The Skinny on Soup in Wheeling
By: Jeremy Morris
Nothing warms the bones like a hot bowl of soup on a frosty winter’s day. In Wheeling you will not be disappointed with your options for some soul-satisfying soup this winter.
Just a couple of notes before you dig in, many of the restaurants listed below have a soup menu that changes daily so some of the recommendations may not be available at the time of your visit.
Also, some of the recommendations were sourced using a newly created Facebook Group, Ohio Valley Food Fanatics. While I have my favorite go-to spots, I knew there were plenty more and have now added several to my list of “must-do”.
Lastly the list below is in alphabetical order and doesn’t reflect all of the dining options in Wheeling, for a full restaurant list visit here.
Located on Wheeling Island Abbey’s Restaurant & Lounge is a Wheeling institution and known as a favorite quittin’ time watering hole for many locals. “I like their unusual recipes. They have had a different legit fresh soup on every visit,” says Wheeling resident Bryan Murray.
Soup recommendations for Abbey’s: Mushroom soup and Stuffed Green Pepper soup
Just across the street from the iconic Wheeling Suspension Bridge one will find the Bridge Tavern, a diner that is a throwback to Wheeling’s mid-century millworker past. The bridge serves a full menu of sandwiches, salads, and hearty dinners. It also has a unique horseshoe-shaped bar and a known gathering spot for Cleveland Browns fans during football season.
Soup recommendations for The Bridge: Cheeseburger soup and lasagna soup
For over 70 years the Figaretti family has served up traditional Italian cuisine crafted from family recipes. A visit to “Figs” is like something out of a classic movie, a cozy Italian restaurant, with homemade pasta, sausage, and spumoni. They offer lunch and dinner menus and you can pick up a jar of their amazing sauce at any of our local grocery stores to carry back home.
Soup recommendations for Figaretti’s: Mushroom soup and the Italian Wedding soup
At the bottom of Wheeling Hill in the Fulton neighborhood is Generations, aptly named for the many generations of the Duplaga family that have operated eating and drinking establishments at the location. “Gens” as the locals call it, has an expansive menu and a great location for game day beverages.
Soup Recommendation for Generations: French Onion and the award-winning Chili, which has garnered best Chili on multiple occasions at the Wheeling Feeling Chili Cookoff.
Tucked into the East Wheeling neighborhood near downtown, Good Mansion Wines is a charming little gem. Good Mansion offers Wheeling’s finest in wines, cheeses, cold cuts, and desserts. The full-service kitchen is in the rear and cranks out amazing sandwiches and classic French desserts.
Soup Recommendation for Good Mansion: Coconut Carrot Curry
The Hall of Fame Cafe is a tiny place packed with homestyle deliciousness. Located in the Centre Market neighborhood it is a favorite spot for many locals. On any given day you will find a half dozen soups simmering.
Recommendations for Hall of Fame: Potato soup and Stuffed Pepper soup
‘Eat or we both starve!’ is the mantra of the Haddad family’s Later Gator. This unique little eatery has become one of Wheeling’s most treasured spots to grab a bite. They have an amazing menu of sandwiches, salads and best of all the crepes, served both savory and sweet. The place can get busy at peak dining hours, so make a reservation or hit the off hours for quicker seating.
Soup recommendation for Later Gator: Tomato Basil with puff pastry
The recently opened Public Market, located in the same building as the Wheeling Visitors Center, is quite the rage among Wheeling foodies. Locals are raving over their burgers and salads, with much of it organically and/or locally sourced. Two daily soups are offered each day.
Soup recommendation for the Public Market: Curry cream of mushroom
One of the newest additions to Wheeling’s eclectic mix of eateries is Sarah’s on Main. Parisian-trained chef Sarah Lydick is passionate about her craft and serves up an array of inspired offerings each week. Come early for the morning buns and stay for an amazing soup and Sarah’s signature salty bread.
Soup recommendation for Sarah’s: Italian wedding soup (and anything else on the menu).
As its name suggest The Soup Shack offers a bounty of soup choices each day. Located inside the upper house of Centre Market they also offer a variety of salads and sandwiches.
Recommendations for The Soup Shack: 16 cajun bean soup, lobster bisque, and chicken tortilla
Tito’s Sloppy Dog’s is a hot dog joint, an extraordinary hot dog joint. Owner Chris Burress brings a unique flavor to the ubiquitous hot dog, as he does everything else he serves. If you want the full story on this family-owned hot dog joint, check this out.
Soup recommendation: Cheeseburger Potato soup and Sausage Tortellini, now that sounds like some stick-to-your-bones goodness right there.
The new Uncle Pete’s is located in the Elm Grove neighborhood of Wheeling, at the Elm Grove Trailhead of the Wheeling Heritage Trail system. Uncle Pete’s is another local favorite known for its excellent customer service and consistent menu.
Soup Recommendation for Uncle Pete’s: Cheeseburger soup and Stuffed Pepper soup
Tucked inside the lower Centre Market house is Valley Cheese which offers deli cuts, cheeses, a variety of sandwiches and soup options. Third-generation owner Janet Hedinger crafts handmade soups each day and she is known to cater to the wants of her regulars, the locals who live in the Centre Market neighborhood. Soup variety changes from day-to-day.
The Golden Chopsticks seafood hot-and-sour pot for two is a true winner. The seafood pot is a completely different style of hot and sour than one typically associates with American Chinese restaurants. This version is loaded with vegetables, mushrooms, assortment of seafood, and plenty of spicy goodness.
Found Nowhere Else in Town
Vagabond Kitchen’s Texan Book of the Dead Chili isn’t for the faint of heart. No beans. No corn. No tomatoes. Just a blend of fiery locally grown peppers and tender steak. This is one you won’t soon forget. Vagabond has a unique menu with several dishes that provide some heat and plenty for those who are less adventurous.