The Best Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Meat-focused Pittsburgh still offers plenty of spots for vegans and vegetarians
Meat-focused Pittsburgh still offers plenty of spots for vegans and vegetarians | © Rez-Art / iStock Getty Images
Photo of Mark Nayler
20 January 2021

Most of Pittsburgh’s iconic dishes are meat-oriented, but that doesn’t mean vegans or vegetarians won’t have fun visiting. There are plenty of spots for non-carnivores in the Burgh, from a build-your-own taco joint to an all-veggie Indian restaurant. Read on for the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Pennsylvania’s City of Steel.

B52 Café

Cafe, Vegan, $$$
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Lawrenceville’s B52 Café is a vegan and vegetarian specialist, known locally for its creative scrambled “eggs” and moreish avocado toasties. Its sandwiches – all of which come with homemade sourdough baguettes – overflow with veggie goodness: try the grilled cheese layered with roasted eggplant, cremini mushrooms, pickles and tahini. Or how about the marinated tofu with shredded carrots and cabbage, radish, coriander and fresh jalapeño peppers? Those are best accompanied with a latte laced with house-blended spices or a spicy chai tea. Be prepared to wait in line for a table on the weekends.

Chutney's

Restaurant, Indian
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Chutney’s is unmissable for fans of Indian cuisine (South Indian especially). Located opposite the Robinson Town Centre shopping plaza, about a 15-minute drive from Downtown, it offers a lunch buffet and dinner menu, standouts of which include enormous dosa (rice pancakes) served with coconut, ginger and tomato chutneys. Also try the homemade veggie curries and samosas. Seating is in a modern, canteen-style interior and, if you’re inspired to cook Indian at home, there’s a specialist grocery store right next door.

Onion Maiden

Cafe, Vegan, $$$
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Does the name of Pittsburgh’s premier meat-free eatery bring to mind legendary metal band Iron Maiden? Good: this all-vegan restaurant describes itself as a “punk rock-fueled, heavy metal-spawned food purveyor.” Its menu is one of the Burgh’s most innovative, with dishes such as Kale ‘em All (kale salad with pickled beet and onion, tahini dressing and croutons) and the Burning Witch (kabocha pumpkin soup with chili) showing how much fun can be had with allotment ingredients. Their on-site ATM comes in handy, as payment is cash-only.

Square Cafe

Restaurant, Cafe, American, Vegetarian, $$$
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Vegetarians, vegans and meat eaters all have plenty of choice at Square Cafe, a cheerful hangout on East Liberty’s Regent Square. There’s usually a wait for their famous weekend brunch, but it’s worth it just to sample the vegan options, which range from chorizo and cheese to eggs and peanut butter pancakes. They’re best accompanied by one of their signature drinks, such as a vanilla-infused latte or caramel hot chocolate. Seating is on a spacious terrace or in a bright dining room decorated with works by local artists.

Viridis

Cafe, North American
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Viridis is a great take-out option in Pittsburgh’s South Side district. Stop in for one of their substantial, meat-free sandwiches, such as the Breakfast – TVP sausage, vegan cheddar, tofu egg and maple butter – or the triple-decker Seitan Club – a densely packed feast of seitan slices, rice paper bacon, avocado mash, gochujang mayo and tomato. For the best results, pair with one of their superb cappuccinos or lattes, add a donut or pastry for dessert and enjoy it all on the riverbank.

The Zenith

Restaurant, American, Vegetarian
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Carson’s charmingly creepy Zenith is attached to a curiosities shop so intriguing that customers say the waiting time for a table is too short. It’s also one of Pittsburgh’s best vegan- and veggie-friendly brunch spots, offering a selection of meatless mains, which can be accompanied with sides from the buffet. Take your pick from a colorful array of salads, noodle and pasta dishes, and enjoy a slice of freshly baked cake or fruit for dessert. Bring cash, as there’s a mark-up on card payments.

Condado Tacos

Restaurant, Mexican
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Condado Tacos is a build-your-own eatery in Downtown, with a decent selection of vegan and veggie options. Write your name on the order form, specify the kind of shell, sauces and toppings you want, then choose your meat-free protein from the following: Thai chili tofu, scrambled eggs, roasted portobello mushrooms, rice and black beans, and barbecue-pulled jackfruit. Like any self-respecting Mexican joint, Condado also does a mean margarita, as well as a great selection of tequilas and beers. Enjoy along with the edgy, street art-inspired decor.

The Forge

Restaurant, Italian
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Vegetarians and vegans are spoilt for choice at the Forge, a classy craft cocktail specialist in Lawrenceville. Treat yourself to one of the best meatless pizzas in Pittsburgh – a classic margherita with a crunchily charred crust courtesy of the brick oven – or eat your way through the simple yet powerfully flavored small plates (try the pan-fried brussels sprouts with feta and pine nuts or pan-seared tofu with avocado, coriander and lime). Finish off with the vegan cheese board and wash the whole lot down with cocktails made from Pennsylvania’s finest liquors.

These recommendations were updated on January 20, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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