A group at Whiskey Jar on the Downtown Mall Food Tour

Food Tours by Charlottesville GUIDE launches the Downtown Mall Food Tour

Experience Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall Food Tour

The Downtown Mall Food Tour launched in May 2023 to take adventuresome foodies into the heart of Charlottesville’s culinary scene. It joins The UVA Corner Food Tour, launched in Summer 2022, as the second culinary quest produced by Foodtoursbycharlottesvilleguide.com, a subsidiary of longtime visitor website and magazine, Charlottesville Guide

The Downtown Mall Tour features signature dishes from 5 trendy restaurants. Guests visit each restaurant along a half-mile walking that spans the mall from west end to the east over 2.5 hours. Each tour is led by a local guide with deep culinary expertise as well as personal knowledge of neighborhood history and culture. The tour offers unique insight into Charlottesville culture, steeped as it is in UVA style, Virginia-history, and internationally-diverse cuisine. 

5 Delicious Restaurant Experiences

Interest in Charlottesville’s celebrated food scene continues to peak after a flattering citation in Food & Wine Magazine named Charlottesville one of America’s top food cities. The Downtown Mall was the district where Charlottesville’s food scene began to take-off in the late 1990s, and today over three dozen restaurants cluster in and around the mall. The Downtown Mall Food Tour will introduces guests to some of the best, including:

The Whiskey Jar – classic southern fare inspired by Charlottesville’s leading restaurant entrepreneur featuring a vintage atmosphere, extensive spirits selection, and live music on the mall’s west end

The Bebedero – the place to go for Veracruz cuisine and mezcal cocktails

Hamilton’s – among the first “fine dining” spots on the mall, this classic restaurant specializes in American “fusion” with an emphasis on locally-sourced ingredients

Tonic —  a hot new entry that also emphasizes local and fresh ingredients and hidden away in the Old Michie Building courtyard on Market Street, 

Chap‘s – Charlottesville’s beloved ice cream institution where everything is made on-site.

What to Expect

Tour guests are presented with a selection of each restaurant’s signature dishes in a “small plate” format. Each visit tells the story of the restaurant, the founders, and what’s unique about its cuisine. Guests learn how each restaurant rose through the trendy currents of food culture to become a Charlottesville classic.

Along the way, the guide describes landmarks of interest, including significant architecture, unique shops, theaters and art installations.

“The Downtown Mall Food Tour takes visitors into heart of Charlottesville’s culinary scene,” says tour founder Rob Jiranek. “It’s an exciting new way to experience the energy and diversity of a dynamic American city that’s always been anchored by a leading University.”

The Downtown Mall Food Tour costs $99 per person, and you may book your experience HERE.


Click here for the complete Charlottesville Guide to Dining.