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Pittsburgh "musts"

I am most interested in characteristic food and restaurants, either stuff that you don't see so much elsewhere or places that are just synonymous with the city for some reason - whether cheap, expensive or in-between. I have poked around a bit and it seems like Primanti Bros. is on most lists of must-have Pgh food. I'll be in town for two breakfasts, two lunches, one dinner, plus a Pirates game. (Should I have the Primanti sandwich there or is it better to go to one of the actual stores, and eat something else at the ballgame?) thx much to all!

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  1. For hometown breakfasts, DeLucas and Pamalla's in the strip district. For one of your lunches, hit Fathead's on the South Side. Where else are ya gonna get a headwich with perrogi's on it, for example. You should try to get a dinner up on Mt Washington just for the view. The restaurants are fine, too, but where else are you going to get THAT view. Hope you enjoy your stay and even see a Pirates victory.

    1. Primanti's is a must, but it should also be considered a great place to hit up post-bars, if that is your scene. I agree, Fathead's is a must. Tessaro's in Bloomfield (Little Italy section of town) has some of the best burgers on the planet. If you are going to head up to Mt. Washington, got to hit Monterrey Bay. Great seafood restaurant, plus the aforementioned view. LeMont, Tin Angel, etc. are all very good, but very pricy, probably dropping $50-70pp without alcohol.

      1. The "O" in Oakland is synonymous with Pittsburgh and has amazing french fries and hot dogs. Ack, I'm jonesing.

        1. I lived in Pgh a few years back, and Primanti Bros. is highly overrated. It's all a gimmick. So they put the fries in the sandwich - so what? It's famous and it's very popular with the locals, but that doesn't make it good.

          Pamela's, OTOH, is the real deal. Three locations - strip, shadyside, squirrel hill.

          7 Replies
          1. re: minsc

            Agreed! I like to tell people that Fathead's is the new Primanti's. Go for the Headwich.

            Pamela's in the strip has some different menu items than the others.

            1. re: yayadave

              What the heck is a headwich? It sure doesn't sound good.

                1. re: yayadave

                  So it's a big sandwich? I assuming the size of a head?

                  1. re: G Goo

                    At least. Or maybe it's a play on the name of the joint.

            2. re: minsc

              I second that, and I'm in PGH; Primanti's is coasting on its name, and its pretty much where the out-of-towners go on Steeler Sundays and after hitting the bars.

              Pamela's is good, but it depends on which location you go to- Squirrel Hill is bad, Shadyside can be hit or miss, Oakland is good (except for the coffee- consistently weak), and the Strip is the best; there's also the P&G Diner in Millvale, but it was flooded awhile ago, and I haven't been back there in years (but I remember it was great).

              If you want a good burger, Tessaro's on Liberty in Bloomfield, or Piper's Pub on East Carson in the South Side is where it's at.

              1. re: minsc

                there are actually 5 Pamela's. Strip, Oakland, Millvale, Squirrel Hill and Shadyside

              2. Any recs for vegetarian in Pgh?

                1 Reply
                1. re: mhoffman

                  Yes- the Quiet Storm, at 5430 Penn Ave (Garfield), is vegetarian. Lulu's Noodles on South Craig St. has a lot of good vegetarian choices, and can make just about anything into a vegetarian entree (they cater to a ton of Pitt and CMU students, profs, and staff, so they take the vegetarian thing seriously).