Best Restaurants 2014

Presenting 33 top-notch eateries that are revolutionizing Pittsburgh's food scene.



(page 1 of 8)


VIDEO BY DAVE COLE  / / /  PHOTOGRAPHY BY LAURA PETRILLA

 

As we celebrate our 25th Best Restaurants edition, it is our sincere pleasure to present this year’s list of 33 Best Restaurants. We welcome some newcomers — including Butcher and the Rye, Grit & Grace, Everyday Noodles and notion — but we also recognize legendary locales, such as Casbah and Umi, which have made the cut every year since opening.

The local restaurant industry is booming; we’re happy to document the progress along the way. With so much to consider in or near Pittsburgh, the focus this year is on restaurants close to home. Spots that are a bit farther from the city — such as award-winning Lautrec at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and Out of the Fire Café in Donegal — might not be included, but they continue to warm our hearts and please our palates, as do the following selections.



 


 

SHADYSIDE: 5501 Centre Ave.
  |  412/683-3663, AVENUEB-PGH.com
AMERICAN  |  $$-$$$  |  
Chef/Owner CHRIS BONFILI

 

This quiet bistro along busy Centre Avenue is a very popular lunch and dinner spot, with an apt motto of “Eat. Relax. Enjoy.” Avenue B offers seasonal fare that’s not the least bit fussy; one favorite is the Wagyu beef meatloaf. Choices that deviate from the norm include housemade falafel and molé pork belly. Fish dishes consistently are done well, and Chris Bonfili, chef/owner, generally offers a five-course tasting menu. It’s always nice to finish the meal with French-press coffee and one — or a few — of the revered desserts.



 

STRIP DISTRICT: 2216 Penn Ave.
  |  412/471-1900, BARMARCOPGH.com
AMERICAN  |  $$-$$$  
|  Executive Chef JAMILKA BORGES

 

Bar Marco is unique because of its owners’ out-of-the-box approach to running the restaurant, as well as their active involvement in addressing community food issues. During No Menu Monday events, guest chefs cook whatever inspires them; this is a great platform for budding cooks, new restaurateurs and charitable causes looking to spread the word about their mission. Bartenders use their “mental Rolodex and their own creativity” to compose whatever drink — using many housemade ingredients — suits your fancy. Executive Chef Jamilka Borges and Co-owner/Chef Justin Steel collaborate on the food offerings. The dinner menu is brief but focuses on flavorful choices; starters include dates with Manchego and bacon, and entrées change seasonally. Brunch is off-the-charts delicious, with sweet and savory choices. In the newly opened Wine Room, located downstairs, Borges and sommelier Sarah Thomas curate four- and 10-course prix-fixe tastings with wine pairings.



 

EAST LIBERTY: 
5997 Penn Circle S.  |  412/362-2333
, BRGRPGH.com
CRANBERRY: 20111 RT. 19 & Freedom Road  |  724/742-2333
, BRGRPGH.com
GOURMET BURGERS  |  $  |  
Executive Chef/Co-owner 
BRIAN PEKARCIK

 

You’ll often find a line of people waiting to eat at BRGR. Burger-patty options include dry-aged prime beef, turkey, salmon and black bean-corn falafel. Feeling hungry? Try the Button Buster, a beef burger topped with braised beef short ribs, white cheddar cheese, béarnaise sauce and crispy onions. Smith’s hot dogs, a favorite brand among locals, also are available. Enjoy one of the spiked handcrafted shakes — the salty caramel is comprised of vanilla ice cream, bourbon, caramel sauce, sea salt and vanilla bean. Happy hour extends to the weekend: Specials run Monday through Friday 5-7 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 10 p.m.-12 a.m. By popular demand, BRGR has opened a third location inside PNC Park, and it intends to put a location inside The Galleria in Mt. Lebanon. The BRGR food-truck team can be found throughout the city Wednesday through Friday and at special events around town.



 

DOWNTOWN: 212 Sixth St.  |  
412/391-2752, BUTCHERANDTHERYE.com
AMERICAN  |  $$  |  
Executive Chef/Co-owner RICHARD DeSHANTZ

 

This downtown hot spot instantly became a hit when it opened late last year. Featuring a boisterous first-floor bar and a quieter upstairs bar, Butcher boasts a bourbon collection of 350-plus bottles as well as wines, cocktails and beer, including an exclusive house brew from Church Brew Works. While upstairs, indecisive diners can peruse liquor options on an iPad, scrolling through a catalog with detailed descriptions. No wonder the place received a James Beard Foundation nomination for Outstanding Bar Program. Small- and large-plate choices include crispy pig “wing” with Thai chili sauce, five-cheese mac ‘n’ cheese and shepherd’s pie with braised beef cheeks. Each room sports its own imaginative look; eclectic design elements and items of décor — such as a giant stuffed bear, recycled doors and local art — pair well with the festive food.

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Best Doctors in Pittsburgh

Best Doctors in Pittsburgh

Our exclusive list of the region's 584 leading physicians across 76 specialities.
Endless Challenges: 48 Remarkable Hours with 8 Pittsburgh Doctors

Endless Challenges: 48 Remarkable Hours with 8 Pittsburgh Doctors

Follow eight physicians over two days as they perform surgeries, consult on end-of-life care, treat accident victims, discuss hospital programs –– and then reset and do it all over again.
The Commoner — Too Much of a Good Thing?

