Off-Campus Dining

Location
Charlottesville, VA
Undergrads
14,928
Tuition (in-state)
$38,228 ($12,216)
Admission Difficulty
Hard
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Reviews

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4 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: The off-campus dining at the University of Virginia is probably one of its selling points. As soon as you drive onto University Avenue, the local restaurants lined along a brick pavement liken the street to a scene out of Gilmore Girls. The food is also good and it varies from Chinese tastes at Marco & Luca, Mediterranean meals from The Fig to the all-American choices from Boylan Heights. These are only three of more than fifteen restaurants. By the way, if you ever come down to the university and hear people using the term "The Corner," they are referring to the University Avenue with its strip of restaurants. The restaurants are right across from the university's Brooks Hall and therefore they are conveniently located to a point.

Costs for meals are higher than the typical student would like; therefore, if you want to eat out every night or even twice a week, you must be ready to pay up. Student discounts are available but certainly not greatly advertised which is understandable since these businesses need to make some kind of profit.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: the corner, downtown, all good and have a lot of variety depending on what you're looking for

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: The Corner is great but doesn't have a ton of variety; there's variety to be found downtown if you're willing to bus.

5 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: Second highest number of restaurants per capita in the US, just shy of New York City

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Charlottesville is known for dining and there is a lot of diversity in the restaurants here

1 person found this useful Report
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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 9th
    Best Off-Campus Dining Cost
  • 28th
    Best Off-Campus Dining Variety

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Haley Bryant
Hometown
London, UK
Major
Media Studies
View all previous student authors

Everyone agrees that the restaurants in Charlottesville are fantastic and plentiful. The food quality and restaurant options are what make it feel more like a big city. The Corner has tons of college-type cafés and restaurants that are fun and convenient. They offer everything from standard bar food to Caribbean, Asian, and European fare. The Corner is very popular for lunch and casual dinners, while the Downtown Mall has many amazing restaurants that feature even more adventurous food and wine (C&O, Rapture, Hamilton’s, Escafe, and more), and it is a popular destination for students seeking a nicer meal. Of course, there are restaurants all over, but in Charlottesville there are definitely more really memorable and incredible places than not.

Don’t be surprised if, by the time you graduate from UVA, there are restaurants in Charlottesville that you’ve never gotten a chance to sample. Generally, your first two years at UVA, you find yourself wrapped up more in the food on campus and on the Corner, and sometimes you don’t run into the hidden treasures that Charlottesville has to offer. In your later years, when transportation is easier and you are getting comfortable enough to be adventurous, you start to really see how much there is out there in Charlottesville dining. Try to get off-campus and out on the restaurant scene earlier in your college career. Your stomach will thank you for it!

Facts & Statistics

Student Favorites
  • Asian Express
  • Baja Bean Company
  • Biltmore Grill
  • Bodo's Bagel Bakery
  • Café Europa
  • Christian's Pizza
  • Little John's
  • Martha's Café
  • Michael's Bistro
  • Take It Away
  • The Virginian
  • White Spot
24-Hour Dining
  • Little John's
  • Pita Pit
  • White Spot
Best Asian
Flaming Wok
Best Breakfast
  • Bodo's Bagel Bakery
  • Tavern
Best Healthy
  • Arch's Frozen Yogurt
  • Martha's Café
  • The Pita Pit
  • Take it Away
Best Pizza
Christian's Pizza
Best Wings
  • Biltmore Grill
  • Wild Wing Café
Best Place to Take Your Parents
  • Boar's Head Inn
  • C&O
  • Downtown Grille
  • Duner's
  • Hamilton's
  • South Street Brewery
Other Places to Check Out
  • Basil
  • Blue Light Grill
  • Boylan Heights
  • The Melting Pot
  • Rapture (International)
  • Splendora
  • Ten
Did You Know?
The people of Charlottesville definitely know how to eat well. There are many, many fabulous restaurants in town-be sure to get to as many as you can. Also keep an eye out for some great food and wine festivals that frequently come to town throughout the year (such as the Vegetarian Festival, Taste of the Nation, and the Virginia Wine Festival).

Grocery StoresWhat's This?

Harris Teeter
975 Emmet St. N., Barracks Shopping Center
(434) 984-2900
Kroger
1904 Emmet St. N, Barracks Shopping Center
(434) 295-8334

Restaurant ListingsWhat's This?

