A Global Food Tour of Pittsburgh | City Guide | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

A Global Food Tour of Pittsburgh

click to enlarge Chengdu Gourmet owner Wei Zhu prepares a dish in his Squirrel Hill restaurant. - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Chengdu Gourmet owner Wei Zhu prepares a dish in his Squirrel Hill restaurant.
For the last year, international travel has been mostly grounded, but it’s still possible to experience a taste of the wider world. Pittsburgh’s different neighborhood nooks and crannies are full of global flavors. Our city is particularly rich in the many cuisines of Asia and, of course, we’re often considered to have a synonymous identity with the Polish pierogi. We still love our Steeltown mainstays (red sauce Italian and the aforementioned Polish foods) brought to us by previous immigration waves, but now we can also enjoy the cuisines of more recent newcomers and immigrants. Explore the city’s global cuisine with a few places we think are worth a visit.

Before you head to a restaurant, make sure to check their website or call ahead. Many restaurants may still be operating at reduced hours or serving take-out only due to the pandemic. Pro tip: Ordering take-out directly from a restaurant, instead of using a national food delivery app, is the best way to show your support.

Caribbean

Jamaica

2 Sisters 2 Sons

1882 Main St., Sharpsburg. 2sisters2sons.com
After running a restaurant in Wilkinsburg, these sisters teamed up with their sons for a new space, which opened in 2020. Traditional dishes like oxtail join a few vegan and vegetarian options.

Leon's Carribean

823 E. Warrington Ave., Allentown. leonscaribbeanrestaurant.com
Leon Rose left Jamaica in 1979 and worked around the country before landing in Pittsburgh and starting Leon’s. Check out the curry goat, jerk chicken, and red snapper escovitch.

Central America

Mexico

La Palapa

2224 E. Carson St., South Side. lapalapapgh.com
The menu mostly hones in on traditional dishes like sopa de tortilla, carne asada, and tamales (don’t worry, there’s still queso dip). Vegetarian options are excellent and offer modern flair with the option of soyrizo (vegan chorizo).


El Salvador/Honduras/Guatemala

El Comedor de la Tia

1605 Broadway Ave., Beechview. 412-815-8801
El Comedor de la Tia is one of the growing number of Latin American options in Beechview. It's the only local place where we’ve seen shucos, a type of loaded hotdog on a toasted bun that’s a popular Guatemalan street food.

South America

Argentina

Gaucho Parrilla Argentina

146 Sixth St., Downtown. eatgaucho.com
Before its 2020 move to a larger Downtown location, the line for Gaucho’s small storefront always wrapped around the block. Come for the asada platter, but stay for the sandwiches. Their wine list offers exclusively Argentine wines.

Brazil

Casa Brasil

5904 Bryant St., Highland Park. casa-brasil.com
This small Brazilian restaurant delves into the country's cuisine beyond steakhouses. Moqueca, frango con quiabo (chicken and okra), and vaca atolada offer traditional flavors, but the menu offers vegan and vegetarian options as well.

click to enlarge Customers enjoy a meal at The Colombian Spot in the South Side. - CP PHOTO: KAYCEE ORWIG
CP Photo: Kaycee Orwig
Customers enjoy a meal at The Colombian Spot in the South Side.

Colombia

The Colombian Spot

2019 E. Carson St., South Side. thecolombianspot-pgh.com
The arepas here are made entirely in-house, from the washing and grinding of the corn, to the fillings. A large section of native dishes helps guide diners toward traditional flavors like ropa vieja.


Venezuela

Cilantro y Ajo

901 E. Carson St., South Side. cilantroajo.com
Street foods like chacapas (a sweet corn pancake stuffed with cheese) and empanadas are the stars at this family-owned spot.

Europe

Britain

The Pub Chip Shop

1830 E. Carson St., South Side. thepubchipshop.com
Fish and chips, savory pies, and baps — simple sandwiches on buttery rolls — make for the perfect brown bag foods. Pair with a beer or a scotch egg for the full experience.

click to enlarge Paris 66 Bistro in East Liberty - CP PHOTO: KAYCEE ORWIG
CP Photo: Kaycee Orwig
Paris 66 Bistro in East Liberty

France

Paris 66 Bistro

6018 Centre Ave., East Liberty. paris66bistro.com
A transportative space where the staff all speak French. Grab moule-frites or go for the fine dining experience with filet mignon or cherry-glazed roasted duck.

Italy

Bar Marco

2216 Penn Ave., Strip District. barmarcopgh.com
Regional Italian cuisine with a focus on Piemontese dishes. Pork tonnato and housemade pastas are homey and satisfying. The restaurant is also known for its cocktail and wine programs.

Hungary

Huszar

627 E. North Ave., North Side. huszarpittsburgh.com
Hungarian favorites like chicken paprikás, goulash, and red cabbage slaw make up the heavy homemade fare of this second generation Hungarian bar turned restaurant.


