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

Welcome to the New Pittsburgh: A City Transformed

Welcome to the New Pittsburgh: A City Transformed

A new economy is being built by a younger, highly educated generation that appreciates the city’s past while embracing its future.
Pittsburgh's Hill District, Reimagined

Pittsburgh's Hill District, Reimagined

Thanks to grassroots community efforts and investments by nonprofits, foundations and developers, the neighborhood is on the cusp of a long-awaited renaissance.
PittGirl: Time to Let Go of the Past

PittGirl: Time to Let Go of the Past

She says we 'Burghers must recognize our resistance to change and realize that we need to give it a chance.
Review: Willow

Review: Willow

Following a menu and interior overhaul in late 2014, Willow returns as a revitalized dining option in the North Hills.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Take Us To Your Sandwich: Declassified Files Detail UFO Sightings in Pittsburgh

Take Us To Your Sandwich: Declassified Files Detail UFO Sightings in Pittsburgh

More than 200 sightings were investigated.
Watch: 3 Steelers in NFL 2015 Bad Lip Reading

Watch: 3 Steelers in NFL 2015 Bad Lip Reading

This season's hilarious edition does not disappoint.
Interactive Brew Map of Pittsburgh, Warhol Sneakers, Bald Eagles Snuggle

Interactive Brew Map of Pittsburgh, Warhol Sneakers, Bald Eagles Snuggle

Our weekly round-up of awesome, funny, quirky posts about or from the 'Burgh
Visiting The 'Real' Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood

Visiting The 'Real' Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood

A new display at the Heinz History Center brings the iconic TV set to life.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Welcome to the New Pittsburgh: A City Transformed

Welcome to the New Pittsburgh: A City Transformed

A new economy is being built by a younger, highly educated generation that appreciates the city’s past while embracing its future.
Pittsburgh's Hill District, Reimagined

Pittsburgh's Hill District, Reimagined

Thanks to grassroots community efforts and investments by nonprofits, foundations and developers, the neighborhood is on the cusp of a long-awaited renaissance.
PittGirl: Time to Let Go of the Past

PittGirl: Time to Let Go of the Past

She says we 'Burghers must recognize our resistance to change and realize that we need to give it a chance.
Review: Willow

Review: Willow

Following a menu and interior overhaul in late 2014, Willow returns as a revitalized dining option in the North Hills.
A Growing Rivalry on Ice: Robert Morris vs. Penn State

A Growing Rivalry on Ice: Robert Morris vs. Penn State

Two teams that clearly don't like each other are vying for bragging rights for the state.
Review: Salt of the Earth

Review: Salt of the Earth

Brandon Fisher is the latest chef behind Salt of the Earth’s modern-American dishes.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags