By Sashank Sankar
With a new school year comes a new group of university students eager to explore Charlottesville. For most of them, their first stop is the Corner, an area of shops, restaurants, bars, and coffee spots on the edge of UVA’s Central Grounds.
The Corner has long been a popular hangout for students and faculty alike, given its location and its wide variety of food. It’s the place to enjoy an afternoon of leisure between classes, a relaxing lunch break, or a night out. Some of the Corner’s more popular spots serve Charlottesville food staples: the locally owned (and nationally beloved) Bodo’s Bagels, Trinity Irish Pub, Boylan Heights, Roots Natural Kitchen, and Got Dumplings, to name just a few.
And there are plenty of other eateries on the Corner that will satisfy your appetite. Whether this is your annual reminder or first timer’s primer on what to eat around the university, here’s a list of several sometimes-overlooked gems—places to check out when you’re too hungry to wait in the out-the-door line at Bodo’s.
The Pigeon Hole
11 Elliewood Ave.
This tiny restaurant is a perfect breakfast or brunch spot, and it has all the classics—biscuits (with red-eyed gravy!), huevos rancheros, pancakes, and French toast. And if you’re really running on empty, go for the Sunrise Burrito.
Armando’s Mexican Restaurant
105 14 St. NW
A relative newbie on the Corner, Armando’s provides solid Mexican fare for a good price. It’s also a perfect spot if you (and your wallet) are in the mood for something simple. Pro tip: The enchiladas poblanas are a must.
Take It Away Sandwich Shop
115 Elliewood Ave.
Take It Away is the place to go for a tasty, inexpensive sandwich on bread that’s not a Bodo’s bagel. This small shop has a variety of options for both meat-lovers and vegans, and its house dressing—used as a sandwich spread—is legendary. There’s a hefty offering of classic sandwiches, but you can also build your own, so the world is your oyster (er, sandwich).
104 14 St. NW
Tucked underneath a parking deck, Lemongrass offers Thai and Japanese cuisine that is healthy and fairly affordable. It might not seem like an obvious place to eat, but we’re betting it will become your go-to after you’ve tried a rice bowl, the curry, or a noodle platter. And if you’re looking for something slightly different, you can’t go wrong with the pineapple fried rice.
and Tap House
1427 University Ave.
Located on the second floor above Little John’s, Michael’s Bistro offers American cuisine and plenty of beverage options. If you’re in the mood for something savory and salty, try the Green Goddess Grilled Cheese, made with pesto, avocado, and arugula. And when the weather’s nice, ask to sit on the balcony—the view from there is tough to beat.