Food & Drink

The 14 Best Brunches in Pittsburgh

Published On 04/21/2015 Published On 04/21/2015
Courtesy of Christina Shields/Square Cafe

Pittsburghers have embraced the leisurely sport of mixing breakfast and lunch, and restaurants have pushed the game to the next level, offering oh so much more than bacon and eggs. Our city has more to cheer for than just the Black and Gold on Sunday (and sometimes Saturday) afternoon thanks to these 14 brunch spots.

Courtesy of Adam Milliron/e2

e2

Highland Park

Fried dough plays a very important role on the e2 brunch menu, in the form of beignets and a variety of zeppolli. The place fills up quick with diners eager for polenta topped with sausage or eggs, potatoes with chorizo, and, of course, those balls of dough. Lucky for Pittsburgh, this is a brunch joint on Saturday AND Sunday.

Laura Zorch/Thrillist

Point Brugge Cafe

Point Breeze

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.

Tartine

Tartine

West End

Take a trip to France (minus the baggage) at Tartine, a bistro in the West End, complete with a Muppet-like dog named Bert. It has standard French fare like tasty crepes and quiche, but the real piéce de résistance is the pear-, cheese-, and nut-covered French bread, aka Tartine Du Poire. Have mercy! Or merci?

Courtesy of Christina Shields/Square Cafe

Square Cafe

Regent Square

Colorful and quirky, the Square Cafe space is a little ray of sunshine in Regent Square. The super-popular spot boasts interesting menu choices like tofu hash and cornmeal pancakes, and keeps thirsts at bay with coffee in square mugs and killer milkshakes. On the 10 warm days per year in the city (just kidding, Pittsburgh has at least 11 nice days), tables spill out onto the sidewalk for outdoor dining.

Courtesy of TJ Lander/Meat & Potatoes

Meat & Potatoes

Downtown

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.

Laura Zorch/Thrillist

The Zenith

South Side

Zenith is an eclectic antique haven and vegetarian eatery. Sunday brunch dishes are always changing, but the formula is always the same: brunch comes with an entrée, a coffee, and... wait for it... a buffet! The buffet features side dishes and a wondrous cake table with a plethora of options to get sweet.

Laura Zorch/Thrillist

Franktuary

Lawrenceville

After leaving the sanctuary, head to Franktuary. This religious pun-infused hot doggery cooks up a thoughtful and small Sunday brunch menu that changes often. The waffle sandwich -- a sausage and egg nestled between quartered waffles -- is a revelation.

Courtesy of Marissa Gulas/Grit & Grace

Grit & Grace

Downtown

At Grit & Grace, it is all about the brunch cocktails. You can even get an alcoholic bev made with Cinnamon Toast Crunch milk! Or, partner up and order a Scorpion Bowl, a mixture of brandy and rum with orgeat made in house, that comes with two or four straws. The menu includes small plates like the steam bun with mortadella and larger plates of pancakes, and traditional breakfast items.

Flickr/Brook Ward

Grand Concourse

Station Square

Sometimes you just want to be fancy AND eat copious amounts of ham. When the moment strikes, the only answer is the brunch buffet of the Grand Concourse. Overlooking the Mon, the old, ornate train station is one classy-looking establishment with a large Sunday spread. Indulge in Salmon Rockefeller, prime rib, an omelet bar, and more.  

Harris Grill

Shadyside

Welcome to the cheapest Sunday brunch in town. For $14 you get an entrée, a coffee, AND a frozen mimosa, Bloody Mary, or a juice (if you need to remain functional that afternoon). The wacky menu is at once funny and frustratingly hard to read, but you can’t go wrong with Skillet Stickies or the Breakfast Mac made with sausage.

Laura Zorch/Thrillist

The Cafe At The Frick

Point Breeze

Museum cafes can be rough, like soggy pizza dough. The Café at the Frick, essentially a museum cafe, is anything but. It is elegant, quaint, and surprisingly fresh with some ingredients sourced right from the on-site greenhouse. Dine outside on the grounds of the Henry Clay Frick mansion and feel like old-timey Pittsburgh royalty.

de on the grounds of the Henry Clay Frick mansion and feel like old-timey Pittsburgh royalty.

Laura Zorch/Thrillst

Sweet Peaches

Allentown

You'll be charmed even before entering Sweet Peaches with its little peach sign hovering over the the Warrington Ave sidewalk. Wait inside the cozy and bright space for the on-demand prepared ceregi (donuts) and one of the rotating entrée options. Sweet Peaches is BYOB, so get to day drinking.

Laura Zorch/Thrillist

Coca Cafe

Lawrenceville

Coca Café is a hot, hot ticket for Sunday brunch. Oh yes, there will be a wait, but the payoff is in the creative plates of never-not-delicious quality eats. The menu changes weekly, but favorites from the daily breakfast menu include the herbed goat cheese stuffed French toast. Retro décor provides a solid vibe in which to chew away the afternoon.

 Laura Zorch/Thrillist

Marty's Market

Strip District

If an award was given for juice delightfulness, Marty’s Market would win hands down for the fresh-squeezed OJ, ordered by the glass or carafe. Marty’s would have another award locked down as well: best pancakes. Topped with cinnamon butter, the small stack is fluffy, light, and makes a perfect pair with a side of potatoes or house-made sausage.


 
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Laura Zorch is a Pittsburgh writer who loves the crap out of cake. Follow her sweet tooth at @eatpgh where she eats around town with her three pals.

