Updated: 2:30 p.m. Jan. 24
Pittsburgh isn’t a college town per se, but it does have a whole bunch of colleges. So one might expect that there’d be plenty of coffee shops open into the wee hours of the morning for students to grab a late-night caffeine boost during finals week.
But alas, spots for night owls are few and far between.
Students, you’ve got more important things to do (like studying for finals) than read every single Yelp review of Pittsburgh coffee shops, so we handled that for you and made this handy coffee guide for your #QuestForCoffee.
It’s also very useful for non-student caffeine fiends, too.
- There’s just one 24-hour cafe to be found in the city, unless you count fast food spots like McDonald’s or the 24-hour Starbucks located at the Oakmont Service Plaza (but we already told you not to go there). Though they’re diners, not cafes, we gave Ritter’s Diner, Eat N Park and IHOP the greenlight for this article, too.
- The winner — if you count being up late to serve coffee as a winner — is a coffee shop on Carnegie Mellon’s campus — and it’s open to the public, so go grab a cup.
- A bunch of spots stay open until midnight, but apparently they have to close before they turn into pumpkins.
It’s weird, right? Tens of thousands of college students and very few spots to work into the wee hours? Is everybody firing up their Keurig and listening to Coffitivity at home?
“I’ve worked in a lot of cities with nightlife,” the city’s Nighttime Economy Coordinator Allison Harnden said, “and it is pretty surprising that there aren’t more of them here, especially with the medical (workers) too, but that is something that we’re working on.”
The city’s looking into not just late-night coffee but late-night, non-alcohol-centered activities in general, she said, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, here’s the guide for your late-night caffeine cravings. (Know of one we missed? Let us know.)
Open 24 hours
The Maggie Murph Café in the Hunt Library, Oakland at CMU
Open 24 hours on weekdays (with limited hours on the weekends), this open-to-the-public Carnegie Mellon University cafe is the city’s lone all-hours-of-the-night coffee operation. Choose from a line of Starbucks coffee, espresso drinks, Tazo teas, pastries and other grab-and-go study fuel.
Ritter’s Diner, Bloomfield
Open 24 hours-a-day Wednesday through Saturday, this old-school diner isn’t exactly a coffee shop, but Ritter’s makes the cut because it does have coffee and, perhaps even more importantly, wifi. Bonus points: Diner food.
Eat N Park, Banksville
It’s a bit of a drive from campus, but this Eat N Park location is open 24 hours with wifi and a 10 percent discount for students.
IHOP, Squirrel Hill
Located on the outer reaches of Squirrel Hill, you can get coffee and pancakes (and wifi) to fuel your studying at this 24-hour IHOP.
Open ‘til 3 a.m.
Eat N Park, Squirrel Hill
Truly the place for smiles (and free wifi and a student discount), you can get coffee and all the breakfast food you want until 3 a.m. at Eat N Park’s Squirrel Hill location.
Open ‘til 2 a.m.
Au Bon Pain at Skibo Café, Oakland at CMU
Carnegie Mellon University comes through again with an Au Bon Pain open until 2 a.m. at the Cohon Center, with shorter hours on Fridays. It, too, is open to the public.
The Abbey on Butler Street, Lawrenceville
The Abbey is a venue of many purposes: Part restaurant, part bar, part coffeeshop. It offers up Commonplace and ReAnimator coffee, Prestogeorge teas, Red Star kombucha, pastries and a nice ambiance. Important note: The coffeehouse is only open until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and you might have to deal with the noise from bar patrons. It closes at 10 p.m. every other day.
Beehive, South Side
The Beehive stays open until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays only, if you’re up to brave South Side crowds to get to it. Note: It’s 21+ on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays after 9 p.m., so bring an ID. Bonus: Coffee cocktails.
Open ‘til 1 a.m.
Cup & Chaucer Café, Oakland at Pitt
Located in the Hillman Library on Pitt’s campus, Cup & Chaucer Café operates until 1 a.m. Extra bonus for students: Pitt Libraries has been known to hand out free cups of coffee or tea during finals, so keep an eye out for that.
Though it’s housed in the library, this cafe is open to the general public, but until 11 p.m. only.
Open ‘til midnight
Dunkin Donuts, Oakland and Squirrel Hill
Two Dunkin locations stay open daily until midnight, one at 3907 Forbes Ave. in Oakland and the other at 5889 Forbes Ave. in Squirrel Hill, for all your donuts and coffee needs.
Café Rachel, Squirrel Hill at Chatham
Chatham’s Café Rachel (named after famous alumna Rachel Carson) is open until midnight every day, making it a popular on-campus spot for students late at night. Stop by for espresso drinks, smoothies and snacks — it’s open to all, not just students.
Open ‘til 11 p.m.
Crazy Mocha, Bloomfield, Squirrel Hill, Downtown
Three locations of local chain Crazy Mocha stay open until 11 p.m. The Bloomfield location (4525 Liberty Ave.) and the Squirrel Hill location (2100 Murray Ave.) stay open ’til 11 p.m. every day. The Downtown location (810 Liberty Ave.) stays open until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday but closes early the rest of the week.
The Coffee Tree Roasters, Shadyside
The sprawling Shadyside Coffee Tree Roasters is open until 11 p.m. every day with plenty of table space and couches. If you’re there studying in warmer months, grab a table by the large open garage door to people-watch on Walnut Street when you need a study break.
Starbucks, Oakland at Pitt
There’s one late-night Starbucks in Oakland, and it’s located at Amos Hall on Pitt’s campus. It is open to the public, for any non-students with PSL cravings.
Updated, Jan. 20: This story has corrected the location of Café Rachel.