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Holly’s Guide to Charlottesville

Holly

Holly’s Guide to Charlottesville

Best walkable lunch/dinner spots in downtown Belmont
Charlottesville's food scene is always growing and changing- and there are tons of great options. I've chosen those that are within relatively easy walking distance of the houses. For those of you staying at the Belmont Avenue house, downtown Belmont is just two blocks away. For those of you at the Stonehenge houses, it takes about 15 minutes to walk.
This is one of our favorite spots- it's a pizza place, but that title doesn't do Lampo justice. The pizza is light, sophisticated, and really interesting (you cut it with scissors, which just adds to the joy of eating it!), the salads are amazing, and the appetizers are interesting, delicious, and inventive. This is definitely a spot you should visit during your stay... but it's small, popular, and they don't take reservations. I'd recommend going for lunch, and getting there when it opens at 11, or arriving right at 5 for dinner. Easy to walk to from the house- takes about 5-10 minutes.
45
locals recommend
Lampo Neapolitan Pizzeria
205 Monticello Road
45
locals recommend
This is one of our favorite spots- it's a pizza place, but that title doesn't do Lampo justice. The pizza is light, sophisticated, and really interesting (you cut it with scissors, which just adds to the joy of eating it!), the salads are amazing, and the appetizers are interesting, delicious, and inventive. This is definitely a spot you should visit during your stay... but it's small, popular, and they don't take reservations. I'd recommend going for lunch, and getting there when it opens at 11, or arriving right at 5 for dinner. Easy to walk to from the house- takes about 5-10 minutes.
Yum, yum, yum. Light, sophisticated Italian- with an amazing wine list. Widely considered one of Charlottesville's best restaurants, and just around the corner from the Belmont Ave house (2 blocks, 5 minute walk). Doesn't take reservations and gets crowded, so go early for dinner, or put your name in and head to the patio at Mas for a pre-dinner drink.
54
locals recommend
Tavola
826 Hinton Avenue
54
locals recommend
Yum, yum, yum. Light, sophisticated Italian- with an amazing wine list. Widely considered one of Charlottesville's best restaurants, and just around the corner from the Belmont Ave house (2 blocks, 5 minute walk). Doesn't take reservations and gets crowded, so go early for dinner, or put your name in and head to the patio at Mas for a pre-dinner drink.
Spanish Tapas, great menu, amazing outdoor patio on pretty evenings. Great place to grab a pre-dinner drink and appetizers (the bacon-wrapped dates are to die for), or to settle in for dinner. Just around the corner from the house- two blocks/5 minute walk.
82
locals recommend
Mas
904 Monticello Road
82
locals recommend
Spanish Tapas, great menu, amazing outdoor patio on pretty evenings. Great place to grab a pre-dinner drink and appetizers (the bacon-wrapped dates are to die for), or to settle in for dinner. Just around the corner from the house- two blocks/5 minute walk.
Easy to get to from the house- 2 blocks/5 minute walk from the Belmont Ave house, 15 from Stonehenge. Great ambiance, good food, broad menu using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible.
51
locals recommend
The Local
824 Hinton Avenue
51
locals recommend
Easy to get to from the house- 2 blocks/5 minute walk from the Belmont Ave house, 15 from Stonehenge. Great ambiance, good food, broad menu using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible.
Great spot for a quick breakfast or lunch- egg dishes, pie (as the name suggests), and really good baked goods. Lattes and coffee. Fun, retro diner feel. Don't let the exterior fool you.
Quality Pie
309 Avon St
Great spot for a quick breakfast or lunch- egg dishes, pie (as the name suggests), and really good baked goods. Lattes and coffee. Fun, retro diner feel. Don't let the exterior fool you.
Mexican fusion spot with fun patio and good margaritas. The street corn is delicious. Gets mixed reviews, but we've always enjoyed our meals here. Close to the house in the downtown Belmont area. Two blocks/5 minute walk.
