West Virginia’s capital city has several local eateries to choose from. Many of these are long-standing restaurants that have been in the Kanawha Valley for decades. Whether you are looking for international eats or chef-inspired dishes, beautiful charcuterie boards or the best Chicken Tikka Masala on the planet, here are my 19 best restaurants in Charleston, WV, for a palate-pleasing meal.
1. 1010 Bridge Restaurant
1010 Bridge Restaurant in South Hills is versatile in being upscale enough for date night or celebrations, but casual enough to enjoy cocktails and appetizers at the bar with friends. The list of craft cocktails is extensive, and the menu is sensational.
Expect farm-to-table fresh, with creative chef-inspired magic. The White Cheddar Pimento Cheese appetizer is to die for, and the Filet Mignon and Dijon & Dill Crusted Chilean Salmon are both delicious entree choices.
Save room for the Molten White Chocolate Beet Cake, with buttermilk sorghum glaze and cream cheese buttercrème, was truly one of the most spectacular desserts of my life.
2. Adelphia Sports Bar & Grille
Located in downtown Charleston’s historic district is Adelphia Sports Bar & Grille, an authentic Greek eatery also offering American fare.
The gyros and kebabs are both delicious, and you can’t come to Adelphia without trying the Hummus and Pita bread. Pair your meal with around 25 tap beers, many local brews, or a double pour, single price drink every day of the week.
3. Black Sheep Burrito
I love everything about Black Sheep Burrito: the craft beer, stylish decor, tasty eats, and stellar brunch. You can’t miss the O.G. Chicken and Waffles, with crispy honey-nut breaded fried chicken, candied pecans and jalapeños, and fried onion straws. Then, the stack is topped with sage-infused maple syrup–yum! This is the best Chicken and Waffles I’ve eaten in the country, and eating is my job.
Black Sheep’s Vindaloo Curry Breakfast and Cee-Bee-Gee are noteworthy, too.
4. Block Restaurant and Wine Cellar
Downtown Charleston’s The Block has so much going for it—great food, an excellent selection of quality wine and beer, fantastic location, and an amazing happy hour, not to mention attentive service.
There are great choices for lunch, dinner, and cheese boards, but I like to make a meal on appetizers at happy hour prices: skillet blue crab dip (with toasted pita), shrimp, and arancini.
The Block also has a Sunday brunch from 11 AM to 3 PM.
5. Bricks & Barrels
Discover one of Charleston’s most romantic restaurants, Bricks & Barrels, behind Appalachian Power Park.
Start your dining experience with a swanky charcuterie board with three types of meat, cheeses, olives, grapes, crackers, and spreads. Or go straight for the Napoleon, a layered dish with fried green tomatoes, pimento cheese, tomato jam, a piece of filet mignon, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Pair your meal with a creative cocktail, wine, or craft beer.
6. Bridge Road Bistro
Bridge Road Bistro, nestled in the South Hills neighborhood, is a staple in the Kanawha Valley. For years, they have been turning out quality meals, upscale menu items, and have great live music and bar seating. Guests can enjoy a glass of wine and appetizers or go for a hearty, full lunch or dinner, but rest assured that the food is always delicious.
I often opt for a Caesar Salad and bowl of French Onion Soup at BRB, but the Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf and Grilled Chicken Fusilli with Spinach & Asiago Cheese are both great entrée choices.
7. Chop House
I’m big on classic steakhouses, and The Chop House at the Town Center Mall in downtown Charleston is hard to beat. When you want a perfectly cooked steak (USDA prime), fancied up with luscious crab meat or a delicate béarnaise sauce, Chop House has got you covered.
One of the most amazing dishes at The Chop House is the luscious and picture-perfect seafood tower, that has the best crab Louis you’ll ever eat. If you aren’t all that hungry, how about a bowl of either Baked French Onion Soup or Lobster Bisque, paired with a mouth-watering Caesar salad? I’d have to say that Chop House has the best Lobster Bisque I’ve ever tried, and the presentation alone is fancy schmancy.
8. Cozumel Mexican Restaurant
Charleston has a variety of Mexican restaurants, but only one can be the best, and it is, hands down, Cozumel at Ashton Place. Chances are, you can’t eat just one basket of chips and salsa, and it’s doubtful anyone enters the door without an order of Cozumel’s creamy Queso.
From the warm chips and spicy salsa to the tender and creamy Pollo Con Arroz, you’ll enjoy finger-lickin’ good eats at this town favorite. Vegetarian? No worries, try Cozumel’s Vegetarian Nachos, with steamed broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, and mushrooms. Nom! Cozumel’s fajitas are an excellent choice, too, available in beef, chicken, shrimp, or a mix of them all. Come at lunch for a whole menu of discounted selections.
Diehl’s Restaurant is a family-style eatery with every kind of comfort food you can imagine. The menu is vast, and the food is really tasty, but the star attraction at Diehl’s is the billowy rolls, just like Grandma used to make them.
I love the stuffed chicken and meatloaf that come with two sides of your choice. The green beans and potatoes au gratin are both excellent. Spaghetti, fresh salads, and roast beef & gravy are other popular choices for main courses at Diehl’s.
And let’s not forget the incredible homemade pies, cobbler, and cakes! If they have graham cracker pie, take a slice home to enjoy when you aren’t so full.
