Rose Tea Cafe

The charming Rose Tea Cafe arises to add some bubbles and more, including a touch of Taiwan, to the Squirrel Hill neighborhood.



The interior of the Rose Tea Cafe amid the hustle and bustle of a recent afternoon lunch hour.

Photos by Laura Petrilla

(page 1 of 2)

Everyone has a favorite neighborhood restaurant. Mine is Rose Tea Cafe, a small Taiwanese restaurant in Squirrel Hill's business district owned by a Taiwanese woman named Ya Pint. I love this restaurant because the food is varied and packed with flavor; the service is quick, and the "bubble tea" (more on that later ... ) is addictive.

Bloggers will tell you that Rose Tea Cafe is the most authentic Taiwanese food in Pittsburgh. From inside the restaurant, you'll see buses unloading groups of Asian students from Oakland. Manager Jojo Wu says the restaurant's patrons have become increasingly diverse over the past six years.

Ordering at Rose Tea Cafe can be a challenge because the menu is long and offers about 120 dishes with nondescriptive names such as "string bean with pork," "string bean with beef" and "string bean with chicken." Members of the wait staff are hesitant to make recommendations, but if you press them, they will guide you toward excellent choices.

After almost weekly visits to Rose Tea Cafe for several years, I have finally made a dent on the menu. On one visit, I brought along my college friend who's a Taiwanese immigrant. After a prolonged conversation with the waiter in Taiwanese, she very specifically placed our order, cutting through the mystery of the menu in less than five minutes. A lasting recommendation from her is the salt-and-pepper shrimp, which is shrimp coated with salt and pepper and fried. You can eat the shell or peel it off for a messy but delicious treat.

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

20 Great Biking & Hiking Trails in Western Pennsylvania

20 Great Biking & Hiking Trails in Western Pennsylvania

Each trail has been lovingly constructed and maintained, using old infrastructure to reconnect disparate communities.
A Superior Strategy? Kevin Sousa's Big Bet on Braddock

A Superior Strategy? Kevin Sousa's Big Bet on Braddock

Pittsburgh chef Kevin Sousa will draw on a fierce work ethic, community goodwill and faith in his own vision for Superior Motors, the progressive American spot he plans to open this year.
Getting Better Over Time: PNC Park at 15

Getting Better Over Time: PNC Park at 15

Adoration for PNC Park is near-universal. But would the park be the cherished baseball palace it is today if a few early proposals instead had become reality?
PittGirl: Preparing for a World Series Toast

PittGirl: Preparing for a World Series Toast

Thanks to her husband believing in "happy wife, happy life," PittGirl has the perfect wine to celebrate the Pirates' ultimate victory.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Pittsburgh’s Billy Gardell Hosts ‘Monopoly’ Game Show

Pittsburgh’s Billy Gardell Hosts ‘Monopoly’ Game Show

The “Monopoly Millionaire’s Club” premieres this weekend.
Cutch Cuts the Locks

Cutch Cuts the Locks

The Pirates outfielder cut his hair for the first time in eight years.
Pens Honor Mike Lange for 40 Years of Unforgettable Play-by-Play

Pens Honor Mike Lange for 40 Years of Unforgettable Play-by-Play

How many of his classic calls can you recite?
Pittsburgh Company 'Excavates Lives' As It Renovates Homes

Pittsburgh Company 'Excavates Lives' As It Renovates Homes

Three Rivers ReDevelopment’s Derek Green has become a collector of family histories. Now, he needs to figure out what to do with them.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

20 Great Biking & Hiking Trails in Western Pennsylvania

20 Great Biking & Hiking Trails in Western Pennsylvania

Each trail has been lovingly constructed and maintained, using old infrastructure to reconnect disparate communities.
A Superior Strategy? Kevin Sousa's Big Bet on Braddock

A Superior Strategy? Kevin Sousa's Big Bet on Braddock

Pittsburgh chef Kevin Sousa will draw on a fierce work ethic, community goodwill and faith in his own vision for Superior Motors, the progressive American spot he plans to open this year.
Getting Better Over Time: PNC Park at 15

Getting Better Over Time: PNC Park at 15

Adoration for PNC Park is near-universal. But would the park be the cherished baseball palace it is today if a few early proposals instead had become reality?
PittGirl: Preparing for a World Series Toast

PittGirl: Preparing for a World Series Toast

Thanks to her husband believing in "happy wife, happy life," PittGirl has the perfect wine to celebrate the Pirates' ultimate victory.
Pittsburgh's Top 10 Things to Do in March

Pittsburgh's Top 10 Things to Do in March

Your 10 best bets for this month.
Jamie Dixon: Winning His Way

Jamie Dixon: Winning His Way

Peers, players, and regular observers know him to be one of the best coaches — and people — in college basketball.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module