The Charlottesville 29

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

Category: Uncategorized

The Charlottesville 100+?: Why Restaurants Not On The Charlottesville 29 are the Best Evidence of Charlottesville’s Food Excellence

The Charlottesville 29 answers: if there were just 29 restaurants in Charlottesville, what would be the ideal 29? The 2023 Charlottesville 29 is here. As impressive as the restaurants on the list are, as I say every year: even better evidence of Charlottesville’s food excellence each year is the number of great restaurants not on the list. Because openings outpace closings, narrowing a list to 29 becomes more difficult each year. Dozens of restaurants not on the The Charlottesville 29 would be worthy entrants on a list of any city’s top restaurants. How could a city the size of Charlottesville have so many great restaurants? We are blessed.

  • Aberdeen Barn
  • Afghan Kabob
  • Amigo
  • Aroma’s Cafe
  • Bang!
  • Blue Moon Diner
  • Botanical
  • Bowerbird Bakeshop
  • Brasserie Saison
  • Brazos Tacos
  • Cafe 88
  • Chimm Thai
  • Chimm St.
  • Christian’s Pizza
  • Citizen Burger Bar
  • Continental Divide
  • Doma
  • Duner’s
  • El Ciruelo
  • Fabio’s NY Pizza
  • Feast!
  • Fry’s Spring Station
  • Got Dumplings
  • Guajiros
  • Hamilton’s
  • Holly’s Diner
  • Inka Grill
  • Ivy Provisions
  • Kabuto
  • Kanak
  • Kardinal Hall
  • Kitchen(ette)
  • Kyoto
  • La Michoacana
  • Lemongrass
  • Lime Leaf
  • Manila Street
  • MarieBette
  • Mariscos El Barco
  • Maru
  • Maya
  • Mel’s Cafe
  • Mi Casita
  • Mochiko
  • Mona Lisa Pasta
  • Monsoon Siam
  • Multiverse Kitchens
  • Now & Zen
  • Oakhurst Inn Cafe
  • Orzo Kitchen & Wine Bar
  • Otto
  • Passiflora
  • Pearl Island
  • Petite MarieBette
  • Pico Wrap
  • Pineapples Thai
  • Poke Sushi Bowl
  • Quality Pie
  • Rapture
  • Red Lantern
  • Riverside Lunch
  • Royalty Eats
  • Selvedge Brewing
  • Silk Thai
  • Soul Food Joint
  • Southern Crescent
  • Super Amanacer
  • Sylvia’s Pizza
  • Szechuan Restaurant
  • Taiwan Garden
  • Take It Away
  • Taste of China
  • Tavern & Grocery
  • Thai Cuisine & Noodle House
  • The Bebedero
  • The Clifton
  • The Fitzroy
  • The Local
  • The Market
  • The Ridley
  • The Whiskey Jar
  • Three Notch’d Craft Kitchen & Brewery
  • Thyme & Co.
  • Tilman’s
  • Tonic
  • Vision BBQ
  • Vivace
  • Vu Noodles

Café Frank

317 E. Main Street . Charlottesville, VA . (434) 825-9496

Why Café Frank?

For Charlottesville food lovers, it’s a dream come true. Chef Jose de Brito’s own restaurant. For years, diners followed the chef from one stop to another. The Alley Light. Fleurie. Even a stint at The Inn at Little Washington. But Café Frank is de Brito’s first restaurant of his own, giving him free reign to pursue his passion of sharing with the world as much French cuisine as possible. What makes the task especially daunting is his perfectionism, which can require inordinate amounts of time on a single dish. “I try to give as much attention as possible to every line of the menu,” says de Brito.

De Brito had the good sense to team with Wilson Richey, reuniting a duo that once helped The Alley Light earn a semifinalist nod for best new restaurant in the country. The result is outstanding wine to accompany the food, and one of the most polished front-of-the-house experiences in town.

What to Order

For specific suggestions, below are our picks and appearances in Five Finds on Friday, where a local chef or personality has named an item from Café Frank as one of the best in town. The restaurant also offers a weekly takeout menu, with “Take the Chef Home” entrees, as well as soups, salads, apertifs, sides, and desserts.

Our Picks

  • Escargots
  • Fried Mushrooms
  • Beef Tartare
  • Endive and Roquefort Salad
  • Octopus with Ink Pasta
  • Specials

Five Finds on Friday Picks

South and Central

946 Grady Avenue . Charlottesville, VA . (434) 202-1945

Why South and Central? 

Steakhouses can be polarizing. While some love them, others prefer restaurants with offerings more elaborate than a piece of meat they could grill at home. South and Central, the Latin American steakhouse in Dairy Market, offers the best of both worlds. For meat-lovers, there’s an a la carte menu of well-sourced steaks and sides. But, for others, there’s also an array of dishes displaying the passion of a talented chef.

Kelvin Barrera is from Honduras, and he draws inspiration from the two regions that give the restaurant its name: South and Central America. Steaks are cooked over a wood-grill, which Barrera says is vital to their flavor, and the best vantage point is the bar alongside his open kitchen, where dinner comes with a view. But, there’s not a bad seat in the house, in the large, airy room, decked nearly all in white. Will Richey’s Ten Course Hospitality runs the show, assuring the service does justice to the food.

What to Order

Steaks are cooked to order, so you’ll probably be happy with your favorite cut at your preferred temperature. Below are our recommendations, and appearances in Five Finds on Friday, where chefs and personalities have named a South and Central dish one of their favorites in town.

Our Picks

  • Picanha
  • Skirt
  • Steak & Eggs (Brunch)
  • Mariscos

Five Finds on Friday Picks



%d bloggers like this: