Unique Restaurants in Pittsburgh: 10 Coolest Places to Eat

by Jen
Unique Restaurants in Pittsburgh
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If you’re searching for unique restaurants in Pittsburgh, look no further! Here are 10 fun places to eat in Pittsburgh, PA.

Welcome to Pittsburgh, a city that seamlessly marries its history with a vibrant present, especially when it comes to its dining scene. Known for its iconic bridges, rivers, and a legacy steeped in steel, Pittsburgh has another delightful facet that’s waiting to be explored: its eclectic eateries.

In Pittsburgh, dining is an event, a celebration.From rooftop spots that offer breathtaking city views to cozy corners that echo traditions from around the world, Pittsburgh’s unique restaurants offer experiences that are both memorable and delicious.

If you’re in the mood for an upscale evening under the stars or a relaxed, sunlit brunch, Pittsburgh promises to satisfy. Each eatery, with its distinct ambiance and offerings, paints a vivid picture of the city’s dynamic dining landscape.

And it’s not just about the food. It’s about the vibe, the people, the nightlife, and the very essence of Pittsburgh that’s served alongside. It’s about discovering hidden gem restaurants in Pittsburgh, revisiting favorites, and being open to new foodie experiences.

So, if you’re gearing up for the ultimate culinary adventure, Pittsburgh is the place to be. With its harmonious blend of tradition and modernity, the city’s dining offerings are sure to captivate and impress. Here’s all you need to know about the most unique restaurants in Pittsburgh, PA.

The top restaurants to visit in Pittsburgh right now

Unique Restaurants in Pittsburgh

Are you ready to discover the most unique restaurants in Pittsburgh? As noted above, there’s a large variety of places to eat in Pittsburgh that will please all palates and budgets. Keep reading as we spotlight where to eat in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Are you looking for a taste of authentic Argentinean grilling? Or would you prefer a farm-to-table experience that celebrates the freshest local produce? From fiery Mexican street food to innovative dishes that spark global conversations, there’s no shortage of unique places in Pittsburgh to eat that promise a memorable meal. Here’s your in-depth guide to the most unique restaurants in Pittsburgh, PA.

1. Pusadee’s Garden

In Lawrenceville, Pusadee’s Garden stands as a beacon for Thai food enthusiasts. This spot offers an escape, with its garden setting providing a refreshing ambiance amidst the city’s hustle. Here, every meal feels like a journey to Thailand without leaving Pittsburgh!

The menu offers a vibrant array of Thai dishes that resonate with authenticity. From zesty salads to hearty mains, each item promises a burst of flavor, echoing the streets and markets of Bangkok. Fresh ingredients are the stars, ensuring that diners get a genuine taste of Thai traditions.

The outdoor setting, adorned with plants and soft lighting, complements the dining experience. It’s a space that invites relaxation, which makes it perfect for both intimate dinners and gatherings with friends.

For those on the hunt for unique restaurants in Pittsburgh that offer a blend of great food and ambiance, Pusadee’s Garden is a top pick. It’s where tradition meets modernity, creating a dining experience that lingers in memory. For the best Thai food in Pittsburgh, make sure to check this restaurant out!

Pusadee's Garden is one of the unique restaurants in Pittsburgh.
Pusadee’s Garden in Lawrenceville transports diners to Thailand with its garden oasis and authentic Thai cuisine in the heart of Pittsburgh.

2. Altius

If you’re looking for scenic restaurants in Pittsburgh, look no further. Perched high above Pittsburgh’s skyline, Altius offers a dining experience that’s truly elevated in every sense. With panoramic views of the city and its three rivers, this restaurant provides a visual feast even before the food arrives at your table.

Altius prides itself on its modern American menu, where innovation meets tradition. Diners can expect dishes that surprise and delight, with each plate showcasing a balance of textures, colors, and flavors. The chefs here take inspiration from global cuisines, adding their own unique twist to create something special.

It’s not just the food that makes Altius stand out. The sophisticated interior, with its sleek lines and contemporary design, complements the breathtaking views outside. Every seat feels like the best seat in the house, ensuring that guests enjoy both the vistas and their meals.

For travelers and locals searching for unique places in Pittsburgh to eat, Altius is the place to be. It’s a place where dining becomes an event, and every meal is accompanied by the ever-changing backdrop of Pittsburgh’s skyline.

Altius delivers an elevated dining experience with breathtaking panoramic city and river views.
Altius delivers an elevated dining experience with breathtaking panoramic city and river views.

