5 of the Most Unique Restaurants in Pittsburgh That You Won’t Find Anywhere Else

February 24, 2021
Food & Drink
jason wolfe

Years ago, the city of Pittsburgh was only really known for the thriving steel industry it housed. But since the peak of the industry came and went, Pittsburgh has adapted to the changes and slowly transformed into a lively hub for tech and medical innovation. With these new changes came a bustling restaurant scene. Dozens of interesting and unique restaurants can be found in this up-and-coming city. Looking for a new dining spot to try? Check out our list of the top 5 most unique restaurants in Pittsburgh. 

Finding the perfect gift for your loved ones can be difficult. If you’re able to find a gift that balances practicality with fun, you’re usually golden. That’s why thousands of people have turned to GiftYa for all their gifting needs. GiftYa offers virtual gift cards that can be used at numerous restaurants around Pittsburgh, including the ones we featured below. Once you pick a restaurant, you can text it to your loved one. It’s that easy!

1. The Porch

Casual Oakland restaurant that is popular among university students and their families

The Porch offers an outdoor seating area for those rare sunny Pittsburgh days. Image courtesy of Yelp.

221 Schenley Dr. | Oakland | dineattheporch.com 

Most students at the University of Pittsburgh are familiar with The Porch. This casual restaurant is a popular destination for students who want to take their parents out to dinner or who just want to enjoy a nice meal with friends. But for those who don’t stop by Oakland much, it can offer a great chance to enjoy some of the best parts of this little Pittsburgh neighborhood. 

One of the most unique features of The Porch is its rooftop garden. Many of the ingredients in the restaurant’s dishes are actually sourced from this garden. The service style also changes depending on when you go to the restaurant. In the morning, you can pick up coffee, pastries, or breakfast sandwiches from its to-go window. For lunch, you can order a meal at the cash register before picking a spot to sit at any of its tables. Brunch and dinner offers a full-service experience, meaning that a server will take your order and wait on you.

“The service and the food were fantastic. We only meant to come in for drinks but the food looked and smelled so good that we had to stay. The bartender was awesome, and so was everyone else there. Overall a great experience, I would absolutely recommend it.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for The Porch. 

2. Casbah

Upscale restaurant that artfully brings the cuisine and culture of the Mediterranean to Shadyside

Casbah offers fresh and savory seafood dishes like the Crab Cake Sandwich. Image courtesy of Yelp

229 S Highland Ave. | Shadyside | casbahpgh.com

At Casbah, you can instantly transport yourself from the cold, wintery weather of Pittsburgh to the warm paradise of the Mediterranean. With its colorful decorations and green plants, Casbah and quickly help you forget the frozen tundra that awaits you outside. Many of the servers and bartenders actually address regulars by name, adding to the familial atmosphere of the restaurant. 

Moving onto the food, Casbah offers both dinner and brunch. On both menus, you can find a wide selection of flavorful Mediterranean dishes. If you stop by for dinner, we recommend checking out the Jumbo Lump Crab Cake and Butternut Squash Ravioli. For brunch, Casbah offers a la carte appetizers and a prix fixe meal that includes a first course, entree, and cocktail. Buttermilk Pancakes and Ricotta Cavatelli are just a couple of their main entree options. 

After eating here, you’ll definitely want to come back for more! 

“We got this as carry-out during COVID and their safety processes were some of the best we had seen yet! Their food was also the most delicious meals we had during COVID (Long Island duck & double-cut pork chop). They were worth every penny. Personally, the double-cut pork chop is probably the best pork chop I've ever had in my life. It tasted like a cloud! So amazingly tender and perfectly flavored!” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Casbah. 

3. Butcher & The Rye

New American restaurant located in Downtown Pittsburgh

Photo of Butcher and the Rye - Pittsburgh, PA, United States
The Butcher and the Rye is also known for its inventive cocktails and extensive drink list. Image courtesy of Yelp

212 6th St. | Downtown | butcherandtherye.com

Located in Downtown Pittsburgh, Butcher and the Rye offers a specialized menu for visitors. Many people agree that a smaller menu signifies an emphasis on craft and care by the restaurant, and this is certainly shown at Butcher and the Rye. 

