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The Ridley

4.1
4.1
261 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 7 times today

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • 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

    Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Late Night, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine

What 261 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

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

4.1
4.1 based on recent ratings
  • 4.1Food
  • 3.9Service
  • 4.1Ambience
  • 3.8Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Charlottesville

    Good for groups

  • Charlottesville

    Lively

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  1. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined 6 days ago

    overall1food2service1ambience2
    Service and food took forever
  2. DS

    DavidS

    Richmond

    12 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    12 reviews

    Dined 6 days ago

    overall3food2service3ambience4
    So much potential, but unfortunately the food arrived luke-warm bordering on cold and just didn’t have enough seasoning all around.
  3. AC

    AlisonC

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 6 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    2 friends and I ate at the Ridley before a concert, so we had an early reservation at 4:30. Everything about this experience was wonderful! Given that we had the whole restaurant almost to ourselves, we had excellent service, food choices and food presentation! Between the 3 of us, we had shrimp cocktail, fried green tomatoes, fillet mignon and salad w/steak. all were excellent! I would definitely go again! The menu was nicely varied, as it included both sandwich and dinner platters, so there was lots to choose from.
  4. JM

    JamesM

    Washington DC

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 29, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Varied menu. Meals tasty and service very good. Will definitely return.
  5. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Washington DC

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 27, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great service and fantastic food.
  6. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Philadelphia

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 25, 2022

    overall1food1service1ambience3
    Poor / inexperienced service, poor food quality / preparation and extensive delays which exacerbated poor food quality. Pork chop burned on one side, fries cold, gumbo soup luke warm, toasted bread was wet because it steamed sitting on plate too long, reuben sandwich hardly had any meat, and we requested extra glasses of water because refills were so infrequent. Was able get a last minute reservation on a Saturday night and now we know why, there were very few diners there but there was no explanation why service was so slow. Ambiance was otherwise nice.
  7. ZC

    ZenCowgirl

    Philadelphia

    11 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on November 22, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    Delicious shrimp and grits!
  8. DO

    DivaO

    Richmond

    38 reviews

    4.0

    38 reviews

    Dined on November 20, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    Very nice brunch menu and lots of options. I recommend the shimp and grits. If you are really hungry, the chicken sandwich is a big sandwich. There are gluten and vegetarian options too.
  9. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    1 review

    vip
    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 12, 2022

    overall3food4service2ambience4
    Place was booming on a football weekend. They appeared understaffed for the crowd. Waiter was young and friendly, but messed up my order. Gumbo starter was tasty, although short on rice. I was supposed to then receive 6 Oysters Rockefeller, but instead was served 12 raw Oysters. He took them back. By now, I finally received my first cocktail. Then my filet came out. Filet was tasty and cooked as requested, mashed potatoes were not quite room temperature, asparagus was ok, fried onions were excellent. Shortly after, the 6 Oysters Rockefeller showed up. I'd skip ordering oyster orders here...simply not very good. My second cocktail arrived just as I finished eating. So mixed bag experience, and not inexpensive.
  10. S

    Samm

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 11, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great cocktails and service! Food was also delicious.
  11. SD

    SusanD

    Richmond

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 11, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Lunch with friends at The Ridley was very satisfying. Good service, tasty salads and sandwiches and a bright and airy ambiance.
  12. s

    scott

    Atlanta

    9 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on November 11, 2022

    overall2food3service1ambience2
    After having a reservation, we waited almost an hour for our food. There was a very large party already ahead of us when we were seated. The restaurant wasn’t full, but the large wedding party group took all of the staff’s attention. There seemed to be plenty of people working in the restaurant, but perhaps the kitchen wasn’t staffed properly and that’s why it took forever to get food. It took forever to get a drink, and a refill. Our server was very inattentive. The pasta was not great. It was basic, with a light bland sauce and few vegetables. There was a bit of red pepper flakes thrown on that gave it occasional hot spice, but there was no flavor other than that. Even the “grilled” shrimp that you pay extra for had no spice. Nothing. I was told it was cooked on a flattop stove with salt and pepper, but it was white, zero pepper on it and I added a lot of salt to the entire dish. Very disappointing for a high price meal.
  13. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 6, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Gorgeous restaurant. Nice atmosphere. Good food
  14. S

    Susan

    Washington DC

    8 reviews

    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on November 4, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    We could have made a meal on the appetizers! Make sure to try the Brussels sprouts and the Cauliflower! Loved the decor and the delicious menu options. Can't wait to go back again when we are in Charlottesville.
  15. NJ

    NJFoodie

    New York Area

    11 reviews

    3.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on October 30, 2022

    overall3food4service2ambience4
    Overall, The Ridley is a convenient location for a bite, especially if you're staying at The Draftsman. Like many restaurants today, they are short staffed and the waitstaff they do have are undertrained. I'm glad they are back after the pandemic, but they need to vastly improve service and training. Otherwise, the food (I've had breakfast, lunch, and dinner) is solid and they try nice things like jazz brunch and fun drink/appetizer specials.
  16. UT

