The non-admission topic of the weekend is food. What are your favorites? What are you wondering about food in the dining hall? What do you want to know about food in Charlottesville?
Background: I was born and raised just outside of New York City, so I'm pretty particular about food. I was also raised by a woman obsessed with a cooking show on PBS that was hosted by the most unusual woman (it was Julia Child, before she was famous).
I love food. I couldn't care less about the decor if the food is "authentic". That being said, here are some of my picks.
Breakfast (my favorite meal of the day)
That students seem to love The Tavern, the place with "Where students, locals, and tourists meet" painted in huge letters on their slanted roof. Personally, I find it a tad too greasy (greasy is good, but too greasy isn't always good) and chaotic.
Bodo's Bagels is a local chain (three locations, one on The Corner) that makes the closest thing to a real bagel in town. It's not an authentic bagel shop, but they have white fish and lox, which earns them major points. The Corner location seems to be staffed primarily by students, which probably makes it a fun place to work (for those of you who'll be looking for a job in the area). The Corner location was a running joke because there was a sign in the window that said "Coming Soon" for six years.
I have three favorites for breakfast: Blue Moon Diner, Cafe Cubano, and Tip Top Restaurant.
Blue Moon Diner (that link is for their MySpace page) has been a Charlottesville institution since 1979 and it just reopened in January after a few years of only offering catering. The staff is known to be hip and spunky. I wouldn't be surprised to walk into a local music venue to see one of the waitresses on stage. They're open all day and into the night, but I think breakfast is the best meal they serve.
Cafe Cubano serves great breakfast with a southwestern twist. It's located on the Downtown Mall, so the crowd ranges from students to professionals. Cubano used to be called Higher Grounds and the coffee there is still Higher Grounds coffee (some of the best around).
Tip Top Restaurant is the closest thing to a Jersey diner that you'll find in Cville. The waitresses call you "honey" and don't ask before they refill your coffee. They also don't blink when you order breakfast and add on a big Belgian waffle. Tip Top is on Pantops Mountain on the east side of town.
Another good "diner" option is Espresso Italian Villa, right between the Cavalier Inn (Best Western) and the basketball arena. They offer breakfast all day (and into the night) and I doubt the prices have changed on their menu in years (it's unusually cheap).
Of course, we have IHOP and Waffle House, for those of you who are looking for the chain breakfast places.
Pizza, sandwiches Thai, dessert, and others will be posted in the comments section!