3 Penny Cafe
3 Penny Cafe

3 Penny Cafe

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.threepennycafe.com/
  • Phone: 434-995-5277x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Tuesday-Sunday: 5:00pm-12:00am
    Brunch: saturday & Sunday: 10:00am-2:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Global, International, Pizzeria
  • Executive Chef: Eric Nittolo
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 5th Street
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Free parking in all Main Street Market Lots.
A word from 3 Penny Cafe
Threepenny Cafe is the perfect spot for relaxing with family and friends. We feature hand-made artisan pizzas, creative entrees, and delicious appetizers to start off your meal. Our beverage menu showcases unique and innovative cocktails as well as local craft beers and wines for every palate and occasion. All served by attentive, friendly and courteous staff.

Threepenny Cafe prides itself not only on its great food, but on its atmosphere. Relax on the Patio next to our bubbling fountain. Listen to live music throughout the week. Sign up for a beer or wine dinner to share a great experience with fellow enthusiasts. Bring Fido to Yappy Hour on the Patio on Saturday afternoons.

Threepenny Cafe is your place to celebrate big events and small accomplishments, to end the day on a happier note, to renew friendships or meet new people. Welcome!
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeigborhood Gem
3 Penny Cafe reviews from OpenTable diners
75 reviews since June 2, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.6
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
100% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for outdoor dining (61)fit for foodies (47)neighborhood gem (45)good for groups (21)hot spot (13)great for brunch (11)vibrant bar scene (10)special occasion (10)late-night find (9)great for lunch (9)romantic (8)kid-friendly (5)notable wine list (5)scenic view (1)Show More
  • Nice addition to the CVille scene
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    I liked this place, it's reasonably priced, lively and has food for students and their parents. I do think some of the dishes could use some tweaking. For instance I thought the beet and apple salad was too sweet and the potato crusted halibut had too many ingredients for a non assertive fish like halibut. The fish was well cooked but did not need anything more than the beet risotto, the other ingredients muddled the natural sweetness of the fish. The pizzas Cheese, Sausage and Spanish ham were all enjoyable. A friendly place that deserves repeat visits
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Worth every penny!
    Diva
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    We thoroughly enjoyed the food and the setting of 3 Penny! Being inside the old oil company building was an eclectic, true-to-form but well-remodeled experience and the menu was creative and diverse. Who knew calamari could be that big and served as a steak? Our pizza was loaded with wonderful, salty serrano ham, and the complementary sweetness of fig jam as the base was superb. Our server offered just the right level of contact, info, and seemed warm, genuine, and like she actually enjoyed her job.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Halibut-yes, bar-yumm..
    Lenore
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    This is the third time we have enjoyed eating at Three Penny. We both ordered the halibut this time. I loved the dish including all of the sides. He thought the fish was particularly good, but not so much the sides. He said they over-complicated the fish. Now the drinks--there we both agree. He ordered a mint julep and I ordered a martini. Both were excellent, I mean really excellent. He ordered lavender creme brulee. Certainly creative, but not on our reorder list.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Outside
    Vprofy
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    Nice outside seating and a b it outside the typical downtown tourist destination. Pleasant surprise. Chesapeake Gold oysters.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great food
    Nate
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    I have been to the 3-Penny Cafe twice and have greatly enjoyed my experience both times. The food is the driving factor, the menu is good from top to bottom and they have good drinks to match.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great First Date Place
    Chefstablefan
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    The staff were warm, efficient and accommodating. The food was top grade. I am no stranger to good food and this place impressed. Not easy to do. The scallops were a true standout. I had the tuna. The filet had just the perfect light sear. The place was a little loud but it only forced me to lean in closer to my date. My only regret is that I live too far away to make it a regular stop, it is on my must go list for Charlottesville.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • 3 Penny Experience
    Kathy
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    Took a friend out for a birthday dinner and found that the service was very quick and friendly. We received our food and found it very tasty. The steak was done perfectly! We will recommend your restaurant to others. :)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Darling
    CvilleVisitorVIP
    Dined on 9/1/2014
    We loved this spot and the concept behind it. Won't ruin the surprise- just be sure to read the bottom of your menu!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great meal
    Halsey
    Dined on 9/1/2014
