The Asheville Dating Guide (Bonus Material Included!)
Aug 08, 2018 • McKenzie Toma
Four Asheville date ideas that make the most of our little mountain town. Plus, take a quiz to see if you are a match for a blind date with our CFO John Vigeland! Swoon.
Dating is hard! If you live in a smaller city like Asheville, it's extra hard. You go on Tinder, you swipe right on a few cuties, go on a mediocre date. You don't text back because even though your date's extended discourse on kayak plastic was, if not riveting, impressive in its esotericism, you just don't vibe. Shampoo, rinse, repeat. But wait! Oh no! Who is that checking out at Ingles? There you are, freezing in the ice cream aisle, hiding from another oral dissertation on cutting-edge buoyancy materials. Just kidding, I know a lot of you are into kayaking. Honestly, I'd probably like it a lot, but I'm scared of that whole purposefully rolling over underwater thing...why!?
Anyway, you remain hopeful because love is out there and someday, someone will come along who likes mild to moderate out-doors-y-ness just like you.
Let me get to the real point of this post. Would you like to go on a nice date with East Fork's John Vigeland?
It's true. Our very own master potter, CFO/COO, true sweetheart and boss dude, graciously agreed to indulge our fantasies of setting him up on a blind date in the spirit of hope! Of wishful thinking! Of maybe finding true love! It is some weird miracle that he is single, but maybe it's the same with you! I know all of you lone wolf Ashevillians are thinking, "Seriously?" To which I say, "Yes." To which you might say "Um, yes! Sign me up!" I like that attitude. I'll get to the logistics in just a moment.
When I ask John to describe ideal date in Asheville he says, "Sheesh, my first dates usually end up being the run of the mill meet for a drink, or slightly more fun—go for a walk around a stroll-able place in or around Asheville. Hikes around town, the graveyard in Montford is fun, botanical gardens at UNCA etc." Strolls and botanicals? Dreamy. And, oooo a graveyard? Edgy. Nice. "It's all about trying to establish a connection—so if its a bar its gonna be calm and quiet. Little Jumbo or the Crucible is usually fits that description. I don't go out for cocktails much, but a date is a good excuse to feel a lil' fancy." To quote our savior (Jonathan from Queer Eye), "Can you BELIEVE?" Here's what you do:
Click the link below to partake in our very professional, scientifically-formulated quiz. This link will analyze your character and tastes on a deep psychological level (can you see us winking here?) to see if you are a match for John. We care the utmost for this very tall pottery man and are seeking a match in his best interest for a fun little date. We'll take it from there!
Got your own big dates plans coming up? We wanted to share with you some of our favorite date ideas for all the locals out there looking to spice it up (or just get it going). We split it up into four different types because the world is a big, beautiful place where some people like martinis, others like green tea, and a lot just like a high life in a chill locale.
Though Asheville may be on the smaller side, we are blessed with a plethora of tasty restaurants and great bars amidst the abundant nature. This one is for the foodie. The lover of wine and the promenader of city sidewalks. Ok, first of all, you both need to loosen up. Take the edge off. Break the ice. How about a cocktail at Sovereign Remedies? They have an amazing cocktail list, but I always order a classic Negroni because they nail it. Grab a seat on the couches by the window to really relax. For dinner, take a lovely tipsy stroll to Cucina 24. I recommend doing the 45$ per person “What We’re Cooking” menu, which is a five-course feast of ever-changing stellar Italian inspired dishes. That paired with a great wine list; you can’t go wrong! Also, the restaurant has the perfect lighting for a date and your cacio e pepe just might end up on a familiar plate (we're talking about East Fork, of course!). End the night with an affogato from French Broad Chocolates and a stroll through the cobblestone streets. If you have time you could even see what's playing at the Fine Arts Theater!
The Green Goddex
If you live in Asheville, you must love nature. A simple hike can not only clear you right up and make you feel alive again, it can be a great way to get to know someone. With all of this Blake-ian romance around, it would be silly not turn to the mountains and rivers to guide you on love’s journey. Meaning: picnic at Max Patch! It’s a stunning clearing on top of a knob in a section of the Appalachian Trail. There is a short loop that crosses the summit and a long loop that encircles it for stunning views. Both under 3 miles, so totally doable. Since this is a day date, consider popping by Dobra Tea for a Forest Dragon (iced matcha w/ rice milk, cardamom, honey) to get you amped. Hit up West Village Market for cheese, fruit, nuts, salami, baguette...all the picnic essentials. Maybe Sake? It’s so romantic up there, you’ll probably fall in love for sure, so you’ll wanna keep the fire goin’. After you’re all sweaty and doe-eyed, you'll probably need a real meal. Head to Homegrown's new location in West Asheville, a hop skip and a jump from French Broad River Park, where you can end the day gazing upon the ever-changing waters as the sun sets.
The (F)Risky Bizness
Ok, this one is for all of you down to clown, risk-taking, fun-loving, wild-childs. You wanna go all in? This date starts at home, so maybe wait until ya'll have had a few encounters under your belt before diving in. Ok, go pick up some fresh oysters, maybe a dozen, from Harris Teeter (they have a surprisingly fresh and great seafood selection.) Don't forget an oyster knife! Ask your partner to bring the beverages to form a foundation of equity. The silliness of shucking oysters will also for sure make you fall in love. Please just be careful because the Emergency Room is not part of this particular date. After your charming appetizer, blindfold your date and put them in the car for a surprise dinner. Joke! Never do that. But do make sure everyone has their swimsuits! Ask them if they will join you for a lovely dinner in Marshall at Star Diner, before moseying over to Hot Springs, NC for a night soak in the tubs at Hot Springs Resort & Spa. Too much? Or literally perfect?
The Morning After (Date)
The Plan B (for Breakfast). This is the date that is sort of like an extension of your last date which could have happened the evening before, perhaps, maybe. It’s actually the best kind of date because it usually means you really like this person, which is a step in the right direction on your journey of love! First thing is first: Coffee. Actually, water and then coffee. Head to High Five for a strong espresso that will get the day started right. The Cubano is insanely good. Sweet and salty. Next: Food. Assuming you had a really beautiful dinner last night, let’s keep it simple. Five Points is hands down the best spot for a diner breakfast in Asheville. I stick to the classic: eggs, toast, bacon, potatoes, and side of one pancake. Once you’ve had your fill, head to Downtown Books and News to peruse the aisles of printed goodness. Who doesn't love a bookstore date? Then maybe pop across the street to check out this cute local shop called East Fork. ;-)
EXPERT TIP: Remember, the most important part of building relationships is communication and consent! Nobody owes you anything if you treat them to dinner. You never have to get touchy with anyone for any reason if you don’t want to, and even though it can feel clumsy, asking for consent is the right thing to do!
Find joy in the journey of dating and loving, whatever that means to you. Go in love at your pace, sweeties.