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Mel's Cafe

Certificate of Excellence
American, Diner
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719 W Main St, Charlottesville, VA 22903-4570
+1 434-971-8819
10:00 - 22:00
Open now
All hours
Mon - Thu 10:00 - 22:00
Fri - Sat 10:00 - 23:00
More Info
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221 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
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Time of year
Showing 219: English reviews
Charlottesville, Virginia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Stopped in with some fried chicken very disappointed as it tasted like fried fish Mel told me they change the oil twice a day must not have changed it when I had lunch

Thank baron1244
Suffolk, Virginia
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Great food. Simple, good flavor, and affordable. Had the smothered hamburger steak with green beans and stewed tomatoes. About as southern cuisine as you can get

Thank dcl316
Dublin, Virginia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Saw this spot on TripAdvisor and decided to swing by on our way through Charlottesville. We were a little leary at first but the service was good and the food was even better. Some if the best fried chicken I've ever had! Don't let the first looks fool you.

Thank Cory B
Medford, Oregon
Level Contributor
22 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Great straightforward quality food. Had made to order eggs bacon potatoe breakfast just like mom made Exceptional friend staff and service

Thank maywoot
Level Contributor
26 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 November 2016 via mobile

I sometimes wonder why I ever went to any of Charlottesville's fine dining establishments when there's Mel's Cafe. Mel and his wife are extremely friendly and welcoming; the fried chicken is super; the collard greens, real "suthrin'; and the deep fried donuts, an unexpected treat. Try it.

Thank John B
Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 November 2016

The food was great and very inexpensive. While not a big or fancy looking place, you will be sure to get a good plate of home-cooked food when you go. Breakfast plates all day and great burgers.

Thank baze3026
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 October 2016 via mobile

The best way to describe Mel's is that it should be on Food Network's "diners, drive-ins and dives." We happened upon Mel's cafe by accident and were surprised by the absolute best lunch I've ever had in my years of coming to Charlottesville. The chicken wings and onion rings are absolutely superb! You absolutely MUST try Mel's.

Thank Katie C
Charlottesville, Virginia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 October 2016

We can always tell whenever a department in our building (Curry School of Ed - UVA) has lunch catered by Mel's just by the smell of their fried chicken, greens, and their mac & cheese - always DELICIOUS (even their tossed garden salad)! I had them cater my husband's 50th birthday party and EVERYONE raved about their food; no complaints... More 

Thank Dragonfly-4evr
Charlottesville, Virginia
Level Contributor
422 reviews
256 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 185 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 October 2016

I Love Mel's. Their soul food is always super but the best thing about them is their love of the people of Charlottesville. I've known them to feed kids who don't have anything to eat at home. I've seen them put a little something in a bag to take home to an Auntie of a Gramma who doesn't have something.... More 

Thank wombat1223
Fallston, Maryland
Level Contributor
104 reviews
75 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 October 2016

After reading several reviews we decided Mel's was for us. It's not your typical fast food or chain type restaurant ~ it's a small diner specializing in southern home cooked meals... a locals paradise. The proprietors, Mel and his wife, Tia are the most welcoming people on the planet. We had a great time chatting with them and joking around... More 

1 Thank m0_m0ney_m0_travel

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Average prices
American, Diner
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch
Restaurant features
Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Parking Available, Television, Wheelchair Accessible
Good for
Cheap Eats, Local cuisine, Kids, Child-friendly
Open Hours
10:00 - 22:00
10:00 - 22:00
10:00 - 22:00
10:00 - 22:00
10:00 - 23:00
10:00 - 23:00
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 719 W Main St, Charlottesville, VA 22903-4570
  • Location: United States  >  Virginia (VA)  >  Charlottesville
  • Phone Number: +1 434-971-8819

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Mel's Cafe and other visitors
1 question
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Virginia Beach, Virginia
1 month ago

See all questions (1)

Questions? Get answers from Mel's Cafe staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?