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What’s On The Menu?: Pittsburgh Staples

Mary Staes

Mary Staes

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Mary Staes

What’s On The Menu showcases Pittsburgh’s masterful chefs and the most creative, unique eateries in town. While chefs prepare a signature dish from their menu, they share stories from the kitchen and how the city has inspired their cooking. They also give tips, tricks, and cooking hacks that will surely come in handy for anyone in the kitchen. 

In this episode, we find out what it takes to create a business that lasts in the Steel City.

Pierogies Plus

Do you want pierogies like grandma used to make? Well, Pierogies Plus is the place to visit. With different varieties ranging from meat, cabbage, cheese, dessert, etc. it’s not hard to see why this staple has been around for 30 years. Everything is made from scratch and handmade just as the older generation in Poland in order to keep the homeland taste. Having customers coming for years, many for two decades, it’s no doubt that they have the best pierogies in Pittsburgh. 

Want to learn more about pierogi? Check out this article on Boston’s Wild Fox Pierogi and chef Ryan Dziki’s take on the modern Polish treat.


This market and grill is Pittsburgh’s destination for Halal foods and Middle Eastern fare. They feature a cafeteria-style restaurant, as well as a halal grocery store, with the menu being broken down into three categories: grilled, curry or sandwiches.  The customers dictate the menu, if you want it they can do it. The vision of having everything in one place and striving to create a very inclusive shopping environment where you can find products you identify with no matter where you are from. You are family here. 

Big Jim’s 

This no-frills eatery has been serving piled-high hoagies, hot sandwiches & fried appetizers since 1977 and has been featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” with Guy Fieri! In the beginning, Big Jim predominantly wanted the menu to be italian food because he was Italian, but you can get everything from a vegetarian burger to a steak hoagie to pizza to fried shrimp, they try to cover the gambit for everyone’s likes. 


This low-key tavern with old-fashioned decor serves a menu of German pub grub plus a full bar. The building was opened in 1903 specifically as a bar/restaurant with the majority of the inner workings still the same. The allure of Max’s is the authenticity and the value of your dollar that has become a destination spot for tourists to see old-school Pittsburgh.    

Plate It, Pittsburgh!

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