Food and Taste Tour

Eat your way across Appalachia and beyond with a taste tour of cuisines from around the globe! Dine lavishly on Italian in West Virginia’s own little Italy, and dig into German favorites in a small bavarian settlement, tucked back in the hills. Explore a world of flavor in just a few days!

 

Mediterranean & Middle Eastern WV (Morgantown)

Taste dishes from several Middle Eastern countries, or buy authentic ingredients and learn to cook your own Mediterranean meal! –

Ali Baba 82 Hart Field Rd, Morgantown, WV 26505
A 35-year staple in Morgantown, Ali Baba was founded by native Palestinian who wanted to share his favorites from home. Specialties include curries, char-broiled shish kebab and authentic Mediterranean platters.

Lebanese Bistro 156 Clay St, Morgantown, WV 26501
Known for their hummus & tabbouleh, this family-owned restaurant serves up authentic Lebanese cuisine. The owner, often there to greet customers, posts special deals on chalkboards all over the restaurant, or on their Facebook page. You can also check for special event announcements, from bellydancers to buffets and weekly brunch. They also serve wine, beer & cocktails.

Jasmine Grill 330 High St, Morgantown, WV 26505
Have you tried Turkish coffee or Aryan (a yogurt drink)? They’re delicious treats you can sip along with your meal from this authentic Syrian grill, run by a partnership of 2 Syrian families. The quaint atmosphere is the cherry on top of their mouth-watering grilled dishes, which you can also get as a wrap or sandwich.

Kassar’s Food & Gifts 1137 Van Voorhis Rd #23, Morgantown, WV 26505
Take home some goods to cook your own Middle Eastern meals. This Middle Eastern grocery store & restaurant carries authentic Mediterranean spices, sauces, lentils, produce, teas, incense and even special-order meat cuts. You can also enjoy a taste of their chef’s specialties in the cafe.

[Tip:] The restaurant is inside the market. You order from menus at the register then walk back to the restaurant area.

PLAN AROUND:

My Kitchen cooking classes 3391 Grafton Rd, Morgantown , WV 26508
Learn to create the styles of the area in your own kitchen with chef Chris Hall. He teaches on various cuisines, including Thai, Indian, Mediterranean and other foods from around the world. You can also try fun classes, like WV comfort foods, kids’ cooking, tailgating, or cooking with “Superfoods.” Check the calendar for cooking class schedules.

 

ALSO SEE:

Black Bear Burritos 132 Pleasant St, Morgantown, WV 26505
While not authentic cuisine, Black Bear puts a fun spin on global flavors with ethnic-themed burrito selections, like Feta Fetish (Greek), Irie Member (Jamaican) or Thai One On (Thai). They also feature live music and a great beer selection.
For more information about what to see & do in Morgantown, check the Greater Morgantown CVB.

[REST:] After a long day exploring in Morgantown, head to the quieter Marion County for a good, stuffed night’s rest.

 

Italy in Appalachia (Fairmont)

Try West Virginia’s state food, the Italian-inspired pepperoni roll, in all its many forms, and even indulge in authentic holiday tradition. –

Muriale’s 1742 Fairmont Ave, Fairmont, WV 26554
When Italians immigrated to Marion County during the mining boom, they brought with them authentic flavor. Muriale’s serves up a traditional taste of Southern Italy. Try Aunt Mary’s own lasagna, a local favorite, or the homemade sausage platter. Or, dine from the sprawling lunch or dinner buffets.

Country Club Bakery 1211 Country Club Rd, Fairmont, WV 26554
Now it’s time for a real treat: An innovative blend of Italian and Appalachian, born here in Marion County among the Italian miners. Try the original pepperoni roll (WV’s state food) here in the bakery where it was first made. Country Club Bakery ships them to people from all over who can’t find them outside this region. They’re our delicious little secret.

Colasessano’s 506 Pennsylvania Avenue, Fairmont, WV 26554
Once you’ve had the original, taste one of the many variations on the classic pepperoni roll. Founded in 1950, Colasessano’s created its own spin on the treat, adding layers of hearty meat sauce and roasted peppers.