Junction
421 Monticello Rd
Mexican fusion spot with fun patio and good margaritas. The street corn is delicious. Gets mixed reviews, but we've always enjoyed our meals here. Close to the house in the downtown Belmont area. Two blocks/5 minute walk.
Great brunch spots (mostly walkable). These restaurants are about a 10 minute walk from the Belmont Ave house and a 20 min walk from the Stonehenge houses.
Our favorite places to eat off the prior night's sins
One of Cville's most popular brunch places- between Belmont and the downtown mall- there's sometimes a wait, but it's worth it. About a 10 minute walk from the Belmont Ave house, 15-20 from Stonehenge.
29
locals recommend
Bluegrass Grill & Bakery
313 2nd Street Southeast
29
locals recommend
One of Cville's most popular brunch places- between Belmont and the downtown mall- there's sometimes a wait, but it's worth it. About a 10 minute walk from the Belmont Ave house, 15-20 from Stonehenge.
This one you'll want to drive or Uber to- it's about 1.5- 2 miles away. This is by far my favorite brunch/lunch spot. Great lattes, amazing food. Pastries are out of this world. Think authentic pain au chocolat, almond croissants... not light in calories, but definitely worth it. They now also have a little cafe right on the downtown mall that you can walk to- called Petite Marie Bette- takes about 10 or 20 minutes to walk there, depending upon which house you’re staying in.
62
locals recommend
MarieBette Café and Bakery
700 Rose Hill Drive
62
locals recommend
This one you'll want to drive or Uber to- it's about 1.5- 2 miles away. This is by far my favorite brunch/lunch spot. Great lattes, amazing food. Pastries are out of this world. Think authentic pain au chocolat, almond croissants... not light in calories, but definitely worth it. They now also have a little cafe right on the downtown mall that you can walk to- called Petite Marie Bette- takes about 10 or 20 minutes to walk there, depending upon which house you’re staying in.
The little sister of our favorite brunch place. Sometimes you'll spot a UVA basketball player (or three) eating here, ordering up triple orders of their french toast. Cute and yummy spot, brand new but well run. 10-20 minute walk.
Petite MarieBette
105 Water St E
The little sister of our favorite brunch place. Sometimes you'll spot a UVA basketball player (or three) eating here, ordering up triple orders of their french toast. Cute and yummy spot, brand new but well run. 10-20 minute walk.
A Charlottesville tradition. You'll get a great breakfast/brunch here for a reasonable price, plus you don't have the waits you will have at the other brunch places because it's bigger. You can sit outside on the patio on the downtown mall and people watch, or your can sit inside in their recently renovated (but with a cool diner feel) restaurant. Easy to walk to from the house- takes about 10 minutes.
The Nook
415 East Main Street
A Charlottesville tradition. You'll get a great breakfast/brunch here for a reasonable price, plus you don't have the waits you will have at the other brunch places because it's bigger. You can sit outside on the patio on the downtown mall and people watch, or your can sit inside in their recently renovated (but with a cool diner feel) restaurant. Easy to walk to from the house- takes about 10 minutes.
This is a relatively new coffee/lunch/wine spot that opened in the long-standing La Taza Space. It’s cutely renovated and decorated, and feels relaxed but stylish with nice casual seating options. The first time I went here I went at lunchtime by myself and ordered the vegan Migas and sat at a long communal table with my laptop. Loved the vegan Migas and the friendly waitstaff. The next time I came, I sat outside at the bar and ordered a Chardonnay while my son had a hot chocolate and toast (in the mid-July, late-afternoon sweltering heat, the kid orders a hot chocolate). We both loved the fun atmosphere and our odd little repast, not to mention our fierce game of Crazy Eights. I’ve since been back to grab lattes and sourdough toast with butter and jam while working on the houses, and I’ve been super happy each time. I’d recommend it for quick bites to eat and as a lively place to bring your laptop and get some (not a ton) of work done.
