The Best Local Restaurants In Morgantown, West Virginia
View of the downtown area of Morgantown WV and campus of West Virginia University | © Steve Heap/Shutterstock
A charming college city in West Virginia, Morgantown may not boast the most elaborate of dining scenes, but insiders know exactly where to look for the best restaurants and meals. Here are the eight best restaurants in Morgantown.
Restaurant, American, $$$
With its fire-red walls in stark contrast to the black tables and flooring, customers might feel like they’re actually stepping onto a grill. In fact, they’re entering a barbecue joint like no other in Morgantown. Steaks, burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches – Atomic Grill’s menu has the usual, but the freshness and taste that each of the staples releases at every bite is a rare find in the area. The selection of wines and beers also rises above the norm, and artworks by a rotating selection of local artists are regularly featured on the restaurant’s walls. Located a bit off the beaten track on Morgantown’s outskirts, Atomic Grill is worth the extra drive and is a failsafe choice for a succulent, super tasty meal in a cultural setting.
Black Bear Burritos
Restaurant, Mexican, Fusion, $$$
As many know, a burrito is a delicious wrap originally hailing from Mexico. Because they can be filled with various ingredients, burritos have become popular all around the world and reinterpreted in an incredible amount of variations. Morgantown’s Black Bear Burritos brings them all to one place, and straight into the hands of local foodies. Customers are invited to build their own burrito entirely from scratch, choosing the type of tortilla, filling, dressing, and sauce. Besides burritos, guests can also build their quesadilla, nachos or salad, or select a dish from the restaurant’s fixed menu.
Mountain State Brewing Company
Restaurant, American, $$$
In the early 1990s, two West Virginia natives, Brian and Willie, developed a personal passion for crafting delicious home-made beers, which later evolved into a professional activity and a business enterprise. The duo now sell their beers in several locations throughout West Virginia, and share them with Morgantown’s residents at the Mountain State Brewing Company. In addition to a glorious pint, customers here can choose from a rich array of appetising snacks, salads and sandwiches, before enjoying one of the gorgeous pizzas, perfectly baked in the restaurant’s flagship wood fire oven. Take a walk along the nearby Monongahela River to finish off the night with a scenic twist.
Restaurant, Japanese, $$$
For another great Japanese restaurant in Morgantown besides Yama (see below), drive over to Ogawa. Ogawa’s kitchen is run by Korean-born chef Gunn Hong, who has won awards for the excellent sushi that his expert hands can prepare. Chef Hong knows his way around Japanese gastronomy, and the traditional Japanese dishes he offers at Ogawa are all made following the original recipes, and put together using only fresh fish and vegetables. The restaurant’s décor, inspired by the icons of Oriental design, completes the Far East experience.
Restaurant, American, $$$
A dinner at Morgantown’s fine-dining restaurant Sargasso starts with the phone call you make to book a table. During the call, the restaurant’s team will inquire about your food preferences, and use this information to craft a customised menu, thus reducing the risk of disappointment. But the menu has enough tantalising options that even without this tailor-made approach, any dinner would have been a feast. Unique on the city’s dining scene, Sargasso offers an eclectic fusion of global cuisines: try the Middle Eastern-style chicken kebab marinated in Greek yogurt and fresh cilantro. Seafood lovers will thoroughly enjoy a portion of tamari shrimp and scallops over scallion-infused jasmin rice.
Bar, Restaurant, American, $$$
Not many restaurants in Morgantown can boast deck seating looking right over the Monongahela Eiver. Restaurant Table 9, which does feature this romantic setting, is a great option both for lunch and dinner with a lovely outdoor patio, a beautiful space to enjoy a relaxing meal while soaking up the view of the river flowing by. There’s more: the food here is fantastic. Chef Mark Tasker’s dishes are not particularly original or refined but, especially for Morgantown standards, they are delicious, well executed, and their presentation thoughtfully constructed. The bar inside, located right in the centre of the dining room, is hard to overlook – and that’s a good thing: Table 9’s cocktails are excellent, too!
The Wine Bar at Vintner Valley
Bar, Restaurant, Wine Bar, Wine Seller, Italian, $$$
However charming, at roughly 30,000 inhabitants Morgantown is a small, provincial city in West Virginia. It doesn’t surprise that upscale restaurants most appropriate for a special occasion are in shortage around here. The Wine Bar at Vintner Valley tries to fill this gap by providing a more sophisticated dinner setting. The restaurant is housed in a beautiful cottage and flaunts an oh-so lovely rustic ambiance. Besides a private dining room, seating is offered at the bar and in a lounge area furnished with comfy chairs and coffee tables. The wine bar and its selection of prestigious Italian wines are, of course, the restaurant’s main pride and joy. Have a glass or two while tasting the many exquisite Italian appetisers or feasting on the pizzas.
Morgantown’s Yama is an unimpressive, hole-in-the-wall Japanese restaurant. Judging from a quick look, few would bet on this as one of the best-loved dining spots in town. But as the saying goes, don’t judge a book by its cover. Run by a Japanese team, those who have eaten at restaurants in Japan will attest that Yama demonstrates a truly authentic approach to cooking and offers exquisite Japanese food, rising a cut above many fancier Japanese restaurants. And if your fascination with Japan extends to manga, Yama has a bookshelf filled with many great comic books that guests can enjoy.