Charlottesville has a bunch of restaurants serving different types of amazing food. It’s hard to ever be hungry here. Although we many places to eat, we’re going to focus on a popular favorite especially in this college town, Mexican food! We’ve gotten a lot of reviews of different Mexican food places here on Grounds and in the Charlottesville area from the student interns. Enjoy!
1. La Taza: La Taza is a Latin-inspired restaurant located in downtown Belmont (a few minutes past downtown) that serves breakfast and lunch daily and dinner Thursday- Saturday. During the day, it has a coffee shop atmosphere that's perfect for studying or light reading. In addition, they have a variety of seasonal specials that make it more than your average Mexican restaurant. Finally, La Taza is located directly across from Fitzgerald's Tires, home of the famous "I Love Charlottesville" sign, giving visitors the perfect opportunity to snap a photo with this Charlottesville classic. Check out their menu here.
2. El Jaripeo: Located at the end of the Corner across the street from Mellow Mushroom, El Jaripeo is the best authentic (American) Mexican food restaurant within walking distance of UVa Grounds. El Jaripeo is great for an indoor or outdoor sit-down dining experience (not to mention free chips and salsa!) whether you're looking for a study break or a way to celebrate the end of midterms. The service is great and you shouldn't have to wait long even when it gets a bit more crowded on the weekends.
What to order: Definitely the queso to go with your chips! As for an entree, the chicken quesadilla fajita is where it's at. Check out their menu!
3. Qdoba: A lot of people say that this is some sort of knock-off Chipotle, but honestly it has some pretty decent food. It’s not the fanciest place to go, but it’s right on the Corner. A lot of students can get that late-night Mexican food fix especially if they’re studying all night at Clemons Library. The food’s pretty good and the portions are large especially for the price. If you don’t want to drive or take a bus all the way down to Barracks Shopping Center (for the Chipotle), Qdoba is a great and close place to eat a pretty good burrito.
4. Mono Loco: If you're looking for Mexican food with a contemporary twist, Mono Loco is the place to be. Complete with a laid back, casual vibe and the option of indoor and outdoor seating, Mono Loco is located right off of the Charlottesville Downtown Mall. The food is not your typical Mexican cuisine, but it is oh so flavorful with creative combinations and high-quality ingredients. I HIGHLY recommend the Pollo Loco Burrito Bowl. The only complaints I have about Mono Loco are they are only open after 5pm and they charge for chips and salsa, but other than that I believe 10 out of 10 would recommend.
Check out the menu here!
5. Plaza Azteca: Plaza Azteca might not be the closest Mexican restaurant to Grounds, but it is one of the student favorites. The space is big enough to hold multiple large groups of students, making it an easy space for students to come in larger groups of friends from class, discussions, student organizations, or halls. Perhaps the biggest highlight that draws most students is Plaza Azteca’s homemade guacamole, which is made right in front of you at the table and can be customized to each table’s preference in spiciness. Also quite popular are the fajitas and the quesadillas. Plaza Azteca may be a trip to get to for some students, but it is certainly worth the 10 minute drive from Grounds. Check out their menu here.