It's Worth Getting Sloppy For This Grilled Cheese Taco
Brand-new food hall with four distinct, chef-run restaurants
As the new sister restaurant of Smallman Galley, the uber-popular restaurant incubator in the Strip District, Federal Galley had a lot to live up to -- and it does, mightily. The four restaurant concepts in Federal Galley include Provision PGH, El Lugar, Michigan & Trumbull, and Supper, all bringing various styles of cuisine, from elevated New American fare to Detroit-style pizza, to one location. Brunch offers eclectic options while the bar serves up a solid selection of local beer, wine, and spirits.
Elegant hotel restaurant with a sea-inspired menu and décor
One of the newest entries into Pittsburgh’s brunch scene is or, The Whale, the recently opened seafood and chop house in the Distrikt Hotel Pittsburgh. With an ambitious brunch menu (one of the few places in town where you can order it seven days a week) or, The Whale is your new go-to place when you’ve got to impress someone before 2pm. Menu options include a must-try monkey bread (sweetened with brown sugar, black cardamom, and orange), and savory corn waffles, piled high with bacon, sausage, and a fried egg. Plus, their cocktail program (brunch or otherwise) is one of the best in the city.
Buzzy spot serving modern American cuisine in a bright setting
With a hearty, savory-heavy brunch menu (though the bourbon & vanilla bean French toast, served with Millie’s vanilla ice cream, bacon maple syrup and bourbon whipped cream, is decidedly on the sweet side), Union Standard has become the... well, standard for Downtown brunch dining. Oysters on the half shell, from the Union Standard’s raw bar, make the perfect first course, and there’s a strong lineup of brunch cocktails on the menu featuring local favorites like Maggie’s Farm Rum and Boyd & Blair vodka.
Lively spot for known for using sustainable, local ingredients
The Ace Hotel Pittsburgh is home to Whitfield, a bright, airy restaurant that’s a hit with the city's in-crowd. Led by chef Bethany Zozula, the brunch menu features local produce and sustainably-raised meats in hearty, classic sweet and savory options, like steak & eggs and blueberry buttermilk pancakes. The pastry program, from pastry chef Casey Renee, is a star here, with house-made English muffins, zucchini bread, and biscuits elevating an already-stellar mid-morning meal.
Elegant museum café with a locally sourced seasonal menu
Step inside The Café Carnegie and prepare to be dazzled. The modern café space, housed inside the Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh, is awash in clean lines, bright lights, and floor-to-ceiling windows that look out to the heart of Oakland. On the menu, you’ll find very "ladies who lunch" selections, like salad chevre chaud with roasted shiitakes and cauliflower, and a croque madame with house-cured ham. And don’t overlook their jelly donuts, served with a dollop of house-made Concord grape jelly, and a cozy addition to an elegant meal.
Local cidery with fresh-made pizzas and salads
The team behind Wigle Whiskey has outdone themselves with one of the newest additions to Pittsburgh’s brunch scene. Threadbare Cider & Mead not only serves Wigle's own (great) ciders and cider cocktails, but they also offer a full brunch menu on the weekends. You’ll find a rotating selection of breakfast-inspired pizzas (made with yeast that was started with the same yeast used to make the cider), Dutch pancakes, and salads.
Cozy bistro with classic European offerings
Point Brugge has the brunch checklist covered: adorable, tiny space, neighborhood vibe, outdoor dining, and uncompromisingly good food. Come by on an off hour to avoid the wait and indulge in the Belgian-inspired menu. The Liege waffles are the jam, and the famous Point Brugge mussels (try the classic white wine prep), when available, are a necessary add-on.
Family-friendly café with lots of local charm
Colorful and quirky, the Square Cafe space is a little ray of sunshine in Regent Square. The super-popular spot boasts seasonal menu choices like pumpkin walnut pancakes, and keeps thirsts at bay with coffee (served in square mugs) and killer milkshakes. On warm days, tables spill out onto the sidewalk for outdoor dining in the sunshine.
