Pittsburgh is a food-loving town and it seems our adventurous appetite is growing.
This is especially true in the East End which is home to several universities, hospitals, and companies that have attracted people from all over the world. Variety is the spice of life, so make plans with a friend and feed your cultural curiosity. GiftYa makes it easy to gift any of these dinner dates.
4923 Penn Ave.
Happy Hour: weekdays 5pm-7pm
Soju was an instant hit since its opening in 2018.
The menu is rich in traditional favorites and subtly infused with Western elements. Each dish is beautifully balanced both in presentation and flavor.
If you’re not sure what to order, you can’t go wrong with the Korean BBQ Combination. Slices of marinated beef, pork tenderloin, and savory short ribs make this a meat lover's dream. The Killer Tofu is another crowd pleaser. These crispy morsels are coated in an addictive pineapple soy glaze, accompanied by rice and spicy pickled vegetables.
The restaurant was named after the popular Korean drink, Soju. This slightly sweet spirit is known for highlighting the flavor of the food it’s paired with.
Happy hour from 5pm-7pm on weekdays is a great time to try it for yourself. This Korean Spirit is a common ingredient in their delicious cocktails. The Purple Rain cocktail combines gin, lavender pea flower soju, lemongrass and lemon juice for a fresh and delightful drink, garnished with fruit. Soju can also be ordered as a shot with a variety of infusions like espresso, lavender pea flower, grapefruit, and plum to name a few.
“Soju has become one of those places I've been recommending to friends as a recent favorite. It labels itself as a "Korean-American Bar and Restaurant" and I think that's the perfect description for Soju. I liked just about everything about this place. The space was a little small, but the decor was very trendy. Food was phenomenal and so were the drinks! We tried quite a few of the dishes and every one of them was delicious. The gimbap was probably my favorite app. Killer tofu was also very good, but I thought it needed something to cut the strong flavor, like white rice. I had my leftovers with jasmine rice the next day and it was perfect! The tteokbokki tasted great, but was a bit tough to chew. Star of the show was hands down, the bbq. If you're not sure which to try, I highly recommend the Korean BBQ combination so you get a taste of every kind. My favorite, though, was the bulgogi. Next time I'm getting a whole serving of bulgogi! While you're here, make sure to try out some cocktails, which were just phenomenal. Looks like they have a happy hour too, which I would definitely love to take advantage of one of these days. I'll definitely be back for some bulgogi and cocktails!” - Tina B. Yelp Review
3519 Butler St.
Fri, Sat: 5pm-11pm
Poulet Bleu is a charming bistro that serves classic French fare.
When you walk through the doors you will be greeted by a bright and pleasant atmosphere along with a mixture of blue patterns and rustic accents. Decorative blue tile floors, whimsical floral wallpaper, and blue gingham napkins mirror the personality of the food; elegant but approachable. Though each element is distinct, the ingredients work together in perfect harmony.
French cuisine is big on small plates and built on the belief that meals should be savored, not rushed. This bistro is the place to enjoy family and food to the fullest.
Poulet Bleu has an impressive list of carefully selected wines and the sommelier can advise on the perfect pairing to compliment your meal. Everything on the menu looks appealing, so if you aren’t sure where to start, here are a few suggestions based on rave reviews:
The French Onion Soup is rich, sweet and satisfying. The soup is made of veal broth, shredded oxtail and caramelized onion, topped with baguette and blanketed by Emmental and Gruyere cheese, melted and browned to perfection.
Follow-up with the Mushroom Vol-au-Vent. This savory side consists of mushrooms, fried walnuts and croutons, encapsulated in a flaky puff pastry. The Chocolate Soufflé’ is a luxurious and light choice for dessert. It’s complemented by banana ice cream, cherry compote, and pineapple and finished with chocolate sauce and creme anglaise.
Poulet Bleu is the experience you never knew you needed until you had it. The artisanal details, flawless technical execution, and impeccable flavors will have you scheduling your next reservation before you leave, which is well advised because the restaurant books up quickly.
