Welcome to the culinary renaissance of Pittsburgh, where new restaurants, bars, and breweries are popping up seemingly every week. There has never been a better time to be a food fan in Pittsburgh, and this summer is no exception. We’ve found around 20 upcoming restaurants, bars and breweries to keep on your radar, and over half of them will be open by the end of the summer – so let the munching commence!
Recon Brewing is named after the fact the first Jeep was made in Butler (we’ll let them explain the connection), where the brewery is located. The team worked hard to keep the brewery hyper-local, sourcing everything from the logo to the equipment close by. Recon Brewing will be a relaxed atmosphere where anyone is welcome to enjoy a pint. Beers include “BRC,” an IPA, “Azote,” a milk stout, and “Beyond Saison,” a hopped farmhouse ale.
Opening: This weekend with a soft opening on May 26 and 27
Look forward to: Locally crafted beers in Butler!
Recon Brewing (1747 N. Main St. Ext., Butler, PA)
The Leaning Cask Brewing Company
A new brewery is opening in Pittsburgh’s Springdale suburb. The Leaning Cask Brewing Company will offer a British-style tasting room, featuring beers that are a fusion of British technique and American flavors. Some examples of the beer Leaning Cask will be serving include “Scottish Terrier Ale,” a Scotch ale, “Alsatian Abbey Ale,” a Belgian blond style, “Double Dog Dare,” an IPA, and “English Setter Stout,” an English style stout ale.
Opening: Grand opening party on June 9 and 10
Look forward to: Casked beer served from a traditional hand pump that was imported from England.
The Leaning Cask Brewing Company (850 Pittsburgh Street, Springdale, PA)
This Sunday (May 28) is the last day to enjoy dishes from the four wonderful chefs who have graced Smallman Galley for the past year and half. In June, four new chefs and four new restaurants will make home in the galley. Pittsburghers will soon be meeting Chef Jesse Barlass of Colonia, Chef Hoa Le of Banhmilicious, Chef Ryan Peters of brunoise, and Chef Pete Tolman of Iron Born.
Expected opening: June 6
Look forward to: Latin American cuisine at Colonia, Vietnamese flavors at Banhmilicious, a refined menu from brunoise, and “Detroit-style” pizza from Iron Born.
Smallman Galley (54 21st Street)
Doughnut company Duck Donuts is finally opening an outpost in Pittsburgh, and their doors are opening sooner than you may think! Duck Donuts offers different coatings, toppings, and drizzles on their doughnuts, not to mention ice-cream sundaes and doughnut breakfast sandwiches. Each of the small chain’s locations include a waiting area with a window into the kitchen, where guests can watch the doughnut-making process as the doughnut machine cooks and carries the doughnuts down the assembly line. This location will open at the St. Clair retail center, adjacent to Whole Foods across from the South Hills Village Mall in the South Hills.
Expected opening: Mid-June
Look forward to: Their signature vanilla cake donuts are freshly made the moment they are ordered. Guests top their donuts with endless combinations of coatings, toppings and drizzles.
Duck Donuts (100 Sienna Dr. Suite 220)
Mac & Toz Alehouse
Ever since we broke the news in March that the folks behind Bakn in Carnegie were working on a Mac & Cheese-centric restaurant in Bridgeville, the anticipation has been mounting for this cheesey restaurant. In less than a month, Pittsburghers can expect to be sipping on whiskey, and eating lobster-pot Mac & Cheese.
Expected opening: Mid-June
Look forward to: Luscious Mac and Cheese, seven kinds to choose from, along with a sip or two from their Whiskey Tasting Wall.
Mac & Toz Alehouse (500 Washington Avenue, Bridgeville, PA)
Pie for Breakfast
Pie for Breakfast, the third restaurant in Trevett and Sarah Hooper’s Good Faith Restaurant Group, will be joining Legume and the Butterjoint in Oakland later this year. Located right next door to their other two restaurants, Pie for Breakfast will feature breakfast, lunch and dinner service, with café -like, made-from-scratch dishes that adhere to the Hooper’s tradition of serving a seasonal and local menu.
Expected opening: Fall 2017
Looking forward to: A stellar new option for breakfast, lunch and dinner in Oakland.
