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Top 5 Restaurants of Charlottesville VA for Every Cuisine

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Charlottesville's food scene is a foodie's paradise, offering a wide range of cuisines from around the world. From farm-to-table restaurants to international cuisine, there's something for everyone.

The presence of the University of Virginia, along with several hospitals and research institutions, has a significant impact on the city's food culture. These institutions attract people from diverse backgrounds, contributing to the city's culinary diversity.

Top 5 Restaurants in Charlottesville by Cuisine

Top 5 American Restaurants in Charlottesville

Top 5 American Restaurants in Charlottesville
Top 5 American Restaurants in Charlottesville
  • The Local: The Local is a popular restaurant in Charlottesville that has gained a reputation for its dedication to offering a diverse menu of American cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients. From classic comfort food to innovative dishes, The Local caters to a wide range of tastes. Guests can enjoy flavorful burgers, hearty sandwiches, fresh seafood, and delectable vegetarian options. The restaurant's commitment to supporting local farmers and producers ensures the highest quality and freshness in every dish.
  • Citizen Burger: Citizen Burger Bar in Charlottesville is a popular dining destination known for its exceptional burgers made with locally raised beef and fresh ingredients. With a focus on quality and supporting local farms, they offer a diverse menu featuring classic and inventive flavor combinations. The restaurant also boasts a selection of craft beers to complement the meal. With its welcoming atmosphere and commitment to community engagement, Citizen Burger Bar is a beloved spot for burger lovers in Charlottesville.
  • Sedona Taphouse: Sedona Taphouse is a cozy and inviting restaurant and taproom that offers American cuisine with a Southwestern twist. With an extensive beer selection and a menu featuring dishes like steaks, seafood, and tacos, Sedona Taphouse provides a fusion of flavors that delights the senses. Guests can enjoy a warm and welcoming atmosphere while savoring the bold and vibrant tastes inspired by the Southwestern region.
  • Hamiltons on Main: Hamiltons on Main is a fine dining establishment in Charlottesville that specializes in contemporary American cuisine. With an upscale dining experience, Hamiltons on Main offers a menu that changes seasonally to incorporate the freshest local and regional ingredients. Guests can indulge in exquisitely prepared dishes that showcase the creativity and skill of the culinary team. From elegant presentations to innovative flavor combinations, Hamiltons on Main provides a memorable dining experience for those seeking refined American cuisine.
  • Tavern & Grocery: Tavern & Grocery is a cozy restaurant in Charlottesville, offering a diverse menu that combines classic American comfort food with innovative twists. From hearty burgers and sandwiches to flavorful salads and seasonal specials, they provide a satisfying dining experience for various tastes. With a focus on showcasing local ingredients and flavors, Tavern & Grocery creates a delightful culinary experience.

Top 5 Asian Restaurants in Charlottesville

Top 5 Asian Restaurants in Charlottesville
Top 5 Asian Restaurants in Charlottesville
  • Monsoon Siam: Indulge in authentic Thai cuisine at Monsoon Siam, a restaurant in Charlottesville. Their menu features popular dishes like Pad Thai, flavorful curries, and delicious stir-fried noodles. Vegetarian and vegan options are also available to cater to different dietary preferences.
  • Ten: Immerse yourself in the world of Japanese cuisine at Ten, a stylish restaurant in Charlottesville. Known for its exquisite sushi and sashimi, Ten also offers a variety of other Japanese dishes such as flavorful ramen, crispy tempura, and savory teriyaki. Each dish is prepared with fresh ingredients, ensuring an authentic and delightful dining experience.
  • Maru: Experience a fusion of flavors at Maru, a Korean-inspired restaurant in Charlottesville. With dishes like bibimbap, bulgogi, and Korean-style fried chicken, Maru offers a unique and modern take on Korean cuisine. The restaurant creates a vibrant dining atmosphere where traditional Korean flavors are combined with innovative culinary techniques. Discover the excitement of Korean-inspired dishes at Maru.
  • Peter Chang: Delve into the bold and fiery flavors of Sichuan cuisine at Peter Chang, a renowned Chinese restaurant in Charlottesville. With a wide range of dishes featuring vibrant spices and rich flavors, Peter Chang offers an authentic culinary experience. From the beloved Kung Pao chicken to the iconic mapo tofu, each dish showcases the culinary mastery of Sichuan cuisine.
  • Now & Zen: Offering a diverse menu that caters to various tastes, Now and Zen is a culinary journey through Asian flavors in Charlottesville. From sushi rolls and sashimi to flavorful stir-fries and comforting noodle dishes, Now and Zen presents a wide range of dishes prepared with care and artful presentation. The tranquil atmosphere adds to the dining experience, creating a serene environment to savor the flavors of Asian cuisine.

