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Lunch with kids after morning in Monticello?

WashingtonDC
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Lunch with kids after morning in Monticello?

We are spending 1 day and 1 night in C'ville with friends (2 moms and 4 kids ages 9 - 12). The plan is to go to Monticello for a few hours in the morning. Is that enough time?

I've noticed that Kemper Park is mentioned in the forum. Is that a good place to stop by on the way back to Charlottesville?

Are there any suggestions for a lunch on the drive back to the campus area? Or should we try to pack a picnic lunch and eat at Kemper Park?

Thanks!

Ashburn, Virginia
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1. Re: Lunch with kids after morning in Monticello?

I learned the hard way that if you are headed to Monticello you would be well served to reserve your tickets online ahead of time to make sure you get the time you want! I would suggest you'd want at least 4 hours. Maybe a bit more.

I don't have any lunch recommendations for you... sorry. I'm sure others can help there.

Virginia Beach...
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for Suffolk
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2. Re: Lunch with kids after morning in Monticello?

I am not familiar with good lunch spots in Charlottesville (check reviews if no one posts suggestions) but if the weather is nice everyone might enjoy a picnic style lunch at Kemper Park. Near the pond might be a nice spot. Here is a link to Kemper Park for additional information........

www.monticello.org/site/visit/kemper-park

Hope this helps

Charlottesville...
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3. Re: Lunch with kids after morning in Monticello?

Go to the downtown mall and eat at "The Nook". Very close to parking. There's something on the menu for everyone!

Edited: 10:08 pm, April 02, 2013
Ruckersville...
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4. Re: Lunch with kids after morning in Monticello?

Try the Michie Tavern. Fried Chicken, BBQ served with great vegatabes.. Also take the tour. Its just down the road from Monticello.

WashingtonDC
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5. Re: Lunch with kids after morning in Monticello?

Thanks for the tips, everyone! I will go buy the tickets online now.

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6. Re: Lunch with kids after morning in Monticello?

Four hours at Monticello would be more time than you'd need, especially with kids...they'd get antsy after a while (we were just there a few weeks ago with some foreign exchange students, high schoolers, and they were ready to split in less than 3 hours).

Don't eat at Michie Tavern...it's an over-priced tourist trap. I did it once after I moved here 12 years ago and while the food was decent, lunch cost what dinner would cost at a nice restaurant.

There isn't really anywhere to eat right near Monticello, although they do have a cafe and you can sit outside. If you head to the downtown mall area, you might want to try Guadalajara, a great, fast and cheap Mexican restaurant on the corner of Market Street and 9th/Avon. We locals call it "The Guad" and I take out-of-town guests there regularly. The Nook is good; it's an old-fashioned diner but nothing to write home about.

If you want to eat on the downtown mall and like great sandwiches, Baggy's, on the east end of the mall, makes killer, and big, sandwiches. Their club is my favorite.

If you all like bagels, then I would suggest going to one of Cville's most favorite and famous institutions, Bodo's Bagels. They make a classic NY-styled bagel, and they're the best this New Yorker has had outside of NY. Their bagel sandwiches are the bomb! They have a location on Preston Avenue, which is actually Market Street (the name changes after you cross McIntire Rd).

btw, when you're down at Monticello, you won't be too far from Spudnuts, the famous donut shop. They sell out quickly, so go before you go to Monticello. They're just south of the downtown mall, on Avon Street extended, right over the bridge. You won't be able to eat just one!

Charlottesville...
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7. Re: Lunch with kids after morning in Monticello?

Wow...interesting post above. I agree with some content - Four hours is more than most kids can "historically" withstand. Michie Tavern, probably not the best idea for little kids and it is pricy for lunch, though not nearly what a "nice dinner" would cost. From your screen name, it appears that you are from DC. Do not go to Guadalajara. It bears no resemblance to authentic Mexican. (It's decent food for us locals, but there are far better places for visitors.) Bagby's on the downtown mall is very good and the owners are really nice folks. The Nook has something for everyone. Bodo's is very good, but be prepared to wait in line (though fast moving) between 12 and 1:00. Spudnuts is a treat - potato donuts!!! Google "The Nook Charlottesville" and "Bodo's Bagels Charlottesville". There are really good restaurants on the downtown mall but with kids I think we've stated the high points. Oh...also, be sure to stop by "Splendora's" (gelato) or "Sweet Frog's" (frozen yogurt) after lunch. Kids love Sweet Frogs because there are multiple choices if frozen yogurt - self serve and copious choices of toppings. You pay by the weight... ;-)

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8. Re: Lunch with kids after morning in Monticello?

I don't know too many 9- and 12-year-olds who can tell whether a certain Mexican restaurant is authentic. ;-) But it's good, cheap, and fun. Their freshly made tortilla chips are addicting!

I'm not sure why The Nook is as popular as it is. I've eaten there several times and never walk away from there thinking, "Wow, that was awesome," like I do with Baggby's or Bodo's. It's fine, just not what I'd call a destination restaurant.

To the OP....if you don't care about whether you go to lunch at a Cville institution, my kids and their friends LOVE the Hibachi Grill buffet on Rte. 29 north, just north of the main post office. They have a grill where you pick the raw food and they cook it in front of you, plus sushi, salads, and your typical Americanized Chinese food along with American staples like pizza and chicken. Lots of fruit and desserts as well. I always get something done on the grill because I know it's fresh, but the rest of my family chooses from the buffet and they're always happy. It's family-friendly, nicer than many buffets but still mostly your typical buffet.

WashingtonDC
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9. Re: Lunch with kids after morning in Monticello?

Yes! Sweet Frog, Baggby's and Bodo's sound right up our alley. If not Saturday, those sound good for Sunday lunch. Thanks!

Charlottesville...
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10. Re: Lunch with kids after morning in Monticello?

Just one more thought...you don't say when you're visiting. It's the "Dogwood Festival" here right now and there are lots (well...some) events going on that may impede your plans - for example, on April 20th, there is a parade downtown.