Is it possible to brunch hard and be healthy?
Well, that depends on where you’re snacking. Sure, sometimes you can’t shake your cravings for pancakes. But, if you’re looking for something a little less likely to leave you in a food coma, you’ll probably want to pass on the pancakes.
We’re happy to report that you don’t have to pass on brunch altogether. You just have to do some planning. And that planning just got a whole lot easier. Because we rounded up all of the healthiest brunch spots in the Burgh. Which means less planning and more eating. Let the brunching begin!
Lawrenceville is packed with plenty to do. So spending the afternoon here is a good choice. But eventually, you’re going to get hungry. And when you do, you’ll want to snag brunch at Coca Cafe. Trouble is, judging from the line leading out the door, everyone else had the same exact idea. That’s because this Butler Street brunch spot has all of the basic breakfast essentials, as well as unique eats like the smoked-salmon omelet. Best of all, if you’re trying to keep it healthy, Coca Cafe will go out of their way to accommodate different dietary restrictions for their vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free friends. Sun 9-2.
From Omar Abuhejleh, the owner of Allegro Hearth Bakery in Squirrel Hill, comes a vegan-friendly cafe/restaurant/bakery concept. And the most exciting part? One word: brunch! Make your way to this new spot at Butler and 52nd streets in Lawrenceville (hence the name) for scratch-made, mid-afternoon eats. The menu features vegan-friendly fare with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influences. Come hungry because they’re also serving a bunch of baked goods, vegan chocolate, espresso, and cold brew on tap. Sat/Sun 8-3.
There’s one major problem with this restaurant incubator and food court in the Strip District. It’s almost impossible to make up your mind. Think about it, if you have trouble placing an order at a traditional restaurant, how will you choose when there are four menus? Of course this is a great problem to have. But let us help you narrow down your brunch order. At Josephine’s, pick a toast and have it topped with eggs, avocado, and veggies. The toast, nut-butter, jam combo is also a solid choice. As is the Kale and Eggs from Carota Cafe. Don’t forget your coffee or tea, served from the Galley’s coffee bar. Sun 10-3.
With Frick Park right down the street and eateries like Root 174 and D’s Six Packs and Dogz along South Braddock Ave, Regent Square is a real gem. And one place has come to epitomize this area’s appeal. That place is Square Cafe. A solid choice for a coffee or lunch any day, weekend brunch takes the cake -pancake that is. Speaking of pancakes, how about some of the gluten-free and vegan variety. Square’s got you covered. See Exhibit A., vegan pancakes with fig compote. Or, if you’re not feeling the pancakes, look long and hard at a gluten-free frittata or tofu hash. Sat/Sun until 3pm.
Making a stop at Amazing Cafe is always a good idea. Especially if you’re craving some green juice, a smoothie, or an acai bowl. But trust us when we tell you, you’re going to want to add brunch at Amazing Cafe to your to-do list this weekend. Every item on the menu is the healthiest thing on the menu. So you simply can’t go wrong. But you can be more right by ordering the “Smile” french toast. It’s an epic combination of organic flax quinoa bread, maple cashew cream, cinnamon, and muesli, topped with local and seasonal fruit. Sat/Sun 10-3.
You can’t talk about eating well in Pittsburgh without mentioning Eden. This spot in Shadyside serves some of the most inventive and delicious brunch dishes in town. The approach is straightforward enough, allergy conscious, vegan, raw, and 100% gluten free. If you think that sounds crazy, we challenge you to give this place a try. Because they’ll have you thinking you’re the crazy one. Like, “Are you sure there’s nothing bad for me in these pancakes?” Nope! It’s just coconut, oats, almonds, and a dash of magic. Fri-Sun 10-2.
The word cafe can be a little misleading. Is there coffee, food, or both? It’s confusing we know. Someone should really do something about that. But until they do, just know that Lili Cafe has plenty of both. Especially if it’s Sunday. That’s when this Polish Hill coffee house and hangout serves brunch. The ever-changing menu is updated on their Facebook page each week. But you can always count on the $10 buck brunch, complete with coffee or tea and OJ. Another constant is the number of vegan and vegetarian options like the tofu scramble, tempeh strips and vegan pancakes. Sun 10-3.
Unique, eclectic, and creative are a few ways to describe Zenith. But we think they totally nailed it on their website with this description, Vegetarian Cafe – Art Gallery – Antique Gold Mine. Yep, that’s about right. It’s an art show, antique shop and vegan/vegetarian-friendly restaurant in one. With an ever-changing menu, you never quite know what to expect. Seems fitting for this place. But you can count on staples like seitan, tofu and an $11.50 price tag that includes the buffet, a main dish, coffee or tea. Sun 11-2.30.
Wait, is this some kind of cruel joke? Deluca’s on the healthy brunch list. Yeah right! No seriously, it’s actually correct. “How could that be,” you wonder? Well, just have a look at the section of the menu entitles, “Bodybuilder Bionic Breakfast.” Yes, it will take some digging because that menu is like a short novel. But when you find it you’ll see that you can choose from a variety of omelettes made with six egg whites, and your choice of two chicken breasts, avocado, spinach and even extra meat. So you can have a side of protein, with your protein. Sat/Sun until 3pm.
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