Petit Pois

Address: 201 East Main Street
Charlottesville, VA  22902

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Phone: (434) 979-7647
Rating: Great
Categories: Lunch, Dinner, Weekend Brunch

Petit Pois owner and executive chef, Brian Helleberg, is a genuine advocate of local and sustainable food. He and his staff are also laudably transparent about their practices. Petite Pois earns a GREAT rating for its use of fresh, clean, regenerative ingredients. Here are the highlights of its rating:

• Menu: Both the lunch and dinner menus are nicely concise. They are also well balanced with meat, fish, and vegetables. The lunch menu in particularly has many light options, including vegetarian. Farm sourcing is well-marked.

• Produce: Most comes from a local supplier that sources from local farms, but it is hard to identify the practices used. Chef also has his own garden where he grows some of his own produce using no spray.

• Meat: Chicken is from Polyface Farm, which we’ve confirmed from the farm. It’d be our top recommendation for a meat dish. They also use a grain finished Virginia lamb.

• Fish: They have several seafood options but it’s not overdone. They use Seafood at West Main, in which we have high confidence in their sourcing practices.  

• Eggs: Real pastured eggs all come from Polyface Farm…excellent.

• Cheese/Dairy: Some cheese is sourced from local sustainable farms. 

• Bread: Made in-house with minimal ingredients, no preservatives or artificial ingredients.

• Soups: Made in-house with vegetable, fish, and meat stocks.

• Other Ingredients: Nothing significant to note at this time.

• Cooking Methods: Nothing significant to note at this time.

• Non-Alcoholic Beverages: Coffee comes from a top local roaster.

• Alcoholic Beverages: Wine Director Erin Scala sources a wide variety of organic, sustainable, and biodynamic wines. The list is not as robust as their sister restaurant, Fleurie, but still solid.

• Desserts: It’s a short dessert menu (good!). They use local eggs, per above. And some local cheese, per above. Otherwise, nothing significant to note at this time.

• Other Practices: The restaurant strives to reduce food waste and you can tell that this is a business with a keen sense of its importance. What waste there is is used for compost in the Chef’s garden.

Other things to know about this Place:

• The indoor seating at Petit Pois is limited so that can be tough on a rainy or very cold day. The bistro is set back in a recessed area of the downtown pedestrian mall, so this allows for lots more tables, and definitely more peace and quiet than most other restaurants on the mall.

• Another thing we like about Petit Pois’ commitment to better food is their Garden Tuesdays. When patrons dine at Petit Pois on Tuesdays, the restaurant donates some of the receipts to City Schoolyard Garden, a non-profit that builds and maintains gardens at Charlottesville-area schools.

• Helleberg also runs Fleurie, a little further up the mall, on a side street. Please click on the Related Places tab to connect to it.

The rating for this business was based on the following:

• A site visit

• Discussion with staff

• A completed Foodwaze questionnaire

• Source verification

• Other research


Farm Supplies
Caromont Farm Cheese
Polyface Farm Eggs, Poultry
Petit Pois specializes in preparing food for the following dietary needs:
  • Vegetarian
Other information about Petit Pois:
  • Mid-cost meal: $11-$25
  • High-cost meal: above $25
  • Outdoor Seating
  • Accepts Credit Cards
  • Full Bar
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Business Meeting Friendly

108 3rd Street NE
Charlottesville, VA