Last time, we offered a roundup of ten restaurants with great outdoor seating here in Albemarle County BUT there are way more than ten places to cover so, as promised, here’s part two:
1. The Virginian
Since opening its doors in 1923, The Virginian has remained in its original location, which makes it the oldest restaurant in Charlottesville. They’ve added, you know, modern plumbing and such since then, but much is the same as it was. Virg (pronounced “verge”), is situated on the historic UVa Corner. It has outdoor seating that’s quite popular among locals and students. There you can indulge in southern comfort food while admiring the University. You can see Thomas Jefferson’s Academical Village right from Virg’s patio.
Located on West Main, above the Graduate Hotel and adjacent to the Corner, Heirloom is a laid back, elegant rooftop bar and restaurant with amazing views of Charlottesville. Even with all the new construction on Main Street, you can see over the buildings and through the trees to much of the surrounding area. Heirloom features dishes made with ingredients from local producers and serves a wide variety of drinks—enjoy these with that view!
3. Tavern on the James
An evening in Scottsville is perhaps best complimented with a dinner here. Tavern on the James is right by the river at a bend in the main road. They make use of a variety of dining spaces and take reservations—if you have a particular room or floor in mind, best book it ahead of time.
4. Commonwealth Skybar
The Skybar presents a unique view of the downtown mall because, well, it’s high up. If you can get one of the outside tables, the view is great for people-watching or enjoying the atmosphere of the mall without being dead in the middle of it. Go for dinner and stay for drinks or skip the dinner and go straight for drinks, enjoy the atmosphere, and catch a show or play or movie while you’re at it.
5. Kardinal Hall
Kardinal Hall is a local favorite. It’s on Preston Ave (read: very centrally located) and usually has plenty of parking. PLENTY of outdoor seating. It’s a German-inspired beer hall with a slew of games available, the highlight being the bocce lanes. The inside is spacious too. Bring the family or a close group of friends—there’s usually a good mix of young adults around, some with kids, some without.
6. Mono Loco
Flavorful nouveau-Latin restaurant. Right by the downtown mall. Outdoor décor to match the bold aesthetic of the place (you’ll see when you go). Everything there seems to match. The food matches the restaurant and some of the workers and some of the people and sometimes the sky on properly orange nights and sometimes the trees too if we’re talking fall. Big servings. Plenty of outdoor seating.
Happy hour was made to be enjoyed at Miller’s. Did you know happy hour was invented for Miller’s? It was: you see, the person or persons who came up with the idea had so much fun at Miller’s that they needed a way to keep coming back after work without burning too deep a hole in their pockets. Their outdoor strip on the Downtown Mall is worth a visit. Miller’s has, in all seriousness, been around for 35 years. It continues to be a hit with locals. “Hit” here being a pun, I guess, because there’s live music most every night of the week (11pm-2am).
8. La Taza
La Taza is located in Charlottesville’s historic Belmont neighborhood. La Taza’s known for its views of downtown. The view includes the mountains. It’s just one of those angles. Think of it as downtown’s good side. La Taza’s patio has the feel of a cozy backyard (if that cozy backyard happened to be built to accommodate a couple dozen people). Across the street is the famous “I Love Charlottesville A Lot” mural on Fitzgerald Tire Company’s wall.
9. Farm Bell Kitchen
New to the Charlottesville food scene: Farm Bell Kitchen on West Main Street. But, like, deceptively new. It’s a local hospitality small business a la Red Hub Food Co because the same team’s behind both ventures! Bam! In their own words, Farm Bell Kitchen is “a distinct eatery that oozes Charlotesville charm.” Oozes! They hire good people, serve good food, and as this is a list of places at which you can sit outside, I’ll add that yes, it is possible to eat not-inside there.
We hope this list inspires you and your friends and family to check out the outdoor seating options here in Charlottesville and Albemarle County! This is just an overview; many other restaurants in the area have great outdoor seating and quality food! Where, you ask? Why, have you read Part One? If not, check it out here.