Everything from the Roasted Chicken to the Steak Diane is made by using only the finest cooking techniques. A small selection of sides including brussel sprouts, beans, and charred French bean salad is also available to accompany your main dish. And like any fine restaurant, Butcher and the Rye offers a delightful dessert selection featuring French chocolate custard and seasonal pie. 

The Butcher and the Rye is temporarily closed due to the pandemic, but we highly encourage putting this at the top of your radar once it is safe to return! You won’t regret it. 

“Food: Honestly - incredible all around. I thought every dish had an intricate mix of ingredients, all cooked very well! For appetizers - I personally don't think I've had such flavorful tartare before, which they pair with sauces on top of bread. The bronzino entree was cooked perfectly - crispy skin with tender meat.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Butcher & The Rye. 

4. The Church Brew Works

Famous Pittsburgh brewery situated inside a restored Roman Catholic church

Photo of Church Brew Works - Pittsburgh, PA, United States. Good beer ,noce place and lot of space and ilove the food.somw pierogies polish stylw with buffalo chicken and some other stuff.
The Church Brew Works is one of a kind. Image courtesy of Yelp

3525 Liberty Ave. | Lawrenceville | churchbrew.com

You’d be hard pressed to find another restaurant like The Church Brew Works. Situated inside a restored Roman Catholic church, The Church Brew Works offers a dining experience like no other. While it is temporarily closed due to COVID-19, we encourage you to put this wonderful destination at the top of your bucket list. You won’t regret it. 

On the menu, you can find classic American cuisine such as BBQ Chicken Slaw Melt and Smoked Turkey Sandwiches. German Mac-n-Cheese and Fish n Chippers are also offered for folks who want to properly fill up their stomachs. Along with its extensive dinner menu, The Church Brew Works also offers a full beer list. Hence the name “Brew Works” in its title. 

“This place is amazing! We had a great experience with our server (blonde hair didn't catch his name but was so cool) and the manager who made us laugh throughout our experience here. We did a testing and all the beers were so delicious! They upheld all COVID regulations and the entire restaurant and restrooms were spotless. A fun place to enjoy with friends!” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for The Church Brew Works. 

5. The Grand Concourse

Award-winning restaurant that is a popular brunch destination among local yinzers

Celebrating a birthday or a special occasion? The Grand Concourse offers a breathtaking atmosphere that is perfect for upscale dining. Image courtesy of Yelp

100 W Station Square Dr. | South Side | grandconcourserestaurant.com

The Grand Concourse is another unique restaurant situated inside an unconventional space. Located inside a renovated railroad station, the Grand Concourse offers a sense of grandeur unmatched by any other restaurant in the city. 

Along with its impeccable service, the Grand Concourse also offers a fine meal selection. Raw oysters, calamari, Chilean sea bass, and crab cakes are just a few of the restaurant’s most popular seafood selections. If seafood isn’t your thing, you can also try the New York Strip Steak or the Lemon Chicken. If you’re craving a hearty dish of carbs, you’ll love the Grand Concourse’s pasta selection. Everything from the Roasted Vegetable Ravioli to the Lobster & Shrimp Carbonara will fill you right up! A wide selection of beer, wine, and cocktails are also available to complement your meal. 

“This was the restaurant my boyfriend took me to before he proposed at Mount Washington overlook. The food was phenomenal. And maybe it's the Gen Z in me but I love a restaurant classy enough to dress up, but also gives delicious free bread while you're sitting there starving. Our waiter was also an older gentleman that was so sweet. He really helped set the mood for our romantic evening.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for The Grand Concourse. 

Pittsburgh is home to a thriving restaurant scene that will only continue to grow and flourish. Whether you’re in the mood for a hot slice of margherita pizza or you want to try some Asian cuisine, you can find all of this and more in the Steel City. What restaurants do you plan on visiting next? Let us know in the comments!

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