13 Jan 2020
Asheville’s reputation as a culinary mecca unsurprisingly extends into the dessert realm, as well. For every award-winning restaurant and craft brewery, there are just as many shops dedicated to deliciously, decadent sweet treats. Asheville chocolatiers are innovative chocolate truffle pioneers- focusing on quality ingredients in the American and European tradition.
Here’s our handpicked guide to Asheville’s best handmade chocolate truffles.
The Chocolate Fetish is Asheville’s gold standard in chocolate truffles. Located on Haywood Road, The Chocolate Fetish has been a staple in downtown Asheville since 1986, and is known
for their premium handcrafted artisan Ecstasy Truffles. Whenever possible, they use locally sourced ingredients and make all their chocolates in small batches to ensure freshness for their customers. Named a Grand Master Chocolatier Award Winner, this shop is one of the best chocolate shops in the country. Along with truffles, they also specialize in sea salt caramels, Chocolate Fetish frogs- their take on the classic turtle, chocolate rounds, and sipping chocolate.
We recommend buying all the chocolate from here, but if you must limit your selection, these are our recommendations: The Shot in the Dark truffle combines Asheville’s love of coffee and chocolate. An extra dark chocolate filling combined with espresso, dipped in extra-dark chocolate and topped with espresso infused sea salt- this is one of the Ecstasy Elite, award-winning truffles. It’s absolutely extra in all the best ways. Key Lime Pie is a refreshingly light and zesty treat. A white chocolate ganache infused with Key lime juice and features a graham cracker crust. In essence, this award-winning, Ecstasy truffle is a chocolate-dipped, key lime pie. Velvet Sin is the 8th Deadly Sin. This award-winning flavor has a smooth, creamy center and is dipped and drizzled in dark chocolate. The dark chocolate ganache at the center is a signature blend of four European dark chocolates and nothing more. This truffle lets the chocolate do all the talking and you’ll love everything it has to say. While not technically a truffle, the Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel is just as good as any of the truffles and likely to leave you wishing you’d bought a box of these instead of that tenth box of Girl Scout Cookies. The dark chocolate tones down the sweetness of the caramel, which is melt-in-your-mouth smooth. These chocolatiers can also help you with the perfect beer and wine pairings.
If you’re a chocoholic and need your fix, French Broad Chocolate Lounge should be at the top of your list of chocolate shops in Asheville. This popular chocolate haven often has lines out the door with locals and visitors waiting to get a taste of some of Asheville’s finest chocolate. French Broad Chocolates use fair-trade cacao beans imported from Peru, as well as locally sourced organic ingredients. Along with the Lounge, there’s the chocolate boutique Chocolate + Milk and French Broad Chocolate Factory. Chocolate + Milk is a chocolate, ice cream, and coffee boutique next door to the lounge at Pack Square. Insider secret: the boutique rarely ever has a line so if you need a quick fix, stop here for truffles and a coffee-to-go. The Factory is located just north of downtown on Riverside Drive and visitors here can take a tour of their famous “bean-to-bar” process and watch as chocolates are made. There’s also a chocolate museum celebrating all things chocolate.
While you can spend your time trying to decide between the endless array of chocolate cakes, brownies, macaroons, and cookies, you absolutely must pick up some truffles on the side. Here are some of our favorite options: Maple & Smoked Salt is an enhanced Maple Cream truffle. This tasty treat features farm-direct maple syrup, organic butter, and a blend of milk and dark chocolate. Top it off with a sprinkle of smoked salt. The Buddha is a dairy-fee, Vegan delight. This is the original vegan truffle made with bittersweet chocolate and coconut cream. Another vegan option would be the Mint Meltaway- a creamy, peppermint dark chocolate bonbon, covered in dark chocolate. The most beautiful truffle award goes to the Lavender Honey truffle. Dark chocolate ganache infused with local lavender and wildflower honey, covered in a milk chocolate shell and swirled with natural lavender color. You can’t leave without trying their Liquid Truffle, a rich, smooth, hot drinking chocolate.
Asheville Chocolates is a relatively unknown gem in the Asheville chocolate game. Don’t let that fool you. The chocolates here rival their more well-known counterparts and you’ll avoid the lengthy lines. Asheville Chocolates combines local, farm-fresh cream with pure Belgium chocolates to create truffles that are handmade and hand-dipped daily. They also have a delicious selection of Vegan treats to make everyone happy. Stop by their shop on Broadway Street and you may see these chocolatiers hard at work.
Each individual truffle is hand-dipped, making each uniquely different. What they all have in common is a creamy center and crisp chocolate shell that will leave you equally satisfied and wanting more. Try them all or start with these (warning- you’ll be coming back for more): the Coffee Caramel truffle is an amped-up version of a standard salted caramel. You never knew caramel was missing coffee until you’ve tried this truffle with its homemade coffee caramel sauce whipped into milk chocolate. The Mexican truffle is far less intimidating than its name suggests. This heavenly delight gets its spice from cinnamon, vanilla bean, and other non-disclosed traditional spices. There’s no heat like you’d expect, just a warm and cozy decadence that is unrivaled. If heat is what you’re after, you’ve got a couple of choices with their Ancho Chipotle or Cayenne truffles. The Ancho Chipotle is smoky with a subtle kick of spice while the Cayenne will leave you needing a scoop of Asheville Chocolate’s
Kilwins Chocolates, Fudge and Ice Cream has two locations to serve the Asheville area- one in downtown Asheville on Battery Park Avenue, and another in downtown Black Mountain. Kilwins is a step back in time as visitors get to experience an old-fashioned confectionery and a watch has chocolates, pralines, caramel apples and more are made in house daily. Kilwins Asheville has been locally owned and operated since 2008. They carry on the tradition of creating quality confections and ice cream from premium products and their original recipes, a company standard since 1947. Stop here for a full chocolatier experience.
As if there wasn’t reason enough to visit Asheville, we had to go and add chocolate to the list. Make sure to schedule a chocolate tour at any of the shops mentioned above to see for yourself how these incredible artisans dive into their creations.