633 W. Main Street . Charlottesville, VA. (434) 979-6292
Food fusing French and Southern traditions may be Charlottesville’s signature cuisine. While many area restaurants serve it, though, none does it better than Maya, the two-story Midtown restaurant whose consistency few can match. Chef Christian Kelly once helped Clifton Inn become one of the few restaurants in the country to achieve Relais & Chateaux status. In 2006, restaurateur Peter Castiglione lured Kelly away from fine dining to return to the accessible, ingredient-driven cooking that inspired Kelly as a child on the farm where he was raised. Ever since, Maya has been Charlottesville’s top destination for Southern/French food.
A team-driven approach focused on retaining both staff and customers makes Maya one of the most reliable restaurant experiences in town. Whether you’re in the mood for unfussy dishes like baby back ribs and fried catfish, or something more sophisticated like daily specials, Maya always satisfies.
What to Order
After more than fifteen years at the helm of Maya’s kitchen, Kelly has nailed just about everything on the menu, where diners may choose two sides to go with any entrée. That said, here are a few standouts we love, picks from Kelly and Castiglione, as well as appearances in Five Finds on Friday, where other chefs and personalities have named a Maya dish as one of the best in town.
- Local Trout with caper brown butter
- Cornmeal-Crusted Catfish
- Golden Beets
- Soup of the Day
- New York Strip with red wine sauce
- Macaroni and Cheese
- Cornmeal-crusted Fried Oysters with sides of Collard Greens and Stone-Ground Grits
Five Finds on Friday Picks
- Pimento Cheese Fritters – James Lum and Matt Greene (formerly, JM Stock), Gerry Newman (Albemarle Baking Co.), Phillip Gerringer (formerly, South Fork), Mitch Willey (formerly, Clifton Inn); Dan Frosaker (Feast!)
- Cornmeal-crusted Fried Oysters – Alex George (formerly, Commonwealth), Brice Cunningham (formerly, Tempo), Chris Long (UVa football legend), Janna Hackworth (formerly, Revolutionary Soup)
- Local Trout – Craig Hartman (BBQ Exchange); Laurel Bennett (wife of UVa Men’s Basketball Coach Tony Bennett)
- Shrimp n’ Grits – Ben Clore (Oakhart Social)
- Crispy Pork “Cheerwine” BBQ – Taylor Smack (Blue Mountain Brewery)
- Wild Mushroom Risotto — Deirdre Armstrong (Harvest Thyme Herbs)
- Buttermilk Biscuits – Todd Grieger (formerly, Red Pump Kitchen)
- Sauteed Green Beans with Almonds — Laura Galgano (Blue Moon Diner)
- Drinks — Ian Judd (formerly, Ivy Inn)