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“Best ribs we ever ate!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mel's Cafe

Mel's Cafe
719 W Main St, Charlottesville, VA 22903-4570
434-971-8819
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Price range: $0 - $8
Dining options: Breakfast
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast
NYC, NY
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Best ribs we ever ate!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2010

The place isn't fancy, but if you're up to hangin' with the locals, those bbq ribs are seriously unbelievable. The sides we recommend (and we tried a bunch; they were so affordable!) were the mac and cheese and the cole slaw. We also really liked that lemon pie for dessert! The whole bill for two people (dinner) wasn't more than $20...and we both agreed it was some of the best food we had on our whole vacation! The owners (who seemed to be on a first name basis with everyone in the 'hood!) really charmed us with their sweet, welcoming hospitality as well. This place is authentically southern & "down home." We'll go there whenever we're back in Charlottesville!

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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96 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    63
    25
    4
    1
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
North Chicago, Illinois
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great taste and great Price”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2010

Omigawd, Mel's is definite a place I would recommend to any traveller. I arrange my schedule in my traveling over East just to stop by Mel's Diner. As an author I even had to make room for Mel's Diner in my political fiction on President Barack Obama to be releaesd in late July titled "Going through the changes in the Age of Obama". I mean he has an amazing menu at an economical saving price. I watered down his delicious smothered Chicken with sweet potato pie and chocolate cake that was satisfying to my soul. I had a six hour overlay from Chicago to Greenboro North Carolina transfer trains on Amtrak. After stopping by Mel, my trips have never been the same since my first indulgence their. It made my overlay smoother and left my palate well satisfied. He definitely gives Soulfood Restaurants' in Chicago a run for their money.

Tyrone - Chicago, IL

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlottesville
Top Contributor
164 reviews 164 reviews
128 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
“very disappointed”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2010

A number of friends had told me this is a great dive restaurant to go for really good, cheap soul food. The one time I tried it, I got the porkchop sandwich, as one friend had recommended. It was terrible. It had a really foul smell coming off of it, which I later learned probably meant they had cooked chitlins on the same grill at around the same time. The sandwich smelled up my apartment. I had to open the windows. I suspect that had they not just made chitlins, it might have been pretty good. But that one experience was enough to make me never go back. So I'll never know.

    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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charlottesville, virginia
1 review
“very good food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2010

i went to mels on saturday january 16 2010. the food was amazing, i received the 3 piece fried chicken, mac and cheese, and greens. the sweet tea was quite good and those that worked there were quite nice. one review mentioned that they didnt even eat the food they were just turned off by the location of the bathroom. hahah..umm then dont pee there. it is in an alley way and they do give you a key on a logging chain to unlock the deadbolt, but if you dont like alleys and out of the way bathrooms then go somewhere else to pee. at least they have one. the food is cheap the guys are nice and my cheese cake with strawberry topping tasted real. the topping tasted like actual strawberries instead of that gelatinous red goo that can be found in many small diners. i ate with 2 friends who got what i did and we all loved it. all 3 dinners and my cheesecake were 27dollars.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Virginia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“When one review said it was a dive...... TAKE NOTE......”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2009

I reviewed the rave reviews on the food so I had someone meet me there for lunch. Evidently I didn't read enough reviews and missed the one where they said this place was a dive! Well how horified I was upon arrival. Worst of all, the people I was meeting had already gone inside.......We did not stay so to be fair to this restaurant, I can not comment of the food. The bathroom is located outside and around the corner in an alley and they give you a key to unlock the door!!!!!!

    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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