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

Below is the 2016 The Charlottesville 29. Further background is here. To be eligible, a restaurant must have been open since January 1, 2015, and must have a Charlottesville postal address. The guide for each restaurant includes a brief explanation of why it was selected, as well as an ordering guide, with recommendations from the restaurant’s chef/owner as well as appearances in Five Finds on Friday, where other chefs or personalities have named a dish at that restaurant as one of the best in town.


The 29

Ace Biscuit & Barbecue
Down home Southern cooking from chef Brian Ashworth, cooking in his wheelhouse
Guide • Auction

Al Carbon
With rotisserie chickens and Mexican street food, one of the best values in town
Guide • Auction

The Alley Light
An intimate, grown-up lounge, the most exciting place to eat in Charlottesville
GuideFull Article • Auction

Beer Run
A beer bar, store, and eatery, Charlottesville’s quintessential family restaurant
Guide  •  Full Article  • Auction

Gussied-up comfort food and sophisticated specials in a diner-like setting
Guide  •  Full Article • Auction

Feeding bagels to 6,000 people per day, Charlottesville’s signature restaurant
Guide  •  Full Article • Auction

A food-lover’s restaurant that defies classification, where local sourcing is a passion
GuideFull Article • Auction

The heart of Charlottesville dining, now in Dean Maupin’s expert hands
GuideFull Article • Auction

Citizen Burger Bar
With great burgers, beer, and more, the best place in town to watch the game
Guide • Auction

The Clifton Inn
Charlottesville’s premier luxury dining destination and trainer of chefs
Guide • Auction

An old-school institution with huge portions of rich, classic, delicious fare

Brian Helleberg’s serene downtown temple of sophisticated French cuisine
Guide • Auction

The Hamiltons’ lasting tribute to the New American restaurant renaissance
Guide • Auction

The Ivy Inn Restaurant
The Vangelopoulos’ unequaled fine dining experience
GuideFull Article • Auction

Outstanding Neapolitan pizza, panuozzo, well-sourced Italian, and a stellar bar
GuideFull Article • Auction

Tomas Rahal’s Spanish tapas bar where it feels like a party any night of the week
Guide  •  Full Article • Auction

The standard-bearer for Charlottesville’s signature Southern/French cuisine
Guide  •  Full Article  • Auction

Sushi and Japenese food suitable for takeout and date night alike
GuideFull Article • Auction

The most polished Indian restaurant experience in town
GuideFull Article • Auction

Oakhart Social
Charlottesville’s exemplar of the new generation of great urban restaurants
Guide • Auction

Pad Thai
Mom-and-pop serving up real homestyle Thai cooking
GuideFull ArticleAuction

Parallel 38
A dazzling mezze restaurant in Stonefield, with food and wine of the 38th parallel
GuideFull Article • Auction

Peter Chang’s China Grill
Flagship restaurant of a man some call the nation’s best Szechuan chef
GuideFull ArticleAuction

Petit Pois
The closest thing in Charlottesville to a French bistro
GuideFull ArticleAuction

Public Fish & Oyster
A spot-on coastal oyster house, right here in Charlottesville
GuideFull Article • Auction

Revolutionary Soup
Will Richey’s counter-service joints with great soups, and even better sandwiches
Guide • Auction

Sultan Kebab
Real, delicious Turkish cuisine from hummus to manti to kebabs
Guide • Auction

The Keavenys’ warm Belmont storefront serving ingredient-driven Italian fare
Guide • Full Article • Auction

Consistently excellent Latin-infused cuisine centrally located on the Downtown Mall
Guide • Full Article • Auction


Worth the Drive
Nearby restaurants without a “Charlottesville” address, but worth the drive

BBQ Exchange
World class barbeque and attention to detail from world class chef Craig Hartman
Guide  •  Full Article

Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie
North Garden
Michael McCarthy’s dive serving much more than just the best pizza in the area
Guide  •  Full Article

Palladio Restaurant
Nationally acclaimed fine Italian dining at Barboursville vineyards
Guide Full Article • Auction

Pippin Hill Farm Table & Wine Bar
North Garden
Superb food served in a breathtaking vineyard setting
Guide • Full Article