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Jul 11, 2008 08:35 AM

Week in Pittsburgh, No Car

I'll be in Pittsurgh (staying at the Sheraton in Station Square) for a week. During the day my husband and friends will be at a conference, so I'm on my own without a car until early evenings. I've never before been to Pittsburgh. Any suggestions on what to do/eat? I'd like a good (preferably healthy) breakfast place, a cafes for tea, places for lunch, general, delicious food where one would feel comfortable dining alone...thanks!! Also, any dinner suggestions are appreciated, too!

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  1. You will be ok. There are many options at Station Square. None of them good though. The good news is you have a very nice walkway down the river along Carson Street. In less than fifteen minutes you can be at the heart of the South Side. That being said, you can have great, great beers and decent food at Smokin Joes and Fat Heads. Both are in the 1800-1900 block of East Carson. Thai Me Up on the 1900 block has the best Thai is Pittsburgh, and they have lunch specials. There is a diner, Tom's? I believe closer to the 1400 block. And you can head over the Smithfield Street bridge to the PPG Place where there is always a lot going on. Pittsburgh is easy to navigate, just stick with the buses. your hotel can direct you. good luck. try to get to the Strip District but I'm sure you'll get more responses about that.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Mr Siegal

      I wouldn't go so far as to say "none of them (restos in Station Sq.) are good". True that none are great and a many are outright lousy (don't know about tea, but I'd skip all the coffee around there), but I've had decent lunches at both Bar Louie and the Grand Concourse. Albeit both are small chains, and maybe a bit more expensive than a neighborhood joint, but if one isn't up for a 15 minute walk to the action, both will do.

      You can also take the incline up to Mt. Washington where there are plenty of places for a drink or lunch. Or just go up there for the sake of going on the incline and the view. That's a quintessential Pittsburgh thing to do.

    2. There are some good restaurants where you can eat at the bar. Dish and Bruschetta's both have nice bars where you could eat alone.

      1 Reply
      1. re: frank007

        You probably don't have to sit at the bar for lunch or late lunch too many places. This is Pittsburgh, after all.

      2. Make PAT Bus your friend. You're pretty much in the hear of Chain hell in Station Square. I agree with others, get yourself to South Side and/or the Strip District.

        See this post for some ideas in Strip. Try Pamela's in the Strip District for breakfas, namely the crepe like pancakes. It's really good, not healthy though, sorry. For really good coffee and tea just next door to Pamela's is 21st Street Coffee and Tea. They have free wi fi too.

        The Strip:

        And here for South Side:

        9 Replies
        1. re: Rick

          Actually, Rick's PAT suggestion gave me another idea - use the T (Trolley) and go to Mt. Lebanon in the South Hills. There's a station right in Station Square. Get off at the Mt. Lebanon stop, there's Bistro 19, Il Pizzaiolo, Little Tokyo, Aladdin's, an Enrico Biscotti outpost, Molly Brannigan's, galleries, bakeries, coffeehouses and niche botiques. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.

            1. re: yayadave

              Yes, Sesame Inn. Much, much better in Mt. Lebo than their location in McMurray. Also didn't mention Caruso's and Mineo's for pizza by the slice and the new Pamela's for breakfast.

              1. re: Panini Guy

                Ah ha!! I did not know that about Pamela's. Just another inducement to spend a little time in Mt. Lebanon.

            2. re: Panini Guy

              Didn't realize the T stopped in Mt. Lebanon! That would also be a great way to spend a day.

              1. re: Rick

                Panini Guy makes a great recommendation on taking the T to the South Hills, just be sure to take the 42 (NOT the 47) and enjoy many of the older city neighborhoods along the way. Also, be sure to check out Aldo Coffee, one of the best coffeehouses in the city.

                1. re: k squared

                  42 s. there is also a 42 L, so make sure to take the S. otherwise you wont end up where you want

            3. re: Rick

              If you make it to the Strip, you must make it to La Prima Espresso (on 21st or 22nd). Incredible cappuccino, and attached to it is Colangelo's, where you can get some delicious pastries and lunch items. A delicious lunch can also be had at Penn Ave. Fish Company just down the street. The fish taco (which is not your traditional southern california-style, but is actually in a hard shell with a mix of chunks of salmon and other seafood) is fantastic, and the sushi is good.

              Enrico's Biscotti right there on Penn also has a great little cafe behind it that is just a very comfortable, nice place to enjoy lunch.


              Apparently if you show up for breakfast by 10:00 a.m., you might be able to take a bread-making class.

              1. re: Whigsboy

                Also for breakfast, there's Pamela's on 21st Street. Great Tex-Mex omelet and pancakes as big as the plate. (but thin) They must serve lunch, but I've never had it there. TeeHee Chocolate shop on 21st street, too.

                Actually, you could spend a day at the strip. There's the Heinz History Museum along with restaurants high class and low down, and food stores and gadget shops.

            4. Thank you everyone! I very much appreciate all your suggestions. Headed off to Pittsburgh today and eager to try out your public transport system and all the recommendations. Thanks, again!

              1. If you are up for a really great, authentic Mexican lunch, walk over the Smithfield Street Bridge (right next to Station Square) and find Mexico City at 111 Smithfield Street. I always order lamb enchildas with pumpkin seed mole. YUM. The enchiladas are listed on the menu as beef/chicken/cheese only, but you can ask your server if you can substitute. It's usually $1 more, but highly worth it. Chips and salsa are first rate, and complimentary, to boot.
                If you are up for inexpensive Indian food, Sree's on the corner of Smithfield and Liberty is delicious. It's sort of cafeteria style and might seem kind of scary when you first walk in, but the food is very fresh and healthy. All of the vegetarian dishes are vegan, and they also serve excellent curry chicken. You can get a huge lunch for only $5. If you eat there on a Monday or a Friday, the tomato dal is great. (menu changes every day)
                For dinner, try Seviche ( tapas bar downtown at 930 Penn Avenue. Delicious seviche, other Latin American cuisine and good drinks.
                Other good dinner places that aren't too far are Eleven and Kaya, both in the Strip District. They are both operated by the same restaurant group...go to and click on those two restaurants.
                Have fun in the 'burgh!

                2 Replies
                1. re: boomfleisher

                  Thanks, boomfleisher! Had a very tasty (and cheap!) late lunch at Mexico City - guacamole (made at the table), fresh Soupa de tortilla (rich and delicious) and a chicken taco...and a tamarind Jarrito because I love those yucky things. My husband had a spicy shrimp and rice dish that was also very good and wicked hot. Great find, thanks for the suggestions!

                  1. re: RoseLokoum

                    No problem...glad you enjoyed! I forgot to mention that they make the guacamole tableside - delicious. I'll have to try the Soupa de tortilla sometime...