We’ve profiled the 107 BOM19 winners in 101 categories. And because a great quality of life comes down to more than crave-worthy cocktails, enticing entertainment, and trusty tradespeople, this year we’ve taken the “Best of” theme bigger than ever before.
Browsing shelves, trying clothes on, feeling the weight and texture of a possible purchase—let’s be honest; online shopping can’t compare with the real thing. That means personal interaction, too: Morgantown shops win BOM for great selection and prices, but most of all for customer service.
Whether its food or politics or education or the arts, what gives a place its character is its people. Some surprise us, some make us laugh, some make us better people ourselves. We added a few new categories of locals to appreciate this year—and ended up with a surprising three-way tie. Read on to see who BOM voters love for making Morgantown a more fun place to live.
Let’s hear it for the people who invented specialization. Where would we be without the professional designers, builders, cleaners, trainers, and all the other experts we rely on every day? Here are your favorites.
Whether you like to sweat it out, appreciate great art, or hear live music in just about any genre, you can find it in Morgantown. BOM voters know their jam, and we have a lot of recurring winners this year—the R&R that satisfies.
Farm-to-table, vegetarian, Mexican or Syrian or Vietnamese—Morgantown supports a terrific variety of restaurants for a town its size. You can get quick, cheap, and uniform if you want it, but you can also get all kinds of unique foods lovingly crafted from scratch. BOM voters have longtime Food + Drink favorites. But they’re also always game for something new, and we saw some new winners this year.
With two hospital systems and schools of medicine, nursing, and other health professions, Morgantown enjoys great health care. The best care, it seems, is a group effort: Almost universally, when we talk with BOM-winning clinics, they attribute emphasize the value of a team that has a passion for helping.
Written by Nikki Bowman, Zack Harold, Pam Kasey, and Jess Walker
A big thank you to all of our generous sponsors that helped make the BOM Party 2019 our best one yet!
Food sponsors Apple Annie’s, Black Bear Burritos, Chaang Thai, The Cupcakerie, The Farmhouse Cafe, Oliverio’s, Pizza Al’s, Stefano’s, Tropics Restaurant and Bar, The Lakehouse Restaurant and The Wine Bar at Vintner Valley.
Door prize sponsors BlissBlissBliss, Classic Cutz, Exotic Jungle Pet Superstore, The Farmhouse Cafe, Jacqueline’s Fine Jewelry, Kroger, Launch Pad Trampoline Park, Massullo’s Cleaners and Tailors, Once Upon a Child, Patty’s Art Spot, Plato’s Closet, The Shoe Story, Tuscan Sun Spa and Salon, Warrior Body, Tropics Restaurant & Bar, and the WVU Creative Arts Center.
Subscribe to Morgantown magazine now to receive our popular “Neighborhoods” issue coming out next. Call 304.413.0104 to get your copy of the BOM issue. Available for purchase online soon.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is BOM?
Morgantown magazine started Best of Morgantown in 2011 to let our readers recognize and celebrate the excellent dining, shopping, and services that make Morgantown a great place to live. We awarded the winners for the first time in 2012, and the competition has since grown to 101 categories.
When does BOM happen?
Determining the best of the best in a way that’s thorough, fair, and fun is a six-month process.
It starts in August, when Morgantown magazine staff create the upcoming BOM ballot. We learn from experience, so each year’s ballot is slightly different as we make categories more clear, drop categories that had too few contenders, and add categories suggested in the previous year.
The nomination-round survey goes live online as the October / November print issue hits newsstands and stays online for about three weeks. We tally the votes to determine the finalists in each category—usually three, but from two to six depending on the number of legitimate contenders and the competitiveness in the top ranks.
What comes next is something we tried for the first time in fall 2018: BOM Challenge Week. Between the nomination and final rounds, BOM Food + Drink finalists promoted themselves, many with specials. Readers had a week to sample the finalists so they would be able to vote with confidence.
Final-round voting goes live about the third week of November, online only. We keep this round up through mid-December. Per contest rules, one vote per device—no ballot box stuffing here! In late December and early January, we contact winners to congratulate them and, except in the case of perennial winners, to learn more so we can write profiles. We ask winners to keep it to themselves until the BOM issue of the magazine is published.
The Best of Morgantown issue hits stands and mailboxes in early February, letting everyone know who’s the BOM. And finally, around the end of February, the best of the best get together at the BOM party to celebrate another great year in Morgantown.
Our schedule may shift in any year to accommodate our publishing needs and opportunities. The best way to stay on top of it is to subscribe to Morgantown magazine and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
When do the BOM surveys go live?
The BOM19 nomination round goes live in mid-October and the final round on mid- to late-November. But it’s no secret. The best way to be informed is to subscribe to Morgantown magazine and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Who can vote?
Anyone can vote in the nomination and final rounds—one ballot per device.
Who can be nominated?
Anyone can be nominated. We love learning about new things going on in town through BOM nominations. We also take suggestions in the nomination round for categories for the following year’s BOM.
Can nominees be based outside Morgantown?
We consider nominees that are based outside Morgantown on a case-by-case basis. If an out-of-town nominee that operates in town legitimately fits the category and rises to the top, we let it into the final round. We know some people don’t think our Best of Morgantown contest should include out-of-towners, but we say competition is a good thing—may the best contender win!
Can chain stores and franchises be nominated, or is it only for locals?
While we love to see our hometown businesses shine, some categories just don’t have many locally owned businesses. It’s up to the voters to say what they support: Do they like the broad selection and hard-negotiated prices that big corporations can offer? Or do they prefer the individual expertise and personalized service we get from a neighborhood business? We’re happy to say that, over time, we’ve seen more local businesses nominated in nearly every category.
Why did my category disappear?
Check carefully—sometimes we change the wordings of categories to make them more clear. But we do also omit categories to try new ones—more than 100 are suggested to us each year. Now that BOM has reached 101 categories, we’re capping it at that. If we hear that a former category is sorely missed, we may try to bring it back.
I’ve heard that some contenders game the system. How is this even fair?
It’s true that some people try to go around the system. We love the enthusiasm! And then we take advantage of the metadata SurveyMonkey collects on every ballot—information that isn’t cleared when a voter clears cookies—and we omit those multiple ballots at the back end before the final tally. BOM is a fair contest for contestants participating as good sports. BOM winners come by their titles through legitimate community support; the way to rise to the top is to earn votes by providing an excellent service that inspires appreciation—expressed through one vote per device.
Why wasn’t I notified that I was a finalist or a winner?
We do our best to notify finalists before the final round and winners after the final round ends. With 101 categories and many more than 300 contenders, it’s a challenge to maintain an up-to-date list of contact information. But, hey—we make it our business to be easy to find, so why not take it into your own hands? If you’re a nominee or finalist, send us your best contact name, e-mail address, and phone number at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will advertising give me an edge?
We like to think advertising in our print and digital publications always gives you an edge with our readers. But it has no effect on our fair tally of the votes. BOM winners are the readers’ choice.
Still got questions? Contact us at email@example.com.