Oftentimes, when planning to spend a full day at a really cool museum or theme park, we cringe at the thought of spending a big chunk of change for mediocre food that only leaves you wanting for more; the quality of which is not something you’d blog about. You don’t really have much choice because, in some places, it takes longer to exit and re-enter that the cost of saving a few dollars for lunch just isn’t worth it. Moreover, some of these places don’t allow outside food. If you were visiting Monticello (where you can easily spend a full day), they do allow you to re-enter using the same ticket, AND the eat-in at Michie Tavern is actually worth whatever little hassle we experienced to resume our visit at Jefferson’s Monticello.
What makes Michie Tavern worth it? Here are our top 3 reasons:
Reason #1: It’s REALLY old.
It’s been around since 1784. Some people may think nothing of it, but how many people can actually say they’ve eaten at an establishment that’s been around for more than 200 years? The present site, which is only 1/2 mile south of Monticello, was not the original spot for The Ordinary. But it was carefully dismantled and relocated to its present site, which led to its designation as a Virginia historic landmark.
Reason #2: Good Food = Worth Every Buck
Alright! let’s do some math.
Buffet lunch (i.e., eat-all-you-can-but-please-don’t-stuff-yourself) of REALLY good Southern-style fried chicken, hickory-smoked pulled pork barbecue (sweet and tangy just the way many like it), and baked chicken (always good to have a healthier alternative) PLUS the sides of mashed potato with gravy, stewed tomatoes, green beans with country ham, coleslaw, biscuits, and cornbread (add a dab of butter and you’re good!), as well as vegetable soup (request for vegan versions of some of these sides) amounts to $18.95 for adults. You may think this is steep, but factor in the fact that children from 0-5 eat for FREE for each paying adult. Kids 6-11 years old pay $6.95, while 12-15-year-olds pay $15.95.
FEBRUARY 2020 Deals:
If you are a Virginia resident, you get $4 off your weekday Midday Fare ($2 off on weekends).
If you visit a presidential home in the area on a weekday, you can also get $2 off your lunch.
After you factor in the savings, you realize just how much more cost-effective this could be because you are getting really quality food that everyone will remember for years to come (no exaggeration here; we still reminisce over those crispy fried chicken pieces). And more than paying for the food, you pay for the ambiance and experience.
Reason #3: Southern Charm and Hospitality
Servers dressed in period clothes if always good conversation material for children to talk about in between bites of biscuits and pulled pork. If you need another serving of beets, the servers will bring it to your table so you don’t have to get up, get in line, and wait to get to the food. You get service right to your tabletop.
When you’re done and stuffed, there are four gift shops around the tavern’s perimeter for you to walk off all that good food. Visit the General Store, The Artisan Shop, The Metal Smith Shop, and The Tavern Shop for all things Virginia-made and for gifts to give back to loved ones.
It’s time to head back to explore the rest of Monticello or perhaps you are heading over to catch the next tour of James Monroe’s Highland. It’s really hard to pass up on the opportunity to be a part of the Michie Tavern experience. Good food always evokes good memories. Make this a part of your Charlottesville stop.