Foodie Heaven: Pittsburgh’s Strip District

PittsburghWhenever I return to a place I once lived–Hollywood, Amish country, or Andalusia–I know exactly where I’m going to eat. Visiting an old haunt and ordering a favorite dish–nothing fuels nostalgia more.

PittsburghLast weekend Mike asked me to join him in Pittsburgh for his college reunion but from the sound of it our meal at Primanti Brothers Restaurant was just as important as visiting the campus. Located in the Strip District, it’s a true Iron City establishment. What brought it to such fame? Massive sandwiches with vinegar coleslaw and French fries slapped between white bread. After eating there, I too love Pittsburgh that much more–but it wasn’t the heart-attack-of-a-sandwich that won me over, it was the world of food at the Strip District that already has me nostalgic.

It’s a mecca of markets, produce stands, butcher shops, bakeries, cafes, and ethnic groceries spanning the globe. Its no-frills charm and all-flavor offerings would bring me back daily if I lived remotely near here.

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The Strip District has been Pittsburgh's meat and produce district since the mid-1800s and though a few trendy restaurants and clubs have moved in, the markets are still open and as raw as ever.

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A few of the smaller produce markets are open to the public on Sundays. Here, I love that the sidewalk constitutes the majority of this store's real estate.

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The Pennsylvania Macaroni Company is a deceptive name considering they sell nearly every gourmet food imaginable. It may have been my favorite spot on the Strip.
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Their cheese, olive, and meat selection was beyond abundant and more than mouthwatering.
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Regulars line up here to refill their own olive oil.

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Down the street, Wholey's Fish Market makes western Pennsylvania feel like a waterfront village. They are incredibly proud of their fresh selection and display the daily catch accordingly. Vegetarians not advised.

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Enrico Biscotti is one of the trendier spots on the block but their cute facade doesn't detract from their foodie cult status.
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These pies looked ridiculously good. Next time I'm skipping Primanti's and going straight for dessert.

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