    UsualTablefor2

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 29, 2022

    overall2food3service1ambience3
    We had reservations for brunch on Parent’s Weekend. The location is extremely convenient to Grounds. We were greeted at the host stand after about 3 minutes and escorted to a lovely booth. We waited another 10 minutes before anyone acknowledged us. Drinks were extremely delayed. Coffee delivered without cream. Water never refilled. When the food arrived it looked great however we were missing two of the sides. It took several more minutes to get our server’s attention to inquire about the rest of our meal. Overall the food was fine but the service was terrible. There are many wonderful brunch spots in Charlottesville, don’t waste your time here.
  17. C

    Cvillenative75

    Richmond

    3 reviews

    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on October 26, 2022

    overall4food2service5ambience5
    Only 1st time there. Parking is challenging on the street but the valet is cheaper than what the signage says. For restaurant guests, it's $5.00 We didn't know that so we parked further away in an open parking garage. Service was great (thanks Brandon). Drinks were strong (another plus) considering they're pricey. My Nashville Hot chicken sandwich had all the flavor and crispiness I wanted but the chicken itself was tough and rubbery. Hard to eat. Mashed potatoes were bleh. I definitely want to try a meal there again as the atmosphere is gorgeous.
  18. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Baltimore

    9 reviews

    3.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on October 22, 2022

    overall3food3service3ambience2
    Was very noisy from Bar area. We scheduled late as arrival into town and dinner was 8:45 or so. Bar in full swing. Kitchen was overwhelmed. Food for husband was turkey club poorly constructed and cold. Not toasted. I had steak frites they were good and the Fries but would never have served asparagus that looked like that. Sticks with no tops. Taste was good and cooked right, not mushy. Very slow on drinks brought all food including appetizers out at once. Drinks after that. Oysters were to be cooked but they were lukewarm Had to return next day to meet friends at bar. Very poor service there. Just had them pour wine to eliminate the problem. Staff looked new as watching them punch in the cash register computer they were fumbling around looking. They were all very nice. Probably would not go again other than convenience across from hospital
  19. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Jacksonville

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 22, 2022

    overall1food1service1ambience1
    HORRIBLE HORRIBLE HORRIBLE! We had a reservation for 8:45. We arrived at 8:30, only to be told that they were “running” behind and even reservations were on a 45 minute wait. The kicker - half the tables were clean and empty. The host - who I think was also the manager - was unapologetic and acted like it is completely normal to walk into a restaurant with a reservation and then be told there was another 45 minute wait. We were told we would be texted when the table was ready - I checked that they had the correct number - we still are waiting for the text …
  20. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Baltimore

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on October 10, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The server was very personable and knowledgeable of the menu and recommended a great res wine. The food was exceptional. I normally do not eat a full 8oz steak…I ate the entire steak this time. Thank you
  21. B

    Brad

    New England

    15 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on October 10, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience3
    We missed breakfast by 15 minutes so had lunch at 11:15. A little early. Then sat right next to a noisy table while there were no other customers. Not sure why restaurants think that's a good idea. Very annoying to hear other loud conversations. Food was good.
  22. m

    mfromoutoftown

    Washington DC

    5 reviews

    2.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on October 9, 2022

    overall2food2service2ambience2
    I very much wanted to like The Ridley. The concept, menu, and offerings seemed ideal. However, it did not deliver. On a Sunday night that wasn't very busy, service was slow. It took a hostess over 5 minutes to greet us for our reservation while several staff members stood by and watched several guests wait at the hostess stand. While the server was polite and nice, it was "oh, we are out of that" and "oh, I don't know what beers we have." Delivery of drinks and food to the table was likewise slow. The food was okay but did not quite meet expectations for a price tag of about $30 per entrée. Unfortunately, I would not want to go back and don't think I'd likely recommend to others.
  23. AC

    AdamC

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 9, 2022

    overall2food2service2ambience3
    While I enjoyed the look of the restaurant, the food and service was just ok. Every dish lacked proper seasoning. Luckily salt was available on the table. While none of the servers were bad, small things added up. None of our appetizer dishes were ever removed after finished and we were never asked about refills. For the price paid, $100 for 2, a chain restaurant would provide an equal to or better experience for half the price.
  24. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Atlanta

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on October 1, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Good food and sorry
  25. TH

    TraceyH

    Salt Lake City

    4 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on September 18, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    Ridley burger and the cornbread were amazing! Service was even better!
  26. S

    Skip

    Philadelphia

    14 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on September 18, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    great spot. good food. never a bad meal here. service was great.
  27. AH

