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The Ridley, Charlottesville, VA

The Ridley

3.9
3.9
397 Reviews
$30 and under
Southern
The Ridley is THE destination for upscale-casual dining and fresh seafood offerings in Charlottesville, Virginia. Located within The Draftsmen boutique hotel, The Ridley combines convenience and accessibility with an unparalleled dining experience. As one of Charlottesville’s Black-owned restaurants, the concept pays homage to Dr. Walter N. Ridley, the first Black student to graduate from The University of Virginia and receive a graduate degree from any major, historically white public university in the South.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 28 times today

Order delivery or takeout

Additional information

  • Dining style
    Casual Elegant
  • Price
    $30 and under
  • Cuisines
    Southern, Seafood
  • Hours of operation
    Mon–Thu, Sun 7:00 am–10:00 pm Fri, Sat 7:00 am–12:00 am
  • Phone number
    (434) 984-8010
  • Dress code
    Casual Dress
  • Executive chef
    Robert Anglin
  • Neighborhood
    Charlottesville
  • Parking details
    Street Parking
  • Additional
    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine

What 397 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

3.9
3.9 based on recent ratings
  • 3.9Food
  • 3.7Service
  • 4.2Ambience
  • 3.6Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Charlottesville

    Good for business meals

  • Charlottesville

    Innovative

397 Reviews
  1. czb1

    Washington DC

    38 reviews

    2.0

    38 reviews

    Dined 1 day ago

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 2
    Standard pub fare when all is said and done, dressed up a bit, but this is not a restaurant that has a serious kitchen so by all means book a table and have a not bad meal but do not think it's going to be what you might expect from a a restaurant in a better hotel. Location and hotel accommodations make it easy to book as a hotel guest.

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  2. Kathleen

    Richmond

    3 reviews

    2.0

    3 reviews

    Dined 5 days ago

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 4
    Many bus and wait staff walking around tending to future set up for patrons not yet there. Made eye contact with several of serving staff, but took close to 15 minutes for someone to ask for a cocktail order. We were able to place our food order shortly after that. Our food took 15-20 minutes to arrive, still had not received our cocktails. Had to tell our server that we still didn't receive our drinks. When those arrived my specialty drink made with passionfruit, was sickeningly sweet, and my shrimp and grits were mediocre. I sware the andouille sausage that was used was a supermarket brand. My friends shrimp po boy and fries were really good (except that she had ordered the oyster po boy) I would suggest that management look at the choices that are made to tend to future table set up at the cost of making seated customers wait for service. We will not go back.

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  3. OpenTable Diner

    Washington DC

    5 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    5 reviews

    Dined 5 days ago

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 3
    The service is was very slow. 2 members of our party got their food well after rest of us (6 ) were finished eating.

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  4. RichPleasants

    Richmond

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined 6 days ago

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 4
    Food was good, but service is spotty and somewhat disorganized. 35 minutes to get drinks and 53 minutes to get food, but salad came with main course. It was however pretty busy, but some simple changes in service approach would considerably improve our experience.

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  5. OpenTable Diner

    Washington DC

    3 reviews

    2.0

    3 reviews

    Dined 6 days ago

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 4
    Though most of the ratings I’ve seen have been mostly positive, me and my friends did not have a good experience at all. I’ve worked in relatively high end restaurants/food & beverage, but my service and food experience at The Ridley was less than desirable. We sat at the bar before our 5pm reservation and our female bartender was lovely. Thing went down hill once we were seated at 5pm. Lady who took us to our table and dropped off our menus said our server would be with us shortly, but we waited roughly 15+ minutes before my friend flagged down who seemed to be a management figure that randomly assigned us a server 5 minutes later. The restaurant wasn’t even packed… I asked our waitress about the portion of the gnocchi, and the way she made it sound was a big portion that was substantial, but in reality, it was about the size of a bowl of cereal and it was bordering lukewarm for $34… I will end by saying may the odds be ever in your favor that you have a better experience than I did.

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  6. OpenTable Diner

    Oklahoma City

    5 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    5 reviews

    Dined 6 days ago

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    Great service but the food was bland. The entrees that my wife and I were out of stock. The food we ordered was bland.

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  7. OpenTable Diner

    Greater Boston

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 7 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Took a date here and one of the staff upgraded our table!