Top 5 French Restaurants in Charlottesville

Top 5 French Restaurants in Charlottesville
Top 5 French Restaurants in Charlottesville
  • Petit Pois: Immerse yourself in the flavors of France at Petit Pois, a charming French bistro in Charlottesville. The restaurant offers a delightful menu featuring traditional French dishes like escargots, bouillabaisse, and coq au vin. With an emphasis on using fresh and seasonal ingredients, Petit Pois delivers an authentic taste of France in each carefully prepared dish.
  • Cafe Frank: Step into a cozy café with a French-inspired menu at Cafe Frank in Charlottesville. This charming establishment serves a variety of dishes, including buttery croissants, savory quiches, and delectable sandwiches. Guests can also indulge in a selection of French pastries and desserts. Whether you're looking for a quick bite or a leisurely meal, Cafe Frank provides a taste of France in a relaxed setting.
  • C & O: Discover the fusion of French and American flavors at C & O, a long-standing restaurant in Charlottesville. Known for its French-American menu, C & O offers classics such as French onion soup, tender duck confit, and perfectly executed steak frites. The relaxed and comfortable ambiance creates an inviting space to savor the harmonious blend of cuisines.
  • Fleurie: Experience exquisite French cuisine at Fleurie, an elegant fine dining restaurant in Charlottesville. With its refined menu, Fleurie showcases culinary artistry with dishes like foie gras, rack of lamb, and innovative seafood creations. The restaurant offers an extensive wine list to complement the exceptional flavors. Elevate your dining experience with the refined elegance of Fleurie.
  • Brasserie Saison: Indulge in the flavors of France at Brasserie Saison, a charming French-inspired brasserie in Charlottesville. The rustic yet elegant ambiance sets the stage for a delightful culinary experience. Brasserie Saison's menu features classic French dishes with a modern twist, showcasing favorites like moules frites, coq au vin, and steak frites.

Top 5 Italian Restaurants in Charlottesville

Top 5 Italian Restaurants in Charlottesville
Top 5 Italian Restaurants in Charlottesville
  • Tavola: This charming establishment offers a menu filled with traditional Italian dishes crafted with locally sourced ingredients. Tavola is renowned for its homemade pasta, handcrafted with care and expertise, as well as its wood-fired pizzas that boast a perfectly crispy crust. The restaurant's flavorful sauces, made from scratch, elevate each dish to new heights. With its warm and inviting ambiance, Tavola creates a welcoming atmosphere where guests can savor the authentic tastes of Italy while enjoying the company of friends and family.
  • Vivace: Experience a contemporary twist on classic Italian flavors at Vivace, an Italian restaurant in Charlottesville. Known for its innovative approach, Vivace presents a menu that reflects the rich culinary traditions of Italy. From fresh seafood creations to creamy risottos and indulgent house-made desserts, each dish at Vivace is a harmonious blend of traditional techniques and modern inspiration. The restaurant's dedication to quality ingredients and skillful execution ensures a memorable dining experience for guests seeking refined Italian cuisine with a touch of creativity.
  • Lampo Neapolitan Pizzeria: Indulge in authentic Neapolitan-style pizzas at Lampo, a beloved pizzeria in Charlottesville. Using a wood-fired oven and high-quality ingredients, Lampo crafts pizzas that capture the essence of true Neapolitan tradition. The pizzeria's focus on simplicity allows the flavors to shine through, from the perfectly charred crust to the rich and tangy tomato sauce. In addition to their pizzas, Lampo offers a selection of antipasti, featuring imported cured meats, cheeses, and delectable bites. To complete the meal, guests can enjoy a scoop of artisanal gelato, adding a sweet finish to their authentic Italian experience.
  • Carmello’s: Step into Carmello's, an inviting Italian restaurant in Charlottesville that exudes a cozy and intimate atmosphere. The restaurant offers a diverse menu featuring a variety of Italian favorites, including delectable pasta dishes, succulent chicken and veal preparations, and enticing seafood creations. Each dish at Carmello's is made with attention to detail and an emphasis on using the freshest ingredients to bring out the authentic flavors of Italy. To complement the meal, Carmello's boasts an extensive wine list, showcasing a selection of Italian varietals that pair perfectly with the rich and vibrant flavors of the cuisine.
  • Sal’s Caffe Italia: Sal's Caffe Italia is a charming Italian restaurant that captures the essence of the country's cuisine. The menu features a wide array of classic Italian dishes, prepared with authentic flavors and fresh ingredients. Guests can delight in traditional pasta dishes crafted with homemade sauces, indulge in mouthwatering pizzas baked to perfection, or savor savory seafood entrees that showcase the finest flavors of the Mediterranean. With its warm and inviting ambiance, Sal's Caffe Italia offers a delightful dining experience for Italian cuisine enthusiasts, transporting them to the heart of Italy with each flavorful bite.

