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Where To Eat In Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh has garnered the title of number one food city in America. What’s a visit to this fine metropolis without sampling some unique cuisine?

Indulge your senses at these eight places in Pittsburgh you won’t find anywhere else! From dining inside an old YMCA building, to tasting the Strip District on Pittsburgh’s own special tour, there is nothing like experiencing all that our city and its culture have to offer through its signature dishes.

1.  Whitfield at Ace Hotel

Black and white image of Whitfield restaurant located inside the Ace Hotel.

Occupying a century old YMCA building in the East Liberty neighborhood, the Ace Hotel’s restaurant – Whitfield was where we had lunch on our first day there.  The restaurant invites diners inside with its light-filled interior, high ceilings, and open environment.

The meat and vegetables are locally sourced and prepared.  The menu includes items such the Whitfield Cheeseburger, made with Jubilee Hilltop Grass-fed beef, a brioche bun, pepper jam, cheddar, fried onions, and mustard mayo.  The Pastrami Sandwich was just named one of the 5 best new sandwiches of the year by Bon Appetit on August 10.

A bowl of creamy macaroni and cheese sprinkled with a bread crumb topping.

Mac & Cheese

The Whitfield opens for breakfast at 7 am and serves brunch from 10:30 until 3 pm.  Dinner hours begin at 5 pm.  The lobby bar is open from 11 am – 2 am.

My favorite item?  The Chocolate Truffles.  They’re not on the menu yet, but they should be!

Plate of chocolate truffles.

Chocolate Truffles by Head Pastry Chef Casey Renee

2. Grand Concourse

Atrium of the Grand Concourse in Pittsburgh.

The Grand Concourse is where people take their friends when they want to impress them.  The restaurant is inside the beautifully preserved Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad Station and offers incredible views of the city to go along with award-winning seafood creations.

Cucumber martini in a martini glass with cucumber slice.

Spicy Cucumber Martini

Even though it is an upscale establishment, the environment is rather comfortable.  The waiters are attentive and know their stuff.  A dinner companion of mine wasn’t sure which drink to order.  The waiter asked her several questions and brought her a Spicy Cucumber Martini.  Let’s just say that she enjoyed it so much that she had more than one of them.

My daughter and I really liked the Firecracker Shrimp appetizer.  The large shrimp were battered, deep fried, and covered in a creamy, sweet chili glaze.

Small bowl of firecracker shrimp on a bed of lettuce.

Firecracker Shrimp

Remember me mentioning the views?  I took the photo below when I was outside of the restaurant.

Yellow and blue bridge with Pittsburgh skyline in the background.

I recommend that after you eat there that you take a stroll along the Bessemer Court and watch the fountain show.  Pittsburgh is absolutely stunning at night and the view of the skyline from Bessemer Court is primo.

You can see the menus for Grand Course by clicking here.

3. Square Cafe

Woman sitting at counter at Square Cafe.

Our second day of the press tour started with breakfast at Square Cafe, a cute little restaurant located in the Regent Square neighborhood.  The inside is bright and lively and local artists have pieces on display.

Roasted zucchini, squash, asparagus, onions, peppers, Brussels sprouts, 2 eggs over easy and hollandaise.

I wanted to be “good” so I ordered the Veggie Benedict which is hashbrowns topped with roasted zucchini, squash, asparagus, onions, peppers, Brussels sprouts, 2 eggs over easy and hollandaise and came served with a side of greens.  It was quite good.

My daughter, on the other hand, went for Nutella Crepes – three crepes filled and topped with Nutella and served with powdered sugar and whipped cream.  She ordered it with bananas.  She rated this dish as her favorite while in Pittsburgh.  (She wouldn’t STOP talking about crepes after she ate there.)

Plate of banana crepes drizzled with Nutella and topped with whipped cream.

For more information about Square Cafe, visit their website at Square-Cafe.com.

4. Dorothy 6

Front of Dorothy 6 sign.

After visiting historic Carrie Furnaces, our group stopped for lunch at Dorothy 6.  This Homestead neighborhood cafe with its exposed brick interior is really cozy and a good place for having a drink and chilling out.

Beer dispenser at the bar inside Dorothy 6 in Pittsburgh.

The name of the cafe honors the blast furnace which closed in 1984.  There are more homages to the steel industry in the cafe, such as the steel rail which surrounds the bar edge.

I had a plate of three different pierogies with a side of Brussels sprouts.  The sprouts were delicious.  The jalapeno pierogies were the best of the three, but next time I will order something different.

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs on a plate with a lettuce leaf.

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

5. The Commoner

The main dining room of the Commoner restaurant in Pittsburgh.

What can I say about The Commoner?  This trendy restaurant is located in the equally trendy Monaco Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh. We dined there the night that Coldplay was in town, which was why the restaurant was PACKED.

The food here had mixed reviews from those in my party, though I thought that the Vegetarian Tikka Masala was the best meal that I had in Pittsburgh.

