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The Middle of Flavor in West Virginia

By: The Local Palate

From Italian to Appalachian, the food scene in Marion County, West Virginia is not to be missed.

Located in the heart of north-central West Virginia, Marion County is a surprising intersection of cuisine and culture. The area’s storied history as a coal mining hub brought thousands of Italian immigrants, and their culinary heritage, here in the early 1900s. Many of these traditional dishes can still be enjoyed at local restaurants today. Of course, Marion County also has many other styles of cuisine available for hungry visitors. Enjoy fresh takes on Appalachian flavors, local brews and more as you explore our diverse dining options.

Established by Filippo and Filomena Colasessano in 1950, Colasessano’s is another local favorite. Colasessano’s is known for its pizzas and pepperoni buns, which are served in several ways, from “Plain” to “Everything.” The “Everything” bun includes the restaurant’s signature meat sauce, provolone and mild, mixed, hot or banana peppers. Top off your meal with some homemade gelato. 


Short Story Brewing is a family-owned craft brewery with inventive beers on tap. Enjoy the ever growing selection of beers at many bars and restaurants throughout North-Central West Virginia, or stop by the taproom and restaurant for a take-home growler or a bite to eat. 


This beloved eatery has been serving personal family recipes since 1969. Try the spaghetti and meatballs (named one of the best pasta dishes in the country by Food Network), Aunt Mary’s Meat Lasagna or gnocchi, and save room for the handmade cannoli! Muriale’s elegant atmosphere adds to the Italian experience. 


Home of the original pepperoni roll, Country Club Bakery has been in the business since Country Club still bakes its pepperoni rolls fresh each day along with Italian breads, rolls, cookies and pies. Specialty orders are welcome, and shipping is available anywhere in the United States.


A Mediterranean cafe with a cozy atmosphere, The Grape Leaf specializes in authentic, made-from-scratch dishes like falafel, tabbouleh, baba ganoush, fattoush, grape leaves, shawarma and baklava. Enjoy a refreshing, natural fruit smoothie, Turkish coffee, hot tea or other beverage.  


The Rambling Root specializes in craft beer from around the state and food with Appalachian, German, and Cajun flavors. The menu is locally sourced and always changing based on what is fresh and in-season. The restaurant also has live music, and during the warmer months, the patio is a favorite hangout. 


The idea for pepperoni rolls developed deep in the Marion County coal mines. Hard-working miners needed portable, filling meals that needed no refrigeration. One of the Italian miners, Giuseppe “Joseph” Argiro, who later founded Country Club Bakery, took sticks of pepperoni and baked them into a soft yeast roll, resulting in a savory snack that is still enjoyed today. 

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