If your hotel is in downtown Pittsburgh, you are sure to be on the hunt for good places to stop for lunch during your excursions of discovery. And if you are staying outside of downtown but are there checking out Point State Park, Mellon Square, the Andy Warhol Museum, the Heinz History Center or just taking in the scene, you will be in need of some rest and refreshment around lunchtime.
The revitalization of Market Square has sparked a new crop of breakfast and lunch restaurants in downtown Pittsburgh. Whether you're looking for a gourmet burger, a unique sandwich or a healthy salad, there are plenty of great places to choose from.
Healthful salads, unique sandwiches, and great coffee have quickly made Bluebird Kitchen a staple for breakfast and lunch in Market Square. Gourmet cookies, brownies, tarts and even whoopie pies can also be found here, all made fresh in-house. And as a bonus, Bluebird Kitchen delivers downtown if you want to eat in your hotel room.
Tucked into a corner of Market Square, this gourmet burger establishment is best known for its Shipwrecked Burger with its Brie cheese, caramelized onions, bacon, arugula, and white truffle aioli. Winghart's has plenty of other gourmet burger options as well, plus a Beretta veggie burger and wood-fired pizzas for those who want something other than red meat. Winghart's prides itself on making everything in-house and treats bar food like fine dining when it comes to ingredients and care in preparation.
If you're looking for both cheap and quick, don't miss Apollo Cafe, located midway between Macy's and the City-County Building. This Pittsburgh staple is best known for its homemade soups, hummus, and Greek salad and offers a long list of hot and cold sandwiches, salads and soups.
The downtown location of Istanbul Grille is nondescript and doesn't offer seating, although there is a courtyard with tables nearby. However, its smorgasbord of Turkish foods, made fresh daily by hand, gets consistently good reviews from diners and is reasonably priced to boot. So if you are an aficionado of Turkish food, ignore the lack of decor and seating and just indulge.
Vegetarians especially will rejoice at the authentic Indian cuisine available at Sree's Foods on Smithfield Street downtown. Every menu option is vegetarian, plus the samosas and bread are vegan-friendly, too.
It's fast, it's fresh, and it has two locations in downtown Pittsburgh. Chow down without guilt on creative salads—Thai-inspired, Cobb, Southwest or steak and blue cheese—are some of the choices. Or choose a grain bowl of barley, brown and basmati rice mixed with fixings of your choice. Sandwiches heavy on the healthy like veggie, Southwest egg salad and chicken and hummus are other tasty options.
August Henry's is the place to go if you and your companions can't agree on what you want for lunch. It has a wide menu that offers a huge array of appetizers that includes pulled pork nachos, Pittsburgh pierogies, flatbreads, wings, potato skins, loaded french fries and crab cakes. You could make a great lunch of any of those. Or choose from a long list of meal-size salads that include crab cake salad and Buffalo chicken salad, among others. Then there are the burgers—build your own or pick one of the special house gourmets on the menu. The menu also offers up a huge list of sandwiches like Pittsburgh chicken cheese steak, eggplant Parmesan, Reuben, Cuban, and fish, and chips, among many other choices.