Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Pennsylvania >
Sep 9, 2008 01:05 PM

Pittsburgh for the Weekend need some RECS

What's up guys,

Never been to PA, I am from CT and I will be in Pittsburgh on Oct 25-27 for the Giants Steelers game, (I'm a diehard Giants fan and my girl is a Steelers fan) and we need some recs for the meals. (2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 2 dinners) Not looking for anything fancy just good local places. My only definite so far is Tessaro's I don't wanna miss that burger! Other places I was thinking about after reading other posts were Deluca's, Pamela's, Primanti's, Peppi's (for a "Roethlisburger" are they worth it or no with the limited time we have), and Fatheads. What places should be added or taken away. Any help would be great. Thanks in advance for any help anyone can give us.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. DeLuca's is a great choice for a city "diner" experience. Pamela's probably the better option overall with a more whimsical, fun atmosphere. Hey, 2 breakfasts in the burgh, right? I'd save your coffee for either La Prima Espresso or 21st, both very close. Also close, cruise into Enrico Biscotti for some sweet treats to go. for lunch or dinner in Shadyside follwed by gelato from Mulberry
    upstairs. May want to grab a drink at 36 the Bettis tribute spot b/w Heinz & PNC parks. Have a great trip.

    1. Can you bring two Colony pies with you? Meatball, onion & stingers please :-)

      Personal opinion from a long-time Stamford/Norwalk resident: For the breakfasts, Pamela's in the Strip (21st between Penn & Smallman) would be one. The Strip is humming on Saturday mornings - less so on Sunday morning. I'd also hit LaPrima for a cappuccino as there's nothing like that scene in CT (and Pamela's coffee is 'meh').

      Shopping around the Strip at PennMacaroni, Enrico's Biscotti and other shops are also part of the "scene" as are the couple of Asian food stalls and the Steelers merchandise sellers. It's worth the parking fee to just hang out there for a couple of hours, although you might luck into a free street spot.

      DeLuca's, Peppi's and Primanti's are also in the Strip, so you could spend both mornings there, although you can do without the Roethlisberger and many locals will tell you the sandwiches (and definitely the beer) are better at Fatheads. You'll want to end up on Carson St. at some point anyway. If the game was a later start, I'd suggest the brunch at Piper's Pub. But it's worth a stop anyway.

      Tessaro's burgers are very good, but you can find burgers just as good in many places in CT (Archie Moore's in Ffld comes to mind). A good alternate would be Church Brew Works on Penn in Lawrenceville, a microbrewery in a converted church with decent pizza and bar food. I'd also suggest the Sharp Edge in Friendship/E. Liberty if you enjoy beer with your food.

      And, since you've never been here, the right of passage is to park at Station Square, take the incline up to the top of Mt. Washington, have a drink up there and enjoy the view.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Panini Guy

        LOL Panini Guy you know those pizzas would never make it to Pittsburgh I might even eat them before we get out of CT lol they def make the best pizza in CT. I am from Brooklyn originally and am a pizza guy. What pizza place is your favorite in Pittsburgh? Thanks for all the recs you've been a huge help. Kinda disapointed to hear about Tessaro's I read an article in Playboy (I only read the articles) picking it as one of the top 10 burgers in the U.S. I'll be sure to write back on here to let everyone know how everything was when we get back.

        1. re: persico82

          My personal favorite is Harry's, but that's about 20 miles south of the city in Peters at Waterdam Plaza (probably not coincidentally, it's a concept borrowed from Harry's in West Hartford). I wouldn't travel all that way.

          If you're near the Strip, I'd probably go to Piccolo Forno in Lawrenceville. If you want to take the T up to Mt. Lebanon, then it would be Il Pizzaiolo, which is traditional Neopolitan in a custom brick oven.

          And on Tessaro's - it's still worth it. A very good burger and in the top 3 in town I've had. It's also an institution and a Pittsburgh experience. I wouldn't cross it off the list. You'll enjoy it.

      2. I'd pick Pamelas over Delucas. Tessaro's burger is good, but the one time I had it I didn't think it was excellent and didn't get the hype. Now the burger that I had at Ray's Hell Burger in DC was excellent and worthy of an on vacation dinner, I wouldn't say the same thing about Tessaros. I'd say at least try a Primanti's just so you have. I've never been to Peppis but I've really never heard anyone mention it or say anything good or bad about it. Fat heads has a very nice beer selection and we're fan of their buffalo parmesean wings.

        If you're in the Strip Distric on Saturday (not sure about Sunday), there's a lady that sells Bahn Mi and her friend has one or two things she makes herself. I don't know what they are technically called, but one is sticky rick with pork inside and wrapped in a bananna leaf, she's also had just sweet sticky rice in a leaf, and recently this spongy sort of thing with pork inside that was really good. They're all $2 so worth a try. She's on Penn Ave., in front of a Chinese restaurant that I can't recall the name of!

        1. Here's a nice interactive map to help you get the lay of the land.
 It's not entirely up-to-date, but it should help. The strip district is in the north east corner. You can move the map east for more. If you can find 21st and Penn Ave., you'll be in a good starting point.

          The Bettis Grille is new. I've heard a little word-of-mouth. Good. The rest rooms got a lot of posts. I don't know what that means. It's roughly just across the street from the stadium. Since it's a 4 0'clock game, there may be a few fans in there early getting "warmed up" for the game.

          Since it's a late game, you'll have time for a nice brunch at Lidia's. It's on Smallman St. "in the strip."

          Hope you both enjoy our town and I hope your GF enjoys the game.

          3 Replies
          1. re: yayadave

            Re: Bettis Grille
            My husband and I went on a Sunday afternoon. It wasn't all that crowded but the service was very slow. My Asian chicken salad was good but my husband's CHEESEsteak had no cheese. There really was nothing all that special about it or the food. It had a very sports-bar-chain feel to it. If there are no other options, as there weren't for us that day (we had to wait two hours to get in to a museum exhibit), it will do, but I would never go there if I had more options. The bathrooms were funky--and very dark--though.

            1. re: dmjordan

              Thanks for adding another report.

              1. re: yayadave

                Thanks yaya really appreciate the help. That map is great. Lets hope my GF doesn't have too much fun at the game I don't want you guys winning or anything like that lol

          2. Rich, I think you should come by the Peppi's on Western Ave. The Roethlisburger is quite unique, incredibly tasty. I believe the game is at 400, so you can come to Peppi's, which is close to the stadium, and enjoy a great sub before the game....Jeff the Peppiman