

A bunch of cards in plastic featuring Black people in photographs and graphics are displayed on a white standing carousel. Behind it is a white shelf that has several tiers and on it is a bunch of jewelry, stickers, business cards, and pamphlets. To the right of that is a curved maroon booth that has a small wooden table in front of it on which is a cell phone, and some stacks of papers. There's an empty black chair in front of the table. Behind the booth are a bunch of framed photographs of people outdoors and in the community. They all have a small black frame around them.

Get yourself on over to Noir Collective if you know what’s good for you! This Black-owned boutique, art gallery, and bookstore features local Black artists, makers, and entrepreneurs. You can find body care products, t-shirts, hats, jewelry, and a big selection of books written by Black authors. Check out Noir’s event page to learn about the First Friday’s that they host. They are free community event that is not to be missed! No tickets are needed, come as you are.

Ware | 797 Haywood Road, Suite 101 (West Asheville)

A person's hand holds a brown paper bag that says Ware on it at the bottom in black. A right hand holds a silver ladle and in it is white laundry detergent. The arms have white and blue striped sleeves. In the background is a store that has a bunch of glass jars with various white powders in them for sale on a wooden shelf. Each jar is neatly labeled with the content's name on it and the price as well as instructions and ingredients. There is a basket of white balls on the ground.

Shopping in Asheville has never felt so good thanks to the team at Ware. Ware is a zero-waste and refill store offering quality, sustainable goods for low-waste living. And they do extensive product testing so you don’t have to. In other words, what you buy is not only pretty to look at and thoughtfully designed and responsibly made, but it will also stand the test of time. There are also other criteria for all of the products they carry but if you want to know more we recommend going in there, talking to them, and getting the full Ware experience for yourself. You’re likely to walk away with some very cool things including, but not limited to: bath bomb cubes, exfoliating lava stones, laundry detergent, a saffron compost pail, earrings, and the ever-useful Stasher bag.

Best Places to Shop in Asheville, NC

Okay, before the comments and e-mails pile up, I will mention that yes, a lot of people come from out of town to shop at the Asheville Outlets. And while we won’t knock you for wanting to go there, we prefer to spend our money at local businesses that are owned by friends and community members whenever possible. We just think of the Asheville outlets as the landmark we pass on the way to Bent Creek haha. If you have a local shop in Asheville that you think we should add, feel free to leave a comment. And if you liked this, you may want to check out 7 Queer Owned Businesses in Asheville, NC.

Published by Erin McGrady

Erin McGrady is a filmmaker, photographer, and writer exploring Asheville and beyond. My work focuses on sharing about LGBTQ safe spaces, camper van life, and the outdoors.

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