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Diners' Choice: Lively restaurants in Charlottesville

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OpenTable
Updated July 05, 2024

Looking for restaurants that have the most vibrant bar scenes in Charlottesville? You’re in the right place. Each month, OpenTable analyzes nearly 2 million global diner reviews from the past four months. We sort the results by location and category to help you discover new favorite restaurants. It's a great partnership: you reserve, eat, and review. We listen...and deliver the results for all to benefit. Enjoy!


A photo of Public Fish & Oyster restaurant
4.8
4.8 (2491)
$31 to $50
Seafood
Charlottesville
About the restaurant
Public Fish and Oyster serves only the freshest and responsibly sourced seafood. We believe in the complete dining experience and our knowledgeable staff is eager to provide you with the best dining experience Charlottesville has to offer.
Top review
IrinaK
Dined 2 days ago
Delicious food & excellent service! Oysters were fantastic!
A photo of Black Cow Chophouse restaurant
4.8
4.8 (401)
$31 to $50
Steakhouse
Charlottesville
About the restaurant
Black Cow Chophouse is Charlottesville's spot for steaks, chops, fine wines, modern & classic cocktails and fun times. We feature a huge daily selection of both dry-aged and non dry-aged local and nationally sourced beef, as well as pork, game and lamb cuts. Our beverage program is carefully crafted and our hospitality is second to none. For the budget conscious, visit during our daily happy hour from 4:30 to 6:00 for Charlottesville's best steak deal and discounted drinks. We take our food
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 5 days ago
Absolutely outstanding food and service! We loved it!!!
A photo of The Melting Pot - Charlottesville restaurant
4.6
4.6 (1213)
$31 to $50
Fondue
Charlottesville
About the restaurant
Here fondue becomes a memorable four-course dining experience, where you can really dip into something different. Enjoy a choice of four flavorful fondue cooking styles and a variety of tasty entrees, including tender beef, boneless breast of chicken, duck, lobster, shrimp, scallops, salmon and much more. All are available in many different combinations with a variety of special dipping sauces. Cheese fondues can be ordered separately and are included with the purchase of any combination dinner. Along with every entrée, you’ll get breads, savory vegetables, and even a choice of three different fresh salads. As if that’s not enough to whet your appetite, you’ll also love the Melting Pot’s wide selection of creamy, mouth-watering chocolate fondue desserts. In addition to the Melting Pot’s ever expanding fondue menu, there’s also a growing list of fine wines. So come, relax and dip into an exciting new experience at the Melting Pot.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 4 days ago
wonderful service and the food was delish…. so much fun cooking at our table! Our first time there but we will definitely go back!
A photo of Maya restaurant
4.6
4.6 (1459)
$31 to $50
Southern
Charlottesville
About the restaurant
Maya is now accepting reservations from 4:30-8:30 Monday through Saturday as well as curbside take out orders during the same hours. Please visit our homepage to see our updated selections daily. Please call if you require a reservation over 8 guests. Seating preferences will be honored based on volume and staffing.




Located in the center of Charlottesville Virginia’s Midtown, MAYA serves dinner 6 days a week. Our “made from scratch” menu is prepared daily in honor of the Old Southern Kitchen.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 2 days ago
What a treat. Fabulous food at a reasonable price !! Great service , wine and bourbon selections top notch , we will be back soon
A photo of Cafe Frank restaurant
4.6
4.6 (275)
$31 to $50
Contemporary French / American
Charlottesville
About the restaurant
Café Frank is a vibrant, intimate Franco-Italian restaurant and cocktail bar on Charlottesville's Historic Downtown Pedestrian Mall. We can't wait to serve you!


Top review
OpenTable Dinervip
Dined 2 days ago
Great food and ambience! A must place to go for a pleasant evening.
A photo of Rapture restaurant
4.4
4.4 (213)
$30 and under
Southern
Charlottesville
About the restaurant
Rapture features playful, farm-to-table Southern cuisine in a swank-but-cozy atmosphere. We have outdoor dining, billiards tables, and live music several nights a week.
Top review
WhitfieldObservervip
Dined on May 21, 2024
Delicious, and marvelous outdoor dining on a Pleasant evening.
A photo of matchbox Charlottesville restaurant
4.4
4.4 (190)
$30 and under
American
Charlottesville
About the restaurant
From its prime perch in The Shops at Stonefield, matchbox will delight neighborhood workers, visitors, and residents with a casual, welcoming spot for a quick weekday lunch, lively happy hour, bottomless weekend brunch, and dinner for both date nights and groups. Owned by Maurice Kelly, a technologist and former Navy Intelligence Officer turned restaurateur, Matchbox Charlottesville opens this winter, boasting artisanal pizzas, creative American bistro fare, and a come-as-you-are vibe.

A definitive element of the Matchbox dining experience is the custom pizza oven that fires up signature thin-crust pizzas within minutes, and its surrounding pizza bar that offers a front-row view of the action. The bar at Matchbox is a focal point of the dining experience.. Hand-painted murals from local artists add further context to the neighborhood, and bring in a touch of personality as well.

Top review
DivaO
Dined on Jul 15, 2024
Really delicious pizzas and huge burgers! Good salads too.
A photo of The Good Sport restaurant
4.2
4.2 (84)
$30 and under
Pub
Charlottesville
About the restaurant
The Good Sport delivers classic tavern fare, local craft beer and a sense of familiarity in a warm and relaxed setting – the perfect pre- and post-game spot, or a reprise after a long workday. This gathering place serves up comforting classics, such as Wagyu Brisket Slider with hydro watercress, fresh grated horseradish crème and shaved onion, along with a classic Fried Chicken Sandwich, with kimchi slaw, chili crisp mayo and pickled cucumbers. A large selection of signature cocktails, as well as whiskeys, local wines, and other spirits rounds out the bar experience. Valet parking is available, free for the first two hours with validation. Street parking is also available without a permit after 5pm daily and on the weekends.
Top review
MaryH
Dined on Jul 5, 2024
Nice, casual atmosphere. Delicious food and great service!
A photo of Ralph Sampson's ATR restaurant
4.0
4 (302)
$31 to $50
American
Charlottesville
About the restaurant
BIG FLAVORS FOR THE BIG GAME (FROM THE ORIGINAL BIG MAN)
Whether you’re pre-gaming with burgers and wings or celebrating a big win with premium steaks and seafood, our menu has you (and your team) covered.

LOCAL EATS, LOCAL BREWS (FROM A LOCAL LEGEND)
Proudly featuring “Ralph’s Big Juicy” — a citrusy India Pale Ale made in collaboration with Three Notch’d Brewing Company.

“IT’S ALWAYS BEEN A DREAM OF MINE”
An upscale sports bar experience years in the making conveniently located in the heart of Charlottesville, Virginia.

Top review
JayM
Dined on Jul 15, 2024
The service was great and the noise level in the restaurant was low on a Monday night.
A photo of The Ridley restaurant
3.9
3.9 (448)
$30 and under
Southern
Charlottesville
About the restaurant
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.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 7 days ago
Outstanding meal, helpful server. Great cocktail, and ambience!
Explore Diners' Choice best of Charlottesville
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