Ultra-popular new American gastropub in the center of the city
Meat and booze do the body good, thus making a trip to Meat & Potatoes a worthy endeavor. All hunger pains will be vanquished with enormous dishes like the cheddar jalapeño waffle topped with fried chicken and the roasted pork huevos rancheros. The Bloody Mary bar and drinks like the Old Fashioned Breakfast with bacon bourbon and maple syrup, wash down the portions (and any bad memories from the previous night) right away.
Quirky, hot dog-focused spot with an ever-changing menu
After leaving the sanctuary, head to Franktuary. This religious pun-infused hot doggery cooks up a thoughtful and small Sunday brunch menu that changes weekly. The waffle sandwich -- a sausage and egg nestled between quartered waffles -- is a revelation, as are the ever-changing hot dog options (now with more than 50 toppings to choose from), and their stellar list of poutine choices.
Intimate wine bar in a historic firehouse
Every weekend, this natural wine bar turns into the spot for scoring an elevated brunch, with an ever-changing list of offerings that leans heavily on the savory side. Hearty dishes like smoked salmon Benedicts and rock shrimp & grits are the stars of the show, but you’d be remiss not to snag a plate of Bar Marco’s bomboloni: fresh-made sugared donuts with dipping sauces that change seasonally, like bourbon caramel and lemon curd. And, with one of the best wine programs in the city, there’s no excuse not to have a glass (or two) of vino while you’re there.
Hybrid café, deli, and restaurant that serves seriously good Italian specialties
DiAnoia’s Eatery is one of our city’s most unique spaces. Equal parts deli, bar, restaurant, and bakery, the all-day Italian spot serves everything from house-made linguine with clams and zeppole donuts to porchetta-stacked panini and steak Florentine -- not to mention the incredibly indulgent gnocchi bowls. The Sunday brunch program combines the best elements of the restaurant’s offerings into one menu. You’ll find Italian-inspired comfort foods like veal Parmesan with a sunny-side-up egg and a side of spaghetti, and panettone French toast drenched in maple syrup. Plus, DiAnoia’s in-house bakery churns out those piping-hot zeppole like they’re going out of style. Word to the wise: If the Nutella panzerotti (fried dough stuffed with Nutella) is on the menu, get it.
Upscale eatery with chef-driven menu and inventive cocktail program
Chef Jamilka Borges is making magic in the kitchen at Spoon, which of course extends to the Sunday brunch offerings. With a healthy mix of sweet (pineapple and walnut bread pudding!) and savory (pork tostadas!), Borges has a special flair for Latin-inspired selections. Try the Sloppy Dan (a two-fisted sandwich with spicy ground pork and pickled bok choy), or the Fried Chicken, served with cornbread, gochujang, and a kick of spicy slaw. And, whatever you do, don’t miss getting one of Spoon’s brunch cocktails: our favorite is the Witches’ Coffee, a blend of Strega (an Italian herbal liqueur), coffee, and cream.
A restaurant incubator with four concepts and a local-based bar
You’ll find four restaurant concepts (and a great bar) under one roof at Pittsburgh’s original restaurant incubator Smallman Galley, which means that no matter how picky your entourage is, everyone will find something they love. The incubator’s current crop of restaurants at this shared space include Iron Born (Detroit-style pizza), brunoise (elevated upscale American food), Colonia (a Latin-American concept) and Banhmilicious (serving Vietnamese fusion), all offering brunch specialties on the weekends.
Spacious café with incredible coffee and breakfast sandwiches
Pear and the Pickle has only been around for a couple of years, but in that time, the tiny Troy Hill café and market has quickly become one of Pittsburgh’s worst-kept brunch secrets, with arguably the best breakfast sandwich in town. Yes, it's a deceptively simple bodega staple -- bacon, egg, and cheese on a roll -- but it's still worth taking a trip up one of the steepest streets in town to get. The café also offers a selection of other sandwiches (think deli classics like "the Rialto," with sweet sliced ham, capicola, and pepperoni), and Stumptown coffee to wash it all down.