Hello, March! As we do every month, we’ve rounded up all of the best things to eat, drink and experience in March. Consider this your must-try agenda.
Get your ice cream fix at Page Dairy Mart.
One of Pittsburgh’s most-loved ice cream shops, Page Dairy Mart, will be back this month! The South Side institution (which is the place to go to find the best soft serve in the city) is tentatively scheduled to re-open for their 2019 season on March 1. Check their Facebook page for the latest updates, since the delay can be postponed by bad weather. But make it a point to stop by this month for a chocolate chip sundae… or a banana shake… or an Arctic swirl… or any of the other dozens of frozen treats they serve daily. Page Dairy Mart (4600 East Carson Street)
Fully lean into Fish Fry season.
No city does a Fish Fry season like Pittsburgh. Starting on Friday, March 8, there are dozens (if not hundreds) of western Pennsylvania church Fish Fries to try during Lent. Hop in the car and give this Fish Fry Road Trip a whirl, or head to Wholey’s in the Strip District for a Pittsburgh-inspired new treat: They’re teaming up with WQED’s Rick Sebak for a special, limited-edition fish sandwich called the Sea-bak Shrimp Burger. It will be available from March 6 through April 19, along with other fish-sandwich favorites, like the Wholey Whaler and Wholey’s Holy Moley. Need even more fish fun this month? The market is also hosting a series of free seafood cooking classes every Saturday at 10:00 a.m. in March.
Invest in your neighborhood.
Is one of your goals for 2019 to finally start investing? Honeycomb Credit is a Pittsburgh-based crowdfunding firm that lets anyone invest in local businesses. We wrote about them last month, sharing the stories of a few of their success stories, including Pittsburgh Pickle Company and Pittsburgh Juice Company. They’re always launching new campaigns, so sign up for their newsletter to keep updated on the latest offerings. And if you’re a business owner and need financing, apply to launch a campaign – or, if you know of a business owner, tell them about Honeycomb. You could earn yourself $250 just for passing along the info!
Enjoy dinner with a view at Spirits & Tales
Oakland has a new hot spot – and they’re officially open for business. Spirits & Tales, the new restaurant on the 10th floor of The Oaklander hotel, offers a French-inspired menu serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Led in the kitchen by chef Jessica Lewis (of Carota Cafe at the Smallman Galley and or, The Whale), look for classic brasserie fare, with an emphasis on locally-sourced meat, fish and vegetables. The bar menu includes cocktails with local spirits, wine, and craft beer, and the space boasts an outdoor terrace with views of the Cathedral of Learning and Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall. Spirits & Tales (5130 Bigelow Boulevard)
Grab a bite at a James Beard-nominated restaurant.
Pittsburgh represents! This year’s James Beard Foundation Award semi-finalists were announced earlier this week, and there were some stellar Pittsburgh restaurants on the list. Before the final nominees are announced on March 27, why not make an effort to visit all of the nominated places in the city? Chengdu Gourmet, Bitter Ends Garden & Luncheonette, the Independent Brewing Company, Bar Marco, Wigle Whiskey and all the restaurants part of the Richard DeShantz Restaurant Group (Poulet Bleu, Butcher and the Rye, Meat & Potatoes, tako, Fish nor Fowl, etc.) made the list, and are worthy of a visit.
Treat yourself to a mini cake from Mediterra Cafe.
Color us officially obsessed. Mediterra Cafe- which has tremendous breads, croissants, and other baked goods – has been sharing these exquisitely-decorated mini cakes for sale from Mediterra Cakehouse’s Aundrea Ambeliotis. Head to the cafe to see what offering they have each day, then give yourself the gift of enjoying an entire cake on your own.
Enjoy a taste of the tropics – no matter what the weather is like outside.
We’re in peak tropical fruit season, and Pittsburgh restaurants are delivering! Superior Motors and Maggie’s Farm Rum are teaming up for a Latin American Rum Dinner on Tuesday, March 26, featuring a six-course meal influenced by Caribbean, Central American and South American cuisines – and lots of Maggie’s Farm Rum cocktails. Seats are $85 per person with a $45 beverage accompaniment, and reservations are available online. Over in Oakland, Legume is gearing up for their annual Tropical Foods Month, featuring dishes that include fair trade chocolate, nuts, bananas, avocados, pineapples, mangoes and papayas. Look for those ingredients in specials at the Butterjoint and Pie for Breakfast, too.
Get your fill of sweet fried pastries.
Yes, it’s officially pączki season, and from Oakmont Bakery to S&D Polish Deli, you can find the sweet, stuffed, fried treats from now through Fat Tuesday (and in some cases, even longer than that!). Beignets are making their way on the menu at lots of places, too, including stellar selections from Acorn, Poulet Bleu, NOLA on the Square, Coca Cafe and Kaya (as part of their Mardi Gras menu from March 4 through March 6).
Try something new for dinner
Want to try something different? There’s a lot of new options in Pittsburgh right now. Two Sisters Vietnamese Restaurant just opened in East Liberty, serving tremendously good pho and Vietnamese specialties. In Garfield, Gluten-Free Goat Bakery & Cafe has just announced plans to launch a new dinner service every Friday through Monday from 5:oo to 9:00 p.m., featuring gluten-free and heavily vegan dishes, including their vegan burger, homemade pasta and more. And Love Rocks Cafe in McKeesport officially opens on March 5, serving made-from-scratch comfort foods, like Mac & Cheese and burgers.
Find your new favorite Pittsburgh BBQ joint.
There’s a lot to choose from right now, and if you want to find the best, you’ve got to sample them all. Right? Choppin’ Block in the Strip District is re-opening for the season on March 4 (look for them Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.), serving up barbecue favorites to go, like pork ribs, pulled chicken, and brisket. New Route 8 BBQ in Allison Park has been earning rave reviews for their unique spin on BBQ favorites, and their ever-changing specials, like a Country Boil with crawfish and shrimp. Looking for even more BBQ? This list of Pittsburgh favorites should keep you pretty busy this month.