Uptown’s Z-Best Barbeque Chicken and Ribs keeps the comfort food coming | Food | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Uptown’s Z-Best Barbeque Chicken and Ribs keeps the comfort food coming

The family-run business is also active in the community

Z-Best Barbeque Chicken and Ribs has been serving Pittsburgh’s Uptown community for nearly a decade. Originally located on Herron Avenue, it recently moved to Fifth Avenue near Duquesne University, Mercy Hospital and the PPG Paints Arena, and business has never been better. 

Z-Best offers the usual barbecue staples, and like many of the best barbecue joints, it’s a family business. It’s owned by Darwin Copeland and managed by his sister, Darla Copeland, and the recipes made here have been passed down from the Copelands’ grandmother. Darla says her grandmother taught Darwin to cook at an early age. 

“It’s a food we identify with in our heritage,” Darla says. “It’s something we always typically make on Sundays and at holiday dinners, and it’s comforting to us.”

The menu features a number of meal options where customers can choose from meats such as chicken wings and ribs, and from a long list of sides including mac-and-cheese and greens, two of Z-Best’s customers’ favorites. The eatery also offers fish and pulled pork. And every meal comes with a piece of cornbread. 

Z-Best is committed to serving the local community. It regularly donates food to local organizations, including the YMCA in the Hill District and the Jubilee Soup Kitchen. And at the end of the day, any leftover food is donated to the homeless.

“Everything we do is for the community,” Darla says.

The restaurant also offers a catering service, and this side of the business has been growing steadily.

“We’re looking to get more help because we’re getting larger and larger,” says catering manager Lisa Cunningham. “We’re excited about that.”

1315 Fifth Ave., Uptown. 412-235-7163 or www.zbestbbq.com

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