Empanada Day is April 8, and the city has plenty of places to help you celebrate the savory hand pies that can easily serve as a snack, appetizer or entrée. Empanadas are a culinary cousin of the pierogi, which is probably why Pittsburghers love them so much.
Cilantro & Ajo, 901 E. Carson St., South Side
Cilantro & Ajo specializes in Venezuelan street food, and empanadas are the biggest seller. The white corn patty is stuffed, folded and deep-fried, and fillings include shredded beef, chicken, sweet plantain with cheese, shrimp, and bacon and gouda.
La Feria, 5527 Walnut St., #2, Shadyside
Not only do the folks at La Feria sell Peruvian food — grab two empanadas with a side of soup or a salad for $10 — but they also sell Peruvian goods. Pick up lunch and a gift, from folk art and handwoven rugs to pottery and kitchenware.
Gaucho Parrilla Argentina, 146 6th St., Downtown
Head to Gaucho for an Argentinian spin on the empanada. The restaurant serves beef with olives, chicken with chorizo or veggie varieties. Can’t decide? Order a dozen along with a flight of chimichurri sauces. Happy dipping!
Empanada Fusion, delivery service
Based out of Seven Fields, the delivery service offers weekly “Empanada Drops” throughout the Greater Pittsburgh region. Pre-order online to get your Argentinian goodies with globally inspired flavors.
Arepittas, 412-428 Cherry Way, Downtown
Take a pit stop at Arepittas for a taste of Venezuela. You can get fried cornmeal dough packed with a variety of ingredients, from ground beef or pork to chicken or choriqueso. Like seafood? The Marinera is a mix of shrimp, squid, octopus, mussels and scallops with house seasoning.
Edgar’s Best Tacos, 108 19th St., Strip District
Edgar Alvarez is a taco king, but he also makes a mean Mexican empanada. Varieties include Picadillo with marinated ground beef, the vegetarian Soyrizo and Carne de Cangrejo, a blend of crab meat and shrimp.
Mi Empanada, 4034 Butler St., Lawrenceville
This grab-and-go spot offers an array of Argentinian empanadas you can eat while strolling down Butler Street. Want to cook at your own convenience? Mi Empanada also sells frozen varieties from roasted lamb to peaches and cream that you can bake at home.
The Colombian Spot, 2019 E. Carson St., South Side
The Colombian Spot soon will have two! A second location is opening in May at 3533 Forbes Ave. in Oakland. The restaurant’s empanadas are stuffed with your choice of beef, chicken or veggies, along with potatoes, and minced and sautéed tomatoes and onions.
Ki Pollo, 4407 Butler St., Lawrenceville
Take your tastebuds on an adventure by eating an Infernal Chicken Empanada (chicken, potato, scallions and citrus-Szechuan hot sauce) followed by one stuffed with banana and Nutella.
Pabellon Venezuelan and Mexican Cuisine, 2957 Banksville Road, Banksville
With two types of cuisine, there’s plenty to sample at Pabellon. The empanadas — served with the restaurant’s signature sauce — feature white cheese, shredded or ground beef, chicken, pabellon, seafood, bacon and cheese.
Zorros Restaurant, 1573 McFarland Road, Mt. Lebanon
Zorros, which is Spanish for “fox,” serves Dominican empanadas individually or as family-style meals that include sides, desserts and scratch-made dipping sauces. Fillings vary from traditional beef and cheese to apple.