Firestorm Books and Coffee

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  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 29 reviews )
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828-255-8115
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610 Haywood Rd, Asheville, North Carolina, USA, 28806

A worker-owned cafe, bookstore, and community event space committed to maintaining a vegan establishment. Re-opened here in summer 2015 (previously at 48 Commerce St). Offers casual vegan fare, baked goods, and beverages with plant milk varieties including soy, almond, coconut, and flax milk. Check out their book selection and the events calendar - see website. Open Tue-Sun 8:00am-9:00pm.

Category: Vegan, American, Fast food, Take-out

Reviews (29)

First Review by jeribella

Lovely funky bookstore & vegan cafe - Edit

Got tasty cafe au laits at this 100% vegan cafe and loved perusing all the counterculture books. Staff was cool and fun and I loved little vegan buttons and trinkets. Nice notebooks with no leather covers.

Pros: 100% vegan

Cons: A little small

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SO GREAT - Edit

If you're vegan, LGBT, a feminist, or just wanting a great cup of coffee, this is your PLACE. I want to read every single book they have there and the food was tasty too! The carrot cake cookie sandwich and brownie were both incredible too! If you're in Asheville, you've GOT to stop by Firestorm!

Pros: 100% VEGAN, awesome values and employees, delicious baked goods and coffee!

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LOVED LOVED LOVED - Edit

This space is fantastic in my opinion. It has a small cafe with great food and rink options available with everything being vegan there is no hesitation to want to try it all. The bookstore that is attached and own by the same place is to die for. Great selection of books in all topics but in particular the books about activism, anarchy, animal liberation, and herbal medicine were what thrilled me the most. It was easy to spend time here reading over a cup of tea and a delicious bagel with cream cheese. What also excites me about this place is the classes it offers that I am looking forward to attending soon. If you're in the area you must check this place out.

Pros: co-operated, great selection of books and food, dog friendly

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So cute - Edit

This is the first all vegan cafe i've ever been to, that's so amazing! I got the lavender and chamomile bubble tea and loved it! They have a wide variety of desserts, but I think the carrot cake cookie was the best thing I tried. They have an amazing selection of books that i've found hard to find anywhere else.

Pros: Cool books, Delicious menu, Pretty space

Cons: Parking

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Love the Bookstore and the Coffee Shop! - Edit

So glad Firestorm moved from downtown Asheville to West Asheville (next to Sunny Point Cafe). The space is bigger and gives more room for the considerably expanded book store collection. Kid friendly books, speciality books for those who think, general books on the shelf or can be ordered quickly. The workers are informed and intelligent. Nice combo!

The coffee shop has fabulous drinks - coffee and beyond. I love the vegan cookies (although no one would ever guess one way or the other that they are vegan based on their deliciousness). Definitely try the Mexican Snickerdoodles (chocolate and cayenne), Tahini Lime (shortening cookie Yum), and Peanut Butter Oatmeal (coated in generous chunks of chopped peanuts.) The locally make truffles are great. The tamales are soo good. Bagels w/vegan cream cheese are a standard of mine, too.

Beyond the books and the coffee shop, Firestorm has a mission to use their space to host a wide range of events, workshops, film screenings, fundraisers and presentations that benefit the community. Their calendar is always full!

Pros: Worker Owned Collective, Independent Bookstore for Inquiring Minds, Vegan Healthy Foods/Drinks

Cons: Might have to get a few steps of exercise to find

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Loving the Vibe - Edit

Amazing vibe, really cool staff (so knowledgable and friendly), and unique products. I'd recommend the Ginger Cider Elixir - caution, it's spicy! Really terrific selection of books too, obviously.

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Great addition to the neighborhood - Edit

all vegan coffee shop and alternative book store. Happy to have them in walking distance!

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Wonderful Cafe - Edit

Great coffee (I'm loving the maple latte) and the cookies are great too!
Good atmosphere and nice service, if Asheville wasn't more than an hour away from where I live, I'd go more than just on the weekends!

Another great thing is the community support; the Bookstore had a nice deal as part of the black Friday Asheville bookstore crawl, and the cafe part participated with free drip coffee!

Pros: Good coffee

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Happy to Have Firestorm in the Neighborhood - Edit

My morning routine was recently upended by the quick and considerable collapse of Waking Life Espresso. But, I have QUICKLY come to love and appreciate the recently re-opened and re-located Firestorm Books and Cafe -- now on Haywood Road.

The cafe and bookstore co-op is not only located near home for me, but their coffee is very good, their bagels are delicious, the cafe is 100% vegan (and so, too, is the cooking section of the bookstore)!

So, if you're looking for a good cup of coffee, a toasted bagel with vegan cream cheese (made by Plant) or a pastry or a vegan sandwich, salad or lunchbox, some stimulating non-mainstream reading material, or just an escape of the status quo, Firestorm IS the counter-cultural spot for you!

