The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Downtown offers students affordable dining options

4 min read
By JOSEPH YEAGER The smell of coffee. New York style pizza slices. A cozy restaurant in the back of an alley. Downtown Fredericksburg offers a wide variety of places to eat if you are hungry and looking to try something other than the University Center or restaurants in Eagle Village.

Doug Kerr | Flickr. (


The smell of coffee. New York style pizza slices. A cozy restaurant in the back of an alley. Downtown Fredericksburg offers a wide variety of places to eat if you are hungry and looking to try something other than the University Center or restaurants in Eagle Village.

Many students at the University of Mary Washington enjoy eating somewhere other than the campus dining options on the weekends, and many different food options are available if they decide to eat downtown. Rather than going back home to eat, or having to drive somewhere, the short walk downtown is much more convenient than going to Central Park.

One of the most popular places downtown is the coffee shop called Hyperion. Located in the middle of downtown on William Street, it is known for its superb espresso beverages, locally sourced pastries and food stuffs as well as its friendly and atmosphere.

It offers students a great place to hang out with friends, grab a quick coffee and relax or work on assignments. Just be prepared to arrive at the right time because it tends to get crowded in the mornings due to its immense popularity; however, the line moves incredibly quick due to its professional and efficient staff.

Their prices vary depending on the drink and its size, but are comparable to similar coffee shops in the area.Their Chai Latte, containing spiced tea with steamed milk, is highly recommended because of its rich flavor. Hyperion is a perfect place for coffee lovers, and if you have not tried it out it is highly recommended.

If you are looking for a restaurant that has delicious, locally grown food, Foode is the place for you. Uniquely located in a cozy back alley off Caroline Street, it offers a large number of organic products that have been grown in farms throughout Virginia, which means that the menu is constantly changing due to what the chefs can locally source.

You pay before you eat, and don’t have to tip because they do not provide traditional table-side service. Because of the weekly menu, the prices depend on whatever they are serving that week. The waiting times for the food are short, and the atmosphere is cozy because of the limited seating. It’s suggested you try their charred chicken salad sandwich and pork belly burger if they are on the menu because of their robust flavors. It is recommended that you arrive earlier than you intend to eat because often you have to wait due to the limited seating and popularity of the restaurant.

Another popular restaurant is Castiglia’s, which offers wide variety of Italian and American food. It is located on the corner of Charles Street and William Street, located near to a few other local restaurants such as Kybecca and Fahrenheit 132. Their variety of pizzas is the main draw, and the short wait times, as well as the quality of the restaurant, are reasons to come back time and time again. The prices are higher than your average pizza place because of its quality, but comparable to a family restaurant.

For junior history major Victoria Anderson, “It is my favorite place to eat Downtown, it has good food and service, and I usually get some kind or pasta or sandwich when I go.”  If you like cheese, then you should give their cheese lovers pizza a shot because of its unique flavoring and multiple types of cheese.   If you have not tried Castilgia’s, it is highly recommended you go if you enjoy quality food and a friendly atmosphere.

If you are primarily a pizza lover, then you should definitely try out Benny Vitali’s. Located on Caroline Street between Encore and Peacaloo Boutique, it is very popular due to its New York City style pizza. The pizza slices are ginormous which makes the restaurant unique and well-known throughout Fredericksburg, especially for hungry college students. Their pizza slices are reasonably priced and recommended if you’re eating by yourself.

The small size of the restaurant often makes the waiting time longer and it can be hard to find a place to sit when it gets crowded. However, the atmosphere of the restaurant and the quality of the pizza makes the waiting time worth it. Plus, you can always get a slice and walk around downtown before stopping at Wally’s Homemade Ice Cream Shoppe for a night cap.

Wally’s, located on Caroline Street in between the Bangkok Cafe and The Cat’s Closet, is the perfect place to grab desert and finish a night out on the town. The shop has a wide variety of flavors of ice cream and is contested with Carl’s for having the best ice cream in Fredericksburg.

Their toasted coconut flavor is definitely worth trying. The prices are fair and it is not usually crowded. The building has a vintage flair and the proprietor is not pushy, but always willing to answer your questions. It is a good place to go after eating at a local restaurant because of its quick service and quality desserts and ice cream.


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