Pie for Breakfast (200 North Craig Street)
Baby Loves Tacos
A taco shop is coming to Bloomfield! The highly-anticipated brick-and-mortar storefront for the popular Baby Loves Tacos pop-up is hoping to be open for the summer! The crew behind the business is putting the finishing touches on their space on Liberty Ave. Check out our announcement on the space for more information on what to expect.
Expected opening: End of June 2017
Look forward to: Brisket tacos, roasted buffalo cauliflower tacos, and collaborations with some of Baby Loves Tacos’ best friends and guest chefs once a month.
Baby Loves Tacos (4508 Liberty Avenue)
Kevin Sousa, the Pittsburgh chef behind Salt of the Earth, Union Pig & Chicken, and Station Street Hot Dogs, has been developing his new restaurant in Braddock, Superior Motors, for several years, after a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign. Though the final concept is still a bit of a mystery, Superior Motors will serve an eclectic menu, featuring “thoughtfully prepared food drawing inspiration from Braddock, its people, its history and its perseverance.” Sousa says that the restaurant’s targeted opening date is this summer.
Expected opening: Early July
Look forward to: Finally getting to experience one of the most anticipated restaurants of the past few years, and getting to see all the hard work that was put into the space.
Superior Motors (1215 Braddock Avenue, Braddock, PA)
Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream Downtown
Millie’s Homemade has quickly become synonymous with ice cream in Pittsburgh, and the city is thrilled that a second location is coming Downtown. The new space will serve the same ice cream that Pittsburgh has come to know and love, but with a new look (and even some Downtown exclusive flavors). The scoop shop will be located on the first floor o f the Hilton Garden Inn on Forbes Avenue in Market Square.
Expected opening: July 2017
Look forward to: Berry and stone fruit flavors made exclusively with local fruit.
or, The Whale
Chef Dennis Marron, who hit a home run when he opened the Commoner at the Hotel Monaco in 2015, is currently developing a restaurant in the trendy new Distrikt Hotel, which will open soon in the former Salvation Army Building Downtown. The space, named or, The Whale, will be a seafood and chop house with features like a butcher room with a dry-aging room.
Expected opening: July 2017
Look forward to: A beautiful, six-foot wood-burning hearth, fire-charred, dry-aged steaks, and a great glass of wine. There will also be escargot and French Onion Soup, and the return of Marron’s famous fries.
or, The Whale (436 Blvd. of the Allies)
Merchant Oyster Company
Dennis Marron’s other restaurant concept, the tantalizing Merchant Oyster Company, has been teasing us since 2016. The wait for the restaurant, which sits on the corner of Butler and 42nd Street, is almost over – soon enough Pittsburghers will be able to enjoy fresh oysters and delicious chowder in Lawrenceville.
Expected opening: End of summer 2017
Look forward to: Sitting outside, listening to yacht rock, enjoying oysters, chowder and lobster rolls.
Merchant Oyster Company (4129 Butler Street)
The stretch of Penn Avenue as it runs through Garfield is developing quickly, and a new outdoor barbeque restaurant will soon join the host of restaurants and bars in the area. “Spork Pit,” from the folks behind the world-class Spork, will bring Texas-style BBQ to Pittsburgh, with outdoor dining, interesting cocktails, and a real smoke pit. Check out our post for more information on the space.
Expected opening: Early August 2017
Look forward to: Brisket, short ribs, turkey, homemade sausage, and pulled pork.
The Wigle Whiskey folks are working hard to bring cider to the North Side of Pittsburgh! Threadbare Cider embraces a wine-making approach to cider making, and incorporates techniques such as mixed culture fermentations, and barreled ciders (in partnership with their sister company, Wigle). Additionally, there will be Johnny “Appleseed” Chapman tours (he was a Pittsburgher, you know) that’ll give Pittsburgh a historical cider education.
Expected opening: Late summer, early fall 2017
Threadbare Cider: Amazing cider, oven fired pizzas, and a huge parking lot.
Threadbare Cider (1254 Voskamp Street)
Brew Museum Restaurant
Chances are, you’ve heard of (and are very excited about) the beer museum that is coming to Pittsburgh. There will also be a 300-seat restaurant and brewery attached the museum that will open prior to the exhibits.
