How to Shop Like a Pro for Thanksgiving in Pittsburgh
Our guide to produce, pastries, libations and more will help your table brim with tasty treats from Pittsburgh-area businesses.
photos via shutterstock
Whether you intend to put together a fully local spread or incorporate a few regional items into your Thanksgiving dinner, shopping local is a great way to be a good neighbor this holiday season. Here is our guide to local producers and purveyors who can help to provide for many of your Thanksgiving needs.
No Thanksgiving is complete without a spread of snacks set out early to stave off hunger until dinner is ready. Supplies can be purchased at many shops across the city, but those hoping to get everything in one trip would be wise to head to the Strip District. Neighboring shops Penn Mac and Stamoolis Brothers offer an array of charcuterie, cheeses, crackers, dips, nuts, pickles and antipasto bars with olives and marinated vegetables. Down the block, Mon Aimee Chocolat has a variety of artisanal chocolate.
photo by laura petrilla
While in the Strip District, be sure to stop by Pennsylvania Libations to check out the wide selection of local spirits. A number of seasonal products are displayed throughout the store— apple brandies, spiced rums, apple and pumpkin pie moonshines can be served as simple cocktails pre- or post-meal. The staff recommends CJ Spirit’s spiced rum with soda; Ridgerunner moonshine with ginger ale, coffee, or tea; or a boozy pumpkin spice latte made with Maggie’s Farm Rum Pumpkin Spiced coffee liqueur and Tallyrand Cream Bourbon. An easy large-batch drink can be made with Solstice apple brandy mixed with cider — keep it in a crockpot set on warm for guests to dip into all day.
Located nearby is Wigle Whiskey’s Strip District location, as well as Maggie’s Farm Rum. Both distilleries offer direct sale of their products. For Pennsylvania wine, look to Pennsylvania Winery, R Wine Cellar and Courtyard Winery, also in the Strip District. If hard cider is more your speed, stop by Arsenal Cider House in Lawrenceville or Threadbare Cider House in the North Side. And the city is teaming with beer brewers — look to the Brewers of Pennsylvania website to find a craft brewery near your home and pick up a couple of growlers.
Four City of Pittsburgh farmers markets (East Liberty, North Side, South Side, Carrick) still are open and the Bloomfield Winter Market runs on Saturday. Product availability will vary, but be on the lookout for garlic, onions, potatoes, apples, winter squash, carrots, turnips, hardy greens and eggs.
The Penn’s Corner Online Farm Stand offers another way to purchase goods from local producers. Orders can be placed through the web catalog, then picked up on Tuesday or Wednesday of the following week at one of many pickup locations across the city. Besides the extensive selection of produce, the farm stand offers many fresh herbs, flours, meats, cheeses, eggs and milk. For delivery the week of Thanksgiving, orders must be placed by Thursday, Nov. 15.
Local products can also be found at a number of grocery stores around the city, including East End Food Co-op and small neighborhood markets such as My Goodness in Regent Square and 52nd St. Market in Lawrenceville.
Pounds’ Turkey Farm in Leechburg raises a significant portion of locally produced turkey. For those who don’t want to travel to the farm itself, Pounds’ turkeys can also be found at Salem’s Halal Grill and Market — orders must be placed at least 48 hours in advance, with pickup beginning on Nov. 19.
While pies, rolls and other Thanksgiving essentials can certainly be crafted and baked at home, there are numerous options for purchasing them elsewhere. For those wishing to save time and leave it to the professionals, many Pittsburgh bakeries are offering a wide selection of goods both sweet and savory: breads, rolls, quiches, pies and other desserts. Order deadlines range from Nov. 15-18 — check with individual bakeries to confirm. Special Thanksgiving products are available from Allegro Hearth Bakery, Five Points Artisan Bake Shop, Gluten Free Goat Bakery & Café, Jean–Marc Chatellier’s French Bakery, La Gourmandine Bakery, Madeleine Bakery & Bistro, Mediterra Bakehouse and others.