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Best New Restaurants in Pittsburgh in 2016

Pittsburgh Magazine's Dining Critic Hal B. Klein's list of the six top openings of the year.

(page 2 of 3)

photo by tom little

The Café Carnegie

Pittsburgh’s outstanding duo of the Carnegie Museum of Art and Carnegie Museum of Natural History have for years deserved a culinary counterpart. They now have one. The Café Carnegie opened just a few weeks ago but still earned a place on this list thanks to the hustle and precision of consulting Executive Chef Sonja Finn and Chef de Cuisine Becca Hegarty. The two chefs built a menu focused on feel-good food such as pulled chicken and winter farro salads, plus starters, sandwiches and larger plates including the tasty pumpkin pasta bake. It also is a family-friendly space; there were as many kids as adults enjoying lunch on a recent weekend meal. On top of that, Hegarty is demonstrating some serious baking skill both with her bread and her pastries. Combine that with a sleek, modern design (and a calming view through the fountain onto Forbes Avenue), and Oakland now has a perfect place to spend a quiet afternoon.

What I’d like to see next: Looking forward to experiencing how the menu develops as the seasons change; better French fries.

photo by laura petrilla


The Upper Lawrenceville restaurant and cafe from Omar Abuhejleh (Allegro Hearth Bakery) captured my attention early in 2016 with a alluring menu of vegan dishes. The menu is based on Abuhejleh’s Palestinian heritage, with dishes such as baba ghanouj, hummus and stewed tomatoes all perfect accompaniments for the house-made pita bread. I’m a big fan of the falafel sandwich, and even though this isn’t the type of fast-casual restaurant where you might be tempted to order fries, the za’atar fries here are among the best French fries in the city. Buckwheat sourdough pancakes and kofta tofu scrambles are among the better brunch options. B52 also is a community hub and serves comforting coffee drinks.

What I’d like to see next: For Abuhejleh to dig even deeper into his roots; partnership with local grain farmers for his bread.

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All the foodie news that's fit to blog

Hal B. Klein is Pittsburgh Magazine’s associate editor and restaurant critic. He is an award-winning food and drinks writer. In his spare time, Hal can be found in his kitchen, in his garden and exploring the wonders of Pittsburgh. Follow him on Twitter (@HalBKlein) and Instagram (@halbklein).


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