Best Ice Cream


Opened in 1997, this Capitol Street institution is a favorite hangout for Charlestonians of all ages. Whether you prefer classic vanilla or something a bit more extravagant—like raspberry chocolate chip—Ellen’s has a lengthy menu of all-natural ice creams, sorbets, and gelatos. 225 Capitol Street, Charleston 304.343.6488, on Facebook


This beloved seasonal ice cream parlor opened a second location in downtown Huntington in November 2017. 1103 C Street, Kenova 304.453.2071, @austinsicecream on Facebook

If soft serve is more your style, this Fairmont favorite serves up the biggest cones in town—a large stands about a foot tall. 187 Homewood Avenue, Fairmont, 304.366.6809, “Dairy Creme Corner” on Facebook

Best Bakery



“Hot dogs”—elongated, donut-like pastries filled with cream and topped with powdered sugar and sometimes chocolate—are a favorite treat at bakeries around the Kanawha Valley. But if you want the original, head to Spring Hill. You’d better show up early or call ahead, though, because these puppies sell out fast.

Spring Hill is also known for its delicious cakes, pies, pastries, and cookies. You won’t find any fancy coffee drinks here—just a hardworking, family-run business committed to making its customers’ special occasions a little more special. 600 Chestnut Street, South Charleston, 304.768.7397, “Spring Hill Pastry Shop” on Facebook


See Rock City? This cake shop started business in Logan but moved to Charleston in 2016, where customers immediately began making noise about its gourmet cupcakes. 241 Capitol Street, Charleston, 681.265.9154,
@rockcitycakeco on Facebook

Best Wedding Cake


Wedding bells always ring at Bonnie Belle’s. Seventy years ago master baker Richard Hawkins and his wife, Bonnie Belle, started the bakery in a barn before opening the first store in Nutter Fort. They passed down their gift and recipes to their late son Jim, his wife, Linda, and their grandson Patrick. While it is a premium bakery, with cupcakes, petit fours, cookies, and Cup-A-Cakes made using only the best ingredients, the bakery also specializes in custom wedding and celebration cakes. From elegant to traditional to one-of-a-kind, Bonnie Belle’s will take your vision and deliver the cake of your dreams. With a new location right off I-79 at White Oaks in Bridgeport, it is even easier to stop and sample the goods. We guarantee, you’ll love this bakery as much as we do. 1520 Buckhannon Pike, Nutter Fort, 304.622.7471 20 Shaner Drive, White Oaks Bridgeport, 304.848.1100,

Best Sandwich


After making his mark on the pizza business with Pies & Pints, co-founder Dave Bailey turned his attention to sandwiches. His Secret Sandwich Society, opened in 2010, is now one of Fayetteville’s favorites.

History buffs will appreciate the creative menu: Salads are named after former first ladies, burgers are named for Secret Service code names, and the sandwiches are named for former U.S. presidents. The sandwich dedicated to President Herbert Hoover—who once promised a “chicken in every pot”—is a fried chicken cutlet, topped with honey butter, pickles, and greens. The “Kennedy” contains roasted pork loin, ham, pickles, Swiss cheese, roasted garlic mayo, and mustard. At any other restaurant, the dish would probably be called a Cuban sandwich. 103 Keller Avenue, Fayetteville, 304.574.4777,, @secretsandwichsocietywv on Facebook

Best Maple Syrup


Look. If you’re going to eat pancakes, do it right. Life is too short for that high fructose corn syrup stuff you ate as a kid. Experience the rich, complex flavors of Flanigan Family Maple’s 100 percent pure maple syrup—tapped, boiled, and bottled right in Wayne County. There’s a reason their syrup won first prize at the 2017 West Virginia State Fair last August. 730 Cedar Run Road, Kenova, 304.972.3129, @flaniganfamilymaple on Facebook

