Yinz hungry? 2021 delivered on new tasty eats and drinks in the ‘Burgh

Have you enjoyed any new food in Pittsburgh this year? Despite the negative effects of the pandemic on the economy, there were plenty of new restaurants, breweries, bars, and cafes to try this year.

Let’s have a look at some of the most notable openings. I’ve organized them into categories to make it easy for you to find your next meal.

☕️ Coffee and tea 🍵

  • Hilltop Coffee is serving fine coffees, espresso drinks, teas, baked goods, and more at its spot in the South Side Slopes. 
  • Mosaic Leaf, Pittsburgh’s first matcha tea bar, is open in Lawrenceville with premium Japanese matcha straight from the farm.
  • Black Cat Market has moved to, where else, Garfield. The new space allows them “to expand and finally offer our dream of a larger cat room and a full coffee bar!”
  • Claussen Cafehaus is twisting things up on Liberty Avenue in Bloomfield with its local organic soft pretzels, fair trade coffee, and all-natural ice cream.
  • De Fer Coffee & Tea, a Strip District fave, opened its doors at The Highline in the South Side this year and has another location coming to South Oakland.
  • Tonic Coffee, a woman-owned coffee/mocktail bar, is serving artful drinks in Lawrenceville “inspired by world travels and inclusivity.”
  • Adda Coffee and Tea House surprised us all with a new pop-up location in Downtown Pittsburgh in the corridor of Three PNC Plaza and will remain until the end of 2021 (and will become permanent in 2022 if we’re lucky). Another Adda location is expected to open in the Cultural District.
  • Yinz Coffee, which took over the old Crazy Mocha storefront on the North Side this year, opened another location in Bloomfield.
  • Brother Andre’s Cafe is a coffee shop in the renovated basement of Church of the Epiphany in the Hill District, and is staffed by Pat the baker extraordinaire, and other friends with various disabilities and abilities, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  • Cafetano is serving its signature Honduran Coffee with an Italian flair to the Strip District. The coffee purveyor is located in the former Gaucho Parilla Argentina space on Penn Ave and specializes in the full coffee experience. But there’s more: Cafetano also sells smoothies, breakfast, lunch, and dessert.

🍳 Breakfast ☕

  • Wake up with breakfast/brunch/lunch staples at The Nook in Lawrenceville. The restaurant is led by the owner of nearby Geppetto Cafe and took over the former Coca Cafe on Butler St.
  • Divvy Coffee & Buns on Forbes Ave. is your newest go-to spot for both sweet and savory breakfast bites, healthy salads, and of course, a variety of freshly brewed beans and unique drinks.
  • Dagny’s Eatery in Carnegie serves quiche bagels with lox, pressed sammies, fresh pastries, and more.

🍔 Burgers, sammies, and more 🍗

  • The Black-owned burger and wing spot, Back to the Foodture, moved to a new location on East Carson Street. 
  • The popular pop-up Moonlit Burgers opened its brick-and-mortar on Potomac Avenue in Dormont, serving juicy smash burgers with delectable crispy edges.
  • Burgh’ers Brewing at the Highline in the South Side offers craft beers and smash burgers with names inspired by places in and around the ‘Burgh.
  • The Pittsburgh Sandwich Society food truck opened a brick and mortar alongside Strange Roots ExperimentalAles in Millvale.
  • Rear End Gastropub & Garage is parked on Butler Street in Etna in a converted auto service station and dishes out food inspired by an all-American road trip.
  • The popular riverside eatery, Farmer x Baker, opened its brick and mortar cafe and market on Powers Run Rd. in Fox Chapel, serving homemade bagel sandwiches, salads, a soup of the day, coffee and tea, and more.

🍕 Pizza 🍕

  • Woodfired by Lorelei is slinging tasty ‘za in East Liberty, plus a great selection of wines to pair with your pies. This spot is from the team behind Lorelei, a cocktail bar/beer hall in the historic Werner Building.
  • East End Brewing created East End Chewing. The popular craft brewery in Larimer opened an in-house kitchen serving rustic, thick crust pizza. On the menu are classic pies as well as unique takes like eggplant parmesan, Reuben, and of course, pierogi inspired pizzas.
  • Driven opened in Federal Galley on the North Side, serving inventive slices of Detroit-style pizza like the PBR made with pepperoni, banana peppers, ricotta, hot honey, marinara, mozz, and cheddar cheese.
  • Doughbar Pizzeria & Rotisserie is slinging pizza, rotisserie chicken, and hoagies on the South Side. Get the best of both worlds with their buffalo chicken pie.

🌮 Tacos and beyond 🍚

  • La Bodega just opened its doors on Carson Street in the South Side and is serving tacos, burritos, and fresh Aguas Frescas.
  • Get your fill of Mexican-American fusion on the Mount at Gordo’s Tacos & Tequila.
  • Do you love tacos as much as Baby Loves Tacos? If so, you can check out its newest location at 116 Meyran Ave. in Oakland.
  • The popular Puerto Rican food truck Secretos de mis Abuelos layed roots alongside Hapa Hawaiian Grill in Uptown, and is “likely the only place in the region where you’ll find spam musubi, chicken mofongo, and kalua pork under the same roof,” according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

