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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 - 23:00
Open now
See all hours
Mon - Thu 10:00 - 22:00
Fri - Sat 10:00 - 23:00
More Info
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232 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
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Time of year
Showing 230: English reviews
Piermont, New York
Level Contributor
40 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

My wife said it was the best Fried Chicken she's ever had!! I LOVED my Ribs, too!! Awesome mac & cheese and collard greens!!! Incredible value!! The service was as good as it gets, too!!! What an overall great experience!!

Thank summerlovin56
Charlotte, NC
Level Contributor
16 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

Amazing little place...amazing burgers....great service! I'll definitely be back! The onion rings were great too!

Thank Tammy H
Charlottesville, Va
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Mel's Café is your place if wanting down to earth home cooked, southern Style, soul food. Mel is genuine, down to earth and aims to please as well as his wife. They make you feel that they are glad you are there. Food is prepared and seasoned the way food is ment to be. Food taste like food. Prices very... More 

Thank Douglas P
Level Contributor
29 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

The chef and Mel were very engaging with the customers. I loved their warmth and hospitable spirits! The female host was simply cordial-- not engaging or warm. I ordered smothered chopped steak and gravy, mac n chz, green beans, and fried potatoes. My husband ordered fried chicken, turnip greens, and cabbage. The food was good, just what we needed while... More 

Thank Kristin D
Bemidji, Minnesota
Level Contributor
168 reviews
105 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We were greeted by the warmest, most friendly man (Arthur?) who helped us order, which made our experience great from the start! We both had fried chicken, I had the meal and my husband had wing dings. They were both very good! The breading was there but not too thick, not too oily and nice and crispy! The meat was... More 

Thank breb
Akron, OH
Level Contributor
108 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Found a recommendation in the cheap eats section of Trip Advisor and thought we'd give it a try after a long day of sightseeing and winery hopping. When I mentioned early in the day at Highland, James Monroe's home, that we were planning to have dinner here, some local laughed and said she'd never think of going there! That just... More 

Thank CindyLouAkron_OH
Level Contributor
23 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 January 2017 via mobile

My kids and I walked here from the hospital. Was so glad to see lots of kid friendly options and the fried chicken and greens were the best I've had since moving to Virginia from Georgia. The bathrooms are outside of the building and the men's room was FILTHY!! Had my 4 year old son use a ton of hand... More 

Thank GAmomof3kids
Boynton Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
252 reviews
198 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 January 2017 via mobile

Wonderful fried chicken, great smothered steak, no frills just solid great food just "like momma used to cook it" one of our stops when in Charlottesville Virginia

Thank Pedro C
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 January 2017

While I always enjoy eating at Mel's, I love his catering even more. It's so easy to plan a Labor Picnic or a 4th of July Celebration when you can rely on Mel to deliver the chicken and mac and cheese. The prices are fair, and the food is always plentiful.

Thank Eve S
Centreville, Virginia
Level Contributor
372 reviews
211 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 January 2017

I wish I had a place like this to visit while I was in undergrad. I had fried chicken and some sides, my friend had an open-face sandwich.

Thank scherzva

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Average prices
American, Diner
Brunch, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Restaurant features
Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Parking Available, Television, Wheelchair Accessible
Good for
Cheap Eats, Child-friendly, Kids, Local cuisine
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
4 months 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?