Is there really any comfort food like a burger and fries? This all-American meal is always a safe thing to order because, let's be honest, there is no such thing as a bad burger. In fact, few things make me happier than a nice juicy burger, oozing with cheese, and other yummy toppings. The best part of all is that the Charlottesville area is full of restaurants that know how to make a burger that will be sure to leave you speechless, up until you enjoy the very last bite. Here are some of my favorite places to grab a burger in the Charlottesville area!
1.) Citizen Burger Bar
I was so excited when Citizen Burger Bar came to Charlottesville because their meat and eggs come from grass-fed cows and free-range chickens. Everything there tastes so fresh and real. Their brioche buns are to DIE for and let's not even start on the fried pickles (YUM). Their menu gives you the option the create your own burger, but I always go for the original "Citizen Burger." It's made up of Timbercreek beef, McClure Swiss cheese, black onion, garlic aioli, iceberg lettuce, tomato, and it's topped with a delicious fried pickle. It's the perfect place to meet up with friends or watch the game on their row of flatscreen TVs while enjoying a burger and beer! (By the way, that mouth-watering burger at the top of this post also came from this establishment!)
2.) White Spot
Do you ever find yourself wanting a greasy, delicious burger at 2:00 a.m.? Located on the Corner at the University of Virginia, beside Insomnia Cookies, White Spot is Charlottesville's famous late-night diner that serves up burgers until 3:00 a.m. After a night of seeing a show at the Jefferson or bar-hopping on the Corner, White Spot's cheesy Gus Burger with a fried egg on top is just what you need. This burger has had college students from decades ago (including UVA alum Katie Couric) return to enjoy what used to be their favorite late night snack – and in some cases, still is!
3.) Boylan Heights
Boylan Heights is THE place to go in Charlottesville for burger customization. Between the different burgers, breads, sauces, and toppings that you can choose from, you can be sure that you'll find the perfect burger that will hit the spot. But if you don't want to get too crazy and you'd rather stick with a basic cheeseburger, that is to die for, too! The burger patties are soft, juicy and full of flavor and the cheese melts over them giving it perfect texture and taste. With their wide selection of draft beers and their location on the Corner, Boylan Heights' bar is a great place to go to watch a UVA game! Plus, you'll feel like a student when you place your order using a "Scantron" form that must be filled out with a No. 2 pencil!
This is classic Charlottesville. Riverside has been serving up burgers and hot dogs in Charlottesville since 1935! These burgers get flat-pressed on the grill and customers go crazy over them! Wahoo sports stars frequent Riverside, so you might see Mike Tobey or Kurt Benkert enjoying a burger. If you're looking for an inexpensive, tasty, and all-around amazing lunch – this is definitely the place!
5.) The Local
The Local Burger is just what it sounds like – local. This is one of Charlottesville's favorite burgers because The Local (located in the Belmont neighborhood near downtown) uses fresh, organic, and local beef to make their signature burger creation. Not only is the beef local, the Swiss cheese they top it with is as well! They finish the burger with Applewood-smoked bacon, caramelized onions, and a side of their fresh and homemade french fries. What a wonderful and delicious way to support local companies!
6.) Jack Brown 's Beer & Burger Joint
This relatively new restaurant came bursting on to the Charlottesville burger scene a few years ago – and though the dining space may be relatively tiny, the impact this restaurant has made has been enormous! Featuring 100% all-natural Wagyu beef, this isn't your mama's burger. Don't even think about asking for lettuce and tomato! At Jack Brown's Beer & Burger Joint, the burgers are prepared in a simple and basic fashion. For the more adventurous, there's even "The Elvis" burger which features mayo, Applewood-smoked bacon, cheese, and peanut butter – just like "The King" would've wanted! If you need something to wash down all of that beautiful beefy goodness, they offer up more than 100 craft beer selections from which to choose. The hardest part will be figuring out what to order!
7.) Draft Taproom
The recently-opened Draft Taproom now provides yet another fine burger and beer experience for eager eaters in the Charlottesville area! Try the Draft Burger or Bison Burger, both of which feature a bison & beef blend. If you're not in the mood for beef, they also have a wonderful turkey burger, topped with Monterey Jack cheese, guacamole, tomato, arugula, and sage aioli, all on a soft Brioche bun! And with a name like Draft Taproom, you know there's going to be quite a beer selection involved! Draft Taproom has more than 60 beers on tap and patrons are able to make their selection, pour it themselves, and get as little or as much as they want – and pay by the ounce! This burger and beer spot on the historic pedestrian Downtown Mall is not to be missed!
We're lucky in Charlottesville and Albemarle County to have so many delicious burger options to choose from. Whether you're out late, planning to watch the big game, or wanting to eat locally, there is a burger in Charlottesville for everybody's taste buds! These have just been my top seven places to get my burger fix, but trust me, there are a LOT more amazing burgers in this area. What is your favorite place in Charlottesville to grab a burger and fries? Let us know in the comments section! Happy eating!
Written by Tess McGough for Charlottesville and Albemarle County.
Featured image provided by Courtesy of Charlottesville and Albemarle County
Nestled amid the foothills of the magnificent Blue Ridge Mountains and about a hundred miles South of Washington, D.C., the greater Charlottesville region offers visitors a thriving community and vanguard of arts and culture that’s both boldly innovative and grounded in rich tradition.