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  8. KristaM

    Richmond

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 14, 2024

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 3
    We went last year for Valentine’s Day and it was amazing so we thought we would go this year to celebrate our anniversary and Valentine’s Day . The waiter was awful, he kept disappearing, my food was cold, and they sat my husband and I at a huge table not meant for 2 people so we couldn’t hear each other speak. I tried to call twice since to speak with the manager and both times I was told he was unavailable.

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  9. stephie454

    Richmond

    3 reviews

    3.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on February 14, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 4
    The service/management was so jumbled up that we ended up with 6 salads. It was so bizarre that we wondered if there was a camera watching to see what our reaction was.

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  10. BruceK

    Greensboro

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on February 14, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    We dined at the Ridley for my wife's Valentine's birthday. Had the raw oysters, which were great. I had the ribeye which was also very good. My wife had a pasta dish which she enjoyed. The bar had a good selection. Had breakfast the next morning which was also very good. If you stay at the Draftsman, you should give it a try.

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  11. redgate

    Charleston

    9 reviews

    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on February 12, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    wonderful brunch, great service, came back the next day for breakfast

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  12. OpenTable Diner

    Raleigh

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 9, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    My coworkers and I had a great dinner! Service was great and the food was even better. Definitely a place we all want to visit again!

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  13. OpenTable Diner

    Coastal Georgia

    4 reviews

    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on February 6, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Very nice ambiance. Food lack flavor for me. Had lobster roll…. It was ok. Nothing special

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  14. KenD

    Greater Boston

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 5, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 4
    Waiter was a nice guy and did his best given he was new. Food came out all over the place and out of order with two of the four meals coming out 10 minutes ahead of the other two. Soups came out after the main dish and cold even though we specifically asked for them to be served before the main dish. They ran out of spoons even though the place was 1/4 full at best. Overall I expect better all around from Ridley.

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  15. BClarkeVA

    Washington DC

    49 reviews

    4.0

    49 reviews

    Dined on February 4, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    We had a family party of 6 who met at the Ridley for brunch. We were quickly seated, and received friendly service. We did experience a delay as the kitchen did not notify our server that an item was sold out for 10-15 minutes, but that was fine, the atmosphere was pleasant. We liked the variety of brunch offerings and food was tasty when it arrived. Overall a nice addition to brunch choices near the Corner.

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  16. CherylM

    Richmond

    2 reviews

    2.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 4, 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 4
    I was so looking forward to dining again at the Ridley. When I showed up the lady at check in acted like they couldn't seat me. I told her I had reserved thru Open Table and was there a problem? She gave me a few excuses, and as I waited and watched they came and cleaned off a table for me. I should have left then, the dining experience got even worse with my assigned waitress. I ordered from the Restaurant Week menu. She returned with the wine list and told me they "were out of" the prosecco listed on the RW menu. I asked her if the restaurant was going to substitute since they were out of the wine I ordered, but that I noticed the restaurant had another prosecco on the wine list. At first she said "no", then when I hesitated and said I didn't like the 2 other wines offered on the RW menu, then all of a sudden she said "yes", so she brought me the rose prosecco. All went well until it was desert time. The waitress removed the plates and silverware (fork and knife) from the first two courses. She plopped the desert on the table with no silverware. I said to her, "I need a spoon". She said "we're out of them"! and walked away! I sat there astonished. She had said it with such a smugness, like she was happy to tell me the second time of the evening what the restaurant was out of! Then a fellow came by so I flagged him down. His name was Christopher and he said he was the manager. I told him what happened in both instances with the same waitress, and commented on how something like this had never happened to me in my life (I am 71 yrs. old). He quickly sent a spoon to my table. When miss novice waitress left my check on the table and ran off again, I put on the tip line "Thank you Christopher". The Ridley, as all restaurant service in Charlottesville has suffered from lack of wait staff, but I told Christopher he had better implement an intense customer service training program. Not sure I want to return there ever! Sad!

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  17. AngelaF

    Richmond

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 30, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    It was very festive the Staff were very friendly, Food was good. I was a little disappointed in the Creme brulee as it was pumpkin flavored as not stated on the menu.

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  18. Debb

    Washington DC

    10 reviews

    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on January 29, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Food and service was great. Portions were large, even for a restaurant week meal.

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  19. MaryT

    Wilmington

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 6, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    We had a family group for a birthday dinner on a Friday night. Our server was attentive. The menu choices served our group ranging from age 15 to 75 well. The younger ones enjoyed their burger and truffle fries. The adults had salad with different toppings, which were adequate but not outstanding. The appetizers--Brussel sprouts and fried green tomatoes--were delicious, as were the lava cake and blackberry cobbler desserts. A nice addition to the Cville restaurant options.

