The Top 10 Restaurants In Charlottesville, Virginia

Photo of Chloe Hay
9 February 2017

Home of the Monticello wine trail, Charlottesville, Virginia attracts thousands of food and wine lovers every year. To cater to tourists and gourmand locals, Charlottesville has a whole host of fantastic restaurants. From authentic Indian cuisine to Spanish tapas, southern fried chicken sandwiches and award-winning fine dining institutions, there’s something here to suit every taste. Here is our guide to the 10 best.

Courtesy Citizen Burger Bar

Citizen Burger Bar

Bar, Restaurant, American, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, Wine, Beer, Cocktails, Pub Grub, $$$
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With sustainability in mind, Citizen Burger Bar uses locally sourced, hormone-free ingredients and produce in all of its burgers. Keeping things simple, this casual restaurant is ideal for groups of friends and families. Located in the heart of the historic downtown, it’s also a great location for a perfect lunch or dinner stop whilst exploring Charlottesville. Go for the Timber creek local beef burger with a side of beer-battered onion rings or truffle fries and you certainly won’t leave disappointed.

Fellini’s #9

Restaurant, Italian, Vegetarian, $$$
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Located within a historic building from the 1800s, the interior of Fellini’s #9 is extremely cosy due to its bare brick and wormed-chestnut walls dotted with paintings by local artisans. A classic horseshoe copper-topped bar acts as the centrepiece of the restaurant and the roaring fire completes the romantic scene. Book a table to avoid long waits and settle down to enjoy a lovely meal of white wine mussels and sauteed calamari or veal Francesco and lamb shank with risotto.

Mas Tapas

Restaurant, Tapas, Spanish, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free, $$$
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Bringing the slow, organic and artisan style of cooking to the United States, Mas Tapas serves small Spanish plates that are perfect for sharing with a group of friends looking to enjoy an exciting array of flavours. The u restaurant has a young, hip feel to it, which, when paired with great tasting cocktails, for a popular dinner spot for a night out. For the most authentic experience, stop by for a glass of wine and one small plate in between meals or pick a selection of four or five to share. The empanadas, croquettas de yucca, gorditas, plata de jamon and carne asada are all great choices choices.

Mel’s Café

Cafe, American, Coffee, Tea , Vegetarian
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Mel's Cafe
Mel's Cafe | Courtesy Milan Indian Cuisine
A long-standing family run restaurant, Mel’s Cafe serves the best soul food in the city as well as traditional American breakfast fare. Located within easy walking distance of the downtown mall, stop by this charming restaurant or a wholesome lunch or dinner. Meals are tasty and the portions are plentiful, perfect for those with a big appetite. Try the fried chicken breast sandwich, the pork chop dinner or country ham and egg breakfast and it’s unlikely that you’ll need another meal for the rest of the day. Cash only.

Milan Indian Cuisine

The go-to place for delicious Indian dishes in the city, Milan Indian Cuisine is a firm favourite among the locals. To sample an assortment of authentic flavours in one sitting, stop by to indulge in the spicy lunchtime buffet or order the set multi-course dinner for two in the evening. The lamb rogan josh, goat pasanda, garlic naan and chicken tikka massala are particularly popular.

Milan Indian Cuisine, 1817 Emmet Street N, Charlottesville, VA, USA, +1 434 984 2828

Old Mill Room

Restaurant, American, Contemporary, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, $$$
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Old Mill Room
Old Mill Room | Courtesy Salt Artisan Market
Awarded AAA’s Four Diamond designation for 27 years and running, the Old Mill Room is the ideal choice for those extra special lunches and dinners with friends and family. Situated within Boar’s Head Hotel, the restaurant boasts a real rustic charm. Open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner, The Old Mill Room serves a variety of high-end American dishes influenced by classic Mediterranean cooking methods. Order the open-faced crawfish ravioli to start, the pan-seared Cajun-spiced swordfish with black-eyed pea salad for main course, and finish with a scrumptious pumpkin spice creme brulee.

Salt Artisan Market

Restaurant, American, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, $$$
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Specialising in sandwiches, cheese and charcuterie using local, seasonal and artisan produce, the Salt Artisan Market is by far one of the best lunchtime spots in Charlottesville. Perfect for those taking part in the Monticello Wine Trail, the staff at the Salt Artisan Market knows how to pack the perfect picnic. The croque monsieur sandwich comes packed full with Dijon mustard, gruyere cheese and Kite’s happy ham, and is absolutely divine. But it’s the cheese and charcuterie plates that really make this little restaurant stand out.

Spudnut Shop

For a cheeky sugary treat, there’s nowhere better than Spudnut Shop. Using a long-standing recipe that can be traced back to an old German folk recipe that uses potato flour, the chefs here cook up the most fantastic tasting donuts imaginable. First-timers should sample the old-fashioned or the plain glaze but there are plenty of other flavours and toppings to choose from. The chocolate and blueberry varieties are both popular flavours among the shop’s most loyal customers who also often order the six doughnut variety pack.

Spudnut Shop, 309 Avon Street, Charlottesville, VA, USA, +1 434 296 0590

Courtesy Sultan Kebab
Courtesy Sultan Kebab

Sultan Kebab

Restaurant, Turkish, $$$
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A beautifully authentic Turkish restaurant in the city, Sultan Kebab serves a medley of kebabs, vegetarian specialties, salads, homemade baklava and traditional Turkish teas and coffees. The perfect restaurant for those with an appetite for exotic flavours, the menu is packed full of delicious dishes such as succulent lamb kebabs, Iskender kebabs, shawarma, lamb kofte, hummus and kisir, all of which can be enjoyed on intricately designed traditional crockery. Guests can choose to dine al fresco on the pretty patio area or cosy up inside the main dining space.

The Ivy Inn Restaurant

Restaurant, American, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, $$$
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With a menu inspired by locally available ingredients, The Ivy Inn Restaurant is a family-owned restaurant that opens for dinner every evening from 5pm. Located just a short stroll from the University of Virginia, The Ivy Inn Restaurant is ideal for a lovely, relaxing dinner at the end of a busy day exploring the city. The menu is a mix of European and American-inspired dishes with a typical three-course meal consisting of a crab soup starter, mustard herb-crusted rack of lamb main course and an individual mini key lime pie for dessert. Wine aficionados will appreciate the extensive accompanying wine menu too. Reservations recommended.

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