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Hamiltons' at First & Main

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101 W Main St, Charlottesville, VA 22902-5031
434-295-6649
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Dining options: Late Night, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff
Good for: Romantic, Bar scene
Description: Located in the heart of Charlottesville's Downtown district, Hamiltons' is...
Located in the heart of Charlottesville's Downtown district, Hamiltons' is the perfect spot for a delicious afternoon lunch or a romantic evening dinner. A cheerful, cozy atmosphere and attentive service ensure our guests enjoy an outstanding dining experience, be they Charlottesville natives, out-of-town visitors, or University students and staff. We also feature outdoor patio seating seasonally, providing our guests the opportunity to dine amidst the bustle of the Downtown Mall. Our Staff Kate and Bill Hamilton opened the restaurant's doors in February 1996. Today, talented Chef de Cuisine Curtis Shaver brings a distinctive flare to the exciting, contemporary American cuisine for which Hamiltons' is known. In addition to overseeing Hamiltons' award winning wine list, General Manager and Partner Daniel Page directs a staff renowned for its congeniality and professionalism. Music at Hamiltons' Every Saturday and Wednesday night from about 7-10 p.m, Hamiltons' hosts the live jazz stylings of guitarist Peter Richardson. Peter's album with clarinetist Dave Kannensohn titled "Saturday Nights at Hamiltons'" features American and Latin jazz favorites.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 360 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 216
    Excellent
  • 100
    Very good
  • 29
    Average
  • 13
    Poor
  • 2
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 stars
    Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4.5 of 5 stars
Top Notch

Went for lunch, no reservation, just dropped in and got a nice table for two in an attractive popular restaurant. Interesting menu, good seafood and meat items and nice vegetarian dishes. We had grilled Carolina shrimp marinated in Chardonnay served over grits w/sun dried tomato sauce; waiter... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed yesterday
Suze L
,
Charlottesville, Virginia
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360 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
Charlottesville, Virginia
Level Contributor
70 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

Went for lunch, no reservation, just dropped in and got a nice table for two in an attractive popular restaurant. Interesting menu, good seafood and meat items and nice vegetarian dishes. We had grilled Carolina shrimp marinated in Chardonnay served over grits w/sun dried tomato sauce; waiter assured us that the shrimp was indeed from Carolina (not Thai/imported). Beautifully prepared,... More 

Helpful?
Thank Suze L
Charlottesville, Virginia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Many people in Charlottesville will argue that this is, indeed, Charlottesville's best restaurant. We've been twice. The service is always good--and not "in your face," as happens in so many places. The food is delicious. The prices are reasonable for an upscale dining experience, though I found a glass of wine to be too expensive. It's on the downtown mall,... More 

Helpful?
Thank Horn-Coral-Hunter
Crozet, Virginia
Level Contributor
79 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Had dinner there this past Saturday. Chicken dinner was exceptional and the steak dinner was out of this world. We have eaten there many times and we continue to go back as often as possible. Service is very good and friendly. Peter was there playing solo guitar.

Helpful?
Thank FAC86
Charlottesville, Virginia
Level Contributor
42 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Hadn't been to brunch here, just had a number of very well-prepared lunches. Went to brunch last Sunday, and was mildly disappointed, as was my brunch companion. The smoked salmon eggs benedict were unpleasantly salty, and my companion was surprised the salmon was hot-smoked and not the wafer thin smoked salmon one finds on bagels with cream cheese; the latter... More 

Helpful?
Thank malagamom
WASHINGTON
Level Contributor
54 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I go to Hamilton's when I want to treat myself to a more upscale meal in a more refined space. The service is always attentive and knowledgeable (though I'm usually solo and eat at the bar). Started with the calamari appetizer which was very tasty ($12). Served on a bed of arugula, the calamari is plentiful and mixed with a... More 

Helpful?
Thank hynesdd
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2016

Hamilton's is a reliable high-end evening out in C'ville. The service is always attentive without being cloying, the booths are cozy, the outdoor seating lovely on a spring or summer evening, and the food ranges from more than adequate to excellent. The vegetarians will appreciate the usually lively "Blue Plate Special" while others of us slurp up shrimp and grits,... More 

Helpful?
Thank hikingadventure
charlottesville, VA
Level Contributor
49 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2015

Hamilton's deserves its reputation. Tried the oyster stew appetizer and had the best one I've had in my life and I've had hundreds all over the world. The broth was amazing, the oysters fresh sweet and plump, and the small piece of pork belly perfect. Also had a fillet of beef which came a perfect medium rare. Our waitress was... More 

Helpful?
Thank halcho
Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2015

I go to Hamilton's several times a month. Terrific food and very competent service, especially the bartenders, Daniel (think he's also manager), Greg, and Emily (think I have her name right). Bar is a nice place to hang out a bit and get a bit of work done (You can usually pick up the free Downtown Mall internet.)

Helpful?
Thank Dan H
Level Contributor
28 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2015

We had a reservation and were seated quickly and then the waiting began......it was a good 10 minutes before anyone came to our tablet to do anything. Our server was obviously juggling way too many tables. Space is tight between tables and they had live music which made for a very noisy evening. Once we ordered, the food did come... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Dot M
Charlottesville, Virginia
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2015

For years Hamiltons' at First & Main has been one of my go-to restaurants for lunch. While the portions were never enormous, they were enough. The menu choices were varied, and the food was delicious, including the bread from Albemarle Bakery that was brought warm to the table wrapped in a snowy white napkin. That was not my experience when... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank Catriona E

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 101 W Main St, Charlottesville, VA 22902-5031
  • Location: United States  >  Virginia (VA)  >  Charlottesville
  • Phone Number: 434-295-6649

Price and Cuisine

  • Average Prices: USD 5 - 33
  • Cuisine: American

Restaurant Characteristics

  • Good for: Romantic, Bar scene

Description

Located in the heart of Charlottesville's Downtown district, Hamiltons' is the perfect spot for a delicious afternoon lunch or a romantic evening dinner. A cheerful, cozy atmosphere and attentive service ensure our guests enjoy an outstanding dining experience, be they Charlottesville natives, out-of-town visitors, or University students and staff. We also feature outdoor patio seating seasonally, providing our guests the opportunity to dine amidst the bustle of the Downtown Mall. Our Staff Kate and Bill Hamilton opened the restaurant's doors in February 1996. Today, talented Chef de Cuisine Curtis Shaver brings a distinctive flare to the exciting, contemporary American cuisine for which Hamiltons' is known. In addition to overseeing Hamiltons' award winning wine list, General Manager and Partner Daniel Page directs a staff renowned for its congeniality and professionalism. Music at Hamiltons' Every Saturday and Wednesday night from about 7-10 p.m, Hamiltons' hosts the live jazz stylings of guitarist Peter Richardson. Peter's album with clarinetist Dave Kannensohn titled "Saturday Nights at Hamiltons'" features American and Latin jazz favorites.

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Hamiltons' at First & Main and other visitors
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Questions? Get answers from Hamiltons' at First & Main staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?