The Charlottesville 29


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

Below is the 2018 The Charlottesville 29, answering: if there we just 29 restaurants in Charlottesville, what would be the ideal 29? Further background is here. The guide for each restaurant explains why it was selected, and includes ordering tips from the restaurant’s chef/owner and appearances in Five Finds on Friday, where other chefs or personalities have named a dish from that restaurant as one of the best in town. To be eligible, a restaurant must have been open since January 1, 2017, and must have a Charlottesville postal address.

Where and what to eat in Charlottesville:

The 29

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

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

The Alley Light
A grown-up lounge and 2015 James Beard semifinalist for nation’s best new restaurant
Guide • Full Article

The Bebedero
Traditional Mexican food in a dazzling setting with expertly crafted drinks
Guide • Full Article

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

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

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

The heart of Charlottesville dining, in Dean Maupin’s expert hands
Guide • Full Article

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

Brian Helleberg’s serene downtown temple of sophisticated French cuisine

The Hamiltons’ lasting tribute to the New American restaurant renaissance

The Ivy Inn Restaurant
The Vangelopoulos’ unequaled fine dining experience
Guide • Full Article

Outstanding Neapolitan pizza, panuozzi, well-sourced Italian, and a stellar bar
GuideFull Article

MarieBette Cafe and Bakery
Breakfast and lunch in a little slice of Paris on Rose Hill Drive

Iconic Spanish tapas bar where it feels like a party any night of the week
Guide Full Article

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

Mel’s Cafe
Mel Walker’s comforting soul food and charm at prices that can’t be beat

The most polished Indian restaurant experience in town
Guide • Full Article

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

Pad Thai
Mom-and-pop serving up real homestyle Thai cooking
Guide • Full Article

Peter Chang’s China Grill
Flagship restaurant of a man some call the nation’s best Szechuan chef
Guide • Full Article

Petit Pois
The closest thing in Charlottesville to a French bistro
Guide • Full Article

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

Revolutionary Soup
Will Richey’s counter-service joint with great soups, and even better sandwiches

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

Tavern & Grocery
A versatile and welcoming tavern, with great food, drinks and cheer
Guide • Full Article

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

Sleek, serene, and transporting, Charlottesville’s favorite luxurious escape for sushi

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


(Note: The 2017 Charlottesville 29 is here and The 2016 Charlottesville 29 is here.)