Three places in Pittsburgh with Empanadas

Ready for some portable comfort food? Check out our roundup of scrumptious empanadas – a perfect option for on-the-go, hearty carry out.

by Megha Pai
November 4, 2020

As the leaves change and the temperature drops, you’re probably seeking warm comfort foods. Well, look no further than empanadas.

These turnovers are the perfect portable snack when you need something quick and flavorful to tide you over during these colder months. Whether you’re a carnivore or 100% vegan, Pittsburgh provides a medley of empanada options to fit your needs.

We Recommend these 3 Empanada Spots in Pittsburgh

Gaucho Parrilla Argentina

First up is Gaucho Parrilla Argentina. Formerly situated in the Strip District, Gaucho successfully relocated to the heart of the Cultural District in Downtown Pittsburgh this year.

The word “gaucho” refers to cowboys of the South American pampas, and this restaurant definitely lives up to that name—boasting adventurous options available for takeout and dine-in.

I enjoyed their veggie empanada, which includes potatoes, mushrooms and roasted peppers. But I also love Gaucho’s sandwiches—try the pollo.

Ki Pollo

Speaking of pollo, you’ll want to head over to Ki Pollo in Lawrenceville for your next empanada. True to its name, this spot mainly serves chicken-centric meals and snacks—think sandwiches, nuggets, wing dings and more.

I’m a big fan of Ki Pollo’s spicy chicken empanada, which is made with a citrus-Szechuan hot sauce that gives it an extra kick.

Created by the team behind Ki Ramen (a popular ramen spot in Lawrenceville), Ki Pollo’s empanadas and other offerings are sure to please.

Place your order for takeout, or dine at one of the open-air tables right outside the door.

Mi Empanada

While you’re in Lawrenceville, stop by Mi Empanada. This spot specializes in Argentinian empanadas that are available for takeout and delivery.

The other day, I tried one of their turkey empanadas during a limited release of them. This empanada had all the key flavors of Thanksgiving within its crust. I can’t wait for them to come back in November.

My favorite empanada in their regular lineup is the spinach one, which is completely vegan. I also recommend the roasted lamb empanada if you’re in the mood for something different.

No matter what I choose, I’ll usually order it with a side of polenta (cheesy ground cornmeal topped with marinara sauce) or Spanish rice—perfection.

But Wait…There’s More!

Those are my top 3 picks, but Pittsburgh is packed with more empanada options to scope out.

Try The Colombian Spot in the South Side, Arepittas in Downtown and Cilantro & Ajo in the South Side.

Megha Pai is a freelance writer and PR professional who’s called Pittsburgh home since 2013. She loves exploring the city—writing about cafés, makers and culture along the way.

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