Fresh Finds: 8 New Notable PGH Restaurants

Published On August 2, 2016 | By Missy Schrott | Guides

As our city’s food and drink scene continues to grow, a fine selection of new restaurants have made their debut in 2016. From lunch breaks, to happy hours and Sunday brunches, there seems to be an endless amount of new establishments to discover in the 412.

Recently, we decided to check out some PGH restaurants that opened this year and hit you with our favorite picks. Whether you’re on the hunt for an adventurous new cocktail, more vegan options, or some good ole’ fashioned comfort food, we’ve got you covered.

Check out our list of must-visits and fresh faces on the food scene below:

Joe&PieJoe & Pie Café Pizzeria

If you’re seeking a restaurant that’s doing a lot and doing it all right, look no further. Joe & Pie has hot pizza, locally roasted coffee, a huge breakfast menu, artisan gelato, handmade milkshakes, and more. On top of that, they give you the option of dine-in, take-out, delivery or catering. And, they’re open basically ALL the time. Experienced baristas and speedy staff ensure you never wait too long for your food, and deals such as morning coffee happy hours guarantee you’re never paying too much. With hours beginning before 7AM and ending past 1AM every night, Joe & Pie is the perfect place for your morning coffee and your late night ‘za. Check out their website for the full list of hours.

Hidden Harbor

Hidden Harbor

The Pearl Diver

When it comes to making the most of your summer, our top pick is Hidden Harbor, a tiki bar nestled in Squirrel Hill. Lawyers Peter and Matthew Kurzweg, the same guys who brought us the Independent Brewing Company in 2014, opened the tiki bar this past January. The restaurant’s forte is tiki drinks that are not only colorful and delicious, but expertly crafted. Cocktail connoisseur Adam Henry composes his drinks precisely of quality ingredients, challenging the stereotype that tiki drinks have to be overly sugary and fruity. The modern tiki spot also features tropical plates inspired by Asian, Middle Eastern and Caribbean cuisines in shareable servings that allow you to try some of everything. Hidden Harbor is the go-to spot for a summer happy hour, a fun night out or a tropical escape any time of the year! Hours are Tuesday – Thursday 5PM-12AM; and Friday – Saturday 5PM-1AM.


Tahini Ganache Truffles


Veg heads and health nuts – this one’s for you. B52a vegan café located in Upper Lawrenceville, just opened this past January. The café excels in all things vegan, whether you’re looking to stop by for the full service espresso bar, lunch, dinner, or one of their fresh pastry desserts. The house-made food represents a Middle Eastern and American fusion that not only tastes amazing, but is good for you, too. Eat well while treating yourself–we recommend the hand rolled cinnamon rolls or Tahini ganache truffles! B52 is open Tuesday – Friday 8AM-9PM; Saturday 9AM-9PM; and Sunday for brunch from 9AM-3PM.

Photo Cred: Fine Humans

Photo Cred: Fine Humans


Umami, the Izakaya (Japanese pub) in Lawrenceville, is here for all your sushi, robotayaki, and late night ramen needs. Chef Roger Li opened the Japanese street food joint in April to give the Burgh not only a delicious collection of delectable Asian eats, but also an extensive bar menu of beer, cocktails and sake – served hot, cold, or in a bucket of snow to share. Since this restaurant is fresh on the scene, you may want to make a reservation, or stop by and grab one of the first come, first serve bar and sushi counter seats. Hours are Tuesday –Thursday 4:30PM-12AM; and Friday – Saturday 4:30PM-2AM.

Apteka drink

Piña Colada


At Apteka, owners Kate Lasky and Tomasz Skowronski are putting a fresh take on a Pittsburgh classic. Their unique vegan dishes first burst onto the Burgh’s food scene with Pierogie Night, a monthly pop-up restaurant that earned them a cult following of Pierogie lovers. Since evolving the concept this March into a permanent restaurant between Bloomfield and Lawrenceville, Apteka’s following has only grown. The café offers an extensive dinner menu of all vegan, Eastern European inspired dishes, plus unique specialty cocktails served late into the night. Apteka’s hours are Wednesday – Sunday, 5PM-1AM (21+ after 10PM). Take advantage of the chill vibes and special late night eats every Sunday beginning at 9PM with Lonely No More, featuring weird tunes by local DJs and $5 drink specials.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup

Breakfast at Shelly’s

There’s no such thing as too much brunch… and Breakfast at Shelly’s is giving us another spot in Allentown to flock to on those weekend mornings we’re hungover, hopeless or just plain hungry. This budget-friendly diner opened in late March, providing breakfast favorites of eggs, bacon, omelets and sandwiches, alongside some more adventurous twists on the classics, such as the French toast roll ups and peanut butter bacon cakes. The diner is built around hospitality and family, opened by Shelly Moeller, daughter of Cheryl O’Leary of the popular O’Leary’s South Side diner. Hours are Tuesday – Sunday, 8AM-3PM. Stop by for breakfast happy hour ($5 daily specials before 9AM), brunch or lunch!

ease- sesame honey chili wings

Sesame Honey Chili Wings


Ease: Modern Comfort Cuisine is changing the definition of comfort food by giving it a gourmet twist. Executive Chef Jimmy Brown opened the restaurant in Regent Square in March to combine high-end, local ingredients into classy takes on your comfort favorites. From the four different flavors of mac & cheese – seafood, land, veggie and original – to the sesame honey chili wings, the menu has something savory, delectable and homey for everyone. On top of the mouthwatering food menu, Ease offers an array of cocktails and an extensive wine list. Beginning Wednesday, August 3, head over for Wine Wednesdays, with 50 percent off all bottles and glasses of wine. Hours are Monday – Saturday, 11:30AM-10PM.

Housemade cheddar and chive scone

Housemade Cheddar & Chive Scone

 The Abbey on Butler Street

Setting up camp in what used to be a funeral home, The Abbey on Butler Street has quickly become a Lawrenceville hotspot since its opening in April. The coffeehouse, restaurant and bar provides a loaded menu that’ll have you covered for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, serving mouthwatering American food that is anything but ordinary–try the sriracha chicken dip or zucchini pasta! The comfortable environment, including one of the largest outdoor restaurant spaces in Pittsburgh, casts a warm, roomy atmosphere and is uniquely decorated with reclaimed materials from a local church. The Abbey has all the quirks we love to see in a restaurant – from their outdoor swan fountain, to Prosecco on tap, to nitrogen-infused cold brew. The community spot opens early and closes late; check out their website for a full listing of hours!

Know a new spot we didn’t mention? Let us know about your PGH restaurant finds in the comment section below!

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