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Guidebook for Charlottesville

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Guidebook for Charlottesville

Food Scene
What can I say? This is THE go-to restaurant in Charlottesville. A classic. A staple. It's been open for 40 years and is totally beloved. Incredible food; unique, charming, and inviting atmosphere; great cocktails; super-interesting, warm, and personable staff. There are 4-5 different seating areas: outdoor, bar/bistro, mezzanine, & upstairs (more formal, quieter). Make a reservation! Entrees are $26-$33. Validates for Water Street Garage parking.
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C & O
515 Water Street East
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What can I say? This is THE go-to restaurant in Charlottesville. A classic. A staple. It's been open for 40 years and is totally beloved. Incredible food; unique, charming, and inviting atmosphere; great cocktails; super-interesting, warm, and personable staff. There are 4-5 different seating areas: outdoor, bar/bistro, mezzanine, & upstairs (more formal, quieter). Make a reservation! Entrees are $26-$33. Validates for Water Street Garage parking.
Incredible French pastries, bread, and breakfast/lunch stuffs. The croque madame is an all-time favorite—a little rich, but...when in Rome! A nice cozy spot as well, with a good amount of street parking. The croissants are perfectly prepared. For something sweet, grab a canelé—or a cappuccino (which will come with a small canelé on the side). You literally cannot go wrong with anything they offer. The coffee is a little burnt, but they offer a full espresso-bar menu (which is an absolute must for pairing with pastries).
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MarieBette Café and Bakery
700 Rose Hill Drive
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Incredible French pastries, bread, and breakfast/lunch stuffs. The croque madame is an all-time favorite—a little rich, but...when in Rome! A nice cozy spot as well, with a good amount of street parking. The croissants are perfectly prepared. For something sweet, grab a canelé—or a cappuccino (which will come with a small canelé on the side). You literally cannot go wrong with anything they offer. The coffee is a little burnt, but they offer a full espresso-bar menu (which is an absolute must for pairing with pastries).
Cozy but hoppin' bar/tex-mex that is always delicious and the prices are on the cheaper side (for Charlottesville, that is). The house margarita is delicious, the specials are always on point, and the regular menu is approachable and every dish is good. ***The place is small and very popular. The staff will only seat you if your whole party is there. There is little to no room to wait around for your table, so be prepared to wait outside or get cozy with the other customers.
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Continental Divide
811 West Main Street
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Cozy but hoppin' bar/tex-mex that is always delicious and the prices are on the cheaper side (for Charlottesville, that is). The house margarita is delicious, the specials are always on point, and the regular menu is approachable and every dish is good. ***The place is small and very popular. The staff will only seat you if your whole party is there. There is little to no room to wait around for your table, so be prepared to wait outside or get cozy with the other customers.
Great atmosphere that totally suits the name. Southern fare and comfort food that is more reasonably priced than surrounding spots. Huge whiskey and beer lists. Approachable menu and great Downtown location.
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The Whiskey Jar
227 West Main Street
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Great atmosphere that totally suits the name. Southern fare and comfort food that is more reasonably priced than surrounding spots. Huge whiskey and beer lists. Approachable menu and great Downtown location.
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Mudhouse Coffee Downtown Mall
213 West Main Street
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GREAT pizza, great Italian-inspired menu, lots of local ingredients. Mid-range prices. But the place is TINY— Don't go expecting to get a table.
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Lampo Neapolitan Pizzeria
205 Monticello Road
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GREAT pizza, great Italian-inspired menu, lots of local ingredients. Mid-range prices. But the place is TINY— Don't go expecting to get a table.
This spot is always a crowd-pleaser. Cozy vibe; local ingredients; great, straightforward menu; tasty food with interesting preparations. Price is mid-range.
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The Local
824 Hinton Avenue
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This spot is always a crowd-pleaser. Cozy vibe; local ingredients; great, straightforward menu; tasty food with interesting preparations. Price is mid-range.