“For dessert, we indulged in the already famous chocolate souffle. It's a fun pouf of chocolate served with accompaniments banana ice cream, cherry compote, candied pineapple, chocolate sauce, and a delicious creme anglaise.
I can't wait to return to Poulet Bleu! I've already made a lists of things to try, like the cheese plate and the Parisienne gnocchi.” - Christina W. Yelp Review
“This restaurant is amazing!! Everything we had we enjoyed. We started with the French onion soup, which is one of best I've had. The broth is so rich and flavorful! We also had the scallops st Jacques, and we were practically licking the bowl for the leftover sauce. It was so creamy and savory.
For dinner, I had the beef bourguignon, which was so delicious and rich. I loved the crispy bread added to it, and the meat was perfectly cooked. My mom had the chicken which was cooked perfectly and was served with amazingly crisp potatoes. The trout almondine was also delicious, and the sauce was super light.
We also had a side of the mushrooms in puff pastry, which was incredible! So buttery and rich. And then we had the asparagus, which was served with very lemony ricotta. It was so light and refreshing with all of the other dishes.
For dessert, the soufflé is a must!! It was served with delicious sauces, such as chocolate, creme anglaise, sour cherries, and pineapple. We also had caramelized banana ice cream!
All I know is this restaurant is a must, and get your reservations soon. We made the reservation two months prior and was already almost booked!” - Christine S. Yelp Review
“A new favorite in Pittsburgh. We had the BEST experience dining here. We sat at the bar and ordered plate after plate to share. The cheese selections were amazing, and the bartender was spot on with her pairing suggestions. I could eat the frites every. single. day- we tried both the garlic aioli and the mornay sauce and I can't say that I have a favorite since they both were awesome. the mussels were right up there with another favorite PGH restaurant that specializes in mussel pots. Even the butter was phenomenal, memorable even. Our steak was so good, perfectly cooked and definitely mouthwatering. Each thing was a perfect execution of a classic dish. Absolutely the type of place where you can't help but stare at your neighbor's food wondering if you might have room for that too.
Also worth mentioning, since the food is only partly what makes a restaurant experience worthy of 5 stars, it is the most charming spot I've been to in a while. It took all of my willpower not to steal the plates ;) The staff from bartenders to waiters to the front of the house was courteous and on top of everything despite being fully packed.” Lauren C. Yelp Review
202 38th Street
(above Round Corner Cantina)
Umami is a prime place for a fun night out with friends.
This Japanese pub is energized with the red glow of neon lights and hanging lanterns, reminiscent of a Japanese night market. Have a seat at the bar and watch chefs expertly prepare beautiful dishes as a DJ spins into the late hours. If you’re looking for a quieter experience, go early Sunday through Wednesday and sit at the traditional sunken tables in the back.
The word umami means savory, “the fifth taste” and it is something this restaurant is dedicated to achieving. A delicious aroma will capture your attention when you arrive. You might be smelling the Robatayaki grill which cooks at extremely high heat to lock in flavor and juices. Averaging around $3, you can try a variety of Robatayaki skewered savories, like the Bacon Quail Egg, Wagyu Tenderloin, and King Trumpet Mushroom.
The menu has several noteworthy noodle dishes, but the Yaki Udon really is outstanding. This dish is hearty, colorful and artfully plated featuring stir-fried Noodles coated in sauce along with an assortment of shiitake mushrooms, cabbage, tare, beets, onsen egg, and crispy chili.
For a lighter option, try their fresh and delicious sushi. The Chirashi includes a wonderful variety of fish. Salmon, tuna, yellowtail, scallop, striped bass, ikura (red caviar), tako w/ quail egg, shiso, and nikiri sauce will satisfy your appetite without leaving you overstuffed.
Don’t forget to have a sip of sake or an elegant cocktail with your meal. Try Violet Snow, this lovely drink is made of lychee, white rum, Calpico, yuzu, lime, almond, violet and is garnished with an orchid. Umami also has a nice selection of Japanese beers and whiskeys.
“AMAZING EXPERIENCE. The food was exceptional. Cocktails were strong and so creative flavor wise. Definitely a top pick for date nights.” - Jess N. Yelp Review
“We came here with a group of 6 for dinner and sat at a fun sunken table in the back room. The restaurant looked really small but I may not have seen the entire place. Then I had a sashimi bowl and the fish was delicious! I've been having trouble finding good sushi back in Pittsburgh but this place certainly hit the spot!!” - Molly R. Yelp Review
“Love this restaurant! It's the most authentic place I've found after taking a long trip to Tokyo. The robatayaki skewers are amazing, especially the trumpet mushroom. The server said her favorite was the corn which I'll have to try next. The menu has a nice variety and you can have a light, medium, or heavy meal. The chirashi and ramen are my favorites for full meals. Service is consistently good and the atmosphere is very cool.
Note- it is a small restaurant and gets loud, so if you have trouble hearing in loud places or trouble projecting, that might be tough. The seats near the windows definitely get cold. Also, it's not ADA accessible- there are 2 flights of steep stairs.” - Andrea W. Yelp Review
3519 Butler St.
Mon, Wed, Thu: 5pm-9pm
Morcilla offers authentic Spanish cuisine in a charming and quiet space.
Their tapas-style menu has a selection of small plates and large family-style options, meant for sharing. Their locally sourced and seasonal dishes are artfully presented with a beautiful balance of flavor, color, and texture.
Reading the menu gives a sense that you’re not in store for an ordinary sit-down. While pondering the options, you can almost taste the sumptuous flavors behind the complex ingredients carefully planned for each dish.
In the “Costillas de la Matanza”, robust flavors of pomegranate sherry caramel, scallions, coriander, and crunchy black olive collide to highlight the juicy baby back pork ribs. Every dish is cooked to perfection and the service is fast and friendly.
The menu also features a wide variety of delicious cocktails, coffee, and drinks as well as a small list of choice desserts. Whether you’re looking to share tapas at the bar with friends or a formal dinner with family, Morcilla is an exceptional choice for a memorable experience. Bon Appétit magazine named Morcilla #4 on the list of 2016 Best New Restaurants.
“Here is a list of things I love about Morcilla:
1. The food. This is a good thing to love at a restaurant. Morcilla offers some of my favorite things, including beautiful beets, exceptional ribs, perfectly cooked seafood, and all the charcuterie including spreadable salami and a surprise star, the Cecina. This cured beef upstaged a lot of the pork (as we all know, the finest meat to cure) with its roasted pepper conserva. Plus it all looks damn good, in addition to being tasty.
2. The bar program. I could drink the Piel de Sapo for the rest of my life, and the other cocktails I tried were nearly as good. Toss in some great sangria, the best sherry selection I may have ever seen, and the awesome and insane cider pour thingy (technical term) happening at the front of the bar, and there's nothing not to love.
3. The service. We almost always sit at the bar, and there are very few places where that's a better call. The bartenders know their biz, make great recommendations, and are just generally pleasant people to be around.
That's it. That's all you need to get me in here.” - Peter D. Yelp Review
“Excellent meal. Best gin and tonic I've ever had. Iberico ham was worth it. So rich and melt in your mouth delicious. Octopus dish was phenomenal. Citrus salad was lights out. The arroz con pitu de caleya had the best crispy skin I remember having although the rice was a bit salty. The menu is set up as a bunch of small plates, but in truth, the small plates aren't that small. I'd call them medium plates.” - Joe K. Yelp Review
5865 Ellsworth Ave.
Senyai is a BYOB thai restaurant that delivers a visually stunning experience with colorful food and modern aesthetics.
The exterior looks like a charming Shadyside converted home, but when inside you’ll be taken aback by the striking ceiling created by Epiphyte Lab, a CMU design, and research practice. This dramatic ceiling is a contemporary take on the ancient vaulted architecture of Thailand and it functions to soften acoustics for a more intimate dining experience.