3. The Vandal

In the heart of Lawrenceville, The Vandal is a cozy neighborhood restaurant and wine bar that offers a refreshing approach to dining. With minimalist decor and an emphasis on quality, this eatery has quickly become a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

The Vandal’s menu champions the farm-to-table philosophy. Fresh, seasonal ingredients, sourced directly from local farms, shine in dishes that strike a balance between familiar comfort and modern flair. Every dish, from starters to desserts, showcases the dedication to craft and flavor.

The ambiance complements the culinary offerings. Light-filled interiors with rustic elements provide a warm and inviting setting, perfect for any meal. Whether you’re catching up with friends over brunch or enjoying a dinner date, The Vandal promises an experience centered around exceptional food.

Seeking unique restaurants in Pittsburgh that prioritize authenticity and quality? Look no further than The Vandal, where every visit feels special and every dish is a celebration of fresh ingredients.

Know before you go: From January 17-21, 2024, The Vandal is will be offering a 3-course meal at $45.25pp in lieu of its regular menu. The beef tartare is out of this world!

The Vandal redefines dining with minimalist decor and a focus on quality, making it a beloved choice for both locals and tourists.
The Vandal redefines dining with minimalist decor and a focus on quality, making it a beloved choice for both locals and tourists.

4. Federal Galley

Federal Galley in Pittsburgh is a culinary hotspot, renowned for its unique and diverse dining options. This food hall, located in the city’s North Shore neighborhood, is a vibrant space where food enthusiasts can explore a variety of cuisines.

Federal Galley stands out for its innovative concept. It’s not just a food hall; it’s a launchpad for some of the most promising chefs and restaurateurs in Pittsburgh. This means you’re not just getting great food; you’re experiencing the cutting edge of the city’s food scene.

Federal Galley is one of the unique restaurants in Pittsburgh.
Federal Galley offers a unique experience where four chefs at a time introduce their culinary visions to food enthusiasts.

The four fun restaurants inside Federal Galley include Salute, Driven, Mijo, and Given to Fly. Here’s a snapshot of the types of food options they have:

  1. Contemporary American Cuisine: Expect creative twists on classic American dishes, often using locally sourced ingredients.
  2. Global Flavors: From authentic Asian dishes to Mediterranean-inspired menus, the global eateries here take your taste buds on a world tour.
  3. Artisanal Pizzas: Perfectly baked with a variety of toppings, these pizzas are a crowd favorite.
  4. Health-Conscious Options: For those looking for lighter or plant-based meals, there are venues dedicated to healthy eating without compromising on flavor.
  5. Craft Cocktails and Local Brews: The bar scene at Federal Galley is just as impressive, featuring innovative cocktails and a selection of local craft beers.

With its fun atmosphere and variety of food options, The Federal Galley is definitely home to some of the most fun places to eat in Pittsburgh.

Federal Galley is a fun food hall in Pittsburgh

5. Morcilla

Venturing into the historic neighborhood of Lawrenceville, one might stumble upon Morcilla, a Pittsburgh restaurant that transports diners straight to the vibrant streets of Spain. With its authentic Spanish tapas and charcuterie, Morcilla has carved a niche for itself in Pittsburgh’s dining scene.

The menu is a delightful array of small plates, each bursting with flavors reminiscent of Spanish traditions. From classic patatas bravas to mouthwatering Iberian ham, every dish promises an authentic taste of Spain. Pair these with their curated selection of Spanish wines, and you have a meal to remember.

The interiors, with rustic wood elements and warm lighting, evoke the cozy taverns of Andalusia. It’s the kind of place where laughter fills the air, and every meal turns into a celebration.

For travelers and locals alike seeking unique places in Pittsburgh for dinner, Morcilla offers an experience that’s both intimate and festive. Take it from me – every visit here is a memorable affair.

Morcilla transports diners to the vibrant streets of Spain with its authentic tapas and charcuterie.
Morcilla transports diners to the vibrant streets of Spain with its authentic tapas and charcuterie.

6. Gaucho Parilla Argentina

Wood-fired grills, aromatic smoke, and the sizzle of expertly cooked meats: welcome to Gaucho Parrilla Argentina, a slice of Argentinean heaven in Pittsburgh. Situated in the Strip District, Gaucho offers a genuine South American grilling experience that’s hard to find elsewhere in the city.

The star of the show here is undoubtedly the meat. From tender steaks to succulent sausages, every cut is grilled to perfection over wood, infusing it with a smoky flavor that’s unmistakably Argentinean. Gaucho’s menu also features a range of delicious sides, salads, and sandwiches, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

One of the standout features of Gaucho is its open kitchen design. Diners can watch as chefs masterfully handle the grills, turning every meal into a visual spectacle. Pair your meal with their selection of Argentinean wines or crafted cocktails, and you’re in for a treat.

