Eat, Do, Shop, Play and Learn
A restaurant that specializes in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Dance classes for toddlers and parents. A lending library for educational toys. Storytime at a nearly 90-year-old bookshop. A civic institution sailing the three rivers. In and around Pittsburgh, the offerings for families looking for food, fun and more go so much deeper than the expected family outings. From places to outfit and entertain to natural wonders and city treasures, here are some of our favorites.
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If you keep up with our annual “Best Restaurants” list and monthly food coverage, you’re already in the know about the best meals in town. Here are the spots that are worthy (and appropriate) trips for kids and adults alike. —HBK
Photos by Laura Petrilla
Bakn’s bacon-focused menu is a draw for kids of all ages. Heartier dishes such as braised short ribs are available alongside burgers, salads and flatbreads.
335 E. Main St., Carnegie
Executive Chef Sonja Finn’s philosophy is that kids deserve thoughtfully constructed meals as much as adults do. Tea sandwiches and shrimp cocktails share menu space with “Le Hot Dog” and grilled peanut butter, honey and banana sandwich on housemade bread.
4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland
Church Brew Works
Kid-friendly microbrewery housed in beautifully restored church. Sandwiches and rolls have healthy side options such as kaleslaw and black-bean salad (also, fries). Some of the best pierogi in Pittsburgh.
3525 Liberty Ave., Lawrenceville
D’s Six Pax and Dogs
Hot dogs, chicken fingers, pizzas and hoagies for everyone. Kid’s menu includes activities such as mazes and coloring. Adult menu includes outstanding beer selection.
1118 S. Braddock Ave., Regent Square
The whole family can share one of the best gas-oven-style pizzas in Pittsburgh at DiAnoia’s. Stop by for lunchtime sandwiches or have a pasta-filled dinner.
2549 Penn Ave., Strip District
Double Wide Grill
Extensive kid’s menu includes expected items such as grilled cheese, pizza and chicken tenders, but also tofu skewers, cilantro rice and baby carrots. Free refills on kid’s drinks.
South Side and Mars
photo by laura petrilla
Eleven Contemporary Kitchen
One of the best brunches for adults in Pittsburgh also has a steal of a deal for the kids, with big portions of expertly prepared food. Eleven is the perfect destination for a celebration.
1150 Smallman St., Strip District
Hot dogs, falafel, salads and fries are offered at this family-friendly Lawrenceville eatery. Kids meals include hot dogs or corn dogs with apple slices or fries.
3810 Butler St., Lawrenceville
photo by adam milliron
Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream
Scratch-made ice cream created from some of the best ingredients in the region. Standard flavors such as Chad’s Vanilla and Salted Caramel, plus rotating seasonal selections.
232 S. Highland Ave., East Liberty
There isn’t a dedicated kid’s menu, but there also aren’t any dishes on the Thai-inspired street-food menu that cost more than $10. Cash only.
242 S. Highland Ave., Shadyside
photo by chuck beard
Over the Bar Bicycle Cafe
Families who bike together (and also those who prefer walking or driving) will enjoy meals at the two OTB locations. Kids get free drinks with entrees such as “Tandem,” “Strider” and “The Tricycle.”
North Park and South Side
Peanut Butter Jelly Time
A peanut butter and jelly restaurant that also serves grilled cheese, ice cream and cereal. Enough said.
4709 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield
Budget-friendly kid’s menu features $6 items such as burgers and pizza. Adults will find a selection of salads, sandwiches and mains crafted from well-sourced ingredients. Everyone will find a park next to the restaurant.
221 Schenley Drive, Oakland
Rock Bottom Brewery
Whimsical, colorful kid’s menu has affordable options such as make-your-own pizza and chicken tenders, and features puzzles, mazes and opportunities for coloring.
171 E. Bridge St., Homestead
Social at Bakery Square
Indulge your taste buds with pizza, appetizers, sandwiches and more. Limited kid’s menu, but nearly everything on the main menu is crowd-pleasing and affordable.
6425 Penn Ave., East Liberty
photo by cory morton
Spoonwood Brewing Company
“Junior Brewers” have their own menu of sandwiches, burgers and more at this outstanding South Hills brewery (no brew included for you, kids). Adults have wood-fired pizza, smoked meats, sandwiches and, yes, brews.
5981 Baptist Road, Bethel Park
Beloved Regent Square diner is a hit for eaters of all ages. Get your classics such as bacon and eggs, omelettes and pancakes, plus açaí berry bowls, crepes and more.
1137 S. Braddock Ave., Regent Square