I am all too familiar with the best spots in Charlottesville to grab a sandwich, but recently, I found myself craving something beyond the basics. With a wide selection of gourmet sandwiches, a coffee bar, local snacks and a large cooler of craft beer and wine, Ivy Provisions is the perfect place for a casual lunch with friends or even a romantic date.
Although it is located on Ivy Road, Ivy Provisions isn’t too far from Grounds. It is about a three-minute drive from central Grounds, and there is plenty of parking in the lot. Depending on where you’re coming from, biking could also be an option, but unfortunately, there are no close bus routes that will get you there. Everything is ground level, so Ivy Provisions is also wheelchair accessible.
One great thing about Ivy Provisions is the hours. It is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. These hours give you plenty of time to enjoy everything that it has to offer, from breakfast to dinner and everything in between.
The exterior of Ivy Provisions looks like a little brick home. In the window, a neon yellow pig shines brightly, making it cozy and inviting before you step inside. Outside the main entrance, there is a small but charming seating area where you can dine outside — one I look forward to trying out in the summer while enjoying a sandwich and drink in the sunshine.
Inside, the space is eclectic and cozy. In front of the kitchen area is a glass display where you can order sides, such as pasta, potato salads and regular pre-packaged salads. Chalkboards display the daily sandwich and soup specials. The restaurant doubles as a small shop, with displays spread throughout the space with various goods, such as salsa, wine and sweet treats. There are also plenty of samples.
One downside to Ivy Provisions is that it is way too easy to go overboard in regards to spending money. That said, their gourmet sandwiches are priced reasonably, ranging from $6.99 - $10.50. The K.I.S.S. sandwich I ordered was $9.99, yet I only managed to finish half of it in one sitting, meaning it was really a two-meal sandwich. All sandwiches are served with a large pickle spear, so there is really no reason to add additional sides. The many different pasta and potato salads can be brought at $8 or $9 for a pint. They also serve breakfast all day, and all options are $6.99 or less. I especially enjoyed the breakfast potatoes which are just $3.99 for a large paper cup! If you’re searching for a healthy option, they offer two salads, Superfood for $9.99 and Chicken Caesar for $11.99.
The coffee is also reasonably priced too. Ivy Provisions serves Trager Brothers Coffee — $1.85 for a 12 oz and $2.10 for a 16 oz. They also offer espresso, americano, lattes, cold brew and hot tea — all are priced at $4 or less. There is also a large drink cooler with an impressive selection of soda, beer and wine. Of course, the craft beer and wine cooler can become a bit pricey, but they offer cheaper options too. Being of the legal drinking age, I opted for a single bottle of Bold Rock for $2.49. Make sure you don’t miss the small freezer case in the corner with ice cream sandwiches from Wonderment Bakeshop & Creamery — these are $4.99 each which seems pricey, but they are well worth it.
The food is high quality and fresh. I ordered the K.I.S.S. sandwich and I was thoroughly impressed. The ingredients were simple but worked well together — fresh mozzarella, tomato, arugula and basil mayo served on a baguette. These ingredients tasted fresh and were light, and the soft mozzarella paired well with the crisp arugula while the basil mayo gave the sandwich a burst of flavor. I was definitely satisfied with my order, and I look forward to trying other sandwiches on their menu. The cookie dough ice cream sandwich I ordered was also delightful. The cookie was soft and the ice cream was extra creamy with pieces of cookie dough. In the shop, you can sample different salsas and dips that are sold in the glass case. On the day that I visited, there was a tasty queso at the sample display.
Most of their sandwiches are classic combinations of veggies, meats and cheeses served on a baguette or sourdough. However, if you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, be sure to try Antonio’s P3B — peanut butter, honey, banana and bacon served on grilled sourdough.
One of the best things about Ivy Provisions is how versatile they are — I could see myself enjoying their food, drinks and snacks for almost any occasion, casual or fancy. So, the next time you find yourself craving a sandwich and want to indulge in a little something extra, make sure you stop by Ivy Provisions — I know I will be returning soon.