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5 great Pittsburgh restaurant dishes for vegetarians — and 5 for carnivores

APTEKA's Rwaki potato dumplings with tomato, dill, and maitake mushrooms are vegan, as are all of this restaurant's offerings.
Laura Petrilla
For TABLE Magazine
APTEKA's Rwaki potato dumplings with tomato, dill, and maitake mushrooms are vegan, as are all of this restaurant's offerings.

WESA has partnered with TABLE magazine to share some of their coverage of Pittsburgh's food and dining scene with our listeners and readers. Welcome to the second installment in this series, from TABLE's "How to Pittsburgh" issue.

5 meat-free and full of flavor Pittsburgh restaurant offerings

Whether you’re planning a Meatless Monday or embracing a meat-free lifestyle, these TABLE staff favorites are delectable.

Shadobeni: Doubles
1534 Brighton Rd.
Try Trinidad’s most famous dish, featuring curried chickpeas and chutney on a fried flatbread. Pro tip: Pair it with a mango smoothie.

Con Alma: Smoked Zucchini Bruschetta
5884 Ellsworth Ave.
Described as “vegan food with soul,” this restaurant offers both delicious food and live music. Start off with Greens & Beans, and follow up with the Smoked Zucchini Bruschetta, featuring fire-roasted tomatoes, black olives, and more.

Spak Brothers: Seitan “Cheese Steak”
5107 Penn Ave.
This popular pizza shop is a favorite with vegans, and for a good reason. It’s a cool spot, and the seitan offerings are top-notch.

Udipi Café: Dosas
4141 Old William Penn Highway, Monroeville
This vegetarian Indian restaurant specializes in South India’s Tuluva-Mangalorean and Andhra cuisine. We recommend trying one of the nearly 20 vegetarian dosas, crepes filled with an assortment of offerings, and served with sambar and coconut chutney.

Apteka: Zupa Ogórkowa
4606 Penn Ave.
This Central- and Eastern European-focused restaurant and bar features all vegan entries, including zupa ogórkowa, an amazing classic Polish sour pickle soup. Pro tip: Get there early! It’s not unusual to see a line at the door. Owners Tomasz Skowronski and Kate Lasky were named a few weeks ago as 2023 James Beard Award Semi-Finalists — for the second year in a row.

A dish of pork shank over tagliatelle pasta
Dave Bryce
For TABLE Magazine
Station's pork shank tagliatelle

5 carnivorous Pittsburgh picks from The Fat Butcher

Steve Dawson, the man behind Fat Butcher, steps out from behind the counter of his Lawrenceville butcher shop to recommend his favorite meaty treats:

At the Fat Butcher, we love when chefs can make something out of the less popular cuts. While we all appreciate a ribeye here at the shop, preparing beef tongue, lamb neck, pork belly, or, better yet, making bacon out of lamb belly is so much more fun and satisfying. It is great that customers are embracing whole-animal butchering and supporting local farms: local tastes better. If you’re getting meaty at home, modern equipment like sous vides and pellet smokers make it less scary to pick up a giant pork tomahawk or a whole picanha roast to cook for a BBQ.

With the right tools, YouTube, and a five-minute conversation with your local butcher, you can create some really excellent dishes at home these days. We are here for it all.

Station: Pork Shank Tagliatelle
4744 Liberty Ave.
More than a few of us at the Fat Butcher have worked with Curtis Gamble at Station because he is an amazing chef. He’s super innovative when it comes to preparations and techniques. We love the Pork Shank Tagliatelle (especially since he’s using our pork bones to fortify everything) and his Footprint Farm chicken dish whose secret bird-butchery wizardry I cannot divulge. This chicken dish has black garlic sausage (think mortadella) romanesco, sourdough, and pickled fig panzanella, bread sauce, and chicken demi. So hot right now.

Morcilla: Half-Roasted Duck
3519 Butler St.
Morcilla, Justin and Hilary Prescott Severino’s Spanish cuisine restaurant in Lawrenceville, has a really nice Half-Roasted Duck on the menu in autumn. Also, you can’t go wrong with their Braised Elysian Fields Lamb Shank. We are a huge fan of their seasonal menus.

Taiwanese Bistro Cafe 33: Pork Intestine Szechuan Hot Pot
1711 Shady Ave.
This dish is so well done with its chewy and crunchy textures swimming in a numbing oily mess. It is a sleeper hit for sure.

Bridge City Brinery and Stunt Pig Food Truck
When it comes to sandwiches, we love Bridge City Brinery, and everything from Stunt Pig.