A Local’s Guide to the Best Restaurants in Pittsburgh

Last Updated on September 22, 2022 by Jeremy

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When it comes to Pittsburgh restaurants, we are fortunate to be home to some of the country's best. From the local institutions, fine dining, international restaurants, to hole-in-the-wall spots, you can find it all here.

One of our quests on Discover the Burgh is to share these great restaurants and help you plan your next meal out. To help with that, this restaurant guide (linking to every single review published on this site) was born!

Please keep in mind that this list is continually updated as we visit more restaurants in the city. If your favorite is not featured here it is because we have either not visited or have not published our review yet.

If you would like to make a recommendation for us to try, please contact us.

About Our Ranking of Pittsburgh Food

Pierogi from Apteka - One of the best restaurants in Pittsburgh

When we first started this database, our rankings were organized by personal preference only. Now that we've been to hundreds of restaurants, we wanted to re-organize this guide in order to help you better find reviews based on many categories.

This restaurant database is now organized by restaurant type. Click the links below to be taken to each of the main categories of restaurants. Within each category, restaurants are organized by our personal preference with our favorites generally being at the top of each list and our least favorites trending towards the bottom. Use this as a rough approximation only.

Next to each name will include the neighborhood the restaurant is found, a notation on price ($-$$$$$), a short description, and any sub-categories we feel are necessary to highlight.

Prices are marked with dollar signs ($) based on the following breakdown. Note the pricing is estimated and is based on a full meal without drinks. Actual menu prices are subject to change from our initial update. As such, these should only be treated as rough guidelines to start.

  • $ – Under $15 per person
  • $$ – $15-$30 pp
  • $$$ – $30-$50 pp
  • $$$$ – More than $50 pp
  • $$$$$ – More than $100 pp

Click the following links to jump down to our category types:

Please note: We may repeat a select few restaurants in multiple categories. For example, Apteka is in our Top 10, International, and Vegan sections and Pusadee's Garden is in our Top 10, Fine Dining, and International. Others may only appear in just one section at our discretion.

In general, if the restaurant has a primarily themed menu (from a specific country/region, mostly pizza, barbecue, etc.) it will be found in those respective categories over the more general ones (modern American, fine dining, etc). The vegetarian/vegan/healthy section likely will feature a number of duplicates as any cuisine style can qualify here if done well.

Pittsburgh Restaurant Map

Looking for a restaurant by location? Check out our interactive map that shows every restaurant we've featured to date. So whether you're looking for Pittsburgh restaurants downtown, in the Strip District, the South Hills, or more, you can find all the ones we've been to by region here!

To read more from each, click the link in the pin to be taken to our full review!

Or, to read more restaurants by category, scroll down to read more!

The 10 Best Restaurants in Pittsburgh

Steaks from Gaucho Pittsburgh

The following are our current Top 10 Pittsburgh restaurants. The restaurants that earn this distinction are ones we are certain we can order anything on the menu and not be disappointed. Likewise, these are spots we would happily return to again and again without hesitation.

  1. Apteka – Bloomfield – $$ – Eastern European, vegan meals coupled with a wonderful bar.
  2. Pusadee's Garden – Lawrenceveille – Thai – $$$ – A high-end Thai restaurant in Lawrenceville with one of the best ambiances in the city.
  3. Fig & Ash – North Side – $$$ to $$$$ – Modern dishes all cooked over a wood fire.
  4. Spork – Bloomfield/Friendship – $$$$$ – A fine dining restaurant with inventive dishes and a flawless attention to detail.
  5. Morcilla – Lawrenceville – $$$ – Spanish tapas bar with gourmet pintxos and small plates.
  6. Gi-Jin – Downtown – $$$$$ – A gin and handroll bar in the Cultural District that offers a stellar experience from top to bottom.
  7. Gaucho Parrilla Argentina – Downtown – $$ – Argentinian meats done right with delicious steaks and sandwiches.
  8. DiAnoia's – Strip District – $$ – Modern Italian fare with a great brunch, cocktails, and more.
  9. Bar Marco – Strip District – $$$ to $$$$ – Modern American fare with a stellar cocktail bar.
  10. Poulet Bleu – Lawrenceville – $$$ – High-end French fare by the Richard DeShantz restaurant group.

Fast Casual / Takeaway Restaurants

Baby Loves Tacos

Fast casual and takeaway restaurants put a focus on speed and affordability above all others. These are often places you can walk up, order, and be eating within minutes. Some are designed solely for takeaway, others have minimal seats for eating on-site, but all are fast dining experiences all the same.

Gastropubs in Pittsburgh

Federal Galley is a Delicious Pittsburgh Restaurant

To us, a gastropub is the kind of place you can grab a seat at a table, still have a somewhat fast service, a reasonably priced meal, and wash it down with a great craft beer or cocktail. These restaurants are often quite casual and serve an array of cuisine- sometimes themed and other times not.

So if it has quick food, seating, a varied menu, and a stocked bar, odds are good we'll call it a gastropub!

Modern American in Pittsburgh

Fig & Ash lamb and pasta

Modern American restaurants offer higher-end menus, either with a theme or an eclectic offering. Many of these have chef-driven menu experiences, greater attention to detail, and, in many cases, an inflated price. This is also getting into the territory where a reservation is not only recommended but in some cases required for highly sought-after dining timeslots.

Fine Dining in Pittsburgh

Fried octopus at Spork

In many cases, a fine dining restaurant may have similar menus to the modern American spots above, but the biggest differentiator is price and execution. To us, a fine dining restaurant is going for a higher standard overall, has a more elegant ambiance (we likely dress up a bit more), requires reservations (often much further in advance), and comes at a higher price to match. Our selection of what makes a restaurant fine dining vs simply modern American is purely our opinion.

