Let Shepherdstown Surprise You!
by Marianne Davis, Back Roads Century event planner
The only chains in Shepherdstown are bicycle chains. This town is so serious about being itself that chain stores and restaurants are prohibited by statute. That’s great news for diners! With a surprising number of dining choices, you are sure to find something for your taste and budget, whether it’s casual, ethnic, cosmopolitan, or locally-grown fare. Get acquainted with your options and plan your culinary tour through Shepherdstown. Be careful, though, Shepherdstown was chosen as one of five Foodiest Towns in West Virginia, so unless you’re ready for six meals a day your tour could take a while. This list is only some of our eateries.
Whether you are looking for the best in classic and modern German cuisine or for American food with European flare, the Bavarian Inn is for you. Choose from dining in the formal Potomac Room, the lively Rathskellar, or if the weather permits, on the patio or poolside. The wine list, over 600 offerings, sets a standard for the Mid-Atlantic region. Autumn brings games season, when the Inn creates a special menu with rabbit, pheasant, elk, wild boar, and other out-of-the-ordinary offerings. Make dining an occasion.
7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Shaharazade’s Restaurant and Tea Room
Casual dining with a full breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu. Specializing in freshly made soups, vegetable salads, fruit salads, grilled sandwiches as well as Middle Eastern and Mediterranean favorites like spanikopita, hummus, falafel, couscous salad and shish kabob. Much of the food is organic and vegetarian. In between meals, stop in for high tea with more than 40 kinds of quality teas from around the world and a full line of appetizers and desserts.
Fri/Sat 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sun – Thurs 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
If your town doesn’t have a Betty’s, move. This Shepherdstown landmark serves breakfast and hot lunch, and is beloved for its traditional regional fare, from pancakes just a bit too big for the plate to homemade ponhaus (look it up). No one gets out of Shepherdstown without falling in love with Betty’s biscuits sausage gravy or their honest-to-God grilled cheese sandwiches. Betty’s doesn’t take credit cards, but they do have an ATM on site.
Mon – Sat 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sun – 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
A neighborhood restaurant offering creative French food from local sources at affordable prices, the Bistro is evocative of a Parisian boîte. It engages your senses with the vibrance of the south of France, eclectic artworks, and the scent of traditional favorites on the stove. Bistro 112 boasts seasonal menus, and passionately supports local farmers. Try l’entrecote and pommes frites, mussels, roast chicken, pate, cheeses, and crepes. There is enough variety to suit vegetarians, too, with several salads, soups, entrees, and desserts. The bar is as charming as the restaurant, so plan to linger.
Noon to 9 p.m.
Blue Moon Café
You could walk in to this Shepherdstown favorite in your pajamas and still have a good meal and a great time. The menu is extensive, with dozens of dishes to please vegetarians as well as beef, pork, chicken, and fish dishes. There’s always a special soup and a special quiche to tempt even jaded regulars, too. Blue Moon offers ice cream cones, just drop in and ask, and they serve local beers and ciders, too. Come see what the fuss is about!
11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Vegetarians and vegans won’t be stuck with salads at Mellow Moods. The menu does have a couple of chicken dishes, and a smattering of fish, but they also have a red rice and hemp burger and a tempeh avocado wrap that will make even the biggest meat eaters not miss the moo. Mellow Moods provides the hummus you’ll enjoy at the BRC, too. Not that hungry? Stop in for fresh juices and fabulous smoothies.
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Owner Alisha Hanlin says it best; “Everything is made from scratch and custom-designed with the customer in mind. All the cakes are baked from scratch; bread doughs are mixed by hand; the buttercream never comes from a bucket but is always made with real butter; fruit fillings always begin as fruit and never come from a shelf-stable bag; even our condiments will be made in-house, and with mostly locally sourced ingredients like bacon, eggs, and other meat and dairy.”
Open Fri – Sun from 10 a.m. until sold out
Everything is fresh at Maria’s and if we grew avocados and limes in West Virginia everything would be local from the veggies to the meats. You’ll find your favorites here – burritos you know you ought to split but don’t, tacos in both traditional and Maria’s style, and everything filled with either beef, chicken, pork, rice & beans, sautéed veggies, or fried cod. Branch out from burritos and try the huevos rancheros or the Ghost-dilla. You’ll be glad you did.
Mon – Sat 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Closed Sunday
Shepherdstown Sweet Shop
Sweet Shop breads and desserts are served in restaurants throughout the West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania, and Shepherdstown is lucky enough to have them right here. Cakes, macarons, cookies, tarts, cheesecakes, and fine pastries of every variety are displayed alongside sandwiches made with their wholesome breads, which are also available by the loaf. Linger over coffee or tea with a slice of their nationally-renowned stolen and you won’t soon forget Shepherdstown.
Mon - Thursday 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Fri & Sat 8am–6pm Sun 8am–4pm
Domestic’s goal is serving tasty American fare with a creative twist in a fun and lively setting. They offer a selection of domestic wines with a focus on small producers, a rotating list of American craft beers with a celebration of local West Virginia breweries, and seasonal cocktail lists. From the widely varied menu, don’t miss the locally-made double Domestic dogs with tangy cabbage-pepper relish, bacon, whiskey mustard, shaved red onion or the rise & shine burger with over-easy egg, bacon, white cheddar, and garlic aioli.
11:30 to 9 p.m., bar open until midnight
Town Run Brewing Company
How does an old hardware store turn into a restaurant and bar? By embracing the quirkiness and filling the building with a bit of fun. The Town Run’s food runs toward hearty, simple fare, but it’s the bar and the conversation that really draws customers in. Hoist a local beer or two, dig into some loaded mashed potatoes, and launch into philosophical speculation with your neighbors.
Mon – Sat 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. Sun – 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Devonshire Arms Café and Pub
Where you see the Union Jack waving proudly with the Stars & Stripes you’ll find the best of British comfort food along with some surprises. Fish & chips are made with proper cod dressed in an airy coating next to hearty fried potatoes. Yes, you can get an old-fashion fry up breakfast here. Try the cottage pie, the Cornish pasties, or just a burger. But don’t leave without sticky toffee pudding, spotted dick, or a Bakewell tart. The cozy pub features local as well as British favorites well into the night.
9 a.m. to 3 a.m. (!)
The Press Room
German Street’s go-to special occasion restaurant has made its name with a consistent focus on simplicity, freshness, and variety. Its large selection of fresh and seasonal soups, salads, grilled seafood, meats, and house-made pastas delight visitors and residents alike. Don’t look for spaghetti Bolognese here, but you may find tagliatelle with pork cheeks and peas. The Press Room also boasts area’s best selection of oysters on the half shell.
Mon, Wed, Thurs – 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Fri & Sat – 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Sun – 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for brunch and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. for dinner