Plate of Vegetarian Tikka Masala served with naan.

How cute is the fry basket that came with the burger that another guest had?

Platter with hamburger, a basket of French fries, and a cup of catsup.

6.  The Strip District

On the last day of the press tour, we went on the ‘Burgh Bits and Bites Tour that took us through Pittsburgh’s Strip District.  I LOVED the tour.

Statue in front of Old St. Patrick's Church in Pittsburgh.

We met at Old St. Patrick’s Church in the courtyard and learned the history of the church.  (It houses an actual piece of the Blarney Stone from Ireland and is also one of the few locations in the world that has scala sancta – holy stairs.)

Slice of fresh baked cinnamon bread on parchment paper.

We started with a warm piece of cinnamon bread from Mancini’s Bakery.  While we ate it, we had a brief history lesson of the church.  Afterward, we made our way through the strip, stopping by and sampling some delicious Italian cold cuts at Parma Sausage.  We then continued on through a coffee shop where the smell of fresh roasted coffee wafted through the air.  We briefly explored Penzey’s Spices, Wholey Fish Market, and a few other fun places.

Then we got back to the business of sampling some of the delicious offerings around The Strip.

Woman's hand holding pepperoni Stromboli roll from Sunseri's.

We sampled the pepperoni roll from Sunseri’s.  It came with a side of dipping sauce, but I preferred it without.  I thought it was quite delicious.  (We heard rumors that when Taylor Swift was in town that she ordered a lot of it for her crew.)

A woman's fingers holding a fresh mele at a bakery.

I had never tasted, let alone heard of a mele until we visited Colangelo’s Bakery.  After biting into it, I couldn’t help but wonder why?!  That little flaky, sweet pastry was heavenly.  It was my favorite small bite in the Burgh.  (By the way, the Italian term torta di mele translates to apple tart.)

Chocolate biscotti drizzled with white chocolate.

We also got to choose our own biscotti at The Enrico Biscotti Company.  They have more than two dozen flavors of biscotti in the bakery.  I chose a chocolate one with a white chocolate drizzle.  (One can never have too much chocolate, right?)

Primanti Brothers' world famous sandwich on a plate..

The Primanti Brothers’ sandwich is world famous.  While we did not eat there, a kind lady let me take a quick photo of her sandwich.  These sandwiches are like no other – they come with everything on them – meat, slaw, fries – EVERYTHING.

I wish that our tour could have lasted longer – parting is such sweet sorrow.  You can learn more about the ‘Burgh Bits and Bites Tours by clicking here.


7. Kaya

While that may have been the end of the press tour, my daughter and I continued to explore Pittsburgh with the help of my aunt and her friend.  We ate lunch at this neat little restaurant called Kaya which was located in the Strip District.  Kaya is part of the Big Burrio family and makes food inspired by “the sea and the sun.”

We started off with homemade guacamole and chips.

Bowl of fresh guacamole and a side of tortilla chips.

I ordered fish tacos but felt like I had made a mistake after seeing my daughter’s hamburger.  Holy Moly!

Hamburger with runny egg and a knife stuck in it served with sweet potato French fries.

See what I mean?

Overall, the environment was pretty cool and the food was okay.

Latin sculpture with four legs inside a restaurant.

8. The Yard

A bowl of poutine with a side of cheese sauce.

Yard Poutine

On our last night on our own, my daughter and I ventured through Market Square in downtown Pittsburgh and made our way to  The Yard.  It is located on the second floor of the building by NOLA on the Square.  The Yard specializes in local, sustainable food across the region.  And grilled cheese sandwiches, burgers, and beer.

Caprese grilled cheese sandwich with mozzarella cheese and basil with homemade chips.

We split the Cheesy Capresey – made with buffalo mozzarella, provolone, thick sliced tomatoes, white truffle oil, basil, and a balsamic reduction on thick, toasted bread.  It was served with a side of chips and it was all good.

Since we split the main course, we had some room left over for dessert.  It didn’t take long for us to settle on Cause We Got High.  That’s the name of the dessert – I swear!

Thick cut Texas toast with peanut butter, Nutella, and bananas that is battered and deep fried.

This dessert is something else.  It is thick cut Texas toast with peanut butter, Nutella, and bananas that is battered and deep fried and served with marshmallow.  Definitely a dessert for two.

The environment at The Yard is very loud and lively and overall a fun place to dine.  This is a place where we definitely want to go back and eat.  You can see their menu by clicking here.


That was just a sampling of Pittsburgh’s dining scene.  (We were only there for four days!)  If you would like to learn more about dining options in Pittsburgh, check out the Visit Pittsburgh website.


Looking for accommodations in Pittsburgh?

The front of Renaissance Pittsburgh with flags flying.

Renaissance Pittsburgh

Here’s a little bit oof information about Pittsburgh’s history:

Looking up towards the top of the PNC headquarters in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh’s Past, Present, and Future

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