Looking for unique places in Pittsburgh to eat with a fiery twist? Gaucho Parrilla Argentina promises an unforgettable culinary experience that’s both flavorful and fiery. Other unique restaurants in Pittsburgh truly don’t stand a chance!

Gaucho Parrilla Argentina delivers an authentic South American grilling experience with wood-fired grills and expertly cooked meats.
Gaucho Parrilla Argentina delivers an authentic South American grilling experience with wood-fired grills and expertly cooked meats.

7. Round Corner Cantina

When the craving for authentic Mexican fare hits, Round Corner Cantina in Lawrenceville is the place to be. This lively spot brings the vibrant flavors and festive spirit of Mexico right to Pittsburgh. The result is a dining experience that’s both fun and flavorful.

The menu is a fiesta of traditional Mexican dishes with a modern twist. From zesty tacos filled with a variety of fillings to refreshing ceviches that capture the essence of the sea, every dish is a celebration of bold flavors. And let’s not forget their impressive lineup of tequilas and mezcals, perfect for crafting the ultimate margarita.

One of the highlights of Round Corner Cantina is its outdoor patio. On warm evenings, it transforms into a lively hub, with patrons enjoying their meals under the stars, accompanied by upbeat music that sets the mood.

For those looking for where to eat in Pittsburgh for a genuine taste of Mexico, Round Corner Cantina is a top contender. It’s where food, drinks, and good vibes come together, promising a night to remember.

Round Corner Cantina offers an authentic Mexican dining experience that's both fun and flavorful.
Round Corner Cantina offers an authentic Mexican dining experience that’s both fun and flavorful.

8. Casbah

Casbah, nestled in Pittsburgh’s vibrant Shadyside neighborhood, stands out as a foodie hotspot. It’s renowned for its sophisticated yet inviting atmosphere and its exceptional Mediterranean-inspired cuisine.

What makes Casbah special? Its charm lies in its art deco vibe and colorful lights. The interior exudes elegance with its rich, earthy tones and stylish decor, creating a cozy yet refined setting. In warmer months, the patio transforms into a delightful outdoor dining space, adding to its allure.

Casbah’s menu is a celebration of Mediterranean flavors, offering a contemporary twist on traditional dishes. The kitchen focuses on using fresh, high-quality ingredients to create a range of dishes that are both flavorful and beautifully presented. From savory pastas to expertly grilled meats and fresh seafood, each dish is a testament to the culinary prowess of the chefs.

Complementing the food is an extensive wine list, featuring selections that perfectly pair with the Mediterranean fare. The cocktail menu is equally impressive, with expertly crafted drinks that are both innovative and classic. Is this one of the most fun restaurants in Pittsburgh? You bet!

Casbah is a cool themed restaurant in Pittsburgh

9. Fig & Ash

Fig & Ash, a best restaurant in Pittsburgh’s North Side, is quickly gaining acclaim as one of the city’s coolest restaurants. This eatery stands out for its commitment to wood-fired cooking, offering a unique and flavorful dining experience.

What makes Fig & Ash unique? The heart of the restaurant is its custom-built, wood-fired grill and oven. This method of cooking infuses dishes with a distinctive, smoky flavor that can’t be replicated with traditional cooking methods. The ambiance complements this rustic approach, featuring a warm, inviting interior with natural wood and industrial accents.

Fig & Ash’s menu is a celebration of American cuisine with a creative twist. The focus is on locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, ensuring each dish is fresh and of the highest quality. Expect a range of offerings from wood-fired pizzas with innovative toppings to hearty, gourmet entrees like smoked brisket or wood-grilled fish. The menu changes seasonally, reflecting the best of what’s available.

With its quirky food offerings and mash-up between American and European culinary influences, this is a top place to eat in PGH in 2024.

Fig and Ash restaurant interior decor

10. The Forge

The Forge, nestled in Pittsburgh’s thriving culinary landscape, stands out as a beacon of innovation and flavor. Located in the heart of the city, this restaurant is celebrated for its unique approach to modern American cuisine.

What sets The Forge apart? Its menu is a masterpiece of creativity, blending classic techniques with contemporary flair. The chefs at The Forge are artisans, crafting dishes that are as visually stunning as they are delicious. They prioritize locally sourced ingredients, ensuring each dish is fresh and supports local producers.

The Forge’s interior is a blend of rustic charm and industrial chic, creating an atmosphere that’s both cozy and stylish. The open kitchen adds an element of excitement, allowing diners to witness the culinary magic firsthand.

