As a professional eater, I am able to eat my way through Pittsburgh! In doing so, I have fallen in love with some awesome places that I tend to revisit over and over. Pittsburgh is a growing culinary city, and has potential to rank amongst the best. There are so many awesome restaurants in Pittsburgh with their own culture and different style of cooking. Most are on the less expensive side, while some are a bit more ‘Posh’ and cost a few dollars. Regardless, they are all worth a try!
DiAnoia’s Eatery is an Italian Restaurant in the strip that serves up amazing delicious homemade Italian dishes and desserts. Recently, they have expanded their growing operations by opening 2 pizza shops and a bread and catering kitchen (Pane e Pronto), which is a block away from its sister restaurant.
One of the most famous items on their menu is the Infamous Gnocchi Bread Bowl. This cheesy delight is packed inside an actual bread bowl with Potato Gnocchi, Mozzarella, Pecorino Romano, and Basil. How amazing? What I love about DiAnoias is that the staff is friendly and courteous, they take good care of you. But honestly, everything is homemade, fresh, and tasty. They do offer gluten-free and vegan pasta if there is something on the menu you can’t have (I am sure they won’t let you leave without a delicious plate of pasta). They do offer takeout, delivery, curbside, and both out and indoor dining from Tuesday to Saturday. Check out their active picturesque Instagram page here.
Umami is a Japanese restaurant located in Lawrenceville right above Round Corner Cantina. The location is very unobtrusive so you might miss it! Diners can indulge in tasty dishes such as nigiri, skewers, ramen, pork, and vegetable gyoza. They have an awesome selection of Japanese beer and delicious Japanese-inspired cocktails.
At Umami, “the vibe is everything” for me. I always enjoy the rotation of DJs— especially on the weekends. For a small tight space, the bar is always packed and tables are always filled, even at midnight so making reservations is definitely a must. More and more people are discovering this awesome spot and my biggest hope is that they will plan on expanding. If you love Japanese, good drinks and a great vibe, Umami is your spot. Can’t wait to revisit this restaurant in Pittsburgh!
Square Cafe is on my list for the top brunch spotS. Previously located in Edgewood, Square recently moved to East Liberty on Highland Avenue occupying the old BRGR and Spoon building. The food is amazing and honestly, I have no complaints!
Did I forget to mention that their Blueberry lemon ricotta pancakes are to die for? They have a gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian-friendly menu different styles of bowls, breakfast plates, and awesome sandwiches. They have an extensive coffee, smoothie, and natural juice list. Square only serves brunch so be sure to visit before 3PM.
This small Taiwanese restaurant is one of the busy spots in Squirrel Hill serving up delicious Taiwanese food such as their popular soup dumplings, pork buns, beef tendons, and my most favorite– Fish Fillet in the stone hot pot. Their menu is very extensive with a wide variety of different styles of Taiwanese dishes. It’s so hard to choose from all the deliciousness. When you talk about food coma, Cafe 33 will be sure to put you in that spot.
As it relates to drinks, bubble teas, hot teas and sodas are what they have to offer. Good news, they are BYOB at no charge; you can bring as many bottles as you like. The restaurant is very small and after COVID it’s a bit more difficult with seating. I would opt for takeout but then again it’s worth the wait.
When you talk about Argentinian in Pittsburgh, Gaucho comes to mind. There aren’t many Argentinian spots here and some places just don’t get it right. Fortunately, Gaucho does and that makes me happy.
Like Square Cafe, Gaucho moved from its tiny location in the Strip District to a much larger spot Downtown on Six and Penn. They recently acquired a liquor license and are serving up some delightful cocktails, beer, and wine. If you plan on going, please be prepared for a long wait. Gaucho doesn’t take reservations and only goes by first come first serve.
My favorite thing to have on the menu is the Parrillada Mixta (Mixed Grill) which comes with a 6oz flank steak, 2 chorizos, 6 oz chicken, and two pieces of toast. They also have a mixed platter of all of their steaks; you can order your sides separately. I usually go for sauteed mushrooms, roasted potatoes, or their tasty empanadas. If you love sandwiches, then visiting them at lunch is where it’s at.
Eleven made my list for many reasons. This restaurant is massive and has tons of space to the point where you’ll never feel restricted. This two-story establishment has an alluring ambiance and decor. Upon entering, looking up you can see the seating areas above along with the wine cellar which is gorgeous.
Enough about the ambiance, the food is decadent and desserts are unmatched; their extensive wine list is also something to brag about. Though pricier than the rest on this list. They do offer happy hour at the bar and lounge area which is separate from the dining area. I have to say it’s a solid happy hour. On Sundays, they do both brunch and dinner. Brunch is a Prix Fixe menu for $35, you get a choice of appetizer, entree, and cocktail. Sweet!