Pittsburgh’s restaurant boom has put the city on the national food map. Yinzers are foodies now, and we’re all searching for the next great gourmet taco or build-your-own burger joint. But luckily, there’s no shortage of healthy hot spots either.
So, round up your running group and prepare to chow down on your favorite farm-fresh grub. These local restaurants are serving up the healthiest cuisine that the Burgh has to offer.
Discover this hidden gem tucked above Round Corner Cantina in Lawrenceville. The Japanese street food joint will change the way you eat sushi. Need a pick? Order a handroll — a seaweed cone filled with your favorite fish and skewered with a soy sauce-filled pipette. Or amp up your protein intake with a Robatayaki meat skewer. Each dish is plated beautifully, so you may want to sneak an Instagram shot when the waiter’s not looking.
To know honeygrow is to love it. If you haven’t experienced this East Liberty hot spot yet, you’re missing out on some serious stir fry and salads. Choose one of the flavorful menu options or go rogue and customize your own creation from the ground up. Have we mentioned the honeybar? Satisfy your sweet tooth with natural sugars of fruit, honey, and added toppings.
Two words: sushi burrito. Next time you’re looking for your raw fish fix, head to this downtown spot for healthy and affordable creations. The best part? The whole process is completely customizable — think Chipotle, but for sushi. Start with a grain or lettuce base, then build up your masterpiece. Choose from tuna, tofu, and everything in between before loading up with fresh veggies. Top with your favorite sauce for the bowl or burrito of your dreams.
East End Food Co-op
Skip Whole Foods and spend some quality time on Pittsburgh’s East Side. This co-op stocks its shelves with hundreds of local food products, and may even offer the city’s largest selection of vegan and vegetarian foods. The groceries are great, but the cafe steals the show. A smoothie bar, espresso bar, and hot foods bar packed into one market? It’s any foodie’s dream. Catch their vegan pancakes on the weekends for a healthier alternative to a breakfast classic.
This is NOT your grandma’s Indian restaurant. Choolaah, a fast casual Indian BBQ spot in East Liberty is bringing a modern twist to classic Indian meals with customizable tandoor BBQ bowls, salads, wraps, and snacks that feature tangy masalas and fresh-baked Naan (um, yum!). And don’t worry if your vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, or gluten-free — they’ve got plenty of options for you, too. Hello, veggie croquettes. Bonus: their open kitchen concept lets you watch your meal being made in their custom tandoor ovens. Get ready to eat happy.
The Porch goes beyond simply sourcing fresh ingredients from local vendors. This Oakland restaurant’s very own rooftop is also home to a garden of herbs, produce, and beehives. From garden to kitchen to table, their method is as sustainability focused as it gets. Plus, the Porch’s ever-changing menu offers salads, entrées, even pizzas, prepared with seasonal spices and vegetables.
If you (like the rest of the world) love avocado toast, B52 is your spot. The thick, crunchy toast and mashed avocado are somehow made better by a tahini drizzle that turns the flavor profile on its head. But don’t stop there… keep the goods coming with the kale-packed Kofta Tofu Scramble. Top it all off with kombucha made in house, and you’ll leave the Lawrenceville eatery feeling your healthiest yet.
Feelin’ fancy? Head to Floor 2 for healthy and high-end. Accurately named, the second floor of downtown’s Fairmont hotel is open to both guests and the general public. Adventurous eaters, order your favorite seafood from the raw bar. If that’s not your thing, no worries. Floor 2 has an entire menu section for vegetables alone, so you can get your greens in while dining in style.
Lawrenceville is home to some of the city’s trendiest restaurants. The Vandal is no exception. Described as “hyper-seasonal,” this cafe hopes to build a connection between farmers and foodies. And the head chef’s Hungarian heritage helps create an Eastern European menu you won’t find anywhere else. The dishes may change every couple of weeks, but The Vandal’s Instagram page keeps locals in the loop with mouthwatering snapshots.
A vegetarian cafe with a killer brunch, this part restaurant, part art gallery, part antique shop considers itself South Side’s best-kept secret. Zenith packs your favorite foods (pasta, burgers, barbeque, you name it) with tons of vegetables and plant-based proteins. Try the Calypso Burrito for a sweet yet zesty vegan dish that’ll send your taste buds into overdrive. Before leaving, recaffeinate with of the cafe’s unique tea blends.
Think Panera-style cafe, but with a fresh and creative menu. EatUnique is a go-to North Oakland spot for handmade sandwiches that won’t drown you in grease. The Sweet Bean Hummus sandwich is of another world. Seriously, it’s that good. Homemade hummus combined with veggies and cranberries create an odd combination that somehow just works.
Haven’t given in to the juice and acai craze yet? Now’s your chance. Salúd brings beautiful, colorful creations to the table, yet they taste even better than they look. Found near the many gyms and studios of Walnut Street, the juicery is perfect for a post-workout treat. First-timers, you can’t go wrong with the sweet and filling P-Bee Bowl.
Serving authentic Turkish flavors on the bustling Ellsworth strip, Daphne’s cozy atmosphere is perfect for a relaxed lunch. Take in the cafe’s warm colors and intricate designs over a kebab platter. Looking to soak up the rare Pittsburgh sunshine? Check out the outdoor patio to bask in some much-needed rays.
OTB Bicycle Cafe
Grab a few beers and a bite to eat at this bike-friendly pub. Keep it clean with the uber-healthy South Side selections. Plus, their designated Paleo menu was curated with the help of CrossFit Athletics, so you know it means business. For those craving early morning grub, hit up the North Park location instead for a Sunrise Scramble cooked with your favorite veggies.
Add one more name to the list of Pittsburgh’s growing food truck scene. Each salad built by Chop Shop features crisp, local fruits and veggies drizzled with housemade dressing. Can’t track down the truck? Visit their pop-up shop in Station Square. And if you ask us, the Mediterranean Salad is unlike any other — falafel balls mixed perfectly with greens and chickpeas for a taste that’s savory yet refreshing.
If you like hummus, you’re in for a treat. This family-run restaurant has blessed North Oakland with authentic Middle Eastern food for 45 years. Looking for clean and fresh? Try the sleek. This mixture of kale, bulgur wheat, black-eyed peas, and caramelized onion is cooked daily to melt-in-your-mouth perfection. Mix with a side of hummus — your taste buds will thank us.