Breakfast / Brunch in Pittsburgh

Better Maid Donuts

When it comes to breakfast and brunch in Pittsburgh, we've got a number of great options to consider. These are all places that specialize in breakfast and brunch, and in many cases are not open much past an early lunch hour.

International Food in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh's international dining scene is growing at a stellar pace, and no matter the kind of cuisine you're looking to try, odds are good a restaurant for it exists in the area.

In this section of our restaurant database, we want to break out our reviews into sub-categories based on the most popular cuisine types such as Italian, Mexican, East Asian, and more.

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Italian

Gnocchi Bread Bowl from DiAnoia's

The following is a selection of the Italian restaurants we've visited to date. Note that pizza shops are included in a separate category as the below are only restaurants that include the full spectrum of Italian fare.

Mexican

Taqueria el Pastorcito tacos

Got Mexican fare on your mind? Check out some of the following!

Much like the Italian category above, please note that we have featured a few non-traditional taco spots in our fast casual section above as well. If you are simply looking for the best tacos in Pittsburgh, click the previous link to read our breakdown of them all!

East Asian

Roti at Pusadee's Garden

We're lumping all East Asian restaurants together in this category. So whether you're looking for Japanese, Chinese, Cambodian, or Thai, this is the section for you!

Central & Eastern European

Pretzels at the Harmony Inn

Pittsburgh has a strong Central & Eastern European community thanks to our steelmaking roots, and as such we have a number of restaurants that offer up this region's stellar cuisine!

  • Apteka – Bloomfield – Vegan – $$
  • The Harmony Inn – Harmony, PA – German – $$ to $$$
  • Lorelei – East Liberty – German/Alpine – $$ to $$$
  • Max's Allegheny Tavern – North Side – German – $$
  • Huszar – North Side – Hungarian – $$
  • 40 North – North Side – Eastern European – $$ to $$$
  • Bubba's – Greensburg – Pizza and Polish – $ to $$
  • Pierogies Plus – McKees Rocks – Eastern European – $ to $$

Other International Fare

Small Bites at Morcilla

We're working our way through eating all the international fare Pittsburgh has to offer, but at this time do not have enough restaurants in any country's cuisine to warrant their own category. If you're looking for other international offerings, check out the following!

Pizza

Driftwood Oven Pizza

The Pittsburgh pizza scene is one of the largest in the country on a per capita basis, and as such there a number of great pizza options to consider. When reading the below, please keep in mind that these are predominantly pizza shops first and foremost. For full Italian restaurants, please scroll up to our Italian section!

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Barbecue

Barbecue Sandwich at Gaucho

Finding new barbecue in Pittsburgh is one of our favorite things, and while it doesn't seem like we have a huge BBQ scene on the surface, we actually have a number of gems you should check out! Check out our full reviews of each spot below, or click the previous link to read a summary of them all.

Seafood in Pittsburgh

Sashimi at Gi-Jin - one of the best downtown Pittsburgh restaurants

Looking for a restaurant that is primarily seafood? We've got you covered with these great options!

Vegetarian / Vegan / Healthy Focused

Eastern European vegan food at Apteka

In the mood for something healthy, or perhaps even vegetarian or vegan? You may want to check out some of the following!

Please note: Some restaurants in the below list do serve meat; however, we are including them for strong healthy/vegetarian-leaning menus. Properly vegan restaurants will be noted as such after the neighborhood name.

More Pittsburgh Restaurants Coming Soon!

Duo's Taqueria in East Liberty

Our goal at Discover the Burgh is to eat at every restaurant in the greater Pittsburgh area, which we are planning to be quite the long project. If your favorite was not on the list above, it is likely because we have either not visited yet or have not published our full review from our visit.

We visit 1-3 new restaurants every week and publish full reviews shortly after, so check back soon to see where our newest additions line up!

If you have a recommendation for a place we need to prioritize, please contact us as we'd love to hear where we should go next! Many recommendations we've received have been about places we've never known about and absolutely loved, so we would love to hear from you!

Looking for more food options in the city? Be sure to check out our listing of the best Pittsburgh food trucks, Pittsburgh ice cream, as well as our selection of awesome bakeries in Pittsburgh!

If you're looking for other things to do in Pittsburgh, check out our guide to the city's best spots!

Or are you looking to visit Pittsburgh? Find the best neighborhood to stay in at the previous link.

We also have a Google Web Story for our Pittsburgh restaurant guide!

The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about Pittsburgh restaurants.

What are the best Pittsburgh restaurants?

Our Top 10 restaurants in Pittsburgh are Apteka, Pusadee's Garden, Fig & Ash, Spork, Morcilla, Gi-Jin, Gaucho, DiAnoia's, Bar Marco, and Poulet Bleu.

What are the most famous restaurants in Pittsburgh?

Primanti Brothers is famous for having fries and coleslaw on their sandwiches. Pamela's is known for their fantastic hotcakes. Beto's Pizza is known for their Ohio Valley Style slices with cold cheese and toppings.

What food is considered local to Pittsburgh?

Primanti Brothers sandwiches, a Pittsburgh salad (with fries on top), pierogies, Prantl's burnt almond torte, Pamela's hotcakes, pepperoni rolls, Ohio Valley-style pizza, Heinz ketchup, and more!

What are the best restaurant neighborhoods in Pittsburgh?

Popular neighborhoods for dining out in Pittsburgh include downtown, the Strip District, Lawrenceville, and Squirrel Hill.

What is the average price of a meal in Pittsburgh?

Without drinks, most restaurants cost under ~$75 for an appetizer and two entrees including tax and tip.