Best Appalachian Cuisine


With a name like Bluegrass Kitchen, one might expect a kitschy country diner with lots of old photos on the walls and a gravy-laden menu. But this eatery on Charleston’s East End avoids cliché while still embracing its Appalachian roots in a healthy, and creative way. The menu is built around fresh, local ingredients. Try the Pickle-Brined Fried Chicken, served with braised kale and whipped cauliflower, or the Trout & Grits, a pan-seared trout with organic grits and braised kale topped with bourbon mustard-dill sauce. Whatever your entrée, finish things off with a slice of the restaurant’s signature blueberry buttermilk pie, baked at sister restaurant Starlings Coffee & Provisions just down the street. 1600 Washington Street East, Charleston, 304.346.2871,, @bluegrasskitchen on Facebook

Best Brunch


Black Sheep is known for taking bold flavors from a variety of cuisines and combining them in new, interesting ways. The same holds true for its weekend brunch menu. You’ll find Mexican breakfast favorites like huevos rancheros and breakfast quesadillas, but how about some Vindaloo Curry Eggs Benedict, served with grilled chicken and cured ham?

The most popular item is the Chicken and Waffles, which features a Belgian waffle topped with Honey Nut Cheerio-breaded fried chicken, candied pecans, candied jalapenos, fried onion straws, and sage-infused maple syrup. Pair that with one of the restaurant’s signature mimosas, but don’t be surprised if you need an afternoon nap. 702 Quarrier Street, Charleston 304.343.2739,, @blacksheepwv on Facebook

Best Fine Dining


In 1999, Tim Urbanic and his wife, Melody, decided to try out some of his grandmother’s Italian recipes in a Sutton restaurant they named Cafe Cimino. The restaurant was so popular that in 2007 the Urbanics opened a 10-room hotel on the banks of the Elk River. Even as the business expanded, the couple maintained their commitment to cuisine. Nearly two decades after it opened, Cafe Cimino remains a favorite destination for delectable white table cloth dinners. 616 Main Street, Sutton, 304.765.2913,, @cafeciminocountryinn on Facebook

Best Cidery


Before beer was king, America was crazy about hard cider until Prohibition put an end to that love affair. But Josh Bennett and Will Lewis are trying to bring authentic, old-school cider to a tap near you. Hawk Knob presses, blends, and ferments locally grown apples—including many old-school heritage varieties you won’t find in the produce aisle—to create a product your great-great-grandfather would have loved.

Hawk Knob produces four varieties of cider—including one aged in bourbon barrels, for an added kick—as well as cyser, an apple-honey mead. Look for these products at your favorite wine shop and on tap at your favorite watering hole, or visit the cidery on your next trip through Lewisburg. 2245 Blue Sulphur Pike Lewisburg, 304.651.4413,, @hawkknob on Facebook

Best Bbq Joint


This barbecue joint literally started with two brothers and a grill, set up on a street corner on Charleston’s West Side. It wasn’t long before diners were lining up around the block to get a taste of owner Adrian Wright’s ribs, pulled pork, chicken, and brisket. Since those humble beginnings, Dem 2 Brothers has outgrown one brick-and-mortar location, moved into a second, opened a satellite restaurant in eastern Kanawha County, been featured on the Food Network, and launched two food trucks. 423 Virginia Street West Charleston, 304.400.4977, @dem2brothers on Facebook


This Morgantown favorite serves up fresh-smoked pork, beef, and chicken—and even Tofu-beque—with Texas toast, fries, collard greens, and homemade “West Virginia sauce.” 595 Green Bag Road, Morgantown, 304.241.1170, @atomicgrill on Facebook

Best Donut


Many places like to claim they have the best donuts and then, well, there’s Frank’s Pastry Shop in Chester, which gives us a reason to travel all the way to the tippy top of West Virginia. This locally owned and operated full-service bakery that has been in existence since 1950 offers every sweet thing your heart desires, including pastries, cakes, pies, breads, and cookies.

