#43 of 17 Asheville Restaurants

Malaprops Bookstore & Coffee Shop

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Malaprop’s Bookstore & Cafe - Locally Owned Bookstore and Coffee Shop in Downtown Asheville
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Malaprop’s Bookstore / Cafe is a local-centric bookstore, coffee shop, and snack bar providing plenty of local fares. Find local authors, souvenirs, signed books, author talks, and a hometown atmosphere alongside espresso drinks, baked desserts, and kids beverages.

- The SmokyMountains.com Local Expert Team

Malaprop’s Bookstore and Cafe is a local-centric bookstore, coffee shop, and snack bar providing plenty of local fares. Find local authors, souvenirs, signed books, author talks, and a hometown atmosphere alongside espresso drinks, baked desserts, and kids beverages.

Malaprop’s Bookstore and Cafe is located on Haywood Street, a part of downtown Asheville, North Carolina. In the heart of the action, located on Walnut and Hayward in Downtown Asheville, the bookstore is locally owned and operated. It is a combination of a bookstore, cafe with espresso drinks, and hang out for book lovers interested in author talks and book signings.

There are regularly author talks from local authors, and there’s a formidable history section at the bookstore covering the history of the area. Malaprop’s also sells book related kitsch like bookmarks, posters, journals, and the like. For refreshments, they do sell wine along with snacks, making this the ideal setting for book club meetings, luncheons, and special events.

One interesting thing about the bookstore is they are adamant about not allowing people to use their cellphones while waiting in line and at the counter. There are signs warning customers and if you are caught using your cell phone there, you are likely to get the evil eye at the least.

The bookstore sells Book Club books on a list of the store’s current book clubs at a discount. Whether you want to save on a book or jump head first into the book club culture at Malaprop’s, there are several options. The WILD Book Club, LGBTQ Book Club, and Notorious HBC *History Book Club are just some of the book clubs hosted at the bookstore.

As for the cafe, this service covers your basic espresso drinks. In addition, the cafe also provides coffee delivery for orders over $50 from the cafe, which is a bonus for local businesses.

Frosty and Frothy Beverages Only
Only beverages are sold at this cafe, and they range from simple teas and coffee to fruit smoothies and coffee drinks:

Rocket Surgery
Located on the Specialty drink menu, Rocket Surgery is described as having white chocolate with macadamia nut mocha. That would be macadamia nut milk used as the base, is a guess here? Either way, you never see something that exotic on an espresso menu, so you have got to try it.

Red Eye
If you need that extra punch in the arm, get it with the Red Eye. This is a cup of black coffee with a shot of espresso. If you get a 16-ounce beverage it includes two shots. That sounds like the perfect fix if you’ve just arrived in town or are hoping to stay awake for the long haul tonight. You can also get soy milk, almond milk, or regular dairy to give this a luxurious touch.

Just a Cup of Coffee
If you are a purist who prefers to have just a cup of coffee, the Malaprop’s Cafe has you covered. Here you can order from a menu of locally roasted coffees. All of the coffees are shade grown in fair trade organic conditions. Get the best flavor out of the coffee by ordering the French press version. That’s right, a cup of French press coffee using locally sourced healthy as heck beans in a bookstore cafe.

Forbidden Fruit
Need a nutrition boost? Give your body a shot of the good stuff with the Forbidden Fruit 100 percent fruit smoothie. One of three smoothies they currently blend up, this smooth has a mix of guava 7 passionfruit puree. This is blended with ice for a healthy and cool concoction. You can also order the Mango Tropics or Four Berry Blend.

Insider’s Tips
-You can call ahead and have a coffee order be ready and be waiting on you when you arrive.
-If you are lucky, you will visit the store as they are doing a Blind Date With a Bookseller. This special program includes a section of books covered in brown paper so you only have an idea of what kind of book you are getting based on a single sentence, fact, question, or quote.