Top 5 Latin American Restaurants in Charlottesville

Top 5 Latin American Restaurants in Charlottesville
Top 5 Latin American Restaurants in Charlottesville
  • Zocalo: A vibrant South American restaurant offering a range of steak and seafood dishes. Zocalo is located in the heart of the downtown mall and has a spacious patio for outdoor dining. In addition to their delicious cuisine, they also host dance parties on Saturday nights.
  • South and Central: South and Central Grill is a Latin grill and steak house located in the historic Dairy Market in Charlottesville, Virginia​. The restaurant employs wood fire cooking techniques for added flavor and control over the cooking process, imparting a natural smokey flavor or a perfect char on their meats and vegetables​. One of the highlights of their menu is the steaks, each carefully sourced for its unique characteristics and sourced from local farms and different feed and breed programs from around the country to ensure the perfect steak for each cut​.
  • Maya: A Latin American restaurant with a focus on Mexican and Latin fusion cuisine. They offer a diverse menu with dishes like mole, arepas, and grilled meats, along with creative cocktails.
  • Al Carbon: A casual eatery known for its delicious Colombian-style rotisserie chicken. They also serve other Latin American dishes like empanadas, plantains, and yuca fries.
  • The Bebedero: The Bebedero is a vibrant and lively Mexican restaurant located in Charlottesville. Known for its flavorful cuisine and festive atmosphere, The Bebedero offers a menu inspired by the diverse culinary traditions of Mexico. From tacos and enchiladas to ceviche and tamales, their menu showcases a wide range of authentic Mexican dishes made with high-quality ingredients and bold flavors. 

Top 5 Middle Eastern Restaurants in Charlottesville

Top 5 Middle Eastern Restaurants in Charlottesville
Top 5 Middle Eastern Restaurants in Charlottesville
  • Afghan Kabob: A restaurant specializing in Afghan cuisine, offering a variety of flavorful kabobs, pilaf, and vegetarian dishes. They use traditional spices and cooking techniques to create authentic flavors.
  • Sultan Kebab: A Middle Eastern restaurant known for its delicious kebabs and Mediterranean dishes. They serve a variety of grilled meats, falafel, hummus, and other Middle Eastern specialties.
  • Orzo Kitchen & Wine Bar: A Mediterranean-inspired restaurant with a menu that includes dishes from Greece, Turkey, and the Middle East. They offer a range of options, from small plates to hearty entrees.
  • Mezeh: A small fast casual chain located in the Stonefield Shopping Center with incredible portions and unbeatable options for toppings. As a local, Mezeh is a go to for a healthy, fast meal. 
  • Otto Turkish Street Food: With its casual and inviting atmosphere, Otto offers an authentic dining experience inspired by the street food culture of Turkey. The menu features a variety of mouthwatering dishes such as doner kebabs, pide (Turkish pizza), falafel, and more. Each dish is prepared with care using traditional recipes and fresh ingredients, creating a harmonious blend of flavors and spices. 

