Photo courtesy of Charles Smith.

Every food-forward Pittsburgher knows by now that our fair city was voted by Zagat as the number one food city of 2015. One of the reasons we got that top spot is Chef Charles Smith. Zagat writer Alia Akkam praised Smith’s newly opened restaurant Chaz & Odette and its must-try dishes like jerk pork and yam coulis as one of the “more refined food glories that Steel City is becoming known for.”

Since the list came out, there is nary a night that is not packed at Chaz & Odette. Smith looks forward to some great things in 2016, including the restaurant’s jazz dinners, “Sunday Sessions at C&O” that launched last week, featuring their house band, The James Johnson Trio.

The restaurant’s winter menu starts in a couple of weeks, which is going to feature comfort food from around the world.

The best meal I ate last week was at Noodlehead on Highland Avenue. Odette and I ate at Noodlehead pretty frequently before we opened the restaurant and that has been my spot for a quick carbo load at lunch—it’s perfect for getting the needed boost before dinner service.

 The food is good and pretty authentic to Thai street food so that has become my go-to spot. Let’s say I’m picking up a liquor order and it’s not quite ready. I know Noodlehead is right around the corner and I can probably get in and out of there in 20 minutes.

 My favorite dish is the Kee Mao; I know I had it at least twice last week! Noodlehead has a heat scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being “Thai hot” and I get it Thai hot—I’ve been to Thailand three or four times and my spice meter is up there. We definitely eat there almost every week.

Looking for other Pittsburgh foodie’s best meals? Click here.

Leah Lizarondo is a food advocate, writer and speaker. She is also the co-founder of 412 Food Rescue, an organization that seeks to eliminate food waste to make an impact on hunger and the environment. She is the Chief Veghacker, recipe creator and curator at The Brazen Kitchen, where she writes about food and food policy. She writes about the intersection of food, health, innovation and policy.