A Guide to The Charlottesville 29


News! 2017’s The Charlottesville 29 is coming soon.

But what is The Charlottesville 29? At its core, it’s an insider’s guide to Charlottesville’s essential restaurants, answering: if there were just 29 restaurants in Charlottesville, what would be the ideal 29? More background here.

Whether you’re visiting Charlottesville for the first time or a longtime resident deciding where to spend your hard-earned money, the guide tells you where to go and what to order when you get there. For each entry, it explains why it made the list and also includes ordering recommendations from the restaurant’s own chef/owner as well other chefs and personalities around town. Before you go to MAS, for example, learn what chef-owner Tomas Rahal suggests eating there, as well as dishes other chefs say not to miss. The latter suggestions come from archives of Five Finds on Friday, a weekly list of favorite food items in the area, picked by area chefs and personalities. The guide includes hundreds of favorite dishes from the archives.

How do restaurants make the list? Entries are chosen annually by me, the longtime restaurant writer for C-VILLE Weekly. Food is my passion, and I have eaten thousands of restaurant meals in Charlottesville over the past 25 years. Selections are based strictly on my experience, as there is no advertising on the site. It has never made a penny of revenue.

Restaurants on The Charlottesville 29 are easy to spot around town because they display a window decal with the site’s logo.

You can find the 2016 Charlottesville 29 here. The 2017 Charlottesville 29 announcement will begin on Monday February 6, and will take into account openings, closings, and changes in quality over the past year. To be eligible for this year’s list, a restaurant must have been open since January 1, 2016. Check back on February 6!