Arch's Frozen Yogurt
Food: Dessert foods (sandwiches and salads are now offered, too)
104 14th St. NW
(434) 984-2724
Price: $4-$8
Cool Features: The best frozen yogurt ever!
Asian Express
Food: Asian
909 W. Main St.
(434) 979-1888
www.newasianexpress.com
Price: $5-$10
Baja Bean Company
Food: California Mexican
1327 W. Main St.
(434) 293-4507
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Tuesday night karaoke!
Biltmore Grill
Food: American (burgers, sandwiches, a divine chocolate chip cookie pie desert)
16 Elliewood Ave.
(434) 293-6700
Price: $5-$15
Cool Features: There's a big deck for outside seating, $2 drafts on Tuesday nights, on Thursdays from 8-9 p.m. every drink (no matter what it is) costs $1.
Bizou
Food: American "upscale down-home cookin'" (seafood, steak, "smashed potatoes")
119 W. Main St., on the Downtown Mall
(434) 977-1818
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: This place has red booths and black-and-white movie posters everywhere!
Boar's Head Inn
Food: American, with a Southern touch
200 Ednam Dr.
(434) 296-2181
Price: $15-$25
Bodo's Bagel Bakery
Food: Breakfast
Emmet St. and Preston Ave.
(434) 977-9598 (434) 293-5224
Price: $3-$5
Cool Features: Everyone loves to go to Bodo's after a heavy night of drinking. It can sometimes seem very crowded on a Sunday morning, but the line moves right along.
Buddhist Biker Bar & Grill
Food: American (crab cakes, grilled BBQ shrimp, risotto cakes)
20 Elliewood Ave.
(434) 971-9181
Price: $10-$20
Cool Features: Inside there is vaulted ceiling with a painted pond and suspended canoe
C&O
Food: French/American
515 E. Water St.
(434) 971-7044
Price: $15-$20
Cool Features: C&O is in one of the oldest buildings in Charlottesville, offering a quaint, historic atmosphere. Superb cheese plate and wine selection, three-course meals. A great place to take your parents for parent's weekend!
Cafe Europa
Food: Mediterranean
1331 W. Main St.
(434) 295-4040
www.cafeeuropa.blogspot.com
Price: $5-$10
Christian's Pizza
Food: Pizza and calzones
100 14th St. NW
(434) 872-0436
Price: $10-$20
Coupe DeVille's
Food: American (sandwiches, Peruvian-style rotisserie)
9 Elliewood Ave.
(434) 977-3966
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: They have great live music outside on the terrace. Rolling Stone rated them very highly as having some of the best music in a college town.
Downtowne Grille
Food: American
201 W. Main St.
(434) 817-7080
www.downtowngrille.com
Price: $15-$30
Duner's
Food: American (fresh seafood, meats, pasta, vegetarian options, fine desserts)
250 West in Ivy
(434) 293-8352
Price: $10-$20
Escafé
Food: Asian/American with an international twist (cilantro and brie quesadillas, salads, vegetarian, soups)
Downtown Mall
(434) 295-8668
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Great murals, lovely lighting, wonderful people-watching opportunities.
Flaming Wok
Food: Chinese, Korean, Japanese
1305 Seminole Trail
(434) 974-6555
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: The chef prepares your meal right in front of you at your table-over flaming hot coals, no less!
Guadalajara
Food: Mexican
805 E. Market St., near the Downtown Mall
434-977-2676
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Great Mexican food!
Hamilton's
Food: Contemporary gourmet American cuisine (fresh meats, game, crab cakes, vegetarian)
101 W. Main St., on the Downtown Mall
(434) 295-6649
Price: $10-$20
Cool Features: Arty modern decor; lovely atmosphere. Hamilton's is very pricey-a good place to bring your parents for parents-weekend.
Hotcakes
Food: Fancy, quick gourmet meals pre-made (quiche, prime rib, rosalita dip)
1137 Emmet St.
(434) 295-6037
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Nice atmosphere, if you choose to stay and eat in their little Café. Very good food.
Lemongrass
Food: Thai, Vietnamese
104 14th St. NW
(434) 244-8424
Price: $10-$25
Cool Features: Although the restaurant is small and you may have to wait for awhile to get a table, they serve amazing authentic Thai fare.
Little John's
Food: Subs, salads, muffins, brownies
1427 University Ave., on the Corner
(434) 977-0588
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Students love to come here for a late night bite.
Martha's Café
Food: American (lots of vegetarian choices, pasta, salads, Asian theme)
11 Elliewood Ave.
(434) 971-7530
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: This restaurant is in a beautiful, old, blue house where students used to live in the `60s and `70s. The inside walls are covered with modern art. The bathroom has fish swimming in the bathtub.
Mellow Mushroom
Food: Pizza, calzones, hoagies, and salads
1309 W. Main St.
(434) 972-9366
www.mellowmushroom.com
