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12 Reviews
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Dave Morinello


Provided by Citysearch
Worst food on earth!!!

This food is aweful. Chef Boyardee does it better. The stuff has to come from a can. Nothing is fresh or good at all. We asked about wine and the two servers couldnt tell us what kind of wine they had by the glass. We had 2 glasses and although they were supposed to be the same they were not. When they asked us how the food was we were honest and told them it wasnt good. They (the whole staff) began to verbally assault my wife. They were way out of line and very unprofessional. I have traveled many places and have never been as disappointed with food as I was at Zarra's. If you like bland food, poor service and a dirty table -this is your place. They had their young children yelling at us as well. I know its hard to imagine this but man it was BAD.The past reviews have to be from family or staff. There was a total of 10 customers in the whole place on a Saturday night at dinner time and we werent the only one complaining. I would eat scraps out of an Olive Garden dumpster before going back to this place. I wouldnt even give this place a star but it required to post this review.

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Provided by Citysearch

Great homemade food and sauces. Its heavy, so bring an appetite. The owners were extremely cool and total characters. I love the atmosphere too. Its a tad overpriced and they hit you for alot of charges, but the food is great. Nice tucked away spot..

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Provided by Citysearch
Awesome food, atmosphere and people!

Zarra's restaurant is the absolute best Italian restaurant I have ever eaten at. Everything is homemade and simply amazing. Not only is the food delicious, but the atmosphere is great! On warm nights you can enjoy your meal out on the patio next to the fire! The Zarra family and staff are all very nice and genuinely care about your dining experience. I will definitely be stopping by Zarra's on my future visits to Pittsburgh!

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Provided by Citysearch
Best Italian in Pittsburgh

We first ate at Zarra's about 5 years ago, and we were immediately impressed by the food. My husband is Italian and his mother is an incredible cook, so we have high standards when it comes to Italian food. I had the Cavatelli con Polo Primavera di Judith and it was fantastic. That dish remains one of my favorites followed by the Linguine di Contosta with the spicy ""palmieri"" tomato sauce. I love red sauce, and can't believe how many different types of red sauce they make here, each more flavorful than the next. My husband has worked his way through most of the menu, and his favorites include the Polenta Calabrese, Pasta e Fagoli and Cavatelli e Verdure di Rena. There are so many good dishes it's hard to pick a few to recommend! We may have started to go there because of the food but we remain loyal customers because of the people. Each time you dine at the restaurant it is as if you are being welcomed into the home of the Zarra family, and it's a place you don't want to leave anytime soon. Johnny, Judy, Donny and Jamie, as well as their entire staff make you feel welcomed and it's truly the best place to relax after a long work week (or work day!). We grew to love Zarra’s so much, we even had our rehearsal dinner there, and our family is still talking about that night. We feel like Zarra’s is one of the best kept secrets in the city, and want everyone to know what a phenomenal restaurant they are missing!

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Provided by YP.com
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Best Italian food

This place was recommended by our son's girlfriend as one of her families favorite places to go and now I understand why. The atmosphere and service was outstanding. But it was the food that blew us away. The best Beans n' Greens I have had in years. A must try if you like traditional cooking in a warm and friendly atmophere.

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Provided by Citysearch
Best Food! Better Atmosphere

I remember playing here with my punk band back in the day. Stage diving, skanking and seeing the worlds best punk rock acts grace the Electric Bananna stage. Now Judy is cookin and the place has revitalized itself into my favorite restaurant. The sauces here are incredible, and the home made sausage is great.
Johnny and Donny are characters and really nice guys. My only draw back ins that its really expensive..
I love their food though!!!

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Provided by Citysearch
good food in fun funky atmosphere

We were first wowed by the eclectically furnished dining room with separate bar room. The charm extends to the meticulously kept rest rooms. We were seated promptly, but (unfortunately) on top of two other tables of diners, when the dining room was practically empty. Our service was courteous and prompt and pleasant though. Hungry, we asked for bread, which was average storebrand Italian ""air"" bread and came only with butter no dipping plate. And the menu had been scaled back that night >:-(

Oh no?

We found some hefty prices especially for chops and steaks, BUT we found some nice offerings anyway . Calimari salad was interstingly prepared in a vingret, I even enjoyed this. Dinners came with salad, average mix with an adequate Italian dressing, it worked - nothing to write home about. For entrees, the eggplant was tasty and had a good portion. Greens were sauted to perfection. Pastas were a bit on the skimpy side, but good nonetheless with nice sides, with the manicotti extremely wonderful - crepe, full soft and creamy in the house sauce, which was OK - traditional, not out of the ordinary. Italian sausage was OK too, but extremely small portion, next time I would like to try the meatballs which sound yum. Full, we all skipped dessert. Wines were adequate with a healthy pour. We were quite surprised by this place and will try it again.