Pros: all vegan cafe, counter-culture vibe and energy, worker owned and operated

1 Response
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firestormcafe 20 Oct 2015 - Thanks for the positive feedback! We're so excited to be in your neighborhood and look forward to continuing to grow and improve our offerings. (:  


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Moved - Edit

March, 2014 with plans to re-locate to new space.

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firestormcafe 16 Jul 2015 - As of July 2015, we have reopened in a new and expanded location at 610 Haywood Road. Come check it out!  


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Vegan Truffles! - Edit

VERY friendly staff! Was in town for Thanksgiving and was searching for vegan chocolates. A worker at The Chocolate Fetish told me to come here for the biggest selection of vegan truffles. I bought one of every kind. They were all amazing! Also bought a yummy coffee with coconut milk creamer.

Pros: Friendly staff, cool vibe

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NEW MENU - Edit

UPDATE: 10/2012. I was a little bummed today when I went to Firestorm and saw their menu has changed. They only have wraps that are pre-made, so you can't leave anything you don't like out. I loved the TLT and they don't have that anymore. But, I still like the vibe of this place and will just have to suck it up and try something new! I do NOT adapt well to change! :)

* * * *

Firestorm might be my new favorite place when I visit Asheville! I love everything about it; from the low-key, very basic interior, to the super-friendly staff, to the delicious meal - it's all fantastic. I especially love that they are a worker-owned and self-managed business. I also liked all the artwork displayed on the walls. The Cafe is very clean and uses "real" plates and utensils instead of plastic/styrofoam.

This cafe is just my style - good, reasonably priced (cheap, actually) food in a no frills setting. It's a bookstore as well as a cafe. There must be wi-fi since a lot of people were on computers (tho, I am not sure).

My meal was fantastic. It was a sesame/ginger tofu wrap, filled with all kinds of veggies (it comes with avocado, but I had them hold that). The guy taking my order, and the guy making it were very friendly and welcoming - just what you would expect in a vegan restaurant. I also had some delicious unsweetened black tea. It was a great meal (the wrap doesn't come with anything - but it didn't need to, it was very filling). The price of the wrap was $6.50! I love that!

I will definitely be back again and again. The location is excellent and you can enter from a main street, or from a back street. It's right across the street from a little park in the center of downtown Asheville. Try it!

p.s. There is something I disagree with in the Happy Cow description; that Firestorm Cafe is "fast food". You tend to think of fast food as crap food (as in McD or BK). That is so NOT the case here. The food is made up fresh as you wait. It was served to me quickly - so, yes, technically that is fast food - but the words "fast food" just have a stigma attached to them. I just don't want anyone to get the wrong idea.

UPDATE: Ate at Firestorm again today and had the Tempeh, Lettuce and Tomato (with herbed chips). OMG, soooo good. Might be my new favorite meal. I love this place! The price was so cheap - $6.50. Another place had almost the same sandwich for $9.50. Delicious!! Love it!

Pros: Very Friendly, Fantastic Food, Worker-Owned

1 Response
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firestormcafe 02 Nov 2012 - Julie, sorry to hear that you had a negative first impression of our new menu. We hope that you'll have another look at it because we've added a lot of stuff we're excited about, including a daily curry and rice dish, a half-wrap and soup combo, several new bagels and house-made flavored cream cheeses. The focus on rotational, ready-made fare allows us to put more of our time into being a great community space and bookstore instead of just a sandwich shop. We realize that this isn't the same menu you first loved, but we hope you'll give it another try!  


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heats and sweets - Edit

An amazing worker-owned vegan cafe with lots of yummy food. The cupcakes and thumbprint cookies are the tastiest in Asheville. I like that they have a venue and bookstore too. The only bummer is that they serve cow's milk for the tourists who come by. At least the tourists are eating and supporting an otherwise vegan place.

Pros: cupcakes, venue, cheap

Cons: cow's milk

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Great Atmosphere and Good Food! - Edit

We had a few very good sandwiches at Firestorm when we were very, very hungry and then later stopped by when we had more time to think and process what we were eating. A definite stand out was the chocolate covered macaroon.

The restaurant/book store is all worker owned, which means everyone truly cares about how you enjoy the experience, and I highly appreciated the service. Read a full review: http://www.vegan-nutritionista.com/firestorm-cafe.html

Pros: good food, great value, worker owned

Cons: hard to find a table

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great food, great vibe - Edit

my wife and i made a recent trip to asheville -- our second time in the city. being vegan, we love all the options we have. during our first trip, we didn't even have time to visit all the cafes and restaurants we had hoped to get to, and firestorm was one of those places that was on the bottom of the list. the menu seemed to have fairly standard vegan fare (and yes, the food is all vegan), so we weren't sure it would beat out the local competition.

but we were totally wrong. we stopped in for dinner and sampled their tempeh gyro, and their new mozzarella spinach wrap, and both were divine! then we opted for their brownie sundae with vegan ice cream from ultimate ice cream co, and again -- divine! we loved the food so much we made sure to stop back in for lunch before our trip was over.

the vibe was cool -- lots of people hanging out, reading, eating. very laid-back and low-key, and very welcoming. don't expect frills, because there are none to be found. but what matters is the food, and it's excellent. we'll be back on our next trip down to AVL.

