Think Globally Eat Locally

Pittsburgh slowly is moving closer to becoming a global dining destination while maintaining a culinary connection to its industrial past. PM Dining critic Hal B. Klein profiles 16 international restaurants you need to visit.



(page 1 of 5)


 

On weekend mornings, students from China gather around the tables at Sakura in Squirrel Hill to dip cylinders of crisp, fried dough into bowls of congee. At Royal Myanmar in the North Hills, Myat Theingi and Aye Yee serve a funky, fermented tea-leaf salad called leq-p’eq. Up in Allentown, Leon Rose prepares goat curry and jerk chicken at Leon’s Caribbean just like he did decades ago in his native Jamaica. 

“We’re seeing a shift. The true vibrancy of a city is felt through the culture that you see, whether that’s a representation of the culture through food or music, or, more broadly speaking, the arts as a whole. That means a wider representation of people of color and different immigrant groups,” says Betty Cruz, director of Change Agency, a Pittsburgh-based social enterprise organization.
 


 

Pittsburgh’s restaurant culture has diversified over the past few years, and diners now are starting to embrace restaurants with owners and chefs who represent a heterogenous group of international cultural identities, while at the same time preserving the cultural heritage of the city’s industrial past. 

The selection offered currently is less diverse than it could be — for example, I’d love to see Mexican, Filipino and Vietnamese cuisines making the same inroads here that they are in other cities. “It’s harder when you don’t know the rules, the certifications, the health codes or how to get your business started. The learning curve can be more complicated when you’re not from here and don’t speak the language,” Cruz says.

Even so, we have a strong cross-selection of restaurants for eaters to visit. And, being that more restaurant customers are eager to say, “Yes! Make it how you think it should be made,” it’s just going to keep getting better from here, too. 
 


 

“There’s a recognition here that the market is not at all saturated when it comes to international food. Like any small business, there’s a risk. [Potential restaurant owners] can take calculated steps from light-level catering and festivals to opening their own small businesses, which is where we are right now,” says Cruz.

I hope that new migrants, partially refugee communities from Somalia, Syria and elsewhere, feel welcome enough to share the cuisine from their homelands, too, as they settle into Pittsburgh. 

We searched for restaurants that have owners, head chefs or both with a profound and personal attachment to the particular geography of their establishment. We wanted those who were bold enough to embrace their cuisine as it should be rather than adapt to Americanized tastes. Finally, to narrow down the list to the final selections, we asked the most important question of all: Is it delicious? 

This is Pittsburgh Magazine’s 2017 local guide to global eating.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Your 2018 Oscar Viewing Guide

Breaking down what you need to see (and what you can probably skip) to get ready for the 90th Academy Awards.

Six Penn Kitchen Will Close Next Month

The Downtown restaurant from Eat'n Park Hospitality Group ends its decade-plus run in February.

Is Stephen King Really a Yinzer at Heart?

A tweet by the acclaimed author had fans of Pittsburghese buzzing.

Ton Pottery Back in Business

The ceramics teaching studio has moved from Lawrenceville to a bigger space in Millvale.

Making His Mark in Pittsburgh Restaurants

Mark F. Flaherty, one of the nation’s most prominent liquor lawyers, is passionate about Pittsburgh restaurants.

The Mister Rogers Documentary Has Debuted at Sundance

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” takes viewers beyond the cardigan collection and into “the heart of a creative genius.”

The Original Score from “Jaws” on Vinyl? Yeah, We Got That

Vinyl Remains in Dormont is not interested in offering an endless variety of records, but what you will discover are rarities, classics and hard-to-find curiosities.

Pittsburgh MultiStories: Pittsburgh's Oldest Surviving Skyscraper

The 15-story Park Building and the 14-story Carnegie building went up in the the late 1800s just a block away from each other Downtown. Today, only the Park Building still stands.

Fitness You'll be Feeling in the Morning

IM=X Pilates and Fitness combines exercise science and tradition for a full-body workout.

Music, Love & Crystals Make Up New Bridal Accessory Line by Local Designer

A local business owner has launched a new collection of bridal accessories featuring her own personal touch.

The Battle of The Hollywood

Dormont's historic Hollywood Theater faces an uncertain future after news of a potential sale prompted an immediate public furor.