Expect an array of innovative dishes, from succulent meats cooked to perfection to fresh, vibrant salads. The dessert menu is a dream for sweet lovers, featuring unique creations that change regularly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Unique Restaurants in Pittsburgh

Are you searching for more information about where to eat in Pittsburgh? Here are some common questions (and answers) I get asked a lot about Pittsburgh’s most unusual restaurants.

What food is iconic to Pittsburgh?

Pittsburgh boasts a rich culinary heritage, with several dishes that have become synonymous with the city. If you’re keen to sample Pittsburgh’s best food, here are some must-tries:

  1. Pittsburgh Salad: A hearty salad topped with crispy French fries. It’s a delightful mix of fresh veggies and indulgent fries, making it a favorite among locals and visitors.
  2. Pierogies: These delicious dumplings of Central and Eastern European origin have found a special place in Pittsburgh’s heart. Stuffed with various fillings like potato, cheese, and meat, they’re a comfort food staple.
  3. Primanti Bros. Sandwich: A legendary sandwich loaded with meat, coleslaw, tomatoes, and, yes, French fries. It’s a full meal between two slices of bread!
  4. Chipped Chopped Ham Sandwich: Thinly sliced ham, cooked up with a tangy sauce and served on a bun. Simple, yet oh-so-delicious.

What is the restaurant in Pittsburgh that looks like a castle?

That would be The Grand Concourse. Located in Station Square, this stunning restaurant is housed in a former train station. With its majestic architecture, high ceilings, and elegant decor, it truly resembles a castle. It’s one of the best fine dining restaurants in Pittsburgh, offering a mix of seafood, steaks, and classic American dishes in a regal setting.

The Grand Concourse is a luxurious dining establishment that features a magnificent interior.
The Grand Concourse is a luxurious dining establishment that features a magnificent interior.

Is Pittsburgh a foodie city?

Absolutely! Pittsburgh has rapidly evolved into a culinary hotspot, offering everything from cheap eats to upscale dining experiences. The city’s dining scene reflects its diverse cultural influences, with a range of cuisines available to satisfy any palate. From hidden gem restaurants in Pittsburgh to popular eateries that have garnered national attention, there’s no shortage of delicious options. Whether you’re a fan of traditional American fare, international cuisines, or innovative fusion dishes, Pittsburgh promises a gastronomic adventure like no other. As such, there are so many unique restaurants in Pittsburgh that are worth visiting.

How diverse is the restaurant scene in Pittsburgh?

Pittsburgh’s restaurant scene is a melting pot of cultures and flavors. From vegan restaurants in Pittsburgh to authentic international eateries, the city offers a culinary journey around the world. Whether you’re craving Italian, Asian, Middle Eastern, or Latin American dishes, Pittsburgh has a spot that’ll hit the mark. Plus, with a growing number of fusion restaurants, there’s always something new and exciting to try.

Where can I find themed restaurants in the city?

If you’re looking for themed restaurants in Pittsburgh, PA, you’re in for a treat! The city boasts several establishments that offer more than just food – they provide a complete immersive experience. From retro diners that transport you back in time to quirky spots inspired by pop culture, there’s a themed restaurant to match every mood and preference. Just wander around the city, and you’re bound to stumble upon a unique dining experience that’s both entertaining and delicious.

Are there any must-visit waterfront dining spots in Pittsburgh?

Given its location at the confluence of three rivers, Pittsburgh offers some stunning waterfront dining options. Many of these spots are considered Pittsburgh’s coolest restaurants because of their scenic views. Enjoying a meal while overlooking the water, especially during sunset, is a magical experience.

Pittsburgh’s Most Unique Restaurants: Final Comments

Pittsburgh’s dining scene is nothing short of spectacular. From the smoky flavors of Gaucho Parrilla Argentina to the innovative concept of Federal Galley, the city offers a culinary adventure at every turn. It’s not just about the high-end spots like The Grand Concourse. Places like Primanti Bros Restaurant and Bar prove that delicious doesn’t always mean expensive.

Each restaurant we’ve highlighted brings its own unique charm to the table. Be it the farm-fresh offerings of The Vandal or the vibrant street food vibe of Round Corner Cantina, there’s something for everyone. And the best part? This city caters to all tastes and budgets.

To sum it up, Pittsburgh is a food lover’s dream. If you haven’t explored Pittsburgh’s restaurants yet, you’re in for a delightful surprise. Bon appétit!

The top restaurants in Pittsburgh for all types of travelers
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