Blue Moon Diner
We stopped at Blue Moon Diner on our way out of town. Though it looks like (and is!) a hole-in-the-wall greasy spoon, the food was excellent and filling, We had blueberry pancakes, omelets, and coffee for about $10.00. They have a few tables out on the street where you can enjoy the sunshine and watch the cars, people, and pets go by.
The Blue Moon Diner is also a popular spot for nightlife with a long-standing tradition of live music.
Zocalo is a unique restaurant, claiming to be Latin, but truly a unique blend of food and culture in downtown Charlottesville. I had a great steak dish with asparagus and potato sticks for about $26 and my travel companion enjoyed roasted chicken breast for about $18. The food was excellent and the outdoor setting spectacular.
Zocalo is in the heart of the downtown Charlottesville walking area.
Bashir's Taverna: For budget and hungry traveller :-)
There are many restaurants along the Downtown Mall. As I didn't know which one to choose for a lunch , I decided to enter Bashir's Taverna as there were quite many locals inside, so I could expect good food at reasonable price. And I like Mediterranean cuisine (Greek, Italian, Spanish, Moroccan) the restaurant offered. Lantern-lit interior in mixed industrial-mediterranean style was a bit dark but we got a table by the large window to the mall.
Favorite Dish: We had grilled chicken breast with honey mustard and spicy lamb sausages with mint sauce. Well, it tasted very good, especially lamb sausages, although I am not a dedicated fan of lamb meat. One, large dish with assorted salads and bread (enough for two) cost only $9.00 including tax. If you don't mind plastic cutlery, dishes and glasses Bashir's Taverna is a very good choice.
- Budget Travel
- Food and Dining
Michie Tavern: Dine in a Historic Tavern.
Michie Tavern was established in 1784 by William Michie, a Scotsman. It was the social center of its community and also provided food, drink and lodging for travelers in those days. It was moved 17 miles to its present location which is close to Monticello. They only serve lunch and it's caffeteria style and features period dishes. The day we were here we could choose from fried chicken, pork barbecue, black-eye peas, green beans, potato salad, stewed tomatoes, cornbread or biscuits, and peach cobbler for dessert. After you fill your plate, you go to sit at long trundle tables in a dining room with wooden floors, a large brick fireplace, and are waited on by girls in period dress. The food is excellent and is very typical southern cooking. You can also take a tour of the original tavern and outbuildings for an additional price. It is only open from 11:15-3:30 from April through Oct. Hours are more restricted in winter.
Favorite Dish: The Hickory smoked barbecue was excellent. But the main attraction here is the historic surroundings.
- Historical Travel
- Women's Travel
Usually the Hampton Inn will have a restaurant within walking distance. They tore down the Tex-Mex restaurant where we ate last time we were here and were building something else there where it was.
The closest restaurant to the Hampton Inn was Chili's and I wanted to have one last meal at a non-chain restaurant or at least a new chain restaurant. So that ruled out Red Lobster. And I didn't feel like Chinese or I could have gone to the Great Wall. Other restaurants such as the Aberdeen Barn, Rococo's and Guadolajara were farther away.
Maverick's is on the highway in the shopping center. You could walk to it if you knew where it was but you can't see it from the Hampton Inn because there's other stuff and trees in the way.
Favorite Dish: There is outside seating around a fireplace where there is a fire if it is cool (last photo). Inside there is a bar (first photo) which has a large painting of a woman over it. In the photo you can only see her head and arm because the inside is all dark wood. There's a fireplace inside too.
Bob had a salad (pictured) and a milkshake, and I had a medium rare prime rib and steak soup (both pictured). I took some of the prime rib home.
- Business Travel
- Road Trip
- Study Abroad
Bizou: Simple but sophisticated
Bizou offers up traditional samplings but with a contemporary treatment and presentation. The interior is reminiscent of an old-time greasy spoon with its narrow space. They also offer seating outside on the Downtown Mall. The menu has seafood, meat, and chicken dishes. Not bad.
VAVino: Wine Bar
VA is the abbreviation for Virginia. Vino is, well you know. As the name suggests, this wine bar on the Downtown Mall offers up tastings of vintages from the many wineries in the Commonwealth. Customers can order specific wines or partake in one of several "flights" which may feature a specific varietal or have some other common theme. There are also food items on the menu along the lines of cheese plates, fondue, terrines, panini, bruschetta, and even some sweet things. Great for a relaxing evening before or after dinner.
