Best of 2011: Food and Drink | Food and Drink | Pittsburgh

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Best of 2011: Food and Drink 


Best New Restaurant 

Meat & Potatoes, Downtown

2nd: NOLA on the Square, Downtown

3rd: Burgatory, Aspinwall


Best BYOB Dining

Piccolo Forno, Lawrenceville

2nd: Root 174, Regent Square

3rd: Pusadee's Garden, Lawrenceville


Best Outdoor Dining

Pusadee's Garden, Lawrenceville

2nd: Round Corner Cantina, Lawrenceville

3rd: Double Wide Grill, South Side


Best Chef

Kevin Sousa, Salt of the Earth

2nd: Donato Coluccio, Donato's

3rd: Keith Fuller, Root 174


Best Bakery

Oakmont Bakery, Oakmont

2nd: Prantl's Bakery, Shadyside and Downtown

3rd: Mancini's, McKees Rocks, Strip District and Downtown


Best Breakfast

Pamela's, multiple locations

2nd: DeLuca's, Strip District

3rd: Dor-Stop, Dormont


Best Brunch

Grand Concourse, Station Square

2nd: Coca Café, Lawrenceville

3rd: The Zenith, South Side


Best Business Lunch

The Capital Grille, Downtown

2nd: Eleven, Strip District

3rd: Six Penn Kitchen, Downtown


Best Romantic Restaurant

Dish, South Side

2nd: Le Mont, Mount Washington

3rd: Casbah, Shadyside


Best Indian Restaurant

India Garden, Oakland

2nd: Tamarind, Oakland, Scott Township and Cranberry

3rd: People's Indian, Garfield


Best Japanese Restaurant

Nakama, South Side

2nd: Little Tokyo, Mount Lebanon and South Side

3rd: Ichiban Hibachi Steakhouse, multiple locations


Best Italian Restaurant

Piccolo Forno, Lawrenceville

2nd: Donato's, Fox Chapel

3rd: Girasole, Shadyside


Best Thai Restaurant

Nicky's Thai Kitchen, North Side and Verona

2nd: Thai Cuisine, Bloomfield

3rd: Bangkok Balcony, Squirrel Hill


Best Chinese Restaurant

Sesame Inn, multiple locations

2nd: China Palace, multiple locations

3rd: PF Chang's, Homestead and Robinson


Best German Restaurant

Hofbrauhaus, South Side

2nd: Max's Allegheny Tavern, North Side

3rd: Penn Brewery, North Side


Best French Restaurant

Paris 66, East Liberty

2nd: Brasserie 33, Shadyside

3rd: Café du Jour, South Side


Best Middle Eastern Restaurant

Aladdin's Eatery, multiple locations

2nd: Kassab's, South Side

3rd: Ali Baba, Oakland


Best Mexican/Latin American Restaurant

Mad Mex, multiple locations

2nd: Mexico City, Downtown and South Side

3rd: El Campesino, multiple locations


Best Contemporary American Restaurant

Salt of the Earth, Garfield

2nd: Eleven, Strip District

3rd: BRGR, East Liberty and Cranberry


Best Vegan or Vegetarian Restaurant

Quiet Storm, Friendship

2nd: The Zenith, South Side

3rd: Double Wide Grill, South Side


Best Restaurant to Take Out-of-Towners

Primanti's, multiple locations

2nd: Church Brew Works, Lawrenceville

3rd: Fat Heads Saloon, South Side


Best Place to Try Something New

Tamari, Lawrenceville

2nd: Salt of the Earth, Garfield

3rd: Kaya, Strip District


Best Cheap Eats

Eat'n Park, multiple locations

2nd: Primanti's, multiple locations

3rd (tie): LuLu's Noodles, Oakland / Tram's Kitchen, Bloomfield


Best Steakhouse

Ruth's Chris Steak House, Downtown

2nd: The Capital Grille, Downtown

3rd: Morton's The Steakhouse, Downtown


Best Seafood

Monterey Bay Fish Grotto, Mount Washington and Monroeville

2nd: Penn Avenue Fish Co., Strip District and Downtown

3rd: Mitchell's Fish Market, Mount Lebanon and Homestead


Best Sushi

Nakama, South Side

2nd: Little Tokyo, Mount Lebanon and South Side

3rd: Umi, Shadyside


Best Pierogies

Pierogies Plus, McKees Rocks

2nd: Bloomfield Bridge Tavern, Bloomfield

3rd: Church Brew Works, Lawrenceville


Best Burger

Burgatory, Aspinwall

2nd: Tessaro's, Bloomfield

3rd: BRGR, East Liberty and Cranberry


Best Pizza

Mineo's, Squirrel Hill

2nd: Pizza Sola, South Side, East Liberty and Oakland

3rd: Fiori's Pizzeria, Beechview