Top 6 Fast Casual Restaurants in Charlottesville

Top 6 Fast Casual Restaurants in Charlottesville
Top 6 Fast Casual Restaurants in Charlottesville
  • Roots Natural Kitchen: Roots Natural Kitchen is a top fast casual restaurant in Charlottesville, known for its focus on healthy and flavorful food. Their menu features a variety of customizable salads and grain bowls made with fresh and locally sourced ingredients. With options for both vegetarians and meat lovers, Roots Natural Kitchen offers a balanced and satisfying dining experience in a casual and inviting atmosphere.
  • Mezeh: Mezeh is a popular fast casual restaurant in Charlottesville that specializes in Mediterranean cuisine. Their menu showcases a variety of delicious and authentic Middle Eastern dishes, such as falafel, kebabs, and hummus. With a focus on fresh ingredients and bold flavors, Mezzeh offers a quick and convenient dining experience without compromising on quality or taste.
  • Cava: Cava is a fast casual restaurant in Charlottesville that offers a unique and customizable approach to Mediterranean food. Customers can build their own bowls or pitas, selecting from a wide range of ingredients, including fresh vegetables, proteins, and flavorful sauces. With its modern and vibrant atmosphere, Cava provides a fast and convenient dining option for those seeking a healthy and flavorful Mediterranean meal.
  • Otto Turkish Street Food: Otto Turkish Street Food is a fast casual restaurant in Charlottesville that brings the vibrant flavors of Turkish cuisine to the city. They offer a diverse menu featuring traditional Turkish street food favorites like doner kebabs, pide (Turkish pizza), and falafel. The restaurant provides a casual and lively atmosphere where customers can enjoy authentic Turkish dishes made with high-quality ingredients and bold spices.
  • Farmacy Cafe: Farmacy Cafe is a fast casual restaurant in Charlottesville that focuses on serving nourishing and wholesome plant-based meals. Their menu includes a variety of vegan and vegetarian options, ranging from sandwiches and salads to smoothies and freshly squeezed juices. With a commitment to sustainability and locally sourced ingredients, Farmacy Cafe offers a guilt-free and satisfying dining experience for health-conscious individuals in a cozy and welcoming setting.
  • Brazos Tacos: Brazos Tacos is a popular fast casual restaurant in Charlottesville that brings the flavors of Texas-style tacos to the community. Known for their mouthwatering tacos made with handmade tortillas and high-quality ingredients, Brazos Tacos offers a range of delicious fillings, including slow-cooked meats, fresh vegetables, and flavorful sauces. With its laid-back and vibrant atmosphere, Brazos Tacos provides a perfect spot for enjoying tasty and authentic Tex-Mex tacos in a casual setting. Whether you're a meat lover or vegetarian, Brazos Tacos has options to satisfy everyone's taco cravings.