Senyai has a bright and pleasant atmosphere, perfect for lunch. The menu has many delicious curries, stir fry’s, and noodles. The crab fried Rice is heavenly and full of real jumbo lump crab meat. The Sticky Rice Mango is a sweet way to finish your meal.
Senyai offers a great selection of drinks. Order the Lemongrass Blue Tea if you want to impress a date, it is naturally blue from the butterfly pea flower and changes to purple when you add a few drops of lemon. The sweet and creamy Thai Iced Tea is also out of this world.
“I have been on the hunt for some great Thai food after going to Thailand and Senyai Thai kitchen did not disappoint. The space is very unique and the ceiling is one of a kind! The service was friendly and the food was served fast. My friend and I ordered spring rolls, pad Thai, and a chicken and broccoli dish. Great tasting flavor and sauces in every dish. The menu has many different options it was hard to choose!” - Kelly A. - Yelp Review
“This place is absolutely incredible. I thought I had already written my review a long time ago about how great this place is. I have tried every Thai place in Pittsburgh, and although is a little bit more on the pricier end. . . it is worth it. I live close and come here either for lunch or dinner or take-out at least once a week. I never get tired of Thai food but that's just me. Their green curry is absolutely incredible. I have yet to find a green curry that has as much flavor as this one. Their eggplant in the green curry and all the vegetables for that matter are done perfectly. I get the green curry with tofu, although I have had the chicken as well. If I want to switch it up I get the pad thai or I highly recommend their pad thai special. I think it was that much of a hit that they are making it a permanent item. It is a glass noodle pad thai with chicken and shrimp. I highly recommend that as well. If you are in the mood I also tried their eggplant stir-fry when I wanted to really switch it up because I just could not get enough eggplant and it was very good. In regards to the appetizer menu, I have officially tired them all and you can not go wrong. My personal preference is the crab rangoon or spring rolls. This place is BYOB, but take a short little walk to the wine and spirits right up the street and then come here to enjoy that wine with some wonderful Thai food. Senyai, you will always get a 10/10 in my book.” - Rachel W. Yelp Review
4715 Liberty Ave
Mon & Weds: 7:30am-4:30pm
Fri & Sat: 7:30am-9pm
The Azorean Cafe is a breath of fresh air in Bloomfield, open for breakfast and dinner.
Inspired by her native home, Elsa Santos took care in creating an authentic atmosphere and dishes. The cafe features brilliant blue walls themed after the hydrangeas of the Azores and the menu gives restaurant-goers a taste of the rich and hearty cuisine native to the region.
The Azores are group volcanic islands in Portugal characterized by lush landscapes and an abundance of agriculture, livestock, and fish. The Portuguese fare is served in rustic style: savory baked meals are presented in casseroles dishes and sandwiches look like they came fresh from the market, dressed in paper and neatly tied with string.
A great way to warm up from cold weather is with the Feijoada stew of beans, pork, & chorizo. A morning favorite is the egg and cheese breakfast sandwich, served on a buttered Portuguese roll. The baked cod au gratin potatoes with white cheese sauce is another popular dish.
Before you go, order the Pastéis de Natal, they are made from a 100-year-old recipe from Elsa’s hometown. These rich egg custard pastries are the perfect match for a sweet lavender latte. The cafe is open early, so stop by for a quick treat on your way to work.
“If you're looking for authentic Portuguese food this is the place! Located in the heart of Bloomfield's business district on Liberty Avenue it's an easy commute from anywhere. The decor is very reminiscent of Portugal and the Azores with paintings, photos, paint colors, tableware and more. A roomy space with an airy feel. Table and counter seating in front as well as a back private dining area that's perfect for a group of six or more. The cafe is a breakfast and lunch spot that holds Friday night dinners. We've had breakfast and dinner here. Absolutely amazing dishes, full of flavor and love. The coffee and espresso menu boasts even more goodness. Some of the best coffee I've had in the city. Portions are sized just right and dinner is served with baskets of breads and spreads. So good we're often there multiple days in a row.” - Karla D. Yelp Review
Mon-Thu: 11:30am-2:30pm; 4pm-9:30pm
Fri, Sat: 11:30am-2:30pm; 4pm-10pm
Everyday Noodles in Squirrel Hill is anything but basic, guests get dinner and a show!
