Where We're Eating in January

This month, we're going off the beaten path for some cheap eats (and spiked shakes).



<< Chica Loca Taco
This bright little shop is tucked away from all the hustle and bustle of nearby Walnut Street. Chica Loca dishes out street-style tacos in addition to other small sides (like soup and various salads) and gelato. Grab a table and get yourself a few tacos (chorizo, chicken or veggie, to name a few). Friendly staffers supply crispy chips and cups of homemade salsa (for free with an order totaling $7 or more). If you’re able to plan your visit, stop in on Taco Tuesday, when a pair of the stuffed tortillas costs just $5.

733 Copeland St., Shadyside; 412/999-0511, chicalocataco.com

Tin Front Cafe
In Pittsburgh, you’d be hard-pressed to find a restaurant that doesn’t serve meat. But here, fruits and veggies are the main stars. On Homestead’s Eighth Avenue, few restaurants appear as inviting as Tin Front, with its homey atmosphere and bubbly crew. Items like polenta with ratatouille and pierogi lasagna grace the menu. Bonus: There’s a Sunday brunch buffet, stocked with treats like vegan blueberry pancakes, spinach quiche and grits with cheddar.

216 E. Eighth Ave., Homestead; 412/461-4615, tinfrontcafe.com

Cafe io
After reinventing his previous eatery, Iovino’s Cafe, chef Jeff Iovino came out on top. Cafe io’s polished-casual vibe and cuisine bring in locals regularly. After all, who wouldn’t enjoy a dressed-up version of the classic grilled cheese they had growing up or a Greek flatbread hummus pizza? Sip something sweet while you eat; spiked shakes (like “banana krak”) pair nicely with the fare. With a fun perspective and clear direction, Iovino makes Cafe io a must-visit South Hills spot.

300a Beverly Road, Mt. Lebanon; 412/440-4414, cafeio.com

The Mediterranean Grill
If you can get over having to walk inside the building that houses this place and travel down several steps, you’ll be fine. Offering a plethora of dishes, this eatery is viewed as a prime spot for reasonably priced, hearty Mediterranean eats (impressive for a neighborhood packed with ethnic restaurants). Don’t leave without trying some of the legendary hummus. And if you’re really hungry, you’ll want to order some top-of-the-line grape leaves (or a salad) with your chicken shwarma.

5824 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill; 412/521-5505; BYOB

Matt Kemp,  Co-Owner/Executive Chef | Fukuda

Chef Matt Kemp, a former vegetarian, has always been drawn to sushi (it was the only meat he’d eat on occasion — and the focus he opted to take in the kitchen). Kemp and his crew serve sushi, among other Japanese fare, at their Bloomfield eatery (and at AVA Lounge … and via their pop-up counter).   

How’s your cookbook collection?
It’s all over the place. If there’s any opportunity to get a gift, I’ve always received one that’s food-related. But I’m a food scientist — I study why things taste a certain way and why ingredients work together; it helps a lot more.  

Pet peeve?
Sushi in Pittsburgh seems more business-forward. Since sushi’s popular here, some people selling it make it glitzy and cheap.  

Best meal ever?
I definitely appreciate what Justin Severino is doing at Cure. And Kevin Sousa is doing an amazing job here in Pittsburgh, too.  

Nigiri or maki?
Definitely nigiri. You get a nice balance between the fish and rice.  

Invaluable utensil?
My Yanagiba knife; when it comes to slicing, everything needs to be done very precisely from start to finish. Also, my hangiri mixing bowl — it’s where cooked rice becomes sushi rice.

4770 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield; 412/567-5050, fukudapgh.com

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Best of the 'Burgh 2016

Best of the 'Burgh 2016

We scoured the region to bring you 53 items we’ve deemed this year’s “Best of the ’Burgh,” as well as 8 stellar local Instagram accounts you don’t want to miss.
See Yinz: PittGirl Says Goodbye

See Yinz: PittGirl Says Goodbye

After writing for seven years about the city for Pittsburgh Magazine and pittsburghmagazine.com, Virginia Montanez is discontinuing her blog and column.
Restaurant Review: Whitfield at Ace Hotel Pittsburgh

Restaurant Review: Whitfield at Ace Hotel Pittsburgh

The restaurant at Ace Hotel in East Liberty hits some high notes as it finds itself.
Pride of McKeesport: WNBA Star Swin Cash

Pride of McKeesport: WNBA Star Swin Cash

During her final season of professional basketball, Cash remains ferocious on the court and selfless everywhere else.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Pittsburgh's Union Trust Building Renovated and Restored

Pittsburgh's Union Trust Building Renovated and Restored

The historic Downtown building reopens after a two-year, $100 million renovation.
The Section of Mystery: What’s behind the door?

