Listen, we’re not going to tell you what to do… If you don’t want to print out this list of the best diners in Pittsburgh, and keep it in your car, and make it your life’s mission to visit each and every one of them for a classic breakfast, or a burger or two, that’s fine. You do what you want. But we’re already hitting the road. See you there!
Nancy’s East End Diner
Breakfast? Check. Lunch? Check. Homemade pies made by an “in-house pie gal”? Check. Yep, you’ve found Nancy’s East End Diner. The Wilkinsburg restaurant serves up classic diner fare Tuesdays through Sundays, with fresh-ground coffee, homemade soups, locally-sourced meats and a pie menu to die for (which you can get served with a scoop of Leona’s ice cream). The pie menu varies by the day, but if you happen to find yourself there when their signature Sweet Potato Pie is available, you’d be a fool not to have a slice.
Nancy’s East End Diner (616 South Avenue)
You’ll find all of your favorite diner dishes at Ritter’s, a classic, old-school spot that has been serving Pittsburgh (in one form or another) since 1951. That means the menu features loads of omelettes, French toast, hot cakes, burgers, sandwiches, salads, melts, milkshakes… and that just takes care of lunch and breakfast. The dinner menu serves up meatloaf, honey-dipped fried chicken, and a rotating list of specials, like haluski and pigs in a blanket. They’re open 24 hours Wednesday through Saturday, and from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Tuesday. And remember, they’re cash-only!
Ritter’s Diner (5221 Baum Blvd.)
Pamela’s P&G Diner
It’s been a Pittsburgh institution since owners Pam Cohen and Gail Klingensmith opened the original Pamela’s P&G Diner in Squirrel Hill in 1979. Since then, they’ve been serving their famous crepe-style pancakes and bottomless cups of coffee to hungry hoards of Pittsburgh diners in six local locations, including Millvale, The Strip District, Shadyside, Mt. Lebanon, and Oakland. With kitschy, old-school decor and some of the best breakfast specialties around (croissant French Toast with caramel, anyone?), a visit to Pamela’s is an absolute must stop for anyone who comes to town.
Pamela’s P&G Diner (various locations)
Kelly O’s Diner
The Strip District
After getting some much-deserved love from Guy Fieri on Diner’s Drive-Ins and Dives, it became much harder to get a seat at Kelly O’s in the Strip District. But it’s worth the wait to get your hands on some of their delicious diner food, like the O.M.G Breakfast, a classic with two eggs, home fries or hash browns, and your choice of hot sausage, ham or kielbasa. The bright, colorful restaurant also has a North Hills location, and they’re both daily for breakfast and lunch (try the Triple D-approved halushki and fried mush with bacon) until 3:00 p.m.
Kelly O’s Diner (100 24th Street)
Mullin’s Diner definitely earns its hole-in-the-wall status with its blink-and-you’ll-miss-it location on the North Side. But if you happen to stumble across it (or you know where to look), you’ll find a no-frills diner with classic breakfast and lunch options, and a few surprises, too, like their pierogi-stuffed omelettes, and a breakfast burger, served on French toast.
Mullin’s Diner (876 Progress Street)
Since openings its doors in 1986, the Dor-Stop Restaurant has been serving no-frills home cooking to its legions of fans in Dormont and beyond. The breakfast menu covers all of the diner favorites, from hot cakes to Eggs Benedict (and insanely-good Potato Pancakes) and for lunch you’ll find hot roast beef sandwiches, hoagies, wraps and burgers, all served with a side of their homemade chips. And the best part? Everything is made from scratch.
Dor-Stop Restaurant (1430 Potomac Avenue)
Breakfast at Shelly’s
Cheery little Breakfast at Shelly’s has only been open for about a year, but its already made its mark in Allentown. The diner (which formerly housed Pittsburgh mainstay Michelle’s Diner) serves breakfast and lunch platters, and house specials that change every day (everything from 2 hot dogs and fries for $5 to Mushroom & Swiss burgers).
Breakfast at Shelly’s (724 E. Warrington Avenue)
Open seven days a week, Ross Township’s Valliant’s Diner serves mega-sized breakfast and lunch options from a super-cute retro dining room. You’ll find bacon, eggs and French toast for breakfast, and two-handed burgers and old-fashioned favorites, like fried bologna sandwiches, for lunch. Keep an eye out for the daily specials board, too!
Valliant’s Diner (3418 Babcock Blvd.)
From Eggs Benedict to stuffed pancakes, breakfast is the star of the show at Mt. Washington’s Micro Diner. The family-run diner keeps breakfast, lunch and dinner hours seven days a week, and has a steady take-out and (free!) delivery business, too. They also offer daily specials, which range from homemade meatloaf to Kielbasa and eggs. One thing not to miss? Their fresh-cut fries, which come with every sandwich and burger.