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Provided by Citysearch
Best Italian....bar none!!!!

What can you say about this place? Top notch, great food and fun. Johnny & Judy are great and the food will keep you coming back for more. A great addition to N. Oakland!

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Tony G.


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A local favorite of mine. Outstanding service. A very friendly atmosphere.

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Provided by Citysearch
top notch!! great family, even better food!

The Zarra's are a great family and Judy can cook her buns off! I remember Johnny & young Donny from slam dancing back in the day when the place was the rocking Electric Bananna punk bar. Zarra's is expensive but well worth it. You feel like your in there living room and they make you become a friend of their family.

Skip lunch if you go there for dinner because the food is heavy, delicious, and they don't chince out on their portions. Their sausage, greens and eggplant is off the charts. What ever you order, you can't go wong here! Try to get Donny as a waiter, he's really a character and a lot of fun!

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Provided by Citysearch
Awesome Italian!

My wife and I had our first Zarras experience June 16, 2006. We were under the assumption that this would be another run of the mill Italian Restaurant, with mediocre food and enough salt to disrupt normal circulation. However, we were delighted and simply blown away by what we experienced at Zarras.

The Evening began with banana peppers stuffed with sausage and cubanella peppers Potenza style. These babies had some kick to them, but not so much to the point that it would make you uncomfortable. The perfect amount of heat.

The entrees were even better. My wife had the Salsa Piccante di Junior Williams, which is a very spicy tomato sauce w/mushrooms, hot peppers, topped over a very light pasta. I had the Linguine di Contosta, which is mussels, shrimp, and scallops w/a spicy tomato sauce over linguine. The best part of the meal, without a doubt, was the meatball. The texture was soft and it melted in your mouth.

We made it a point to have dessert. We split a Tirami-Suzy, which was incredible. It's not the what some restaurants call tiramisu. It is softened up the marscapone with a little sourcream, soaked pound cake in Chambord, Amaretto and black coffee, sprinkled cocoa on top, and yes, it's very good.

Here is the most interesting part about this restaurant: it used to be one of Pittsburghs most popular venues for local and national acts. Zarras was the Electric Banana. The owners, Johnny and Judy Zarra were once know as Johnny and Judy Banana during the clubs heyday. They turned the club into the restaurant about 6 or so years ago.

This place is a must for anybody who loves Italian food. It will not leave you broke either. Their entrees are reasonably priced. All around, one of the best restaurant experiences I have ever had.

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A local favorite of mine, with exceptional service and attention to detail.

Zarra's restaurant is my families business. My mother Judy is the cook, I (Donny) am a waiter, and my father Johnny selects all of the finest meats, cheeses, fish, and produce. My dad also does the butchering for the restaurant and he uses my grandfathers recipe to make Sausage. My mom makes all of the sauces and most of the pastas, and desserts. The majority of the menu is comprised of very old recipes that my Mother learned from my Great Grand Mother and Aunts. She is an amazing cook and when she gets a chance to come down stairs out of the kitchen she is praised with applaud. We are very proud of our Italian heritage and our food is an extension of who we are. So whether you are in the mood for a nice Rack of Lamb, a dish of Shrimp and Scallops, or maybe some home made ravioli and some eggplant parmesan, my family looks forward to sharing our food, and stories with you. Just make sure you save some room for a cannoli or tarimisu. Donny Zarra

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Provided by Citysearch
Best Italian

This is by far one of the best places I have eatten in Pittsburgh. On top of that it is one of the best Italian restaurants that I have ever been to. Everything is preparred in house and service is great. Restaurant is very eclectic and has a certain charm that makes you want to come back. I highly reccomend this restaurant.

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Regular Hours
Mon - Sat:
Italian Restaurants, Caterers, Night Clubs, Restaurants
Payment Options
Price Range
East End, Upper Hill, North Oakland

Zarra's A Taste of Southern Italy

Zarra's A Taste-Southern Italy

Zarra's A Taste-Southern Itlay

Zarra's Restaurant

Other Information

Parking: Street

Wi-Fi: No

Bike Parking: No

Attire: Casual

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Cuisines: Caterers, Italian, European, Continental

Alcohol: Full Bar

Takes Reservations: Yes

Outdoor Seating: No

Price Range : Average

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