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Miranda's Guidebook for Charlottesville

Miranda

Miranda's Guidebook for Charlottesville

Food Scene
My personal favorite restaurant in Charlottesville, this hidden gem is so cool, it doesn’t have a sign! Small, loud, and always crowded, think Mexican food with a twist. Everything is tasty and reasonably priced — and whatever is on special is guaranteed to be a knock-out. You will probably have to wait, but you can have a drink while you do so. The Manager’s Special margarita is a delicious bargain at $7 — but be careful, it packs a punch!
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Continental Divide
811 West Main Street
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My personal favorite restaurant in Charlottesville, this hidden gem is so cool, it doesn’t have a sign! Small, loud, and always crowded, think Mexican food with a twist. Everything is tasty and reasonably priced — and whatever is on special is guaranteed to be a knock-out. You will probably have to wait, but you can have a drink while you do so. The Manager’s Special margarita is a delicious bargain at $7 — but be careful, it packs a punch!
In the heart of Belmont lies this tapas restaurant that could go head to head with the best in Spain. Especially great in nice weather when you can enjoy the patio,order a pitcher of sangria and soak up the sun while plate after plate of delightful dishes appear!
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Mas
904 Monticello Road
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In the heart of Belmont lies this tapas restaurant that could go head to head with the best in Spain. Especially great in nice weather when you can enjoy the patio,order a pitcher of sangria and soak up the sun while plate after plate of delightful dishes appear!
This new restaurant on the mall is delightful! Classic comfort food with a twist and a very customizable menu, I have not had anything here that wasn't delicious. Their cocktails are worth a mention as well!
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The Fitzroy
120 E Main St
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This new restaurant on the mall is delightful! Classic comfort food with a twist and a very customizable menu, I have not had anything here that wasn't delicious. Their cocktails are worth a mention as well!
Utterly unique, this South African restaurant near downtown is never a bad choice. Inside, the ambiance is warm and woody, one of my favorites in the cold months, and they now have a great veranda as well, including a bar with swings for seats! The calamari is superb here, and they do an excellent Sunday brunch as well.
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Shebeen Pub & Braai
247 Ridge McIntire Road
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Utterly unique, this South African restaurant near downtown is never a bad choice. Inside, the ambiance is warm and woody, one of my favorites in the cold months, and they now have a great veranda as well, including a bar with swings for seats! The calamari is superb here, and they do an excellent Sunday brunch as well.
A relative newcomer to the scene, this small restaurant is not lacking for great food. A native New Englander, I love the menu here! Fresh oysters, mussels, and the most amazing brussel sprouts I’ve ever had. Sundays, all bottles of wine are 1/2 price!
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Public Fish & Oyster
513 West Main Street
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A relative newcomer to the scene, this small restaurant is not lacking for great food. A native New Englander, I love the menu here! Fresh oysters, mussels, and the most amazing brussel sprouts I’ve ever had. Sundays, all bottles of wine are 1/2 price!
The elusive Peter Chang inspires a following so ardent that people drive from one of his Virginia locations to another, hoping they will find the one he’s cooking at on a particular day. Regardless of whether he is there in person or not, this place takes Chinese food to the next level. The dry-fried eggplant is a knock-out (I don’t even like eggplant), and the scallion bubble pancakes are not to be missed, just for the spectacle!
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Peter Chang
2162 Barracks Road
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The elusive Peter Chang inspires a following so ardent that people drive from one of his Virginia locations to another, hoping they will find the one he’s cooking at on a particular day. Regardless of whether he is there in person or not, this place takes Chinese food to the next level. The dry-fried eggplant is a knock-out (I don’t even like eggplant), and the scallion bubble pancakes are not to be missed, just for the spectacle!
The best breakfast in town can be found at a diner called the The Blue Grass Grill. They do everything just right! Be prepared to wait on the weekends — and bring cash, they don’t take credit cards! The black bean breakfast burrito is a personal favorite — and they can actually cook an over-medium egg here, my personal benchmark of a superb breakfast spot!
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Bluegrass Grill & Bakery
313 2nd Street Southeast
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The best breakfast in town can be found at a diner called the The Blue Grass Grill. They do everything just right! Be prepared to wait on the weekends — and bring cash, they don’t take credit cards! The black bean breakfast burrito is a personal favorite — and they can actually cook an over-medium egg here, my personal benchmark of a superb breakfast spot!
On lazy Saturdays, I like to head to Beer Run for Breakfast tacos and an excellent bloody mary. They do Sunday brunch, too, and everything is local and tasty! The nachos here are the best in town, in my opinion, if you head there later in the day. Their take-home beer selection is also heaven to any craft brew lover!
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Beer Run
156 Carlton Road
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On lazy Saturdays, I like to head to Beer Run for Breakfast tacos and an excellent bloody mary. They do Sunday brunch, too, and everything is local and tasty! The nachos here are the best in town, in my opinion, if you head there later in the day. Their take-home beer selection is also heaven to any craft brew lover!
The Charlottesville legend, Bodo’s has Charlottesvillians ready to fight any New Yorker that says you can’t get a good bagel outside of New York. With three locations in town, this place will get you in and out in 10 minutes or less (even if the line is out the door) with a delicious breakfast bagel or sandwich for super-cheap. Most people I know who’ve moved away make Bodo’s their first stop when they come back for a visit!
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Bodo's Bagels
505 Preston Avenue
