If you’ve ever found yourself wondering about where to eat in Charleston, WV I have you covered today! The happy discovery of so many great locally-owned restaurants, coffee shops, and cafes has been one of our favorite things about living in West Virginia. Brandon and I love to go out for dinner and almost always choose a local place over a chain restaurant if we have the option. When were first visiting (before we decided to move here) we asked a few locals if they had any recommendations for a vegetarian place to eat in Charleston, WV and were surprised they were able to rattle off a couple of places without even thinking twice. A couple people were even able to recommend vegan eateries so regardless of the stereotypes, Charleston, WV is more than able to accommodate various dietary preferences.
One of the first places we decided to eat in Charleston, WV was Bluegrass Kitchen. It’s locally-owned and very vegetarian-friendly. It quickly became our go-to place to eat while we settled into our new home. Eventually, we started exploring more of the area, checking out more local restaurants and coffee shops, and finding other hidden gems throughout the city.
If you ever find yourselves here in our neck of the woods, I highly recommend visiting the restaurants below for some local flavor and a bite to eat in Charleston, WV:
Bricks & Barrels
Bricks and Barrels is an absolute favorite dining experience of ours. If you’re looking for a unique place to eat in Charleston, WV, this is the place to go. The first time we went I was blown away by the atmosphere. It’s a steak and seafood restaurant so the vegetarian options are limited but they do have a few pasta or salad options. The location was originally used as a slaughterhouse and meatpacking facility nearly a century ago which gives it a unique history. Their wine selection is phenomenal but what makes it really special are the barrel tables. If you’re planning to visit Bricks and Barrels you really must call ahead and request a barrel table for your party. You feel like you’re nestled right in a wine barrel!
This is definitely a special occasion location and we love it when we have something to celebrate. They also host regular events like holiday parties, charity fundraisers, and special wine tastings. All of their events are promoted on their Facebook page; it’s worth stopping in if you ever get the chance.
Black Sheep Burrito & Brews
We initially visited Black Sheep Burrito & Brews for International Beer Day (see here) and had an amazing experience. They have a great atmosphere, friendly staff, and they even brew their own beer on-site. In fact, there are open windows behind the bar that open up to the brewery so you can actually see where the beer is brewed. If you’re into local brews, this is definitely a place to check out. They are vegetarian-friendly with tofu- and veggie- options on the menu; one of my favorite items is their asparagus taco. It’s a flour taco shell stuff with crispy asparagus, pickled onions, crispy wonton shells (I think), and a honey sriracha glaze. It’s heaven in a taco shell and we order it every single time we go. They also have an incredible grilled street corn that you need to request if you’re there. The street corn isn’t on the menu so you have to ask to see if they have it available when you’re there.
Bluegrass Kitchen is one of our favorite places to eat in Charleston, WV. It’s so unassuming from the street; it looks like an old restaurant that just didn’t know when to throw in the towel but that’s what makes it such a hidden gem. It’s actually located in the East End which is going through a major revitalization and it has some of the best food around. Locals love it and the place is always packed. On the inside, the walls are decorated with murals by local artists, the staff are local creatives, and there is local art on display and available for sale. There are frequently local musicians performing and the food can’t be beaten.
If you go, I highly recommend trying the Bison Meatloaf, fried green tomatoes (a personal favorite), or the tomato tart. Did I mention it’s a farm-to-table restaurant? Well, it is and you can taste it in every bite. The only stress may be parking but there’s a hidden lot behind the restaurant that’s usually available. If not, street parking is plentiful.
Dem 2 Brothers and a Grill
If you’re looking for barbecue, you have to visit Dem 2 Brothers and a Grill. Hands down, this is the best BBQ you’re going to find to eat in Charleston, WV. Dem 2 Brothers and a Grill is owned by Adrian “Bay” Wright, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back. Brandon and I lived in Tampa for a lot of years so we are always down to support a fellow (former) Tampa Bay man. Wright moved back to West Virginia to help take care of his mother and he now owns two barbecue restaurants, two food trucks, and does a lot of charitable work in the area to give back to our community. He’s even been featured on Food Network because of his barbecue and signature ribs. Everyone in Charleston knows Wright operates “the best smelling corner in Charleston!”
While Dem 2 Brothers and a Grill isn’t the most vegetarian-friendly place in town you can easily eat your fill of sides like baked beans, collard greens, mac and cheese, and potato salad. This is 100% comfort food and a clear favorite to everyone in town.
Pies & Pints Pizzeria
Pies & Pints is a definite hot spot when you’re looking for something to eat in Charleston, WV. They often have a wait in order to get a table and you should expect the place to be packed. It’s well worth the wait though because their pizza is the best in town. It’s another vegetarian-friendly restaurant with tons of options to choose from. One of our favorite pizzas on the menu though is the black bean pizza. You can choose from any one of their dozens of unique pizza combinations or build your own and get creative with your own topping choices. They also have sandwiches and wraps if for some reason you’re not feeling pizza that night but let’s be real, who turns down pizza?
Parking can be a little bit tricky if you’re new to downtown Charleston but there is a parking lot across the street from Pies and Pints that lets you park for a nominal fee. There is also metered street parking (currently $0.50 / hour and you can pay with either quarters or an app on your smartphone) and there are plenty of parking garages around the area that charge $1 – $3 for the night. A lot of the roads are one-way roads though so be careful and be ready to grab a spot or a garage when you see one. We usually park in the Lee St. garage for ease of parking and convenience.
The Block Restaurant and Wine Cellar
While much of Charleston focuses on a family-friendly atmosphere and comfort food, The Block focuses on offering a sophisticated and unique dining experience. Their wine bar features an award-winning selection of 500 different varieties of wine from around the world and boasts a climate-controlled wine cellar holding 1000 bottles! When you’re looking for a special place for date night or you’re celebrating a special occasion this is definitely our top recommendation in town.
The Block also offers wine tasting events which are a lot of fun to attend. When you want to dress up and elevate your date night, this downtown restaurant and wine bar is a clear favorite.
If you’re ever in the area and you’re looking for something to eat in Charleston, WV I hope you stop in and visit one of our favorite local restaurants. Whether you’re planning a special date night or just want to grab a few quick tacos or a plate of barbecue, I promise we have something you’ll love!
I’d love to hear about your favorite places to eat in your town!
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