‘Tis the season to indulge in warm, flaky, artisan baked goods — but here in Asheville, you can’t find a superb bagel, babka, or challah loaf just anywhere.
Never schmear, though: here are 11 stand-out bakeries, pop-ups, and businesses who specialize in Jewish baked goods, for when only the flakiest rugelach will do.
Geraldine’s, 840 Merrimon Ave. | Website | This New York-style mom and pop bakery delivers bagels that are hefty and airy, with just the right amount of chew. Stop by early for first dibs on the wondrous pastry selection, including hamantaschen and rugelach, plus loaves of challah.
Another pro tip: Asheville Jewish Community Center members have the option to subscribe to the org’s Challah Club + receive a fresh loaf from Geraldine’s each week.
Mother AVL, 20 Artful Wy. | Website | If sourdough is your love language, you’ll enjoy sinking your teeth into this bake shop’s tangy and artisan creations. There’s also the flagship babka, which changes throughout the seasons, from malted chocolate to cinnamon, cardamom + citrus zest.
Crust Never Sleeps, 24 Sardis Rd. | Website | Local bakers Dawn Alexander + Jonathan Price have long been making waves at local farmers markets for their slow-fermented, naturally-leavened bread — and now you can also visit their brand-new brick-and-mortar for Jewish rye bread, bialys, babka, bagels, Reuben croissants, and other sweet-and-savory goodness.
Rise Above Bakehouse, 1207 Charlotte Hwy. | Website | The bagels, which come in flavors like salt, everything, cheddar jalapeno, and swiss + black pepper, are beloved at this sweet Fairview bakery. They also make a mean lox sandwich.
City Bakery, 60 Biltmore Ave. and 88 Charlotte St. | Website | We love the thick and springy bagels from City Bakery, plus they also sell gorgeous challah loaves every now and then.
Underground Baking Co., 348 7th Ave. E., Hendersonville | Website | Reader Laurel K. has told us that this rustic bakery “makes a lovely babka.” We also spy bialys and sourdough rye on the menu. 👀
Hominy Farm | Website | Wood-fired, sourdough knish. Need we say more? Okay we’ll continue: this dynamic baking duo, which has earned a cult-like following at area farmers markets, also makes whole wheat sourdough pita, caraway rye bread, and rumor has it: they’ll start serving rugelach in the near future.
Honey Badger Bakes | Facebook | Follow this vagabond baker on social media to learn where they’ll be popping up next with their seedy, fluffy everything bagels.
Heater House Bakery | Instagram | Local baker Gus Trout, who sells his goods at spots like the RAD Farmers Market and Crucible, specializes in wood-fired sourdough and is known to have amazing challah.
Nosh AVL | Website | This home-based bakery delivers NY style, naturally leavened bagels and bialys, plus other special orders, to the greater Asheville area. Stay tuned: in the 2023, the team plans to secure a commercial kitchen space and host bagel pop-ups.
Want to delve deeper into the world of Jewish food? Check out the JCC’s podcast “J Voices” for this episode on Jewish food traditions, featuring local chefs Rachel Miriam of Jewish Family Services and Adrienne Press of Congregation Beth Israel.