If you are in the mood for some fresh grilled flavor, fajitas are the perfect dish. With an assortment of grilled meat and vegetables, rice and toppings like lettuce, cheese, guacamole and salsa, assemble your own creation in a tortilla shell with as little or as much of your favorites as desired. So whether you’re a first-time roller or a fajita-making expert, here are some great places to get this tasty Mexican dish in Pittsburgh.
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2 Robinson Plaza
Pittsburgh, PA 15205
Hours: Sun to Thurs – 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Fri to Sat – 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
With its largest location in Robinson, regional restaurant Mad Mex is known for its dark party atmosphere and fresh spin on Mexican food. Mad Mex features a range of fajita options, including seafood and vegetarian. Each fajita comes with Mexican rice, sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo, Monterey Jack cheese, shredded lettuce, grilled peppers, onions and fajita sauce. You can choose from chicken, steak, shrimp, Mahi Mahi, portobello or a combination fajita with two meat options. Try the Mahi Mahi fajitas, which are grilled with an ancho chili seasoning. Whichever fajita dish you choose, top it off with Mad Mex’s specialty fajita sauce.
5865 Ellsworth Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Hours: Tues to Thurs – 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Fri to Sat – 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Sun and Mon – Closed
Located in Shadyside, the Fajita Grill lights things up with Mexican dishes freshly made to order. The namesake fajitas are served on a sizzling plate with grilled onions, bell peppers and (optional) sliced jalapeños. Try the A La Tampiqueña, grilled steak paired with Fajita Grill’s creamy salsa ranchera and cheese. This salsa adds a unique and fresh twist to the typically common dish. Toppings include lettuce, cheese, sour cream, guacamole and pico de gallo which are served in a tortilla basket. Other fajita options available are assorted vegetables, grilled chicken, grilled steak, shrimp and the fresh catch of the day.
6535 Robinson Center Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15205
Hours: Mon to Fri – 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sat – 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sun – 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Jose Ole is a small, authentic Mexican restaurant on the end of a strip mall in Robinson. Although a bit out of the way, Jose Ole is fast becoming a local favorite. This spot serves a range of fajitas on sizzling platters with peppers, onions, fresh tomatoes, rice, your choice of beans, sour cream, pico de gallo and cheese or guacamole. Meat choices are mesquite grilled steak or chicken, pulled pork, shrimp or grilled vegetables. If you’ve only had pulled pork on a sandwich, that will soon change. The pork that comes in Jose Ole’s fajitas falls apart with very little effort. It has been soaked in a deliciously salty marinade long enough to make it substantially more tender than all other meat options. The choice is easy: order the pork.
2111 North Franklin Drive
Washington, PA 15301
Hours: Mon to Sat – 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Sun – Closed
Located south of Pittsburgh in Washington, Jumper’s Junction has a frog-themed sports bar atmosphere with a diverse mix of food styles. Although not a strictly Mexican restaurant, Jumper’s Junction’s Tex-Mex Style wraps, burritos and fajitas are very well done. Fajita choices are mesquite-grilled chicken or steak served on a bed of grilled onions and peppers. The mesquite seasoning makes this chicken fajita dish stand out among Pittsburgh’s more classic chicken fajita options. Each bite includes a smoky taste that sizzles almost as much as the plate on which it arrived. Toppings include lettuce, tomatoes, a blend of cheeses, sour cream and salsa. Take chicken to the next level with a meal at this froggy spot. Head to Jumper’s Junction on a weekday between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. for 1/2 off draft beers.
812 Mansfield Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 1205
Hours: Mon to Fri – 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Sat – 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sun – Closed
Located in Pittsburgh’s West End, Mendoza Express specializes in authentic Mexican takeout. The small restaurant only has a few seats to enjoy your meal dining in; takeout is a much easier option for a busy night. Fajitas are served platter style with two flour tortillas containing your choice of shrimp, chicken or steak along with sautéed garlic, cilantro, Spanish onions and red and green bell peppers. Garlic is the primary flavor of this delicious plate. The amount is just right, providing these fajitas with a unique taste that pairs wonderfully with the fresh cilantro. Toppings include sour cream, guacamole, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes, and each fajita platter is served with a side of refried beans and Mexican rice.
Jennifer Stockdale is a native of the greater Pittsburgh, PA area. She is a restaurant marketer and wine enthusiast and one of the hosts of the East Coast Wine Geeks Podcast. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.