Pittsburgh food in September 2021: What’s opening and what’s closing

A new month has begun, and you know what that means: we’re back with our food-and-drink updates. The ‘Burgh is serving some hot new spots to try this month, with everything from coffee and (nonalcoholic) cocktails, to empanadas and hotdogs, to waffles and ice cream.

Here’s a friendly reminder that it’s still a really difficult time for Pittsburgh’s restaurant and hospitality community. As autumn approaches and we indulge in less and less outdoor dining, we urge you to keep supporting your favorite restaurants by being kind, cautious, and tipping well.

To help you navigate, here’s a list by Pittsburgh City Paper of the restaurants requiring proof of vaccination or masks to keep your neighbors safe. And thankfully for both the restaurants and their patrons, this new requirement has been good for business, WESA reports.

In case you missed last month’s edition, catch up here. If we missed something, let us know so we can add it to the list.


The Black Canary Coffee & Ice Cream is giving us the perk we all need. It’s about 30 minutes outside the city in Springdale, but we couldn’t pass up on telling you about this cool cafe that hosts live music and spins a curated selection of vinyl.

🍛 Enjoy empanadas, sweet plantains, and house-baked breads at Flavors of Puerto Rico, a fast-casual, take-out restaurant on Brownsville Road in Mount Oliver.

🍸 The Open Road Bar is a sober social spot with more than 100 booze-free beverages from all over the world. While it’s been open for a bit, we just learned about it’s relocation to the second floor above Tonic Coffee in Lawrenceville.

🍕 Piada Italian Street Food has expanded its fast-casual, Italian eatery with a new location in Shadyside and will bring two others to the South Hills and Robinson later this year.

🌭 Put your money into the Piggy Bank — that is, if you want a hot dog. The folks at The Vault Taproom on East Carson Street opened this walk-up hot dog window serving Kosher beef franks and even vegan dogs. (Looks like we found yinz a new late-night bite!)

🌯 Qdoba is out, Rosewater Middle Eastern Grill is in. This fast-casual restaurant on Liberty Avenue is adding delicious Middle Eastern flavors to Downtown’s food scene with staples like tabouli, stuffed grape leaves, kebabs, falafel, and more. (Editor’s note: I tried the “appetizer bowl” where you can pick three different apps to go on top of a bed of rice and lettuce. It had the perfect flavors and portions. Highly recommend it!)

🍺 The Shiloh Grill on Mt. Washington has been around the block (or should we say hill top?) a time or two, and recently it got a name change and menu makeover. It’s now the Shiloh Gastro, serving apps, sandwiches, mains, signature drinks, and don’t forget about brunch.

🍨 Treat is serving just that on Walnut Street in Shadyside with its authentic Liege waffles (made from a yeasted brioche dough) and locally-made ice cream.

💛 Yinz Coffee, which recently took over the old Crazy Mocha storefront on the North Side, just opened another location in Bloomfield.

See you soon

🍳 Wild Child, from acclaimed chef Jamilka Borges, will very soon be serving coastal cuisine, including fresh, seafood dishes to Etna.

🍩 You may have seen Oliver’s Donuts popping up around ‘tahn, but pretty soon they’ll be slinging tasty cake donuts at a permanent spot in the Lawrenceville Market House.

🍔 Full moon, full belly. The popular pop-up Moonlit Burgers is opening a brick-and-mortar on Potomac Avenue, in Dormont this fall, and will serve its famous juicy smash burgers with delectable crispy edges, NEXTPittsburgh reports.

🎶 Brillobox is back in business in Bloomfield. After announcing its closure during the pandemic, the beloved 15-year-old bar and music venue recently announced that it plans to reopen in the fall, according to Pittsburgh City Paper.

Cafetano is so close to serving Honduran Coffee with an Italian flair to the Strip District in the former Gaucho Parilla Argentina space on Penn Avenue The shop will specialize in the full coffee experience, but will also sell smoothies, breakfast, and lunch, and dessert options, as reported by NEXTPittsburgh.

🍸 G’s on Liberty is counting down to days until opening on Liberty Avenue in Bloomfield with “a full service restaurant, focusing on real, innovative, creative food, and cocktails,” NEXTPittsburgh reports.

🧀 Bitter End Rye & Charcuterie Bar is Rear End’s sister restaurant and the former location of Nooch’s Bar. It will offer “whiskey & meat” in a modern speakeasy setting with specialty cocktails and charcuterie boards.

🌮 Las Chicas, a fav Pittsburgh food truck, is set to open a location in Millvale, bringing their tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and more to a brick-and-mortar.

🍾 Chef Kevin Sousa is switching gears from Superior Motors and opening up Mount Oliver Bodega, a boutique wine shop, bar, and restaurant in the former Kullman’s Bakery. Sousa is also set to open the Arlington Beverage Club, a new concept coming to an old social club in Allentown, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette details.

🎳 Shorty’s Pins x Pints, a new entertainment concept with duckpin bowling, bocce, pinball, cornhole, firepits, and street food is coming to the North Shore late 2021, per NEXTPittsburgh.