Favorite Dish: We didn't actually go here because it was closed when we walked by...but it looked pretty cool. Great interior.
Tea Time Desires: It has to be good!
Yes, they have tea and even boba tea (cold tea with large tapioca balls). But when we walked by we noticed that they have homemade dumplings. Mmmmmm. If we had seen this before going to eat at the Hardware Store Restaurant, we definitely would have eaten here! Next time for sure! I'll update this tip after checking it out!
Favorite Dish: It's gotta be the dumplings!
Cafe Cubano: Breakfast and Coffee Downtown
We went here for breakfast and it was very good. I had the blueberry waffle with fruit. The fruit came on top of the waffle which surprised me a bit but it was all very good. The waffle was cooked perfect: slightly crispy on the outside and fluffy soft on the inside. Rita had the salsa omelette which was prepared with egg whites on her request. It came with a great salsa verde sauce, tortilla, slice of grilled ham, and nice breakfast potatoes seasoned with thyme and sage. The coffee is first rate as well.
If the weather is nice, grab a table outside after ordering.
Favorite Dish: Blueberry waffle, coffee
A walk in the downtown mall on a warm spring or summer day would not be complete without a gelato. And you can get one at Splendora. They carry a wide range of flavors including Italian favorites pistachio, dulce de leche, hazelnut, and straccitaella. I would have to say that it's not quite as creamy as the real stuff in Italy but the flavor is definitely there. Get it in a cup or cone but do get it!
Favorite Dish: Gelato, gelato, gelato!
The Korean House: Korean in the Blue Ridge
Korean food is the great alternative to other Asian cuisines and is often overlooked. But it's started to become more well known outside of the big cities like LA and NYC which have Koreatowns. Even Charlottesville has its own Korean restaurant and the Korean House serves up authentic dishes you'd expect at Korean family's home. In fact, the women who work there will make you feel like you are at home!
Set in a light industrial complex next door to a country billards bar, the Korean House offers little in the way of ambiance. But the aromas you experience once you set foot inside the door will dispell any reservations one might have based on the exterior appearance. Mandu, or Korean dumplings, are good starters. Their seaweed noodle soup is exceptional with a wonderful broth and homemade noodles cut in rough patches. The kalbi and bulgogi is brought to your table (no tabletop grills here) cooked to perfection - tender, juicy, and with that wonderful marinade flavor. And don't miss the seafood scallion pancake. The size of a dinner plate it could feed two people fairly easily. Oh, and they have authentic tofu dishes, brought to the table still boiling and with a raw egg broken over the top. Get the spicy tofu for a sinus-busting experience!
Favorite Dish: Seaweed noodle soup, haemulpajun (seafood & scallion pancake), kalbi
Zocalo: If timing is important, don't eat here!
While the food at Zocalo is edible, the timing of food delivery is absolutely horrible. Waiting for over 100 minutes for your entree to arrive with no apologies or retribution whatsoever should be a crime. After complaining, all we got were excuses - "its not my fault".
When dining out, the food is only a part of the experience. Inadequate and improper timing of food delivery can entirely ruin a pleasant evening. My date and I will not go back there under any circumstances, and unless you have a great deal of time and patience, you should look elsewhere to spend your money.
Favorite Dish: Since the bread was the only thing on our table for about 90 minutes, I would have to say this is it.
Revolutionary Soup: Soup's On!
If you want soup, this is your place! They offer a number of different soups every day--one is sure to tickle your fancy. I've heard some say its hit or miss, but I've always had a hit when I ate here.
- Food and Dining
Bellair Market: Want a Sandwich?
People are serious about their Bellair. Their signature sandwiches (with names like the Jefferson, the Keswick, and the Farmington) have cult like followings. They have recently started franchising "the Market"s at other tiger fuel stations, but Bellair is the original, and is considered the best.
They use top shelf ingredients and everything is made fresh. If you like sandwiches, this is your place. Thier side salads are great too.
- Food and Dining
Vivace: Good pasta
This place is not quite the dining experience that is L'Aventurra, but it is still good Italian. Great pasta dishes, low key atmosphere. I loved going here on just that night that you are craving pasta.
- Food and Dining
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