Behind a glass plate window chefs skillfully toss and transform dough into noodles before your eyes. This restaurant is a BYOB and a great place to bring a date or friends from out of town.
Everyday Noodles is always bustling. Even if you come during a peak time, the wait won’t be too long and is definitely worth it according to diners. The servers are fast, hospitable and take time to explain the menu.
This is the only restaurant in the city with freshly pulled noodles. You can even select wide or thin noodles.
Diners are delighted by the soup dumplings, which are available as pork or vegetable. The braised beef noodle soup is also quite popular. The broth is flavorful and the beef melts in your mouth. If you’re not in the mood for noodles, the rolled onion pancake with sliced beef is phenomenal. Everyone is enthusiastic about the bubble tea and there are 6 types to choose from.
“If you haven't been to everyday noodle then you are crazy! The food here is incredible, a top contender of places to go if you are a fan of good Asian cuisine. Compared to their competitors around them, they offer more to their menu other places don't typically offer with the great quality.
Along with the great food the service is typically on point, food comes out just as fast as you order it even on day's they're packed!
The only thing I can say is make sure you get in early or else you'll have to wait in their long lines just trying to get a seat, but it's worth it.” - Tony M. Yelp Review
“This is my favorite place to go with people who are visiting from out of town, always a crowd pleaser and always delicious. BYOB, fun ordering system, delicious snacks ranging from small to large, reasonable price point - the honest best food. Everyday noodles has wowed our friends from NYC, PDX, SF etc. the soup dumplings are amazing, love the spicy braised beef soup, best scallion pancakes, been trying to try something different on every visit and have not yet hit on something we didn't like. The dry noodle section is also full of delicious snacks at a smaller price point - dan dan, spicy wonton, minced pork - I'm a big fan of the thin flour noodles. If you were waiting to go, stop waiting to go.” - Gordon F. Yelp Review
“Everyday Noodles is HANDS DOWN my favorite restaurant in Pittsburgh. If you go, you absolutely need to get the Pork Soup Dumplings because it is heaven in a spoon. If you add a little ginger to them you can hear angels sing.
My go-to aside from the dumplings are the Dan-Dan Noodles Szechuan Style with thin noodles. It's delicious, savory with a lil heat to it. The noodles with Mince Pork Sauce are also exceptional.
Overall, the food is incredible, the service is fast and friendly, and it's a cute & intimate atmosphere. Definitely a cute date spot. The only thing is that it can get crowded during peak hours, so plan ahead.” - Emmiley S. Yelp Review
6114 Center Ave.
Fri, Sat: 11am-10pm
“Sanjha Chulha” were community ovens in India that people gathered around to share food and stories.
Choolaah is a modern take on this idea. The restaurant has 4 tandoor clay ovens that bake delicious meals for friends to gather around and enjoy and the restaurant has ample seating for large groups.
The restaurant is “fast-casual” and provides high quality, made-to-order meals with a variety of options to satisfy any diet. Customize your meal so it is exactly what you're craving. Build your own bowl by selecting a protein, veggies, sauces, and sides.
One of the things that make this restaurant special is the owner's commitment to quality ingredients. Choolaah supports suppliers who use sustainable, earth-friendly practices. Their authentic spices are imported from India, the cheese is made by an Amish-owned company and the chicken and lamb are humanely raised.
The clay ovens deliver delicious baked-in juicy flavor and the food is subtly spiced to guarantee that anyone can enjoy it. You can dress up or down any dish with sweet, tangy or spicy sauces. They also offer wraps made with soft and crispy house-made naan and street food like their signature samosas. For an extra treat, enjoy a mint ginger lemonade or mango lassi with your meal!
