As it is the Virginia Cavaliers football team’s bye week and UVA basketball is still a frustrating four weeks away, we’re rolling in some fun UVA/Charlottesville content by taking a look at the best food spots/restaurants in the area, particularly from my perspective as a current student at Mr. Jefferson’s university.
Starting with the mecca of food for UVA students, the corner is littered with good spots for any and all to find what suits their craving. Probably my favorite sit-down spot is Asado, The Wing and Taco Company which was established in 2018 and sits between the Mellow Mushroom and Boylan Heights on University Ave. I’m partial to starting with The Sampler at Asado and then having the taco salad as my meal, but there are a plethora of unique tacos which are
Right next door to Asado is Roots Natural Kitchen which is a walk-in, walk-out type place where you can order a variety of healthy foods. I was originally introduced to Roots by the one and only Trey Murphy, can’t go wrong. Whatever you do get in your bowl, try the pesto dressing with it. That stuff hits.
Got Dumplings next door is a fairly popular place, but not my cup of tea. Boylan is solid bar food, but nothing to write home about. Still a cool environment of course. Christian’s Pizza, though, what a business. Open til the wee hours of the morning on the weekends, Christian’s is cheap and fairly quick if you go at the right time with a variety of fun pizzas to order by the slice or by the pie.
In the alley back behind, Christian’s, Boylan, and Asado is a fairly new, unfortunately corporate addition to the Corner: Auntie Anne’s. Meh meh, chains shouldn’t be on the Corner. All those concerns will leave your body once you taste an Annie’s pretzel nugget. Top notch snack stop if you’re walking around Grounds and need it.
Across 14th street and under the UVA corner bridge, and you’ll hit the legendary White Spot. Gus Burger and fries, simple and easy. Particularly popular on weekends after midnight.
The Virginian is a fancier spot, and a bit expensive for my budget. And, unfortunately, a Chipotle has replaced The College Inn. Avoid that Chipotle if you can. It’s typically out of half of what you’d want to put in your burrito or bowl.
Obviously, Bodo’s Bagels is a legendary spot at that end of The Corner. If you’re looking for cheap and quick breakfast food with incredibly quality, look no further. There’s a Starbucks as well, but for a real local coffee spot, turn off The Corner and onto Elliewood Ave and head down to Grit Coffee. On the same road there’s Kuma which is a sushi and noodle bar. It’s pretty small and there’s typically a wait on weekends as a result, but good food nonetheless.
Down at the opposite end of the Corner and perhaps closer to downtown than the Rotunda, Benny Deluca’s Pizza is another good lunch spot with their huge, 14-inch long slices.
Getting away from the corner and heading down Jefferson Park Avenue, there are a few solid sit-down spots absolutely worth a visit on certain weekend evenings. Starting with a Cville staple, the Guadalajara on Fontaine Avenue is one of my favorite spots. The free chips and salsa hit hard and one of their footlong burritos will both fill your stomach and your heart.
Next door to Guad is the fairly new ramen place, Mashumen. Pretty underrated spot that is rarely busy. The veggie spring rolls practically melt in your mouth. Absolute must get along with your sushi and/or ramen. Across Fontaine from Guad and Mashumen is Fry Spring Station. With a variety of American food, it’s got a cool atmosphere as a former garage turned vibey restaurant/bar.
Up Maury Ave and just a two minute walk from Fry Spring Station, Yuan Ho is my go-to Chinese takeout place. Not sure if they’ve opened up the dine-in option, but if you’re looking for Chinese food, look no further.
Heading back downtown, there are a couple need-to-know places. Citizen Burger Bar is a must. The Melting Pot is a fondu place just a few blocks down. And, if you’re in the area, there’s another Christian’s and another (in my opinion) lesser Guadalajara on the mall as well. But, altogether, I find the food closer to grounds more reliably good (and obviously convenient).
As for what takes a bit more of a drive away from UVA, Vivace is a top-notch Italian place off of 250. Again, bit too pricy for me to do consistently. But it’s got a pretty sweet, genuine Italian feel and sitting in the outside dining area. And, while the service can be a tad slow, the food is top quality.
About a 25 minute drive from central grounds, there’s a Sakura hibachi grill up North 29 a ways that’s a frequent student dinner stop. I know a number of football players in particular who enjoy a good hibachi dinner at Sakura.
Hope this was a fun read and informative for anybody looking for it. Let me know what places I should’ve included!