When it comes to traditions, Pittsburgh has plenty. You know them, right? Saturday morning in the Strip, sports fandom and steel mills. Look at little closer and you’ll see that each of those traditions center around one thing ­ FOOD!

With heavy influence from it’s melting pot population, Pittsburgh’s food culture is as diverse as it’s neighborhoods. In time, meals served to satisfy a steel workers appetite took root in the city, while other foods thought up here gained national acclaim.

So whether they’re local favorites or known the world over, these are foods that Pittsburgh made famous.

The Pittsburgh Salad ­

Pittsburgh Salad
French fries, Pittsburgh’s favorite crouton.

Big Mac ­

Big Mac Pittsburgh
The man behind this burger (Jim Delligatti) is a Burgher. He made the first ‘Mac here in 1967.

Heinz Ketchup ­  

Heinz ketchup Pittsburgh
All 57 varieties are made in PGH.

Burnt Almond Torte ­

burnt almond torte pittsburgh
Get a slice of the world’s best cake at Prantl’s.

Pierogies ­

Pierogies Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh is home to a pierogi race, truck, fest, night and St. Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Church that whips up the Burgh’s best pierogies in the basement.

Primanti’s ­

Primantis Pittsburgh
The sammich made for a steel worker sized appetite, complete with fries and slaw – now shipped nation wide.

Klondike Bar ­

Klondike Bar Pittsburgh
Vanilla ice cream squares coated with chocolate were imagined and invented by Isaly’s, a company regarded as a Pittsburgh original.

Chipped Chopped Ham ­

chipped chopped ham Pittsburgh
Of course no Isaly’s reference is complete without mention of a yinzer favorite, chipped chopped ham ­used in place of ground beef on barbecue sandwiches.

Smiley Cookies ­

Eat n Park Cookies Pittsburgh
Eat’N Park is the place for smiles. It’s also the place for the smiley sugar cookie that embodies their motto.

Fried Zucchini ­

Fried Zucchinis Pittsburgh
The deep ­fried appetizer that’s a staple of Steel City restaurants ­ served with a side of marinara for dipping.

Iron City Beer ­

Iron City Beer Pittsburgh
The native brew that locals know as Arn City.

Sarris Candies ­

Sarris Candies Pittsburgh
A speciality chocolate company made in the Canonsburg suburb of the city.

Mancini’s Bread ­

Mancini Bread Pittsburgh
Open 24/7 they produce 10,000 loafs of the best bread in the world every day!

The Cookie Table ­

cookie table Pittsburgh
The wedding tradition with one shared goal: determine how many homemade cookies it takes to snap a banquet table in half.

Pittsburgh Popcorn ­

Pittsburgh popcorn company
This up and coming Pittsburgh favorite delights patrons who wait a seemingly endless line for traditional (movie) and totally crazy (spicy bacon cheddar) flavors.

Clark Bar ­

clark bar Pittsburgh
In 1886 Irish immigrant David L. Clark formulated the chocolate covered peanut butter bar in the Burgh.

This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.
  1. I hate to be one of those typical complainers, like, “Why isn’t [such & such] on the list?” — BUT, I feel like mentioning the “Original’s” Hot Dog Shop in Oakland.. It has gotten national coverage in big playoff football games & such.. And although you DID already mention that french fries are “Pittsburgh’s favorite crouton,” — “The O” (as it’s affectionately nicknamed), serves up some of the best fries around, AND you get a whole LOT, even if you order the smallest size.. And they have the art of melted cheese sauce for their fries, down to perfection in taste..

    Despite being named a “hot dog shop” — I think they sell more thousands of pounds of FRENCH FRIES, than anybody else in da ‘Burgh! The hotdogs themselves are pretty good (they have that ‘snap’ when you bite into them, from having a sturdier casing than a cheap Oscar Mayer). I’ll admit that their pizza is nasty (to me), and there are better places to get a cheese-steak hoagie, but yeah, they have all of THAT TOO, if you like a VARIETY of menu items to choose from (and an impressive, extensive beer selection).

    I can remember growing up, hanging out in Oakland & stopping in the O. with my friends, as a memory I’ll always be fond of, and I STILL try to stop in there, any chance I get, when in the area.. Try not to call them “The Dirty O” though, because the employees don’t LIKE that version of the nickname.. But it goes back to their former reputation of being a somewhat dingy, greasy, “hole in the wall” type of joint.. But for me, even THAT was part of the lore. They’ve cleaned up the place significantly since those days, but the quality of the beloved food remains intact, even if it’s not the most HEALTH-conscious choices of local eateries.

  2. My husband’s family is Slovak. They don’t fry the pierogies. My sons Polish girlfriend was here and said “You have to fry them! She got out a skillet and butter and fried some of them. I like them both ways but my husband prefers them the way he grew up eating them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.