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
Cafe' Europa: Good Eats on the Corner
Not fine dining, but still great food, specializing in Greek and Mediterrenean fare. They also have great sandwiches.
Favorite Dish: Ask anyone in town where to get the best Tomato Basil soup and this is the answer you'll get. Its that good. In fact, when someone says "Cafe Europa" I get an image of a bowl of Tomato Basil soup. Mmmm....
When i want something more than soup, I love love love their Chicken Souvlaki. Soooo good.
- Food and Dining
El Girasol: The best Mexican!
El Girasol, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways...
I miss El Girasol SOOOOO much. I lived right by 10th Street on Wertland, so this was right around the corner from me. This place has all the standards, but they are just so*much*better here than at the chains like Amigos. The staff and owners just seem to care so much more, and you can taste it in the food as well as see it in the service.
I LOOOOOVE mexican food. Eat it at least two (ok. three) times a week. So I know what I'm talking about! Their specialties are fantastic, so don't be afraid to try something new.
Favorite Dish: Love 'em all. YUMMY. Actually, I never tried the goat. Tell me how that goes, how bout?
- Food and Dining
L'Aventurra: Delicious Northern Italian
This was my secret restaurant in Charlottesville. It is tiny--maybe ten tables. Maybe. The food here is soooooo good. Its not inexpensive, yet its not quite as pricey as some of the other restaurants that I consider to be in the same quality range.
Favorite Dish: Impossible to pick a favorite dish, but the Osso Bucco is fabulous. So are the veal cuts. So are the pastas. OH! And if you are fond of Italian Wine, this is THE place to go--they have a better selection than anywhere else in town (and in many other, much bigger, cities).
- Food and Dining
Michie Tavern: Colonial Dining at Michie Tavern
Michie Tavern is near Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. It was built in 1784. We stopped at Michie Tavern for their buffet lunch. We were there on a gray November day and enjoyed typical Southern fare served buffet style in front of the roaring fire. They have wide-planked wooden floors. This restaurant is family friendly.
Favorite Dish: The fried chicken was great. There is plenty of Southern food on their buffet.
- Historical Travel
- Save up to 50% on hotels.
- Hotwire.com Hotwire: Get a 4-star hotel for a 2-star price.
- Save Up To 50% On Hotels
- Orbitz.com Find great deals on Orbitz & pay no hotel change or cancel fees