Discover the culinary treasures that make Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the number one food city, as acclaimed by Zagat. From the iconic Grand Concourse to the eclectic charm of Square Cafe, the industrial chic of Dorothy 6, and the contemporary flair of The Commoner, Pittsburgh’s dining scene offers a rich tapestry of flavors. Dive into the bustling food tour of The Strip District, where local favorites come alive. Experience the exotic and lively cuisine at Kaya, and savor inventive dishes at The Yard. This list is our mini guide to dining experiences that capture the essence of Pittsburgh’s diverse and thriving gastronomic culture.
1. Grand Concourse
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 along with award-winning seafood creations.
Even though it is an upscale establishment, the environment is rather comfortable. The waiters are attentive and know their stuff.
The Firecracker Shrimp is a delicious way to start your meal. Large shrimp are battered, deep-fried, and covered in a creamy, sweet chili glaze.
Remember me mentioning the views? The photo below was taken just outside of the restaurant.
I recommend that after you eat there 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.
The Grand Concourse is located at 100 W Station Square Drive. It is open from 11:30 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 11:30 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from 9:30 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Sunday.
2. Square Cafe
A great way to start your day in Pittsburgh is 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.
If you want to be “good,” order the Veggie Benedict which is hashbrowns topped with roasted zucchini, squash, asparagus, onions, peppers, Brussels sprouts, 2 eggs over easy, and hollandaise and comes served with a side of greens.
For something on the sweet side, order Nutella Crepes – three crepes filled and topped with Nutella and served with powdered sugar and whipped cream.
The Square Cafe is located at 134 S Highland Avenue. Hours are from 7:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Thursday through Monday. The restaurant is closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.
3. Dorothy 6
After visiting historic Carrie Furnaces, a stop at Dorothy 6 is called for. This Homestead neighborhood cafe, with its exposed brick interior, is cozy and a good place for having a drink and chilling out.
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 surrounding the bar edge.
Dorothy 6 is located at 224 E 8th Avenue in Homestead. It is open Wednesday and Thursday from 4:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 4:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m., and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.
4. The Commoner
The restaurant is ranked #37 out of 1,228 restaurants in Pittsburgh according to TripAdvisor. I found the Vegetarian Tikka Masala to be one of the best meals I had in Pittsburgh.
How cute is the fry basket that comes with a burger?
The Commoner is located at 620 William Penn Pl. For breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner hours, scroll to the bottom of The Commoner website.
5. The Strip District
One of our favorite ways of “tasting” a city is to go on a food tour. The ‘Burgh Bits and Bites Tour takes guests through Pittsburgh’s Strip District and does not disappoint. This immersive experience allowed us to not only savor the diverse and delicious flavors of the city but also gain insights into its culinary history and vibrant food culture. Below is an inside look at the tour we took.
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 with scala sancta – holy stairs.)
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 through a coffee shop where the smell of freshly 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.
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 she ordered a lot of it for her crew.)
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.)
We also got to choose 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?)
While Primanti‘s wasn’t on the agenda, we made a quick stop to see their sandwich which is deemed world-famous. These sandwiches are like no other – they come with everything on them – meat, slaw, fries – EVERYTHING.
You can learn more about the ‘Burgh Bits and Bites Tours by clicking here.
Inspired by the sea and sun, Kaya’s culinary offerings are a fusion of fresh, high-quality ingredients paired with bold flavors and alluring preparation techniques. Drawing influence from the Caribbean Islands, South America, the Pacific, and beyond, the restaurant crafts a diverse and complex menu that showcases the best of global cuisines
Menu items include refreshing dishes like Tuna Poke Bowl and Rainbow Salad, innovative tacos like Steak Ceita, Cuban sandwiches, incredible burgers like the Kaya pictured above, as well as entrees such as Tropical Paella.
Kaya is located in the Strip District at 2000 Smallman Street. It is open from 11:30 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 11:30 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. on Friday, from 11:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. on Saturday, and from 11:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. on Sunday.
7. The Yard
In downtown Pittsburgh, in Market Square, there is 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, as well as grilled cheese sandwiches, burgers, and beer.
The Cheesy Capresey is made with buffalo mozzarella, provolone, thickly sliced tomatoes, white truffle oil, basil, and a balsamic reduction on thick, toasted bread. It is served with a side of chips and it is all good.
Regardless of whatever you order, be sure to leave room for dessert.
This dessert is something else. Called Cause We Got High, it is thick-cut Texas toast with peanut butter, Nutella, and bananas that is battered and deep-fried and served with marshmallow fluff. It’s definitely a dessert for two.
The environment at The Yard is very loud and lively and a fun place to dine. The Yard is located at 100 Fifth Avenue. It is open Sunday through Thursday from 11:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m., Friday from 11:00 a.m. until midnight, and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until midnight.