Tessaro's exterior
Photo by Tom O'Connor.

We all know Pittsburgh is a foodie town so it’s no surprise that two local restaurants are getting special attention in a national publication.

Esquire recently named J&J’s Family Restaurant in Mt. Washington and Bloomfield’s Tessaro’s as two of 100 restaurants the country can’t afford to lose.

In describing how restaurants play such a vital role in our lives, they ask: “What if those places were to vanish? What if you were to wake tomorrow morning and learn that that remnant of your life—and that portion of your community’s lingua franca—had been erased? Such a prospect has been a real threat all year, with the relentless tragedy of COVID-19 leaving many American restaurants, even established classics, on the brink of bankruptcy. The threat will only intensify as winter progresses and restaurateurs have to abandon the outdoor dining that has kept them treading water for months.”

The pandemic has already forced many businesses – from fine dining restaurants and corner pubs to quaint cafes and greasy spoons – to close, leaving cities across the nation with vacant storefronts and empty bellies.

Here’s what Esquire had to say about Tessaro’s at 4601 Liberty Ave where the landmark establishment’s freshly ground beef patties are fired over hardwood and custom-cooked on a cast iron grill.: Don’t play around. Don’t walk in here and start getting precious about your Instagram picture—people will look at you funny. Just order a beer and a burger and keep your mouth shut. Listen. Look around. Everyone’s getting the same burger, as big as a flattened softball, salty juices seeping into the bun. Yinzers know. —JG

J&J’s at 300 Shiloh Street serves breakfast, including customer favorites such as Honey Buffalo Crab Benedict and the Sunrise Scrambler, all day. Here’s what Esquire had to say:

A greasy spoon diner in a city full of greasy spoon diners worth talking about. J&J’s isn’t the one you’ll see on TV, though. A true family-owned joint that sits atop the city’s historic Mount Washington. Assorted coffee mugs that don’t match. Serving sizes that’ll last you all day. A dining experience that makes you feel like family. —BB

Read the full article here and support these and other local dining spots.

Kristy Locklin is a North Hills-based writer. When she's not busy reporting, she enjoys watching horror movies and exploring Pittsburgh's craft beer scene.