Belle Coffee & Wine
407 Monticello Rd
This is a relatively new coffee/lunch/wine spot that opened in the long-standing La Taza Space. It’s cutely renovated and decorated, and feels relaxed but stylish with nice casual seating options. The first time I went here I went at lunchtime by myself and ordered the vegan Migas and sat at a long communal table with my laptop. Loved the vegan Migas and the friendly waitstaff. The next time I came, I sat outside at the bar and ordered a Chardonnay while my son had a hot chocolate and toast (in the mid-July, late-afternoon sweltering heat, the kid orders a hot chocolate). We both loved the fun atmosphere and our odd little repast, not to mention our fierce game of Crazy Eights. I’ve since been back to grab lattes and sourdough toast with butter and jam while working on the houses, and I’ve been super happy each time. I’d recommend it for quick bites to eat and as a lively place to bring your laptop and get some (not a ton) of work done.
This requires a 5-10 minute drive or Uber ride, but is well worth it. A cute little cafe near the University, Oakhurst offers great lattes, delicious and interesting breakfast, brunch, and lunch options, all in a sweet refurbished old house. You’ll love the relaxed, hip vibe and the umbrella tables on the cute patio.
8
locals recommend
Oakhurst Inn Cafe and Espresso Bar
1616 Jefferson Park Ave
8
locals recommend
This requires a 5-10 minute drive or Uber ride, but is well worth it. A cute little cafe near the University, Oakhurst offers great lattes, delicious and interesting breakfast, brunch, and lunch options, all in a sweet refurbished old house. You’ll love the relaxed, hip vibe and the umbrella tables on the cute patio.
Best dinner spots on the downtown mall
Our favorite places to eat on our favorite walkable pedestrian mall. The downtown mall is one of Cville's treasures, and is definitely worth a visit- whether to shop in the boutiques, bar hop, or eat lunch or dinner.
We absolutely love this place. It's tucked away down an alley (it's there, I promise you!) so it feels like a 1920's speakeasy. Go up the stairs into the coolest place in Cville. The food will never disappoint. Sit at the bar and watch the bartenders work their magic in vintage crystal glasses. It's an experience worth having.
55
locals recommend
The Alley Light
108 2nd Street Southwest
55
locals recommend
We absolutely love this place. It's tucked away down an alley (it's there, I promise you!) so it feels like a 1920's speakeasy. Go up the stairs into the coolest place in Cville. The food will never disappoint. Sit at the bar and watch the bartenders work their magic in vintage crystal glasses. It's an experience worth having.
You'll love this place. Cool decor, great food, knowledgeable wait staff, great wine list.
8
locals recommend
Brasserie Saison
111 E Main St
8
locals recommend
You'll love this place. Cool decor, great food, knowledgeable wait staff, great wine list.
SUSHI!!!! Cool decor.
18
locals recommend
Ten
120 East Main Street
18
locals recommend
SUSHI!!!! Cool decor.
This is a Charlottesville tradition. White table cloth restaurant upstairs, old school, casual bar (where you can dine) in the basement. Super charming, good food. French.
48
locals recommend
C & O
515 Water Street East
48
locals recommend
This is a Charlottesville tradition. White table cloth restaurant upstairs, old school, casual bar (where you can dine) in the basement. Super charming, good food. French.
Best lunch spots on the downtown mall
You won't want to miss an afternoon stroll on the downtown mall- and you should eat lunch at one of the mall's restaurants and people watch as you do.
The food here is solid- and it's best for lunch, when you get all their yummy offerings at lunch prices. Sit on the patio with a drink and people watch.
25
locals recommend
Hamiltons' at First & Main
101 W Main St
25
locals recommend
The food here is solid- and it's best for lunch, when you get all their yummy offerings at lunch prices. Sit on the patio with a drink and people watch.
