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Mar 5, 2012 12:40 PM

One dinner in Pittsburgh

Hi all - I'll be visiting Pittsburgh this week, for only the second time ever, despite living just across the state in Philadelphia.

I will be dining solo this Wednesday evening, and am looking for reasonably priced (entrees in the $15-22 range, or less) good food at a restaurant only found in Pittsburgh. I love all cuisine, but am especially partial to Italian, "farm to table" American, and Thai. I also love a place with great comfort food and character (a la "Diners Drive Ins and Dives")! Bonus points for somewhere I can get a nice glass of wine or a craft beer, and no one will look at me funny for dining alone (serving full menu at the bar is a plus).

I'll be staying at the Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh University Place (3454 Forbes Avenue), and would love a place within walking distance. However, I will have a car, and am willing to drive ~15 minutes for a great meal!


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  1. Can't recommend any Italian nearby. Closest farm to table to your hotel is Legume on N. Craig. A bit far to walk and maybe challenging to park there. Entrees will be closer to the $22 than $15.

    For Thai/Asian you might try Spice Island Tea House (BYOB) which should be walkable.

    The DDD entry has to be the "O" (Original Hot Dog Shoppe). By all means, if you're into that stuff, get the brick of fries. They'll look at you funny, but it won't be because you're by yourself :-)

    If you're willing to drive, Salt of the Earth would be my pick. Entrees all in your range, mostly sourced local, very creative kitchen. Sit at the kitchen bar solo or they have community tables if you want company. Wines and a handful of beers. Unique cocktails.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Panini Guy

      Second Salt, sit at the bar as soon as the place opens - the food will be awesome as will the staff.

      1. re: Panini Guy

        I believe Legume has valet parking in the garage across the street.

      2. Salt of the Earth looks great...nice suggestion, thank you! And a quick drive from the hotel. I think I will probably check it out. I probably can't get there until closer to you think I'll be able to snag a seat at the bar or a communal table at that time?

        2 Replies
        1. re: jba1216

          I prefer the bar at this restaurant, but get there as early as you can. They also take reservations for tables upstairs, but the bar is the way to go if your alone. You can watch them prepare the food from there and it's pretty entertaining.

          1. re: jba1216

            Weekend you might wait, but it would be worth it. Weeknight you should be set.

          2. I would suggest Six Penn Kitchen - it's on the corner of Sixth and Penn Aves in the Cultural District.. a little drive, but then you get to see town from two different perspectives.. It would fit your farm-to-table preference, and I strongly suggest the lamb bolognese - It is incredible - I can't remember the name of the farm that it's sourced from, but I know it's listed on their menu. This is one of my favorite, not-too-fancy but so much fun to eat at places in my old home town. and they have a cotton candy machine.
            (i miss the food of the Burgh!!!)

            1. The original comment has been removed
              1. I'm very sad to report that I did not get out for dinner while in Pittsburgh. Long story, but the short version is that my lunch meeting didn't happen until 3:30...and I wasn't feeling great. So it was a very late, very light room service dinner... Thank you so much for the recommendations. I'm really bummed, I was looking forward to trying Salt of the Earth.

                That being said...lunch was at Hoffstot's in Oakmont. Nothing to write home about, but cozy little place. On the other hand...dessert at the Oakmont bakery. I had a cream filled almond macaron that was TO DIE FOR!!!! i want to pick that bakery up and transport it home with me.

                Thanks again everybody. You have a pretty cool city :)

                1 Reply
                1. re: jba1216

                  " i want to pick that bakery up and transport it home with me."

                  Yeah. We usually try to do that ... in boxes piled in the back seat.