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: There's outside seating, lots of TVs, and strange inside decorations.
Michael's Bistro
Food: American (sandwiches, salads, fresh meats)
1427 University Ave., on the Corner
(434) 977-3697
Price: $5-$15
Cool Features: There's a small balcony where you can sit at sunset and look out as far as the Blue Ridge. It also offers a great people-watcher's view of the Corner below.
Miller's
Food: American (steaks, seafood, sandwiches, vegetarian)
109 W. Main St., on the Downtown Mall
(434) 971-8511
Price: $5-$15
Cool Features: Dave Matthews used to bartend here (supposedly it was his inspiration for the song entitled "Bartender" and many others). There is great live music here almost every night (Jazz night on Thursdays).
Mono Loco
Food: Cuban
200 Water St., next to the Downtown Mall
(434) 979-0688
Price: $5-$15
Cool Features: Beautiful décor, wonderful atmosphere. You can sit outside on a patio streamed with lights and lovely trees.
The Pita Pit
Food: Pita sandwiches with tons of toppings and different sauces
104 14th St. NW, just behind the Corner
(434) 977-PITA
www.pitapit.com
Price: $4-$8
Cool Features: You get to create your own pita!
Qdoba
Food: Mexican
1415 University Ave.
(434) 293-6299
www.qdoba.com
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: They have multiple televisions including a big flatscreen in the back that is perfect for watching the game while enjoying your food.
Revolutionary Soup
Food: Soups, salads, wraps
104 14th St. NW
(434) 979-9988
www.revolutionarysoup.com
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: The location is stocked with the perfect supplies for a picnic on a nice day, including a great selection of wine and appetizers.
Sakura Sushi & Noodles
Food: Japanese
105 14th St. NW
(434) 923-0238
Price: $10-$25
Cool Features: Sake bombing is available at the location and is much enjoyed by many UVA students.
South Street Brewery
Food: American
106 W. South St.
(434) 293-6550
www.southstreetbrewery.com
Price: $10-$20
St. Marteen's Café
Food: American (hot wings, cheese fries)
1400 Wertland St., just behind the Corner
(434) 293-2233
Price: $5-$15
Cool Features: The restaurant is filled with a Caribbean motif and a big UVA drinking scene.
Starr Hill Restaurant and Brewery
Food: American (crab cakes, award-winning brew master)
709 W. Main St., between the Corner and the Downtown Mall
(434) 977-0017
Price: $10-$15
Cool Features: This is a great place to hear live music from touring bands. Supposedly, Faulkner's grandsons own this restaurant/bar.
Sticks
Food: American (meats on sticks, hummus, roasted eggplant, salads, rice)
917 Preston Ave.
(434) 295-5262
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Offers a healthy alternative to fast food.
Take it Away
Food: Deli sandwiches with great house dressings and fresh baked bread
115 Elliewood Ave., just off the Corner
(434) 295-1899
Price: $4-$8
Cool Features: Very cool jazz music and beautiful posters and paintings to admire while you wait for a good sandwich. Students love to come here during the week in between classes and grab a lunch.
Tavern
Food: Breakfast
Corner of Emmet St. and Barracks Rd.
(434) 295-0404
Price: $4-$8
Cool Features: This breakfast spot is an old, historic fixture at UVA. On the roof is written in white letters, "Where Townspeople and Students Meet."
Thai `99
Food: Thai
2210 Fontaine Ave. Ext.
(434) 245-5263
Price: $8-$15
The Virginian
Food: American (great sandwiches-especially the BLT-crab cakes, steaks
1521 University Ave., on the Corner
434-984-4667
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: This is the oldest restaurant in Charlottesville. The walls are decorated with historic photographs of UVA boys who used to frequent here.
White Spot
Food: American (burgers, fries, gyros)
1407 University Ave., on the Corner
(434) 295-9899
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: This spot features the great "Gus Burger" (a fried egg on top of a burger), which has become a UVA late-night bite tradition at 2 a.m. after a wild night on the town.

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus restaurants on the following topics    Based on 97 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • Cost
  • Convenience
  • Healthy/organic options
  • Late-night options
  • Quality
  • Student discounts
  • Variety/number of options
  • Vegetarian/vegan options

How would you rate the diversity of off-campus dining options?    Based on 119 responses

  • 3% An endless repetition of the same few places.
  • 2% Mostly just chain restaurants and fast food.
  • 30% Enough variety to keep things interesting.
  • 66% A nice variety of local spots and ethnic cuisine.
4
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