From rooftop restaurants to secret gardens, we explore some of the city’s best outdoor dining spots. We ate our way through, tasting and touring, for a surely summer experience.
By Andrea Bosco
Photographs by Michael Fornataro
Andora Restaurant’s three locations boast patios perfect for dining outdoors. From flowing fountains to sun-shading umbrellas, the atmosphere sets the tone for a fabulous experience. Spice up the start of your meal with shrimp spring rolls and Sriracha aioli.
1616 Mt. Nebo Road, Sewickley. 412.749.2452.
599 Dorseyville Road, Fox Chapel. 412.967.1900.
300 Adams Shoppes SR 228, Adams Township. 724.591.5132.
ANDREW’S STEAK & SEAFOOD
Break from casino games at Rivers for a delicious summer dinner overlooking the Ohio River and bustle of the North Shore. On July 4 and 5, No Bad Ju Ju and Broken Road, a Rascal Flatts tribute band, respectively, take the stage at the Rivers Casino Amphitheater at 7 p.m. Top your evening with the P.E.I. Mussels, served with a coconut curry sauce, caramelized onions, zucchini, and grilled bread.
Location: 777 Casino Drive, North Shore.
ANDYS WINE BAR
Escape your office setting for an al fresco lunch at Andys Wine Bar. The artistic, “smart casual,” eatery, part of Fairmont Pittsburgh, has expanded its menu this year, featuring a mix of sandwiches, salads, and “express lunches.” Chef Jason Dalling is whipping up Crab Cake BLTs and fruit tarts with Grand Marnier pastry cream, among other favorites, and an extensive list of libations.
Location: 510 Market St., Downtown.
It was 1939 when Angelo and Giacomina Passalacqua opened a small tavern named West Chestnut Spaghetti Inn on West Chestnut Street in Washington. Now, 75 years later, their grandson Michael Passalacqua keeps their dream alive with the operation of Angelo’s. Go for saucy staples like the Eggplant Parmigiana and end your feast on a sweet note with pistachio gelato.
Location: 2109 N. Franklin Drive, Washington.
Chef Jessica Bauer is incorporating tasty, fresh-from-the-farm tomatoes in the menu on July 22 and 23 at Bistro 19. The Washington Road restaurant’s bi-folding doors provide an open-air feel for the contemporary hot spot, and the surrounding sidewalk is a great place to perch and people watch. Try the Grilled Vegetable Stack with zucchini, squash, red onion, tomato, mozzarella, balsamic syrup, and basil oil — easily complemented by a white sangria spritzer.
Location: 711 Washington Road, Mt. Lebanon.
The neighborhood joint for gourmet burgers and handmade shakes, BRGR is expanding its presence to the South Hills, in The Galleria of Mt. Lebanon, soon. For a savory bite, dive into the Button Buster burger with braised beef short ribs, white cheddar cheese, béarnaise aioli, and crispy onions. Sip a shake, or go for the Rum Runner, made with orange juice, blackberry brandy, and rum.
5997 Penn Circle South, East Liberty. 412.362.2333.
20111 Route 19 & Freedom Road, Cranberry. 724.742.2333.
PNC Park, 115 Federal St., North Shore.
Dine on Casbah’s enclosed portico year-round. For lunch, nosh on the Salad Vignarola, made of peas, asparagus, radish, toasted bread, Three Sisters Farm greens, celery seed dressing, and Manchego cheese. Its menus feature fine dining influenced by the Mediterranean and North Africa. And, one Thursday a month, Casbah hosts a benefit dinner for a deserving organization. Rockin’.
Location: 229 S. Highland Ave., Shadyside.
CIOPPINO RESTAURANT & CIGAR BAR
Specializing in its fresh seafood and chophouse fare, Cioppino Restaurant also offers a separate onsite Cigar Bar with a fine collection of cognacs and aged scotches. If you’re not enjoying a big game on one of the restaurant’s 52-inch plasma TVs, step out onto the patio for a bottle of wine and oysters on the half shell. On Tuesdays, oysters are $1, accompanied by $4 glasses of Prosecco.
Location: 2350 Railroad St., Strip District.
D’S SIX PAX & DOGZ
Hot diggity dog! Stop at D’s in Regent Square for all-beef Vienna, veggie, or turkey dogs. Bratwurst and kielbasa are on the menu, too. Choose from the Hot Valentine, Angry Tiki, or the Chicago — relish, onions, pickles, tomatoes, sport peppers, yellow mustard, and a dash of celery salt on a poppyseed bun — just to name a few. Pair your choice with one of the 29 beers on tap.
Location: 1118 South Braddock Ave., Regent Square.