10. Hale House
I tend to forget about Hale House when I visit Charleston, mainly because it is tucked away on a street I don’t frequent other than going here to eat. Put it on your schedule, Hale House is an excellent bistro-style eatery with the town’s best drink menu and delicious quality dishes, plus the restaurant is chic and lovely. I’ve only experienced appetizers there, but I have friends who eat here regularly.
Buffalo Chicken Wontons are a must, enhanced to the next level with the restaurant’s own chunky homemade blue cheese sauce and buffalo sauce. So good, I’ll bet you can’t eat just one.
11. Hibachi Japanese Steakhouse
You’ll find part sushi, part hibachi menu at Hibachi Japanese Steakhouse in the Dudley Farms Plaza of Corridor G. Hibachi prepares meals tableside for you and your guests using fresh veggies, meat, cabbage, and rice.
Choose from protein (steak, Filet, shrimp, tofu, chicken), style of rice (white or fried), and watch it and the medley of onions, mushrooms, and broccoli, cook while you feast on soup or salad (the ginger dressing is the best!).
I’ve eaten at a lot of hibachi-style places around the country, and seldom do they ever surpass Charleston’s Hibachi in terms of taste.
12. Lola‘s Pizza
Sink your teeth into Neopolitan-style pizzas from Lola’s, situated in a cute little house on Bridge Road at South Hills. Lola’s is known for being a great neighborhood restaurant with fantastic sangria, tasty pizza, and fresh ingredients—pretty tall reasons for making it one of the best restaurants in Charleston, WV.
I always start my Lola’s dining experience with the panko-crusted mozzarella, but the lemon and herb hummus is a great starter, too. I’ve also been ordering the goat cheese salad for as long as I can remember, so it thrills me to see it still on the menu.
As far as pizzas go, my top pick is the steak & cheese, with Swift Level Farm flank steak, white cheddar, red onions, jalapeños, white cheddar, and lots of fresh garlic. It is so tasty!
Fun Fact: Lola’s used to serve Louisa DiTrapano’s famous sangria recipe with brandy. I’d love to know if that is still the one they use.
13. Mi Cocina de Amor
Mi Cocina de Amor, located in the heart of Elk City on Charleston’s West Side, serves “regional cuisine from the state of Senora in Northern Mexico”. While they offer traditional Mexican food such as nachos, enchiladas, tacos and burritos, the owner places his own spin on everything using family recipes handed down for generations.
My favorites on the menu are the Enchiladas Blanco, which has delicious slow-cooked chicken wrapped in corn tortillas and topped with a delicious green chili sour cream sauce. (contributed by Hope Johnson)
14. Mountain Pie Company
A few minutes outside of Charleston, in neighboring St. Albans, is Mountain Pie Company, offering a fantastic patio overlooking the Kanawha River. Mountain Pie is both bar and restaurant, with elevated bar eats, but people come here for one thing in particular—pepperoni rolls.
Mountain Pie Company does a pretty good job of recreating West Virginia’s signature dish, Pepperoni Rolls, and they are even better dunked in the thick marinara sauce.
15. Olive Tree Cafe and Catering
I order the Chicken Shawarma, but if you aren’t into ethnic eats, there are plenty of other menu choices, plus sandwiches made with Boar’s Head meats. A few great appetizers to try out are the Fried Feta (with apricot preserves), Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, and Mediterranean Nachos.
16. Pies & Pints
Pies & Pints, on Charleston’s busy Capitol Street, is a spectacular place for award-winning pizza, great tap beer, and an arsenal of tasty appetizers. I love the Pork & Pepper Nachos, with scallions, black beans, jalapeños, and chipotle crema, which pair wonderfully with a cold beer.
Steak & Mushroom, Chicken Gouda, and Thai pizzas are all excellent and made with creative recipes, but the Grape and Gorgonzola pizza is a true original that Pies and Pints does better than anywhere. Split your pizza and enjoy two combinations for no additional charge. Pies & Pints was franchised about the day they opened their Charleston location, so you will see them all over the country, from Pennsylvania to Alabama.
17. Sitar of India
Did you know that sitting in Charleston, West Virginia, is one of the best Indian restaurants you’ll find in the country? That’s my take on Sitar of India, and I’ve been to dozens. The Indian lunch buffet is a great way to try many different Indian dishes to see what you like (if you are unfamiliar).
Like most, the Chicken Tikka Masala is my favorite, with a creamy, velvety tomato-based sauce that is so fragrant and tasty. I’ve introduced many friends to Indian food from Sitar of India, and they are always impressed and ready to revisit.
18. Tidewater Grill
It is not often that a chain restaurant, and one on the higher scale for the town, can withstand the restaurant business for 30+ years, but Tidewater Grill at the Charleston Town Center has done that. The delicious food and professional service may be two of the reasons.
Locals are thankful for the delicious poppy seed bread (unlike anywhere else), and the flavorful Greek salads, complete with olives and beets.
For your main course, the Fettuccine St. Tropez pasta meal is a Charleston favorite (I prefer the Chicken Nicole with artichoke hearts and mushrooms), but the Crab Cakes are a close runner-up. Tidewater Grill has a popular raw bar and a thriving bar scene, too.
Another tasty treat in the South Hills neighborhood of Charleston, WV, is Wheelhouse, a sandwich shop with the likes of tuna salad, burgers, pimento cheese, soup, gourmet salads, and sandwiches. The space is decorated in a nautical theme and offers counter service, to-go options, and delivery.
Craving sweets? Wheelhouse has ice cream, homemade cookies. root beer floats, and milkshakes.
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