Experience Memorable Meals: Your All-Inclusive Guide to the Best Family Restaurants in Charlottesville, VA

Charlottesville, Virginia, a ‘foodtopia’, is filled with diverse culinary experiences, setting it apart from numerous historical cities of the South. In this guide, we’ll take a stroll through the best family restaurants in Charlottesville; from historic taverns to pizza paradises and delightful Thai restaurants, there’s a spot for every food lover.

Michie Tavern: An Adventurous Journey through Culinary History

Michie Tavern is not just a restaurant; it’s a time capsule back to 18th-century Virginia. The signature Southern-style cuisine, combined with the charm of old-world architecture and staff dressed in period attire, makes this venue a wonderful family outing.

What’s Cooking:

The restaurant is famed for dishes like Southern Fried Chicken, Hickory Smoked Barb-B-Q, and homemade cobblers, all served in a historic ambiance. Other delicious offerings include:

  • Martha Washington’s Spinach: A delightful creamed spinach recipe passed down through generations.
  • Southern Cornbread: A classic Southern staple and an absolute must-try.
  • Colonial Peppered Ham: Flavorful and tender, this dish is a timeless favorite.

Dining Experience:

Beyond the food, there’s even more to glean from this historic location:

  • The General Store: This antique-filled shop offers a unique shopping experience post-meal. From vintage candies, toys and books to homeware, you can take a piece of history home!
  • The Mill Room: Visit the mill room to learn about traditional milling methods. Touch and feel antique equipment while you dine!
  • The Historic Tour: After the meal, sign up for a tour of the tavern’s historic buildings, offering an insight into Virginia’s colonial history.

Extreme Pizza: Futuristic Pies for Modern Times

Extreme Pizza is all about experimenting with food and pushing the boundaries of flavor and fun. It offers a wide variety of pizzas, ensuring that there’s something for every family member.

Menu Highlights:

This pizzeria’s innovative menu will stir your taste buds. Look beyond traditional pizza to flavors like:

  • The Everest: Loaded with Italian sausage, pepperoni, salami, black olives, fresh tomatoes, and green onions.
  • Pandora’s Box: A revolutionary pie topped with spinach, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, and fresh garlic.
  • Gluten-Free Offerings: A wide selection of gluten-free pizzas, ensuring that everyone can enjoy a slice.

Additional Lures:

  • Fun Factor: The ‘build your own pizza’ feature lets your kids engage in culinary creativity, ensuring the experience is both fun and filling.
  • Joyful Ambiance: The vibrant interior, coupled with a casual and joyful vibe, adds to the family-friendly atmosphere.

Shebeen Pub & Braai: Where Global Flavors Intersect

The Shebeen Pub & Braai offers a lively fusion of Irish pub comfort and vibrant South African flavors. Located in historic Vinegar Hill, it’s a uniquely international dining adventure.

What to Relish:

Experience an eclectic mix of flavors:

  • Peri-Peri Chicken: A flavorful dish of chicken marinated in spicy peri-peri sauce, a crowd favorite for an adventurous palate.
  • Sosaties: Skewers of lamb flavored with a sweet and spicy marinade, a South African delicacy.
  • Melktert: For dessert, try this traditional South African custard tart, a sweet end to your flavorful journey.

Dining Delights:

  • Kids Menu: A tailored Kids Menu ensures your little ones are taken care of.
  • Festive Decor: Ethnic decorations and a warm, vibrant color scheme lend a cozy atmosphere to enjoy your family meal.

Chimm Thai: Epicurean Expedition to Thailand

Chimm Thai offers an authentic Thai dining experience in the heart of Charlottesville. Each dish is meticulously prepared using fresh, local ingredients.

Culinary Compass:

Navigate your taste buds through a menu of Thai classics:

  • Tom Yum Soup: Start your culinary journey with Thailand’s popular spicy and sour soup.
  • Phad Thai: A must-try dish, this stir-fried noodle speciality is a true Thai delight.
  • Sticky Rice with Mango: The perfect end to a Thai meal, this sweet treat leaves you wanting more.

Eater’s Experience:

  • Casual Elegance: The chic, relaxed atmosphere makes the venue perfect for dining with the family.
  • Delectable Desserts: The dessert menu boasts a variety of authentic Thai sweets, a rare find in Charlottesville.

Chaps Ice Cream: Dessert Destination

Treat your family to an unforgettable dessert experience at Chaps Ice Cream. This old-school ice cream parlor offers a range of delicious flavors in a nostalgic atmosphere.

Frozen Favorites:

Enjoy a variety of ice cream from traditional to innovative:

  • Giffords Ice Cream: Chaps’ special ingredient offers a unique, creamy taste not found anywhere else.
  • Inventive Flavors: Enjoy unique flavors such as White Mound or Cappuccino Crunch.
  • Conventional Classics: Strawberry, Vanilla, and Chocolate are always there for those who adore the classics!

Delightful Experience:

  • Old-fashioned Goodness: Treat your family to a bonus history lesson with the retro ’50s-era soda shop decor.
  • Sweet Surprises: Pair your ice cream with an old-fashioned soda, or enjoy a delicious slice of cake for an extra treat.

Land at the Finishing Line Of This Culinary Voyage

From Michie Tavern serving Colonial classics, Extreme Pizza offering a global culinary trip, to Chimm Thai effortlessly merging Thai flavors with local ingredients, Charlottesville offers a myriad of family-friendly dining options. Experience diverse cultures, flavors, and historical backgrounds woven into a grand tapestry of tasteful treasures.

With the help of this comprehensive guide to the best family restaurants in Charlottesville, you’ll be sure to taste the town as locals do. Are you ready to embark on a delightful family culinary journey through one of Virginia’s foodtopias? Your table is waiting!

Lauren Critzer

I was born in Charlottesville, Virginia and after college, I moved to San Francisco to explore new opportunities and broaden my horizons. I fell in love with the city's vibrant culture and unique atmosphere, but eventually, I moved again, this time to Austin, Texas.

As much as I loved living in different parts of the country, having a baby boy brought me back to my hometown in Charlottesville, where I now live with my husband, our little one, and two furry friends. I enjoy going to wineries, taking my pups everywhere, and spending quality time with my family.

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