    AlfonsoH

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 17, 2022

    overall2food1service3ambience3
    Overpriced and the flavors were simply not there. The story of the restaurant is beautiful but I wish the food had lived up to the hype.
  28. TD

    TaraD

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 9, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Such delicious food. I was sad when I got too full to finish my plate.
  29. P

    Pxedstqn

    Washington DC

    27 reviews

    2.0

    27 reviews

    Dined on September 4, 2022

    overall2food2service2ambience2
    I was wondering why this was one of the only restaurants left with a Sunday evening reservation, and now we know. Our waiter was not the most attentive, only asked us once how everything was going, and that was after someone else brought us our food and we were almost done. Never refilled any drinks or asked if we wanted refills. My filet actually had grizzle and was so salty it was difficult to eat. The asparagus was so tough I could barely cut it with a steak knife. My husband ordered the crab cakes with Cajun rice instead of succotash, and it arrived with zero/nada/none, no sauce what so ever, it was bone dry. Needless to say this was a one and done for us.
  30. RJ

    RobJ

    Cincinnati

    8 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on September 3, 2022

    overall2food4service1ambience3
    This is a restaurant with real potential. The food was great but limited. It was the service that was terrible. Ate here twice and had the same problem both times. This tells me the Front end manager has no idea how to train servers. First sat down and my wife had to request new silver ware because the Napkin her silver wear was wrapped in was dirty. She was handed a second one and had the same issue. Third attempt the Server opened it before bring it over and went into the kitchen and came back after replacing the silver that was inside. We then waited 15 minutes before getting to order. Which was surprising since the restaurant was 3/4's empty. Placed our order in which order Fried Green Tomatoes and asked for them to add Shrimp to the meal. We were told she would have to check on that and let us know . We received our appetizer which was fantastic. But had to remind her about our wine order. She never came back to let us know if our order was OK. The kitchen did an excellent job and provided exactly what we requested and it tasted fantastic. But the Server was never around. We were have through our meal and she checked on us and then drop the check on table at the same time. Never tried to sell us Dessert or an after dinner drink. We paid the bill and went back to our room. Once in our room we decided we wanted Dessert and tried to order room service and were told that since it was now after ten they had put everything away and order from the after hour menu which had not dessert on it. We tried one last time the next morning for breakfast and had the same terrible service. Restaurant mainly empty and we waited for ever. Food was fantastic but the service was almost non-existent and again the check was drop on our table less than half way through the meal. No up sale for anything. If you do not fix your service it will not matter how good your food is. You will go under. Such a shame.
  31. GS

    GeneS

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 1, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent experience, an unexpected treasure in Charlottesville.
  32. SW

    SusanW

    Pinehurst

    7 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on August 26, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We had the shrimp cocktail and harvest salad with salmon- Very good- plated nicely & tasted great!!
  33. CB

    ChrisB

    Indiana

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on August 26, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Ridley was a great find for our anniversary. We both recommend it.
  34. m

    meyerwoo

    New York Area

    51 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    51 reviews

    Dined on August 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Chicken and biscuits, eggs Benedict, avocado toast, pork sausage, and Mac and cheese are all great options. Nice and close to the UVA grounds. Our go to place if we're not sure where to eat.
  35. CC

    CuteCouple

    Richmond

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on August 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We had all the oysters on the menu and everything was fantastic. Wish there was more VA wine on the menu but still lots of good choices.
  36. KH

    KelleyH

    Seattle

    5 reviews

    4.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on August 16, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    My only problem was with the brussel sprouts. They tasted like they were covered in simple syrup. Way sweeter than expected/necessary.
  37. EC

    ErikC

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 13, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Food was great, eating outside at dusk is the best
  38. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Washington DC

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 13, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    Claire was an excellent waitress and made it a great experience
  39. TC

    TerriC

    New York Area

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on August 9, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    Very nice waiter, he was new and being shadowed, attentive but not overly so. The BEST pork chop I've ever had - thick, perfectly cooked and topped with delicious sauce - mashed potatoes were so good. My son really enjoyed the shrimp and grits and appetizer of brussel sprouts. Fantastic experience.
  40. F

    Foodie

    New York Area

    46 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    46 reviews

    Dined on August 5, 2022

    overall4food3service4ambience4
    The Ridley is located in the Draftsman Hotel. Industrial, cool design. Great music, great vibe. Food was very good. We did Brussels sprouts and jalapeño cornbread. Wanted a casual supper so had sandwiches which were great. Shrimp po boy needed more flavor for my liking. Cocktails were good. Great friendly service.

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 4.1 stars by 261 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 7 times today
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

  • Cuisines

    Southern, Seafood

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Parking details

    Street Parking

  • Executive chef

    Robert Anglin

  • Additional

    Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Late Night, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine

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