Pros: great food, good prices, good vibe

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Best Bagels! - Edit

I'm from NY so I'm really picky about my bagels but this place has excellent ones! I love that I can get one with vegan cream cheese. They have a great selection of coffees, teas and desserts as well as a small menu of sandwiches and soups. There are also a variety of books and items for sale.

Pros: Tasty, fast, bagels

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Firestorm Cafe - Edit

The decor and food was very basic. My roll-up was inexpensive but too simple for my tastes. If you're vegan and on a tight budget, this may be the place for you.

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Eccentric? - Edit

Firestorm is an interesting little place to stop in for a snack or lunch. The desserts and coffee/tea are my favorites.
The restaurant is about what you'd expect from a vegetarian place. Loud but friendly service, lots of quirky art on the walls, wobbly tables and mismatched chairs. Firestorm has a small book selection too. The books are mostly liberal interests, no surprise there. I liked their selection of books on vegetarianism.
I'd go back, but I'd probably get carry out. The super-casual environment isn't really my thing.

Pros: good prices, great dessert

Cons: hipster haven

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Awesome Awesome Awesome!! - Edit

Traveling from east tn to east nc, we often have to pick food stops carefulle, examine each menu and ask tons of questions.... the only problem with this place is what to try first!! Great people, great atmosphere, and great food!! we even came back and grabbed a couple of cookies and blue sky sodas for the road!!! keep it up, we will defo be back!!!

Pros: Friendly people, Great selection, Great prices

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firestorm - Edit

I've only been here once, but had a nice quite time w/ hubbie. Had Chai (very yummy, lots of foam) and a small salad. Neat atmosphere, lots of interesting anarchist books to browse. Indie music mix that I liked. "Hip". A friend goes there for game night.

Pros: great chai, good dressing, nice barista/server

Cons: may freak some people out

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Awsome worker owned collective - Edit

This is a highly ethical worker owned collective. Their food was varied and delicious. We came with our two year, and found it to be a family friendly place. They had wooden toys and room to run around. A lot of their food is quite affordable. For more on their BEST VALUED FOOD please see our blog.
http://www.veggie-baby.blogspot.com

Pros: All Vegan, Family Friendly, Ethical

Cons: Hard to find

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Not completely vegan - Edit

Firestorm is not completely vegan. They serve dairy products and honey.

That being said, the vegan menu items are delicious, and the atmosphere is nice. It's nice that it's worker-owned and operated. Lots of interesting radical books and people.

Pros: friendly staff

Cons: not vegan

2 Responses
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firestormcafe 15 Aug 2010 - Our food menu is 100% vegan. We offer local, organic milk to remain commercially viable in a small, non-vegan city but all of our beverages are dairy-free unless otherwise requested (we serve soy, almond and coconut milks). We are committed to maintaining a vegan establishment and actively support the local veg*n community through fundraisers, book clubs, educational events, etc.  


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Pansyflower 22 Feb 2013 - I eat there pretty regularly and have seen honey only once on their specials board for some tea or something. I don't quite remember. However, all the food is vegan; the only dairy is milk for coffee drinks (though I don't know why they have to have that).  


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The most AMAZING brownies - Edit

Amazing vegan brownies & vegan truffles too!! Friendly service & great book selection. Game night Wednesday nights, cool!

Pros: Inexpensive, Great goodies

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Worth the visit - Edit

Ambiance is great. I splurged and got an exspresso brownie with my soy latte- totally worth it. I loved visiting this all vegan cafe and wish I had a chance to sample more food. The book selection is as interesting as the clientel. The service was super fast and super friendly.

Pros: great food, friendly staff, nice atmosphere

Cons: no outdoor seating

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good and vegan - Edit

I finally tried this place - don't know what took me so long, but the food we had was really good. I had a great sandwich, which was $9. That sure is not cheap, but I support the fact that they are worker-owned, and I'd go back to have it again sometime. Very casual atmosphere - coffee house style, but they have a good range of sandwiches, soup, etc.

Pros: good food, vegan, worker-owned

Cons: not cheap

1 Response
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firestormcafe 22 Feb 2013 - Thanks for the positive words! We're thrilled that you enjoyed our cafe and we hope you'll come back. The sandwich you had (the Philly) is the priciest item on our menu, so you can definitely eat for less on a future visit. Our sandwiches range from $4 to $9 (after tax).  


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SOOOO Awesome! - Edit

I love this place! It's all vegan except for some cows milk. Its also worker owned and they have books. Even though the menu is small, the food is really good! The Philly Sub is amazing! They have tons of yummy all vegan cupcakes, brownies, muffins. The atmosphere is great too.

Pros: vegan desserts, worker owned, yummy food

Cons: can be crowded

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Awesome! - Edit

Great all vegan cafe with yummy snacks and coffee. I had a sandwich and a mocha while listening to a local band.

Pros: Vegan, Laid back, Yummy

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