Top 5 Breakfast Restaurants in Charlottesville

Top 5 Breakfast Restaurants in Charlottesville
  1. Quirk Café: Quirk Café is a trendy and eclectic café located within the Quirk Hotel. With a stylish and vibrant ambiance, it offers a unique blend of coffee, art, and culture. Besides serving specialty coffee drinks crafted by skilled baristas, Quirk Café also provides a menu of light bites, sandwiches, and salads. It's a great place to relax, appreciate local artwork, and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee.
  2. The Nook: The Nook is a charming and cozy fast casual restaurant located in Charlottesville. Known for its warm and welcoming atmosphere, The Nook offers a diverse menu featuring comfort food classics with a creative twist. From gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches to hearty soups and salads, The Nook delights its customers with comforting and delicious fare. With its emphasis on quality ingredients and friendly service, The Nook provides a delightful dining experience for those seeking a casual and satisfying meal.
  3. Farm Bell Kitchen: Farm Bell Kitchen is a farm-to-table fast casual restaurant in Charlottesville that celebrates the bounty of local ingredients. With a focus on seasonal and sustainable fare, Farm Bell Kitchen offers a menu filled with delicious dishes made from locally sourced produce, meats, and dairy products. Their menu ranges from hearty breakfast options to flavorful sandwiches, salads, and entrées, all prepared with care and creativity. At Farm Bell Kitchen, patrons can enjoy the flavors of the region while supporting local farmers and enjoying a casual and inviting dining atmosphere.
  4. Bodo's Bagels: Bodo's Bagels is a beloved fast casual restaurant that has become an institution in Charlottesville. Renowned for its freshly baked bagels, Bodo's offers a wide array of bagel flavors and toppings to satisfy every craving. Customers can build their own sandwiches with a choice of delicious fillings, including a variety of cream cheeses, meats, and veggies. Bodo's Bagels is known for its fast and friendly service, making it a go-to spot for a quick and delicious breakfast or lunch in Charlottesville.
  5. Belle: Belle is a fast casual restaurant located in Charlottesville that specializes in Southern cuisine with a modern twist. With its stylish and contemporary ambiance, Belle offers a refined yet approachable dining experience. The menu showcases Southern-inspired dishes made with locally sourced ingredients, featuring favorites like fried chicken, shrimp and grits, and collard greens. With its sophisticated atmosphere and elevated flavors, Belle provides a memorable and enjoyable dining experience for those seeking a taste of the South in a fast casual setting.

Top 5 Coffee Shops in Charlottesville

Top 5 Coffee Shops in Charlottesville
Top 5 Coffee Shops in Charlottesville
  1. Shenandoah Joe: Shenandoah Joe is a popular local coffee roaster and café in Charlottesville. They are dedicated to sourcing and roasting high-quality coffee beans, resulting in exceptional coffee flavors. Whether you're in the mood for a classic espresso, a creamy latte, or a pour-over, Shenandoah Joes has you covered. They also offer a selection of freshly baked goods and sandwiches to complement your coffee experience.
  2. Grit Coffee: Grit Coffee is a specialty coffee shop that focuses on providing carefully crafted coffee beverages made from ethically sourced beans. With multiple locations in Charlottesville, Grit Coffee offers a welcoming and relaxed environment for coffee enthusiasts. Their skilled baristas take pride in their espresso-based drinks, pour-overs, and cold brews, ensuring a flavorful and satisfying coffee experience.
  3. Mudhouse Coffee: Mudhouse Coffee is a local favorite known for its cozy atmosphere and exceptional coffee. They roast their beans in-house, resulting in a rich and aromatic coffee selection. In addition to their high-quality brews, Mudhouse Coffee offers a variety of pastries, sandwiches, and light snacks. Whether you're in the mood for a quick coffee to-go or a leisurely sit-down with a latte and a pastry, Mudhouse Coffee is a go-to spot for many caffeine lovers in Charlottesville.
  4. Milli Coffee Roasters: Milli Coffee Roasters is a specialty coffee shop and roastery in Charlottesville that is dedicated to providing exceptional coffee experiences. They carefully source and roast their own beans to create unique and flavorful blends. The cozy and inviting atmosphere of Milli Coffee Roasters makes it an ideal spot to relax and enjoy a cup of expertly brewed coffee, whether it's a classic espresso, a pour-over, or a specialty latte. With their commitment to quality and passion for coffee, Milli Coffee Roasters has become a go-to destination for coffee enthusiasts in Charlottesville.
  5. Greenberry's Coffee: Greenberry's Coffee in Charlottesville is a beloved local coffee shop that brings together the art of craft coffee and a warm community atmosphere. Located in the heart of Charlottesville, Greenberry's offers a diverse selection of specialty coffees sourced from around the world, ensuring a rich and flavorful experience for coffee enthusiasts. With a commitment to quality, the skilled baristas at Greenberry's expertly prepare each cup of coffee, whether it's a classic espresso or a handcrafted latte. Beyond their exceptional coffee, Greenberry's provides a cozy and inviting space for customers to relax, catch up with friends, or get work done.
  6. JBird Supply Coffee Roaster: JBird Supply Coffee Roaster is a specialty coffee shop and roastery located in Charlottesville. They are known for their meticulous approach to coffee sourcing, roasting, and brewing. JBird Supply offers a range of single-origin coffees and carefully crafted espresso drinks, showcasing the distinct flavors and profiles of each bean. The coffee shop's cozy and relaxed atmosphere provides a perfect setting to savor a cup of expertly brewed coffee while appreciating the artistry behind it. For coffee connoisseurs and those seeking a high-quality coffee experience, JBird Supply Coffee Roaster is a must-visit destination in Charlottesville.

