Keys to the city: The 23 coolest places in Charlottesville right now

Photo: John Robinson
Photo: John Robinson

While some dining establishments in town are known to have a specific clientele, The Box is known for its eclectic—and sometimes surprising—array of patrons. The small, Asian-inspired restaurant and bar sits at 109 Second St. off the Downtown Mall, and owner Chas Webster said he loves the variety of customers.

On weekdays, the bar is frequented by the Downtown business crowd, and late nights and weekends bring music lovers of all ages and backgrounds. Pop in after work on a Tuesday for a rice noodle salad and mint julep, or brave the Saturday night crowd for a DJ or live band.
109 Second St. SE, 970-2699

Photo: John Robinson
Photo: John Robinson

It’s no coincidence that the extra-tall bar at Zinc is horseshoe-shaped. In fact, you’ll be feeling pretty lucky to grab a seat at one of the few spots in town not overrun with drunkards or skeezes. Sip on a glass of red for $4 on Thursday evenings or give Jason (the tall, bearded guy behind the bar) a few clues about what you like and let him work his magic. Word to the wise: Those filament bulbs hanging over the bar keep the front room warm, so bring a date and don’t wear a sweater. Things’ll be steamy enough.
420 W. Main St., 245-9462

We asked you to tell us what you think are the coolest places in Charlottesville right now. Here’s what you said (in order of most votes):

Daedalus Bookshop
Live Arts
Carter Mountain
Blue Moon Diner
The Jefferson Theater
Random Row Books
Market Street Wineshop
Riverview Park
The Bridge/Progressive Arts Initiative
Sugar Hollow
Monticello Trail
Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar

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