Think Pittsburgh doesn’t have a huge foodie scene? Think again. Neighborhoods all over the city are updating buildings and turning them into hip, fun restaurants that cater to families and include meal options that kids (and teens!) will devour. Compliments of the varied ethnic backgrounds, Pittsburgh offers something for everyone’s flavor palette and even the pickiest of eaters will have a hard time saying no. Having a hard time deciding which restaurant to choose for your family? I’ve narrowed it down to five favorites family friendly restaurants in Pittsburgh.
Double Wide Grill
You don’t need to go to a theme park or super-touristy city to find a fun, themed restaurant that kids will consider really cool. Double Wide Grill on the Southside has turned a former gas station into a garage-themed restaurant that offers delicious menu items. They even include vegan and vegetarian options like Tofu Skewers and Mac ‘N Cheese. The meat lovers in your family will really dig the full BBQ menu with savory options including ribs, beef brisket, and pulled pork. Another fun option is the TV dinner, a build-your-own style meal that comes served on a metal cafeteria tray. Did I mention they’ve got 36 draft beers? Yeah, that, too.
If you can find a couple of extra minutes to spare, don’t forget to check out the restaurant’s decor. Hip and fun, the walls (and part of the ceiling) are covered with old cars and auto memorabilia.
This one’s a Presidential favorite! No kidding, President Obama has visited the restaurant in The Strip District and adores the thin, crepe-style hotcakes with crispy edges that the restaurant offers. He has even had the owners visit The White House to make them for a Memorial Day extravaganza.
If that doesn’t have you sold on the tastiness of the menu items, the thin pancake toppings are bound to close the deal. Pam’s offers plain (President Obama prefers them that way), slathered with butter and syrup, or stuffed with fresh strawberries, brown sugar, and sour cream.
Don’t have a sweet tooth? Pam’s offers traditional breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well.
Primanti Bros. is quintessential Pittsburgh dining. Whenever a friend is visiting from out of town, Primanti’s is always one of the restaurants I tell them they have to try. The Primanti Bros. sandwich was based out of necessity compliments of the hungry truckers that would pass by at all times of the day and night. The owner created a sandwich cart to serve the workers and opened his first restaurant in the early 1930’s. The sandwiches have always been affordable and are large enough for splitting.
The famous sandwiches are filled with whatever meat you choose, cheese, tomatoes, a savory slaw, and French fries. Add two pieces of thickly-sliced Italian bread and you’ve got sandwich perfection. There’s also a veggie version of the sandwich for kids and parents, freshly cut fries, pizza, burgers, and chicken tenders.
Primanti Bros. has 17 locations all over the Greater Pittsburgh area, but if you’re looking for the original, head to The Strip District in Downtown Pittsburgh – it’s open 24 hours a day.
Traditional, German-style food is on the menu at Hofbräuhaus in the Southside neighborhood of Pittsburgh. OK, the restaurant is definitely known for its craft brewed, Bavarian-style beer and has a party atmosphere at night (who can resist an accordion player pumping out traditional German music?), but the meals are amazing and so family friendly. The restaurant offers a full Kinder menu which includes mac and cheese, pizza, and burgers, but a visit would not be complete with trying the Schnitzel- thinly sliced, breaded pork cutlets served with lemon wedges.
The location of Hofbräuhaus is worthy of note as well. In the heart of Southside Works, a table on the terrace will get you gorgeous views on the Monongahela River- a beauty of a backdrop that showcases the Pittsburgh skyline at night. Afterwards, head down to the river’s edge and walk off all of those calories or let the kids play in the splash pad area.
If you’re planning on taking the kids up one of the Pittsburgh inclines to check out the gorgeous view of the Pittsburgh skyline, a visit to Bigham Tavern is only a couple of minutes away on Mount Washington. The tavern-style eatery offers BYOM a customizable mac and cheese perfect for picky eaters. You start with the basic mac skillet and are then able to add in meats, additional cheeses, veggies, and sauces including wing sauce for a little kick.
Not a fan of mac and cheese? No worries, Bigham Tavern has delicious (and decadent) bar-style food including fried pickles, Quesadillas, and BURGH’ERS. There’s also healthy options including hearty salads.
The kids menu is just as fun with Kiddie Cocktails, sliders, and pretzel dogs.
What’s your favorite family-friendly restaurant? Please let me know in the comment section below!