“I was honestly blown away by the flavor of the food I got at Choolaah. The chicken was moist and flavorful, and my wife's salmon was cooked perfectly. We both got the Perfect Balance bowl, and loved the veggies--they had plenty of flavor, but the spices didn't overpower any of the other flavors of the veggies themselves.
We've been meaning to try Choolaah since we moved to Pittsburgh, and we both regret not trying to sooner. This place is great--plenty of options for all dietary types (gluten, vegetarian, vegan), and a surprising variety of proteins to choose from. I can't wait to go back and try some other dishes out. I know I won't be disappointed!” - Peter N. Yelp Review
5202 Butler St.
The B52 cafe in upper Lawrenceville is the perfect spot for breakfast and lunch.
Levantine cooking is comprised of the culinary traditions of Israel, Palestine, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon.
Try a tasty tofu scramble for breakfast with latke, shitake, and kale. If you’re looking for something sweet and satisfying, leave your carb-free lifestyle at the door and give into some of the best pancakes around, made of sourdough, buckwheat, flax, and coconut almond butter. (They’re even better with blueberries!)
Traditional lunch favorites are hummus, baba ghanouj, and the falafel sandwich. You’re guaranteed to love just about anything on this full-on vegan menu. This Lawrenceville mainstay is also a great place to stop for a bite on-the-go. The cafe has homemade baked goods and an espresso bar.
“Love this place!
Great food, great staff.
Definitely a watering hole for us.
They have these big beautiful yummy pancakes that I usually go for when there for brunch or breakfast. With blueberries Bananas, real syrup, and their own homemade cashew butter, you truly can't go wrong. If you're not into fluffy stacks of carbs, then there's a couple versions of tofu scramble to choose from.
My other favorites on the menu are their lentil soups drizzled with pickled lemon and their fried tomatoes. There's so much more to get into with sandwiches, salads, thick avocado or other types of toast, it's truly a great place for vegans and non-vegans alike!” - Staycee P. Yelp Review
5929 Baum Blvd
Fri & Sat: 11:30am-2:30pm & 5pm-11pm
Many Pittsburgher’s don’t know what to expect when it comes to Ethiopian restaurant since Tana is the only one in the city.
The detailed menu and helpful staff make it easy to order. The menu features enticing lentil dishes, stewed legumes and sautéed meats (tibs). The meals are shareable with vegan-friendly options.
The food is healthy, aromatic, and best enjoyed by serving portions onto flatbread called “ingera” that comes with your meal. The bread becomes the perfect backdrop for a beautiful collage of colors and distinct flavors. This spongy bread makes an ideal utensil for devouring the saucy dishes.
Enjoy a glass of honey wine, an Ethiopian beer or coffee with your meal. All of the beverages are excellent.
Sambusas are a popular appetizer. These tasty triangle pastries are available with chicken, beef or lentils and vegetables.
Diners also love the Tana Sampler Platter which includes 5 dishes that let you try a little bit of everything. The meals are filling and come in large portions.
This spacious restaurant is the perfect place to entertain large groups of friends and family.
“Tana is such an amazing restaurant. The owner is such a nice and knowledgeable person, the food is excellent (get the sambusa and the doro tibs they’re so good!), and the vibe is awesome! I highly recommend the restaurant.” - Tyler V. Yelp Review
“Amazing authentic Ethiopian! This place deserves to be packed since its the only Ethiopian in the city, but even if the were twenty, it would still probably be my favorite. If you want to try a completely new cuisine, this is the place for you.” - James D. Yelp Review
“This is my favorite Ethiopian restaurant. Great food and friendly staff. Served in a traditional manner. You have to ask for silverware if you want it but I strongly recommend eating it in the way it was intended. Break off some "bread" and scoop up the delicious food with it. It's a very social way to eat and provides an atmosphere for conversation and comradery.
Go there now!!” - Joseph D. Yelp Review