Okay, fellow Pittsburghers, we all have our own family traditions, favorite dishes we always have at Thanksgiving dinner, or on the Fourth of July. But, there are some dishes that just about all Pittsburghers have tried – or must try – at least once in their lives. Full disclosure: Not all of the following are technically dishes in the traditional sense but they were added because, well, you’ll see why. Here are nine of the most popular Pittsburgh dishes you have to try before you die.
Pittsburgh's crazy about pierogies, those you eat and those who race around the ball field at PNC Park between Buccos' innings, so is it any surprise that pierogies make the top of the list? Pierogies are a staple at many Pittsburgh restaurants and at the local church fairs during the summer fair season.
2. Pittsburgh Salad
What do you get when you top a traditional salad with french fries (and maybe steak or chicken)? The Pittsburgh Salad, one of the city's most popular salads, of course. Whether you make your own version of the Pittsburgh Salad or order one at an area restaurant, you're pretty much guaranteed a delightful meal.
Living in a city that is truly a melting pot means being able to eat some of the world's best foods, like haluski, a popular Polish and Slovak dish that combines noodles and cabbage. Like our beloved pierogies, you can find haluski at local restaurants and at those summer church fairs.
4. Chipped Ham (Chipped Chopped Ham)
Chipped ham or chipped chopped ham? What do you call it? Whichever term you use, chipped ham – usually purchased from Islay's – is as common in Pittsburgh as the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich. If you haven't tried a (barbecued, maybe?) chipped chopped ham sandwich, you really don't know what you're missing.
5. Primanti's Brothers Sandwich
Pittsburghers typically fall into one of two camps. You either love the Primanti's Brothers fry and coleslaw-topped sandwich or you don't. Either way, it's one of those foods that Pittsburghers have to try at least once. The popular sandwich – which features chosen meat along with fries and coleslaw sandwiched in between two pieces of bread – was invented to allow Pittsburghers to have a hearty meal they could eat quickly at lunchtime.
6. Cabbage Rolls
What do most people eat on New Year's Day in Pittsburgh? Cabbage rolls! (Or, stuffed cabbage or stuffed cabbage rolls, depending on your preference.) It's a Pittsburgh tradition and a dish you definitely have to try.
7. Potato Patch Fries
Summer means one thing: A mandatory day at Kennywood Park. And, what's a trip to Kennywood without stopping by the Potato Patch for an overflowing order of fresh cut fries swimming in cheese or with a side of cheese? A definite must try if you're in Pittsburgh.
8. Klondike Bar
What would YOU do for a Klondike bar? Call it a dish, of course, and add it to the list of dishes you have to eat in Pittsburgh before you die. After all, who can resist a Klondike bar? Klondike Bars, of course, are an Islay's invention and, for many of us, Islay's was the go-to deli for years.
9. Sarris Candy
Well, if we're counting a Klondike bar as a dish then drop some of Sarris' famous chocolate candy – chocolate pretzels, peanut butter meltaways, or milk chocolate candy bars (easy to break up) – in a bowl and voila! The perfect snack, dessert, or instant chocolate craving solution is the perfect Pittsburgh dish. If the Klondike Bar doesn't hit the spot, head to the Sarris Candy store in Canonsburg for some homemade ice cream made with, that's right, Sarris chocolate.
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