EDITOR’S NOTE: This blog post is entirely created and put together by my Content Creator Intern, Allison Hartman, who is a Senior at The University Of Pittsburgh.
Were you inspired by this amazing spread? Do you have company coming over and want to show off a glimpse of Pittsburgh’s amazing food scene? Look no further, and embark on a trip to the Strip!
The Strip District is one of those hidden gems of Pittsburgh- but navigating it can be a little overwhelming at times! I went there on a Sunday with my friend Ashley on a mission to create the best pre-dinner spread featuring food just from the Strip, with the express goal of showing friends from out of town some great options for what PGH has to offer!
Ashley and I agreed that people tend to take more food when it is heaping - not when it looks empty or like they could finish it. So when you make your spread, strategically select the bowls that you use- make them a little bit too small so your condiment of choice will fill them to the brim.
With that being said, here are some recommendations to create the ultimate pre-dinner spread from the Strip:
For starters, pick up some dried fruit: apricots or figs are a great selection here!
Candied nuts: candied pecans are my personal fave, but there are so many options you can’t go wrong!
Hit up the INSANE olive bar here! Stamooli’s also has a nice olive selection.
Grab some cheese while you’re there. Take a number when you walk in and it’s your turn when the staff calls you. Ask for recommendations, as the staff is super knowledgeable (however, DO NOT ask them to differentiate between the different pecorino varieties. There are literally over 50 types sold there, taking up half of the cheese section… sooo, I guess ya learn something new every day). I love hard cheeses, but you can never go wrong with some super spreadable brie or camembert! Also, pick up some tiny mozzarella balls to serve alongside the olives!
Salami - here, also ask for recommendations to find exactly what would pair best with the cheese you purchased and the rest of your meal!
And of course… when you’re at Pennsylvania Macaroni Company, you have to pick up some pasta! This isn’t a traditional spread component, but you can totally weave it in, or just save it for yourself for later. They literally have ANY kind of pasta you could imagine. Even pasta shaped like farm animals, if you’re into that.
This place is filled to the brim with more varieties of prosciutto, pepperoni, and sausage than you can imagine. If you want to add some meats to your spread, pop in here! Note: Parma Sausage is closed on Sunday.
Pick up some grape leaves or olives while you’re here! Note: Stamooli’s is closed on Sunday.
Add some hot food to your spread, like pierogies! This is a Pittsburgh staple, and is perfect to include for friends coming from out of town. Bonus: these are already cooked, so preparing them for your guests will be super easy!
Here, grab some dessert for after dinner with coffee.
Ashley: “Get a slice of everything that looks good …. Accompanied by the right amount of spoons.” Enough said.
Of course, I couldn’t resist the tiramisu at My Sweet Lilly and had to pick up a slice. Bonus: if you have a dog, you can get them dessert too!
Speaking of after dinner with coffee… pick up a unique and local flavor of coffee bean here, or just get some cold brew on tap to go!
At Jimmy and Nino’s, grab some pepperoni rolls for a late-night, way-post-dinner snack. Nobody will be able to resist these. Check out the atomic pepperoni roll if you are feeling ~spicy~
The smells of freshly baked bread simply cannot be ignored. Grab a twice-baked baguette to slice and serve with the rest of the spread.
At Wholey’s, grab some scallops to add to the spread! Hot items in the spread shouldn’t take a long time to prepare. Scallops are not only delicious, but take less than 10 minutes to cook...including heating the pan. Win-win right here.
Need some more spread inspo?
Finally, this list of places to go in the Strip is not exhaustive - if you’ve never been, carve out a weekend morning to explore all of the different grocers there, and/or if you are a seasoned Strip district shopper, send in suggestions for any places we missed! Make sure to break to pick up a cannoli or chicken-on-a-stick while you shop, and of course, don’t forget to tag @hungrygrl_bigcity in your spread pics!