Three Rivers Champion: Cecile Springer

A self-proclaimed “loudmouth,” Springer says her favorite part of volunteering is meeting other people and persuading them to do what she wants them to do.

Phantom Thread Is, Somehow, Both Unpleasant and Lovely

Reviews of "Phantom Thread," "Call Me By Your Name," "Den of Thieves" and new animated releases, plus local movie news and notes.

Nominate the Best! Pittsburgh Magazine's 2018 Readers' Poll

What is Pittsburgh's best breakfast joint? Dive bar? Yoga studio? Local singer? Meteorologist? It's time to nominate your local favorites in multiple categories.

Amazon Includes Pittsburgh in its Top-20 List for HQ2

The list of 20 was narrowed from 238 proposals Amazon received in October. So which other cities made the cut?
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Is Stephen King Really a Yinzer at Heart?

Is Stephen King Really a Yinzer at Heart?

A tweet by the acclaimed author had fans of Pittsburghese buzzing.

Comments

The Mister Rogers Documentary Has Debuted at Sundance

The Mister Rogers Documentary Has Debuted at Sundance

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” takes viewers beyond the cardigan collection and into “the heart of a creative genius.”

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Six Penn Kitchen Will Close Next Month

Six Penn Kitchen Will Close Next Month

The Downtown restaurant from Eat'n Park Hospitality Group ends its decade-plus run in February.

Comments

Miss Pusadee's Garden? We Have Some Good News.

Miss Pusadee's Garden? We Have Some Good News.

The Tongdee family now operates Burgh Thai in Verona.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Nominate the Best! Pittsburgh Magazine's 2018 Readers' Poll

Nominate the Best! Pittsburgh Magazine's 2018 Readers' Poll

What is Pittsburgh's best breakfast joint? Dive bar? Yoga studio? Local singer? Meteorologist? It's time to nominate your local favorites in multiple categories.

Comments

Best of the ‘Burgh Gift Guide for 2017

Best of the ‘Burgh Gift Guide for 2017

Here are some of our favorite ‘Burgh-inspired gifts for him, her, kids, foodies and more.

Comments


The Battle of The Hollywood

The Battle of The Hollywood

Dormont's historic Hollywood Theater faces an uncertain future after news of a potential sale prompted an immediate public furor.

Comments

Tequila Cowboy: Fine For Some, Apparently a Bad Idea for Others

Tequila Cowboy: Fine For Some, Apparently a Bad Idea for Others

The bar, which hosted a bizarre incident involving a top Steelers coach, is fine enough for the post-collegiate set.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Steelers' No. 1 Problem Makes Others Pale in Comparison

Steelers' No. 1 Problem Makes Others Pale in Comparison

Until they solve it, the Steelers are more of a Fantasy League team than they are a Super Bowl team.

Comments

Steelers Must Avoid ‘Captain Ahab’ Approach to the Jaguars

Steelers Must Avoid ‘Captain Ahab’ Approach to the Jaguars

The Patriots are to the Steelers what Moby Dick was to Captain Ahab and that kind of obsession can backfire.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Your 2018 Oscar Viewing Guide

Your 2018 Oscar Viewing Guide

Breaking down what you need to see (and what you can probably skip) to get ready for the 90th Academy Awards.

Comments

Phantom Thread Is, Somehow, Both Unpleasant and Lovely

Phantom Thread Is, Somehow, Both Unpleasant and Lovely

Reviews of "Phantom Thread," "Call Me By Your Name," "Den of Thieves" and new animated releases, plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Music, Love & Crystals Make Up New Bridal Accessory Line by Local Designer

Music, Love & Crystals Make Up New Bridal Accessory Line by Local Designer

A local business owner has launched a new collection of bridal accessories featuring her own personal touch.

Comments

How to Make a Mt. Washington Wedding Proposal Even Better

How to Make a Mt. Washington Wedding Proposal Even Better

A lot of grooms-to-be propose on Mt. Washington. Not many decorate beforehand.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Ton Pottery Back in Business

Ton Pottery Back in Business

The ceramics teaching studio has moved from Lawrenceville to a bigger space in Millvale.

Comments

Former Art Institute Housing to Be Converted into Condos

Former Art Institute Housing to Be Converted into Condos

Downtown is booming as plans develop for yet another new apartment building.

Comments