Heading to the Festival of Cheese this week? Here’s what restaurants to visit that are within walking distance from the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
Cuddle with adoptable kittens at Pittsburgh’s only cat cafe. The cafe, with a full bar and menu, is downstairs, and the cats stay in the upstairs loft. Reservations to spend time with the cats are recommended.
Colony Cafe (1125 Penn Avenue)
Nicky’s Thai Kitchen
A downtown staple, Nicky’s Thai Kitchen is one of the best places to get traditional Thai in the entire city. They serve lunch and dinner, and the menu includes a selection of curries, noodle dishes, and Chef specials. Their downtown location also offers a full bar.
Nicky’s Thai Kitchen (903 Penn Avenue)
Proper Brick Oven and Pizza
We’re huge fans of this wood-fired pizza place, which makes almost everything from scratch, including their pizza dough, sauce, and fresh mozzarella. They also have a wide selection of hand-made pastas and snacks, and 30 beers on tap.
Proper Brick Oven and Pizza (139 7th Street)
Pork & Beans
This hip BBQ restaurant is an Instagrammer’s dream – and the cocktails are stellar, too. This well-designed restaurant serves lunch and dinner, and the menu features snacks, salads, sandwiches (like Brisket Grilled Cheese), and family-style smoked meats, from pulled pork to spare ribs. And whatever you do, don’t miss the Southern-style sides, like their famous Mac & Cheese.
Pork & Beans (136 6th Street)
While it’s notoriously difficult to get reservations to täkō, a taqueria that serves creative tacos and boasts its very own tequila wall, it is possible to get in by grabbing a seat at the bar. Order the Korean short rib tacos and a margarita (or two).
täkō (214 6th Street)
One of Pittsburgh’s newest restaurants is Market Square’s Molinaro. Founded by the owners of Il Pizzaiolo (an Italian mainstay in town), this high-end restaurant offers an elevated dining experience, with homemade pasta and wood-fired pizzas.
Molinaro (2 PPG Place)
Located in the Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh, the Commoner is a stylish restaurant that serves modern American cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with options that include Scottish Salmon, Bourbon-brined roast chicken, and a well-regarded burger. They also offer 20 beers and wines on tap.
The Commoner (458 Strawberry Way)
Just upstairs from the Commoner is Biergarten, a rooftop beer garden at Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh. Not only do they have a deep selection of German brews on tap, but they also have a selection of biergarten-worthy snacks on the menu, like their giant Bavarian pretzel, and a selection of house-made sausages.
Biergarten (620 William Penn Place)
This taco chain serves up some seriously good Mexican selections in a fun, lively atmosphere. In addition to tacos (Baja Shrimp, Short Rib, and Carnitas are all standouts), they also offer tostadas, tortas, and a selection of salads on the menu.
Bakersfield (940 Penn Avenue)
Massive downtown spot City Works has over 90 beers on tap (yep, on tap!), making it a must-stop if you’re into local brews. They offer “classic American food with a modern twist,” including bar bites (cheese curds, fried pickles), appetizers (Buffalo chicken dip, baked Mac & Cheese), burgers, and entrees, such as smoked BBQ ribs, rigatoni, and meatloaf.
City Works (2 PPG Place)
Union Standard is the perfect place to grab an early-evening drink downtown, thanks to their inventive cocktail menu. On the food menu (they serve lunch and dinner), you’ll find fresh oysters from the raw bar, and a selection of modern American appetizers (get the warm potato bread, full stop), seasonal sides, and classic entrees, like wood-grilled strip steak and cauliflower Schnitzel.
Union Standard (524 William Penn Place)
You’ll find three levels of fun at Sienna Mercato, each with their own distinct vibe: The first floor is Emporio: A Meatball Joint, a casual spot that serves (you guessed it!) primarily meatballs. On the second level, you’ll find Mezzo, a restaurant that serves pizza, pasta and more. And the rooftop bar, Il Tezzo, is a must-visit if you’re in Pittsburgh,
Sienna Mercato (942 Penn Avenue)
Sharp Edge Bistro
You want beer? They’ve got beer. Sharp Edge Bistro is a casual spot that has over 200 craft beers to choose from (and 36 on draft). They also offer traditional pub fare, like burgers, sandwiches, and Mussels.
Sharp Edge Bistro (922 Penn Avenue)
The newly-opened Forbes Tavern serves elevated pub fare, like Prime Rib sandwiches, Cubano sandwiches, and a 412 Salad, topped just the way that Pittsburghers like it – with steak, cheese and French fries. They’re open for lunch and dinner, and also have a full bar.
Forbes Tavern (310 Forbes Avenue)