Nikki’s Top 20 Eats


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Continuing in the spirit of Top 10 lists that seem to crop up at the end of every year, I’m going to share with you 20 of my favorite places to eat around the state.

  1. Café Cimino, Sutton. Chef Tim Urbanic performs culinary magic. This delightful restaurant and inn continues to win awards—and for good reason.
  2. Later Alligator, Wheeling. I fell in love with Later Alligator’s creative crepes and tomato soup four years ago, and to this day it still manages to amaze me.
  3. Elk River Inn and Restaurant. This is Pocahontas County’s premier restaurant. Comfortable and laid-back atmosphere meets five-star cuisine. A short drive from Snowshoe Mountain, it needs to be on your bucket list.
  4. Black Sheep Burritos, Huntington. This is a recent find for me, and I admit it rocked my world. The Korean barbecue taco, Trout taco, and brisket burrito were some of the most tantalizing flavors I’ve enjoyed in recent memory.
  5. Fish Hawk Acres, Rock Cave. If Chef Dale Hawkins would cook me dinner, I would drive to Rock Cave every evening. Enough said.
  6. El Gran Sabor, Elkins. This authentic Venezuelan restaurant in Elkins dishes up Latin American cuisine to make your heart sing. The Cachapa is my favorite dish.
  7. Stardust Café, Lewisburg. Everything on the menu is special. When I’m in Lewisburg, I plan my day around dinner at Stardust.
  8. Stefano’s, Morgantown. For special celebrations, this is fine dining at its best.
  9. Sargasso, Morgantown. My go-to place for lunch meetings or that special dinner. The seasonal menu is always creative and the desserts are to die for.
  10. You’ll want to make reservations for Wednesday Dinners at Sandscrest, a serene spiritual conference and retreat Center in Wheeling with amazing ambience and views. Chef Sarah Lydick is one of the state’s best-kept secrets. It’s BYOB and spots fill early.
  11. The Guesthouse at Lost River has the reputation of being one of the finest restaurants in the area. It is also a popular destination for the DC crowd.
  12. Fazio’s, Charleston. There’s something about this mainstay that just feels like home. The homemade sauces are some of the best in the state.
  13. Jim’s Steak & Spaghetti House, Huntington. This place wraps its arms around you like a long lost friend. Enjoy your lunch or dinner in the booth where President Kennedy sat. Known for their spaghetti, but their cheeseburger is pretty special, too.
  14. Stella’s, Lewisburg. My favorite brunch spot in the entire state. Farm fresh Eggs Benedict is unrivaled.
  15. Lot 21, Berkeley Springs. Berkeley Springs is a cool town with a counterculture vibe. Chef Heath’s restaurant is the place to eat.
  16. Hillbilly Hotdogs, Lesage. Atmosphere reigns supreme here. This is one of my kids’ favorite places to go. Eat an unusual hot dog concoction in a graffiti-covered, jacked-up school bus. Make sure you sign the table, or the wall, or a plastic doll or two—that’s half the fun.
  17. The Press Room, Shepherdstown. The Eastern Panhandle has its fair share of cool historic towns, but in my opinion, Shepherdstown lays claim to some of the best restaurants. Try the lamb chop, filet, or calamari—or just cozy up to the bar.
  18. Poky Dot Diner, Fairmont. Another family-friendly spot that is a just plain fun place to go with oversized portions of comfort food and cheerful décor.
  19. Apple Annie’s, Pt. Marion, PA. – OK, this one isn’t in West Virginia, but it should be. It is right over the border in Point Marion, Pennsylvania, from Morgantown—and Morgantown patrons flock here for the out-of-this-world monstrous-sized desserts. I call dibs on the peanut butter cake!
  20. Bluegrass Café, Charleston. – Brunch at Bluegrass is a Sunday mainstay, but lunch and dinner are special, too. Shrimp and grits are my go-to dish. 

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