Where Philly has cheesesteaks, Pittsburgh has Primanti Brothers, which is both a restaurant and a term for the sandwich style that represents the city. Rather than just throwing cheese and steak into a hoagie bun and calling it a day like on the other side of the state (I mean seriously, cheesesteak is delicious but hardly revolutionary), Primanti Brothers sandwiches are rich with blue collar history and innovation.
Straddling the campuses of Carnegie Mellon and Pitt, Craig Street is where ambitious students can often be found eating lunch or dinner between classes. On that street is a little Middle Eastern restaurant called Ali Baba, which I found myself eating at based on a high recommendation. The recommendation was mostly based on something that have called Kibbee Nayyee, which is a raw lamb dish that is apparently pretty hard to find.
Shortly after moving to Pittsburgh, my friend and site designer alerted me to the existence of a hot dog place called The Original Hot Dog Shop in Oakland that had been around since 1960, which may not be old for Pittsburgh, but is damn old having come from LA. I like hot dogs and originals, but unbeknownst to me until showing up for lunch was that The Original Hot Dog Shop (also known as the Dirty O) is more of a late-night haunt than a lunch stop. Nonetheless, I wanted a good hot dog and was happy to eat it in a dingy spot with great late-night character in the middle of the day.