When it comes to Pittsburgh restaurants, we are fortunate to be home to some of the country’s best. From the local favorites, hole-in-the-wall international restaurants 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 email email@example.com.
A note about our rankings – Our reviews are lumped into five major categories including “the very best,” “great,” “pretty good,” “average,” and “least favorite.” We recommend using these distinctions as your overall guide.
Restaurants are organized in descending order based in each category on our preference, but keep in mind that the differences between one at the top and bottom in any given category are minimal and we periodically reorganize over time.
The Top 10 Restaurants in Pittsburgh
The following is 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.
1. Kaya – Strip District – Caribbean fare with the best burger and sweet potato fries in the city of Pittsburgh.
2. La Tavola – Mount Washington – Italian/Sicilian restaurant with authentic recipes and amazing desserts.
3. Cure – Lawrenceville – Cured meats, inventive cuisine, and overall one incredible menu.
4. Gaucho Parrilla Argentina – Strip District – Argentinian meats done right in sandwich form (and on their own).
5. Smallman Galley – Strip District – A unique food hall featuring four chefs, each with their own incredible menus.
6. Umami – Lawrenceville – Japanese food you’ve likely never had before in an amazing bar setting.
7. Morcilla – Lawrenceville – Spanish tapas bar with gourmet pintxos and small plates.
8. Bar Marco – Strip District – Modern American, craft cocktails, but rather expensive.
9. Apteka – Bloomfield – Eastern European, vegan meals coupled with a wonderful bar.
10. Or, the Whale – Downtown – Trendy seafood and chophouse in downtown Pittsburgh.
Great Meals in Pittsburgh
If you want to be able to order anything from a menu and anticipate it being good, these restaurants should have it. If a restaurant achieves this rating then it is guaranteed that we will go back to try more at some point in the future.
These are also the first we pull out when asked “where to eat in [neighborhood]” without knowing anymore about what you’re looking for.
- tako – Downtown – Upscale Mexican
- Park Bruges – Highland Park – Belgian
- Point Brugge – Point Breeze – Belgian
- Noodlehead – Shadyside – Thai
- Threadbare – North Side – Pizza
- Better Maid Donut – Crafton Heights – Donuts
- The Harmony Inn – Harmony, PA – German
- Federal Galley – North Side – Mix of Stalls
- Pizzaiolo Primo – Downtown – Italian / Pizza
- Altius – Mount Washington – Fine Dining
- Teppanyaki Kyoto – Highland Park – Japanese
- Golden Pig – Cecil, PA – Korean
- Coca Cafe – Lawrenceville – Brunch
- Poros – Market Square – Greek / Seafood
- Istanbul Sofra – Regent Square – Turkish
- Baby Loves Tacos – Bloomfield – Tacos and Burritos
- Jozsa Corner – Hazelwood – Hungarian
- Cafe on Main – Sharpsburg – Brunch
- Udipi Cafe – Monroeville – Indian
- Soba – Shadyside – Asian
- Ineffable Ca Phe – Lawrenceville – Vietnamese
- Penn Avenue Fish Co. – Strip District – Seafood
- Butcher and the Rye – Downtown – Modern American
- Tessaro’s – Bloomfield – Burgers
- Eleven – Strip District – Fine Dining
- Braddock’s Street Side – Downtown – Modern American
- Oishii Bento – Oakland – Japanese
- Nicky’s Thai Kitchen – North Side and Downtown – Thai
- Everyday Noodles – Squirrel Hill – Taiwanese
- Sienna Mercato – Downtown – Multiple
- Spork – Bloomfield – Tapas/Italian/Modern
- Smoke Taqueria – Lawrenceville – Modern American (Tacos)
- Ephesus Pizza – Downtown, Aspinwall, and Bellevue – Turkish / Pizza
- Pamela’s P&G Diner – Various Locations – Breakfast / Brunch
- Pork and Beans – Downtown – Barbecue
Pretty Good Meals in Pittsburgh
Restaurants that fall into this category are generally recommended if you are in the mood for a specific entree or cuisine style. They entire menu may not be astounding (although it certainly could be), they may not have the best service, or even be a place you dream of eating at more frequently, but it’ll be a good meal if you need to satisfy a more specific craving.
In many cases meals in this category can be just as good as the above “great” category, but come with a few more distinctions for what to look for. These are the ones we recommend when being asked for “where to eat [cuisine type] in [neighborhood]” in more detail than the previous category.