🍜 Ramen, rolls, curry, and more 🍛

  • Pusadee’s Garden, the beloved Lawrenceville Thai spot, came back this year (at long last) after a lengthy renovation.
  • Oishii Donburi, the latest from the owners of Oakland’s Oishii Bento, is serving Korean and Japanese food in Lawrenceville.
  • Jian’s Kitchen in Squirrel Hill is getting rave reviews for the depth of its menu. Here’s more on Pittsburgh’s newest Chinese restaurant, via Pittsburgh Magazine.
  • Gi-Jin, the long-awaited hand roll and gin bar, finally opened in Downtown in April 2021. With years of anticipation, restaurateurs Richard DeShantz and Tolga Sevdik set out to create a “refined, intimate bar that’s re-imagining the sushi experience.”
  • Nanban, from Roger Li of Ki Ramen and Ki Pollo, combined both menus to offer Asian soul food: Ramen, fried chicken sandwiches, bao, and more. It was Li’s response after Ki Ramen was shut down from a flood, which will eventually reopen as an entirely new restaurant, per NEXTPittsburgh.

🌍 More flavors of the world 🌎

  • LeVia Trattoria is a family-owned Italian restaurant in Lawrenceville. Don’t skip on a slice of Roman style pizza.
  • 40 North is serving global cuisine at Alphabet City on the North Side, taking over the former Brugge on North. It shares the space with City of Asylum’s bookstore and is led by Executive Chef Bethany Zozula and Beverage Director Sam Suter. Both are formerly from Ace Hotel’s popular Whitfield Restaurant, per Pittsburgh Magazine.
  • Con Alma, the popular Shadyside restaurant and jazz bar, opened a second location Downtown, bringing worldly flavors and sounds to Penn Avenue, right across from Heinz Hall. They also converted their Shadyside restaurant into an entirely plant-based menu, serving items like West Indian Chickpea Curry, a Peruvian Bolognese made with seitan, and a Potato Gnocchi. In early 2021, Cona Alma was named one of the best bars in America of 2021 by Esquire.
  • African Eats Cuisine is serving up “authentic African cuisine & irresistible tantalizing tastes” in Squirrel Hill.
  • Abdul Wahid Tabee, a former journalist and teacher who fled Afghanistan in 2015, opened the only Afghan restaurant in the region, Afghan Kebab House, on E. Main St. in Carnegie.

🍺 Beer and cocktails 🍸

  • The beloved Northside neighborhood spot, Monterey Pub, recently reopened under new ownership after being closed during the pandemic, bringing along with it Mexican War Streets-inspired cocktails like the Palo Alto (tequila, Italian brandy, lime and orange) and Gus & Yiayia’s (vodka, pomegranate liquor, cherry, lime, and strawberry), TribLIVE reports.
  • Trace Brewing opened in Bloomfield. Bonus: It’s in the former location of a concert venue named The Shop with roots dating back to 1910, City Paper reported last year.
  • Four Points Brewing opened a new location on Western Avenue in the North Side.
  • Old Thunder Brewing is posted up in an old post office building in Blawnox, bringing strong beers, lagers, and ales to Freeport Road.
  • Goodlander is a cocktail brewery in Larimer pouring drinks from kegs of carbonated, low-waste cocktails like moscow mules, gin & tonics, and mojitos. They’re sold in returnable glass growlers so you can return, refill, and enjoy.
  • Two Frays Brewery opened a location in a restored row house on Penn Avenue in Garfield.
  • Golden Age Beer Company is serving craft lagers at its new space in Homestead, honoring the history of when brewers stood in solidarity with workers in the Battle of Homestead in 1892. The brewery is from the brains behind Independent Brewing Company and Lorelei, per Pittsburgh City Paper.
  • Margaux has transformed an old department store into East Liberty’s newest cafe and lounge. In the morning, they offer coffee, tea, and small-bite breakfast options, and when the sun goes down, classic cocktails, shareable plates, and desserts, according to NEXTPittsburgh.
  • The Open Road Bar is a sober social spot with more than 100 booze-free beverages from all over the world. This year, it relocated to the second floor above Tonic Coffee in Lawrenceville.
  • Bocadillos Bar is a unique food and drink destination in Brighton Heights offering gourmet snacks, appetizers, and craft cocktails using Pennsylvania-made spirits from PA Libations, local craft brews, and the owners own hard cider and wine, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
  • G’s on Liberty opened its “full service restaurant, focusing on real, innovative, creative food, and cocktails” on Liberty Avenue in Bloomfield, NEXTPittsburgh reports.

🍩 Sweet treats 🍪

  • Valkyrie Doughnuts, the popular pop-up serving vegan friendly goodies across ‘tahn, is now frying up sweet treats at its new brick-and-mortar location on Lincoln Ave. in Bellevue.
  • Gluten Free Goat, formerly a brick-and-mortar bakery in Garfield, relaunched with a new approach focusing on retail, wholesale, and direct-to-consumer sales.
  • 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.
  • Churn, the North Pittsburgh-based ice cream and coffee bar, opened a shop in the South Side, serving sweet drinks and treats that will perk you up on East Carson St.
  • An Ohio doughnut institution has a new location in Castle Shannon. Madsen Donuts comes to 3609 Library Road with 83 years’ experience of perfecting 12 varieties of traditional cake and raised doughnuts, per NEXTPittsburgh.
  • Panadería Jazmin is baking up a variety of fresh traditional Mexican bread and sweets in Mt. Lebanon, like cocodrila (baked pastry that resembles crocodile scales, topped with sugar) and panque de naranja con chocolate (sweet bread with orange flavoring and chocolate icing).