Food + Drink

Acquired tastes

In a region where a lot of people pride themselves on having their fries and coleslaw ON their sandwiches, you can expect other quirky tastes. Here are a few you might want to try. Or not.

Religious experiences

Our ascendant dining scene makes it more likely that you can have a religious experience in a great restaurant. But Pittsburgh being Pittsburgh, you still can have some great food experiences in religious settings.

Nice slices

It’s the kind of discussion that can launch reasonable adults into belligerent invective. Somewhere below politics but occasionally on par with sports rivalries, there is pizza. Ask 100 people for their favorite pizza place and you might get 100 different answers. It’s a fiercely territorial topic, bordering on tribal. And while Pittsburgh doesn’t have a defined “style” like New York, Chicago or even Detroit, there’s no paucity of premium pizzas. Here are a few of my favorites.

Bar keepers

It was the sociologist and author Ray Oldenburg who first posited the notion of the “third place” and its importance as a not-home, not-work gathering spot where all are welcome. Often a bar or a pub is that place, and whether it’s a shot-and-beer joint or a place for martinis and Manhattans, the tone of the experience is set by the bartender who can wear the hats of jester, therapist, father confessor and friend, all at the same time. Here are some of our favorite barkeeps.