Make plans to stop by one of these unique eateries during your summer road trip.
Restaurants dotting West Virginia’s famous scenic byways invoke the spirit of the open road almost without trying. In some cases, ingenious entrepreneurs have transformed actual vehicles into stationary eateries; in others, restaurants have incorporated throwback themes inspired by yesteryear to create unique venues. If you’ve got a road trip planned this summer, be sure to stop in for a bite at one of these special Mountain State spots.
Hillbilly Hot Dogs is a not-so-typical roadside hotdog joint created in 1999 when the owners drove two old school buses onto their property and converted them into a restaurant. They’ve added plenty of hillbilly decor in the two decades since, and the place has become a destination for tourists and locals alike. The outdoor atmosphere provides great photo-op fodder—and the bus driver won’t yell at you for eating on this bus.
Not sure where to start? You can’t go wrong with a dog the West Virginia way with sauce, mustard, onions, and slaw. Also try the Pineappalachian Dog that features BBQ sauce, country ham, shredded cheese, all topped with—you guessed it—pineapple. Or if you’re up for a challenge, eat the Original Homewrecker—“15 inches of pure eating pleasure”—in under 12 minutes and get a free T-shirt.
And it’s not all hot dogs. If you’re looking for something different, try a Big Bad Bubba Burger or a sandwich with all the fixin’s. Finish your meal off with a sweet treat—like the giant Sometimes Nanner Split that feeds four, or a fresh slice of cake baked by Aunt June. And if you’re a regular Hillbilly fan, you’ll know to sing “The Weenie Song” to get a free original Hillbilly Hot Dog or scoop of ice cream. You’ll also get a big “yeehaw” from owners Sonny and Sharie. 6951 Ohio River Road, Lesage, 304.762.2458, hillbillyhotdogs.com, @hillbillyhotdogs on Facebook
You won’t miss Debbie’s Speedway Diner in Middlebourne when driving by. The all chrome facade will catch your eye. Don’t mistake it for a giant Airstream camper, though—it’s actually a diner. Stop in once, and the food will bring you back again and again.
The Speedway is known for delicious American-style food, like the Virginia ham sandwich made with chipped Virginia ham served with lettuce, tomato, and honey mustard. Daily sweet treats are everchanging, but we love the Blueberry Lemon Meringue Pie and the New York Cheesecake with strawberries. 882 Middlebourne Road, Middlebourne, 304.758.0980
If you love the diner vibe, definitely don’t miss DJ’s ’50’s & ’60s Diner in Fairmont for a blast-from-the-past feel. The neon signs, chrome exterior, classic booths, and checker-board floor have us reminiscing about the good ol’ days. The meatloaf dinner will remind you of Grandma’s cooking—just don’t tell her you prefer DJ’s. After dinner, indulge in the daddy-o of desserts with an old-fashioned float. 1181 Airport Road, Fairmont, 304.366.8110, @djsdinerwv on Facebook
Log cabin on wheels
She’s Lori and he’s Joe, and together they built Lori’s Cup of Joe in Hundred. The Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, natives moved to West Virginia in 2014 and haven’t looked back. Joe overhauled an RV trailer as a birthday gift for Lori in 2017, creating a cute and rustic-looking log cabin that serves as a coffee shop on wheels. The shop is festooned with quaint decorations and is so charming it could be mistaken for a tiny house if you didn’t know about the full-on java operation inside.
Whipping up delicious cups of coffee has become a passion for Lori and Joe. The small roadside coffee stand serves fresh-brewed Columbian coffee and espresso-based drinks as well as tea and hot chocolate to both drive-through and walk-through customers daily. Not on the go? No worries—sit at any of the picnic tables that are scattered around the building and enjoy your brew.
While you’re getting your espresso fix, sink your teeth into one of Lori’s delicious breakfast sandwiches or fresh-made iced cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Or stop in for lunch for a satisfying sandwich. And don’t miss the Reese’s Cup Frappe or the caramel macchiato—both are fan favorites. 57 Four Seasons Drive, Hundred, 304.775.4059, @loriscupofjoe on Facebook