Vegetarian Travel: Pittsburgh

 

How was your long weekend? I spent my MLK weekend in Pittsburgh, my alma mater city and, honestly, my second home 🙂

 

pittsburgh

Pittsburgh has to be one of my favorite cities in the northeast. For a mid-sized city, there is so much culture, tons of beautiful sights, and countless things to do on the weekends. I absolutely loved going to college there and always look forward to my visits to spend time with friends and family. 

Because I spent so much time in Pittsburgh during my college and graduate career, I had lots of chances to check out the local eateries and hot spots. Man, does this city have some good food! And surprisingly enough, they have tons of vegetarian and vegan options all over the city, some hidden gems and others popular destinations for herbivores and carnivores alike!

Here are some of my favorite veggie-friendly restaurants in the ‘burgh, just in case you find yourself there soon:

1. Square Cafe— I LOVE Square Cafe! This place was our go-to breakfast spot all through college and is a must whenever I’m visiting the area. They have scrumptious pancakes, delicious omelets, and tons of vegan and vegetarian options. Their lunch is also pretty spectacular (their veggie burger is definitely runner-up to BRGR). They also feature seasonal artwork from local artists, which you can ever purchase right off the walls! Such a cool spot! The place is always packed, so I suggest getting there right when they open to get a table.

Try: The Veggie Overload Omelet or their Homemade Veggie Burger with Sweet Potato Fries. With a bottomless cup of coffee in their adorable “square” mugs, of course!

 

square cafe

{Square Cafe, via squarecafe.com}

2. BRGR— This place has, hands down, the best veggie burger in Pittsburgh! They call it the black bean and roasted corn falafel patty— need I say more? Oh, and did I mention they also have spiked milkshakes?! (not sure if they have vegan options, so definitely ask) Again, great atmosphere and tons of beer on tap as well. It’s a great pick when you’re going out with a variety of eating styles. 

Try: The Falafel Burger on a Whole Wheat Bun with a Salty Caramel Milkshake

 

brgr

{BRGR, via Pittsburgh Magazine}

3. Round Corner Cantina— One of my best friends moved to Lawrenceville (a borough of Pittsburgh) during my graduate year and ended up living a few houses down from this little gem… so of course we frequented it way too often. It’s the perfect place to eat, drink, and spend the evening with friends. They have tons of veggie options, as well as even more unique eats for carnivores! Plus, you can’t beat their outdoor patio in the summer time!

Try: Their Papas Con Cauliflower Tacos, Pescado Tacos, and, of course, their Guacamole.

 

cantina

{Round Corner Cantina, via roundcornercantina.com}

4. Habitat— If you’re looking for somewhere fancy to eat downtown, but still want all those veggie options, this is the place to go. Habitat is attached to the Fairmont hotel and is super swanky! It has such an incredible atmosphere and is walking distance from all the downtown night life. The best part— they actually have separate menus to cater to every diet imaginable: vegan, raw, gluten-free, and even macrobiotic!

Try: Their menu changes frequently, but everything I’ve had is amazing!

 

habitat_interior

{Habitat, via the Pittsburgh Magazine}

5. Sonoma Grille— Another fancy spot downtown with a larger wine selection than you could ever imagine! This was always my restaurant of choice on my birthday because of their incredible food and service. I love going to Sonoma Grille for their seafood and of course, their wine. It’s also a great spot for happy hour, and you can’t beat the location.

Try: The Mixed Grill with Salmon, Mixed Veggies, and lots of Dipping Sauces

 

sonoma grille

{Sonoma Grille, via Trip Advisor}

6. Kaya— Kaya is right smack dab in the middle of Pittsburgh’s Strip District and is a must if you are a lover of Caribbean food. The Strip District is a cultural area right near downtown that is packed with amazing restaurants, markets, coffee shops, and street venders. Kaya has some wonderful vegetarian and vegan options that are full of flavor and sure to please any kind of eater, especially if you like a little spice! Make sure you take a walk around the Strip while you’re there for some delicious bites and treats!

Try: The Jamaican Green Curry Vegetables— oh my goodness is it delicious!

 

kaya_rl_01

{Kaya, via Big Burrito.com}

7. Red Oak Cafe— Believe it or not, this was one of my places of employment while I was in college! Red Oak Cafe is a tiny little breakfast/ lunch spot right on Forbes Ave on the University of Pittsburgh’s campus (my alma mater). It is known for having tons of vegetarian and vegan options. They make this incredible OTY (Oatmeal Smoothie) that makes the most nutritious breakfast on the go. Their salads are so fresh and are drizzled with some of the best dressings I’ve ever eaten (Avocado Vinaigrette, Honey Lime Cilantro— yeah, they’re amazing). Strangely enough, they also have some of the best homemade chips I’ve ever eaten— I still have dreams of them today!

Try: Their Roasted Veggie Hummus Wrap, any of their salads, their OTY (Oatmeal Smoothie), and their chips!

 

red-oak

{Red Oak Cafe, via Trip Advisor}

8. Church Brew Works— This place is iconic in Pittsburgh simply because of what it is: a church turned brewery! They literally have kegs up on the altar! I love to go here for their beer, but they also have some fantastic pizzas that make for an awesome happy hour treat. It’s not the healthiest of joints, but there are definitely some options for vegetarians. But like I said, go for the atmosphere and the drinks. 

Try: The beer!

 

church brew

{Church Brew Works via churchbrew.com}

 

pumpkinandpb

Hi, I’m Liz and this is my food blog where I share my love of healthy foods and whole ingredients. You will find mostly vegetarian dishes, plenty of sweets, and lots of love from this little kitchen in Durham, North Carolina!

4 Comments

  1. I love your list so much! Habitat has been on my list for a while now, but I’ve never made it there. I’ve never been to Red Oak Cafe either, so I will have to try it. LOVEEE Sonoma Grille.

    When you go back, it’s so hard to get to all of your favorite places, plus the great new ones. A few new ones I’ve been to are Amazing Cafe (Southside) and Eden (Shadyside) – for vegetarian/vegan food. We’ll have to start keeping a list!

  2. Thanks Aileen! I totally agree on Sonoma Grille. I could eat there every time I visit and never get sick of it! Habitat is just as incredible— definitely hit it up on your next visit. I’ll have to try Amazing Cafe and Eden the next time I’m in town! There are so many options there now 🙂

  3. i was surprised to find that piper’s pub on the south side has great vegetarian selections. plus, every tuesday is vegan tuesday! add all of their great beer selections (with clean tap lines!) and piper’s is absolutely worth a stop. (i don’t work there…not paid to write this!)

    thanks for this list. will be sure to try some of these new to me places.

    p.s. lawrenceville is officially within the city limits, as opposed to being a borough. love how pittsburgh has such distinguishable neighborhoods. fun!

    • Oh nice! I haven’t been to Piper’s Pub in years, so I’ll definitely have to check it out next time.

      Also, had no idea that Lawrenceville wasn’t a borough! Learned something new! Thanks for sharing 🙂

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