This place is delicious and fun. Huge booths, great with kids. Grass fed burgers, lots of choices, huge baskets of fries (regular or sweet potato) that are amazing. Home made ketchup. Extensive beer list. There are TVs here with every imaginable sport playing, so you can sit at the bar to watch- but it's not blaring and won't interrupt you if you're not a sports (or TV) fan.
35
locals recommend
Citizen Burger Bar
212 East Main Street
35
locals recommend
This place is delicious and fun. Huge booths, great with kids. Grass fed burgers, lots of choices, huge baskets of fries (regular or sweet potato) that are amazing. Home made ketchup. Extensive beer list. There are TVs here with every imaginable sport playing, so you can sit at the bar to watch- but it's not blaring and won't interrupt you if you're not a sports (or TV) fan.
Really good, really healthy. Easy to grab a quick lunch here that you'll feel smug and good about.
Citizen Bowl Shop
223 W Main St
Really good, really healthy. Easy to grab a quick lunch here that you'll feel smug and good about.
I love this place. It's part of one of my favorite Charlottesville weekend afternoon routines: grab a girlfriend or my hubby, take the kids along and let them wander on the mall (they're old enough and there are no cars, so it's safe) while we have a salad or a cheese board and a glass of wine at a table on the outdoor patio. Good people watching, excellent wine list, amazing cheeses. They also have an awesome grilled cheese that will please the kids.
Tilman's
406 E Main St
I love this place. It's part of one of my favorite Charlottesville weekend afternoon routines: grab a girlfriend or my hubby, take the kids along and let them wander on the mall (they're old enough and there are no cars, so it's safe) while we have a salad or a cheese board and a glass of wine at a table on the outdoor patio. Good people watching, excellent wine list, amazing cheeses. They also have an awesome grilled cheese that will please the kids.
Best Charlottesville clothing boutiques (women)
I have a tiny bit of a shopping problem, and Cville isn't helping.
Shoes and gorgeous clothes, small but lovely jewelry collection. Pricey, but you'll find that perfect piece here that you'll wear forever and receive compliments on every time you wear it. The salespeople are so helpful and knowledgeable, but not pushy.
7
locals recommend
Scarpa
7
locals recommend
Shoes and gorgeous clothes, small but lovely jewelry collection. Pricey, but you'll find that perfect piece here that you'll wear forever and receive compliments on every time you wear it. The salespeople are so helpful and knowledgeable, but not pushy.
This is more of a home goods store than a clothing store, but there are a few racks of really gorgeous clothes, mostly linen. Lovely, lovely store: think grey, white, tan, and natural wood.
Roxie Daisy
101 Water St E
This is more of a home goods store than a clothing store, but there are a few racks of really gorgeous clothes, mostly linen. Lovely, lovely store: think grey, white, tan, and natural wood.
Need a great pair of jeans? This is the place to go. They have every style and size of jean imaginable, and really patient and lovely salespeople who help you find the pair that fits you best. Also great t-shirts, sweaters, blouses, a few pairs of shoes, bags. You will absolutely find what you're looking for here.
Jean Theory
101 Water St W
Need a great pair of jeans? This is the place to go. They have every style and size of jean imaginable, and really patient and lovely salespeople who help you find the pair that fits you best. Also great t-shirts, sweaters, blouses, a few pairs of shoes, bags. You will absolutely find what you're looking for here.
Gorgeous clothes, gorgeous space.
Eloise
505 W Main St
Gorgeous clothes, gorgeous space.
Fun, hip, pretty clothes at surprisingly reasonable prices. A little bit boho, a little bit cozy. They also sell Frye Boots.
Bittersweet Clothing & Accessories
106 E Main St
Fun, hip, pretty clothes at surprisingly reasonable prices. A little bit boho, a little bit cozy. They also sell Frye Boots.
This place has crazy beautiful clothes. It's moved from the downtown mall to the Coke building off of West Main Street.
