Eat like a UVA Student

If you like food, you’ve picked the right place by planning to visit Charlottesville… Having one of the highest restaurants per capita in the United States, Cville has some of the best eats you can find on the east coast, both on and off its beautiful grounds. When it comes to location, Charlottesville has two hot spots for dining—the Corner (the mini downtown right off of the campus) and the Downtown Mall (an outdoor pedestrian mall one mile from campus). 

Corner Area

Take It Away

Grab an amazing sandwich here at Take It Away! There is a real neighborhood atmosphere here, and customers are encouraged to get free refills and snack on their chips while they wait in line. Take It Away is so famous for its House Dressing that you can buy a bottle of it to take home.

Boylan Heights

For classic bar food and beer, try Boylan Heights. They have the best burgers on campus, perhaps because they source organic beef straight from local Virginia and Maryland farms. If you still aren’t sold on their burgers, go ahead and try a new one every month! The “B.O.M.B” (Burger of the Month) features new flavors, and there’s even an plant-based Impossible option, too!

Two BOMBs at Boylan Heights. Left: Southern fried chicken “burger” with applewood smoked bacon. Right: Chicken and waffles burger (Credit: Instagram @boylanheights).


Head here for an excellent latte. Grit roasts their coffee beans in-house, which makes its drinks so delicious. Grit values telling the stories of the people involved in brewing your favorite cup of joe. 


If you’re trying to keep things healthy no need to worry, Roots is the new hottest custom salad lunch and dinner spot. Build salads based on your “base” (rice, grains, or greens), add ingredients (beans, raw and roasted vegetables, cheese, and condiments) and top with something from the grill (chicken, bbq tofu, or mushrooms). Roots prides itself on offering “natural” foods, focusing primarily on “foods that grow”.


Above all, the most typical thing you’ll find a UVA student eating is a bagel from Bodos. For the full experience, get it to-go and bring it with you to eat on the lawn in the front of the rotunda!

Bodos Bagels. Credit: bodosbagels@instagram

Downtown Mall Area


With a slight Asian twist, Bang! has the best tapas and fun drinks, and is located right off the mall. It offers a variety of vegetarian, gluten free, and vegan options, and the cocktails are colorful and delicious. Try their firecracker shrimp, kale and brussel sprout Caesar, or General Tso’s cauliflower. 

Entrees at Bang! (Credit:


Inside the 8 block walkway, you can find amazing sushi from Ten. A modern, Japanese and tapas style restaurant, Ten encourages you to try a variety of different flavors and textures. Sit down for tempura and a variety of house sauces, taste a flight of Sake, or sink your teeth into the Wagyu tenderloin, which is served on a 500 degree stone with truffled wasabi butter.

The Local

If you are feeling adventurous and want to venture off of the mall, drive a few blocks and try The Local, which has farm-to-table food and gives a great impression of how charming Charlottesville really is.

Citizen Burger

Looking for the best truffle fries? I suggest going to Citizen Burger. It’s motto is “food farmed and created the way it was meant to be”, and this restaurant uses grass-finished beef as well as sources their buns and cheese locally. The house burger features Virginia swiss cheese, black onions, and garlic aioli—heaven!

The Citizen Burger (Credit: citizenburgerbar@instagram).