Al Carbon

Al Carbon

1875 Seminole Trail . Charlottesville, VA . (434) 964-1052
245 Merchant Walk Ave Suite 200 . Charlottesville, VA . (434) 284-5251

Why Al Carbon?

This order-at-the-counter joint specializes in whole chickens cooked over coals in a rotisserie oven imported from Peru. While the chickens are delicious, the Mexican dishes may be even better, which is no wonder given the heritage of owners Myriam and Claudio Hernandez. Myriam is from Morelos and Claudio  from Puebla, and the menu showcases street food of their home regions. One Puebla specialty is a “cemita,” and Al Carbon makes a stellar one – sesame seed bread piled high with avocado, the meat of your choice, adobo chipotle peppers, fresh Oaxacan cheese, papalo red onions, and a slice of ham. In addition to great options for solo diners, the menu includes family meals like whole chickens with a selection of sides. Great for takeout, there are also plenty of tables for dining in, and bottled beers and cocktails to wash down the fiery food. With a quality-to-value ratio that is difficult to match, Al Carbon is on a short list of restaurants we would most wish to live near, and a fixture on The Charlottesville 29.

What to Order

From chicken to sandwiches to sides, it’s hard to go wrong at Al Carbon. Below is a list of our suggestions, the Hernandez’s own favorites, and appearances in Five Finds on Friday, where a local chef or personality has named an Al Carbon dish as one of the best in town.

Our Picks

  • Charcoal Rotisserie Chicken
  • Cemitas, especially Milanesa de Res y Chorizo
  • Fried Yucca
  • Platanos Fritos
  • Chiles Toreados & Cebollitas
  • Jalapeno and Cilantro Sauce
  • Churros

Owners’ Picks

  • Fresh Guacamole
  • Cemita de Carne Enchilada
  • Taco de Chori Pollo
  • Taco de Lengua
  • Elote Con Mayonesa

Five Finds on Friday Picks


Photo by Tom McGovern