Adventurous eaters: head around the world in 80 dishes

West Virginia is a culinary melting pot of international dishes from around the world.

Get a taste of several different countries right in the Mountain State:

Habanero Mexican Grill

This Martinsburg restaurant makes all its items fresh, from scratch every day. Try their soft tacos, which come with chicken, beef, chorizo, tofu, beans or vegetables. The nachos, which are topped with queso, salsa, sour cream and come with your choice of protein, and for a burrito, just add in rice and beans. For something a little different, try a quesadilla or taco salad. Don’t forget your sides: homemade salsaqueso or guacamole.

The French Goat

Little lemon meringue pie at The French Goat, West VirginiaPut a little ooh la la in your step in Lewisburg at this classic French restaurant. You can’t pass up classics like escargot traditionnel, which are
snails with garlic butter, parsley, fennel, and toasted bread crumbs, and huîtres sur halfshell, a half-dozen seasonal oysters with mignonette. And the soupe à l’oignon, an onion soup with croutons, gruyere, baby Swiss and reggiano cheese, is a must-try.

Entrees like boeuf Bourguignon (which comes with roasted fall root vegetables, crimini mushrooms, potato puree and sauce Bordelaise); saumon poêlé (pan-seared Scottish salmon with cranberry beans, fennel-roasted Brussels sprouts, Dijon and tarragon sauce); pétoncles et risotto (seared diver scallops, Meyer lemon risotto, broccolini, citrus supremes, and warm tomato vinaigrette); and confit de canard (crisp duck confit, celeriac, butternut squash, French beans, smashed fingerlings, and sweet potato nage) are sure to please. And, of course, add an order of pommes frites truffées, or truffle fries, to any dish to finish it off.

Africana Cherith Restaurant

This Morgantown restaurant transports diners to Africa with traditional recipes and a touch of heat. Try one of the stews: Peanut Butter Stew, which is cooked with beef and African spices, or Obe Ewure, which is a goat stew cooked with carrots, cabbage and tomato sauce. Or, what about some Obe, a pepper soup made of either vegetables or goat.

If that’s not enough to fill you up, try the Jerk Adadi Chicken, which is chicken seasoned with African spices, or maybe some Eja Obokun, which is whole, bone-in tilapia either grilled or fried. Opa Eran (seasoned oxtail), Suya (grilled angus kebab) or Roti Beef Curry (curry meat served in a wrap with African spices) all make for a tasty meal.

Muriale’s Italian Restaurant & Catering

Step into Little Italy in Fairmont at Muriale’s. Start your meal with the house-made minestrone soup made with seasonal vegetables, housemade Italian sausage, and freshly grated Romano cheese or bruschetta, which is toasted Italian bread with tomatoes, onions, mozzarella, basil, olive oil and balsamic reduction.

Then, move on to spaghetti and meatballs made with the family’s signature recipe; linguini with clam sauce, which has fresh chopped clams in your choice of red or white clam sauce; or Muriale’s Gnocchi, potato dumplings with meat sauce and two meatballs.

If you’re feeling a bit hungrier, go for veal Parmigiana, which is breaded veal covered with mozzarella cheese served with spaghetti and meat sauce; shrimp scampi, which is sautéed shrimp, garlic, lemon, butter and white wine sauce; or manicotti, which is stuffed shells topped with mozzarella, meat sauce and a meatball.

Ichiban Pan-Asian Restaurant

Though West Virginia may be a few hundred miles from the ocean, that doesn’t stop this Charleston restaurant from serving up some of the freshest sushi, seafood and more. Start with shumai, which are crabmeat-and-shrimp steamed dumplings served with a soy mustard sauce, or seared ahi tuna, which is topped with feta cheese and scallions and served with a ponzu sauce. Head to the sushi bar to order à la carte the toro (fatty tuna), shiromi (white fish), hamachi (yellowtail) or ebi (shrimp) rolls.