DOUBLE WIDE GRILL
A Pittsburgh born-and-bred original, Double Wide Grill’s patio is also dog-friendly. In fact, on June 29, the second annual Lucky’s South Side Dog Festival will be held on the 24th Street block of East Carson Street. Also friendly to vegetarians and those going gluten-free, the Southside standard has a delicious grilled vegetable and Brie salad on the menu, not to mention an array of barbecue offerings.
Location: 2339 E. Carson St., Southside.
This premier American steakhouse’s outside seating is urban-meets-green, bursting with beautiful chocolate wicker furniture, a fountain, hostas, and hydrangeas. Sip Eddie’s Paradise Infusion with fresh pineapple while noshing on the bacon-wrapped Barbecue Shrimp with horseradish and Southern Comfort barbecue sauce. And, we suggest topping your Platte River Ranch Natural Filet Mignon with truffle butter.
Location: 444 Liberty Ave., Suite 100, Downtown.
ELEVEN CONTEMPORARY KITCHEN
Eleven, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, offers its rave-worthy, contemporary cuisine on its corner patio surrounded by planters of vibrant vegetation. Relish the Prime Beef Tartare with miso, marinated cucumber, red onion, crostini, and radish, and pair it with the Margarita — jalapeño tequila, Campari, Combier Pamplemousse, grapefruit, and lime — for a delectable coupling.
Location: 1150 Smallman St., Strip District.
With picks like Penne Marinara, Polenta, and Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli at Girasole, you can’t go wrong — especially on the cozy Copeland Street patio. Seats on the sidewalk, too, open the view to a little more action just off Walnut Street. Go for the Hazelnut Affogato with vanilla cream, an exquisite coffee dessert, and the Strawberry Granita with Brachetto and chocolate salami, a divine choice that packs a punch.
Location: 733 Copeland St., Shadyside.
GRIT & GRACE
Passed trays with American dim sum is Grit & Grace’s specialty. The restaurant has revived the space on Liberty Avenue and gives prominence to artful dishes and dim sum with character — and exquisite flavor. Dine on the patio with the roasted asparagus salad, made with pickled eggs, bulgur wheat, baby lettuce, and a tarragon-Dijon vinaigrette. And, put the finishing touch on your palate with a Jambie the Genie cocktail — Metaxa, shochu, St. Germain, Benedictine, and guava.
Location: 535 Liberty Ave., Downtown.
Tucked behind Washington Road, adjacent “the wine bar,” is Il Pizzaiolo’s intimate patio, plucked from the streets of Italy. Chef Andrew Garbarino serves up a bona fide bite with the Margherita DOC pizza, using heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella di Bufala, Parmigiano, basil, and olive oil. Order the Bellini with Prosecco and white peach nectar, and take in the serene setting of trickling water, roses, and lemon trees. Dine al fresco at the Market Square location, too.
703 Washington Road, Mt. Lebanon. 412.344.4123.
8 Market Square, Downtown. 412.575.5858.
JACKSONS RESTAURANT, ROTISSERIE, & BAR
Jacksons Restaurant-Rotisserie-Bar in Southpointe is proud to be a part of the region’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program with Conover Farms. New this summer is a farmers market every Friday, offering fresh produce, uncultured honey, salsas, acoustic music, and a slew of mouthwatering menu items. While dining outside, share the charcuterie plate, and try the famous shrimp and chorizo chowder, and the renowned jumbo lump crab cakes.
Location: 1000 Corporate Drive, Canonsburg.
The bold flavors of Kaya’s Caribbean cuisine take you away, as do the inside and outside atmospheres at the Strip District restaurant. Lively and colorful, the ingredients, preparation, and the surroundings make for an adventure. We suggest pairing up The Hummingbird, a cocktail made with Old Overholdt rye, cardamom, hibiscus, white pepper, and pineapple, and the Tempura Avocado Bahn Mi Tacos, served with carrot, radish, cilantro, yuzu mayo, cucumber, Renya’s tortillas, and jalapeño.
Location: 2000 Smallman St., Strip District.
MALLORCA / IBIZA
Housed in a historic three-story townhouse, Mallorca serves fine dishes inspired from the heart of Spain. Lounge on the terrace and enjoy a Moscato with the Polla Andaluz, chicken breast, tomatoes, artichokes, wine, and cilantro. Pop next door for more outdoor seating at Ibiza — happy hour and late-night dining include tilapia ceviche, veal-stuffed banana peppers, and wine flights.
For all of your food market, café, and coffee bar needs, Marty’s Market is a one-stop shop. The café features patio seating and a beautiful open-air coffee bar along Smallman Street where barista Kira Hoeg makes a mean latte. Post-yoga at nearby Schoolhouse Yoga, indulge in the French Toast, stuffed with organic pear cream cheese, or the Smoked Egg salad — all from local farms and purveyors.
Location: 2301 Smallman St., Strip District.
