Beckley’s ‘Black Circle Bistro’ wins Best Chocolate Chip Cookie in WV

By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV

After weeks of delicious competition between bakeries across the state, our readers have spoken. The best chocolate chip cookie in West Virginia can be found in Beckley at Black Circle Bistro, a new restaurant that opened last fall in an old gas station. 

“It took three years to get this recipe right,” says owner and chef April Sauls. “I did savory for 25 years. Bakery items always scared me.” 

The cookies at Black Bistro come plain or as shown above, filled with delicious homemade icing. Photo by Black Circle Bistro.
A customer who just moved to town stops by Black Bistro for a sweet fix. Photo by RealWV.

So she took some courses, practiced baking on family and friends, and perfected her cookie recipes. 

“We sold a little more than 400 cookies during the contest,” she reports. “We gave $1 from every sale to the Raleigh Humane Society during the contest.” 

April adopted her dog, a 14-year old pit bull, from there, and she likes to give back to the community that gives so much to her. 

“Our fans are the best,” she says. “They are ride or die.”

The dining area of Black Circle Bistro includes a wall of pinball machines. Photo by RealWV.

And you’ll never believe how April came to open the restaurant in the first place. She was in a pinball league in Beaver. Yes, a pinball league. In rural West Virginia. How cool is that? 

It closed down and they moved the pinball machines to an old gas station. “We followed the pinball machines and came here to play,” she remembers. “The first time I walked in the building, I told my husband ‘This place is me.’ Two weeks later I left my cushy, corporate job and opened my own restaurant.” 

When you walk in Black Circle Bistro, you can see the joy in April’s eyes. She loves what she does. 

Chef April Sauls and her crew are friendly, efficient, and fun! You’ll come for the food and stay for the company. Photo by RealWV.

“I love feeding people. That comes from the Appalachian in me,” she says. “Are you hungry? Have ya eat yet? We just wanna feed people.” 

Next time you’re in Beckley, check out their savory and sweet menu. They’re open Monday-Saturday from 11am-8pm, located at 1318 Harper Road in Beckley, just off the interstate. 

The chocolate chip cookie contest comprises terrific treats from across the state. Here’s the full list of nominees, so you can start a tour now! 

Nominees by readers:

  • Toosie’s Place, White Sulphur Springs 
  • The Chocolate Lady, White Sulphur Springs 
  • The Bakery and Coffeehouse, Williamstown
  • Good Roads Bakehouse, Frankford
  • Black Circle Bistro, Beckley
  • The Dough Ball, Gap Mills
  • Apple Annie’s, Morgantown
  • Lucky Rivers, Hinton
  • Mountain Table, Renick
  • The Rncvrt, Ronceverte
  • The Lunch Box, White Sulphur Springs 
  • Rock City Cake Company, Charleston
  • Flavor Mutt, Ronceverte
  • Taste of Heaven, Maxwelton
  • Wild Bean, Lewisburg
  • Vandal’s, Green Sulphur Springs
  • The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs
  • Fruits of Labor, Rainelle
  • The Cookie Jar, Union 
  • Corn + Flour, Lewisburg
  • Spring Hill Pastry, Charleston

Based on their votes, the Top 5 moved on to the final round of voting: 

  • Tootsie’s Place
  • The Bakery & Coffeehouse
  • Good Roads Bakehouse
  • The Rncvrt
  • Black Circle Bistro

Our readers voted again for a final round, and Black Circle Bistro emerged victorious by just over 100 votes ahead of The Rncvrt. 

Congrats to April and many thanks to all those shops and voters who made this fun contest possible! Hit the road and check out all these cookie spots. Report back to us which ones are your favorites along the way.

Black Circle Bistro in Beckley was crowned as having the best chocolate chip cookie in West Virginia by the readers of RealWV in 2024. Photo by RealWV.

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