Hamiltons' At First & Main

4.6
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858 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
Contemporary Fine Dining in Charlottesville, Virginia Located in the heart of Charlottesville’s Downtown district, Hamiltons’ is the perfect spot for a delicious afternoon lunch or a romantic evening dinner. A cheerful, cozy atmosphere and attentive service ensure our guests enjoy an outstanding dining experience, be they Charlottesville natives, out-of-town visitors, or University students and staff. We also feature outdoor patio seating seasonally, providing our guests the opportunity to dine amidst the bustle of the Downtown Mall.
What 858 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.7
service
4.6
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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HO
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food so good we stuffed ourselves silly, and gave such praises to the cook. The restaurant is clean, comfortable, calm, and really lovely to enjoy a birthday dinner with my parent's and I. My mother is a very picky eater, salt is a spice to her, but she ate everything on her plate and a desert. Our waiter was great, super nice, polite, knowledgeable, very chill in a professional way--never a rush. Gave fabulous suggestions and A+ service. Can't wait to go thru Charlottesville again in order to visit and dine with Hamiltons' again!

MH
Tampa
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service, friendly and fast! Food was right portions and very good

CH
Charleston
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 5

It was my birthday and the restraint didn't do anything special even though I had indicated it was my birth on the initial reservation.

C
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

I love dining at Hamiltons and the food is always delicious but this time was a disappointment. Three people in our party of 5 ordered the crab cakes. I always order crab cakes and they are excellent. This time they were good but not great. The sautéed spinach was so heavily salted that it was not edible unless mixed with what appeared to be instant white unseasoned rice. It definitely wasn't worth $30 a plate. I'm not sure what was going on in the kitchen but I hope it was an anomaly.

D
Washington DC
29 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

delicious lunch outside. we had the fried oyster salad and crab cakes. wine selections were good as well. The waiter made a great recommendation. Will gladly return.

S
Washington DC
223 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love this place. The menu offers so many options for seafood lovers like me. My favorite is the crab cake. My husband is a lover of the veggie plate. Great service here, also and lovely attitude!

E
Greensboro
19 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a wonderful time at Hamilton’s. Food, service, energy were all wonderful.

JC
1 review
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Went to celebrate my sisters Birthday and was pleasantly surprised with our table by the window. The appetizer scallops were delicious and the shrimp and grits were perfect. Our waiter Austin was terrific., great recommendations and even assisted us with Uber.

j
Western NC
8 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always, we thoroughly enjoyed our experience at Hamilton’s.
Thank you!

PA
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We are seldom in Charlottesville so we decided to do it right and go to a nice restaurant. We loved our luncheon! Two of us had the Sicilian dirty martini and both of us agreed that it was the best martini we ever had and we have had a lot of them! I ordered the fried oysters and my friends ordered the special which was a salad plate with (I think) 5 different salads with fried brie on the side. All of the food was delicious. My oysters were lightly breaded and not a bit of a greasy taste. The salad plates had a variety of different salads including a black bean with corn, green beans with a buttermilk dressing and glass vegetable noodles. We were so happy with our lunch that we told friends and one of them joined us AGAIN on Sunday for lunch. We will definitely go there again.

OT
Charleston
4 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service and food!!!

JU
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our group went to dinner prior to seeing an event at The Paramount. The dinner experience was so lovely that I was sorry we couldn't linger. The wait staff had perfect timing and stayed mindful of our schedule, but the best part of the visit was the perfect food. My partner and I each had the Halibut served over whipped potatoes in the most delicious pesto I have ever tasted. Fresh and delectable. We kept remarking to each other how good it was with every bite until the other couple we were with started making fun of us. But they too loved their food. I must say the duck looked fantastic, and my friend commented on how perfectly tender it was. A great bottle of recommended wine, and we all left happy.

J
Nashville
4 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We sat outsides it was a lovely day. All the servers and hostess were wonderful and professional. The food was artistic, excellently flavored, and imaginative. Highly recommend.

TC
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife and I celebrated our 14th Anniversary at Hamiltons' At First & Main and could not have been more pleased. The food was outstanding, the service was fantastic, and the ambiance was perfect. This was our first time to Hamiltons' and certainly will not be our last. Awesome restaurant!!

TJ
Detroit
3 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really enjoyed our evening, very good food and the outside seating was lovely.

RM
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always satisfying .. comfortable .. great food. Great location.

e
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Wonderful ambiance, live guitar music, everyone enjoyed dinner choices. Beef tenderloin, smoked pork chop with excellent succotash, and the best shrimp and grits I've ever tasted, the addition of smoky tomato confit was sublime. The calamari starter was tasty, although husband complained that it wasn't crispy. That's bc the calamari is tossed with arugula, peppers, olives etc... so I didn't expect it to be. Desserts were a tad disappointing. Not awful, but not exceptional either. The tart was dry with too much crust and not enough fruit, and the chocolate four ways was just Ok, although the ice cream was pretty darn good.

OT
Detroit
4 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was a nice experience. I had two friends with me who just settled in Charlottesville from Germany. They enjoyed their meal very much and said it was the best they had had in Charlottesville.

