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Mel's Cafe

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Mel's Cafe
Directions
719 W Main St, Charlottesville, VA 22903-4570
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719 W Main St, Charlottesville, VA 22903-4570
434-971-8819
Today
10:00 am - 10:00 pm
Open now
See all hours
Hours:
Mon - Thu 10:00 am - 10:00 pm
Fri - Sat 10:00 am - 11:00 pm
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 78 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 54
    Excellent
  • 19
    Very good
  • 2
    Average
  • 1
    Poor
  • 2
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 stars
    Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    3.5 of 5 stars
Most recent review
Followed the Locals

Mel’s Diner in downtown Charlottesville, Va., is a long-standing family-owned business. After reading good reviews of it my husband and I decided to try it on our day trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway via Charlottesville. We were not disappointed. Everything was a la carte so very easy to order. Food... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed December 4, 2014
magnolia65
,
Charleston, South Carolina
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78 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
Charleston, South Carolina
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2014

Mel’s Diner in downtown Charlottesville, Va., is a long-standing family-owned business. After reading good reviews of it my husband and I decided to try it on our day trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway via Charlottesville. We were not disappointed. Everything was a la carte so very easy to order. Food was delicious and quite reasonably priced. I don’t mind... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Charlottesville VA
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
78 restaurant reviews
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2014

I'm a Charlottesville local who heard Mels had the best chicken in Charlottesville, hands down. Time to try it, right? Went there at lunch time just needing a piece of chicken or two. Nope they said, we don't sell chicken by the piece. Huh? But that's all I wanted. No sides, no bread. Just chicken. I wanted just chicken. Fuhgedaboudit!!... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Interlochen
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2014

This is a little hometown diner that is visited by all of the local folks. The food is homemade, and very good. The staff are warm and friendly, it was like going to a friend's house for a great dinner! We will definitely be back!

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Lancaster, PA
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2014

We had just done a quick tour at the University of VA and wanted to find a local place to eat a late lunch. Even at 2 pm on a Saturday there were people ordering burgers and mac-n-cheese to go. I agree with other posters that it's not the fanciest place, but the food was very good and very reasonable... More 

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East Coast
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2014

I read the reviews and gave this place a try. It doesn't look like much from the outside but the food was great. We had the fried chicken, sliced country ham sandwich, onion rings and cole slaw. The prices were very reasonable and the service was quick and very friendly. The fried chicken was cooked perfectly. The inside of this... More 

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Haymarket, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2014 via mobile

Mel's Cafe is a small diner, that looks no better than a truck stop. The toilets are out back and you order at the counter. If you are looking for a nice place to eat this is not it. They serve fried chicken, burgers, Mac n Cheese and such like. They are super hospitable and Mrs Mel is very welcoming.... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Toronto, Canada
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2014

Having read the reviews for Mel's ahead of time, we made plans to stop for lunch on our way to visit Monticello. Mel's did not disappoint. It's a characteristic greasy diner on the main drag, with lots of charm (think vintage appeal) and even better food. I had the cheeseburger combo, my partner - their signature fried chicken, and both... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Northwest, Michigan
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2014

You go here because of all the great recommendations you read on this site. You aren't disappointed. This will be among, if not THE best fried chicken you will have eaten. Crispy yummy outside, moist tender within. YOU choose which pieces you want- three thighs? No problem. Friendly, non-assuming service. Not at all fancy. Atmosphere is what it is. The... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Oskaloosa, Iowa
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2014

Trust the reviews and give this place a try. The food is fantastic-southern cooking like your grandma would make. The owners however make you feel like you are a family member who stopped by for a homecooked meal and a hug. Its inexpensive and tasty- way too much food.Try the sweet potatoe pie.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Columbia, Maryland
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2014

Mel's Cafe is located in a quiet block of West Main St in Charlottesville across from the Amtrak station. "Unpretentious" pretty well describes the exterior and interior of this cafe. Don't let looks fool you; the food is down-home cooking at its finest with a definite soul-food character. We had the fried chicken as the entree and kale greens as... More 

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 719 W Main St, Charlottesville, VA 22903-4570
  • Location: United States  >  Virginia (VA)  >  Charlottesville
  • Phone Number: 434-971-8819

Price and Cuisine

  • Average Prices: USD 0 - 8
Open Hours
Monday
10:00 am - 10:00 pm
Tuesday
10:00 am - 10:00 pm
Wednesday
10:00 am - 10:00 pm
Thursday
10:00 am - 10:00 pm
Friday
10:00 am - 11:00 pm
Saturday
10:00 am - 11:00 pm

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Mel's Cafe 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?