Elsie Garden Inc
115 South 1st Street
This place has crazy beautiful clothes. It's moved from the downtown mall to the Coke building off of West Main Street.
Grocery stores and markets
Here's a list of nearby grocery stores and local markets...
Huge grocery store close to the house- about a mile/mile and a half. Not walkable because of the busy road with no sidewalks. It also delivers! Lots of organic choices, good fresh produce. Tons of prepared meals for easy take away.
14
locals recommend
Wegmans
14
locals recommend
Huge grocery store close to the house- about a mile/mile and a half. Not walkable because of the busy road with no sidewalks. It also delivers! Lots of organic choices, good fresh produce. Tons of prepared meals for easy take away.
I love this little grocery store. It's not cheap, but you can walk there with your reusable bags and feel like you're doing the right thing and still get pretty much anything you need to make a fresh, delicious meal. Good brands, fresh everything.
22
locals recommend
Market Street Market
400 East Market Street
22
locals recommend
I love this little grocery store. It's not cheap, but you can walk there with your reusable bags and feel like you're doing the right thing and still get pretty much anything you need to make a fresh, delicious meal. Good brands, fresh everything.
There are two Food Lions within about a mile or so of the house- they are very basic and not fancy (although they both offer organic options)- but they are inexpensive and will get the trick done when you need something fast.
Food Lion
1131 5th Street Southwest
There are two Food Lions within about a mile or so of the house- they are very basic and not fancy (although they both offer organic options)- but they are inexpensive and will get the trick done when you need something fast.
Food Lion
570 Riverbend Drive
About a 10 minute drive from the house, Whole Foods offers lots of organic choices. Good fresh produce, rather pricey but a very nice store. They deliver as well, which is lovely.
26
locals recommend
Whole Foods Market
1797 Hydraulic Road
26
locals recommend
About a 10 minute drive from the house, Whole Foods offers lots of organic choices. Good fresh produce, rather pricey but a very nice store. They deliver as well, which is lovely.
Feast! is an amazing market to go to if you want specialty, gourmet cheese, wines, crackers, select veggies, pastas, etc. Their cheesemongers are very knowledgeable and will help you find the perfect crackers/jams/wines with which to pair your cheese choices. They also offer delicious take away sandwiches and salads. You can also order from their catering menu (think cheese boards, pumpkin ham biscuits, fruit arrays) if you're wanting something for your group to snack on.
31
locals recommend
Feast
416 West Main Street
31
locals recommend
Feast! is an amazing market to go to if you want specialty, gourmet cheese, wines, crackers, select veggies, pastas, etc. Their cheesemongers are very knowledgeable and will help you find the perfect crackers/jams/wines with which to pair your cheese choices. They also offer delicious take away sandwiches and salads. You can also order from their catering menu (think cheese boards, pumpkin ham biscuits, fruit arrays) if you're wanting something for your group to snack on.
This is our go-to place for our weekly fish dinner... the fish is fresh and delicious. You can go next door to Feast! to get accompaniments.
Seafood @ West Main
416 W Main St
This is our go-to place for our weekly fish dinner... the fish is fresh and delicious. You can go next door to Feast! to get accompaniments.
Coolest butcher EVER.
7
locals recommend
JM STOCK PROVISIONS
709 West Main Street
7
locals recommend
Coolest butcher EVER.
In the spring, summer, and fall, Saturday mornings are the time to grab your reusable bags and walk to the city market on the south side of the downtown mall (from Stonehenge houses, it'll take about 15 minutes to walk; from Belmont Ave, about 8 minutes). Lots of fresh produce, flowers, jewelry, snacks, and gift items. Get coffee from one of the vendors or from Mudhouse or Grit on the downtown mall.
