Christian’s in Charlottesville Virginia’s Downtown Walking Mall – Vegan Pizza Just Doesn’t Get Better Than This!

Christian's Pizza
118 West Main St
Charlottesville, VA 22902
(434) 977-9688

 

by Danielle Bussone

 

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This is a post that is long overdue. In June of this year we attended the Richmond Vegetarian Festival and stayed in neighboring Charlottesville at a homey Air B&B where our dogs were welcomed. After the festival we arrived back at out lodging, tired and hungry. We sought out the quickest solution for a vegan meal. Calling around to various pizza establishments, we finally settled on Christian’s in downtown Charlottesville. Located in the walking mall it was a barely over a mile from where we were staying, at Fairhaven Guesthouse, located just minutes from downtown.

Christian’s cheeseless pizza was generously topped with long thin slices of breaded eggplant, whole kalamata olives, roasted red pepper, whole garlic cloves, and sliced button mushrooms, all resting on a bed of perfectly cooked fresh spinach. With a crust that was slightly chewy and crisp at the same time, it was OH-MY-GOD delicious!

 

Christian's eggplant pizza with spinach, garlic, mushrooms, roasted red peppers and kalamata olives

Christian’s eggplant pizza with spinach, garlic, mushrooms, roasted red peppers and kalamata olives

 

Rich left to pick up our dinner. When he returned he unceremoniously plopped it down on the dining room table. You’ve heard the expression, “You eat first with your eyes and then with your mouth?” This could not have been more apropos. The pizza was so gorgeous one hated to actually tear into it, and one bite confirmed its promise. OH-MY-FREAKING-GOD!! I called Christian’s and told them how blown away I was by their vegan pizza.

Yet, I neglected to write about it. The next morning we returned to the downtown mall to Christian’s but they would not be open until after we were scheduled to depart. We promised ourselves we would return on our next trip to Charlottesville, which we finally did this weekend. Frankly, I didn’t expect the food to be as good as it was on our first visit. Food never turns out to be as good as we remembered it. But to my surprise and delight, it was!

 

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Most of the pizzas are sixteen inches and the prices include the tax. The ingredients are fresh and prepared daily in-house. Recently an eighteen-inch option, which feeds four, was added to the menu. Again, one bite and my eyes rolled back in my head. Nirvana!

 

You can order by the slice as well. Arranged on a long bar behind protective glass, just point to what you want. They will heat it for you while you wait and you can either take it out or eat it at one of the many tables available inside the restaurant or outside on the patio if the weather is fine.

 

Christian's pizza bar

 

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Flor, Christian’s manager of 16 years, is defined by her omnipresent smile. Observing her in candid moments when speaking with her staff you are at once impressed with her affable self-confidence and her absolute mastery of her domain. She laughs easily and engenders an atmosphere of familial camaraderie.

Yes, I’ve hit on it. Family, this is the spirit of Christian’s in the downtown mall. You get the sense from patrons who frequent the place that they too are members of this familial club. Gresia takes our order, charms us with her smiles, and chats with us while we wait. Customers roll in, ordering a slice or two to eat in or orders to take out, each feeling a part of the special vibe calling them home. I spoke with one elderly gentleman who says he comes to Christian’s every Saturday, without fail.

 

Danielle, Flor & Gracia

Danielle, Flor & Grecia

 

Christian’s offers three vegan options. The eggplant option, which I described earlier is my immediate go-to pizza, as all the ingredients are my favorites. However, there are two others you must be made aware of. They were an impressive display, though I admit I’ve yet to try them. One is the Roasted Veggies #2, with basil, roasted garlic, artichoke hearts, black olives, and sauteed mushrooms in extra virgin olive oil.

 

Christian's Artichoke Pizza

 

The final option was Roasted Veggies #3, with fresh spinach, roasted green and red peppers, roasted onions, roasted eggplant, zucchini, carrots, squash and extra virgin olive oil.

 

Christian's Roasted Veggies

Christian’s Roasted Veggie #3 Pizza

 

Christian’s is a must-visit pizzeria located on one of the cutest walking malls on the east coast. There is plenty here for your carnivorous companions so no one will be left out. Christian’s also offers calzones (though sadly not vegan) and a few salads. You can call ahead for take-out but I’d advise you to eat in or outside on the walking mall patio. Check out Christian’s for some of the best pizza you’ll find this side of Florence, Italy. I know it is one of my very first stops when visiting Charlottesville, VA!

 

 

Co-founder and editor of Veggin’ Out and About, Danielle writes restaurant reviews, profiles and interviews of people making a difference in the plant-based community. She is author of, “Time For Change: Whole Foods For Whole Health,” released January 1, 2015.

Danielle’s region is SW Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina and anywhere she happens to stop for sustenance along the road. Contact Danielle directly to share your restaurant finds, to make comments or just to say hello.

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