Welcome, football travelers! Back in 2012, the world was a different place. The news was plastered with the election and mass shootings, so college football fans immersed themselves in constant offseason realignment talk. That being said, literally nothing has changed in that department. However, Morgantown (and North-Central West Virginia in general) has changed a good bit. We did a Visitor's Guide when the Mountaineers moved to the Big 12 and that needs a bit of refreshing. Luckily, I am the Great Refresher. Or something.
This first part of the Welcome Caravan will cover my favorite local eateries around the area. If you just want to go to a regular chain/fast food restaurant, the University Town Center, Suncrest Town Center, and Patteson Drive (not a typo, it's Patteson) should suffice.
Beanery American Grill
Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/8ScIR
This is the kind of place you take your parents when they are in town visiting you and giving you that last bit of money before finals. The Beanery tries and succeeds of playing both the role of a nice sit down place and the Boston tavern/bar area. They have plenty of flat screens so you can watch UConn ruin your miracle parlay by beating an undefeated Houston solely because they had a larger crowd due to a women's basketball game being on campus that same weekend that I'm definitely not still bitter about at all. All the sandwiches and burgers are good and fairly-priced. Best part: it's a short walk away from Milan Puskar Stadium.
Pro Tip: Get the fries if they are available with the meal you order.
Double Tip: Get ranch with the fries. I don't know if ranch and fries is just a WV thing, but you won't regret it.
(Locals: I'm not really sure how to explain the split between Boston Beanery/Beanery American Grill, so I'm not even going to get into it.)
Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/6O8sn
Repeat after me: TVs, beer, waitresses, wings/burgers, WVU memorabilia on the walls.
Varsity Club is the first of three sports bar/wing and beer places on this list. The major pros to Varsity Club are that it is right across the street from Milan Puskar Stadium. Due to its location, you will see plenty of the coaching staff/administration eating and boozing on any given night after practice. I once saw Oliver Luck in there years ago throwing a couple back at the bar while a TV above him read "Andrew Luck with Pads in Training Camp."
The con of the location is that there is a really awkward parking lot. You have to pay attention to where you end up to not be in a towing zone. I've never seen anyone zoned away, but that wouldn't help your Morgantown experience.
Tons of different kinds of beer and good wings/burgers. I'm of the opinion at the Shrimp Po'Boy as a quality sleeper pick, but I haven't had anything on the menu that disappointed.
Pro Tip: The calzone is an entire pizza folded onto itself. If you want a smaller calzone, just go to DP Dough.
Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/zLvnV
Repeat after me: TVs, beer, waitresses, wings/burgers, WVU memorabilia on the walls
Kegler's is the second of the three local sports bar types except it has a bowling alley. Well, sort of. Suburban Lanes is right inside and connected to Kegler's so you can go and bowl right afterwards. I'm not completely sure of the relationship between the two businesses, but it's a cool addition to the atmosphere. Kegler's is much larger any of the other two sports bar and grille types which means many more TVs and you're not on top of one another. This place can rock when the Steelers/Ravens/Eagles/Penguins/Caps/Flyers are on.
Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/vBQi0
Repeat after me: TVs, beer,
waitresses, wings/burgers, WVU memorabilia on the walls
The Fishbowl is one of those places that you have to go to when you are in Morgantown solely because it's tradition and the frosted fishbowl mugs. It's more towards the Downtown Morgantown area rather than the Evansdale/Suncrest, but it works if you are choosing to go downtown after and looking for a meal/pregame. Instead of a magnitude of WVU memorabilia, there are notes left by past visitors that act as full wallpaper. Size is comparable to Varsity Club, but the "old grads" prefer Mario's.
Tudor's Biscuit World
Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/15ufI
I laugh every time I think of Tudor's because it encapsulates the state of West Virginia so well. Very polite/cute building and atmosphere, really good food, and it's horrible awful bad heart attack deathly fatal type stuff. You know it is going to take days off your life... but you're hungry, want breakfast, and want to do it right. Spencer and the gang stopped at one during the LSU game and adequately summed it up. I'm partial to the Mountaineer: hash brown, cheese, country ham, all inside two halves of a buttered biscuit. Do it.
Note: Mind the business hours. I think it closes at 1 or 2pm. I think it's their way of saying no one should be able to eat it three times a day.
Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/KRz7z
The North-Central West Virginia region is very much influenced by the Italian heritage of the immigrants who came to work in the mines. As a product of this, we do Italian food pretty well. Oliverio's is a very good Italian restaurant located in the Wharf District downtown and, while pricey, very classy. Good food and a stock of wines. Because it is in the Wharf District, you can park in the parking garage right there and it will only be about a dollar. Oliverio's is a good place to get a nice sit down dinner and finish the night off with some ritz.
Pies and Pints
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/zQVczpiGjRT2
I love this damn place. Gourmet pizza and craft beer are two things that I did not expect from Fayetteville, but they nailed it. The menu displays all sorts of topping combinations that work well together. If you're in a large party, this part takes the longest to decide because they give you such a long list of options. My recommendation is to get a large pizza (so you can split it half-and-half) and go Chicken Gouda on one side and Grape the other. Those aren't the only good ones, but I've found they do well across the board.
As for the beer, go on the menu page for the Morgantown location and it displays all the bottles, drafts, and cans available for that day. At this point, there are 60 bottles, 20 on tap, and 9 cans. Nice.
Pro Tip: The steak salad is both massive in size and underrated.
Alright, those are my favorites. Next session will be public drinking establishments for the night before and after the game. As I said before, please, ask any question below and read the inevitable comments below. As for you, By-Godders, I didn't get around to Black Bear and Brew Pub. Go nuts.