OMNI BEDFORD SPRINGS RESORT
“A cool cocktail. A savory sandwich. A delectable dessert. The choice is yours.” Spend a weekend poolside at Omni Bedford Springs Resort, a retreat from the urban landscape. Quench your thirst with the Honey Pineapple Lemonade, among a lineup of refreshments, and bite into the classic Turtle Shell Burger — lettuce, beef steak tomato, choice of cheese — for a taste of summer.
Location: 2138 Business 220, Bedford.
OPEN BOTTLE BISTRO
Restaurateur Dave DeSimone used his knowledge of wine to build an extensive wine list at Open Bottle Bistro on Ellsworth Avenue. Choose from French, Italian, and Spanish varietals, and lunch and dinner menus that feature everything from ceviche to creamy risotto. Relax on the split-level patio, which houses a koi pond and thriving greenery.
Location: 5884 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside.
Chef di Cucina Matt McClelland and his culinary team recently launched a farm-to-table menu after forming a partnership with Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance. On a warm day, enjoy Osteria’s outside seating, adjacent historic railroad tracks and The Cork Factory Lofts. Share the antipasti platter — cured meats, roasted peppers, pickled seasonal vegetables, olives, fresh mozzarella, and provolone — one of the restaurant’s Italian classics.
Location: 2350 Railroad St., Strip District.
OUT OF THE FIRE CAFÉ
The panoramic Pennsylvania hills are alive from the deck of Out of the Fire Café in Donegal. Ask for a side of the white truffle fries, and try the pan-seared sea scallops with white cheddar and scallion grits, avocado, roasted corn and jicama salsa, and roasted red pepper coulis. An experience here is worth the short drive from Pittsburgh.
Location: 3784 State Route 31, Donegal.
Certainly a “staycation” destination, Rumfish Grille in Bridgeville features a serene setting so peaceful you feel like you’re not in Kansas anymore. The 15,000-square-foot Rumfish Beach offers open-air seating, numerous bars, and comfy lounge areas. Feeling tropical? Order the Rumfish Punch and the Ahi Tuna, served with soft polenta, lemon spinach, and harissa.
Location: 1155 Washington Pike, Bridgeville.
The scene on SAVOY’s patio is private just above Penn Avenue. Pastry Chef Ericka Idler whipped up for us a vanilla bean cheesecake tart with blackberry sauce, Grand Marnier pastry cream, strawberries, and blueberries. Sip the summery Cucumber Melon Martini, made with muddled cucumber, EFFEN cucumber vodka, Thatcher’s organic cucumber liqueur, Marie Brizard watermelon liqueur, and a fresh cucumber slice, to feel refreshed.
Location: 2623 Penn Ave., Strip District.
Soak in the warmth of summer and the style of South Beach at Seviche. The newly built open-window front provides an easy breezy eating experience. We suggest the Sofrito Mango Seviche with Tuna — lime, cilantro, jalapeño, red onion, olive oil, plantains, and tortillas — and the Caipirinha, made with Leblon Cachaca, raw sugar, and lime.
Location: 930 Penn Ave., Downtown.
SHADY GROVE RESTAURANT & BAR
Shady Grove has great lunch vibes — a reason to halt shopping and do lunch, if you will. Try the Strawberry Basil Martini and the Shrimp Fra Diavola Pizza with roasted garlic oil, roasted tomato, crushed red pepper, oregano, red onion, mozzarella, basil, provolone, and Parmesan. The restaurant has fabulous appetizers for sharing, too (read Thai Shrimp Tacos, Pork Dumplings, and Loaded Latkes).
Location: 5500 Walnut St., Shadyside.
SIENNA MERCATO’S IL TETTO
The rooftop beer garden, Il Tetto, at Sienna Mercato is an absolute go-to. Surrounded by the city’s skyscrapers, the top level of three restaurants — all relative to Sienna Sulla Piazza in Market Square — features 32 beers on tap, classic cocktails, including a killer margarita, and offerings like the Duck Confit Steak Fries, plated with duck fat gravy, cherries, and a sunny-side-up duck farm egg. The strung lights and retractable roof add ambiance and function to the property.
Location: 942 Penn Ave., Downtown.
SIENNA SULLA PIAZZA
The Old World vibe at Sienna Sulla Piazza in Market Square is evident. The casual eatery has a patio, removed from Downtown traffic, with European flair. We’re loving the bucatini with mozzarella-stuffed veal meatballs, the housemade Stracciatella, and the grilled calamari. Wash it down with a glass of Spumante.
Location: 22 Market Square, Downtown.
SIX PENN KITCHEN
In the heart of the Cultural District, Six Penn Kitchen presents patrons with staples like Cracklin’ Pork Shank. The rooftop bar, an original, offers great views of the busy cross streets below. Order the house ravioli, pockets of suckling pig, Maitake mushrooms, fava beans, Riverview Farms goat cheese, and prosciutto-apple broth. Pair it with a summery glass of the Chateau de Campuget rosé.
