Sometimes, you are in a hurry. Maybe you were running late and couldn’t pack a lunch, or maybe you just need a quick bite between meetings. The need for a quick meal can often have you headed to a fast food drive through, but there are healthier options available. Here are some great restaurants in Pittsburgh that have some fresh sandwiches, salads and snacks ready and waiting for you when you’re starved for time and a healthy meal.
East End Food Co-op
7516 Meade St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15208
The East End Coop not only offers fresh produce and local food everyday (no membership required), but also a cafe full of fresh and fast meals. Baked goods made with organic and vegan ingredients, fruit smoothies and fresh soups are among the menu items. You can pick up a ready-made sandwich or fill a container with items from the self serve hot foods and salad bar. You can top off your energy as well with some coffee from the fair trade coffee bar.
2301 Smallman St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Located in the Strip District, Marty’s Market is a food market, cafe and coffee bar. Pick up a few tasty snacks in the market or grab a quick bite from the cafe. If you need a great start to your day, try the yogurt parfait or a breakfast sandwich with eggs, cheddar cheese and your choice of meat (or not) on an English muffin. For lunch, grab a watermelon salad with fennel, arugula, feta cheese and berry vinaigrette.
1 Schenley Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Although it can be tempting to spend the entire day at Phipps Conservatory looking at the beautiful gardens, Cafe Phipps has a great grab and go menu. This cafe, located just inside the Conservatory, was voted by Food & Wine magazine as one of the best museum restaurants. Cafe Phipps is a three star green certified restaurant and has received accolades for its sustainable operations. Vegetables and herbs are sourced, when in season, from the Conservatory’s rooftop garden, and the meat and dairy ingredients are sourced locally as well. It’s the perfect option if you are looking for a fast, healthy meal that is sustainably prepared.
458 Strawberry Way
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Located in the Hotel Monaco downtown, The Commoner features a great selection of dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner for you to enjoy when you have time. If you are in a hurry, you can grab a bite from the Commoner Corner which features items for breakfast and lunch such as smoothies, egg and cheese croissants, sandwiches, salads and pastries. The quick window is open during the lunch rush so you can walk by, grab your lunch and head where you need to go.
The Original Gab & Eat Restaurant
1073 Washington Ave.
Carnegie, PA 15106
Located in Carnegie, The Original Gab & Eat Restaurant offers a quick meal that you can enjoy on site or to go. The restaurant also offers catering services for your lunch meeting or casual party. Grab a sandwich or a hoagie and some fries or a hot breakfast to get your day started. The restaurant also offers some great burgers and hot and sweet sausage sandwiches. Quick take out items are available for lunch on weekdays only.
Jennifer Stockdale is a native of the greater Pittsburgh, PA area. She is a restaurant marketer and wine enthusiast and one of the hosts of the East Coast Wine Geeks Podcast. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.