Hungry in Pittsburgh? You’re guaranteed one thing. You won’t get bored when it comes to the food. After all, there’s always something new to try and, if you’re not in the mood to venture into unchartered territory, you can always find a restaurant, a deli, or a grocery store that sells one of Pittsburgh’s iconic foods and treat your palate to an explosion of flavor. Here are nine of the Pittsburgh foods:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
You've never really tasted pierogies until you've eaten homemade pierogies slathered in butter and topped with fried onions. Arguably one of Pittsburgh's most iconic foods, pierogies are a popular dish in restaurants, with street vendors, and at local festivals. Find authentic pierogies at S&D Polish Deli, Cop Out Pierogies, and Pierogies Plus.
2. Primanti Brothers
A thick sandwich and a side of fries and coleslaw. It just doesn't get any better, right? Well, it does if you add those fries and coleslaw to your sandwich as Primanti Brothers in Pittsburgh has done since the early 1930s. Start your Almost Famous Sandwich with roast beef, salami, or turkey (vegetarians can hold off on the meat) and your favorite condiments atop fresh Italian bread. Primanti Brothers will then add a generous portion of coleslaw and fries to the top before adding that final slice of bread.
3. Sarris Candies
Chocolate heaven. That's really the only way to describe Sarris Candies. Headquartered in Canonsburg, 20 miles outside of Pittsburgh, Sarris Candies has been a Pittsburgh tradition for nearly 40 years. While Sarris candy is sold in stores, carve out time to one day visit Sarris Candies and Ice Cream Parlor, where you can stroll down rows of milk, dark, and white chocolate candy before indulging in an ice cream sundae, a shake, or an old fashioned ice cream cone in the ice cream parlor.
4. Pittsburgh Salad
We don't just put fries on our sandwiches. Uh-huh. That would be boring. Those delicious fries also top the Pittsburgh Salad: Plenty of lettuce mixed with shredded cheese, maybe a tomato or two, onions, and cucumbers. Add steak or chicken (optional, of course) then top with fries and voila. You've got your very own Pittsburgh salad, which you can make on your own or order at many area restaurants. Essentially, you've got your whole meal – meat, potatoes, and veggies – in one big, mouthwatering salad bowl. What more could you ask for?
5. Eat 'N Park Smiley Cookie
“Eat 'N Park's the place for smiles.” Have that little diddy stuck in your head now? Eat 'N Park may be best known for its famous smiley cookies, a plain sugar cookie topped with icing and a smile. Kids get one free after every meal but you can buy your very own box of smiley cookies – and smiley cookie merchandise – at most Eat 'N Parks. Pittsburghers love the smiley cookie so much that Eat 'N Park opened an online store selling the iconic treat.
Pittsburgh's cultural diversity is evident in its many iconic foods. Kielbasa, which originated in Poland, has become a Pittsburgh staple. S&D Polish Deli in the Strip District, where you'll also find homemade pierogies, is a popular destination for those seeking authentic kielbasa.
7. Heinz Ketchup
Okay, so it's a condiment, but Heinz Ketchup surely belongs on the list of our city's most iconic foods. Pittsburgh and ketchup go hand-in-hand thanks, in large part, to the H.J. Heinz Company (now the Kraft-Heinz Company), which has called Pittsburgh its home for more than a century. Heinz Ketchup (and mustard or mayo, if you don't like ketchup) goes well on just about everything: Burgers, hot dogs, fries...you name it.
8. Chipped Ham
You just might be from Pittsburgh if you know what chipped ham is (technically, according to Isaly's, it is called chipped chopped ham). Made famous by Isaly's Deli, the lunch meat is often mixed with barbecue sauce and other ingredients to make a ham BBQ sandwich. While Isaly's has closed their delis, ending an era, their products – including chipped chopped ham – are still sold in stores.
9. Fried Zucchini
Eat it as an appetizer or order it as your main entree. Whatever you decide, you'll quickly discover why fried zucchini is one of Pittsburgh's most iconic foods. Pizza parlors, casual eateries, and upscale restaurants all generally serve some form of fried zucchini, such as fried zucchini sticks and breaded zucchini slices.