28
locals recommend
Charlottesville City Market
100 Water Street East
28
locals recommend
In the spring, summer, and fall, Saturday mornings are the time to grab your reusable bags and walk to the city market on the south side of the downtown mall (from Stonehenge houses, it'll take about 15 minutes to walk; from Belmont Ave, about 8 minutes). Lots of fresh produce, flowers, jewelry, snacks, and gift items. Get coffee from one of the vendors or from Mudhouse or Grit on the downtown mall.
Best walkable dining spots in The Ix Park
The IX Park is a super cool collection of restaurants, shops, studios, and an outdoor art park off of 6th Street in Belmont. It’s very close to our houses on Stonehenge Avenue, and about a 10 minute walk from Belmont Ave.
This place is so yummy and is easily walkable (about a 5 minute walk) if you’re staying at either of our houses on Stonehenge Avenue. Belmont Avenue guests, you can walk here as well- it will take you about 10 minutes. Perfect place to grab a quick and cheap breakfast, lunch, or dinner- wonderful tacos served in a choice of flour, corn, or organic corn tortillas. City’s best margaritas and great chips and salsa. Great outdoor seating. Check out the IX Art Park after dining. If you have kids or if you’re just hyperactive yourself, there’s lots of space outside to run around, kick a soccer ball, or throw a frisbee.
24
locals recommend
Brazos Tacos
925 2nd Street Southeast
24
locals recommend
This place is so yummy and is easily walkable (about a 5 minute walk) if you’re staying at either of our houses on Stonehenge Avenue. Belmont Avenue guests, you can walk here as well- it will take you about 10 minutes. Perfect place to grab a quick and cheap breakfast, lunch, or dinner- wonderful tacos served in a choice of flour, corn, or organic corn tortillas. City’s best margaritas and great chips and salsa. Great outdoor seating. Check out the IX Art Park after dining. If you have kids or if you’re just hyperactive yourself, there’s lots of space outside to run around, kick a soccer ball, or throw a frisbee.
This is a great place to go with kids that’s an easy walk from either Stonehenge Ave or Belmont Ave. They have an extensive beer menu and good food in a very open, fun space. There’s lots of outdoor space for kids to run around and see things in the art park and a dog-friendly outdoor patio. Win, win, win.
15
locals recommend
Three Notch'd Craft Kitchen & Brewery
520 2nd St SE
15
locals recommend
This is a great place to go with kids that’s an easy walk from either Stonehenge Ave or Belmont Ave. They have an extensive beer menu and good food in a very open, fun space. There’s lots of outdoor space for kids to run around and see things in the art park and a dog-friendly outdoor patio. Win, win, win.
Craft sake! Who knew? Be on the front crest of the wave and bring your group to North American Sake Brewery and sample the wares. Or just eat the really yummy Japanese food. There’s even a limited children’s menu (kid-friendly chicken teriyaki and PBJ is offered). The sake tasting is a fun and (for us, at least) novel experience, and the food itself is worth the trip. 5 minute walk from Stonehenge, 10 from Belmont Ave.
North American Sake Brewery
522 2nd St SE
Craft sake! Who knew? Be on the front crest of the wave and bring your group to North American Sake Brewery and sample the wares. Or just eat the really yummy Japanese food. There’s even a limited children’s menu (kid-friendly chicken teriyaki and PBJ is offered). The sake tasting is a fun and (for us, at least) novel experience, and the food itself is worth the trip. 5 minute walk from Stonehenge, 10 from Belmont Ave.
While you’re dining at the IX Park, be sure to check out the sculptures and other installations at the IX Art Park. Take a picture in front of the huge, umm, rear end sculpture (yes, there is a big sculpture of a butt) and let the kids run. There are often concerts and other activities during the summer.
13
locals recommend
IX Art Park
522 2nd Street Southeast
13
locals recommend
While you’re dining at the IX Park, be sure to check out the sculptures and other installations at the IX Art Park. Take a picture in front of the huge, umm, rear end sculpture (yes, there is a big sculpture of a butt) and let the kids run. There are often concerts and other activities during the summer.