Cioppino Review – Seafood and Chophouse in the Strip District

Cioppino Restaurant & Cigar Bar has been a staple in the Strip District for well over a decade with its seafood and chophouse-focused menu and prized cigar bar tucked away in a back room.

We were able to visit this one to check out the seasonal summer menu as guests of the restaurant for a media night, and have to admit we can see the allure of this gem on Railroad Street!

Note: Many of the appetizers we sampled were served family-style for the event. As such, our photos may not be representative of true portion size.

Read more

Cafetano Review – Visit for Coffee, Stay for the Food

In 2022, Cafetano announced they will be rebranding as Soluna- a coffee shop and mezcal bar hybrid. We will update this article accordingly when new menu options are available.

When we found out the Honduran coffee roaster Cafetano was opening in the former Gaucho space in the Strip District, we weren't entirely sure what to think of it. This had nothing to do with the coffee shop itself (we will never say no to more amazing coffee in Pittsburgh), but rather the use of the space outright.

By Strip District standards, Gaucho had one of the larger building footprints in the neighborhood. Then, when it comes to coffee shops, we're not used to seeing any of that size anywhere in the city. So hearing that a coffee shop was moving into this particular space was a bit of a surprise.

Thankfully, it only took a few seconds after entering the shop to be sold on it. The wonderful use of the building was a hard reminder of how much space in coffee shops is sorely needed, and this is especially true in the always bustling Strip District. 

But Cafetano goes far beyond simply roasting and serving delicious coffee in a large and welcoming space. They also have a pretty stellar food menu to go along with it to make this one a full-service cafe in just about every respect. So when you visit, while you may go for the coffee, do yourself a favor and stay for a meal as well.

Read more

Wigle Whiskey Review – A Pittsburgh Staple You Must Try

Wigle Spirits

I remember when Wigle Whiskey opened their doors in Pittsburgh.  I was so excited that the craft spirits scene was taking off, and eager to get my hands on any of the (limited) concoctions that the distillery was producing.

It is unfortunate to have to admit this, but at the time their namesake whiskeys were not to my liking. I have never been fond of white rye and wheat whiskeys and usually prefer my grain spirits to be aged for several years to get the flavors from the large oak barrels.  In being a new distillery, their aging program simply did not exist at the time, so I knew I would have to wait longer for the styles I enjoy.

Although I wasn't fond of the whiskey when Wigle launched, I found myself oddly attached to the Ginever Gin they also produced- another spirit I never really got into the habit of drinking. Soon after I was consuming every cocktail in the city with this delicious spirit and couldn't get enough.

That was in 2012 when Wigle was founded. Fast-forward to the present day, and all that has changed.

Read more

Andy’s Sushi Bar Review – A Must Stop Inside Wholey’s

Wholey's in the Strip District is a feast for the senses in every corner of the store. Whether you're in the seafood section, meat department, or simply checking out the produce this one certainly has a lot to look over. Naturally, we walk through this one just about every time we are in the neighborhood.

But one of our favorite parts of Wholey's is the very first thing you see when walking in- Andy's Sushi Bar.

This staple sushi bar not only serves up some of the finest sushi in Pittsburgh, but is manned by one of the nicest guys you'll meet. So while you'll be visiting this one because of its sushi, you'll be returning, in part, because of Andy himself.

Read more

Colombino Review – Coffee, Cacao, and Arepas in the Strip

When walking around the Strip District in early 2021, we noticed some changes in front of Reyna's grocery store. Their short-order taco stand was replaced by a Colombina arepa stand. As we are just as crazy about arepas as we are tacos, it didn't take long for us to place an order.

But, as it turns out, Colombino is not just an arepa stand, but rather a coffee and cacao bar that also serves arepas. 

This one is truly the best of all worlds, and in the span of 36 hours, we visited this one twice. It is that good.

Read more

Coop de Ville Review – Fried Chicken Sandwiches in the Strip

Coop de Ville is one of the newest concepts from the Richard DeShantz restaurant group and it's serving up fried chicken and other Southern classics. What's unique about this spot in the Strip District is that it's also an entertainment venue offering duckpin bowling, arcade games, a champagne vending machine, and more.

We recently ordered takeout and have to admit we were not overly enthused about the food, although we should note that we were one of the first orders of the day during opening week.

Read more

Luke Wholey’s Alaskan Grille Review – Higher-End Seafood in the Strip

If there is any staple restaurant for higher-end seafood in the Strip District, it is most certainly Luke Wholey's Alaskan Grille. While this one is known for its entree-style seafood dishes, the menu is also complete with sushi, sandwiches, and more which gives a number of options for any guest.

Naturally, we tried a bit of them all when visiting. 

Read more