    We ate on the patio so the noise level was understandably noisy. Also it was Labor Day and the menu was limited. All that said the offering was quite varied, the wine list excellent (though not extensive, and I wouldn't expect it to be) and the food was wonderfully prepared. The server was personable but not great. All in all it was a good meal and I look forward to seeing the full menu (which I asked for twice).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic Food
    Cstoney
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Great place. The best tuna in Charlottesville. Very interesting food and drink menu. Love the fountain on the patio. Fun night out with friends
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Experience
    DanS
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    The food was fantastic, service was outstanding. Caveat, the price points are high but, again, really creative and delicious food. We will be returning.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • local tresure
    BPMurraymd
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    specializing in local food, the beignets and the cherry compot were as good as the Cafe DuMonde!!! very flavorful eggs rancheros! lots of parking behind it which is always an issue in Charlottesville . Glad we tried it . it deserves it 4 stars -- we'll be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Three-pete
    RT2013
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Our third visit was as good as our first two. Fish again, because it is so fresh and perfectly prepared. When this place if fully discovered, it will be a go-to spot in Cville. Atmosphere is casual in contrast to dishes that are very well presented. Service is friendly, but not overbearing. This is not fast food so, be prepared to spend a reasonable amount of time enjoying a well crafted meal. I hesitate to say it, but this place is good value. The price is far below its quality. Three penny is certainly worth a try, but you may just get hooked, as we are.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • 3rd time not the. Harm
    Maggie
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    We have been her twice before and we're very pleased. This week however the food was not as good. The mussels which we had loved before we're huge and tough and chewy. The sauce was not as flavorful. The sea bass also was not as flavorful. The pizzas were fine. In general the experience was not what we had before.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Karen
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    Excellent gazpacho and halibut, so-so petit filet mignon. Excellent wine and very pleasant, efficient server.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • EVERYTHING was Delicious
    Localfoodisthebestfood
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    We have come for brunch and dinner at 3 penny and have not been disappointed. We got a wide range of things on the menu to share and all of it was outstanding. Perfectly portioned and amazing to the taste buds. Would recommend and will be returning.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A second trip as good as the first
    RT2013
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    After a great experience during restaurant week, we booked again, dragging alone a local friend. Everything was just as we remembered it -- superior food at prices that belie its quality. Fish dishes are especially fresh and the recipes very inventive. All the courses are equal in effort and imagination --causing us to look forward to each new arrival. We ate inside, but the patio was full of mostly younger patrons and looked like fun. The servers actually seem to enjoy their role in the over experience and are quite efficient, friendly and appropriate. Three Penny Café has something special going on and we, selfishly, hope it lasts forever. For us, it's a 45 minute drive to get there but worth every anticipated minute.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Evening
    Lewfus
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Had an excellent dinner and found the staff very attentive and make excellent recommendations and comments on the various dishes. My party shared our dishes which consisted of the beef filet, tuna, oysters and sea bass. All were prepared as to order and the key lime pie was a killer. We had fun and will make it a point to go back. Thanks to all!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great dinner!
    Maggie
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    This was our second time at 3 Penny Cafe. We ate outside on a beautiful evening. The food was excellent! The apps argus tempura is light and perfectly cooked. The sauce the mussel's are served in is a great mix of flavors. Our group had the Tuna, the sea bass and the BBQ pizza. All were delicious. The service was friendly and did a great job. 3 Penny is a great new add to Charlottesvillle restaurant choices.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Surprise hit
    KFoxVIP
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    The building that houses Three Penny has not had great success hosting restaurants. The turnover has been high since I moved to town. Which is one reason why dinner Saturday was a surprise delight. My friends and I shared a delicious sausage pizza as an app. My entree, sea bass, was cooked to perfection, and the sauce and accompaniments were equally perfect. It was a beautiful night to dine outdoors with friends. Good atmosphere, good service, good food, good friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great new restaurant!
