One of the standouts of our Best New Restaurants, Class of 2017, is this tiny little acorn of a restaurant in Shadyside. They’ve since branched out into brunch with dishes like biscuits and gravy served with milk-braised tasso ham, and scallion pancakes with mushrooms and soft scrambled eggs. Acorn is also home to some of Pittsburgh’s best bagels. Try the onion bagel and scallion schmear, with smoked whitefish and hot cider mustard. You can also start a weekend morning with fish tacos spiced with chili, lime, radish and black mint in a corn tortilla. Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays starting at 10 a.m.
Union Standard, Downtown
The restaurant that has redefined elegant Downtown dining is (no surprise) also a great spot for brunch. The spit-roasted turkey sandwich features layers of roasted turkey on a large flaky buttermilk biscuit with bacon, lettuce and tomato and a fresh egg perched at the top. A kick of chili mayo brings all the flavors together. This Downtown eatery also features seasonal and handmade takes on classic brunch dishes. Bourbon and vanilla bean French toast is topped with Paul Family Farms’ bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup, strawberries and candied pecans. Cocktail highlights include a coffee Negroni made with Bluecoat gin and Maggie’s Farm Rum Coffee Liqueur. There’s even a kids’ menu. Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Reservations are accepted and probably a good idea.
or, The Whale, Downtown
Brunch, served seven days a week, is a cornerstone at this seafood and chop house located in the boutique Distrikt Hotel, Downtown (in the old Salvation Army building). Highlights include the Maryland frittata (lump crab, egg, red peppers and goat cheese) and the chicken and waffles, served with pork belly, Fresno chilies, poached egg and Hollandaise sauce. or, The Whale’s new bar program is also strong. The brunch cocktail selection is beachy and breezy, including a brunch punch made with grapefruit rose botanical vodka and Cointreau. Brunch is served 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. As with Union Standard, reservations are a good idea.
DiAnoia’s Eatery, The Strip District
At the far northeast end of the Strip, where the restaurants give way to other businesses, lies this little speck of sunny Italy. Though it’s popular for dinner, standout brunch dishes include the stuffed cornetti (puff pastry filled with Lebanon bologna and Fontina cheese) and the prosciutto Eggs Benedict. Diners can also choose the “breakfast pizza,” and for dessert try the satisfying deep-fried sweet zeppole dough balls. Brunch is served on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Bar Marco, The Strip District
Long one of Pittsburgh’s most interesting restaurants, Bar Marco also features a great Italian brunch menu in this charming old firehouse in the Strip. Dishes include prosciutto toast, lemon buttermilk pancakes, a fried zucchini Benedict and the decadent bacon-topped Marco Burger. Sides of house bacon to share with the table are a good idea. Bar Marco always offers a great cocktail menu, and mornings are no exception. Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Reservations are accepted.
Kaya, The Strip District
Looking for heat and big, bold flavors? Kaya’s cuisine gets its inspiration from the Caribbean islands and South America, with some Asian touches as well. It’s a place where you can find corn and lentil beignets with green curry sauce or tropical paella with chicken, chorizo, shrimp and scallops. Kaya’s Bloody Marys come with flavor-infused vodkas, whisky and tequila choices. Brunch hours are Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
B52 Cafe, Lawrenceville
Specializing in Middle Eastern vegan cuisine, B52 is great for vegetarians and carnivores alike. Buckwheat sourdough pancakes and mezze platters are standouts on the brunch menu. There’s also the tasty Kofta Tofu Scramble, potato latkes, lots of thick-cut toast dishes with toppings like almond butter and avocado, and a rotating selection of homemade sodas and kombuchas. Don’t miss the full-service espresso bar with house-baked goods. Brunch is served Sundays, 9 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Piper’s Pub, South Side
Morning and midday specialties from across the pond (or across the “Mon,” if you’re traveling from Downtown) are on the menu here. English breakfasts, including fried eggs and baked beans (Heinz, of course), tomato, bangers and toast are specialties. There’s also Boxty, an Irish favorite which is basically a huge crispy potato pancake stuffed with all kinds of deliciousness. The buttermilk biscuits are baked next door at the Pub Chip Shop. Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. They don’t take reservations, but you can always drink up at the bar if there’s a wait.
Whitfield, at The Ace Hotel, East Liberty
When the Ace Hotel arrived in Pittsburgh it was a big deal, especially since it brought one of the city’s best restaurants — the bright, convivial Whitfield — with it. They have a James Beard Award-nominated chef, Bethany Zozula, at the helm, and a great brunch menu for weekends. Lots to choose from here, including classic egg dishes, blueberry pancakes and savory options like buttermilk-fried chicken salad. The grapefruit brûlée has caramelized sugar that forms a candy shell of extra sweetness over the fruit. Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays, 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Vandal, Lawrenceville
You’ll find comfort food in a bright and cozy café space, perfect for a casual brunch. Dishes include steak frites, a Chanterelle tart with swiss chard and local chevre, and smoked trout served with latkes and eggs. Ricotta scrambled eggs are popular, as is the French toast served with lemon curd, strawberry jam and maple granola. Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Muddy Waters Oyster Bar, East Liberty
Come for the Southern vibes and a menu of down-home New Orleans favorites done right — including shrimp and grits, biscuits and gravy, po’ boys and gumbo with cornbread — along with a ginormous build-your-own Bloody Mary bar. You can also get hush puppies and alligator bites. Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays, 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Grand Concourse, South Side
Looking for something perfectly traditional? The Grand Concourse serves a legendary buffet-style brunch with an omelet station, carving table and freshly made doughnuts and waffles — all set against the backdrop of the South Side’s grandly renovated train station. Brunch is served Sundays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Reservations are accepted.
This elegant, pan-Mediterranean mainstay has long anchored Pittsburgh’s dining scene, and their brunch is as good as everything they do. Local ingredients are prized here, like the Braised Lamb & Eggs with Elysian Farms lamb shoulder and local eggs. Or you can get something from the sea, like the Sea Scallop Fry with house-made fennel sausage, white corn grits and a croissant.
And on our radar for this fall, the soon-to-open Lola’s Eatery.
Did we mention your brunch favorites? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.