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May 23, 2007 12:43 PM

Charlottesville and VA. Beach inexpensive eats

Taking a vacation to Charlottesville and Virginia beach and need rec's for inexpensive, non-chain eats. Gas is going to be high, so good, inexpensive local chow is the order of the day.

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    1. re: mojoeater

      That might help narrow it down, might it not?

      American, Southern, barbecue, seafood, Cajun, Italian, breakfast...

      1. re: gophereverette

        There's no good BBQ in Cville, though others might try to argue. The town is not as Southern as people may think. There are lots of New York and DC transplants, so there's more fusion than southern cuisine.

        I would agree with all of Mel's picks, especially Bizou, Just Curry and Continental Divide. I would add:

        Bodo's Bagels: 3 locations with some of the cheapest, freshest breakfast and lunch sandwiches around. You can eat well for under $5.

        The Nook: Newly renovated diner on the Downtown Mall. Sit outside if it's nice. Great people-watching.

        MAYA - this is a new place on Main Street. Owners are well-respected restuarant guys. Sort of a slightly upscale Meats and Threes. Try it. You'll like it.

        1. re: mojoeater

          Oh - While you are in Cville, be sure to take a trip to Monticello and to a couple of the wineries near it. It's a very nice way to spend the day.

          1. re: mojoeater

            Not much to add to the Charlottesville list (definitely go to Bodo's, best value just about anywhere)....but I'm one of the ones that will argue for Jinx Pits Top barbeque. People are very picky about what they like in terms of barbeque and Jinx focuses just on the meat. He smokes the stuff out back of the little shack (fairly dirty looking place, but cleaner than you'd think, really) he serves it in and I think its fabulous. He pays no attention to the sauce whatsoever which is a vinegar based, somewhat spicy thing. I miss it terribly. It isn't the "classic" North Carolina style barbeque, but I'm OK with that. Its darned good.

        2. re: mojoeater

          And define inexpensive. Do you mean under $15/entree or something else? And do you want table service? Off the top of my head:

          Just Curry - behind Little John's on the Corner. Excellent curry - $4/bowl, tiny place, counter service

          Michael's Bistro - above Little John's on the Corner. I'm mostly there for lunch, so I'm not sure about the cost of dinner entrees. Lunch is <$10. Table service.

          Continental Divide - on West Main Street. Best food for the dollar, but loud and smoky. Tex-Mex, good margaritas. Table and bar service.

          Lime Leaf - Thai restaurant in Rio Hill Shopping Center on 29 North. Table service.

          Bizou - Downtown mall, nouveau diner food, such as bison meatloaf. Outside seating. Pushing the boundary of the $15 entree. Table service.

          Christian's Pizza - Downtown mall. Counter service. Pizza by the slice. Best (though that's not saying there's a lot of competition) pizza in town.

          1. re: Cville Mel

            Almost forgot, Tip Top, on Pantops Mt., is my family's favorite breakfast food. Also, Bodo's bagels for the ultimate in inexpensive.

            My Italian husband would say not to bother with Italian in Charlottesville.

            I've read decent things about the new bar-be-cue restaurant in Belmont, but haven't been there.

            1. re: Cville Mel

              Thanks for the tips so far. To further clarify, me, the wife, and formerly picky eater 11 year old son. Looking for family-type, cheap-eats joints; sandwiches/burgers for lunch, dinner less than $10 a head. We're definitely doing Monticello, Williamsburg, Jamestown. Will spend Sun. night-Tues. afternoon in C'ville, then on to VA. Beach Tues-Friday nights.

              How about it, VA. Beach hounds? Where's the good seafood?

              1. re: gophereverette

                At those prices, definitely Bodo's, Christian's, Just Curry, The Nook. Might want to try St. Maarten Cafe near UVA for burgers and wings.

                Williamsburg and Jamestown are 2 hours away from Cville, but 1 hour from VA Beach. Just so you know.

                1. re: mojoeater

                  St. Maarten is good during happy hour (cheap burgers and fries) if you don't mind eating early. Is Sticks still a good option? It'd get you right to the $10 a head, but has been pretty nice food in the past. Its a nice order at the counter, sit down and eat place, but super clean and tasty kebobs and sides.

            2. re: Cville Mel

              Lime leaf is a gem for Thai food. Definitely on the better options in town.