One of the charms of Charlottesville dining is that the most uninviting exterior can conceal some of our town’s most delicious treasures. Like the carpenter’s chalice in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The Tavern is one such diamond in the rough.
The interior is what you might expect from a college town greasy spoon. Old UVA sports posters and pictures adorn the wood-plank walls, ancient seasonal decorations hang from the rafters, a few booths have 50′s-style jukeboxes above the table, UVA’s colors — blue and orange — are everywhere, and a massive mounted moose head presides over everything, often with holiday lights threading his antlers.
Though I get in heated debates at bars and parties over whether the absurdly decadent pancakes at The Tavern are the best around — for me there’s no competition, especially when it comes to the seasonal pumpkin or gingerbread pancakes and the year-round lemon poppyseed – most of us agree that it’s one of the best breakfast or brunch places in town.
Staples such as omelettes, sausage gravy over biscuits, bacon and sausage patties, are almost always perfectly executed, and the speed with which they arrive at your table suggests that the cooks knew you were coming and what you would order before you did. The service is generally excellent, though of course it depends on who you get. Our favorite waitress in town works here. Her name is Shernita and you can see her in the photos below.
Bottom line: It’s not the place to go for eggs benedict, but for classic diner breakfast in a quaint atmosphere it’s tough to beat. You can also get lunch but why would you?
Erin says: “Insider tip is to order the hash brows extra crispy.”
Rating: Erin: Jed:
Pros: Great greasy spoon food, free refills, fast and friendly service, lots of parking, good for families, no smoking.
Cons: Very crowded during the school year, with a line out the door on weekends, has had health code violations in the past.
Price: A big meal for two will be less than $20.
Parking: Tons of free parking.