The Section of Mystery: What’s behind the door?

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History opens new permanent exhibit featuring 3-D holograms.
Our JazzLive International Festival Cheat-Sheet

Our JazzLive International Festival Cheat-Sheet

We break down each day of the festival so you don’t have to improv your way through it.
Avatar-inspired Cirque Du Soleil Show Takes Off in Pittsburgh

Avatar-inspired Cirque Du Soleil Show Takes Off in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Magazine has a backstage view of “Toruk: The First Flight,” which runs this week at Consol Energy Center.

Sign Up for the 412 e-Newsletter

 

Our new, daily e-newsletter is curated by the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine and is designed to give you the very best Pittsburgh has to offer -- delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign me up!
* Email
 First Name
 Last Name
  * = Required Field
 
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Best of the 'Burgh 2016

Best of the 'Burgh 2016

We scoured the region to bring you 53 items we’ve deemed this year’s “Best of the ’Burgh,” as well as 8 stellar local Instagram accounts you don’t want to miss.
See Yinz: PittGirl Says Goodbye

See Yinz: PittGirl Says Goodbye

After writing for seven years about the city for Pittsburgh Magazine and pittsburghmagazine.com, Virginia Montanez is discontinuing her blog and column.
Restaurant Review: Whitfield at Ace Hotel Pittsburgh

Restaurant Review: Whitfield at Ace Hotel Pittsburgh

The restaurant at Ace Hotel in East Liberty hits some high notes as it finds itself.
Pride of McKeesport: WNBA Star Swin Cash

Pride of McKeesport: WNBA Star Swin Cash

During her final season of professional basketball, Cash remains ferocious on the court and selfless everywhere else.
Idol Find: Pittsburgh Rapper Teams Up with Dad Jimmy McNichol for New Show

Idol Find: Pittsburgh Rapper Teams Up with Dad Jimmy McNichol for New Show

Research led Kellee Maize to discover she is the daughter of the former teen singing sensation. Now she and McNichol are teaming up to develop a television series to help other parents and children find each other.
Daytripping: Rating the Roller Coasters at Cedar Point

Daytripping: Rating the Roller Coasters at Cedar Point

One day, 18 roller coasters, four queasy stomachs, two cheeseburgers, one fried dough … whew.
Edit Module

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Pittsburgh's Union Trust Building Renovated and Restored

Pittsburgh's Union Trust Building Renovated and Restored

The historic Downtown building reopens after a two-year, $100 million renovation.

Comments


Pittsburgh, only cooler
PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

Kennywood Park opens soon and new this season is the return of the famed whale at the entrance of Noah’s Ark. In the name of science, PittGirl paid an early visit to test the squishiness quotient of the whale's all-important tongue.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour Stops In Pittsburgh

James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour Stops In Pittsburgh

Justin Severino and Hilary Prescott Severino of Cure and Morcilla organized the event, which featured celebrated chefs from DC, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The Best 7 Spots in Pittsburgh to Watch the 2016 Euro Cup

The Best 7 Spots in Pittsburgh to Watch the 2016 Euro Cup

Grab your kits, scarfs and get ready to watch the Euro 2016 Pittsburgh-style. We'll show you where to go to get your fan on.

Comments


Beer Cults and Brick Ovens: An Evening at Fuel & Fuddle

Beer Cults and Brick Ovens: An Evening at Fuel & Fuddle

The restaurant and bar in Oakland welcomes college students and locals alike.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Perspective Accompanies Long-Awaited Second Crosby Cup

Perspective Accompanies Long-Awaited Second Crosby Cup

The Pittsburgh Penguins may be more poised to establish a dynasty in 2016 than they were in 2009.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Add a Bygone Beacon to Your Living Room

Add a Bygone Beacon to Your Living Room

Vintage signs can add a pop of personality to your decor.

Comments


Sean Collier's Popcorn for Dinner

The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Demons, Orcs, Hipsters and More at the Multiplex

Demons, Orcs, Hipsters and More at the Multiplex

Reviews of "The Conjuring 2," "Warcraft," "Maggie's Plan," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
True to Tradition: Incorporating Your Heritage at Your Wedding

True to Tradition: Incorporating Your Heritage at Your Wedding

Honoring tradition at weddings is important for many couples, whether that means including heirlooms and unique customs or hosting a full-blown second ceremony.

Comments


The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
Decor Calling: Home Furnishings Go Mobile

Decor Calling: Home Furnishings Go Mobile

House15143 is Sewickley debuts “House Calls,” a mobile Airstream designed to bring the shopping experience to you (or an event near you).

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Summer Robotics Camp Offered to High-School Students

Summer Robotics Camp Offered to High-School Students

The camp is a collaboration between two area universities and is open to students entering grades 9-12.

Comments