After a few months of bemoaning my fate in moving from San Francisco to Charlottesville for grad school, I've found a few places I like a lot, so I figured I'd spread the word and hopefully get some recommendations in return.
So far, I love:
DONUTS. Carpe Donut and Spudnut both have won a place in my heart. Carpe Donut is a donut truck (happy flashback to the creme brulee, Korean barbeque, and taco trucks in SF) that appears behind the Wachovia on the downtown mall on Wednesdays. Beautiful, hot apple cider donuts wrapped in a sweater of cinnamon sugar. Spudnut's light, greaseless coconut donut is my other favorite.
Organic Butcher in the Main Street Market sells fine young chickens at quite affordable prices. I've bought all of my meat from here (bacon, various cuts of beef, lots of chicken) and have been uniformly pleased.
Market Street Wineshop is just lovely. A well-curated cheese selection, some nice grocery products (olive oil, arborio rice) and great selections of wine and beer. Down-to-earth, knowledgeable staff who won't look the other way if you ask for a sub $10 bottle.
Feast also has a great cheese counter and some nice selections of seasonal produce; my miniscule budget doesn't allow me to sample much from their groceries.
Cville Market for a locally-owned store with a good selection of produce.
Zinc for Sunday brunch--great latkes and mimosas.
Saturday Downtown Farmer's Market for apples and interesting bitter and Asian greens. I bought lard at Babes in the Wood and liked the flavor (but was surprised that I needed to render it at home).
Staunton Grocery (yes, not in Charlottesville) was my favorite meal in Virginia. We went for lunch, and the quality knocked me over.
So far, no luck:
-I love dumplings and noodles, but haven't found any I like here. The dumplings in the downtown mall were not to my taste.
-Anything approaching authentic Mexican