🍵 Adda Coffee & Tea House is opening its fifth location in Downtown’s Cultural District this fall with a coffee shop and local vendor hall combo, as reported by Good Food Pittsburgh.

🌮 Gordo’s Tacos & Tequila is nearly finished with construction in Mount Washington, and they’re catching up after a few setbacks during the pandemic.

🍺 Sly Fox Brewing Co., a Philly-based brewery, is putting down roots at The Highline on the South Side this summer. In the meantime, you can follow their Instagram to learn about their latest pop-ups.

🌮 Tako, the Asian Mexican fusion restaurant, says that it “won’t be long before you’ll be able to celebrate Taco Tuesday at its new spot in Bakery Square.

🍸Storyville Lounge, a “hidden” Victoria-era bar, will be the latest venture by the owners of Dr. Tumblety’s Time-Inspired Specialty Shop in Allentown coming this fall, according to NEXTPittsburgh

🍺 Back Alley Brewing is on a mission to create Dormont’s first craft brewery, and you can follow along with their progress on Instagram.

🍕 AVP, a pizza-focused spinoff of Alta Via, is joining the restaurant lineup at Bakery Square this fall, adding to big Burrito’s restaurant portfolio around town, Pittsburgh Magazine reports.

🍽️ Tupelo Honey, a Southern cuisine chain, is coming to Station Square later this fall and will become an early anchor of the updated Freight House Shops, per Pittsburgh Patch.

🍻 Bonafide Beer Co. is planned for the former Chicken Latino spot in the Strip District.

🐟 PennsylvAsia reported that work on Wild Ninja Asian Grill is underway in Oakland, replacing Uncle Sam’s Gourmet Subs.

🍦 New York based Posman Books and Odd Fellows Ice Cream Co. are teaming up to shares stories and scoops at the Strip District Terminal building, NEXTPittsburgh reports.

Long-term openings on our radar

🍳 The Journeyman’s Table is still on its journey to opening on Penn Avenue, and will soon offer from-scratch, seasonal dinners alongside craft cocktails, wine, and local beers.

🍣 Sushi Kim Restaurant is returning to Pittsburgh after its original location closed in 2019. The new spot, Sushi Kim 2, will be on Smithfield Street. 

🍔 Eminent Cafe is well… an imminent addition to Bedford Ave. in the Hill District. No details or opening dates are known, but it looks like they will be serving delicious sandwiches, according to the post by Soul Pitt.

🍳 The folks behind Geppetto Cafe in Lawrenceville are taking over a spot down the street, bringing a new breakfast restaurant to the former Coca Cafe, per WPXI-TV.

🍽️ Cafe Momentum is coming to Forbes Ave., Downtown to serve food and at-risk youth. It will provide culinary training for teenagers who have been in juvenile detention facilities, as well as a community service center, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

🍜 Chengdu Gourmet plans to open a second location in in the former Oritental Market on McKnight Road in addition to their popular Americanized-Chinese Squirrel Hill location, Pittsburgh Magazine reports.

🍔 98 K Burger is a new burger place coming to Squirrel Hill, according to PennsylvAsia; 98 K shares a name with spots in Brooklyn and Queens, but it is unclear whether the one opening in Pittsburgh is a part of a chain, Pittsburgh City Paper reports.

🍱 Bento is a new restaurant coming to Shadyside, according to PennsylvAsia, but there’s no word on the details or timeline.

🍺  Pittsburgh Brewing Co. is planning a new brewery in the former Pittsburgh Glass Works plant on a 40-acre site along the Allegheny River in Creighton. Pittsburgh Business Times has the latest — and more on the fascinating history of the site.

🍵 Tupelo Honey Teas in Millvale acquired the building next door and will renovate and expand over the next several years. P.S. There will be garden tea parties!

🚀 Grist House Craft Brewery is turning a Collier Township Cold War-era Nike Missile Command Center into another outpost for the popular brewery. But a lot of work is ahead, so be patient. An opening date is expected a year or two from now.

🎸 Pittsburgh City Paper reports that Howler’s is moving to East Liberty after 19 years in Bloomfield.

🍕 Big Burrito is bringing a yet-to-be-named restaurant to Lawrenceville with a focus on pizza, veggie-forward dishes, and burgers, according to Pittsburgh Magazine.

🏛 The Vandal owners are working on two new concepts to the Pitt Building Downtown, the Post-Gazette reports. One is a sandwich shop. The other is a supper club called Saint Johannes.


🏈 Steelers fans willbe disappointed to hear that the popular pre- and post-game spot, Jerome Bettis Grille 36, will not reopen after closing during the pandemic, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

🍅 After operating for nearly seven decades, the owners of Shadyside Market & Deli on Walnut Street said “it’s time” to shut its doors for good. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Sara Mineo and her brother Dominic are ready to retire, and the shop will close by the end of September.

🍦 Twisters Soft Serve Ice Cream in Bloomfield has been serving for 22 seasons, but owner Joe Argenas and his wife Jennifer decided it’s time to close up shop. They’re selling the business and all if its equipment, hoping that it will continue as an ice cream spot, according to Pittsburgh City Paper.

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