Piada Italian Street Food: The best spot for Italian on campus

It’s the newest restaurant on Forbes

Italian Street Food: what exactly is it? Piada Italian Street Food is the newest restaurant to come to Pitt’s campus.  It opened on Forbes Ave on January 16th and saw long lines for days.

The Piada concept came from food carts in Rimini, Italy.  The first location opened in 2010.

When I walked into the restaurant, I had no idea what a piada was.  A piada is an Italian thin bread wrap filled with meats, cheeses, and vegetables.  It sounded appetizing and it absolutely was.

The menu was smaller than I thought, but everything on it sounded good, so I didn’t really care.  We tried two items; the first being the Tuscan piada.  It is made with mozzarella, romaine, sweet & spicy peppers, spicy Tuscan dressing.  It can be ordered with crispy or grilled chicken; we ordered it with grilled chicken.  It took a while to notice the spice.  Thankfully, it wasn’t overpowering the rest of the piada.  It was easy to eat, even though the thin bread was a little flimsier and fragile than I thought.  It came hot, smelled great, became messy towards the end but was otherwise great.

Next, we gave the Pesto Pomodoro Meatball Pasta a try. Piada excels in pasta, especially with their choice of only using the “angel hair” variant. In combination with their special Pomodoro sauce (which is essentially just “red” sauce for those unfamiliar with the term), the pasta was well done and tasted great. Piada also gives you the option of topping your pasta with a basil pesto drizzle.  Just by the ingredients used, you can tell how fresh the food is. Lastly, it comes with an Italian-breadcrumb meatball, which in itself has its own unique taste.

The employees did a great job of making us feel welcome.  They were smiling, and very helpful.  Tables were cleaned almost immediately after customers left,  and their trays were quickly taken back to the kitchen. Piada is also a charitable business.  According to the Post-Gazette, “On opening day, Piada plans to partner with Community Human Services, which provides food donations for families and individuals in need in Pittsburgh. Piada and Community Human Services expect to donate half of the day’s proceeds to the Oakland Food Pantry.”

I highly recommend going here.  I was surprised at how tasty it was.  It is the slightest bit pricey, but it is worth it.  They are open 10:45 a.m.-10 p.m, seven days a week.

NOTE: Dining dollars and Panther Funds are not accepted there.

University of Pittsburgh