Our Local Palate, Charleston | The best of WV’s capital city cuisine

By Kelsey Thomas

The capital city’s food scene has really taken off in the past few years.

Charleston is packed with local dining options for its 50,000 residents — and most of the time, it’s true, you’re likely to bump into (or make!) a friend or two.

The Local Palate recently highlighted some of Charleston’s best flavors:

  • J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works: If you think of plain white shakers and a discount store shelf when you think table salt, J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works will completely realign that image: their historic product turns salt into a luxury. Local stores throughout West Virginia proudly stock this beautifully packaged product.
  • The Grill: Veiled by an unsuspecting metal door tucked into a brick storefront on Charleston’s West Side, The Grill has an undeniable no-frills, old-school character about it. Their burgers are a staple— fresh, never frozen, and always juicy!
  • Bluegrass Kitchen: This East End favorite hosts excellent live music several times a week. With Bluegrass Kitchen’s eclectic, warm atmosphere, their farm-to-table food is almost a bonus. Almost. If you’re looking for something different, order up their delicious Pimiento Grilled Cheese (my favorite!).
  • SoHos at Capitol Market: This fine Italian restaurant inside the Capitol Market is the perfect place for special occasions. Try delicacies that are otherwise a little hard to find in the Appalachians, like their 5-Spice Duck, Jambalaya or their ridiculously good Grouper en Vinaigrette.
  • South Hills Market and Cafe: This little cafe is one of Charleston’s best kept secrets. The modest storefront offers grandiose options, including roasted bone marrow, grilled marlin and duck liver spread. The cafe knows how to make ordinary dishes extraordinary. Case in point: their Triple Grilled Cheese.
  • Lola’s in South Hills: Nothing beats Lola’s small-town charm. The tiny white house bathed in light by globe string lights just screams quaint. The place is small (but well worth the wait), so grab a glass of their fresh sangria and enjoy their adorable outdoor area while you wait.

Even with all those options, there are plenty more left to discover in Charleston:

  • Pies & Pints has some of the most talked about pizza in the city (their Chicken Gouda pie is always a crowd favorite).
  • Looking for a quick no-frills spot with delicious bar food? Definitely try Sam’s Uptown Cafe.
  • Fazio’s is a delicious Italian option for date night (I made my boyfriend take me here for my most recent birthday; he ended up loving it).

Which Charleston restaurants have you tried?

Discover more WV flavor > 


Kelsey Thomas is a Scott Depot native, journalist and lover of all things WV, who tends to eat entire pizzas by herself.

This post was last updated on July 21, 2020