- Bills Bar & Burger – Downtown – Burgers and Brunch
- Casbah – Shadyside – Mediterranean
- Pittsburgh Barbecue Company – Banksville and Murrysville – Barbecue
- Onion Maiden – Allentown – Vegan
- The Grand Concourse – South Side – Brunch
- Burgatory Bar – Various Locations – Burgers
- Pusadee’s Garden – Lawrenceville – Thai
- Bier’s Pub – North Side – Burgers
- Muddy Waters Oyster Bar – East Liberty – Seafood
- Two Brothers Bar-B-Q – Presto – Barbecue
- Nu Bistro – Squirrel Hill – Jewish / Sandwiches
- Max’s Allegheny Tavern – North Side – German
- Cafe io – Mount Lebanon – American
- Slice on Broadway – Beechview – Pizza
- Dive Bar – Lawrenceville and South Side – Modern American
- Big Jim’s in the Run – Four Mile Run – Italian and American
- Piccolo Forno – Lawrenceville – Italian
- Butterjoint – North Oakland – Burgers and Pierogies
- La Palapa – South Side – Mexican
- Johnny’s Diner – West End – Breakfast
- Bubba’s – Pizza and Polish – Greensburg
- Union Standard – Downtown – American
- Station – Bloomfield – Modern American
- Scratch – Troy Hill – Modern American
- Badamo’s Pizza – North Side and Mt. Lebanon – Pizza
- The Vandal – Lawrenceville – Modern American
- Proper Brick Oven – Downtown – Italian / Pizza
- Monterey Pub – North Side – Irish Pub
- Huszar – North Side – Hungarian
- Condado Taqueria – Downtown – Tacos
- Dinette – East Liberty – Pizza and Small Plates
- Fiori’s Pizzaria – Brookline – Pizza
- Brian’s Barbecue – Finleyville – Barbecue
- D’s Six Pack and Dogz – Regent Square – Hot Dogs / Burgers
- Merchant Oyster Co. – Lawrenceville – Seafood
- Peppi’s Old Tyme Sandwich Shop – Various Locations – Sandwiches
- Quik-It Chicken – North Side – Fried Chicken / BBQ
- The Porch – Oakland – American
- Royal Myanmar – West View – Burmese
- Caliente Pizza and Draft House – Bloomfield – Pizza
- Lidia’s – Strip District – Italian
- Joe & Pie – Downtown – Pizza
- Eighth & Hays – Homestead – Wine Bar / Modern American
- Taiwanese Bistro Cafe 33 – Squirrel Hill – Taiwanese
- DeMore’s Pizza – Millvale – Pizza
- El Burro – North Side – Mexican
- Police Station Pizza – Robinson Township – Pizza
- Kavsar – Mount Washington – Uzbek
- Tram’s Kitchen – Bloomfield – Vietnamese
- Superior Motors – Braddock – Fine Dining
- Bakn – Carnegie – Brunch and American
- The Original Oyster House – Downtown – Fried Seafood
- Beto’s Pizza – Beechview – Pizza
Average Meals in Pittsburgh
Although we’d call them average, odds are good if a restaurant’s offering fell into this range there were some good components and some bad. Most restaurants here we may not fully recommend from a personal standpoint, but there could be reasons we’d go back for a re-try (such as seeing a dish next to us that looked amazing, new menu items being added, etc).
Generally speaking, we walk out of these saying the meal was “fine” with little fanfare beyond that.
The following restaurants are also places we could recommend to specific people if we knew they had different tastes than us. When reading our reviews, odds are good you will know if this is you and some of the following could be worth checking out.
- Banh Mi & Ti – Lawrenceville – Vietnamese
- Waffles, INCaffeinated – South Side – Breakfast / Brunch
- Revel and Roost – Downtown – Modern American
- Spak Brothers – Garfield – Pizza
- The Yard – Shadyside and Downtown – Grilled Cheese / American
- Rowdy BBQ – South Hills – Barbecue
- City Works – Market Square – American
- Needle and Pin – Dormont – English and Indian
- Spirit and Slice Island Pizza – Lawrenceville – Pizza
- Industry Public House – Lawrenceville – American
- The Abbey on Butler Street – Lawrenceville – Pub Fare
- Pizza Parma – Downtown – Pizza
- Grandma B’s – Hill District – Breakfast
- Blue Dust – Homestead – Sandwiches
- The Pub Chip Shop – South Side – British
- Chengdu Gourmet – Squirrel Hill – Chinese
- Primanti Brothers – Strip District (and Various Locations) – Sandwiches
- Giovanni’s Pizza – Dormont – Pizza
- Wilson’s Bar-B-Q – North Side – BBQ
- Streets on Carson – South Side – International
- Square Cafe – Regent Square – Breakfast / Brunch
- Lola Bistro – North Side – International
- Zen Asian – Lawrenceville – Chinese
- Casa Reyna’s – Strip District – Mexican
- Double Wide Grill – South Side – American / BBQ
- Doughboy’s Pizza – McKee’s Rocks
Our Least Favorite Meals in Pittsburgh
When it comes to bad meals, a restaurant has to miss just about everything for it to be featured here. Generally speaking, the entrees we tried had little to no redeeming factors, and the meals of others next to us (when available) did not look that inspiring either to warrant a second try.
- Caffe Mona – Bloomfield – Brunch
- Pizza Fiesta – Multiple Locations – Pizza
- Subba Asian – North Side – Nepali
- Mendoza Express – East Carnegie – Mexican/Tex Mex
- Doce Taqueria – South Side – Tacos
- Fuel and Fuddle – Oakland – American
- Pho Van – Strip District – Vietnamese
- Barb’s Corner Kitchen – Lawrenceville – Breakfast/Diner
- BRGR – East Liberty – Burgers
- NOLA on the Square – Downtown – American
Restaurants That Are Now Closed
Not every restaurant can make it as a business in this great city. Over time some of the restaurants we review may close down permanently. Rather than deleting the review from our site, they will be moved here in case you are interested in what used to be!
- James Street Gastropub – North Side – American – Closed November 2017
- Upper Crust Italian Bistro – Washington – Pizza and Italian –
Relocated to The Washington Brewing Company with similar menu in late 2017
- Thin Man Sandwich Shop – Strip District – Sandwiches – Closed September 2017
- Conflict Kitchen – Oakland – Rotating International –Closed May 2017
- Smoq Pitt BBQ – Brookline – Barbecue – Closed January 2017
- Grit & Grace – Downtown – Asian – Closed January 2017
- Bread and Salt Bakery – Bloomfield – Closed February 2016
- Verde Mexican Kitchen & Cantina – Garfield – Closed September 2015
- Tartine – West End – Closed mid-2016
Check back soon as we add Pittsburgh restaurant reviews every week as we eat our way around the city!
Looking for more food options in the city? Be sure to check out our listing of the best Pittsburgh food trucks which features a collection of our favorite local trucks, carts, and street vendors as well as our selection of awesome bakeries in Pittsburgh! Or if you’re looking for other things to do in Pittsburgh, check out our guide to the city’s best spots!
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