You get excited when the first tendrils of fall’s crisp breezes creep in through the window. You can’t wait to see the first flakes of snow stick to the branches of your evergreens. But by mid-February, it’s easy to feel downtrodden by the ongoing gloomy days and chilly nights.
Right about now, we start dreaming about island vacations in the sun!
Thankfully, it’s easy to add a little summery air into an otherwise humdrum winter afternoon. In Asheville, all you need to do is take a short drive up the road. Here are seven tropical bars and restaurants sure to cure your winter blues.
Asheville Yacht Club
Nowhere in Asheville has the attitude and atmosphere of the Asheville Yacht Club! Step inside and discover a spirited rock-and-roll bar with tiki-themed decor and live music. Belly up to the bar to order from their full menu of specialty tropical cocktails, or grab a seat and choose a few apps from their late-night food menu. Their killer drink menu includes The Monkey’s Paw, Kane’s Revenge Margarita, and Blackbeard’s Ghost. In the mood for tacos? Don’t wait for Tuesday—Iggy’s Rockin’ Taco Monday has your fix.
87 Patton Avenue, Asheville | (828) 255-8454 | ashevilleyachtclub.com
It’s always a pleasure to experience St. Lucian culture and cuisine at Calypso—not just because of the beautiful islands and great food, but because of the people behind this amazing addition to Asheville’s restaurant scene. Esther Joseph brings her recipes and expertise to this Caribbean soul food restaurant and rum bar. Stop in for a healthy and delicious meal, including Calypso’s famous rotis, bakes, curries, and goat and fish dishes. Sip on a craft cocktail, or register for Calypso’s food tour of St. Lucia.
18 N Lexington Avenue, Asheville | (828) 575-9494 | calypsoasheville.com
Make any day a special occasion at the Golden Pineapple, located in one of West Asheville’s oldest buildings. This neighborhood bar offers its own unique take on cocktails, beer, wine, and food. Try the Golden Pineapple No. 3, with rye whiskey, aged rums, mango kombucha, pineapple, aromatic bitters, and absinthe. Or grab another of their signature cocktails, including Ross’s Phish House Punch and the Snaquiri shot. From toki Tuesdays to trivia nights, there’s always something fun coming out of the Golden Pineapple.
503 Haywood Road, Asheville | (828) 505-4458 | goldenpineapplebar.com
The Greenhouse – Noble Cider
Enjoy a premium cider and dining experience tucked into Downtown Asheville’s culinary scene. The Greenhouse’s full bar features specialty cider cocktails, flights of brandies and calvados, and Noble products on tap. The bistro offers globally inspired small plates and large platters designed for sharing. Everyone in your party will enjoy the innovative menu with a range of flavors. Pair it with their mid-century, tropical garden room, and you’re sure to enjoy a full sensory experience any season of the year.
49 Rankin Avenue, Asheville | (828) 505-4076 | noblecider.com/greenhouse
Since 2008, Nine Mile has offered a casual, Caribbean-inspired and eclectic menu in the heart of Montford. Now, diners in West Asheville and South Asheville have their own locations for Caribbean cuisine. Many of Nine Mile’s pasta and rice dishes are vegetarian friendly, and generous dinner portions are sure to satisfy—but don’t forget to save room for locally made desserts! Try the self-titled Nine Mile (grilled jerk chicken or tofu, fresh ginger, fire-roasted vegetables over linguine or basmati rice) and pair it with one of their custom Caribbean cocktails.
233 Montford Avenue | (828) 505-3121
751 Haywood Road | (828) 575-9903
33 Town Square Boulevard, Asheville | (828) 676-1807
If you haven’t yet tried this new restaurant in the RAD, you’re missing out! After operating Cakes by Gray for five years, Asheville native and pastry chef Melissa Gray took off on an adventure to the Hawaiian islands that changed her life—and the direction of RosaBees—forever. What was supposed to be a brick and mortar location for her cake business turned into a full-service restaurant and sweet treats bar. Once she experienced the unique and intriguing flavors of the islands, she knew this was something the Asheville food scene was missing.
27 Foundy Street #20, Asheville | (828) 417-7212 | rosabees.com
Tropical Smoothie Cafe
Find bold, flavorful smoothies with a healthy appeal that everyone will love. Tropical Smoothie Cafe uses real fruits, veggies, and juices in their made-to-order concoctions, like the Island Green® and the Sunrise Sunset™. Their menu also includes other fare prepared with tropical fun, including toasted flatbreads, wraps, sandwiches, quesadillas, and bowls. Stop by to experience their fun, relaxing atmosphere, or order ahead and skip the line.
1829 Hendersonville Road, Suite 40-B, Asheville | (828) 575-9190 | tropicalsmoothiecafe.com
BONUS: Tropical Gardens Mini Golf
Looking for more than just food and drink? Tropical Gardens is your ideal destination for a fun island-themed weekend for the whole family. Their 18-hole miniature golf course is one of Asheville’s must-see places. Enjoy a course full of adventure and shaded paths, and featuring exotic animals, waterfalls, and even a volcano! No matter your age, you are sure to enjoy testing your golf skills on this unique and challenging course. Join the Frequent Golfer Club to receive a free game after every ten.
956 Patton Avenue, Asheville | (828) 252-2207 | minigolftropicalgardens.com