Best MIddle Eastern Restaurant
Ali Baba Restaurant
In a town full of great Middle Eastern food, BOM voters continue to appreciate Ali Baba’s four decades of great service. We love the delicious Mediterranean salads like delicious tabbouleh and hummus salads and the beautifully plated lamb, kifa, beef, and chicken shish kebab meals. Try the varied Express Lunch Buffet to sample across the menu. Under new ownership in 2018—give them a try. 82 Hart Field Road, 304.777.4120, alibabaexpress.com
Contender to watch – Cairo 2 Go
New in 2016 but rising quickly in the BOM charts is this restaurant that bills itself as “the first Egyptian fast casual restaurant in the United States.” Check out its salads, sandwiches, sides, and entrees and expand your palate. 1006 Suncrest Towne Centre Drive, 304.322.4505, cairo2go.com
Best Breakfast or Brunch
Iron Horse Tavern
Dishes like Huevos Rancheros and Capt’n Crunch Encrusted French Toast set Iron Horse’s Sunday brunch above all the others. Order the popular Eggs Benedict traditional, Southern Fried with a fried green tomato, or Colonel-style with two fried eggs, fried chicken fritters, and honey-baked ham atop buttermilk biscuits and smothered in jalapeño gravy. There’s plenty else to love on these extensive menus, which vary a little between the two locations. Show up early: the Cranberry Sangria, Bacon Bloody Marys, and mimosas by the carafe seal this brunch’s popularity. 140 High Street, 304.296.6230; 525 Granville Square, 304.451.1330; ironhorsetvrn.com
Best Mexican Restaurant
Los Mariachis Mexican Restaurant
A staple of Morgantown cuisine for more than two decades, Los Mariachis is the go-to for sizzling Mexican dishes and cold margaritas. Here are four more reasons to check out this local hotspot:
1.) An extensive menu means everyone from college students to families can find the burrito, enchilada, taco, or combo plate to satisfy their appetite. Can’t decide? Try a combination dinner with a little bit of everything.
2.) A wide variety of fruity margaritas to wash down that spicy meal, by the glass or the pitcher.
3.) The staff may suddenly break out sombreros and belt out the traditional song “Las Mañanitas”–it’s someone’s birthday!
4.) Patios at both Los Mariachies locations make for fun, laid-back summer evenings.
1137 Van Voorhis Road, 304.598.3715; 9105 University Town Centre Drive, 304.599.6187; losmariachismorgantown.com
Best Beer Selection
Apothecary Ale House & Café
Good beer and good beer selections are all over town these days. But Apothecary’s continual and selective turnover of its 26 taps, breadth of variety in 130 styles in bottles and cans, and commitment to featuring the best local, national, and European beers and ciders available in the state tops BOM voters’ list. Couple all that with its bartenders’ knowledge and enthusiasm, and Apothecary offers even the most worldly of beer lovers a satisfying adventure every time. 227 Chestnut Street, @apothecaryalehousecafe
Forks of Cheat
Morgantown is lucky to have the award-winning Forks of Cheat winery in its backyard. Sample wines in the tasting room, then enjoy a bottle and hors d’oeuvres on the deck overlooking the vineyard. 2811 Stewartstown Road, 304.598.2019, wvwines.com, @forksofcheatwinery
Best Wings & Best Neighborhood Bar
How do we love Mario’s wings? Let us count the ways:
4. Cowboy Ranch
6. Hot Garlic
7. Honey BBQ
8. Greek Dry Rub
9. Sweet Chile Habanero
Tuesday is Wing Day all day long: special price on a dozen wings with a large domestic draft in a famous fishbowl. Now that’s a neighborhood bar to love. 704 Richwood Avenue, 304.292.2511, @mariosfishbowl; 3117 University Avenue, 304.599.4309, @fishbowlsuncrest; mariosfishbowl.com
Close runner-up for wings – Kegler’s Sports Bar & Grille
735 Chestnut Ridge Road, 304.598.9698, keglerssportsbar.com
Best Italian Restaurant
Oliverio’s Ristorante on the Wharf
It may be the food that first impresses newcomers to Oliverio’s Ristorante on the Wharf, but it’s the upscale yet friendly atmosphere that keeps them coming back. Since 2001, an entire generation has chosen Oliverio’s as the backdrop for milestone celebrations, everything from family reunions and birthdays to graduations and weddings. Three generations of Oliverios uphold the stellar food and customer service that began more than 50 years ago in Bridgeport. This is one family tradition we hope continues for years to come. Salute! 52 Clay Street, 304.296.2565, oliveriosristorante.com, @oliveriosonthewharf
Best Chinese Restaurant
Wong’s Wok’s menu of hot, ready-made Chinese-style combo meals makes for quick service and a devoted following. The Sesame Chicken and Bourbon Chicken are perennial customer favorites. Part of the restaurant’s renown is due to its fast, fresh dishes and generous servings, and part is due to the owners themselves. Over their two decades at the mall, owners the Wongs have earned customer devotion through tasty cooking, hard work, and friendly, sincere service. 9409 Mall Road, 304.983.6815
Close runner-up – Peking House
1125 Van Voorhis Road, 304.598.3333, pekinghousewv.com