But its donuts are truly something special. Made daily from scratch and with only the finest ingredients, you can choose from maple glazed, peanut butter icing-filled, cream buns, chocolate-dipped, and on and on. The pumpkin donuts are a highly anticipated favorite and the locals grab them up as soon as the come out of the oven. 430 West Carolina Avenue, Chester 304.387.0136, “Frank’s Pastry Shop” on Facebook

Best Drive-In


Morrison’s has been serving up homemade comfort food for seven decades. The drive-in was opened in 1947 by John Morrison. Current owner Jay Mayhorn’s grandfather began working at Morrison’s in 1948 and later became the sole owner.

Not much has changed since then. The waitresses still deliver your food right to your window. And the menu board features lots of dishes you can’t find many other places—like fried chicken gizzards and livers.

If that’s not your style, try one of Morrison’s famed hot dogs with “everything”—chili, slaw, onion, and mustard—or a cheeseburger served on thick slices of grilled toast. And be sure to round out your meal with a side of onion rings and a milkshake. 126 Stollings Avenue, Logan 304.752.9872, “Morrison’s Drive Inn Official Site” on Facebook

Best Butcher Shop


Located inside Charleston’s Capitol Market, Johnnie’s Fresh Meat Market has been the capitol city’s favorite butcher shop since it opened in the 1970s. The friendly staff will hook you up with anything your canine teeth crave—beef, pork, chicken, turkey, rabbit, lamb, goat, and venison—much of it produced by local farmers. It’s worth a stop at Johnnie’s even if you’re not grocery shopping. The butcher shop is also a popular lunch destination, featuring fresh-grilled sandwiches and quesadillas made with Boar’s Head products. 800 Smith Street, Charleston 304.342.0224,, @johnniesfreshmeatmarket on Facebook


Find fresh-cut meat, fresh-ground sausages, and cured bacon as well as fresh produce, breads, gourmet coffee, wine, and craft beer at this little Capon Bridge shop. 2908 Northwestern Pike, Capon Bridge, 304.856.2550, @farmersdaughterwv on Facebook

Best Winery


Enjoy a taste of Tuscany right in the hills outside Morgantown. Founded in 1990, the award-winning Forks of Cheat Winery now boasts more than 20 wines for every palate, from dry reds and sweet whites to fruit and dessert wines. Choose your favorite bottle and settle in on the winery’s shaded deck or stroll the finely manicured grounds. Just don’t be surprised when time flies by. 2811 Stewartstown Road, Morgantown 304.598.2019, , @forksofcheatwinery on Facebook

Best Pepperoni Roll


When Italian immigrant coal miners needed a handy meal to take down into the mines, their wives wrapped pepperoni in some bread dough and a West Virginia favorite was born. When Italian immigrant Giuseppe Argiro wanted to leave the mines behind, he opened the Country Club Bakery in Fairmont and started cranking out pepperoni rolls for hungry patrons. Nine decades later, the bakery is still going and the recipe is unchanged. 1211 Country Club Road, Fairmont, 304.363.5690
@countryclubbakery on Facebook

Best Coffeehouse


Formerly known as HypnoCoffee in Davis, TipTop is the place to go for espresso drinks, wine, cocktails made with small-batch spirits, smoothies, and specialty coffees from around the world. Stop by on Friday for Burger Night or Sunday morning for brunch—complete with a Bloody Mary bar. 216 East Avenue, Thomas, 304.463.4455, @tiptopthomas on Facebook


Black Dog imports coffees from around the world, roasts the beans on-site, and serves them up in a cozy cafe. It doesn’t get much fresher than that. 8001 Charles Town Road Shenandoah Junction, 304.724.9040,, @blackdogcoffeefans on Facebook


