Anthony Bourdain in Pennsylvania: The Complete Guide

Did you know that Pennsylvania is nicknamed “The Keystone State?” This is because, in its early days, Pennsylvania sat in the middle of the 13 colonies that later became the United States; it was a key spot for the entire development of the budding nation that many of us call home.

While Anthony Bourdain didn’t visit every state in America, he did visit Pennsylvania – twice in fact: first to film an episode of The Layover, and again later as part of creating Parts Unknown. This was more screentime than he gave to many states, and was probably aided by it being pretty easy to reach from his own home in NYC; many residents of the Eastern Seaboard can (and do) visit The Keystone State each year.

Anthony Bourdain in Pennsylvania Hero

Whether you’re planning a trip or just call it home, you might be curious about those places visited by Anthony Bourdain in Pennsylvania during his travels. Below you’ll find both an overview (of his big city visits) and a deeper dive into the smaller communities he spent time in. Let this be a guide to experiencing the wide variety of flavors and perspectives that this important Eastern U.S. state has to offer.

In this post, I promote travel to a destination that is the traditional lands of the Delaware, Lenape, Nanticoke, Shawnee, and Susquehannock peoples, among others. With respect, I make a formal land acknowledgment, extending my appreciation and respect to the past and present people of these lands. To learn more about the peoples who call these lands home, I invite you to explore Native Land.

Philadelphia

Though Bourdain visited Philadelphia well over a decade ago at this point, many of the places he ate at during his time in the City of Brotherly Love are still open today – score! Here’s a list of them:

Together, they comprise a great slice of the different groups that make Philly one of the country’s most diverse cities. If you want to learn more about each of these spots, the cuisines and cultures they represent, and more, be sure to check out my guide to places visited by Anthony Bourdain in Philadelphia.

Pittsburgh

Pennsylvania’s second city, Pittsburgh, isn’t necessarily overlooked – but it’s certainly underestimated. Known more for its industrial history than its modern presence, it’s no surprise that Tony wanted to show off the latter during his visit. Here are the places he ate during that trip that are still open today:

He also visited a number of other places elsewhere in Pennsylvania that I’ve listed below, but if you’re planning a trip to The ‘Burgh, be sure to check out my guide to the places visited by Anthony Bourdain in Pittsburgh for details about each spot and what he ate there.

Other Places Tony Ate in Pennsylvania

In addition to the big cities, Tony steps out into the country as part of his visit to Pittsburgh while filming Parts Unknown. Below is a list of the places he went during that trip.

Allison Park Area Farmhouse 

Anthony Bourdain in Pennsylvania - Grilled Ribs

Tony meets up with several Pittsburgh chefs at an unnamed rural farmhouse about 20 minutes outside of Pittsburgh for some beer and homestyle cooking; some of the farmhouses in this area are open commercially, selling their wares. He has pork ribs, grilled escarole hearts with turnips with a dressing made from pork drippings, and four different types of sausages. 

Hidy’s Café (CLOSED)

Although Hidy’s Café (a bar, not a cafe!) is now permanently closed, Bourdain stopped by Braddock, Pennsylvania, for a drink and conversation with documentary filmmaker, Tony Buba. Tony orders himself a hoagie and a couple of bottles of Yuengling Lager, a beer that until only recently (before his trip) was exclusive to the state of Pennsylvania where it is made.

Superior Motors (CLOSED)

Anthony Bourdain in Pennsylvania - Grilled Pike

Next, Bourdain meets up with then-mayor and now Senator, John Fetterman, and some others for a meal at a repurposed Chevy dealership, Superior Motors, that served fine dining before shutting its doors during the pandemic. Anthony has some red wine and an order of Lake Erie Walleye Pike from chef Kevin Sousa with potatoes and cracklings. After the Pike, Anthony has the grass-fed short ribs on a bed of blanched milkweed and over-wintered sun choke chips. 

Salem Uke’s

Out in New Alexandria, Pennsylvania, Bourdain’s final stop in Pennsylvania is a demolition derby track and a private club called Salem Uke’s for some more Yuengling beers, shots, and conversation with Brooke Davis, a New Alexandria driver for the demolition track.

Have any other questions about the places visited by Anthony Bourdain in Pennsylvania? Let me know in the comments below!

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Ricky has worked off and on in the restaurant industry since high school, filling positions from host to line cook to sous chef all in California and Kentucky. He has always had a desire for food and travel, so discovering Anthony’s writings and shows years back was like meeting a great new friend.

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