There’s a reason why Pittsburgh has been named a top city for foodies. Its chefs are regularly nominated for James Beard Foundation awards (three were semifinalists in 2019), and its restaurants reflect the innovation that has become the city’s hallmark. While many new restaurants open here each year, many have been around long enough to become cherished dining spots. From fine dining restaurants to Mexican eateries, here are Pittsburgh's best restaurants.
Altius on Mt. Washington is one of those "special occasion" type restaurants. Using organic and locally-sourced products, chef Jessica Bauer cooks up a delectable array of contemporary dishes. Entrées include the rack of lamb, served with celery root purée and crispy veggies, and the Hokkaido scallops. For non-meat eaters, try the falafel with fava bean hummus and saffron rice.
This super small, colorful South Side restaurant specializes in Mexican street fare—specifically tacos. You've got your pick of fillings: carnitas, fried cod, smoked chicken, and potato (among others). If you need something extra to snack on, loaded nachos, street corn, and chips and salsa round out the menu. There's a second location in the North Hills, plus a food truck for events.
Casbah is a Mediterranean eatery with an art deco interior and airy patio. You'll find a lovely variety of cheese plates to share, plus short rib ravioli, duck confit gnocchi, and butternut squash risotto—each served with homemade bread to munch on. Casbah has an extensive wine selection, so consider ordering one of the wine flights if you want to sample a few.
Located in a renovated warehouse bordering Downtown and the Strip District, this fine dining restaurant dishes out a rotating menu of New American cuisine. Here, you can order entrées like the lamb loin or jumbo lump crab linguine à la carte, or opt for a prix fixe dinner menu. If you're looking for something a bit more low-key, head to the bar, where you'll find everything from fried cheese curds to braised veal burgers and lobster rolls.
For upscale dining unlike anywhere else, drive about an hour-and-a-half to Nemacolin Woodlands Resort’s Lautrec in the Laurel Highlands. Chef Kristin Butterworth constantly switches up the menu to highlight seasonal ingredients, but you can be sure to expect fare such as oven-roasted Wagyu beef and black truffle pasta. You have your pick of wine to pair your meal with, as this four-star restaurant has over 1,200 bottles to choose from. Reservations are a must, and if you cancel you might be subject to paying a $25 fee.
If you like authentic Italian food, you're in luck: Pittsburghers consistently rank DiAnoia’s Eatery among the city’s best restaurants. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the possibilities here certainly seem endless. From breakfast pizza and prosciutto panini to house-made pastas and savory meats, you're bound to find something to meet your fancy here.
At Morcilla, chef and butcher Justin Severino offers up small plates and family-style meals with a Spanish flair. There is an extensive list of snacks and pinxtos (which includes the likes of lavender sugar-coated Marcona almonds, fried artichokes, and beef tartare), as well as larger plates to share. Between the lamb tagine and crispy pork roast, you can't go wrong here.
With booths, bistro tables, and live jazz music every night, you might be forgiven for thinking this speakeasy-style locale is only about the soulful tunes—but Con Alma also serves up an outstanding mix of Mexican, South American, and Caribbean food. Get started with the mango guacamole, which pairs perfectly well with the jerk chicken tacos or mint ceviche. Or, go for the classic Jamaican dinner, complete with beef patty, macaroni pie, and sweet plantains. House cocktails include jazzed-up creations such as Some Like it Hot (vodka, Fuji apples, and habanero), or the Carrot Sangrita (mezcal, agave, carrots, and jalapeño peppers).
Senti is a taste of Italy in Pittsburgh's artsy Lawrenceville district. You can pour your own glass at an automated dispenser in the wine bar, and the menu offerings—from the roasted squash ravioli to the red wine-braised short ribs— are simple yet exquisite. Desserts include tiramisu, chocolate bread pudding, and an olive oil almond cake.
For a classy night out, look no further than Spoon. Order a craft cocktail (we recommend the Blue Dream, infused with Pittsburgh’s Maggie’s Farm spiced rum) or a glass of wine to sip on while you wait for your meal. Entrées include miso-glazed black cod, shellfish stew, and lamb shank with mushroom risotto.
Monterey Bay Fish Grotto might be known for its crab cakes, but they also have a delicious selection of oysters (grilled and on the half-shell), fresh fish, and steaks. Don't know where to start? Try the she-crab bisque, made with cream sherry and crème fraiche. Expect to pay more at this white-tablecloth restaurant, which has famed Mt. Washington views from two levels.
When Chef Kevin Sousa conceptualized Superior Motors, his project became Kickstarter’s biggest restaurant campaign. Located in a former car dealership in Braddock, this fine-dining restaurant serves up dishes that couldn't possibly be any fresher—which makes sense, considering the fact that they grow some of their own food. The menu is quite varied, and features everything from beef tartare to poké and smoked potatoes.
This Japanese pub serves late-night meals along with sake, Japanese beer, and beautifully-named cocktails like Falling Petal and Flower in Winter. Chef Roger Li built the menu around savory street food, with delicacies such as Wagyu beef and whole squid on offer. There’s a good selection of sashimi, nigiri, temaki (hand rolls), onigiri (rice balls), and fish plates as well.
Smallman Galley in the Strip District essentially plays host to four pop-up restaurants, each one led by a chef trying out a new concept. Chefs compete for spots, so be prepared for truly exceptional food. Check the Smallman Gallery website to see the current lineup of options. There are also coffee and cocktail bars should you need a pick-me-up.