Best New Bakery


When you visit Harpers Ferry, it feels like you step back in time. Well, there’s a new bakery in town appropriately named A Step in Time Bake Shop. This quaint bakery is churning out some pretty amazing yeasty creations. Watch out north central West Virginia: Its Mama Jo’s Pepperoni Rolls, made from the owner’s mother’s recipe, is drawing legions of fans from around the state. The Cliffside Rum Roll also has its devoted fans. They are that good. Both can be shipped anywhere in the United States. Even if you are in the mood for a panini, grilled to perfection on freshly baked bread, buy a couple of pepperoni rolls to take with you. You’ll thank us. 1112 West Washington Street, Harpers Ferry 304.535.8046,

Best Pizza


When Kim Shingledecker and Dave Bailey opened their hip little Fayetteville pizza place in 2003, they had no way of knowing that, within a decade, it would become one of West Virginia’s most recognizable name brands. Pies & Pints now boasts 14 locations in five states, each of which features a big selection of craft brews and pizzas you won’t find anywhere else. Our favorite is the Cuban Pork pie, which features slow-roasted pulled pork, caramelized onions, fresh pineapple, jalapenos, feta, cilantro, and crème frâiche. Each of the restaurants has the same commitment to fresh ingredients and friendly service, but there’s still nothing like the vibe of the original restaurant in Fayetteville. 219 West Maple Avenue, Fayetteville, 304.574.2200,, @piesandpints on Facebook

Best Burger


This Huntington-based chain made its name, literally, on big burgers. And nothing beats the original “Patty Burger”: two 4-ounce beef patties, cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, and onion on a soft, buttery bun. It’s a classic American cheeseburger, beautifully executed. Locations in Barboursville, Huntington, and Hurricane., @fatpattys on Facebook


Easily the worst-kept secret in town, these burgers come dressed in gourmet toppings on buttery brioche buns, with fries and housemade ketchup. 103 Keller Avenue, Fayetteville 304.574.4777,, @secretsandwichsocietywv on Facebook

Best Hot Dog


This isn’t your typical West Virginia hot dog joint. Consider the Coal Miner dog: a deep-fried weenie topped with chili sauce, mustard, and blackening seasoning. Or the Pineappleachian Dog, which features barbeque sauce, ham, cheese, and crushed pineapple. You can eat your grub in a rusty school bus or even get hitched at the newly opened Weddin’ Chapel. 6951 Ohio River Road, Lesage 304.762.2458,
@hillbillyhotdogs on Facebook


CUSTARD STANDWith six locations across the state and a line of frozen hot dog chili, Custard Stand has your hot dog cravings covered., @custardstand on Facebook

MORRISON’S DRIVE INNNevermind styrofoam or aluminum foil, Morrison’s hot dogs come wrapped in cellophane tubes. Does that make a difference? We think so. 126 Stollings Avenue, Logan 304.752.9872, “Morrison’s Drive Inn Official Site” on Facebook

Best Distillery


Made by descendants of the warring clans who grabbed headlines around the world in the 1870s, Hatfield & McCoy Moonshine produces small, handmade batches of corn whiskey using a recipe handed down from Devil Anse Hatfield himself. This Gilbert micro-distillery uses West Virginia-grown corn and copper kettle stills to make authentic 90 proof moonshine. Use it in your favorite mixed drink instead of vodka or tequila. Or drink it like Devil Anse probably would have—straight, no chaser. 297 James Avenue, Gilbert, 304.664.2821, @hatfieldmccoymoonshine on Facebook

Best Farm-to-Table


The philosophy behind this Fayetteville eatery is simple: Use locally produced meats and vegetables to produce simple, well-made dishes. It’s an environmentally friendly way to eat and keeps money flowing into the local economy. Plus, it’s delicious. 312 North Court Street Fayetteville, 304.900.5516,, @thestationwv on Facebook

TIN 202

Come for the high-end cocktails, stay for the menu of tapas plates, ceviche, and high-end entrées that feature farm fresh ingredients including locally raised eggs and vegetables and West Virginia beef and pork. 202 High Street, Morgantown, 304.574.4777,, @tin202wv on Facebook


