Health food abounds in Asheville, but sometimes, you just want to ditch your diet and enjoy something sweet. When those inevitable cravings hit, treat yourself to a truffle or ice cream cone from Kilwin’s. The shop’s convenient downtown location makes it easy to stop in. The store is impossible to miss; you’ll spot the Kilwin’s sign from a distance.
Owned by Marcy and Tom Gallagher, the Asheville edition of Kilwin’s is just one of dozens of locations available nationwide. That being said, it’s far from just another chain; the Asheville location has its own unique flair.
Step inside, and you’ll immediately be enthralled by the mix of sweet aromas. You’ll also be impressed by how impeccably clean the store is — even during peak hours, when careless crowds of children take over the shop. Despite the prominence of young visitors, the shop offers something to please people of all ages. Many are drawn to its retro vibes; like every Kilwin’s, it aims to immerse customers in an old-style confectionary environment.
Cheerful displays present a wide array of snacks and desserts. While you’ll be drawn to these lovely displays, you’ll be even more impressed by the cooks as they make your favorite treats before your very eyes. Watch as they dip apples in bubbly caramel, paddle fudge, add stripes to caramel treats, and scoop praline pecans from the shop’s copper kettle.
Every visit to Kilwin’s is a feast for the senses. The smells and sights of the store’s best desserts are sure to delight, but the real appeal lies in the availability of samples. Try the shop’s heavenly ice cream or fudge before you order.
As you browse the store, be aware that some items are made fresh to order — and some definitely aren’t. While many of the store’s prepackaged items are delicious, there’s something special about sweets crafted onsite.
Don’t be discouraged if you encounter a long line when you arrive. Kilwin’s tends to get busy during the day, but thankfully, the line moves fast. Nearly all customers agree that the store’s treats are worth the brief wait.
A few of our favorite menu items include:
Turtle Caramel Apple
Few treats satisfy quite like a fresh caramel apple. At Kilwin’s, of course, half the fun lies in seeing caramel apples prepared in the store. Even if you’re not around while the caramel apples are dipped, you’ll appreciate their unique blend of tangy and sweet flavors.
Traverse City Cherry Ice Cream
Kilwin’s specializes in ice cream flavors from Michigan. Traverse City Cherry is especially satisfying on a hot summer afternoon. The tantalizingly sweet flavor pays homage to the National Cherry Festival held in Traverse City.
If you leave the store with just one item to save for later, make it the pecan pralines. These homemade confections are sure to please. If you can’t choose between pecan pralines and an ice cream cone, you’re in luck: a praline ice cream flavor is available.
Don’t be afraid to sample fudge and ice cream before you buy. The staff members are happy to help you out. You might arrive for ‘just one’ scoop of ice cream or caramel apple, but you’ll leave with a stockpile of candy.
The only negative aspect of Kilwin’s downtown location? Parking can be a hassle. To avoid paying for parking during brief visits, stop by the Wall Street Parking Garage, located less than a block away. If you park on Wall Street, you’ll enjoy the first hour free of charge. After that, it costs just $1.50 per hour.