Top 5 Bakeries in Charlottesville

Top 5 Bakeries in Charlottesville
Top 5 Bakeries in Charlottesville
  1. Cou Cou Rachou: Cou Cou Rachou is a charming French-inspired café and bakery in Charlottesville. Known for its delightful pastries, this cozy spot offers a range of sweet treats like croissants, macarons, and tarts. They also serve a selection of gourmet sandwiches and salads, making it a perfect destination for a light lunch or a leisurely afternoon coffee break.
  2. MarieBette Café and Bakery: MarieBette Café and Bakery is a beloved establishment that combines the art of baking with a cozy café atmosphere. Offering a delectable array of artisanal bread, pastries, and desserts, their menu features mouthwatering treats like flaky croissants, quiches, and seasonal fruit pies. With a commitment to high-quality ingredients and traditional baking techniques, MarieBette delights locals and visitors alike with its French and European-inspired delights.
  3. Albemarle Baking Co: Albemarle Baking Co. is a renowned bakery in Charlottesville, Virginia, known for its artisanal bread, pastries, and cakes. Founded in 1991, the bakery is committed to using high-quality ingredients and traditional baking methods. Their freshly baked goods, including European-style bread, croissants, tarts, and custom cakes, showcase their dedication to craftsmanship. With a focus on locally sourced and organic ingredients, Albemarle Baking Co. has become a beloved destination for those seeking delicious baked treats in Charlottesville.
  4. Cake Bloom: Cake Bloom is a delightful bakery and café located in Charlottesville, known for its exquisite cakes and pastries. With a focus on artisanal baking and attention to detail, Cake Bloom creates stunning and delicious cakes for all occasions. Their menu also includes a variety of delectable pastries, cookies, and cupcakes, each crafted with care and using high-quality ingredients. Whether you're celebrating a special event or simply craving a sweet treat, Cake Bloom offers a wide selection of beautifully presented and mouthwatering desserts to satisfy your cravings.
  5. Great Harvest Bread Co.: Great Harvest Bread Co. is a bakery and café in Charlottesville that specializes in freshly baked bread and wholesome sandwiches. They mill their own whole grains daily to produce a wide variety of breads, from classic favorites like honey whole wheat to unique and seasonal flavors. In addition to their bread selection, Great Harvest Bread Co. offers a range of made-to-order sandwiches using their freshly baked bread, along with soups and salads. With their commitment to quality ingredients and traditional baking methods, Great Harvest Bread Co. provides customers with flavorful and nourishing options for breakfast, lunch, or a quick snack.

Must Try Dishes in Charlottesville

  1. JM Stock Ham Biscuit: Served on weekends, this Ham Biscuit will blow you away with thin sliced Tasso Ham, sriracha honey and a fresh baked biscuit. 
  2. Tostones Rellenos from Guajiros Miami Eatery: Plantain cups filled with pico, queso, cilantro and choice of meat. Truly incredible.
  3. Carnitas at Con Mole: Probably the best carnitas in the world. Con Mole is a gem!
  4. Literally Anything at Cou Cou Rachou: Head Pastry Chef Rachel De Jong trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and has made pastries for Michelin Star restaurants such as the Inn at Little Washington. Need I say more?
  5. Dak-Gang Jeong at Maru: Deep fried boneless chicken glazed in a sticky, sweet and spicy sauce, smothered in melted cheese on a hot skillet. 
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