It can be hard to enjoy a quality lunch during the hectic work week, and bringing food from home can become repetitive. So get out of the office for a while and liven up your lunch break with some of Charlottesville’s best sandwich shops, taco joints, and midday eats.
A soup, salad, or sandwich combo from this quirky cafe can brighten any lunch break. The large and frequently changing menu is devoted to eco-friendly ingredients sourced from local Virginia farms. Favorites include a classic Senegalese peanut tofu soup; lamb curry with rice and Greek yogurt; and the chicken tortilla soup.
And, if you happen to be a literary guru, take advantage of the 10% discount offered to anyone who can recite poetry from the restaurant’s chosen poet of the month. Test your knowledge and enjoy!
Nothing says “lunch” like a sandwich, but at Ivy Provisions don’t just expect a PB&J. Their hearty sandwiches are filled with some of the best local meats, cheeses, and flavorful toppings. The crowd favorite, “The Gobbfather,” brings together roasted turkey, pepper jack cheese, spicy mayo, homemade pickles, and arugula on sourdough bread. And, don’t forget to try the vegetarian options, salads, yogurt, granola, and specialty foods available for purchase in the store.
Texas-style tacos in the heart of Virginia. Brazos combines Mexican and American tacos with unheard of ingredients such as mashed potatoes, crisped yams, and pickled watermelon, and they serve their breakfast tacos all day long.
Favorites include: “El-Guapo” (black beans, eggs, bacon, avocado and jack cheese), “This-is-my-Yam” (yam, black beans, avocado, queso fresco, roasted pumpkin seeds), and “Fish-Aficionado” (grilled tilapia, red cabbage slaw, fresh radish and lime). Add a side of chips and fresh guacamole and the lively Brazos environment will provide the perfect break to your day.
Myriam Hernandez’s vision for Al Carbón was to recreate childhood memories of her grandmother’s traditional Mexican dishes. The heart of the restaurant lies in their rotisserie chickens, marinated for 24 hours in a secret mix of spices and roasted in a Peruvian charcoal oven.
For lunch, try the “cemitas,” sandwiches served on sesame seed bread with avocado, adobo chipotle peppers, fresh Oaxacan cheese, red onions and your choice of meat filling. Traditional Mexican sides such as elote con mayonesa, fried plantains, sweet potatoes, roasted cactus, or frijoles charros perfectly complement the main dishes.
“Food does not have to be complicated to be good,” claims chef and owner Michael McCarthy. This is the inspiration for the pizzas at Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie, made with hand-tossed, homemade dough and topped with locally sourced ingredients. Build your own pie or try specialty combinations like the “Bellissima,” classic crispy crust topped with local country ham, fresh arugula, and dressed in a zesty lemon vinaigrette.
It is no coincidence this local favorite was named the best pizza place in Charlottesville by C-VILLE Weekly magazine!
Photos: Edu Bayer