Here you’ll find locally raised beef in the taco salad, a Nagari Ricotta made with salt brine from JQ Dickinson Salt-Works, local eggs, West Virginia-smoked ham, locally cured bacon, and many more locally sourced ingredients. 1600 Washington Street East, Charleston, 304.346.2871,, @bluegrasskitchen on Facebook

Best Craft Beer


When Big Timber Porter started showing up at taps across the state in 2015, it became a runaway favorite. With its rich coffee aroma perfectly balanced by flavors of chocolate and tobacco, moderately strong at 6.5 percent alcohol by volume, it goes down easy. It also pairs as perfectly with red meat dishes as it does with desserts. This operation brews a good range of standards and seasonals and also distributes in cans. 1210 South Davis Avenue, Elkins, 304.637.5008,, @bigtimberbrewing on Facebook

Best Spirits


At the end of a gravel road in Charles Town in a salvaged 1840s cabin, magic happens. Bloomery Plantation Distillery is growing lemons. Not only is it growing lemons, the distillery is making out-of-this-world limoncello that rivals the finest you’d find in Italy. In fact, it’s won more than 20 international awards. The distillery’s award-winning labels resemble vintage seed packets and make the jars jump off the shelf, but it’s what’s inside that keeps folks purchasing more and more. What started with a handful of flavors has expanded to more than 10 options. Although the limoncello is its flagship and top seller, the distillery offers so much more. With raspberry, ginger, pumpkin, peach, and black walnuts as a few of its other spirits, there are many bottles to collect. 16357 Charles Town Road, Charles Town, 304.725.3036,

Best Brewery


If you’re a West Virginia beer fan, you know about Mountain State Brewing Company. These folks were making craft beer before it was cool with signature brews like the Seneca IPA—which uses a blend of hops to provide a bold but not bitter flavor—and the Miner’s Daughter Oatmeal Stout, brewed with chocolate malted barley. Enjoy the beers at one of Mountain State’s three locations in Thomas, Morgantown, and Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. You can also find their beers in stores and restaurants all over West Virginia and into Maryland. 1 Nelson Boulevard Thomas, 304.463.4500,,
@mountainstatebrewing on Facebook


BIG TIMBER BREWINGThis Elkins-based brewery opened in 2014 and has quickly earned a reputation as a heavy hitter in the craft brew scene. Try the Porter (see our Editors’ Choice on previous page).
1210 South Davis
Avenue, Elkins, 304.637.5008,, @bigtimberbrewing on Facebook

BRIDGE BREW WORKSIt’s a small operation, but this Fayetteville brewery makes big-tasting beers. Try the Long Point Lager. 335 Nick Rahall Greenway, Fayetteville, 304.574.1998,, @bridgebrewworks on Facebook

Best Italian Restaurant


This Fairmont institution is exactly what you want in an Italian restaurant: It’s cozy, the staff is friendly and attentive, there’s a great wine list, and the red sauce is out of this world. Be sure to try the lasagna and meatballs, which are both served under ladles of Muriale’s signature sauce. But no matter what you pick, it’s going to be delicious. There’s a reason Best of West Virginia voters have picked Muriale’s as the state’s best Italian restaurant five years running. 1742 Fairmont Avenue, Fairmont, 304.363.3190,, @muriales on Facebook


This family-run business with locations in Bridgeport and Morgantown offers top-notch Italian fare. But honestly, it’s worth the trip for one of their fresh-baked breadsticks. 507 East Main Street, Bridgeport, 304.842.7388; 52 Clay Street Morgantown, 304.296.2565,, @oliverioswv on Facebook

If you can’t make it to the original location in Ceredo, take a trip to your grocer’s freezer, where you’ll find Rocco’s lasagna, spaghetti sauce, and its popular hot dog sauce. 252 Main Street, Ceredo, 304.453.3000