Tailpipes serves up a great ground beef patty, although you can also choose ground turkey, grilled chicken, a portobello mushroom, or a black bean burger. Dress it up with standard fixin’s or go for a signature combination with toppings like grilled pineapple or fried green tomato. Fresh standard french fries or sweet potato fries on the side and what must be one of the best milkshakes in town elevate this delicious burger into a classic and satisfying diner meal. 417 High Street, 304.225.2535, tailpipesburgers.com, @tailpipeswv
Best Thai Restaurant
All of the rice noodle, fried rice, stir fry, and curry favorites we crave, plus a long list of signature dishes and spice levels ranging up to hot, Thai Hot, and even Bangkok Street Hot. With first-timer recommendations, vegetarian and gluten-free options, beer and wine, outdoor seating, and occasional live music, Chaang Thai easily earns BOM voter love. 361 High Street, 304.241.5374, chaangthai.com, “Chaang Thai Restaurant” on Facebook
When it comes to a food as iconic as pizza, everyone has a strong opinion. The favorite among Morgantown freshmen and families year after year is Pizza Al’s. Italian immigrant Albino Roperti first opened Pizzeria Italia on Beechurst Avenue in 1969. The pizzaiolo moved his operation several times throughout the decades, and retired in 2002—only to open the first Pizza Al’s location in 2006.
It’s easy to wonder at the secret ingredient for success. Is it Roperti’s dedication to hard work and passion for pizza? Is it the crunchy crust and mouth-watering sauce? Or is it the generous sizes, affordable prices, and three Morgantown locations? No matter the reason, our tastebuds are thankful for Pizza Al’s. 2952 University Avenue, 304.599.4040; 1407 Earl Core Road, 304.225.2222; University Town Centre, 304.599.9555; pizzaals.com
Best Place to Caffeinate
TIE – Blue Moose Cafe
Open early ’til late 7 days a week with local art that rotates monthly, a full suite of coffee drinks, and a satisfying menu of snack and casual meal options makes this longtime downtown institution a regular stop for students, townies, and professionals alike. 248 Walnut Street, 304.292.8999, thebluemoosecafe.com
TIE – Farmhouse Café
The 2016 opening of the Farmhouse Café brought cozy seating, delicious coffee, and a menu of fresh breakfast and lunch options to the ever-growing Cheat Lake community. An in-house boutique of decor and gifts makes for pleasant browsing while you wait. 10000 Coombs Farm Drive Suite 106, 304.777.2756, farmhousewv.com
Best Power Lunch & Best Vegetarian-Friendly
Black Bear Burritos
A convenient lunch doesn’t have to leave you feeling lethargic or, worse, still hungry. Black Bear Burritos has dominated BOM’s Best Power Lunch category for six years straight. Diners can build their own burritos, quesadillas, or nachos, or try a featured combo like the Funky Chicken Salad Burrito with fresh curry chicken salad or Thai One On with choice of protein, grilled pineapple, and rice, wrapped up tight and covered in a creamy peanut curry sauce.
Black Bear has also earned a name for itself as the Best Vegetarian-Friendly restaurant. Co-owners and WVU alumni Matt Showalter and Jason Coffman reserve separate grills for meatless dishes and make most preparations available in vegetarian versions.
Fresh ingredients, kid-welcoming atmospheres, and frequent live music with no cover charge make for a lively feel at both Black Bear locations. 132 Pleasant Street, 304.296.8696, @blackbearburritos; 3119 University Avenue, 304.777.4867, @black.bear.evansdale; blackbearburritos.com
Under new ownership in the past year, Atomic Grill is still serving up the barbecue BOM voters have loved every year since we introduced the category in 2015. The sliders and Fried Green Tomato PoBoy get a lot of customer love online, but it’s the signature dishes—barbecued ribs, brisket, and pulled pork and the popular burgers—that anchor the operation. We recommend the WV BBQ sauce. 595 Green Bag Road, 304.241.1170, atomicgrillmotown.com, @atomicgrill
Best Sports Bar
Kegler’s Sports Bar & Grille
A lively atmosphere, great bar food, and enough big-screen TVs that everyone can watch the game of their choice—that’s why Kegler’s wins Best Sports Bar year after year. 735 Chestnut Ridge Road, 304.598.9698, keglerssportsbar.com
Best Sweet Indulgence
When it’s time to celebrate a birthday, mark a work milestone, or just put a little extra sparkle in your day, The Cupcakerie is the place for you. So many flavors! We challenge you to find a lighter, more heavenly cloud of frosting anywhere. 194 Willey street, 304.212.5464, thecupcakerie.com, @thecupcakeriewv
Best Vietnamese Restaurant
Named for the globally popular Vietnamese street dish and for owner Hung Hoang, a native of Saigon, Pho Hung brought a welcome new dimension in Morgantown’s dining scene when it opened in 2017. Its namesake soup, rice noodles served in a boiling broth, comes in varieties that include meatball, brisket, chicken, and shrimp, topped with garnishes like crunchy bean sprouts and fragrant basil and with fresh jalapeño and lime on the side. Non-pho offerings include chicken or beef satay, spring rolls served with peanut sauce, lemongrass soup, rice-based entrees, and bun—a rice vermicelli dish with a variety of additions.
