Syn Taqueria closed in 2020.
SYN Taqueria + Pizzeria in East Liberty is a build-your-own pizza and taco restaurant at the neighborhood border of East Liberty and Friendship. Why no one has thought of this combination before is a mystery- tacos and pizza as a combo are a match made in heaven.
We were invited to check this one out shortly after opening in July 2019, and share a bit about our meal including a few build-your-own tacos, pre-made pizza selections, and more in this one!
Start Your SYN Taqueria + Pizzeria Visit Off With a Happy Hour Drink
Tucked away on a side street off of Baum Blvd., the location gives it a neighborhood bar kind of feel. (You may remember this building as a former Sharp Edge location.) We visited not long after opening on a weekday evening and were pleasantly surprised to find an excellent draft beer list and happy hour specials.
We appreciated that the 30+ taps featured nearly all local and Pennsylvania beers. This made even more sense to us when we learned that the owners of SYN are the same owners of Pig Iron Public House in Cranberry (also closed as of 2021), where they have over 60 taps and also feature local breweries in a nearly identical setup.
What's even better is that during happy hour (4:30-6:30 Monday through Friday) full-size draft beer pours are half off. We wish more places offered local beer at discounts like this during happy hour- especially in East Liberty!
While the beer menu did eventually call our name, we had to start off with the $4 house margarita happy hour special. They were not overly sweet nor overly boozy, and at the happy hour price point we really can't complain.
Build Your Own Tacos, Pizza, and More
For food, we started with some chips and a few different dips – pineapple salsa, guacamole, and queso. The queso was our favorite as it had chorizo mixed in that was slightly spicy and super addicting.
We next ventured in to build-your-own-taco territory. There were tons of different tortilla types, proteins, extras, toppings, cheeses, salsas, and sauces to choose from. We appreciated that all the typical options were there (flour and corn tortillas, chorizo, chicken, beef, queso fresco, taco sauces, etc. just to name a few), but there were also more unique options in case you wanted to get a little crazier. Fried shrimp, roasted portabellas, kimchi, jalapeno ghost pepper cheese, and jalapeno pineapple BBQ sauce were just some of the more interesting options.
We tried one taco with a three amigos shell (soft flour + hard corn + refried beans + bacon + guac), carnitas, fajita peppers and sauteed onions, queso fresco, salsa verde, and chipotle crema. This one was stuffed to the brim with meaty goodness and classic flavors.
Our other taco creation used a bandera shell (soft flour + hard corn + spicy salsa + queso + jalapenos), fried shrimp, pineapple salsa, tomatoes, cilantro, onions, and a cilantro lime aioli. We have to say, we were pretty proud of this creation. The shrimp were fried lightly and really delicious, and the overall flavor combo was a nice balance of spicy, sweet, and creamy.
For the pizzas we decided to try some of the chef's favorite creations – the margherita, buffalo chicken, and hot honey. The pizzas here are all personal-sized and pan-style with a thicker crust. The thing we liked about the crust is that although it was thick, it wasn't super dense and heavy. It was lighter and airier, more like a focaccia style bread.
The margherita was simple but classic, while the hot honey and buffalo chicken were loaded up and also great. Jeremy like the hot honey with its pepperoni, red sauce, cheese, banana peppers, and hot honey drizzle. I really enjoyed the buffalo chicken with its pulled chicken, smoked cheddar cheese, bleu cheese, and combo of ranch and buffalo sauces. It was nice and saucy and hit exactly the right note of spicy and creamy.
Whether it's the happy hour or the build-your-own concepts that bring you in to SYN, you're likely to be happy with what you find. Comfort food where you're in control of your destiny, plus an amazing draft list that's half off at happy hour? We're definitely down with that.
SYN Taqueria + Pizzeria was located at 302 St Clair Street at the border of East Liberty and Friendship but closed in 2020. We were guests of the restaurant for this review. As always, all opinions are our own.