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“Great place but bring cash”
Review of Mel's Cafe

Mel's Cafe
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $8
Cuisines: American, Diner
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Kids, Local cuisine, Families with children
Dining options: Brunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Seating, Takeout, Television, Wheelchair Accessible
Level Contributor
33 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Great place but bring cash”
Reviewed July 18, 2012

We were about to drive to a McDonalds and just happened across this place by accident, thought the sign looked interesting, and parallel parked across the street. Glad I did because the food was great and there was a terrific selection. If you're in the area give Mel's Cafe a shot.

One thing .. cash or check, no cards.

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank redjedi72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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244 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Athens, GA
Level Contributor
97 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Home-cooked goodness for cheap!”
Reviewed June 21, 2012

Just had lunch at Mel's with my son for $18 (inlcudes tip). Yummy Southern goodness. The fried chicken had a delicious crunchy crust (I was warned when I ordered that it would be a 13 minute wait since it is cooked fresh) and was tender and moist. The green bean side was the perfect amount of salty and didn't have that heavy ham flavor that Southern-style green beans often do. The mac-and-cheese was on the dry side, but I liked it that way. Often mac-and-cheese is too creamy for my taste. Could have done without the side roll...basically just a packaged dinner roll with some buttery substance smeared on top.

My son had the burger/fries. The burger looks and tastes like one you put together at home and threw on the grill...in a good way. Very juicy. Fries were good, not exceptional.

The people were super friendly. This is a tiny little shack of a place (looks like an old DQ or something) with only a few tables and kind of a shabby interior. But for the price and the taste, definitely worth it!

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Food
2 Thank towniemel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
queens, ny
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 24, 2012

The fish was good, greens full of vinegar tasty too, mac n cheese the kids liked. They finished off their meal with homemade ice cream. Ordered chicken to go, delish!

Visited May 2012
Thank mochacinnamon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warrenton, Virginia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Soul Food in a College Town”
Reviewed March 1, 2012

It is located in downtown Cville, near the Amtrak station. Little snack bar on the side of Main Street. I had the fried chicken, mac & cheese, collard greens, sweet tea, and for dessert pound cake. Well child I thought my moma and them were in the kitchen fixing Sunday dinner. It was off the chain! Chicken was meaty and moist, mac & cheese was fluffy and flavorful, and the greens - WOW! The owners/staff were pleasant and from the looks of the continuous traffic, someone can definitely cook! Most visit while in the Ville.

Thank Lisa J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2012

On the way home from a trip to Wintergreen we googled places to eat in Charlottesville and were intrigued by Mel's, especially since we like small, quirky little places! Man did we hit the deliciousness jackpot!!! Let's start with the burgers..... AMAZING!! A freshly formed patty cooked when you order on an incredibly soft bun....just divine. Delicious fries, onion rings, macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes!! No one wanted to stop eating! But the star of the meal was the fried chicken. They fry it when you order, so you have to wait a few minutes, but it only takes one bite to know it was worth the wait. Crunchy delicious batter on the outside and incredibly moist and tasty on the inside. Possibly the best fried chicken ever(apologies to my grandmother). We're still raving about the food a week later and considering driving four hours just to eat there again!! They treat you like family when you walk in, the owner introduced us to everyone in the building! Yeah it's small, yeah you have to go outside and to the back of the building to use the bathroom...WHO CARES!!! I would walk on my lips through busted glass to eat here!!!! Oh, and congrats on the new grand baby!!!!!

  • Visited December 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank dovars6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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