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  • 3 Penny Cafe

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3 Penny Cafe
3 Penny Cafe
  • Address:
    420 W Main St
    Charlottesville, VA 22903
  • Cuisine:
    Global, International
    Price: $30 and under

3 Penny Cafe Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.threepennycafe.com
  • Phone: (434) 995-5277
  • 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!
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
Diner Reviews
  • "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!"
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/7/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/3/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "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!"
    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!"
    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."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 7/24/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "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."
    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!"
    Dined on 7/22/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/21/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/20/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "Good was excellent! Never had calamari prepared this way and it was really good!"
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/6/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "three of us had dinner at this new restaurant in downtown C'ville. It is an excellent place, and my small negative comments are far exceeded by the quality of the food. We had scallops, excellently cooked but a little too much salt for my taste - fine after we scraped it off) and a third had a very good pizza. They had an oyster special of a dozen for $20 but only had three left at 8 PM - should have taken it off the chalk menu board or not recommended them before we ordered. We substituted the calamari, which was outstanding - not your typical fried appetizer but a very tasty calamari steak with excellent appointments, We also had the mussels which were well prepared with a nice mustard sauce addition. Enjoy!!! We'll be back."
    Dined on 7/1/2014
  • "The food was some of the best I've had in C'ville but the noise! The industrial interior is a challenge but there must be something to do to bring it down. The oysters were excellent, as were the mussels and the smokey tomato salad. A gluten free pizza had great toppings with a house made sausage that was delicious but the crust needs to be thinner. Gluten free crusts tend to be a bit leaden and making them thinner helps to lessen the effect. But a great place and a very nice addition to the restaurant scene here."
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "I've eaten here twice and have had a great experience both times! Food, wine, service all great and reasonably priced. Kid friendly and dog friendly!"
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "We are at threepenny Friday and wre very pleased. Our food was delicious. We tried the tempura asparagus-great appetizer to share. The apple and beet salad had a wonderful blend of flavors. For our main course, the salmon was so tasty. I would definitely recommend this restaurant."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "The scallops were amazing. The Mexican pizza was tasty but paled in comparison to the scallops. The creme brulee was also excellent. The cocktail menu had some fun choices too!"
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "Fantastic service, especially for our large group of 10. Great patio. Latin brunch menu -- their Huevos Rancheros and Benedict were delicious! Check them out."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "Returning from a trip from Kiawah Island, St. Augustine and Charlotte my wife and I decided to try this new restaurant. After having several great meals on our trip our expectations weren't too high given the eclectic menu. Boy were we wrong. We had a meal that rivaled anything we had on our trip at half the price. Chef Eric Nittolo knows how to create complex flavors on a plate. I had perfectly cooked tuna with a sesame crust and a SPICY cabbage slaw and guacamole. My wife's scallops were pefectly cooked and finished with yam puree and local asparagus. My wife had a caprese salad with great local tomatoes and mozzarella cheese served at room temperature. I can recommend the smoky tomato salad. Highly recommend this place."
    Dined on 6/3/2014
  • "Nice portions and great gluten free and vegetarian options! Recommend the pizzas! "
    Dined on 6/3/2014
  • "a friend suggested we meet at 3 Penny cafe. We started with asparagus tempura, which was wonderful. Everyone in our group of 5 had something different and we were all quite happy. The personal pizzas are great- not like regular pizza but with a twist. The service was fast and the atmosphere casual and welcoming. We will certainly return!"
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "I was referred by another local foodie about this new venue and was meeting someone for the first time so wanted it to be good. We were very pleased with the food!!"
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "I have been getting a little bored with Cville restaurants, so I was thrilled to hear a new place had opened up. Everything was amazing. The caramelized fig salad is delicious. All of the flavors complement each other so well and I could eat 4 of those and call it dinner. The scallops are now in tight competition for my favorite meal in Cville (the other being the scallops at Zocalo!). The Mexican pizza was very unique and while it was really good, I expected it to be a little better. I will definitely try more of their pizzas in the future because they all sound great! The only problem, which isn't really that big of a problem, is that it was a little loud at times sitting outside due to all the traffic on the road."
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "Was not told there would be a set menu for graduation. Appetizers, salads and desserts were delicious, entrees less so. "
    Dined on 5/18/2014