Location: 146 Sixth St., Downtown.
SOCIAL AT BAKERY SQUARE
Proprietors Gregg and Edana Caliguiri are rockin’ and rollin’ with the menu at Social — the conversation starters (a few one-liners to get you chatting) are amusing alone. On the contemporary patio, dive into the Southwest salad and Roasted Cauliflower pizza with lemon aioli, roasted tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, bacon, mozzarella, and provolone. Please your palate with the Paloma cocktail.
Location: 6425 Penn Ave., Bakery Square.
A West Coast kitchen and wine bar, Sonoma’s sidewalk seating is an excellent spot to observe the action in the Cultural District. Executive Chef Jeffrey Caulkins prepared for us the Rye Crusted Salmon, with Loch Duart salmon, seasonal risotto, dried cranberries, Swiss chard, and ham shank broth. If in a group, go for a trifecta of drinks like the Golden Gate, the San Franhattan, and the Flora, comprised of Boyd & Blair Vodka, St. Germain Elderflower, Crème de Violette, squeezed lime, and agave.
Location: 947 Penn Ave., Downtown.
Head to Spoon for impressive modern American cuisine. The East Liberty staple has soft-shell crab, crispy fried quail, and braised rabbit on the menu. The five-course tasting menu is certainly one to inquire about — complete the experience with sommelier-paired beverages. Relax outside with a glass of Pares Balta rosé from Spain. The award-winning eatery serves ingredients from farmers and artisanal purveyors, such as La Prima Espresso, Wild Purveyors, Fede Pasta, and PASA, to name a few.
Location: 134 South Highland Ave., East Liberty.
Sunny Bridge Natural Foods’ sidewalk seating is a terrific place for a healthy lunch. Visit the McMurray café for a made-to-order wrap, soup, salad, or an organic pastry — gluten-free wedding cakes are available for order, too. Also a grocery, pick up the latest in Non-GMO products and produce from the store’s partners like Logan Farms, Clarion River Organics, and Pure Earth Organic Farm.
Location: 130 Gallery Drive, McMurray.
THE CAFÉ AT THE MATTRESS FACTORY MUSEUM
Drop by the Mattress Factory Museum for a look at some of the coolest contemporary art and a delicious lunch in the open air — admission to the museum is not required. Grab a bite and break in the Winifred Lutz Garden with seasonal quiche with ramp pesto, roasted tomatoes, and buffalo mozzarella. Museum members receive 10 percent off cafe purchases, which are prepared by Coca Café of Lawrenceville.
Location: 500 Sampsonia Way, North Side.
THE PINES TAVERN
The Gibsonia restaurant, in its 36th year, impresses with its outdoor dining landscape, not to mention its menu. Located on 13 acres, the escape eatery sits amongst the pine trees. Grab a Tavern Garden Gimlet, made with Farmer’s organic small batch gin, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, and lime juice, and the fresh mozzarella salad with grilled peaches, blackberries, and balsamic drizzle.
Location: 5018 Bakerstown Road, Gibsonia.
THE PORCH AT SCHENLEY
In the heart of Oakland, in scenic Schenley Plaza, lies The Porch at Schenley. Go after lunchtime yoga or Sunday morning Tai Chi in the plaza and enjoy the restaurant’s quiche du jour outdoors. For dinner, give the Semolina Gnocchi a whirl. It’s presented with pan-seared shrimp, spring ramps, English peas, smoked tomatoes, white wine butter, and chili oil. Then, swing by the PNC Carousel and Schenley Plaza Farmers Market.
Location: 221 Schenley Drive, Oakland.
Vallozzi’s veranda is a little slice of bliss on Fifth Avenue. With crisp, white tablecloths and pretty planters, the intimate space is barricaded from the hustle and bustle. For lunch, order the Parma salad with lemon-dressed greens, pistachio, Parmigiano, and crispy prosciutto. Accompany it with the Sour Capped Grappa or the Rosmarino, blended with Plymouth gin, rosemary simple syrup, orange, aperol, and Contratto Bianco. Be sure to inquire about the fresh mozzarella bar.
Location: 220 5th Ave., Downtown.
Walnut Grill’s newest location in Bridgeville has outdoor seating great for a fresh afternoon bite or for casual dinner reservations. Double the fun with the Tuna Duo, blackened tuna with fresh pico, chipotle aioli, and lime, and tempura fried tuna, sweet soy, and pickled ginger. Just announced, the Pittsburgh franchise is expanding nationally to St. Louis, Mo.
12599 Perry Hwy., Wexford. 724.933.8410.
911 Freeport Road, Fox Chapel. 412.782.4768.
660 Washington Road, Mt. Lebanon. 412.668.0951.
1595 Washington Pike, Bridgeville. 412.564.5746.