Labriola’s Italian Market Jul17

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Labriola’s Italian Market

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Rating: 3.3/5 (8 votes cast)

I know the Strip District is the “go to” place for Italian specialty food shopping, but if you don’t want to deal with the parking mess or crowds of yuppies, there’s Labriola’s Italian Market. I love this place. For a second-generation Italian-American like me that loves Italian food, I’m like a kid in a candy store at Labriola’s.

They have the standard Italian deli stuff—lunch meat and cheese (they carry Boar’s Head among other brands); Mancini’s, Rimini’s and Bread Works breads; a large selection of olive oil; canned San Marzano tomatoes; and a bunch of other good stuff like roasted red peppers and bruschetta spreads. Get there early if you’re looking for Mancini’s bread (the best) because it always seems to be the first to go.

In addition to the standard deli fare, they offer a nice selection of already prepared foods like chicken parmesan, chicken romano, eggplant parmesan, pizza and wedding soup. There’s also a large selection of cold salads such as antipasta, crab salad and artichoke salad. I’ve never bought any of the prepared foods, but I can tell you that they all look really good. I always buy one of their homemade pepperoni breads if they haven’t sold out, and getting one when they’ve just come out of the oven is like hitting the lottery. They also offer a huge variety of fresh prepared olives as well as their homemade Italian sausage. This sausage isn’t the red-tinted stuff you find at the grocery store; it’s the real deal with the chunks of fat and fennel seeds inside. Just thinking about it makes me want to get in the kitchen and fry some up with peppers and onions.

Since Labriola’s is a small, family-owned business, you might think that the prices would be high. That’s not the case at all. I did a little research for this review and compared Labriola’s prices to those of the local grocery store chain, the one named after a large bird. Capicola—or gabbagool if you’re a fan of the Sopranos—is $6.99 per pound at Labriola’s while the grocery store’s price ranges from $7.69 to $8.29. That’s a significant difference. A pound of provolone cheese sells for $4.99 versus $5.99 at the grocery store, and a large can of San Marzano tomatoes is $2.99 at Labriola’s and $5.19 at the grocery store. Big difference. The most astounding price difference I found was on grated romano cheese. Labriola’s imported romano sells for $6.95 per pound while the grocery store charges a whopping $10.99 to $16.99 per pound!

The only complaint about Labriola’s I have is the hours. They close at 6:00 or 7:00 PM every day depending on location.

There are four Labriola’s locations in Pittsburgh—Penn Hills, Monroeville, Fox Chapel and Cranberry. If you live in the southern or western suburbs, I guess you’re out of luck. But if you live close to any of their locations, a trip to Labriola’s is well worth your while. It’s not the urban adventure a trip to the Strip District is, but the selection, service and prices are great. And they have a parking lot.

Find hours and locations at www.labriolaitalianmarkets.com.

Labriola's Italian Market, 3.3 out of 5 based on 8 ratings