PITTSBURGH’S BEST HEALTHY BRUNCH SPOTS

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Cassidy Zimmerman

APR 18, 2019

If you’re not brunchin’, you’re not living out your weekend to its fullest potential. With so many killer spots in Pittsburgh, each Sunday brings the opportunity to check out a new cafe.

There’s no doubt that a fat stack of bacon hits the spot every now and then. But where to go on those days you don’t want to leave the table covered in grease? Well, PGH doesn’t disappoint — and we’ve got a full lineup of restaurants whipping up healthy eats for all you weekend warriors who love a good brunch.

Butler St. has become a hub for trendy restaurants and local coffee shops. And the brunch scene is kind of insane. With so many eateries packed into one strip, the choices can be overwhelming. But trust us — you’ll wanna snag Sunday brunch at Coca Café. This Lawrenceville spot has all the basic breakfast essentials, as well as unique eats like their Avocado Omelet. And if you’re trying to keep it healthy, Coca Café will go out of their way to accommodate their vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free friends.

East Warrington Ave. has just the spot for plant-based food with a punk rock vibe. What began as a pop-up that sporadically graced the city with its vegan grub soon became home to one of the healthiest brunches in the city. Onion Maiden’s rotating menu means each visit brings a new rock-inspired creation to the table. You can’t go wrong with their gluten-free Unholy Frijoles — these chickpea “egg” tacos will take you to another world. Check their Facebook for each weekend’s spread.

A self-proclaimed vegetarian cafe, art gallery, and antique shop all rolled into one eclectic space, Zenith is known as the city’s best-kept secret in vegetarian dining. And we couldn’t agree more. With an ever-changing menu, you never quite know what to expect at this South Side spot. But here’s what you can count on — staples like seitan, tofu, vegan pancakes, and an $11.50 price tag each and every Sunday. It doesn’t get much better than that.

The Commoner shines a light on the city’s history — and serves up high-quality brunch while doing so. With exposed steel beams and large Pittsburgh maps lining the walls, the aesthetic can only be described as, well, modern yinzer. And if you’re looking for a well-balanced meal in the heart of downtown, you’ve found the right place. Fuel up with The Commoner’s namesake breakfast for the ultimate trifecta — house-made granola, fresh fruit, and a cranberry orange muffin come together in one healthy sampler you can feel good about.

Freshly-brewed espresso, craft beer, and a bangin’ brunch all under one roof. As a coffeehouse, pub, and bistro, The Abbey is a one-stop shop for all you Lawrenceville foodies. Spend your Sundays powering up with the Veggie Omelette or Warm Harvest Salad. Oh, and did we mention the vegan pancakes? If you’re looking for a boozy brunch, scrap the mimosa and go for a coffee cocktail instead. Nothin’ like a “Cold” Fashioned to make you forget those impending Monday blues.

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This hidden gem in Regent Square brings a community-focused vibe to its small cafe for one of the best brunches in town. A solid choice for coffee or lunch any day, weekend brunch takes the cake (or should we say pancake?). Speaking of pancakes, how about an order of the gluten-free and vegan variety? Whether you’re topping ’em with peanut butter or caramelized pears, you’ll find yourself daydreaming about these unique creations days after your brunch is over. And if you’re not in the mood for sweet, go for a savory dish, like with a Smoked Salmon Scramble or the Brussels & Grits Bowl from their seasonal menu.

Discover healthy and hearty at this auto-inspired South Side sports bar’s weekend brunch.. For a BBQ joint, Double Wide offers a surprising number of vegan and vegetarian options. Trade in the greasy bacon for veggie sausage to get that plant-based protein into your diet. Ask for egg whites in your scrambler for an even leaner (but just as delicious) start to your day. And if venturing out to East Carson St. feels like too much work on a lazy Sunday hit up the Cranberry/Mars or North Huntingdon locations just outside of the city instead.

You’ve probably seen (and sampled) some delicious treats from the Gluten Free Goat at coffee shops around Pittsburgh. Eager for another taste? You can fill up on gluten-free, vegan, soy-free, and almost entirely-organic baked goods at their brick-and-mortar cafe in Garfield. And with a brunch menu available Wednesday – Sunday, you no longer have to hold out ’til Saturday to get your fix. Opt for something slightly healthier than their to-die-for donuts with a not-so-average “PB” Burger, made with a plant-based patty topped with cashew cream, tomato, roasted onion & romaine.

Head to the corner where Butler meets 52nd St. in Upper Lawrenceville to find a cafe named after the very spot it’s built on. This vegan-friendly coffee shop/restaurant/bakery concept will be your new go-to for food with Mediterranean flare. And the most exciting part? The brunch, of course! Fill up on their Thick Cut Toasts (you’ll drool over the nut butter toppings) or try a variety of goods on the Mezze sampler platter. Come hungry because they’re also serving a bunch of baked goods, espresso, and cold brew on tap. Want to plan ahead? You can check out all their offerings on Facebook.

Fuel your weekend with some wholesome grub at The Porch in Schenley Plaza. Serving up local ingredients (many grown in their very own rooftop garden) ’til 3pm every weekend, this brunch is perfect for any nearby college student just rolling out of bed. Their seasonal menu and daily specials change regularly, but no matter what’s on the table, you can bet that it’s fresh. And for a change of scenery with the same great bites, check out The Porch’s second shop in Upper St. Clair for all the same goodness in a different neighborhood.

Smallman Galley’s food court-style cafe offers four restaurant concepts and two bars (one coffee, one liquor) under the same roof. Feeling indecisive? You’re in for the brunch challenge of a lifetime. And just when you thought you memorized the lineup, this restaurant incubator turns everything on its head by introducing a new class of chefs to the Strip District — each with a fresh menu. Of course, this is a great problem for any foodie who loves a little variety. And here, fresh, hot-off-the-griddle ingredients come together to create something special no matter which menu you choose. Looking for an entirely different lineup? Spend a Sunday at Federal Galley instead to sample four new concepts at this North Shore sister site.

There’s no place better than Bitter Ends for a farm-fresh brunch that satisfies. This Bloomfield cafe is whipping up sandwiches, salads, and, yes, even scratch-made donuts on their ever-evolving menu. Expect hyper-local ingredients in your dishes — the eatery sources ingredients from their half-acre farm just outside the city. The end result? Drool-worthy bites in a cozy setting. Get your Sunday started with clean eats and bottomless coffee on Liberty Ave. before the luncheonette closes its doors at 2pm. Fitt Tip: arrive early because once they’re out of an ingredient they ax the dish from the menu. Check out their Instagram for daily updates.

**Updated by Cassidy Zimmerman, February 2019

24/7 ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE
UPMC Health Plan

24/7 ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE

Right from your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

24/7 ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE
UPMC Health Plan

24/7 ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE

Right from your smartphone, tablet, or computer.