MO
Cincinnati
12 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Sat outside with our dog and they were very accommodating and a dog friendly restaurant. Food and service were great. My wife thought her shrimp and grits were outstanding.

TK
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent everything! The blue plate special is always tasty and changes every time I order it.

PW
1 review
Dined on August 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always know our meal will be wonderful. Enjoyed the crab cake entree , one of the few places I think the quality is worth it! We enjoyed the seared scallop appetizer, very good! Perfect small bite to split & enjoy before the meal.

IM
Richmond
4 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food and service were excellent. Maybe rethink table placement in back by kitchen. Felt like I was in the way of staff and patrons walking by constantly.

KR
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service and food was great!

L
Cleveland
16 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Innovative cuisine without being full of unknown ingredients. The Halibut, smoked pork chop and shrimp and grits were excellent. Service was great. A wee bit loud at times.

w
West Virginia
8 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Could not have been a lovelier evening to celebrate my birthday.

CW
New York Area
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The entire experience was excellent and we would recommend and will be back!

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great meal and our Server Jenny was great food was very tasty and ambiance very nice. We will be back next time in Charlottesville.

OT
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding. Best server ever. Willing customize meals for a Whole30-ing guest. Delicious, healthy lunch!

P
Charleston
5 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I visited Charlottesville for the weekend to relax. We were looking for someplace a little nicer for Saturday night dinner. This was a great find! Not fancy, fancy but very nice. We started with the blackened scallops. Not a large portion but very tasty! My husband had the duck breast and I had the smoked pork chop. Both were very tender and maybe the best we've had. The smoked pork chop was smoked for flavor not the traditional smoked that compares to ham. Both entrees came with non traditional accompaniements. They complemented the meats perfectly. We shall return!

SF
Richmond
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The ambiance of the classical guitar player was a special plus for enjoying our anniversary dinner. Food was excellent!

CT
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We hadn’t been back for brunch in a long time. The last time we had brunch there, it seemed the prices had gone up, portions were smaller, but it was the same old menu.

This time, there were some fun new dishes, and the prices seemed more appropriate. My husband had a Bloody Mary, and I had the Albemarle Fizz, which was delicious and refreshing.

My husband had one of the variations on Eggs Benedict, and I had the Shrimp and Grits - they were both terrific!

We’ll be back again soon!

G
Washington DC
46 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Hamilton's lives up to its high on-line ratings. Great location; creative menu, well prepared and tasty; very attentive service; and reasonable prices. We hope to return our next opportunity.

NJ
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food! Salads appetizer (scallops ) were delicious - pasta dish was great
- Beef tenderloin perfect Cocktails were excellent !!! We shared the fruit tart dessert
Had a great dinner. Highly recommend !!!

LZ
Richmond
7 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Always a reliable, consistent and appropriately priced, Hamilton's is a "go-to" restaurant for an always good, tasty, well presented meal, served by unintrusive but professional staff. A can't go wrong eating establishment

BM
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service that never disappoints! My wife and I have been there three or four times and the quality is always
perfect! We can’t wait to go back! In the never ending cascade of supposably superb C’ville eateries, Hamilton’s rises to the top!

AG
Edinburgh
49 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Gosh, this must be the ninth or tenth time we’ve eaten here, and whether it’s lunch, brunch or dinner, Hamilton’s never disappoints! Great food expertly prepared, elegantly presented, and skillfully served by friendly, knowledgeable staff. The crab cakes are a never-miss choice, as are the shrimp and grits and whatever the catch of the day happens to be. Their homemade ice creams and sorbets are innovative and delicious. And their wine list is just the right size with a happy blend of imported and local wines. Really, you can’t go wrong with Hamilton’s at First & Main in Charlottesville!

RD
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Calamari appetizer was mostly greens with a few calamari tossed in. Caesar salad was uninspiring. Entrees: crab cakes were quite good but served with bland rice; duck was undercooked and nearly inedible but mushrooms as side were excellent. We skipped dessert. Service was outstanding.

OR
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

I’d go back!

N
Richmond
6 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 1ambience 4

Our server brought lemon after being asked twice. Our bread basket never was served but we were charged for it and had to be have it removed. Lastly, one in our party found a dead bug , legs up, on her plate after eating half of her entree. The server said “fresh from the garden”! They offered a replacement but the order was still charged to our bill. Over the years we have had many nice meals at Hamilton’s but we will not return...

PB
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We celebated a 90th birthday with a Sunday brunch at Hamiltons' at First & Main. The birthday person typically eats only small meals and at restaurants leaves half of his meal But this time he ate more than I have seen him eat in many years -- a huge portion of brioche French toast. He also thoroughly enjoyed the ambiance of sitting outside at a shaded table which was quite comfortable despite 90+ degrees of heat. I indicated on the Open Table reservation that this was a birthday celebration and without further prompting, Hamiltons' provided a fabulous berry tart topped with ice cream (and a candle) at the end. My crab cake was delicious, filled with a generous portion of crab served over very nicely prepared spinach and my wife's omelet was superb. I also recommend the pastry basket, and the surprisingly delightful jalapeno preserves that come with it. All in all, it was a memorable meal at a very reasonable price.

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