Expected opening: Summer 2018
Look forward to: Also being able to check out the Museum of Beer that will tell the story of beer from thousands of years ago through to today’s booming craft beer movement.
Other exciting restaurants to keep on your radar include: a new Hough’s location, War Streets Brewery in the North Side, Black Cat Market Cat Cafe, Ki Ramen in Lawrenceville, a new Rick Deshantz restaurant in the former Salt of the Earth space, along with Gi-Jin, a new raw fish and gin space downtown.
Don’t forget about the new restaurant at the Fairmont opening sometime in september/october
Wake me up when the Costanzo family brings back The Primadonna. Certainly the best Italian food Pittsburgh ever knew.
Meh, mostly more of the same. Pittsburgh has a long way to go as a food city, in my opinion?
That’s a crazy comment about one of the better food cities in the country…im positive your alone with this opinion and doubt you ate very adblventurous with your meals in the burgh…try Cleveland lol 🙂
Grew up In Pittsburgh and now live in philly. Pittsburgh has a way to go compared with philly
Nah, I’m very adventurous with food… there’s pretty much nothing I won’t eat. Over the last 4 years I have tried just about every restaurant featured on this site as well as the other major Pittsburgh food blogs, and I have yet to have a single meal of the caliber I’ve had in other cities I’ve lived in and traveled to, including but not limited to NYC, LA, SF, Chicago, Miami, London, Sydney, Rome, Singapore, Hong Kong. Even Portland and Seattle are miles ahead in terms of their culinary offerings. Pgh certainly has charm, but a food city it is not, despite all of the recent media hype. If the benchmark is Pgh itself 10-15 years ago, then sure, it has come a long way, but it is still far, far behind. There is just not enough diversity here, and the Asian food in particular is really bad!
P.S. I am NOT using Cleveland, or any other city in Ohio for that matter, as a basis for comparison! That would be just sad.
What are you talking about
Exactly what I said above: more of the same. There is no shortage of microbreweries and BBQ joints here; lately every man and his dog seems to want to open a taco shop. Oh, and whoopdee-doo, a new donut shop (and a chain, no less!). *Yawn*
I completely agree. Pittsburgh is improving and that’s wonderful but it’s kidding itself to think it’s a great “food city”
PGH Anon says
The quality and quantity of great establishments, and the ever-improving/evolving food scene here is definitive proof that Pittsburgh has most certainly arrived as a legit ‘food destination.’ If you truly took inventory, & spent significant time eating and drinking your way around town on a regular basis, it would be quite obvious. I’ve been on extended food/drink trips to Chicago, Philly, New York, SF, Toronto, DC, LA, SD, and more, and Pittsburgh is very much leveling the playing field with those places, both in terms of consistent quality, and inventive cuisine.
That said, the evolution will continue. And that only means great things are ahead for Pittsburgh.
Exactly, Brian! And Pgh Anon, I agree that the food scene here has vastly improved over the last decade, but it still leaves much to be desired. As someone who travels extensively both internationally and domestically, I am always left wanting when I return here. It is just not diverse enough, and the local dining establishments lack creativity, simply attempting to mimic what they think is trendy at a given point in time (often failing miserably, I’m sorry to have to say). I love this city, but let’s not pretend it’s something that it clearly is not.
You will love duck donuts. You must try the bacon maple donut. It’s a must here in the Carolinas. Can’t wait to go when I go home to Pittsburgh to visit.
Excited to see new eating options, but ya gotta put some in the South Hills – all we have are chain restaurants out here and we are sick of those. VA Beach has a ton of healthier eating options, i.e. farm to table. Love First Watch though. Oh and more seafood!
Something else I’ve noticed… why is it that it takes so long for new dining establishments to open up in Pittsburgh? A plan for a new restaurant will be announced and then you won’t hear anything about it for a year, a year and a half, sometimes longer. The space will just sit empty for months on end.
Has anyone else noticed this? I’ve lived in multiple US cities as well as in Australia and Asia, and nowhere else have I ever seen this to be the case. Is it just that the city has a protracted process for permits?