Pittsburgh: Zagat’s No. 1 Food City

If you took a break from devouring chipped ham sandwich or pierogies, you may have been pleasantly surprised to realize that Pittsburgh has become a dining destination. Recently the city was ranked No. 1 as the best food city in the country by the prestigious Zagat Survey, a restaurant review provider. A bread basketful of new and innovative restaurants have been popping up all over the area to add to the tried-and-true ones that we’ve already been enjoying.

Who Can Trust Restaurant Reviews?

Like Renaissance painters clustering in Florence, outstanding eateries seem to congregate as well. Popular Pittsburgh is happy to shed the warming light on several areas in the region where a food revolution is taking place and where you can find a good meal. The places range from tasty take-out joints to fine dining establishments. We make no claim to having refined palates; we just like to eat and eat well. Therefore, the following is not a restaurant review because who can trust restaurant reviews these days what with so many killjoys online taking pleasure in posting scathing reviews for sport? We like to rely on word-of-mouth recommendations and the sight of crowded dining rooms for our selections.

East Liberty: A Food Paradise

The first Pittsburgh food paradise that we focus on is East Liberty. Not too long ago, had you mentioned you were heading to East Liberty to eat, people would have given you a sideways glance. But today, East Liberty is hotter than a broiler when it comes to eating. Here are some places to check out:

East Liberty Food Establishments Worth Checking Out


BRGR, located at 5997 Penn Circle South, has taken a good thing and made it great. The burgers are handcrafted as are the “adult” milkshakes that are spiked with alcohol. If you are craving a burger that’s a cut above the rest, head to BRGR.

Dinette Restaurant & Wine Bar

A dinette is defined as a small area off the kitchen for casual dining. While Dinette at 5996 Centre Avenue may seem cozy, it’s big on fresh local ingredients, including the tomatoes grown on the restaurant’s rooftop garden Dinette’s menu, which features thin-crusted pizzas has been garnering acclaim from critics and diners alike. It is open Tuesday-Saturday for dinner.

Paris 66 Bistro

If you’re looking for some oh la la, then Paris 66 Bistro is certainement la place to go. Located at 6018 Centre Avenue, Paris 66 has been garnering rave reviews for its French fare. Everything here is authentically French from the chefs to the staff to the delightful dishes served. Feast on house made quiches, crepes, and galettes. You will feel like you have ducked into a Left Bank Bistro at Paris 66 without ever leaving the city.

Social at Bakery Square

Located at 6425 Penn Avenue, Social boasts an extensive menu featuring everything from salads to fried peanut butter, bacon, and banana cream cheese sandwiches. It also has daily drink specials and serves brunch on both Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.


Spoon has been dishing up modern American cuisine in its upscale dining room and lounge at 134 South Highland Avenue, for several years now, and since its arrival on the scene, it has been accumulating accolades. Small and large plates, using local and sustainable products, are featured as well as unique cocktails.

Tana Ethiopian Cuisine

Offering dine-in or take-out, Tana Ethiopian serves authentic Ethiopian cuisine. If you dine in, your meal is served in the traditional way of dining communally, eating from a common plate while using your hands. Located at 5929Baum Boulevard, Tana Ethiopian serves not only delicious authentic meals but Ethiopian hospitality as well.

The Twisted Frenchmen

The Twisted Frenchmen offers classic French cuisine where the presentation is as important as the meal. Located at 128 South Highland Avenue, The Twisted Frenchmen offers truffle dishes when in season and a chef’s table 14 course prix fixe dinner by reservation only.

Wallace’s Tap Room at Hotel Indigo

Hotel Indigo is described as a boutique hotel, meaning it’s smaller and more attention is given to detail. That concept carries over to its restaurant, Wallace’s Tap Room, as well. Wallace’s Tap Room has a Prohibition Era charm to it, and its chef has taken great effort to establish relationships with local purveyors of food and whiskey to ensure a memorable dining experience whether it be for breakfast, lunch, dinner or to just grab a locally distilled whiskey and a tasty appetizer. Wallace’s Tap Room is located at 123 North Highland Avenue.