The Tuna Bowl on Fl. 2's lunch menu. Photo courtesy of Fl. 2.

You’re Downtown at lunchtime and craving some wholesome brain food to get you through the day. Where do you go?

The good news: More Downtown restaurants than ever feature delicious and healthy meal options. We suggest starting with these healthy dining spots Downtown, each offering lots of great options for your next lunch break.

Got a favorite we didn’t get to? Let us know in the comments below.

Lunch at Corner Mercantile. Photo by Francesca Dabecco.

Corner Mercantile

Corner Mercantile offers made from scratch goodies sure to satisfy your hunger, with impressive options for meat eaters and veg-heads alike. Choose from their buffet-style menu of entrees (like spaghetti squash stuffed portobello with basil marinade or Old Bay salmon with roasted red pepper remoulade), then pick a side (like the chickpea quinoa salad or sriracha-spiced sweet potatoes). In a hurry? Pick up one of their cold grab-and-go sandwiches or wraps. It’s a great nutritious option for anyone who doesn’t feel like just eating a salad (just to be clear, their salads are also delicious).

Bluebird Kitchen

While much of Bluebird’s menu changes daily, it’s all good and mostly good for you. Bluebird Kitchen excels at cooking with seasonal, local ingredients like Naturi yogurt, honey from Bedillion Farm, Pennsylvania Macaroni Company bacon and more. Their specialty lunch sandwiches (like roast turkey, rosemary ham or grilled cheese) come on house-made bread, and you’ll find a choice of three fresh soups every day.


With the brand mantra of “Eat. Energize,” Freshii packs in nutritious fuel for your workday. The menu offers diverse and customizable options including soups, salads, wraps, bowls, burritos, frozen yogurt, juices and smoothies. And if you’re skipping gluten or dairy, want to cut your carbs or prefer eating meat-free, this is a spot for you. Freshii aims to cater to all dietary preferences, while also making healthy choices affordable and convenient.

Earth Inspired Salads in the Alcoa Building. Photo by Francesca Dabecco.

Earth Inspired Salads

Basically any mixed greens goodness you can dream up, you can find at one of Earth Inspired Salads’ two Downtown locations (Fifth Ave. and William Penn Place). Pick from their premade salad options, like the Thai One On Salad, which features mesclun, herb roasted shrimp, carrots, radish, spicy sesame broccoli and sliced almonds, and is dressed with a miso soy ginger vinaigrette. Or if you’re feeling creative, make your own salad combo with their choices of greens, proteins, fixings and dressings. Not in the mood for a salad? They also have wraps, rice bowls and soups to feed your appetite.

Apollo Cafe

Family-owned for more than two decades, Apollo Cafe is a staple for Mediterranean, gourmet and vegetarian cuisine. It’s best known for homemade soups (like wedding and lentil, chicken noodle, minestrone and more), but you can also try one of their specialty sandwiches, a hummus platter or stuffed grape leaves with rice and pita. Most items on the menu are less than $10, making it budget- and belly-friendly. 

fl.2 at Fairmont Pittsburgh offers a feast of healthy lunch options. Photo by TH Carlisle.

fl. 2

On the upscale side or if you have an important lunch meeting (this is a refreshingly quiet spot where you can easily have a conversation), try Floor 2 in the Fairmont Hotel. The chefs aim to bring local, sustainable food to Downtown with a modern American menu, featuring lunch items such as rotisserie chicken kale salad (including kale, cauliflower, Fuji apple, cherry tomato and a lemon-honey vinaigrette) or an outstanding tuna bowl (with farro, pea tendrils, carrots, kimchi cucumber, soft-boiled egg, avocado and shoyu). Don’t miss the starters — we’re talking heirloom carrots, sugar beets and chickpea fricassee.

Hello Bistro

Francesca Dabecco is a Pittsburgh-based writer who strives to tell stories in the most interesting, innovative and inspiring formats.