Izzy’s Coffee Den in Asheville, NC
“Den” is the perfect word to describe this Lexington Avenue coffee spot. It’s dark, cozy, and inviting if you’re not intimidated by the cool, hipster clientele (which I always was… until now).
COFFEE: They brew Counter Culture, one of my favorite brands. And if you drink your coffee there, you get it in a large mug for only $1.25, and 50 cent refills (It’s $1.50 for a 12-oz cup if you grab it to-go). I’ve had their French Roast, which is amazing. But today, I felt adventurous and tried the Ethiopian blend. Not bad, but I’m sticking to what they describe on their menu as “the dark stuff”.
VIBE: Punk music blares from the speakers… everything from Weezer and Lou Reed to other bands that I’m not hip enough to know (as evidenced by my use of the word “hip”). I actually like listening to punk music while I work. I can somehow tune it out and at the same time absorb its energy to help me focus. The local artwork adorning the walls is chaotic with a hint of psychotic. I’m personally drawn to this piece that I can only describe as some sort of deranged rabbit on a bicycle, lovingly titled “Snuggles”:
And I’m always a fan of places that use creative ways to distinguish between the men’s and women’s restrooms:
They advertise live music, but I’m guessing that’s something that goes on later in the evening and I’m a morning person when it comes to cafe working. You have to appreciate local businesses that support local art and music!
FOOD: The food section on their menu could just as easily be called BAGELS. They keep it simple, selling Brueggers bagels, priced according to shmear: butter, cream cheese or hummus. I prefer my bagels made in-house, but this isn’t a bakery. I’m here for the coffee and computer time and Izzy’s accomplishes those two things quite well.
BEER & WINE: If you prefer more than a caffeine buzz while you work (and really, who doesn’t?) they have a small albeit decent selection of beers, and I believe I saw one wine option.
INTERNET: They post their password on the counter. It’s fast, free and I didn’t have any connection problems.
A couple of years ago, they opened a second location in West Asheville, which I’ve yet to check out, but it’s on my list.
Izzy’s Coffee Den, 74 N Lexington Ave, Asheville NC 28801