What Makes Charleston, WV a Dining Destination

One of the highest honors possible for a Chef, the James Beard Awards recognize the top talent within the culinary industry each year. This year’s semifinalists for Best Chef in the Southeast include two top-tier chefs from West Virginia’s capital city of Charleston.

Perfectly situated at the confluence of the Kanawha and Elk rivers, this city not only boasts jaw-dropping views but rich history, endless outdoor recreation and stellar local dining spots. From made-from-scratch dishes and farm-to-table meals to authentic Appalachian flavors and unique, innovative cuisine there’s no doubt that this spot is an Almost Heaven dining destination.

Discover Chef Paul Smith’s Delicacies

A deep-seated passion for cooking paired with remarkable talent has earned Chef Ambassador, Paul Smith a semifinalist spot for Best Chef in the Southeast. Since opening 1010 Bridge Restaurant and Catering in 2020, the restaurant has rapidly gained the reputation of one of the state’s premiere dining locations. With a menu featuring ingredients from local farms, it’s effortless to feel the heavy influence of Appalachian roots. Dine on exquisite dishes such as Pan Seared Day Boat Scallops, Stuffed Delicate Squash or the famous Cast Iron Seared “1010 Cut.”

Along with 1010 Bridge, Chef Paul has also opened The Pitch, which now has expanded to locations in Charleston and Dunbar. Going along with the baseball-themed name, this spot is best loved among those who enjoy watching games while eating scrumptious bar bites and sipping local brews. Dedicated to helping his community, Chef Paul even helped award-winning Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream stay open in a time of transitioning ownership. This quaint, downtown shop still thrives in serving special flavors of ice cream, gelato, sherbets and sorbets. Staying busy, Chef Paul is also on the team who introduced Charleston to a delicious blend of Filipino and American cuisines at Barkada’s Restaurant.

Enjoy Chef Ramin Mirzakhani’s Amazing Flavors

Also nominated for this prestigious award is Ramin Mirzakhani, executive chef of Laury’s Restaurant where he can be found serving up classic, American dishes with a French flair. Menu favorites here include the Steak Diane, Cajun Chicken Pasta, Lobster Stuffed Mushrooms and Grilled Salmon. The spectacular fare is accompanied by a luxe atmosphere that grants stunning views of the downtown city and Kanawha river. For an extra special experience, guests can have private dining sessions upon request.

Explore more of the capital city

Browse an abundance of fresh produce and local goods at Capitol Market, open year-round in what once served as a vintage train station. Visit Kinship Goods for West Virginia-themed art, clothing and keepsakes. The Clay Center makes learning fun for children and adults alike with art and science exhibits throughout the 2-story, 12,000-foot Avampato Discovery Museum. When in town, don’t miss taking in the impressive gold-leafed capitol dome, which stands at nearly 300 feet tall.

Visit the capital city for yourself and discover magnificent dining destinations with unmatched, mouth-watering flavors.

Explore Charleston

This post was last updated on February 23, 2023