The Strip District is definitely not a secret in the Pittsburgh community, but it is an iconic and wonderful part of the city that deserves a blog post nevertheless. This long "strip" of road is the cultural mecca of Pittsburgh and offers an endless variety of grocery stores, street vendors, and artisan shops that represent cultures and regions from around the world.
Pennsylvania Macaroni Company
Affectionately called "Penn Mac" by many locals, Pennsylvania Macaroni Company is the spot to find authentic and delicious Italian food and groceries. I am a huge fan of their Salt Sticks, which are pretty much leftover dough that is magically transformed into heavenly bread sticks (no offense to Olive Garden). This is a great spot to grab all the necessary ingredients for any Italian dish. And if you are not into cooking- pick up some of their delicious prepared food!
Labad's Grocery (Middle Eastern Foods)
I recently went to Israel on a Birthright trip, and although there is nothing I would love more than to jet to the Machane Yehuda Market on a whim to pick up tahini, kanaffe, and ALL the Middle Eastern foods, my bank account cannot support that kind of abuse. However, Labad's Grocery is an awesome substitute. This shop is filled with every Middle Eastern delicacy and the ingredients to make your own. I was lured into the shop by the heavenly smell of baklava and spinach pie, but I ended up finding my fresh tahini, Arabic Coffee, and so much more! Also, the owner of the shop, William, is incredibly kind and helpful. He welcomed me with a smile and even gave me the recipe for his grape leaves (which are SUPER delicious btw)! I look forward to filling up on all of my Israeli food soon!
Roxanne's Dried Flowers
Roxanne's is a magical place. As soon as shoppers open the door, they are enveloped in an intoxicatingly floral scent. There is an endless supply of seasonal flowers, dried and displayed to perfection. I felt like I was in a wonderland of blossoms- I wanted to buy everything. They also do custom arrangements for weddings and special events.
The "Original" Primantis
Tucked on a side street in the Strip District is the original location of the iconic Pittsburgh sandwich shop, Primantis. What first started as a location for late-night truckers to score a cheap, but delicious meal, Primantis has become the epitome of Pittsburgh food culture. Rumour has it that visitors haven't truly "been to Pittsburgh" unless they chow down on a classic Primanti Bro's sandwich.
More Snapshots of the Strip
All in all, the day was filled with great local food, shops, and kind faces. And even though the Strip is the tried and true epi-center of Pittsburgh's diverse and welcoming population, there is always something new to discover.