Pittsburgh has a panoply of great restaurant that span the vastness of Asia, specializing in everything from sushi to Szechuan. Here are some of our absolute favorites
6 Best Chinese Spots In Pittsburgh
KIIN Lao & Thai Eatery, Squirrel Hill
Lao food may not have caught on here the way Thai and Vietnamese have, but that should change if KIIN Lao & Thai Eatery is any indication. Everything here is great, but the Lao dishes are especially worth trying — like the Khao Poon, a red coconut curry with vermicelli rice noodles, and the Mok, a fish dish steamed (and served) inside a banana leaf.
Everyday Noodles, Squirrel Hill
Go for the food, stay for the show — a theatrical display of noodles being made fresh on the spot. Noodle chefs are kneading, twirling, swinging them through the air, smacking them against the counter. Everything tastes fresh and light. Everyday Noodles features dishes all over the (Chinese) map, from Taiwanese-style sesame cold noodles and spicy dan dan noodles with a peanutty twist to steaming bowls of noodle soup perfect for cold, wet day (or any day).
The appeal of street food is in its simple, unfussy, portable directness. Yet, Thai food is inherently complex — a maze of surprising yet perfectly interlocking, flavors: sweet, sour, spicy and salty. For a small menu, Noodlehead covers a lot of ground. Noodle dishes are offered at just two prices, $6 and $9. The portions are more street food-size (read: just right), so don’t assume you’ll need a to-go container.
Above Round Corner Cantina, you’ll find Umami. It’s a Japanese word for a pleasant savory flavor, one of the five basic tastes from which all dishes spring. This Umami is an izakaya, a type of Japanese pub that seems to be quite popular around here all of a sudden. Red paper lanterns reflect polished wood late into the night, as revelers choose from robatayaki (slow-cooked on skewers over charcoal) of pork belly, Japanese eggplant, chicken skin, beef tenderloin and shrimp.
Chengdu Gourmet, Squirrel Hill
This place doesn’t look like much, online or in person. Looks can be deceiving: It may be the best Chinese restaurant in the state and one of the very few with a multiple James Beard Award-nominated chef (Wei Zhu) at the helm. Unless you’ve lived in China, you’re probably going to see some new things on the menu, many swimming in chiles. The trick is to embrace the unfamiliarity and take some chances.
Two Sisters Vietnamese Kitchen, East Liberty
There’s something quite cozy and diner-y about this little place in East Liberty that keeps me coming back. Maybe it’s the warming, filling soups, like the beef pho that makes a wintry day more bearable. Maybe it’s the friendly, easygoing service at Two Sisters, or the bright, unfussy interior. No, it’s definitely the soups. The Bun Bo Hue, a spicy lemongrass soup with beef brisket, beef shank and pork roll, tastes like something grandma would make (if she was Vietnamese).