What To Eat in West Virginia
Betwixt and between the South, the Midwest, and the Mid-Atlantic states, West Virginia offers treasures of every region, but with an accent all its own. Italian food is particularly good in the northeast part of the state, which is home of the pepperoni roll (bread baked around spicy beef sticks); and up in the panhandle around Wheeling, some of the region’s most celebrated fish sandwiches are served. West Virginia is arguably the home of the Dixie dog: a hot dog topped with ground beef sauce and cole slaw.
The simple formula of bread dough baked around a sheaf of pepperoni is a favorite dish of West Virginians who enjoy little portable versions as a snack and plate-size ones topped with cheese and sauce as supper.
Hot dog historians believe that the Dixie dog first was configured in Huntington, West Virginia, where it remains immensely popular, at Stewart's root beer stand, which opened in 1932. The next year, proprietor Gertrude Mandt developed a chili sauce and started serving hot dogs. Exactly when slaw became part of the formula is lost in the mists of time, but it's that trio – blubbery dog, spicy chili, creamy slaw – that is transcendent magic. Note that Dixie dogs are not called Dixie dogs in West Virginia or anywhere else they are popular. They are called slaw dogs or simply hot dogs, the toppings a given.
Check out all of our favorite versions in our guide to
America's Best Dixie Dogs.
Fish sandwiches are popular everywhere, but especially so in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio. There is nothing innovative or outlandish about the great ones. Nothing more than fried fish on white bread, maybe with some tartar sauce, they are all about the quality (and quantity) of fish and the freshness of the oil in which it is fried.
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Coleman’s fish sandwich is simple and perfect, a culinary highlight of Wheeling, West Virginia, and one of the best anywhere.
Julio's is a fine Italian restaurant in Clarksburg, West Virginia. We love the pasta fagiole and "paisano salad" - red peppers stuffed with hot ground sausage.
Multiple buffet tables at Quinet's Court are a West Virginia square-meals legend. It's a restaurant, but the fare is home cooking at its best.
Ritzy hot dogs come in steamed-soft buns topped with zesty ground-beef sauce. Cole slaw atop the chili adds a sweet note so popular in West Virginia.
Pizza dough baked around sticks of pepperoni are a specialty. Beyond great pepperoni rolls, Tomaro's Italian bread loaves are West Virginia's best.
Everything is made from scratch at Diehl's, a West Virginia restaurant gem. Country ham, burgers, pulled pork, and Graham cracker pie are some menu highlights.
Stewart's is a West Virginia landmark known for little weenies served in steamed buns topped with secret-recipe chili, mustard, onions and creamy cole slaw.
A West Virginia country kitchen where two can eat hearty and come away with change from a $20, Lora's serves fine burgers, sandwiches, pies and hot fudge cake.
A charming, out-of-the-way Morgantown, West Virginia, diner, Ruby & Ketchy's is a favorite restaurant for locals to come for square meals and conversation.