Balvanera. Photo by Cristina Holtzer.

From Argentina to Italy, ice cream to sashimi, and outer space to the depths of hell, big-name chefs and brands opened several new Pittsburgh restaurants in October, with many more ready to illuminate their open signs in November.

Here’s what’s up so you know where to sit down:


1660 Smallman St., Strip District

Start spreading the news, they arrived today (last week, really). They want to be a part of it — Pittsburgh, PA!

On Oct. 26, the New York-based Argentinian restaurant Balvanera opened its second U.S. location in the Strip District for reservations only, with full dinner service starting on Nov. 8.

Balvanera’s original location was founded by chef Fernando Navas to bring the cuisine and culture of Buenos Aires to the U.S.

Much of the menu and the venue’s inspiration stems from Navas’ many homes, from Punta Alta to Barcelona to Miami to New York, according to the restaurant’s website. For how close “home” is to the core of the restaurant, it just seems right that the second location settles down in co-founder Meredith Boyle’s hometown.

Starting on Nov. 8, Balvanera will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m.

Alta Via in Market Square. Photo by Roman Hladio.

Alta Via

2 PPG Place, Downtown

Alta Via’s second Pittsburgh location opened on Oct. 26 — and for a restaurant named “high road” there sure are a lot of people looking down at it.

The new Italian eatery sits along the pedestrian way connecting Market Square and PPG Plaza across from Five Guys and Primanti Bros. Talk about fine dining.

Alta Via’s menu is consistent between its new and original Fox Chapel locations, so focus on proximity and ambiance when placing a reservation.

Alta Via in Market Square is open on Sunday from 4 to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday from 4 to 10 p.m.

Photo courtesy of Lilith.


238 Spahr St., Shadyside

Folklore will tell you that Adam of the Genesis story had a wife before Eve — Lilith — who was cast out for disobeying her husband. Usually, the story goes that she ended up a powerful demon in hell.

The oft-untold truth is that she landed in a new “Garden of Eatin’” … in Shadyside.

Renowned chefs Dianne DeStefano and Jamilka Borges opened their new restaurant Lilith today — Thursday, Nov. 2. Lilith serves coastal cuisine inspired by the chefs’ respective Sicilian and Puerto Rican heritage.

Lilith is currently open through weekends, with some week night availability. Reservations are available through Resy.

Photo courtesy of Golden Gai.

Golden Gai

116 Bakery Square Blvd., Bakery Square

From southern-style chicken to sushi hand roll to prime rib to tacos and tortas, Richard DeShantz Restaurant Group eateries offer a swath of different cultural cuisines.

The group’s upcoming bar, Golden Gai, brings the flair of a Japanese izakaya — a less formal, pub-style environment. The new spot will serve drinks and small plates, like sake, nigiri, whiskey and beef tataki, and will be open for private tasting events.

The izakaya concept was initially unveiled via Instagram in early October. Golden Gai has since been collecting emails to send invites to their soft launch events, with an official opening date yet to be announced.

Space Bar in Market Square. Photo by Roman Hladio.

Space Bar

22 Market Square, Downtown

A space-themed bar. The sheer number of pun possibilities is out of this world.

The aptly named Space Bar — not to be confused with that rectangular button on your keyboard — is set to launch in early November. Boasting a menu of science- and spacial body-themed cocktails, Space Bar aims for the stars with its “molecular mixology” experience.

While the “Eats” section of the bar’s menu is empty — “More Food Coming Soon” it reads — astronaut ice cream bites and ice cream sandwiches are currently among the offerings.

Once open, hours will be posted on Space Bar’s website.

Polska Laska’s pierogis and Polish meatballs. Photo courtesy of Polska Laska.

Polska Laska

1100 N. Canal St., Sharpsburg

Polish pop-up spot Polska Laska will be folding and pinching itself into a new permanent location.

On Oct. 26, owner Olive Beals announced on Instagram that she had purchased the former Mindy’s Take & Bake in Sharpsburg.

“Ever since I was a kid I wanted to own a restaurant,” Beals writes in the announcement.

“I’m so happy and busy and stressed. I can’t wait to be able to consistently cook and provide smiles and dumplings and sandwiches for you and yours.”

Future Polska Laska announcements can be found on Instagram.

Photo courtesy of Jen’s Splendid Ice Creams.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

447 Cinema Drive, Southside Works

Ice cream alert! When the new Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams location opens on Thursday, Nov. 9, at SouthSide Works, they’ll be passing out free scoops from 6 to 10 p.m.

Jeni’s has 20 years of experience in scoopology, with locations across the country. It also offers dairy-free options for our lactose-intolerant friends and alt-dairy enjoyers — sometimes, oat milk is just better. Sorry, not sorry.

Hurry over — the first 50 people in the door will get some extra freebies. Leave some ice cream for your friends at NEXT, though!

The Gobblerito. Photo courtesy of Mad Mex.

Mad Mex

All locations

Feliz cumpleaños to — as of Oct. 30 — to our 30-year-old friend, Mad Mex!

Although the legendary Gobblerito has been back on the menu since Sept. 18, you have my blessing to order one now that Halloween has passed and we’re knee-deep in leaves.

NEXT Editor Brian Hyslop recommends ditching the tortilla and ordering all the Thanksgiving burrito’s innards directly in a bowl — which is the only necessary proof as to why he’s not allowed to write the food column.

I’ll give him a few points back for recommending Mad Mex’s Apple Cider Margarita, though.

The Gobblerito is meant to get the axe on Nov. 22, but may be pardoned for a few additional days depending on any given location’s inventory.

Roman wants to hear the stories created in Pittsburgh. When not reporting, he plays difficult video games that make him upset and attempts to make delicious meals out of mismatched leftovers.