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Mas
904 Monticello Road
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Great spot—charming, with a warm and capable staff (mostly students). Great, local alternative to Starbucks (also on Elliewood).
Grit Coffee, UVa Corner
19 Elliewood Avenue
Great spot—charming, with a warm and capable staff (mostly students). Great, local alternative to Starbucks (also on Elliewood).
Great tacos, great staff, cool location, great prices. Casual and cool—a must-visit spot!
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Brazos Tacos
925 2nd Street Southeast
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Great tacos, great staff, cool location, great prices. Casual and cool—a must-visit spot!
Essentials
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Whole Foods Market
1797 Hydraulic Road
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Whole-hog butcher and grocer (they carry staples like bread, pasta, grains, sauces, prepared foods, cheese, wine & beer, and a nice assortment of fruit and veg). All their meat is sourced from local farms. These guys are the real deal! If you're there before 12PM, I highly recommend grabbing a ham biscuit!
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JM STOCK PROVISIONS
709 West Main Street
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Whole-hog butcher and grocer (they carry staples like bread, pasta, grains, sauces, prepared foods, cheese, wine & beer, and a nice assortment of fruit and veg). All their meat is sourced from local farms. These guys are the real deal! If you're there before 12PM, I highly recommend grabbing a ham biscuit!
Arts & Culture
An incredibly well-run local theatre.
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Live Arts
123 Water Street East
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An incredibly well-run local theatre.
Shopping
Low - Vintage Clothing, Records & Antiques
105 5th St SE
Daedalus Bookshop
123 4th Street Northeast
New Dominion Bookshop
404 E Main St
Read It Again Sam
214 East Main Street
Expensive, designer brands. But very well-curated. Great place to find something special.
Eloise
505 W Main St
Expensive, designer brands. But very well-curated. Great place to find something special.
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Scarpa
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Designer jeans—new and used! Very helpful staff.
Jean Theory
101 Water St W
Designer jeans—new and used! Very helpful staff.
Mi Ossa
134 10th St NW
Entertainment & Activities
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Violet Crown Charlottesville
200 W Main St
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Getting Around
Route 4 will take you to the Downtown Mall. I usually get off at the E Market St. @ 2nd Street NE stop. Fare is ¢.75 one-way, or $1.50 for a 24-hour pass.
Cherry Ave at Cherry Avenue Shopping Ctr
Route 4 will take you to the Downtown Mall. I usually get off at the E Market St. @ 2nd Street NE stop. Fare is ¢.75 one-way, or $1.50 for a 24-hour pass.
All the bus routes run through this stop, which is at the head of the Downtown Mall. Take the "T" - Free Trolley to UVA, or Route 7 to UVA and then Barracks Road Shopping Center. Fare is ¢.75 one-way, or $1.50 for a 24-hour pass.
W Water St at the Omni
All the bus routes run through this stop, which is at the head of the Downtown Mall. Take the "T" - Free Trolley to UVA, or Route 7 to UVA and then Barracks Road Shopping Center. Fare is ¢.75 one-way, or $1.50 for a 24-hour pass.
Sightseeing
Thomas Jefferson designed this unique quad on the University of Virginia campus. It has been honored as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are 10 "pavilions," which house professors/deans, and about 50 student rooms, interspersed between the pavilions. At the head is the Rotunda—inspired by the Pantheon—which was originally a library. My favorite part are the gardens, which are just behind the student rooms. They are beautiful, each with a unique atmosphere, and they're generally quiet and incredibly well-maintained.
The Lawn
Thomas Jefferson designed this unique quad on the University of Virginia campus. It has been honored as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are 10 "pavilions," which house professors/deans, and about 50 student rooms, interspersed between the pavilions. At the head is the Rotunda—inspired by the Pantheon—which was originally a library. My favorite part are the gardens, which are just behind the student rooms. They are beautiful, each with a unique atmosphere, and they're generally quiet and incredibly well-maintained.