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Fine Dining in Charlottesville

Looking for the very best fine dining that Charlottesville has to offer? Let us take you on a tour.

Charlottesville offers numerous fine dining restaurants where the cuisine and service are elevated. So too is the ambiance, which, like the people-watching, is refined. The following restaurants represent an eclectic blend of what fine dining means in Charlottesville, where the overall effect is masterful, and perfect for celebrations! It has been said that some of the best Charlottesville restaurants are a magical mix of casual and refined, so don’t be fooled by their often relaxed atmosphere. The menu at each of the following dining offerings is the best around, and we know that any visitor will leave feeling deliciously intoxicated by their experiences.

Located a short walk away from the historic Downtown Mall, in an area now (somewhat) lovingly referred to as “Midtown”, Smyrna is a relatively new addition from restaurateur partners sharing their love of fine (and painstakingly created) Mediterranean – Aegean cuisine. Partners Tarik Sengul, Executive Chef, and Orhun Bartu Dikmen, General Manager, hailed from the Manhattan restaurant scene before deciding to robustly embed themselves in the thriving food culture of Charlottesville. A must-try menu item are the “Manti” Dumplings. Misleading by name only, these miniature handmade pasta pockets are formed and filled in-house and offer vibrant flavors that are both surprising and inspiring (we think the local Sharondale mushrooms help). If your fine dining experience is meant to spark a touch of romance, try the Roseda Farms bone-in Ribeye for 2.

With the fresh ingredients and handmade approach to Smyrna’s menu, we are confident that you will find a luxurious tour of the very best that this Mediterranean – Aegean spot has to offer.


707 West Main Street, Charlottesville, VA 22903

Manti Dumplings at Smyrna

In the heart of the Downtown Mall, albeit tucked away on a side street, C&O has a history almost as long as its beautiful menu. Known by locals as the place for anniversary and special occasion dinners, Chef/Owner Dean Maupin has held fast to the menu items that guests have loved for decades, yet still manages to build upon a list of favorites to includes specials such as their famed Veal Sweetbreads, Steak Chinois, and Duck Confit & Ricotta Gnocchi. Make sure to snag a reservation ahead of time, but in the case that the dining room is full, head down to the cellar bar, which is a beloved spot for locals to gather and reminisce about the old Cville. Highlight: the full restaurant menu can be ordered here, in a much more relaxed atmosphere that hearkens back to the original restaurants and food culture pioneers that made Charlottesville what it is today.


515 East Water Street, Charlottesville, VA 22902

Looking for an incredible chophouse experience while visiting Charlottesville? The newly opened Black Cow Chophouse opened its doors not long ago by veteran restaurateur Daniel Kaufman (of Public & Bottle House – all within a short walk). Here visitors can find fresh offerings of the best cuts of steak, pork, and chicken. Menu items are as fresh as they come and are featured based on availability. Of course, a menu will be presented upon being seated at a table, but a quick glance at the large chalkboard on the far wall will reflect all that’s needed to know regarding what to order. While the ambiance is casual and relaxed, the food is elevated in such a way that it has attracted many local celebrities. Come hungry and ready to share! Can’t get a reservation? Daniel’s restaurants are famous for their Happy Hour offerings, so plan to arrive early and pull up a chair at the bar.


420 West Main Street, Charlottesville, VA 22903

Duck Confit & Gnocchi at C&O

Offering an exceptional prix fixe dining experience from esteemed local Executive Chef Tucker Yoder, this restaurant is located in the rehabilitated and well-hidden Wool Factory in the Woolen Mills area near Downtown Charlottesville.

Menus are crafted each week by Chef Yoder to reflect the freshest seasonal offerings. Due to Broadcloth’s rotating menu, a visit to this incredible spot is invigorating and exciting. With each menu offering becoming more light and delightful by the bite, this restaurant is a true expedition for even the most thoughtful gourmand.

Reservations are required for the dining room tasting experience, and walk-ins are welcome for bar seating that features craft cocktails and an à la carte dinner menu.


1837 Broadway Street, Charlottesville, VA 22902

The number, 1799, is the date of construction for this historic inn just east of Pantops. And whether you’re spending the night or simply in pursuit of a refined dinner, 1799 and its masterful chef Matthew Bousquet get our highest recommendation. The approach to The Clifton is incomparable. Enjoy a cocktail in the tony English bar inside before repairing to The Library Room which seats only a dozen beneath soft light, music, and erudite shelves. Try the Bone-Marrow & Escargot to start before an entree of traditional Beef Bourguignon or Pancetta Wrapped Trout. And we recommend the Crème Brulée and a suitable digestif to finish.


1296 Clifton Inn Dr, Charlottesville, VA 22911

Shrimp 'n Grits at The Ivy Inn

The Ivy Inn is not only a Charlottesville mainstay under the direction of local restaurateur and veteran Chef Angelo Vangelopoulos, but it is also where the locals come to eat and celebrate. Situated in a quiet corner near the University of Virginia, the Ivy Inn offers a seasonably based menu with a gourmet American twist.

The entire staff at The Ivy Inn dances in a perfectly balletic fashion to reveal an understated dining experience that is elegant and exquisite. From the incredible Shrimp ‘n Grits as a first course, the Potato Gnocchi Bolognese as a second course, and finally the Sautéed Duck Breast as the main course, the experience at this fine dining establishment gets it right every time. It’s not a wonder to any of us that The Ivy Inn has maintained its impeccable reputation since 1995.


2244 Old Ivy Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903

Having trouble making a reservation at any of the Fine Dining options above? We suggest looking into this list to broaden your options.

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