The Charlottesville 29

If there were just 29 restaurants in Charlottesville, what would be the ideal 29?

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The 2023 Charlottesville 29: This Year’s List of Charlottesville’s Essential Restaurants

The 2023 Charlottesville 29 is here.

Each year, The Charlottesville 29 answers: if there were just 29 restaurants in Charlottesville, what would be the ideal 29? Background here and here. Annual cuts become ever more difficult, as openings outpace closings. As in prior years, this year’s Charlottesville 29 includes a description of why each restaurant was selected, as well as an ordering guide, with recommendations from the restaurant’s chef/owner and appearances in Five Finds on Friday.

Beginning March 8, 2023, one restaurant will be added each day, until the 29 is complete. With that: The 2023 Charlottesville 29.

Charlottesville 2023 Best New Restaurant: Smyrna

What can be said about Smyrna that has not already been said? With exquisite food and warm hospitality, the year’s surprise hit quickly earned a cadre of regulars, including some of Charlottesville best chefs. Café Frank‘s Jose de Brito calls it “one of the best additions to the Charlottesville food scene of the last few years.” Lampo’s Loren Mendosa said he was blown away by his meal. And, The Ivy Inn’s Angelo Vangelopoulos says he tried almost everything on the menu, and thoroughly enjoyed it all.

What is it? Chef and co-owner Tarik Sengul calls it “traditional Anatolian cuisine, cooked with Appalachian ingredients, using modern techniques.” Whatever it is, among a stellar group of finalists, Smyrna is Charlottesville 2023 Best New Restaurant.

Charlottesville 2023 Best New Restaurant Finalists

It’s time for The 2023 Charlottesville 29, this year’s answer to the question: if there were just 29 restaurants in Charlottesville, what would be the ideal 29? The unveiling begins this week. To be eligible, a restaurant must have been open since January 1, 2022.

But, restaurants that opened in 2022 also warrant recognition, and they are in the running for Best New Restaurant. What a year it was, as the Charlottesville food community continued to emerge from the pandemic with pent-up creativity. After a banner year of newcomers in 2021, 2022 brought another stellar crop of new restaurants. Among the openings, the year’s best new restaurant will be announced Tuesday, March 7. To be eligible, a restaurant must have opened in 2022 and have a Charlottesville mailing address. While the finalists span a range of cultures, what they share is a team passionate about their cuisine.

The Finalists:

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