I recently recommended some restaurants in Pittsburgh to a friend who was going to visit my hometown, and thought I'd share a few with you. All of these restaurants are located or have locations in Pittsburgh's famous Strip District, which houses many authentic Italian food markets, Mexican and Asian grocery stores, restaurants, and shops that sell spices, coffee, chocolates, and cookware, among other things. (The name doesn't stand for anything lewd...for a brief history, see: http://www.neighborsinthestrip.com/thestrip/thestrip.html.)
Given that it's such a foodie paradise, Chris and I always make it a point to stop here on bustling Saturdays when we visit my parents to pick up marinara sauces, biscotti, nut rolls and other delicious things. If we were able to easily transport refrigerated food back to Arlington with us, I would make it a point to buy some fresh fish at Wholey's fish market and some of the fresh produce at any number of stores. Saturdays are busy (a great time to visit) and the air is filled with the smells of street vendors making Chinese food or grilled chicken skewers and markets giving away samples of their pepperoni rolls, luring in casual shoppers like me. We always have fun exploring this area and seem to find something new to bring home every time we visit.
On to the restaurants...please feel free to let me know if you have any other great suggestions in da 'Burgh:
Great Italian food for lunch or dinner. I love their pasta trio of the day.
If you’ve never tried their sandwiches topped with French fries and coleslaw, and I even know some Pittsburghers who haven't, you must stop here. It's a classic Pittsburgh tradition.
http://www.primantibros.com/01locations.html - various locations around town
Known for their lobster roll, I particularly enjoy their fried fish sandwiches.
Fantastic breakfast place with amazing crepe style hotcakes that will melt in your mouth.
http://www.pamelasdiner.com/ – various locations around town