They are an uncomplicated joy. A warm protein served up with an oozing yolk or light and fluffy scramble, wedged between buns, rolls, slices, you name it. Sometimes accompanied by cheese, toppings, or meat that is spiced just right. There’s a reason these hot little numbers are served at so many locales, from gas stations to brunch joints to food trucks.
Pittsburgh is blessed to have some truly excellent options too. These nine establishments offer egg sandwiches so good, one could even say they are egg-cellent.
2427 S. 18th St., South Side. 350bakerypgh.com
In the slopey part of the South Side is a hidden gem. 350° Bakery rotates their menu, but all of their egg sandwiches are worth the trek up the hill. I tried the fried egg sandwich with bacon and onion jam served on a fluffy everything biscuit. Filling and savory, with just enough sweetness from the jam. You can order ahead online or at the window in the small parking lot.
4715 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. azoreancafe.com
Egg sandwiches, island style. Inspired by the Azores in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, this Bloomfield joint offers egg sandwiches with some Portuguese flair. The chorizo is spiced well and accompanies egg and cheese nicely. Try it all on a Portuguese sweet roll for a unique experience.
4200 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. caffemona.com
This Bloomfield brunch spot is well known for its popular back patio that is a hit on Instagram. But they also low-key have one of the best bagel-and-egg sandwiches in the city. Served on your choice of plain, wheat, or everything bagels, Caffé Mona has four egg sandwiches to choose from. The key is they toast the bagel after putting together the sandwich, which means a crispy bagel, but not too much where the sandwich falls apart on the first bite.
2549 Penn Ave., Strip District. dianoiaseatery.com
New Yorkers are known for being proud, maybe even a bit stuck up, about their classic and simple egg sandwiches. But honestly, the bodega sandwiches of egg on a kaiser roll are really good. DiAnoia’s understands this, and they do an amazing job of recreating that New York taste. A perfectly doughy kaiser roll with a crispy crust, a gooey egg, and some melty cheese all coming together in harmony. It’s easy to pick one up on the go and avoid the crowds of this popular restaurant.
Kaibur Coffee & Cafe
3138 Dobson St., Polish Hill. kaiburcoffee.com
Vegans deserve egg sandwiches too, or the closest imitation one can make without animal products. Obviously, eggs can’t be vegan, but Kaibur offers a tofu scramble that is light and fluffy and hits the spot. Add some vegan cheese with Veganaise and arugula and tomato on wheat bread, and you won't miss the eggs at all. For non-vegans, sandwiches can come with eggs, too.
609 S. Trenton Ave., Wilkinsburg. madeleinepgh.com
Madeleine Bakery & Bistro
Known for amazing flaky and buttery pastries. Madeleine Bakery also makes a mighty fine breakfast sandwich. Available most weekends, this creation includes a baked egg served with herbs, cheese, and other rotating toppings, all inside one of Madeleine’s perfectly risen, slightly sweet, brioche buns.
Pear and the Pickle
1800 Rialto St., Troy Hill. pearandpickle.com
These made-to-order beauties (imagine a more decadent version of what you might expect at a fast food joint) take eggs from local farms and serve them on squishy kaiser rolls. Add some cheese — there are six different choices — then a protein choice of house bacon or sausage, or some avocado. The shop at the top of Troy Hill also serves amazingly fresh produce (I added greens to my sandwich, which were deliciously succulent and the right amount of bitter). Sandwiches can also be made with an everything bagel or a gluten-free roll. Orders are picked up at the back window during the pandemic.
Multiple locations. primantibros.com
There are lots of favorites at Pittsburgh’s most famous sandwich chain — pastrami, capicola, etc. — but the Deluxe Double Egg & Cheese is a bit of a diamond in the rough. I prefer a fluffy scrambled egg inside the sandwich stuffed with french fries, coleslaw, and tomato, as the eggs add a soft texture and a good amount of moisture to the behemoth. I would go as far as to say it is the most underrated french fry-coleslaw creation in town.