    Joannam
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    While the oysters were just so, so the plate presentation and sauces were wonderful! The service was a bit slow but the mezzo plate and filet were outstanding as were the accouterments. The wine selection and unique drinks were also a welcome surprise. All in all the restaurant was well above the normal Charlottesville fare and a great value!! I will return!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A Talented Chef
    TFB353VIP
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    My wife and I had another great meal at 3 Penny. We ran into Chief Nittolo and complimented him on our meal and on his creative menu. His enthusiastic response was he has been working on the menu for seven years and now has an opportunity to present it to diners. It’s great to see a chef with such passion. Based upon my experience, many chefs cook what’s on the menu and consider their job done. Occasionally you will find a chef who cares about the menu and wants to create great food prepared with fresh ingredients. This is what you will find at 3 Penny Cafe. I notice the OpenTable reviews are all very positive. There are some comments about noise or service (our service has always been great) there is nothing but raves about the food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great addition to C'ville dining
    JRCCHO
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    We decided to try 3 Penny Cafe on the recommendation of friends, and were not disappointed. A big hit was the crab & corn chowder - delicious! - and all three members of our party had a pizza, all of which were great. The pizza toppings were inventive and tasty -- and I would have given 5 stars for the food category if the restaurant had not been out of several items on the menu in which we were very interested (but which were clearly popular). Overall, a great experience, and would highly recommend.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Must go back---wish it was closer!
    Nbsatty
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    3 Penny Café has a wonderful menu, reasonable prices and great service. Everyone was friendly and personable. My wife and I traveled to the Charlottesville area to enjoy our wedding anniversary and whatever we could fit into a weekend amidst the area's many historical gems. As it turned out, our experience at 3Penny café was as positively a memorable time as our visit to Monticello which we also highly recommend. We loved the tuna and the filet mignon. Awesome time. Dined on the patio on a comfortable, somewhat rainy evening, however the large table umbrella kept us dry. After dinner, the front entry room of the former gasoline service station was turned into a lounge and we were entertained by a talented guitarist/singer. Great time!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Very pleasant first experience
    ljfleisch
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    This was our first time eating at 3 Penny Cafe. We went during Restaurant Week and had reservations. We were seated right on time by the very courteous hostess. Our waitress was very prompt and attentive. My wife got calamari as an appetizer and Ahi Tuna for her entree. She found them both to be very delicious but the combination a little too spicy. I had the mussels as an appetizer and the petite filet for my entree. Both were very delicious but combined were a little too rich for me. In future, we will probably get a salad instead as our appetizer. We also enjoyed the live music. We will go back!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great new Cville restaurant
    Flowjo
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    We tried this restaurant during restaurant week and were very pleasantly surprised. The choices for restaurant week were top of the line, like a wonderful filet mignon and scallops. Both dishes were fantastic; creatively presented and delectable. The appetizers were equally as good. The mussels and calamari dishes were not your typical presentations. The calamari was a sliced of the steak portion of the squid served on a sheet of fried pasta with a spicy red sauce that was just awesome. The mussels were in an interesting, slight sweet, sauce and not over cooked like they are too often at other places. It was also great that you could get any of their wines by the glass or the bottle which was great for trying different wines. Great dessert!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful Food
    Rick
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    Meals were great. We went during Restaurant Week. Scallops, Filet, Mussels, Asparagus Tempora and deserts we're app perfectly prepared and delicious. Service was perfect. Noise level a bit high. They need to put some "softening" materials in the room due to the industrial decor. Would definitely go back again. One of our new favorite places.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Pleasant discovery
    RT2013
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    We took full advantage of restaurant week, visiting a new spot nightly. Three Penny Cafe was our last stop and wow -- make that double wow. We were drawn in by its ambitious menu which met every expectation. The fish dishes were about the freshest and best prepared we have ever eaten. And, high quality was consistent throughout the courses, each as good as the last. Service was polite, prompt and well paced without being intrusive. This unique spot is now on our list of top four Cville locations.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • great food, questionable service
