Best Restaurants 2014

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



(page 1 of 8)

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

The Best Bars in Pittsburgh Right Now

The Best Bars in Pittsburgh Right Now

Many Pittsburgh bars have solid beer lists, well-mixed cocktails or a bartender who's handy with a shot and a story. We need more than that. What makes these bars the best?
View Pittsburgh & Its People From The 1850s Through Today

View Pittsburgh & Its People From The 1850s Through Today

#pixburgh: A Photographic Experience features images from the Sen. John Heinz History Center vault, which contains close to one million images. The show features a sampling of 400 images from the 1850s through today — including landmarks, fun, folly and floods.
In Concert: What's Next for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra?

In Concert: What's Next for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra?

Melia Tourangeau, CEO and president of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, looks to lead the ensemble forward after a discordant strike.
Restaurant Review: Umami in Lawrenceville

Restaurant Review: Umami in Lawrenceville

Umami sets the bar for izakaya openings in Pittsburgh. But its owners still have steps to take to keep raising the standard.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

See How Chess Made Le’Veon Bell a Better Running Back

Watch the video that reveals Bell’s talents that go beyond the football field.

Viral: Steelers' Most Famous Fight Song Synced to Lights

See how a Leechburg man has transformed his home into the ultimate Pittsburgh Steelers shrine, but we must warn you, the song will be stuck in your head for the rest of the day.

RMU President Named to College Football Playoff Committee

Chris Howard will help decide which four teams will vie each year for college football’s national championship.

Watch: Preview of Fascinating Rachel Carson Documentary

Carson, a native of Springdale, is credited with launching the modern environmental movement. She is the subject of a new “American Experience” documentary airing Jan. 24 on PBS.

Joe Manganiello Knocks off Superman, Batman is Next

The Mt. Lebanon native and insanely loyal Pittsburgh Steelers fan is engaging in superhero trash talk with one of his movie co-stars.

Pipe Dream? Get From Pittsburgh to Chicago in 30 Minutes

Developers say such a trip, at speeds faster than a passenger jet, could be possible in five years.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Become the smartest person in Pittsburgh with our (free) Burgh.ly App 

The always lively list of things to eat, drink and do in the 'Burgh from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine. 

      

*Winner of City and Regional Magazine Association's 2015 Digital Innovation Award

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.
Best Restaurants 2014

Best Restaurants 2014

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


See How Chess Made Le’Veon Bell a Better Running Back

See How Chess Made Le’Veon Bell a Better Running Back

Watch the video that reveals Bell’s talents that go beyond the football field.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Restaurant Industry Fundraiser to Aid Injured Chef

Restaurant Industry Fundraiser to Aid Injured Chef

Zach Behm was chef de cuisine at Cure in Upper Lawrenceville at the time of a July car wreck.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The Best 6 Places to Get a Cup of Tea in Pittsburgh

The Best 6 Places to Get a Cup of Tea in Pittsburgh

The quiet rise of Pittsburgh's tea scene gives us a few favorite gems.

Comments


The Trendy New East Liberty Hangout ... Primanti's?

The Trendy New East Liberty Hangout ... Primanti's?

The latest outpost of the popular local chain is housed in the former Verde space in Garfield.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Tomlin Needs to Be Tomlin Against Brady, Belichick

Tomlin Needs to Be Tomlin Against Brady, Belichick

The Steelers are going to have to attack the game to survive it, to grab it by the throat and choke it to the desired conclusion.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Tantalizing Textiles for the Table

Tantalizing Textiles for the Table

Check out the chic decor from Pittsburgh-based artist and designer Janice Nelson.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Scorsese's Silence Proves Worth the Wait (and the Weight)

Scorsese's Silence Proves Worth the Wait (and the Weight)

Reviews of "Silence," "Live by Night" and "Patriot's Day."

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Pittsburgh Romance: How Their Love Survived Long-Distance

Pittsburgh Romance: How Their Love Survived Long-Distance

From coast to coast and continent to continent, these couples showed that absence really does make the heart grow fonder.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Urban Fit Co. Opening Flagship Shop in Sewickley

Urban Fit Co. Opening Flagship Shop in Sewickley

The locally owned active wear boutique is slated to open in March. Plus, get all the details on Pittsburgh’s new luxury residential real estate firm, Piatt Sotheby’s International Realty.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Pittsburgh Artist’s Work to be Featured at Thiel College

Pittsburgh Artist’s Work to be Featured at Thiel College

Benedict Oddi’s collection “Scouts and Nomads” will be on display in a campus gallery.

Comments

Edit Module