Best Wings

Quaker Steak and Lube, multiple locations

2nd: Fat Heads Saloon, South Side

3rd: Buffalo Blues, Shadyside


Best Late-Night Menu

Mad Mex, multiple locations

2nd: Primanti's, multiple locations

3rd: Ritter's, Bloomfield


Best Coffeehouse

Beehive, South Side

2nd: Crazy Mocha, multiple locations

3rd: Espresso a Mano, Lawrenceville


Best Frozen Treats

Razzy Fresh, Oakland and Squirrel Hill

2nd: Oh Yeah! Ice Cream and Coffee Co., East Liberty

3rd: Rita's Italian Ice, multiple locations


Best Desserts

Gullifty's, Squirrel Hill

2nd: Cheesecake Factory, South Side and Ross Park Mall

3rd: Dozen Bake Shop, Lawrenceville and Oakland


Best Local Beer

East End Brewing, Homewood

2nd: Penn Brewery, North Side

3rd: Church Brew Works, Lawrenceville


Best Beer Selection in a Restaurant

Sharp Edge, multiple locations

2nd: Fat Heads Saloon, South Side

3rd: D's Six Pax & Dogz, Regent Square


Best Wine Selection in a Restaurant

Sonoma Grille, Downtown 

2nd: Wine Loft, South Side

3rd: Toast!, Shadyside


State of the Art

Are you one of those avant-garde types not content with majority rule? Check out these recommendations from our editorial staff.


Best Meal-To-Go

The Franktuary Truck.

Half the fun of going to the Franktuary truck is finding it. From its Downtown-based wiener shop, the truck ventures all over, setting up in church parking lots, outside concert venues and even at weddings. It's got an abbreviated menu, but diners can find plenty of creative fare, like the Canadian dish poutine, consisting of French fries topped with vegan gravy and cheese curds from Lawrenceville-based Arsenal Cheese. You can track the truck on Twitter @franktuary. 


Best example of Booze Making You Nostalgic

Duquesne Pilsener.

It was fall of 2010 when Mark and Maria Dudash revived the Prince of Pilsener: long-defunct Duke beer. This year, the beer began showing up in bars all around town. The beerscape now is different from what it was when Duke's South Side brewery folded in 1972 — crafts are the rage — but there's a place in Pittsburgh's heart for a straightforward, refreshing pils without the bells and whistles.


Best Example of Booze Making You Charitable

Steel City Big Pour. Construction Junction, Point Breeze

412-243-5025 or

We're sure folks already support all the great work mega-recycler Construction Junction does ... but staging an annual fundraiser with huge amounts of craft beer sure can't hurt. The Steel City Big Pour, now in its fifth year, sells out fast, but lucky funders get beer toys (growler, opener, taster glass and beer caddy), and three hours to sample brews from more than three dozen breweries, many of them local.


Best Proof That an Army Marches on Its Stomach

Occupy Pittsburgh. Mellon Green, Downtown.

In news coverage of the Occupy Pittsburgh movement, it's the sign-waving protesters who get the attention. But what keeps them fed are donated food and a cadre of volunteers who prepare and serve it. Occupiers may not succeed in reversing capitalism run amok ... but unsung volunteers prove — by example — that communities can run on something other than greed.  


Best Step Forward for Urban Agriculture

Market Square Farmers Market.

We're agnostic on the recent rehab of Market Square, whose newly paved expanse often feels lifeless. But in warmer months, the Downtown space was invigorated each Thursday by its revitalized Farmers Market. This market wrapped up in November, so you missed organic produce, artisanal soaps and more from vendors like Harvest Valley Farms and Rise Above Bakery. But it will return next year, putting the "market" back in Market Square. 


Best of 2011 - Home Goods and Services

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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