If you’re a Pittsburgh resident, you probably know that the best spot to do some out-of-the-box grocery shopping is our one-and-only Strip District. And while the crowds can get overwhelming, there’s truly no better time to get the *real* Pittsburgh Strip District experience than on a Saturday morning.
The Strip District (or simply ‘The Strip,’ as we Yinzers call it) is totally walkable: it’s a stretch of two blocks wide, and about twenty (short) blocks long, filled with restaurants, street vendors, and shops of every sort. It would likely be impossible to cover EVERY shop in the Strip on a single Saturday, but that’s a great excuse to keep coming back!
For us, a typical Saturday in the strip starts with breakfast here, at The Enrico Biscotti Company. In the front is a biscotti shop (go for anything pumpkin and/or almond and you’ll be set!), and in the back is their cute little restaurant, with even some outdoor seating during nicer weather.
One of the most difficult breakfast options to acquire at Enrico’s is the quiche. It is AMAZING (which is why it runs out so early). On our most recent visit, we showed up super early in the morning to ensure we got an order – this is the Torta Rustica: Italian meats, cheese, eggs, in a delicious, buttery, flaky pie crust. On the side are field greens with cranberry, walnuts, gorgonzola cheese, and a vinaigrette. This is my favorite quiche-y breakfast in all the land. And it’s gigantic! (So plan to split it with your favorite breakfast partner!)
We also threw in a blueberry scone for good measure. This thing was meant to be dunked (in locally-sourced La Prima Espresso coffee)!
After breakfast, we headed over to Mon Aimee Chocolat for some take-home dessert. They’ve got every sort of chocolate and candy you can imagine, including things you’ve only ever previously heard of in books from your childhood. (I have legit seen Turkish delight here. Straight out of Narnia, I tell you.)
And since fall was just around the corner, I of course had to pick up a new scarf from one of the many vendors in the Strip. These scarves were from Sunny’s Fashions, although I try to pick up scarves from all of the different vendors there at one time or another. (You can never have too many scarves in this city!)
Another favorite stop on our Strip District trips is the Pennsylvania Macaroni Company, or PennMac as it’s typically called. Here, you can get any type of deli meat or cheese your heart desires!
We also popped into Dreadnought Wines to chat about their classes and wine club. This looks like a place we’ll definitely be revisiting for our 2014 list!
And finally, no trip to the Strip would be complete without a stop at Wholey’s! Wholey’s is the premiere seafood shop in the ‘Burgh, although they also sell butchered meat, produce, and various other groceries (including my favorite Marburger Farms iced tea!).
We were here primarily to pick up some crabmeat for crab cakes I was making later on that afternoon, but I always manage to find something else I *need* (this time, it was frozen scallops – they’re just so good in a simple pasta dinner).
While I didn’t manage to grab a picture, we also stopped at a few of the sports shops, because I was looking for an AJ Burnett t-shirt. I didn’t manage to find one, but I did get a nice hat at Albert’s Gifts at the very edge of the Strip. Why spend a ton of money online or at the mall on Pittsburgh sports gear when you can get some really unique knock-off stuff for super cheap at the Strip?
This was our haul at the end of the day, and there were still a TON of places we wanted to check out but didn’t make it to. (Those Hello Panda snacks are from Lotus Food Co., a sizable Asian market where I can stock up on my favorite snack cookies.)
No matter what sort of shopping you’ve got to do, a stop at the Strip District on a Saturday morning will bring you full bags. And you’ll get a chance to wander about with your fellow Yinzers, even if the crowds *do* start to get a bit overwhelming after 10am. This unique little spot is one of the things we love about the ‘Burgh year round!