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.
The word cafe can be a little misleading. Do they serve coffee? Or food? 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, because that’s when this Polish Hill coffeehouse and hangout serves brunch. The ever-changing menu is updated on their Facebook page each week. But you can always count on a $10 brunch, complete with coffee or tea and OJ. Another constant is the number of vegan and vegetarian options. Say hello to unforgettable tofu scrambles, tempeh strips, and vegan pancakes you’ll devour in minutes.
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 brunch at Coca Café. This Lawrenceville spot has all the basic breakfast essentials, as well as unique eats like their Smoked Salmon 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. Pop in Sundays 9am – 2pm.
East Warrington Ave. has just the spot for plant-based food and a punk rock vibe. What began as a pop-up that graced abandoned parking lots 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 Unholy Frijoles — these chickpea “egg” tacos will take you to another world. Check their Facebook page for each weekend’s new spread.
Whitfield at Ace Hotel
Local farm-to-table food tastes even better at this trendy, yet cozy East Liberty restaurant. Visit Ace Hotel’s in-house tavern for a satisfying brunch experience. For all you carnivores out there, their grass-fed, locally-sourced beef elevates the classic Steak and Eggs dish to a level you’ve just gotta experience for yourself. And if you need a little natural sugar to get you going in the mornings, they’ve got that covered, too. Their Bruleed Grapefruit extracts all the best sweet and sour flavors from your favorite winter citrus fruit. Check it out Saturdays and Sundays 10:30am-3pm — you won’t be disappointed.
Kale for brunch? Union Standard will make you a believer of leafy greens in the AM. Sourced locally, this farm fresh food is as sustainable as it gets. Check out their seasonal menu to see what’s in store this month. With power foods like the Baby Kale Salad and veggie-filled Scrambler, you’ll get fresh and healthy eats year-round.
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 hemp seed muffin come together for a healthy sampler you can feel good about.
Spent last night drinking $7 shot pitchers at Hem’s? Recover with some wholesome grub at The Porch in Schenley Plaza. Serving up local ingredients (many grown in their very own rooftop garden) ‘til 3pm, 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. Check out The Porch’s second location in Upper St. Clair for the same goodness in a new neighborhood.
The Abbey on Butler Street
Freshly-brewed espresso, craft beer, and a bangin’ brunch all under one roof. As a Coffeehouse, Pub, and Bistro, The Abbey serves as a one-stop shop for all you Lawrenceville foodies. Spend your Sundays powering up with a Vegetable Omelette or Roasted Beet Salad. And 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.
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 some 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 savory with a Mushroom and Swiss Omelette or Sesame Tofu Bowl.
Smallman Galley’s food court-style cafe offers four restaurant concepts and two bars (one coffee, one liquor) under one 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 brand new class of chefs to the Strip District — each with a whole new menu. Of course this is a great problem for any foodie who loves a little variety. And luckily, fresh, hot-off-the-griddle ingredients come together to create something special no matter which menu you choose.
Double Wide Grill
Find healthy and hearty at this auto-inspired South Side sports bar. 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 or Irwin locations just outside of the city instead.
Gluten Free Goat Bakery & Café
You’ve probably seen (and sampled) some delicious treats from the Gluten Free Goat at coffee shops around Pittsburgh. Well, now 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 all week long, 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 Veggie Burger, made from a sweet potato black bean patty, and topped with garlic cashew cream.
Head to the spot where Butler meets 52nd St. to find a cafe named after the very streets 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 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, vegan chocolate, espresso, and cold brew on tap.
Okay, okay, we know what you’re thinking. And maybe Deluca’s Cinnamon Bun pancakes don’t quite make our healthy food short-list (we’ll keep dreaming). But if you carve out some time to sift through the novel-sized menu, you’ll see what we’re talkin’ about. Italian Veggie Frittata packed full of greens, California Omelette made with pesto chicken and avocado, Bodybuilder Omelette crafted from six egg whites — the list goes on. Head to this Strip District favorite and order up that clean breakfast protein to kickstart your day.
Zenith describes themselves as a Vegetarian Cafe, Art Gallery, and Antique Gold Mine all rolled into one eclectic location. And we couldn’t agree more. With an ever-changing menu, you never quite know what to expect. 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.