The Commoner — Too Much of a Good Thing?

Chef Dennis Marron designs a menu of modern-American fare at The Commoner in the downstairs space of Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh.
What Inspires Ray Gastil's Careful Plan for Pittsburgh's Future

What Inspires Ray Gastil's Careful Plan for Pittsburgh's Future

How will the city’s new planning director stoke Pittsburgh’s next generation of developments?
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Latest Weight-Loss Breakthrough: Swallow a Balloon

Pittsburgh’s Allegheny Health Network is testing an alternative to traditional gastric bypass surgery.

Two Pittsburgh Restaurants Closing; Kings Leaving the Family

One of the eateries has been a staple in Bloomfield for more than a half-century.

Who's Carson? Why Does He Have His Own Street?

Some of the names synonymous with Pittsburgh have surprising histories behind them.

Aviary Determined to Have Dwindling Condors Leave the Nest

The National aAviary is working to send ’Burgh-born birds back to their natural habitats to boost endangered populations.

Are You Missing Out? Why More People Love Life in Butler County

Cranberry Township is crammed, but people still are flocking north.

6 Great Places to Celebrate Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week

So many options, so little time. Here are our picks for each remaining day of this celebration of specialty suds.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

2014 Best Restaurants

Best New Restaurant 2014: Grit & Grace

Best New Restaurant 2014: Grit & Grace

It’s a double win for the downtown restaurant, which also takes home our Delicious Design award.
Chefs of the Year 2014

Chefs of the Year 2014

We tip our hats to the city's 13 premier chefs, who consistently create good food and help to position Pittsburgh's dining scene on a national scale.
Best Restaurants 2014

Best Restaurants 2014

Presenting 33 top-notch eateries that are revolutionizing Pittsburgh's food scene.
Best Restaurants 2014: Readers' Poll Winners

Best Restaurants 2014: Readers' Poll Winners

See the results in our annual poll dedicated to the region's best food, from hot dogs to pierogies and everything in between.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Everything That's Awesome About Pittsburgh Today
Latest Weight-Loss Breakthrough: Swallow a Balloon

Latest Weight-Loss Breakthrough: Swallow a Balloon

Pittsburgh’s Allegheny Health Network is testing an alternative to traditional gastric bypass surgery.

Comments


Pittsburgh, only cooler
The 'Burghy Mother's Day Gift Guide 2015

The 'Burghy Mother's Day Gift Guide 2015

Plan ahead with this list of 10 locally made must-haves for Mom.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Into the Wild: How to Be a Good Forager

Into the Wild: How to Be a Good Forager

Before picking and consuming foraged items, read up on the basic rules.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Best Locally Owned Clothing Stores That Sell Locally Made Wares

Best Locally Owned Clothing Stores That Sell Locally Made Wares

Independent boutiques and local designers abound in the 'Burgh. We bring you five of the best.

Comments


Bar Exam: How to Tell A Good Hotel Bar from a Bad One

Bar Exam: How to Tell A Good Hotel Bar from a Bad One

The recently renovated bar and restaurant inside the Sheraton Pittsburgh at Station Square is doing everything right.

Comments


Make This Now: Fudgy, Rich Chocolate Velvet Cake

Make This Now: Fudgy, Rich Chocolate Velvet Cake

Whip up this chocolate cake (with a secret ingredient!) to celebrate spring.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
#GottaHaveIt: Chic Wallets Made of Vintage Turkish Rugs

#GottaHaveIt: Chic Wallets Made of Vintage Turkish Rugs

Give your wardrobe a touch of international glam with an Artemis Design Co. wallet made from Turkish Kilim rugs.

Comments


This week's buzz from the PM editors
Phipps Premieres Its Tropical Forest Congo Exhibit

Phipps Premieres Its Tropical Forest Congo Exhibit

See colorful, rare specimens at this East End institution.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Sweet Tips for Extraordinary Desserts

Sweet Tips for Extraordinary Desserts

For the couple with a sweet tooth and eclectic taste, we bring you five tips to make your wedding-day dessert original and delicious.

Comments


The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
Tour: Admire Downtown's Striking Architecture on May 1

Tour: Admire Downtown's Striking Architecture on May 1

Join the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation next Friday for an hourlong walk focused on downtown's most beautiful structures.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
It's Spring Carnival Time at CMU

It's Spring Carnival Time at CMU

Carnegie Mellon's popular event, running Thursday through Saturday, combines buggies, bots, booths and more.

Comments


Thinking outside the box (score)
Everyone Expects the Penguins to Lose. Perfect.

Everyone Expects the Penguins to Lose. Perfect.

Maybe this is exactly what the team needs –– to win.

Comments


Award-winning sports commentary by Sean Conboy
R.I.P. Corporate Penguins, 2009-2014

R.I.P. Corporate Penguins, 2009-2014

Fire Bylsma? Fire Shero? The Penguins' problems run deeper.

Comments

Edit Module