Pho Hung’s space in Westover is contemporary and comfortable, a great place to enjoy a hot bowl of pho with friends. 21 Commerce Drive, Westover, 304.292.5622, “Pho Hung Westover” on Facebook
Mountain State Brewing Company
BOM voters love this Thomas, West Virginia–based brewery’s flagship blonde, amber, IPA, and stout and its seasonal brews—as well as its wood-fired pizza and two-tiered riverside deck. Mountain State even grows some of its own hops. Prefer to drink at home? Check the website for locations across the state where Mountain State beers may be bought in cans. 54 Clay Street, 304.241.1976, mountainstatebrewing.com
Apple Annie’s quickly won Morgantown’s heart when it opened here in 2016. Scratch-made pastries, cakes, and its signature pies could be had from the mouth-watering display case or pre-ordered. It moved in 2018 to Mid-Atlantic Drive where it expanded into an all-day restaurant—just remember to save room for dessert. 6120 Mid-Atlantic Drive, 304.322.2859, apple-annies.com
Fresh fish, expert sushi chefs, and a warm, authentic Japanese atmosphere earns Ogawa the BOM Best Sushi award year after year. The extensive list of sushi, sashimi, and maki options is rounded out by a full menu of classic Japanese dishes as well as Korean favorites. 2920 University Avenue, 304.598.8338, ogawasushi.com
Close runner-up – Volcano
372 Patteson Drive, 304.292.9000, crazyvolcano.com
Best Outdoor Dining
Tropics Restaurant and Bar
Two covered pavilions on different levels, an open deck with umbrella-shaded tables, and two outdoor bars, one with grass thatching—the outdoor dining space at Tropics has the right spot for everything from a romantic dinner to family night out to co-workers relaxing when the work week ends. Authentic Hawaiian dishes, a koi fish pond, and lush, fragrant tropical plantings turn an evening out to a vacation—and for the complete experience, plan to attend one of Tropics’ two annual luaus. 2500 Cranberry Square, 304.291.5225, tropicswv.com, @tropicswv
Best Over 30 Spot
The Wine Bar at Vintner Valley
Dedicated attention to customer feedback earned The Wine Bar at Vintner Valley a first BOM win this year. The Wine Bar opened in 2012 as a tapas bar but, when general manager and kitchen creative Kristen Thompson came on in 2015, she found that diners snacked on tapas, then moved on for dinner.
So she made some changes—adding more robust meals, for one. “Our menu has a lot of Mediterranean/Italian influence, a lot of old family recipes. It’s an eclectic menu, too—you can build your own meal,” she says, touting the restaurant’s certified Black Angus beef cut in-house.
Thompson also added happy hours. It turns out that, once diners give The Wine Bar’s happy hours a try, they like the atmosphere and quickly become regulars. “You can come in in jeans, you can hang out for hours—we’re never going to try to turn your table, but you’re going to get top-notch service.”
Most popular at The Wine Bar at Vintner Valley are the stone-fired pizzas and the Black Angus burgers—and of course the wine list that has something for everyone. Look for new menu items in 2019. 510 Burroughs Street, 304.241.1687, vintnervalley.com
Best Fine Dining
Sargasso’s dinner service offers a multi-course, upscale dinner menu as well as a bistro menu with plates under $15. The culinary team is led by Austrian native Chef Thomas Metzler and local talent Chef Dave Halterman. Occasional Chefs’ Dinner Series meals offer a unique, interactive dining experience. Don’t skip the wine—Sargasso has earned Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence each year since 2015. 215 Don Knotts Boulevard, 304.554.0100, sargassomorgantown.com
An intimate, low-lit dining space, nightly specials, and occasional live piano music elevate a dinner at Stefano’s from a meal to an occasion. Enjoy the classic French and Italian influence Stefano’s original chef Teddy Smith, who returned last year, is bringing to the restaurant’s menu. An extensive wine list and artfully crafted cocktails ensure a perfect, satisfying pairing for your meal. 735 Chestnut Ridge Road, 304.581.6930, stefanoswv.com