Jozsa Corner

4800 Second Ave., Hazelwood. jozsacorner.com
This tiny, reservation-only restaurant is the life’s work of Alexander Bodnar, who has been making homemade Hungarian food in the space since 1988. Dumplings, gulyas, cucumber salad, and more. BYOB.

Russia/Uzbekistan

Kavsar

16 Southern Ave., Mount Washington. kavsar.company.site
All halal foods from a talented homecook-turned-chef and her husband, who runs the front of the house. The manti is a must.

Middle East

Lebanon

Mediterranean Grill

5835 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill. medgrillpgh.com
Lebanese fare in a small bright space. Skewers, pita, and a host of lamb and beef entrees make up the menu. Moussaka is a must try.

Levantine

B52 Café

5202 Butler St., Lawrenceville. b52pgh.com
An airy cafe that specializes in vegan dishes from Israel, Palestine, Syria, Jordan. and Lebanon. Baba ganoush, falafel, and hummus are great for a light lunch.

Libya/Lebanon/Yemen

Salem’s Market and Grill

2923 Penn Ave., Strip District. salemsmarketgrill.com
A halal restaurant and butcher shop that serves hot and cold dishes for take-out and dine in. Grilled kebabs and curries are staples.

click to enlarge Owner Seifu Haileyesus prepares a sampler of various meats and vegetables at Tana Ethiopian Cuisine in 2008. - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Owner Seifu Haileyesus prepares a sampler of various meats and vegetables at Tana Ethiopian Cuisine in 2008.


Africa

Ethiopia

Tana Ethopian Cuisine

5929 Baum Blvd., East Liberty. tanaethiopiancuisine.com
Approaching institution-status, this intimate Ethopian restaurant offers family-style dishes and samplers. Diverse options for vegetarians.

Nigeria

African Eats Cuisine

2032 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill. africaneatscuisine.com
A recent addition to Squirrel Hill specializing in West African dishes like jollof rice, suya, and egusi stew and efo riro.

Asia

Burma

Royal Myanmar

644 Center Ave., West View. pittsburghroyalmyanmar.com
Burmese cuisine combines flavors from southeast Asia for bright and flavorful foods. Pickled tea leaf salad, brothy fish dishes, and milder curries are all on the menu here.

China (Sichuan)

Chengdu Gourmet

5840 Forward Ave., Squirrel Hill. chengdugourmetpittsburgh.com
Herbaceous, mouthwatering and fiery, Chengdu brings the nuance of the Sichuan region to its food. Try a classic like mapo tofu or cumin lamb, or bring a large group and order as many dishes as you think you can eat! American-style Chinese and traditional Chinese menus offered.

India (Southern)

Udipi Cafe

4141 Old William Penn Hwy., Monroeville. 412-373-5581
Nice for a solo lunch or a large group dinner, the dishes here center around dosas, a fermented rice and lentil crepe stuffed with chutneys, potatoes, and onions, which can be used to eat with curries or bitten into on its own.

Japan

Mola

6018 Penn Ave., East Liberty. themolafish.com
Mola is the inspiration of a husband-wife team of owners. Sushi, handrolls, and bao are all made with very fresh ingredients. Spring for the Mola rice.

Korea

Nak Won Garden

5504 Centre Ave., Shadyside. nakwongarden.com
Family-sized plates, Korean barbeque, and traditional selections like hot pot and mool nengmyun, a dish with cold buckwheat noodles in a tart beef broth.

click to enlarge Kiin Lao and Thai’s Pun Mieng entree - CP PHOTO: MEGAN GLOECKLER
CP Photo: Megan Gloeckler
Kiin Lao and Thai’s Pun Mieng entree

Laos/Thailand

Kiin Lao & Thai Eatery

5846 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill. kiinpgh.com
Herbal, pungent, and bitter flavors typify Lao cuisine. This restaurant offers both Lao and Thai dishes. Try the orm, an herbal stew with lemongrass, dill, eggplant, wood ear mushrooms, and green beans served with sticky rice.

Nepal/Bhutan

Namaste Momo Corner

4114 Sawmill Run Blvd., Brentwood. 412-819-4913
Nepalese dumplings (called momo) are a rare treat that Pittsburgh now gets to experience. Fillings run the range of mutton, chicken, vegetables, and green chilis.

Taiwan

Taiwainese Bistro Cafe 33

1711 Shady Ave., Squirrel Hill. twcafe33.com
Cafe 33 feels like a warm hug. Excellent service pairs with traditional foods you can’t get elsewhere, like fried stinky tofu.

Thailand

Pusadee’s Garden

5319 Butler St., Lawrenceville. pusadeesgarden.com
A recent renovation has brought the beauty of Pusadee’s dishes into its surroundings. Curry, street noodles, and excellent appetizers.

Vietnam

Pho Minh

4917 Penn Ave., Garfield. 412-661-7443
Excellent pho, a complex and slow-cooked Vietnamese beef stew, in a small-hole-in-the-wall space.

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