The Journey's Inspiration: The Strip District

This is my favorite place in the world:

Labad's Grocery
1727 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh PA

This is one place I never miss when I visit the Strip. Run by William and Larry Labad, there is a fabulous selection of middle eastern grocery necessities, as well as fresh homemade hummus, grape leaves and baklava. You can also find dates, cheeses, bulgur and spices. The two guys are also full of humor and I can't help lingering for a quick chat. There is also a small restaurant in the back serving their delicious specialties, as well as a cart out front where I get gyro or falafel. Yum!

Reyna Foods
2023 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh PA

Here is my one-stop destination for all Hispanic foods. There are homemade tortillas here, as well as cheese covered crickets (if you like eating bugs). Every imaginable bean, salsa, condiment or anything to delight the palate from South America. There is also a huge barrel of pepitas in the back.

Lotus Foods
1649 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh PA

This is by far the favorite Strip stop for Zoƫ and Mira. Lotus Foods is a little piece of China in Pittsburgh. There is row upon row of sauces, rice, tea, spices, fresh vegetables, frozen dumplings - I could go on forever. They also have the best candy offerings around - all products of China and the surrounding areas.

Pennsylvania Macaroni Company
2010-2012 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh PA

It's Italy in Pittsburgh. All the cheeses, olive oil, tomatoes sauces, everything imaginable. There is no better selection of olive oil in the area than here. And they also ship it to me if I can't get there.
Chicken Latino
155 21st St., Pittsburgh PA

If you are hungry and need a delicious lunch or dinner, Chicken Latino is the place to go. This place has the best Peruvian rotisserie chicken (pollo a la brasa) and it is served with a green aji sauce that will make your tastebuds sing.

And there's even more... Polka time with Grammy nominated accordionist Kevin Solecki.

Peanuts roast outside Prestogeorge where inside salads, soups, sandwiches are for sale. Their speciality is hand-roasted coffee.