Ambiance plays a fairly significant role, at least for some diners, in the overall dining experience. If you’re fascinated or even just a bit interested in Pittsburgh’s rich history, you’ll likely find that these historical restaurants in Pittsburgh promise both good food and enthralling histories.
1. The Original Oyster House Pittsburgh – 20 Market Square, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
The Original Oyster House tops the list of historical restaurants for good reason. It's been a Pittsburgh favorite for 147 years, longer than any eatery in the city. Photos - black and white mingled with color - adorn the walls of the restaurant that has starred in nearly 25 Hollywood films. While the Original Oyster House may be best known for its over-sized fish sandwiches, its menu also features seafood platters, chicken tenders, and salmon burgers.
2. Primanti Brothers – 46 18th Street Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Primanti Brothers, now famous for its sandwiches topped with fries and coleslaw, started as a food cart in the early 1930s before it moved to its first restaurant in the Strip District. After the restaurant changed ownership in the 1970s, the owner decided to expand, adding new locations. Today, Primanti Brothers can be found in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Florida, Michigan, Indiana, and West Virginia.
3. The Park House – 403 E. Ohio Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
The Park House debuted on the Pittsburgh culinary landscape in 1933. It originally served as a neighborhood bar but now, with Zamir Zahavi at the ownership helm, the popular restaurant is the spot to go for live entertainment, good food, good drink, and to watch the Pirates, Steelers, or Penguins games on TV. The Park House menu features such dishes as falafels, gyros, and pita pizza.
4. Terrace Room – Omni William Penn Hotel, 530 William Penn Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15219
The Terrace Room got its start as the Italian Terrace in 1916. Step back into the past as you view the many historic photographs that line the walls and "The Taking of Fort Pitt," a spectacular wall mural. Dine at The Terrace Room for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, opting for such dishes as Chilean sea bass, New York strip steak, Amish chicken, and seafood pasta.
5. The Grand Concourse – 100 W Station Square Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15219
When you step through the entrance at the Grand Concourse, you'll likely feel as though you have traveled back in time to an old-fashioned train station in the early 20th century, with a sweeping staircase, a grand wall clock, and spectacular views of the river and the Pittsburgh skyline. A seafood restaurant, the Grand Concourse's menu offers such entrees as yellow fin tuna, planked salmon, and jumbo shrimp scampi.
6. Church Brew Works – 3525 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15201
Some Pittsburghers may remember the Church Brew Works, a popular Lawrenceville restaurant, as St. John the Baptist Church, which opened in 1903. St. John the Baptist Church closed in 1993, reopening in 1996 as the Church Brew Works. Much of the original church furnishings remain - from the stained glass windows to the pews that now serve as benches. Peruse the generous menu that includes such Pittsburgh favorites as pierogies.
7. The Inn on Negley – 703 S Negley Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Nestled in Shadyside, the elegant Victorian-style Inn on Negley welcomes overnight guests and diners. Guests at the Inn enjoy complimentary breakfast each morning, but the public is also invited to dine in style (reservations required). The Inn on Negley features breakfast and brunch, afternoon tea, and cookies and cocoa.