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The Charlottesville legend, Bodo’s has Charlottesvillians ready to fight any New Yorker that says you can’t get a good bagel outside of New York. With three locations in town, this place will get you in and out in 10 minutes or less (even if the line is out the door) with a delicious breakfast bagel or sandwich for super-cheap. Most people I know who’ve moved away make Bodo’s their first stop when they come back for a visit!
This authentic French bakery has had everyone talking since it opened last year. French pastries, quiche, baguettes, and a brunch that will require you to take a nap!
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MarieBette Café and Bakery
700 Rose Hill Drive
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This authentic French bakery has had everyone talking since it opened last year. French pastries, quiche, baguettes, and a brunch that will require you to take a nap!
If you have kids, this place is awesome. If you are a kid at heart, this place is still awesome! A good beer selection and local eats are a nice bonus to the classic arcade factor that makes Firefly special! 4 pinball machines, pool, sometimes ping pong, a giant cabinet full of board games, and other old-school arcade games make this place a blast to kill a few hours! Come Thursdays for 80's night and pinball league!
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FIREFLY Restaurant & Game Room
1304 East Market Street
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If you have kids, this place is awesome. If you are a kid at heart, this place is still awesome! A good beer selection and local eats are a nice bonus to the classic arcade factor that makes Firefly special! 4 pinball machines, pool, sometimes ping pong, a giant cabinet full of board games, and other old-school arcade games make this place a blast to kill a few hours! Come Thursdays for 80's night and pinball league!
Hamilton's is a downtown Charlottesville standby. The food is fresh and delicious, and the bartenders don't mess around either! They always have a delicious vegetarian special, which generally sounds so enticing that I often choose it even though I'm not a vegetarian!
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Hamiltons' at First & Main
101 W Main St
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Hamilton's is a downtown Charlottesville standby. The food is fresh and delicious, and the bartenders don't mess around either! They always have a delicious vegetarian special, which generally sounds so enticing that I often choose it even though I'm not a vegetarian!
This grocery store, wine shop, and prepared food store is a foodie's dream! Whether you're grabbing lunch to take to a winery, picking up dinner supplies, or grabbing a latte at their in-house coffee shop, this food mecca will not disappoint!
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Foods of All Nations
2121 Ivy Road
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This grocery store, wine shop, and prepared food store is a foodie's dream! Whether you're grabbing lunch to take to a winery, picking up dinner supplies, or grabbing a latte at their in-house coffee shop, this food mecca will not disappoint!
Drinks & Nightlife
A modern speakeasy, welcome to the other C-Ville restaurant so cool there’s no sign! The food here is pricy, but worth every penny, and is known as the place with the best cocktails in town. Low light, old jazz, and a fireplace give Alley Light a wonderful vintage feel.
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The Alley Light
108 2nd Street Southwest
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A modern speakeasy, welcome to the other C-Ville restaurant so cool there’s no sign! The food here is pricy, but worth every penny, and is known as the place with the best cocktails in town. Low light, old jazz, and a fireplace give Alley Light a wonderful vintage feel.
In town, the best brewery is Three Notch’d. These guys can do no wrong as far as I’m concerned.
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Three Notch'd Craft Kitchen & Brewery
520 2nd St SE
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In town, the best brewery is Three Notch’d. These guys can do no wrong as far as I’m concerned.
These guys have an excellent beer selection, yummy German-inspired food, full sized bocce courts outside, and a ping pong table!
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Kardinal Hall
722 Preston Ave
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These guys have an excellent beer selection, yummy German-inspired food, full sized bocce courts outside, and a ping pong table!
The beer is pretty good, and these guys have a lot of urban outdoor space to enjoy a nice day. They also have a free old-school arcade game inside (just in case you happen to have two boys like me, this will buy you a lot of peace and quiet!)
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Champion Brewing Company
324 6th Street Southeast
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The beer is pretty good, and these guys have a lot of urban outdoor space to enjoy a nice day. They also have a free old-school arcade game inside (just in case you happen to have two boys like me, this will buy you a lot of peace and quiet!)
A converted theater, this is my favorite place to catch mid-size acts in Charlottesville. There's always someone good playing, so check the event listing if you have the chance!
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The Jefferson Theater
110 East Main Street
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A converted theater, this is my favorite place to catch mid-size acts in Charlottesville. There's always someone good playing, so check the event listing if you have the chance!
This little basement club is the best place to catch smaller and up-and-coming acts that come through town. Check it out!
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The Southern Café and Music Hall
103 1st Street South
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This little basement club is the best place to catch smaller and up-and-coming acts that come through town. Check it out!
Arts & Culture
Keep Charlottesville Weird -- the IX Art Park is trying its hardest and I appreciate it! A renovated industrial park of sorts, this place is sculpture garden, music venue, and more. A great place to let kids explore, they are always hosting cool events. You kind of have to see it to believe it! And Three Notch'd Brewery just moved in, so bonus!
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IX Art Park
522 2nd Street Southeast
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Keep Charlottesville Weird -- the IX Art Park is trying its hardest and I appreciate it! A renovated industrial park of sorts, this place is sculpture garden, music venue, and more. A great place to let kids explore, they are always hosting cool events. You kind of have to see it to believe it! And Three Notch'd Brewery just moved in, so bonus!