1. BBQ Exchange, Gordonsville
The Barbeque Exchange is the culmination of a 37-year culinary journey. Craig and Donna Hartman’s lives have been centered around the love of food! Their journey took them from the Culinary Institute of America to Gordonsville, Virginia with experiences from the Rockies to the Catskills and lots of stops in between. Craig’s love of all things cooking, and especially over a live fire, led them to a deep love for old school, slow-cooked BBQ.
Inspired by the pit masters they have met over the years, from the Blue Ridge to the Outer Banks, Craig and Donna set out to open a real barbeque joint of their own. Craig’s background in fine dining cuisine has honed his palate, and taught him the significance of great food and great company.
2. Ace Biscuit & Barbecue, Henry Avenue
In 1988, twelve year old Brian Ashworth wandered off JP Burley Middle School grounds to clear his head. Crossing Rose Hill Drive against school rules, he walked down Henry Avenue. Only getting about two blocks, he saw Dotties Cafe.
The place was small but bustling! In went Ashworth. Being greeted by Dottie made him feel welcome. All the way through high school at Murray, young Brian would frequent Dotties for sandwiches. Two decades later Brian Ashworth opened Ace Biscuit & Barbecue, giving back to Rose Hill.
3. Belmont Bar-B-Que, Hinton Avenue
Belmont BBQ started back in the Spring of 2000, straight out the back of a smoke wagon parked along Route 66 in Oklahoma. The wagon was owned and operated by Wes Wright, an Okie native, and the banner on the side read, “Wes–B–Smokin’: Home of Crazy Good BBQ!” As the wagon’s popularity grew, Wes knew he had something special and his barbeque was… crazy good. The wagon grew to be too small and the taste was too big!
So how did they end up in Charlottesville, Virginia? Wes’s sister, Melissa, had moved to Virginia with her husband and three children back in 1987 and Wes came out often to visit and even lived for some time in Belmont, a little neighborhood close to downtown Charlottesville. After a short stint back in Oklahoma, he moved back and brought his barbeque with him!
4. Jinx’s Pit’s-Top Barbeque, East Market Street
Simply the best! Jinx is an institution, a revolution, and THE solution to your BBQ needs. Don’t ask for what you want, take what Mr. Jinx has and enjoy it. This is the most unique dining experience you can have in the Charlottesville area and should be experienced with an open mind and an open ear. Recommend going with a group during the week, taking your time and letting him treat you to a slice of perfection.
Jinx has absolutely divine sandwiches! Great smoke flavor with a touch of spice from the sauce. Get extra sauce on the side for dipping your fries. The ribs are sweet, and so tender. The beans and cucumbers always round out a great meal. Call ahead as the space is small, and when the BBQ runs out, it closes.
5. Paulie’s Pig-Out, Afton
After graduation Paulie Matheny moved to Richmond and now he’s back living in the Batesville area with his own restaurant on 151. And people are stopping by and coming back— the large erasable sign in the restaurant lists lots of local (Afton, Roseland, Charlottesville) visitors and many from Georgia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and Massachusetts.
His specialties include hickory smoked barbeque pork, baby back ribs and chicken. There is also a catfish sandwich and the “sides are all homemade too. The potato salad is my grandmother’s recipe.”
6. Lazy Parrot Backyard BBQ, Pantops
After bringing some of the best food, drinks, and fun to C’ville with their restaurant The Lazy Parrot Grill, they realized that one thing was missing: good, down home, melt in your mouth BBQ! So, armed with a smoker and a dream, they opened Lazy Parrot Backyard BBQ just around the corner from (or in the backyard of, if you will) the Lazy Parrot Grill. Head on up to Pantops Shopping Center and enjoy yourself in their backyard!
7. Big Jim’s Bar-B-Que, 10th Street (catering only)
Big Jim’s Bar-B-Que was founded in 1981 by Jim and Patricia Hope. For over 16 years, the city of Charlottesville, Albemarle and all surrounding counties made Big Jim’s Bar-B-Que a household favorite. After Patricia “Mrs Big Jim” Hope passed away in 2007, the future of the Big Jim’s Bar-B-Que Empire she’d built with her late husband, including the 10th street headquarters and cooking facility as well as the Angus Road Restaurant was in question. The Hope Family Estate put both businesses up for sale and in early 2008, Mrs. Lydia Lunnen purchased the business.
Big Jim’s offers bar-b-que by the pound, as well as baked and fried chicken, along with a plethora of delicious sides including homemade potato salad and coleslaw, green beans, fresh fruit salad, mashed potatoes and gravy, baked beans, macaroni & cheese, pickle spears and fresh baked cookies.
8. Buck Island BBQ, Keswick
Bob & Helen first met in 7th grade in Upstate New York. Their roads & lives diverged, and then paths crossed again in 2003. Since then they have married and merged their love of homemade cooking, tasting delicious wines, and having fun. They have moved the store to 4842 Richmond Rd., Keswick, VA., 22947 where they have expanded to offer BIGGER and BETTER service: ABC on and off and eat-in dining.
9. Buttz BBQ, The UVa Corner
They don’t profess to be pros… just guys that love BBQ. They are not your traditional Memphis, Texas, North Carolina or Kansas City BBQ. In fact, they’ve combined the best of all regions into THEIR BBQ.
Superior products and the freshest ingredients. Slow smoked BBQ and sides every day. They let the meat speak for itself… the sauce only compliments the meat.
10. Blue Ridge Pig, Nellysford
Whether it be the classic Pork Barbeque with slaw or the Turkey Croissant with the works (Lettuce, Tomato, Cheddar Cheese, Mayo, and our special Dill Sauce), this quaint establishment will always keep you coming back for your Blue Ridge Pig fix.
All of their meats are smoked on-site behind the restaurant by none other than Strawberry Goodwin himself. Every one of their recipes is unique, not only to the local area, but also to the entire east coast. The only way to experience this one-of-a-kind hog heaven is to stop by and check it out for yourself!
If you like this post, check out 5 CVille Restaurants You Have Not Tried!.
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