A hand-lettered sign near the door says it all.


Sad news for the East Side: Cafe Azalea closes its doors at 3 p.m. Sunday after brunch service.

After nearly six years in business and just days after being named a “Best Brunch” contender on Ashvegas, the independently owned cafe will close permanently. Its innovative menu touted fresh and local, its baked goods were house-baked, and its warm, orange-toned decor was welcoming.


Located on Tunnel Road not far from the Riceville Road-area Ingles, the cozy cafe was less tucked away than almost completely camouflaged within the HomeTrust Bank Plaza.

Ashvegas wishes the owners well in future pursuits.

Eat local and support the restaurants you love.

Cafe Azalea on Facebook

Cafe Azalea website




  1. It has re-opened under new ownership. I ate there in the past few months. I even asked them to bring back the lobster bisque! Please note….

  2. Pingback: Cafe Azalea to re-open in East Asheville

  3. There was plenty of parking behind the building. Sad to see them go. The food and service were always great.

  4. I feel as though there has been a death in my family. Cafe Azalea was my favorite go-to in East Asheville where I live. I loved the food, the people, the ambiance, everything. My wish is that they find a better location and start up again. I would even be willing to help!!

    Miss you already!!!

  5. The cafe shared a small parking lot with several other businesses with each one getting maybe three spots. There was never enough parking. I tried going there a few times and couldn’t find a spot. Nothing to do with sidewalks or “walkability.” I don’t walk from Montford to Tunnel Rd. Hell, I don’t walk to my mailbox.

    • Just because you are lazy and don’t walk to your mailbox doesn’t mean everyone who would potentially patronize this restaurant is lazy. Walkability is definitely a factor in East Asheville.

      Oh, and there is a parking deck behind/under the building. There is plenty of parking.

  6. Location Location Location. I can’t believe they made it 6 years. Put that on main street weaverville….

  7. sad to hear. i know judd, and i know he worked his ass off. east asheville is so lacking in food alternatives, and he offered that. problem with east asheville is that there are no “walk-to” spots. you always gotta drive. too bad. it stifles the chance to enjoy alot of stuff like in west ashe.

    • Until recently there were no sidewalks at all. Thus, not a walking community.

      Even now that some sidewalks have been built they still don’t really connect to neighborhoods very well. (for example…no sidewalk up Riceville Rd. to Pinnacle Ridge or Evergreen Ridge Apts.) While it is easier to get to some places on foot it’s still not as comprehensive as West or North Asheville. Maybe it won’t ever be such a walking community like those spots or maybe it will evolve someday…IDK.

      I do know that at the worst, most dangerous spot to walk (just east of Domino’s/Octopus Garden) still exists a gap in the sidewalk. There’s literally about a 2-3′ wide section of grass to walk on for about 40′ or so in length…on one side is US70 and the other side is a steep 20′ embankment with a creek at the bottom. Why hasn’t the COA completed this section? It’s very dangerous even in prime conditions!

      I think that if the sidewalks connected to communities a little better and the speed limit was reduced to 35mph at most then East Asheville might have a chance. As it is the speed limit is 45 and people drive about 55-60 down the section from the VA Hospital eastward to I-40.

  8. Maybe bad location? I’ve never heard of them, and their menu looks great.

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