Art is everywhere in Pittsburgh these days. From world-class museums to award-winning public art displays, the art scene in Pittsburgh is taking off. So to is the food scene, and these five cafes, coffee shops and restaurants bring art and food together. Step out of the museum and into one of these small businesses to immerse yourself in art in a completely different way.
1137 S. Braddock Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15218
Weekday breakfasts or a weekend brunch is a must at this friendly, bustling café in Regent Square. A coffee bar and plenty of indoor and outdoor seating welcome diners at this always busy eatery that is open for breakfast and lunch daily. You may have to wait for a seat so while you wait, treat yourself to a delicious specialty coffee drink from the fire engine red espresso maker behind the bar and browse at the always changing artwork that decorates the café. From local artists to favorites from out of town, the owner works hard to curate art shows in the café that complement the cafe’s sunny disposition. Check out the links section of the website for info about the work on display (and for sale) by the current artist.
86 S. 26th St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Head to Zenith on the South Side for some of the best vegetarian fare in Pittsburgh. Sit among fabulous antiques at this cozy restaurant while you dine and linger long after you’ve eaten to take a look at the eclectic art that is on display and on sale. In fact, pretty much every knick-knack, antique and decoration is for sale at Zenith where the owners and wait staff will tell you that even the seat you’re sitting on is up for grabs! Get a feel for the veggie fare available on the weekly menu and specialty brunch menu
401 Biddle Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15221
The atmosphere at Biddle’s Escape will make you feel like you’ve escaped to a quiet street in a small town. With fabulous deck seating and cozy indoor seating, Biddle’s specializes in coffees, teas and light snacks. While you wait for your custom-made drink, browse through the amazing art offerings that line the walls and counters. Make sure you look up at all of the fabulous Buddahs that keep watch over the café from their vantage points on the shelves and tall cabinets. They are for sale and will help you add some zen to your home or garden.
3138 Dobson St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
If you’re looking for a coffee shop that is out of the way and undiscovered by the masses, head to Polish Hill and settle in at Lili Cafe. This coffee shop boasts delicious locally made baked goods and hand-crafted espresso drinks at amazing prices. Lili Cafe, which shares its building with a record store and a book store, is also dedicated to displaying art from local artists. Past the cafe counter is a wall fully devoted to featured artists that is ever changing. Head to Lili Cafe’s Facebook page to check out the amazing brunch menus that are posted each week, to stay up to date on artist events and to get a feel for the vibe of this hidden gem of a coffee shop.
108 43rd St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15201
Like its name, Kaleidoscope Café offers a colorful food menu and an even more colorful décor. The chef prides himself on making fine dining more approachable so you’ll find tasty treats like fried gnocchi and duck cannoli on the menu alongside chef-crafted desserts. This BYOB establishment encourages bringing your own bottle of wine and charges only a stemming fee, meaning you’ll only pay for your glasses, not a corkage fee on each bottle you drink. Settle in for a slow meal and take the time to gaze down at the table where you’re seated. The tabletops are designed by local artists and are for sale.
Sally Turkovich Wright lives in her beloved city of Pittsburgh with her husband, Jason and German Shepherd, Zeus. She is a policy analyst by training, an eyewear stylist by trade and an amateur healthy-living advocate by choice. She also writes a column for Twoday Magazine. Catch up with her there at twodaymag.com. Her work can be found at Twodaymag.com.