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Apr 6, 2007 10:39 AM

Pittsburgh Gems

Hello All,

I will be travelling to Pittsburgh next week and am looking for some recommendations on places with great food and atmosphere. The catch is that I need places within walking distance of my downtown hotel (Omni) as I won't have much free time to venture around and will be without a car. Bear in mind that, being a New Yorker, walking distance to me can include 20 to 30 minutes.

I need places for a few lunches and a couple of dinners, and amybe even breakfast. I'm definitely interested in heading over to the Strip District or where the funiculars are if there are places in those areas worth checking out. I like all types of food, but would like to do italian or a place that features local brews on tap. Price point isn't much of a concern, though I'd like to keep dinners under $30 with drinks, tax and tip if I can.

Also, I did make time to take in a Pirates game and check out the new park, so is there anything within the stadium I should make a bee line for, or just go with the hot dog stand?

In the event that I can make it to the Warhol Museum, are there any recommendations for lunch or dinner around there?

Thanks to all in advance.

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  1. Well, apart from the fact that nothing here will likely impress the New Yorker (maybe we could impress you enough to believe it's not a total wasteland, but that's about it), the tough point in your post to me is the no car and $30 at dinner. That is pretty tough to do downtown. Someplace like Tonic (note, I haven't been, and I'm not sure of the Chowhound consensus on that place) might work, but the usual downtown recommendations like Sonoma Grille are going to be over that budget (maybe worth it though). Over in the strip you might get close to that limit at Kaya but probably still over. Eleven (same restaurant group) would be over. Lidia's, maybe? Probably over but hey, still Pittsburgh prices not New York. ;-) Hate to be singling out places I haven't been yet. Of what I've mentioned so far I've only been to Sonoma Grille. Oh, you might get out of Six Penn Kitchen for that low. I've only been there for lunch.

    If you want to get really crazy you might be able to walk to Bloomfield in about half an hour. I dunno. Longer than anyone in Pittsburgh would think of walking, but for you maybe okay. You could get as far as The Church at least I'm sure.

    There are places to eat at $30/below for dinner, sure, even downtown. It's just that most of them really aren't worth singling out. I mean, Chinatown Inn is pretty good for Chinese, but when you're from New York, that's just a silly recommendation! It's been a while since I went to Lemongrass Cafe. Not sure how they're doing, but I used to enjoy that food well enough for lunch. New places Mexico City and Sukhothai have been reported as good. Those could work for a lower priced dinner or for lunch. For a Pittsburgh institution, you might want to make one of your lunches a Primanti Bros sandwich. Not a culinary event exactly, just a weirdo sandwich style, some love it, some hate it, I'm kinda in the middle (haven't had one in quite some time). Try to get to the original Strip location if you can for most authentic atmosphere.

    I'm sure others will chime in with more. If you make it to the Warhol, someone recommended the New Moon asian restaurant just around the back of the place less than a block away. At PNC you can get the usual stuff. You can get a Primanti's there as well, or you can get any of this new stuff they're doing this year

    Hope this helps at least a little.

    2 Replies
    1. re: CrazyOne

      WIth price not being of much concern I'm not sure how you want dinner to inlude tax, tip, AND drink for under $30.

      1. re: Rick

        Thank you for the recommendations and thoughts. I figure my budget is really $30 to $40 (which sharing an appetizer, having an entree in the teens and a beer/glass of wine should be manageable). I am on the company's budget, but I don't like to take too much advantage. That said I would like to have one great meal while in town, for which there is not a budget. I really enjoy small, neighborhood eateries and anything ethnic is great by me. I might haveto check out Lemongrass grill and New Moon. Let me know if you have any other recs.

        Thank you CrazyOne for that great link to the newspaper article about new food options at the Park. I am certainly looking forward to exploring and having a some beers.

    2. Re: Pirates game and PNC Park food - yeah, eat in the park. It's not too outrageously priced as ballpark food goes, and if selected well, can be pretty good. Manny's BBQ area in left field (owned/operated by former Bucs catcher Manny Sanguillen) is a good place to start. Many places in the park also offer Penn Pilsner, which is a good local brew.

      On the other end of the spectrum, you can get $1 no-frills dogs is the kids area off Gen. Robinson St.