Pepperoni rolls are a West Virginia tradition. They started as a lunch option for coal miners of the north-central part of the state during the first half of the 20th century. They don’t need to be refrigerated for storage, so miners could easily pack them in their lunches.
Italian immigrant Giuseppe “Joseph” Argiro, who is credited for inventing them, first sold them at the Country Club Bakery in Fairmont in 1927.
These days they can be easily made at home or picked up at several local gas stations. But if you really want delicious, fresh pepperoni rolls, here are some great bakeries and restaurants to try.
1. Country Club Bakery in Fairmont
As I said, Giuseppe "Joseph” Argiro, who founded the Country Club Bakery in Fairmont, was the inventor the pepperoni roll. Today, this family-owned business is still THE place to go to get one. They turn out between 250 and 900 dozen rolls a day.
2. Chico Bakery in Morgantown
Chico Bakery in Morgantown is home to the legendary Julia’s Pepperoni Roll and they still use the recipe that Julia used in 1925. They come in three varieties at this bakery: hot pepper cheese, double stuffed and cheese.
3. Health Bread Company in Clarksburg
Don't let the looks of this bakery's facade deter you, reviewers seem to swear by the bread and pepperoni rolls it produces. One reviewer said "I crave these hot pepperoni rolls nearly every Sunday morning and imagine the smell."
4. Colasessanos World Famous Pizza and Pepperoni Buns in Fairmont
Pepperoni rolls started in Fairmont, so it would make since to go there, to this Fairmont bakery to have them. Plus they like some others ship to anywhere in the US, for all those West Virginia ex-pats who might get a craving for home.
5. Kitchen Creek Bakery in Gap Mills
You can’t beat made from scratch pepperoni rolls like the ones you get at this Mennonite-run Monroe County bakery.
6. Tomaro's Bakery in Clarksburg
This Clarksburg bakery, which calls itself the state’s oldest and finest Italian bakery, has been operating for more than 100 years. They specialize in pepperoni rolls. It’s been open since 1914 and reviewers seem to love it.
7. The Donut Shop in Buckhannon
Reviewers of this bakery say the donuts are good but the pepperoni rolls are worth stopping for.
8. Greco’s in Wheeling
This Italian restaurant in Wheeling makes great pepperoni rolls. One reviewer said "I especially like the pepperoni rollsthat are always fresh and a better deal than buying them separate. I will always return to this place for that West Virginia secret."
9. Wild Flour Bakery in Fayetteville
This bakery serves a regular pepperoni roll and one with wheat bread, according to Visit Southern West Virginia, which recommends them.
10. Kings NY Pizza Italian Restaurant in Martinsburg
In addition to delicious pizza, this Martinsburg restaurant also serves great pepperoni rolls. (Note: the picture shows the pepperoni rolls sliced up, but they don't come that way). Note: one reader said this place doesn't sell them, though they're on an online menu and mentioned in reviews.
11. JR's Donut Castle
This Parkersburg institution is known for their donuts, as the name suggests, but they also make delicious fresh pepperoni rolls. (These look so good I can't even stand it.)
12. The Irish Pub in Lewisburg
A pub isn't where you might expect to find great pepperoni rolls, but one of the reviewers called them the best on the world.
Have you tried these pepperoni rolls? Where is your favorite place to get West Virginia’s favorite food?