➼ Dining al fresco is one of summer’s great pleasures. These days, Morgantown has more options than ever. Upscale, casual, lakeside, back deck—we could eat outside from April through October and never get bored with the scenery. This summer, take in the good food and fresh air at some of our favorite spots.
The only way to eat closer to the river than this is on your own boat. Enjoy beautifully presented snacks, salads, sandwiches, and entrees for lunch or dinner while basking in the Monongahela’s shimmer. We love the Devils on Horseback and the Pan-Seared Hanger Steak. For the earlier part of Saturday and Sunday brunch, the deck is all in shade—the perfect start to a hot summer day. 40 Donley Street, 304.554.2050, dinetable9.com
Right downtown but above the fray, the terrace atop the Historic
Clarion Hotel Morgantown offers fine dining and panoramic views.
The Montmartre’s flowering plants and airy cafe seating make for a relaxed meal but, when the sun goes down and the lamps are lit, the rooftop turns magical. Enjoy a filet or a crab cake, and don’t skip dessert—you’ll want to linger. 127 High Street, 304.291.4222, themontmartrewv.com
The Marriott’s upscale Bourbon Prime restaurant enjoys a deep, shaded veranda overlooking the river and rail-trail. Bourbon Prime’s menu, headlined by steaks and chops, features regionally sourced ingredients and opens possibilities for everything from a light bite by the river to a leisurely several-course meal—all complemented by a full bar and the best list of bourbons, whiskeys, and scotches in town. 2 Waterfront Place, 304.284.9850, bourbonprime.com
Crab Shack Caribba at Cheat Lake
Just across the lake, the outdoor dining at Crab Shack Caribba is a waterfront vacation. Check out the steaks and raw bar, or get into a Hot Mess Special: a cornucopia of steamed snow crab, shrimp, clams, mussels, and andouille sausage, served with cheddar hush puppies and other great sides. Take in the live music on Fridays and Saturdays as boats come and go in the background, and watch the sun set over the hills of Morgantown. 69 Mont Chateau Road, 304.435.3469, crabshackcaribba.com
Tropics Restaurant and Bar
Two covered pavilions on different levels, an open deck with umbrella-shaded tables, and two outdoor bars, one a tiki bar with Hawaiian decorations and grass thatching—everyone can find a favorite outdoor spot at Tropics. Festive string lighting, a koi fish pond, and lush, fragrant tropical plantings that include banana trees complete the island feel. There’s often live music and, twice a year, Tropics hosts a traditional luau with a full Polynesian show that includes a fire knife dance. 2500 Cranberry Square, 304.291.5225, tropicswv.com
Oliverio’s Ristorante on the Wharf
Long a town favorite for birthdays, visiting family, prom night—really, any occasion, including a delicious Italian meal any day of the week—Oliverio’s only got better when it added outdoor seating. The deep, covered deck is comfortable in all weather. Multigenerational gatherings love its location right beside the Caperton rail-trail, where kids can take a break from decorum and get some exercise, and the deck is just as perfect for a romantic dinner for two. 52 Clay Street, 304.296.2565, oliveriosristorante.com