    S123
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    We were there for restaurant week, and the food was very good. We had asparagus tempura, calamari, steak, and scallops, all of which were excellent. The desserts and wines, however, were mediocre, and our waitress was no help with the wine list. She could not answer basic questions about the menu or wines, didn't tell us the wine special, and tried to clear the plates while we were still eating. The outdoor seating area is lovely, however, and the appetizers and entrees made up for everything else.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Grass fed delight
    ljacb
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    Food was excellent. Meats were prepared as requested. Service was excellent. knowledgable servers but noise level was atrocious. Eating outside essential to a good evening!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Retuarant Week
    willcomagain
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    This hole in the wall restaurant was much more than I expected. The food was outstanding, except for the tuna dish, not a good pairing with the red cabbage. I will come back again and again. The female bartender was wonderful, she knew how to serve up an exceptional drink.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A feast for the eyes and mouth
    AvgJo
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    I went with some friends to 3 Penny Cafe for Restaurant Week. I was excited to try this new restaurant. It did not disappoint. The food and service were absolutely incredible. The Cucumber Basil Gimlet was amazing and the Filet Mignon was cooked to perfection. The waitress was very informed about the menu and her recommendations were spot on. We all agreed that we would come again and recommend this restaurant to our friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Casual ambiance; elegant menu.
    1CvilleDiner
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    Two of us had dinner during restaurant week; expected just adequate food and service. We were so very pleased to be surprised by outstanding prix fixe menu, great food, attentive service. Appetizers were tasty; partner chose smokey tomato salad, I had asparagus lightly battered w/creamy sauce. For entrees: I had scallops and risotto; beautifully prepared, immaculately fresh. Partner chose filet mignon cooked exactly as requested. Cocktail menu is innovative, good list of craft beers, interesting and good wine list. Scrumptious dessert; had key lime pie (not the usual frozen/limeade mix) but a velvety tart. Our server David was articulate and knew when to check without being intrusive. We'll be back!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Three Penney Cafe
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    I thoroughly enjoyed my meal and the waiter was excellent. The reason I gave it 4 stars was because we got there at 4:45 and the bartender was almost rude telling us they didn't open till 5. We thought we could have a glass of wine while we waited, but he informed us to come back at 5.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    Great meal again! I love this place and it's becoming my go-to spot in Cville. I must reiterate how delicious the scallops are- GET THEM.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious again
    Dunkin
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Have eaten here twice now: once for a regular dinner and again during Restaurant Week. Both times the menus and food were excellent. Good wine and drink selection. Outdoor patio with fountain is lovely. Highly recommend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Try the calamari!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    Good was excellent! Never had calamari prepared this way and it was really good!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic again!
    Jenp
    Dined on 7/6/2014
    This was our second time at Threepenny and it was delicious both times. The Caprese salad and the calamari appetizer are both MUSTS! The cucumber basil gimlet is excellent, too. We dined on the patio both times, so I can't speak for the ambience of their indoor seating. We'll definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food, Slow Service
    EmkrebbsVIP
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    We had 1 evening to spend in Charlottesville while visiting area wineries, so we decided to try 3 Penny after reading good reviews. We arrived on time to a not-crowded restaurant. We were asked to sit at the bar for 5 minutes so an outside table could be cleared. That lasted at least 30 minutes. We could see tables waiting to be cleared the whole time. We immediately ordered our appetizers and meals when seated. About 45 minutes later, we received starters, and the mains came fairly soon after that. Our server offered to buy us a drink because of the wait, but we already had our fill of wine before arriving. The food was excellent (we tried yucca, caprese, tuna, and scallops), but the slow service put a damper on the overall experience.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food. Working out service.
    RegularChicagoDinerVIP
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    Great new restaurant. Excellent oysters, pizza. Wine choices at good per glass price. Long wait for cocktail and some other service glitches. Will be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.