Or, go for the udon nabeyaki (udon noodles in a soy broth with chicken, bok choy, red peppers, shiitake mushrooms and egg drop with shrimp tempura) or Tokyo ramen (ramen noodles in chicken and soy broth with chicken, asparagus, onions and hardboiled egg).

El Gran Sabor

Authentic Venezuelan cuisine awaits hungry visitors right in Elkins, West Virginia. Their most popular dish? The cachapas, which are corn pancakes that come filled with beef, chicken or cheese. Or, you can go for an arepa, a flat patty made of corn stuffed with chicken, beef, pork, black beans or veggies, or an empanada, a fried cornmeal pocket filled with savory ingredients.

If you’re feeling a bit more carnivorous, try a pabellon, which is shredded beef marinated with tomato and cilantro, with rice and beans, or the Venezuelan Sandwich, which has seasoned shredded beef, ham and cheese with mustard and mayonnaise. On the side, get some tostones (fried plantains), yuca (South American potato), or Latin Shrimp Soup.

Hutte Swiss Restaurant

The Hutte Swiss Restaurant, a yellow clapboard cottage with dormers and wildflowers in Helvetia, West VirginiaCraving a Swiss country meal? Look no further than Helvetia’s Hutte Swiss Restaurant. These homey, filling meals are perfect in the cooler months. Try the morgan henalie, which is a curried chicken with peas, hash browns, and applesauce or Zurich sauerbraten, which is a pot roast served with noodles.

Diners also love the housemade sausage, which has a tomato-based sweet sauce; the Helvetia cheese soup sprinkled with nutmeg; and bratwurst. Don’t forget side dishes of the homemade bread, grated potato pancake rosti, and sweet sauerkraut.

Nawab Indian Cuisine

This Huntington restaurant features dishes that pay homage to simple, clean and vibrant Indian flavors. Get a taste with some vegetable samosas, lightly spiced turnovers stuffed with potatoes and green peas; chicken pakoras, boneless tender pieces of chicken breast deep fried in seasoned batter mix; or mulligatawny soup, which is a traditional Indian soup made from lentils and pureed vegetables.

Moving on to entrees, crowd favorites are chicken tikka masala, which is cubes of white meat chicken marinated and roasted in a clay oven then simmered in tomato and cream sauce; tandoori chicken, which is tender chicken marinated in yogurt and spices then baked on skewers in a clay oven; and goat curry, which is fresh pieces of goat cooked in rice curry sauce. If you’re a vegetarian, there are tons of options, including vegetable korma, fresh vegetables cooked in a light cream and blend of spices, and chana masala, garbanzo beans and diced potatoes cooked in a northern India-style sauce.

Cafe Acropolis

Original, authentic Greek cuisine awaits you in Summersville, West Virginia. Start off with cheese saganaki, imported Greek cheese that is baked and then flamed at your table; hummus; or some dolmades, which are stuffed grape leaves.

For your main meal, try their gyro, which has slices of seasoned beef and lamb with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, feta cheese and sauce on pita bread or the souvlaki, which is marinated pork tenderloin served on pita bread with lettuce, tomato, onion, feta cheese and special dressing. A crowd favorite is the moussaka, which is baked eggplant, potatoes and seasoned ground beef topped with a béchamel sauce. To finish off the meal on a sweet note, try the baklava or rum cake.

Pho Vinh Long

South Charleston has not one but two Vietnamese restaurants right across from each other. Pho Vinh Long specializes in pho, a beef noodle soup. Other favorites include goi cuon (fresh spring rolls), bun thit nuong (grilled pork and rice noodle bowl), com chien (fried rice with beef, pork, chicken or shrimp), and mi xao mem (stir-fried egg noodles). Mon chay vegetarian dishes are also available with tofu and vegetables. And to wash it all down, try a taro bubble tea or a cafe den nong (Vietnamese coffee).

How many dishes have you tried?

This post was last updated on March 16, 2022