Welcome to Charlottesville!
We both called Charlottesville home while attending the University of Virginia, and we are incredibly excited to welcome you this fall for our wedding. To help you make the most of your stay, we've recommended some of our favorite places in the city.
The Bride: Brazo’s Tacos may be off the beaten path of the Downtown Mall, but it’s well worth the walk (or drive). Situated in IX Art Park, which describes itself as a "walk-through, sculptural, mural-festooned Mecca that's free and open for the public to wander, night and day,” Brazo’s Tacos slings great tacos all day long. My favorite for breakfast is the Migas and Bacon, while the Austin Morning (with brisket, pickled onions, and eggs) comes in a close second.
The Groom: The most famous breakfast option in town is definitely Bodo’s Bagels. There are several locations in the area, but if you make the trip over to U.Va.’s Grounds, be sure to stop at their location on The Corner.
The Bride: You'd never know you're about to uncover one of Charlottesville's greatest BBQ restaurants as you drive through the largely residential area surrounding Ace Biscuit & Barbecue. Make sure to get a bowl with pulled pork and the gooiest mac and cheese in town. The fried green tomatoes are always a hit, too.
The Groom: Peter Chang China Grill in the Barracks Road Shopping Center is probably the most critically acclaimed restaurant located in a strip mall in America. Peter Chang was once the chef at the Chinese Embassy, and even a picky eater like me can't help but love the food here. Be sure to ask for the dry-fried green beans and the Szechuan double-cooked chicken.
The Bride: Although The Whiskey Jar on the Downtown Mall is aptly named – as it specializes in whiskey, bourbon, and whiskey-based cocktails – they have a drink menu even those less than in love with Southern spirits will appreciate. I highly recommend getting a Rye Whiskey Sour.
The Groom: I suppose I should say The Virginian, where Kate and I both chose to celebrate our 21st birthdays. But it’s a little too crowded and the floor is a little too sticky for guests in wedding attire. If the weather is nice, I suggest Skybar, a rooftop bar on the downtown mall above the Commonwealth Restaurant.
The Bride: Although I spent a lot of time in some beautiful libraries while at U.Va. (everyone says the MacGregor Room of Alderman Library looks like it’s from Harry Potter, although I don’t necessarily see it), I would have to say that my favorite spot at U.Va. is Leander McCormick Observatory on Observatory Hill. The Observatory’s telescope was the largest telescope in the United States (and the second largest in the world) in its day; the McCormick Observatory was the first astronomical observatory in the United States. Although there isn’t a public viewing night at U.Va. the weekend of our wedding, you can check out Fan Mountain Observatory on October 13th. Reserve tickets in advance with details here.
The Groom: Anywhere that is not a library.
The Bride: On Saturday morning, take in one of Charlottesville’s favorite traditions, the weekly farmer’s market downtown. Stop by Timberlake’s Drug Store and Soda Fountain for a chocolate shake before strolling the Grounds of the University and catching lunch on the Corner. We have arranged for our guests to be able to take a guided historical tour of U.Va.’s Lawn and Range late Saturday morning – I highly recommend it!
The Groom: If you’re not in a hurry on your way into town, I highly recommend making a trip down Skyline Drive or the Blue Ridge Parkway. If you have a lot of extra time, Shenandoah National Park is famous for its hiking trails. Closer to town, there’s Carter Mountain Apple Orchard, which also has spectacular views and decent cider.