Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Pennsylvania >
Jun 22, 2009 02:12 PM

Casual Dining in Pittsburgh

We'll be in Pittsburgh for the first time this weekend, near Pitt and CMU. Looking for suggestions for a representative sample of the best the city has to offer for moderate/casual dining (teenager with us). Unique places would be great.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. One place that’s right in Oakland right on Forbes is Joe Mama’s. We’ve always been happy with the Italian food there. Dave and Andy’s Ice Cream in Oakland is a treat.

    Not far is Fat Head’s. Old Folks will like the beer choice available and the teener will love the size of the sandwiches.

    Also not far is the Elbow Room.

    Note that Fat Head’s is in the South Side and the Elbow Room is on Ellsworth. Both areas have a lot of places to eat. Here are a couple of sites just to give you and idea.

    Here’s a Chowhound thread that covers a lot of ground in a short space.

    And here’s another one covering three well regarded places.

    This is probably too much info to wade through and not all on point, but maybe some of it will click. Hope you enjoy your visit.

    1. For SUPER casual dining, try out the Original Hot Dog Shop or Primanti's - both located right on Forbes Ave, in the heart of Pitt's campus. These are favorite Pittsburgh 'junk' food (fries, sandwiches, hot dogs) places. Unique places.

      Squirrel Hill and Shadyside are also neighborhoods very close by. I can recommend Chaya for sushi in Squirrel Hill. Elbow Room and Harris Grill are casual spots in Shadyside..both have some limited outdoor seating, which is nice.

      There is alot of ethnic food in the Pitt/CMU area - it might be worthwhile to do some research on that too.

      1 Reply
      1. re: shadysider023

        I went to CMU and live in shadyside now, so this is my stomping ground! Hope this is helpful

        Pamela's for crepes and lyonnaise potatoes for breakfast either at the oakland location (forbes ave) or shadyside (walnut street).

        the O - very very very casual, but an institution. get a small order of fries and a hot dog. it's called the "Dirty O"

        Primanti's - not the original or the one in the strip that is always shown in the strip, but unique to pittsburgh. sandwiches with fries on it!

        Lulu's/yum wok - S. Craig street and sits right between CMU and Pitt. Cheap noodle bowls/plates (like $6.50) and it's cute. I went here every week when I was in college.

        Tamarind - N. Craig street. high quality indian food (uses a lot of white breast meat) and is in a really cute renovated house. nice/cheap lunch buffet and they have dinner specials (like 2 entrees + dessert = $25) or something like that

        Shadyside area (right next to CMU, 5 minute drive)

        Harris grille - if it's nice out, they have a good sized patio. nice for people watching, good beer selection and snacks are good as well

        William penn tavern - i'd go for lunch... this is a bar, but I like that they have tater tots and I like their nj style cheesesteaks, they have a back seating area as well

        Istanbul Grille - on centre ave across from giant eagle market district. Very good turkish food. excellent and fresh gyro platters and I LOVE the baba ganoush. very affordable, byob.

        Squirrel hill - lots of ethnic eats area, sits next to CMU

        Bangkok balcony - Good thai food
        Aladdin's - decent middle eastern
        Silk elephant - thai tapas, little more pricey but good
        chaya - sushi, more expensive