PLAN AROUND:

Feast of the Seven Fishes Festival Fairmont, WV
Join the community coming together to celebrate this authentic Italian holiday celebration. Taste dishes from various Italian eateries around town, and be sure to grab a crunchy pizzelle cookie. After you explore the live entertainment and street market, get a ticket to the cooking school, and watch live demos as you learn to cook (and taste) a lavish 7-course seafood dinner.

For more information about what to see & do in Fairmont, check the CVB of Marion County.

[REST:] Now would be a great time to stop & sleep! Cozy up in Fairmont.

The Paris of WV (Bridgeport)

Sample cheeses, wines & dishes with a French flair, and top your meal off with a decadent Parisian dessert. –

Provence Market 603 South Virginia Avenue, Bridgeport, WV
Stop in for lunch and enjoy breads, cheeses and wines all finely crafted in upscale French cuisine. Baguette, gruyere, brie, chardonnay sauce, chevre… all the classic French flavors. Start with a cheese du jour, then try the goat cheese salad or croque monsieur! (If you can’t pronounce, you can always point!)

Almost Heaven Desserts 100 West Main Street, Bridgeport, WV 26330
Pop into Almost Heaven Desserts after your meal to enjoy a most French tradition: a cup of coffee to relax with a while in the cafe. Top it off with an assortment of daily-made truffles, another favorite of the French.

 

For more information about what to see & do in Bridgeport, check the Bridgeport CVB.

Appalachian Americana (Rock Cave)

You can’t explore the influences of this diverse region without getting a real taste of the authentic Appalachian cuisine it shaped! –

Fish Hawk Acres Farm 1 Fish Hawk Drive, Rock Cave, West Virginia 26234
Consistently rated a top chef in West Virginia, Dale Hawkins now manages his own farm to produce the quality, local ingredients he prefers. Check their calendar for their lavish local farm dinners, or to see which local market to find their fresh produce in. If they are not out and about while you will be traveling through, browse their online selection of gourmet Appalachian fare. From ramp specialties to seasonal meals, you can order fresh, locally prepared delicacies.

PLAN AROUND:

Irish Heritage Festival Ireland, WV
An important root of Appalachian cuisine, enjoy Irish dishes and tradition at the Annual Irish Spring Heritage Festival. With a little luck, you’ll get to compete in the fried potato contest, dance the Irish jigging, and hear the chorus of harps.

For more information about what to see & do around Rock Cave, check the Upshur County CVB.

Swiss-Germany’s WV Settlement (Helvetia)

Discover all the Bavarian culture of this small Swiss village. –

Hutte Restaurant, 1 Main Street Helvetia, West Virginia 26224
The Hutte Restaurant and attached inn serve Swiss & German favorites to the settlers in the small town of Helvetia. They have homemade breads and Swiss-style sausages, as well as an assortment of cheeses. Rinse it down with a hot chocolate or tea.

Honey Haus Route 46, Helvetia, West Virginia
Located beside the Beekeeper Inn, the Honey Haus bakes up fresh Bavarian pastries, served alongside an assortment of specialty coffees and teas. You can also browse locally made jellies, jams, and of course, honey. Their shop also carries a variety of teapots from around the world.

[Tip:] The Honey Haus is only open on weekends

PLAN AROUND:

Fasnacht Community Hall, Helvetia, WV
Don an oversized scary mask to help the Swiss scare away Old Man Winter once the season ends. At midnight, candles will parade down the streets to burn him at a bonfire.
ALSO SEE:

Fasnacht Mask Museum Kulture Haus, Helvetia, WV
This museum showcases the best Fasnacht masks from the Helvetia event through the years. Donated to the museum, the intricate, giant heads are made mostly from paper mache, but sometimes wood or other materials. They depict everything from intricate animals or monsters to giant replicas of their wearer. Some even have intricate lights and electrical motion.

Richter’s Maple House Pickens, WV 26230
Tour one of WV’s largest maple sugar camps through its season, beginning during the March harvest. Their premium syrups are pure with nothing added, and they also make maple sugar, candy and cream. They even have a WV Maple Syrup Festival the third weekend in March.

For more information about what to see & do around Helvetia, check the Randolph County CVB.


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