Welcome to Pittsburgh! What do you want to do first? Not sure yet? Well what about plans for tomorrow? …Well you still have time to decide… Where are you staying? You haven't booked a hotel yet?!?!
What better way to warm up this winter than with a bowl of spicy noodles?
Pittsburgh has a great array of restaurants to scratch that itch. Below are six suggestions to try but the options are endless!
Noodlehead is cash only and usually has a wait during meal hours. But it’s totally worth it! Their specialty is Thai food with a twist so try their Green Curry Linguine. Depending on spice sensitivity, adjust accordingly. We ordered it at a Spice Level 3 and it had a great kick without the severe pain. The linguine isn’t traditional but the buttery Italian style noodles hold up to the coconut sauce well.
Taiwanese food is front and center at this Squirrel Hill favorite. The Hot Spicy Wonton Noodles are hand pulled and have a great bite from dried chilies. The wontons are stuffed with juicy, hot pork and the sauce has a nice zing without being overwhelmingly spicy. Slurp loudly, with gusto.
Who doesn’t love food with a legendary story to accompany it? At Dagu Rice Noodle, the story of the Crossing-the-Bridge noodles is literally written on the wall. A hot cauldron of boiling spiced broth is set on the table, along with a tray of assorted items to put in the broth. After adding as many of the items as desired (why not all of them?), be careful not to burn your mouth on this complex broth as you slurp the rice noodles. The spice on this dish is subtle and has a pleasant lip-tingling effect.
Though these noodles could be a smidge spicier for my tastes, they had a comforting quality that might be my new favorite method to treat a cold. The porky quality of the Zen's Noodle House broth lends a soothing note to excellent ramen noodles. Give a generous shake of dried garlic from the shaker on the table to kick it up to the next savory level.
I ordered Dancing Crab's Drunken Noodles at a Spice Level 4. Vegetables were perfectly cooked and tossed with tender, wide rice noodles and a spice that builds with each bite. The chicken I added to the dish was also tender and juicy. These are the noodles to order for a night in with your favorite binge show.
The Dry Noodles at the Smiling Banana Leaf are surprisingly sweet. Even though I ordered them at a spice level 5, it wasn’t painful. Though it’s takeout only, there are picnic tables on the sidewalk outside highlighting the street food experience of a spicy noodle dish. In the summer, be sure to try their seasonal Sweet Mango with Sticky Rice dessert.
Elaine is a graduate student in the Food Studies program at Chatham University. She enjoys cooking, spending time with her loved ones, and having a book in her hand. Pittsburgh passionate, Elaine loves showing out-of-towners new places to go and restaurants to try.