The Charlottesville restaurant scene is well known for its diverse eateries, talented chefs, and emphasis on quality produce from surrounding local farms. Scroll through our list of favorite spots to grab a bite in below, or click on one of the categories to jump to your ideal mealtime.
BREAKFAST / COFFEE
As an area staple, Mudhouse has grown from a small coffee cart on the Downtown Mall to a local mini-chain with three locations. Grab your choice of caffeinated beverage and a pastry (or even better, a Power Ball!) to get your morning started.
213 W. Main St. Charlottesville, VA
116 10th Street NW Charlottesville, VA
The Nook has been serving Charlottesville locals on The Downtown Mall since 1951. The building was built in the late 1880s and features original Mahogany booths, an outdoor patio, and classic diner specials for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And since you're on vacation, don't worry about sleeping in: breakfast is served all day long.
Ask any Charlottesvillian what their Bodos order is, and they'll have an answer. This classic New York style bagel shop has a cult following and for good reason. The line of people out the door is par for the course, but don't let it scare you—you'll be in and out with a build-your-own bagel sandwich in hand before you know it. They have three locations to choose from, but Preston Avenue is the easiest to get in and out of.
1418 Emmet Street Charlottesville, VA
505 Preston Avenue Charlottesville, VA
This Belmont sandwich shop boasts house made breads and pastries in quaint downtown Belmont. Opt for one of their breakfast sandwiches or the Belle omelet and enjoy it on the outdoor patio, open every day from 9:00am to 3:00pm.
This classic European-inspired cafe and bakery offers housemade breads, pastries, and coffee alongside a classic cafe menu with simple favorites like Quiche Lorraine and Croque Monsieur.
At Citizen Burger Bar, kicking back with a burger and a beer is one of life’s essential liberties. To secure that sacred right for the people of Charlottesville, they teamed up with a few exceptional nearby farms and designed a menu around locally produced, top-tier ingredients. Located in the heart of the Downtown Mall, this is a can't-miss lunch spot.
Anchoring the lower terrace at Piedmont Place in the heart of Downtown Crozet, Smoked Kitchen & Tap offers more than just its famous, slow-smoked BBQ. Enjoy farm-fresh salads, delicious sandwiches, burgers and more. Everything is made from scratch and sourced from the freshest, highest quality ingredients. The secret dry rubs and five distinct sauces are all made in house.
Established in 1935, Riverside Lunch offers smash burgers, hot dogs, and subs in an unassuming setting. Open every day, it's the perfect spot to slide up to the counter and chow down at an excellent price point.
Oakheart Social is exemplar of the latest generation of great urban restaurants. In a former service station, the minimalist space and unpretentious service allow the food to shine, under the care of one of Charlottesville’s most talented and passionate kitchens. Small and large plates for sharing.
With white tablecloths, professional and welcoming servers, and an intimate setting, this throwback remains the best special occasion restaurant in town. After more than two decades of success, somehow the food is still fresh and exciting, too, thanks to two-time James Beard award semifinalist Angelo Vangelopoulos.
Tucked away on one of the off streets of the Downtown Mall, Fleurie serves up sophisticated French cuisine that showcases skill, effort, passion, and creativity. This fine dining restaurant is the best spot to enjoy a special occasion tasting menu and wine pairing.
Conceived by chef Tomas Rahal, this downtown Belmont restaurant emphasizes simple, well-made ingredients served in a casual neighborhood setting. Mas features much of the traditional fare of Spanish tapas, meant to be eaten in groups, sharing dishes communally and without any pretense or formality.
This Crozet staple features handmade pizzas, calzones, salads, and desserts that have reached legendary status amongst locals. The family opened Crozet Pizza in 1977 with just five tables, and it has since expanded to include three dining areas, a large bar, and an event space where you will often find live music. Perfect for dine in or takeout.
Located on the Downtown Mall, Ten offers modern-Japanese, tapas style food ranging from sushi to salads to tempura dishes. The bar menu boasts an extensive list of Sake, including a “Sake Flight,” which allows for you to taste the subtle and intricate flavors of three selected varietals. Its urban-glam atmosphere makes the perfect backdrop to enjoy their extensive wine list and Asian-inspired cocktails.
Tucked away in the side streets of Charlottesville's Downtown Mall and hidden in an alley, The Alley Light offers classic French shared plates, craft cocktails, and small grower wines in a casually elegant atmosphere. Bar Manager Micah LeMon has created a stunning cocktail program that makes this the perfect spot for happy hour or late night snacks and cocktails. Don't miss the bone marrow!