Micro Diner (221 Shiloh Street)
If you’ve ever been in the Strip District on a weekend morning, you’ve seen the lines at DeLuca’s Diner… and they’re there for a reason. It might be one of the most famous diners in town, thanks in part to their ‘fancy’ pancakes and their famous crepes, filled with sweet ricotta cheese and toppings that include everything from chocolate chips and strawberries to bananas and caramel sauce. The cash-only diner is open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch.
DeLuca’s Diner (2015 Penn Avenue)
Johnny’s Diner in the West End has a long history, and has gone through a number of iterations throughout the years – Pip’s, Eve’s, Marie’s, Irene’s – but has kept the true spirit of a diner with huge, no-frills breakfast platters of eggs, sausage, bacon, pancakes and more. They’re open seven days a week and are cash-only, and it’s definitely worth a visit to their Saw Mill Run-adjacent location.
Johnny’s Diner (1900 Woodville Avenue)
Tucked under a bridge in the Woods Run section of the North Side, Don’s Diner might just be one of Pittsburgh’s greatest hidden gems… in fact, Architecture Magazine featured Don’s in their ‘loneliest architecture’ feature. Nevertheless, the diner features friendly service and over-stuffed plates, and is worth a visit. You’ll find diner classics like omelettes and pancakes on the extended breakfast menu, and cheeseburgers and club sandwiches for lunch – and $1 coffee with unlimited refills, too.
Don’s Diner (1729 Eckert Street)
With four locations (Castle Shannon, Kennedy Township, South Hills and Carnegie), finding a Bob’s Diner in Pittsburgh is as easy as (homemade) pie. They offer breakfast all day, plus lunch and dinner, too. Menu highlights include Mancini’s Raisin French Toast, Corned Beef and Hash and an ever-changing quiche of the day.
Bob’s Diner (1230 Grove Road)
Barb’s Corner Kitchen
Upper Lawrenceville’s Barb’s Corner Kitchen is a bright, cozy breakfast spot with a menu that places an emphasis on eggs – egg sandwiches, eggs over easy, poached eggs, omelettes – along with pancakes and waffles, too. For lunch, you’ll find classic fare like burgers and sandwiches, plus a hot dog menu with 11 different styles of dogs.
Barb’s Corner Kitchen (4711 Butler Street)
Located downtown, this classic greasy spoon is the perfect spot for a quick breakfast or lunch. Load up on pancakes, loaded French Toast (fried Italian bread stuffed with cream cheese and strawberries) and their plate-sized omelettes. Portions are huge, and you won’t be spending a lot of money, no matter what you order.
Cherries Diner (212 Forbes Avenue)
You’ll find pancakes, bacon and eggs at this family restaurant in Elizabeth… and also homemade pizza and cupcakes. The menu is a mixed bag of this and that, yet somehow, it all works. Known for their friendly service and great prices, Wagner’s Restaurant is the epitome of a classic country kitchen.
Wagner’s Restaurant (550 McKeesport Road, Elizabeth)
Since opening in 2009, Totin’s Diner (which used to be an old car garage) has served breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week to guests in Wexford. The menu includes fresh off-the-griddle delights, like Cinnamon Swirl French Toast, Chocolate Milk French Toast and Kielbasa & Eggs. For lunch and dinner, you’ll find hoagies, burgers and homemade soups, plus daily dinner specials, like Liver & Onions.
Totin’s Diner (10283 Old Perry Highway, Wexford)
In business since 1946, Dick’s is an old-school diner in Murrysville that’s become an integral part of the community. You’ll find old-fashioned breakfasts (hello, hot homemade biscuits), and mile-high slices of homemade pie. They’re open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, serving down-home favorites like hot roast beef and mashed potatoes, meatloaf, and corned beef.
Dick’s Diner (4200 William Penn Highway, Murrysville)
Chev & Rachel’s Family Diner
This traditional, family-style diner serves platters of eggs, bacon, sausage, and hash browns for breakfast six days a week (closed Mondays) in Emsworth. Want more? The menu also features a selection of omelettes, breakfast sandwiches, and pancakes the size of your plate – and they’re pretty dang delicious, too.
Chev & Rachel’s Family Diner (233 Center Avenue, Emsworth)
Gab & Eat
Carnegie’s Gab & Eat has been in business for 34 years, offering up breakfast and lunch seven days a week. You’ll find classic diner fare and gut-busting breakfasts, plus a lunch menu that includes eight varieties of burgers, topped with everything from bacon and cheddar to salami and Swiss.
Gab & Eat (1073 Washington Avenue, Carnegie)
Feel like going the extra mile?
It’s a little off the beaten path, but Dean’s Diner in Blairsville is worth the drive. The old-school landmark diner features a vintage dining car and some of the best pies within 100 miles of the ‘Burgh. The 24-hour spot serves huge portions of homemade favorites for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but, seriously, whatever you do, don’t miss having a slice or two of their famous pies. Varieties change by the day, but Coconut Cream is always on the menu… and always a good idea.
Dean’s Diner (550 Dixon Street, Blairsville)
Have a favorite diner that we missed? Let us know in the comments!