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1. e2 5904 Bryant St, Pittsburgh, PA 15206 (Highland Park)

Happiness lives at this Highland Park eatery. This sweet BYOB spot packs folks in to about 10 tables to feast on hearty and heart-warming Italian-inspired meals. Don’t let this adorableness fool you, though, Chef Kate Romane is a badass in the kitchen and brings big, bold flavors to the table and designs easily the best brunch in town.

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2. Point Brugge Café 401 Hastings St, Pittsburgh, PA 15206 (Point Breeze)

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.

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3. Tartine 400 S Main St, Pittsburgh, PA 15108 (West End)

Take a trip to France (minus the baggage) at Tartine, a bistro in the West End, complete with a Muppet-like dog named Bert. It has standard French fare like tasty crepes and quiche, but the real piéce de résistance is the pear-, cheese-, and nut-covered French bread, aka Tartine Du Poire. Have mercy! Or merci?

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
4. Square Cafe 1137 S Braddock Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15218 (Regent Square)

Colorful and quirky, the Square Cafe space is a little ray of sunshine in Regent Square. The super-popular spot boasts interesting menu choices like tofu hash and cornmeal pancakes, and keeps thirsts at bay with coffee in square mugs and killer milkshakes. On the 10 warm days per year in the city (just kidding, Pittsburgh has at least 11 nice days), tables spill out onto the sidewalk for outdoor dining.

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5. Meat & Potatoes 649 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

With a name that evokes simplicity and the essentials, Meat & Potatoes makes good on its promise of wholly satisfying, back-to-basics American fare. Chef Richard Deshantz serves seasonally inspired, artisanal comfort food, featuring highlights like bone marrow with gremolata and pickled red onions and burgers with fresh homemade buns. Factor in the Prohibition-themed cocktail menu and contemporary speakeasy ambience, and you’ve got an upscale gastropub that is both hip and approachable at once.

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6. The Zenith 86 S 26th St, Pittsburgh, PA 15203

Zenith is an eclectic antique haven and vegan eatery. Sunday brunch dishes are constantly changing, but the formula is always the same: your meal includes an entrée, a coffee, and -- wait for it -- a buffet! The buffet features scrumptious side dishes like noodle salads and greens, plus a wondrous cake table filled with sweets. You'll walk out with a stomach full of treats and hands full of ceramic teapots and macrame owls.

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7. Franktuary 3810 Butler St, Pittsburgh, PA 15201 (Lower Lawrenceville)

You won't find any mystery meat at this hot doggery -- just natural-cased dogs, tofu dogs, and other meatless delights. Vegan chili, lentil sloppy Joes, and roasted grain sausage are all on the menu here, assuring even the meat-free among us can indulge in some American classics. Franktuary is also cooking up a small Sunday brunch menu featuring a waffle sandwich -- sausage and egg nestled between thick waffles -- that is truly a revelation.

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8. grit & grace 535 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

At Grit & Grace, it is all about the brunch cocktails. You can even get an alcoholic bev made with Cinnamon Toast Crunch milk! Or, partner up and order a Scorpion Bowl, a mixture of brandy and rum with orgeat made in house, that comes with two or four straws. The menu includes small plates like the steam bun with mortadella and larger plates of pancakes, and traditional breakfast items.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
9. Grand Concourse 100 W Station Square Dr, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Sometimes you just want to be fancy AND eat copious amounts of ham. When the moment strikes, the only answer is the brunch buffet of the Grand Concourse. Overlooking the Mon, the old, ornate train station is one classy-looking establishment with a large Sunday spread. Indulge in Salmon Rockefeller, prime rib, an omelet bar, and more.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
10. Harris Grill 5747 Ellsworth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15232 (Shadyside)

Welcome to the cheapest Sunday brunch in town. For $14 you get an entrée, a coffee, AND a frozen mimosa, Bloody Mary, or a juice (if you need to remain functional that afternoon). The wacky menu is at once funny and frustratingly hard to read, but you can’t go wrong with Skillet Stickies or the Breakfast Mac made with sausage.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
11. The Cafe at the Frick 7227 Reynolds St, Pittsburgh, PA 15208 (Point Breeze)

Museum cafes can be rough, like soggy pizza dough. The Café at the Frick, essentially a museum cafe, is anything but. It is elegant, quaint, and surprisingly fresh with some ingredients sourced right from the on-site greenhouse. Dine outside on the grounds of the Henry Clay Frick mansion and feel like old-timey Pittsburgh royalty.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
12. Sweet Peaches 639 E Warrington Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15210 (Allentown)

You'll be charmed even before entering Sweet Peaches with its little peach sign hovering over the the Warrington Ave sidewalk. Wait inside the cozy and bright space for the on-demand prepared ceregi (donuts) and one of the rotating entrée options. Sweet Peaches is BYOB, so get to day drinking.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
13. Coca Cafe 3811 Butler St, Pittsburgh, PA 15201 (Central Lawrenceville)

Coca Café is a hot, hot ticket for Sunday brunch. Oh yes, there will be a wait, but the payoff is in the creative plates of never-not-delicious quality eats. The menu changes weekly, but favorites from the daily breakfast menu include the herbed goat cheese stuffed French toast. Retro décor provides a solid vibe in which to chew away the afternoon.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
14. Marty's Market 2301 Smallman St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 (Strip District)

If an award was given for juice delightfulness, Marty’s Market would win hands down for the fresh-squeezed OJ, ordered by the glass or carafe. Marty’s would have another award locked down as well: best pancakes. Topped with cinnamon butter, the small stack is fluffy, light, and makes a perfect pair with a side of potatoes or house-made sausage.

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