It was a good year to eat in Pittsburgh. From new, world-class restaurant openings to experimental dishes at your old favorite stand-bys (and lots of tasty drinks in between), the city was doling out delicious eats around every corner throughout 2018. We decided to attempt the seemingly impossible: to round up our absolute favorite things that we ate in Pittsburgh this year. Follow along, but be warned: you’re about to get very, very hungry.

Acorn’s Tuesday night chicken. “Grace’s Chicken” is our favorite dish at Shadyside’s Acorn restaurant, which is saying something given their exceptional menu. The restaurant’s take on the Chicago classic chicken vesuvio is only available on Tuesdays, which only makes it all the more craving-inducing.

Madeleine Bakery’s pastries — all of them. We don’t care if it’s a namesake madeleine cookie. We don’t care if it’s paris-brest. We don’t even care if it’s a plain old croissant. Whatever Madeleine Bakery makes, we’re eating it, loving it, and then ordering a few more to take home.

Dianoia’s Eatery’s Aperol Spritz. The classic Aperol Spritz had a big year, and while you could order one at quite a few spots around Pittsburgh, there was nowhere we enjoyed it more than at Dianoia’s white marble bar on a Saturday afternoon in the Strip.


Morcilla’s cochinillo. Come hungry and with a group for this one.  No matter who you’re with, don’t miss this family-style, crispy skin suckling pork roast served with romesco, piperade, salsa verde, warm bread on your next trip.  

Poulet Bleu’s soufflé.What’s a French restaurant without a really great chocolate soufflé? Poulet Bleu proved itself in its first year with this incredibly decadent dessert, which tastes even better with a glass of champagne (and maybe while browsing impromptu flights to Paris as you eat).

Bitter Ends’ / Pear & the Pickle’s breakfast sammies (tie). The day after a few too many cocktails, only a breakfast sandwich will do. On those mornings, it’s always hard to pick between Pear & the Pickle or Bitter Ends for their perfect breakfast sandwiches and strong coffee on the side. 

Chengdu Gourmet’s red chili dumplings. Spicy food fans flock to Squirrel Hill’s James Beard-nominated Sichuan eatery to experience authentic Chinese cuisine, and although everything on the menu is perfection, we can’t stop thinking about these warm dumplings in a pool of red chili oil.

Muddy Water’s roasted oysters. We’re big fans of oysters in all forms, but there’s just something about these. Oh, wait — it’s definitely the butter and hunk of toasted baguette they’re served with.

Ki Ramen’s bao buns. These perfectly plump, soft bao buns in both pork belly and tofu options are a must-order before digging into a bowl of their steamy ramen. 

Arriviste’s cappuccino. There’s no shortage of great coffee spots in Pittsburgh, but when we want a tried-and-true cappuccino made perfectly every time, we head to Arriviste.

Union Standard’s shrimp cocktail. At $2 a pop (and best served alongside a crisp glass of rosé), this is hands down our favorite happy hour snack in the city. 

Maggies Farm’s egg nog.‘Tis the season! What better way to round out a year of delicious eating (and drinking) than with this winter favorite beverage made with our favorite locally sourced rum.