Charlottesville: Let’s Do Lunch

Ask anyone with a job of any sort, and they’ll probably tell you that their favorite part of the day is their lunch break. Who doesn’t love lunchtime? It’s at least a half hour to an hour (or so) for you to take a mental break from the office and enjoy a meal, either by yourself or with your favorite co-workers.

When lunchtime rolls around in Charlottesville, here are my favorite places to go:

 is my top lunchtime spot. Modeled after an old-fashioned country store, they offer the best salad bar in town – over 100 fresh, locally-grown ingredients! – as well as an assortment of sandwiches and salads made fresh daily. There’s also a cooler of fruit and veggies to grab from, a big variety of candy sold by the pound and amazing fresh-baked cookies. There are a couple of rocking chairs by a wood stove, if you want to dine in, but most take their lunch and head outside.

The best part about picking up lunch here? The staff recognizes all the “regulars” and is always welcoming. And if you’re in need of an afternoon pick-me-up, they have an excellent coffee bar!

Blue Ridge Country Store

Blue Ridge Country Store {Image }

2. Craving Mexican food? Head to Charlottesville’s favorite locally-owned Mexican restaurant, Guadalajara. There are five locations around town, offering a quick stop convenient to wherever you are. The wait staff at each location is fast and friendly, making it a viable sit-down option when on limited time. They also have a great lunch menu and usually offer a lunchtime special, as well.

3. If you’re dining with guys, the  cart is the perfect destination. Technically a catering company, they operate a mobile food cart on the Downtown Mall, April through November on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. You can’t go wrong with anything on menu – just ask my co-workers who flock to their cart at least once a week! Often, they team up with another local food cart, The Pie Guy, which serves up Australian handheld pastry pies with meat and/or vegetable filling. Between the two carts, there’s something for everyone – and at a great price!

Smoked BBQ Co.

Smoked BBQ Co. {Image }

4. Littlejohn’s New York Delicatessen is the go-to sandwich location for the University of Virginia and anyone who happens to be in the area. It’s a “New York deli with a southern tradition” that makes all of their own products, from their bread to their dressing. It’s open 24 hours a day, so if you don’t make it in for lunch, it’s always open for dinner – or a really late night snack. Plus, even in the midst of a lunch boom, it’s still a quick lunch stop!

5. Got some time for a sit-down lunch? Citizen’s Burger Bar is my top destination. Everything on the menu is local – even the beef, which comes from a farm just up the road – and there are even options for vegetarians and vegans. A little tip? If you’re watching your wallet, go with one of their specialty burgers. As tempting as it is to build your own burger, it can get a little pricy. Another tip? Skip the fries and try a side salad – their house balsamic is delish!

A mouth-watering Citizen Burger Bar burger {Image via}

A mouth-watering Citizen Burger Bar burger {Image }

My biggest lunchtime recommendation, though? Take your lunch break! I’ve been guilty of working through lunch too, but I’ve learned to step away from the to-do list and enjoy a few minutes in the middle of the day to relax. It makes the rest of the day much more enjoyable.



BBQBurgersCharlottesvillelunchlunch breakMexican foodrestaurantVirginia
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