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  20. ErinM

    Hawaii

    4 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on January 4, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    My Old Fashioned was very expensive -$21. Maybe I should have asked for a lesser Bourbon. My Blackened salmon was way too blackened. Too spicy for me! And I had mentioned I didn't want spicy, when I asked about the Pasta dish so I'm surprised the waitress didn't caution me on it. And, it was dry/overcooked as well. The one good thing was that the Butternut Squash soup was excellent.

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  21. KimberlyL

    Richmond

    16 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    16 reviews

    Dined on December 31, 2023

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    We dined New Year’s Eve for brunch. The menu included classic brunch items such as Eggs Benedict and French Toast. There were also a few lunch items such as a burger and Shrimp or Oyster Po Boy. The food was tasty and came out on time. The restaurant is inside of the new Drake Hotel and the doors are on 11th St. They have valet which you pay at the front desk. The restaurant is very large and it’s beautifully decorated. Great place for large groups, and it’s walking distance from UVA.

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  22. WesS

    Richmond

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 26, 2023

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    The service was very good. My steak was the best I have had in a long time. Your location was a very short walking distance from our hotel, good for a rainy night. The wait staff did their job effectively. We will return on one of our trips to Charlottesville.

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  23. FletcherFamily

    Washington DC

    4 reviews

    3.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on December 25, 2023

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 4
    The restaurant underplanned, ran out of certain entrees, and didn’t have our desired selections. We arrived and was seated by our 5:00 reservation but was not serviced until 6:00. Our waitress was nice but clearly had trouble balancing her waitload. Salmon and a house salad wasn’t worth its $65 price tag.

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  24. HaroldO

    Richmond

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 25, 2023

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    It was our first time eating at the Ridley. We were pleased with the service and the food was good. The wine list was limited, did not like the pino grigio Acrobat nor the chardonnay , whose name I forget...Russian something. We will go back at some point. Valet parking was a plus given my current mobility issue.

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  25. TammyD

    Richmond

    22 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    22 reviews

    Dined on December 25, 2023

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    My salmon was wonderful. I ordered a Kir Royale and it was fantastic. My husband and stepson ordered the prime rib and the sides were cold. They were brought warmer sides and they still were not hot just warm. The meals were not worth the $65 price. My husband was not at all happy with his meal. The service was good and the place is nice.

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  26. ChefAl

    Treasure Coast

    23 reviews

    5.0

    23 reviews

    Dined on December 25, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Best breakfast of our trip. Absolutely perfect poached eggs.

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  27. NewOrleansNative

    Washington DC

    32 reviews

    5.0

    32 reviews

    Dined on December 16, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Exceptional service... and quality and quantity (rare these days) in a hotel based restaurant. A very nice reception in our return to Charlottesville, Virginia during a very very quiet weekend visit to the Paramount Theater.

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  28. KathyR

    Wilmington

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 15, 2023

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 3
    Food was ok but the service was horrible. We waited 20 mins for our drinks and had to tell the waitress that we were ready to order food after she brought drinks.

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  29. DavidB

    Washington DC

    3 reviews

    3.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on December 11, 2023

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 4
    Bar and bartender were a disaster. Bartender could not make the cocktails advertised on the website —or even a proper Manhattan with dirty rocks on the side. Plus, the bartender was apparently overwhelmed by a Monday night bar crowd so those of us with dinner reservations were pushed to the back of the line. No one wants their appetizer before their cocktail…duh. We had to tell the waitress not to serve the appetizer before our cocktail. So cocktail service was a Minus 10….dinner had problems too. One entree (served before the second cocktail) was stone cold and had to be sent back, arriving after the other diner’s entree had been consumed. Food—when it arrived—was well prepared but sooo untimely. Manager was apologetic and very nice but… Love the hotel and the location but will try the restaurant again only with trepidation.

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  30. AndyH

    Washington DC

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 10, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The food was delicious, however, the beverages were expensive. Had to send the bloody mary back twice. Waitress was outstanding! Very attentive without hovering! I would return for sure.

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  31. BobB

    Washington DC

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 9, 2023

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 2
    45 mins before we got drinks. Salad came before apps. Dinner were cold. Overall disappointing

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  32. DM82

    Richmond

    3 reviews

    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on December 8, 2023

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 5
    Love this culinary gem! It has a great selection and ambiance but also has a very unique story and connection in its history.

