Café Yuzu
photograph by Johnny Autry

The River Arts District in Asheville overflows with hundreds of studios: potters and knitters, glassblowers and jewelry makers, most of whom you can visit on a whim. But only one offers a candied ginger twist for you to nibble while you wander and stare longingly at the ceramic plates, or an apple-and-quince brioche pudding to eat off of one of those very dishes. Husband-and-wife team Akira Satake and Cynthia Pierce combined their talents — his art and her baking — when they opened Yuzu, a gallery meets micro-bakery in 2013. Last summer, they moved to a new space almost twice the size. Here, Pierce can continue to surprise visitors with Japanese flavors woven into familiar desserts. “I like being out of the box,” she says. “I like when people come in and say, ‘I don’t recognize this.’”

Café Yuzu
191 Lyman Street #165, Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 545-7447 or

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Emma Laperruque works as a food writer and recipe developer at Food 52 in New York City.