When Sal's Caffe Italia on the Charlottesville Downtown Mall announced that they would be restarting their Sunday brunch, I knew I had to be there. Yes, I'm one of those people that looks forward to having brunch all week long. Looking at you Bobby Flay...

Thankfully, I had the opportunity to attend the grand opening with three fellow Spoon writers. We eagerly arrived at 11 am on the dot, toting cameras and empty stomaches: the perfect combination for brunch.

After a great experience with both the food and the atmosphere at Sal's, here is why Sal's Caffe Italia is one of the best new brunch spots and a definite must-try in Charlottesville:

The Location

coffee, beer
Renee Spillane

With a beautiful location on the downtown mall of Charlottesville, Sal's Caffe Italia is located about halfway along the stretch of shops and restaurants. They offers indoor seating, but the real star attraction is the patio, nestled in the shadow of the Paramount Theatre.

We couldn't have asked for better weather when we visited Sal's for brunch, so the outdoor patio was the clear choice for our seat location.

While, as of now, Sal's may seem like every other brunch location with pretty outdoor seating, I'm going to show you that Sal's Caffe Italia is the real MVP when it comes to brunch. So, now, let's talk food.

The Menu

Italian brunch at Sal's puts the emphasis on Italian. Offering a variety of classic brunch dishes with Italian twists, you're favorite brunch eats just got that much better.

Take the Eggs Benedetto, for example. This drool-worthy dish is made with house-made herb focaccia and prosciutto, instead of the traditional English muffin and canadian bacon. This little substitution makes all the difference in elevating this dish above any eggs benedict I've ever tasted.

Oh, did I mention that the poached egg in crusted in breadcrumbs and parmesan? Officially, heavenly.

berry, waffle, dairy product, cake, syrup, strawberry, pastry, cream, sweet, toast, french toast
Emily Head

In addition to your savory favorites, Sal's also makes traditional sweet brunch dishes feel, and taste, Italian. First off, their waffles are smothered in Nutella and locally-grown berries. I mean, what's better than Nutella? Nothing.

But, Sal's Caffe Italia take on French toast was a real winner in our minds. This epic French toast is graced with cannoli cream, cannoli shell crumble, fresh local berries, and fresh whipped cream. It's the perfect excuse to eat dessert for breakfast and is definitely cause for an Insta-worthy brunch moment.

ham, cheese, bacon, egg, pizza
Emily Head

When it comes to brunch, we can't forget the carbs. Sal's offers a variety of pizza and pasta dishes during brunch. Sticking with the brunch theme, our favorite carb-loaded dish was the uovo pizza, a 12-inch house-made crust topped with three eggs, ham, sausage, and pecorino-romano. 

I know what you're thinking, pizza for brunch? But, trust us, this Sal's concoction is a definite must-try.

While none of us were feeling healthy enough to order a salad, the greens that Sal's offer sound delicious. Toppings of the five salads on the menu range from shrimp to house-made caesar dressing and fresh mozzarella to local berries and melon.

On a later visit to Sal's Caffe Italia, I ordered a salad, in addition to the rest of my brunch favorites, and, yes, it definitely lived up to all of our expectations. Trust us, you can't go wrong when it comes to ordering at Sal's. Their menu is, without question, amazing.

The Experience

cheese, salad
Emily Head

I think it's safe to say that I left Sal's with a very full and happy stomach. Everything that I tasted was delicious, from the perfectly over-easy egg to their signature house-made focaccia. I could tell that the ingredients were really high quality and fresh.

Our server was incredibly helpful in answering our questions, even though it was still the first day of brunch. He brought us our drinks and food and then left us to enjoy our meal.

spinach, omelette, egg, cheese, vegetable, tomato, omelet
Renee Spillane

The atmosphere at Sal's was as welcoming for families as it was for college students. After attending the first brunch with friends, I brought my parents and enjoyed another fantastic meal. Sal's is the perfect place to celebrate anything from turning a paper in to surviving Saturday night. 

So, next time you're looking for a brunch spot, give Sal's Caffe Italia a try. You'll never spend another Sunday morning anywhere else.