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  33. JoanT

    Memphis/West TN

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on December 1, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Wow! This restaurant is amazing. The grilled chicken sandwich was so flavorful. We had the best greens. Just incredible. We will be back!

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  34. OpenTable Diner

    Richmond

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 30, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The food was excellent as was the service. Selection of wine could be a bit more expansive

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  35. LarryG

    Washington DC

    2 reviews

    2.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on November 23, 2023

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 3
    As a couple experiencing our first Thanksgiving dinner without our children, my wife and I looked forward to a special evening at Ridley. Unfortunately, our experience fell far short of expectations. Our first impression was mixed; while the host displayed warmth towards other guests, our interaction felt very basic, marred by being handed a visibly dirty menu, which significantly dampened our spirits. Despite asking for a clean one, we were curtly informed that only the drinks are on the back and that the Thanksgiving menu was available, contrary to the options given during our Open Table reservation. Expecting an exquisite dining experience, especially for a $200 meal, we were sorely disappointed. The presentation and quality of the Thanksgiving dishes were underwhelming. The turkey resembled uninspired lunch meat, the gravy was thickening unappetizingly, and the sides, including mashed potatoes and green beans, were bland, necessitating extra seasoning. Our experience with the beverages was a rollercoaster - from a poorly made Hot Toddy, which had to be sent back due to forgotten honey, to finally receiving enjoyable drinks. This inconsistency in quality was perplexing for a fine dining establishment. The final piece of our letdown was the dessert - a choice between pumpkin and apple pie. Opting for the apple pie, we were disheartened to find it almost frozen in the center. The Ridley’s Thanksgiving dinner was a series of missteps in both service and culinary execution. For a special holiday meal, especially at this price point, we expected much more. This experience unfortunately casts a shadow on our special day, leaving us to reconsider future visits.

    2 people found this helpful

  36. Brianb

    Richmond

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 19, 2023

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 3
    Good food; horrible service on a slow afternoon.

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  37. TLROBBIE

    Richmond

    42 reviews

    5.0

    42 reviews

    Dined on November 17, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We had the creole soup which was terrific and shared a turkey club with a side of fries--lovely.

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  38. OpenTable Diner

    Washington DC

    11 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on November 15, 2023

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 4
    Food was delicious as usual. Great venue for a business lunch.

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  39. Tammi

    Richmond

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on November 10, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We had a fabulous night at the Ridley for my dad’s birthday. Seamus, the assistant manager, treated him to a lava cake, and I can honestly say I’ve never seen such a look of pure bliss o his face while eating dessert. We loved everything about our evening at the Ridley. I only gave a 4 star rating on the noise level be aide it was so full of equally happy patrons. Excellent restaurant and we will definitely return.

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  40. NatalieP

    Richmond

    2 reviews

    2.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on November 6, 2023

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 5
    I had high expectations for The Ridley. I’m from Richmond and had never been there. I did a Google search and it came up. The maître d’ and host were very nice.  They greeted us properly with enthusiasm and a smile. It was the waitress that was kind of offkilter.  She just kept rushing us to order, even though we were the only ones in the restaurant.  The food was just mediocre. Mostly because it didn’t have that much flavor due to lack of seasoning. The ambience, style and cleanliness of the restaurant was great. It’s just the food and the service that we’re not. I had also put in my reservation we were celebrating my daughters birthday. They said happy birthday, but I guess my expectation was to get a birthday dessert for her or something more. Is that an unrealistic expectation these days? Especially when we ended up paying $92 for three people for lunch.

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Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
  • Physical distancing

    • Limited number of seated diners
  • Protective equipment

    • Waitstaff wear masks
    • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking

FAQs

The Ridley offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (434) 984-8010.

The Ridley is rated 3.9 stars by 397 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 28 times today

Order delivery or takeout

Google Map for The Ridley

1106 W Main St, Charlottesville, VA 22903-2822

Additional information

  • Neighborhood
    Charlottesville
  • Hours of operation
    Mon–Thu, Sun 7:00 am–10:00 pm Fri, Sat 7:00 am–12:00 am
  • Price
    $30 and under
  • Cuisines
    Southern, Seafood
  • Dining style
    Casual Elegant
  • Dress code
    Casual Dress
  • Parking details
    Street Parking
  • Executive chef
    Robert Anglin
  • Additional
    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine
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