By Claire Schoenfeld
On first and third Saturdays through December, the Center for Craft hosts the Craft City Food & Art Tours. These walking tours provide an opportunity to experience and enjoy a showcase of the best food, art and drink that downtown Asheville has to offer. “This tour is a stimulating combination of eating, drinking and learning about why craft thrives in this region,” says founder and tour leader Anna Helgeson. “We also encourage people to think about craft as an underlying ethos of Asheville, a part of our culture that attracts makers of all sorts—from potters to chefs to craft cocktail alchemists.”
Tour-goers meet at Blue Spiral 1, a fine art and craft gallery that features local artists. From there, one tour route takes guests to Curaté, where they will sample drinks such as hand-crafted vermouth and snack on tapas made from local ingredients and served on East Fork Pottery plates. Next is a visit to Mora Jewelry, which showcases beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces. Throughout the tour, guests will learn about Asheville’s rich history and the city’s future as a paragon of the “craft city,” as illustrated by local craft experts. Though visitors are asked to save their shopping until after their tour finishes, the tour ticket includes a Craft City Passport that gives them a future discount on the galleries and restaurants they have visited.
When asked about her favorite spot, Helgeson says the variety of stops on the two different tour routes makes it difficult to choose. “Seriously, how do I choose between liquid chocolate and a glass blowing demo?” she asks.
Reservations must be made 24 hours in advance of the tour. For more information on dates, times, tickets and other inquiries go to CraftCityAVL.com.