Best Reuben in Pittsburgh this St. Patty’s Day

Peter Boettger | staff photographer

by The Duke Staff

March 17, 2022

This year, the Duke answers your burning question: What is the best Reuben Sandwich in Pittsburgh?

First of all, Pittsburghers have to know what’s inside the classic sandwich. 

Its beginnings are ambiguous, but the widely-accepted start of the Reuben sandwich was at a hotel in Omaha, Neb. A group of men played poker at this hotel on a regular basis, and one of them, Reuben Kulakofsky, asked for a corned beef and sauerkraut sandwich, according to Elizabeth Weil from the New York Times. The chef took this request and created the first official Reuben sandwich.

The sandwich received national recognition when, in 1956, it won the National Sandwich Idea Contest.

While the sandwich itself is not a traditional Irish sandwich, its ingredients are considered a staple among the Northwestern Europeans. Every March, restaurants city-wide pull out the toasted rye bread and the corned beef for the Reuben sandwich St. Patty’s Day tradition. 

The following Reuben sandwiches came highly recommended from Duquesne students and staff from across campus.


448 Perry Highway

“Not too sour, and not too salty. The cheese is always melted to perfection.”

– Emma Polen, features editor

The Rosecliff Tavern

4040 Monroeville Blvd.

– Karen Bova, student success coach

Big Jim’s in the Run

201 Saline St.

“There’s a really good proportion of everything! And it’s a massive sandwich.”

– Maura James, second-year

City Works

2 PPG Place (Market Square)

– Brittany Alexander, sophomore

Carson Street Deli

1507 East Carson St.

– Megan Reiley, junior

Duke’s Cafe

122 West Eighth Ave.

– Cece Howald, fifth-year

Smokin Joe’s

2001 East Carson St.

“The combination of corned beef, sauerkraut and thousand island dressing is juicy and goes great on their variety of reuben sandwiches, fries and pizza.”

– Zoe Stratos, opinions editor

Primanti Bros.

Various Pgh Locations

– Nick Parsenios, sophomore

Cafe Fifth Ave

818 Fifth Ave.

“The bread is toasted perfectly. The whole sandwich melts in your mouth.”

– Mary Liz Flavin, news editor