Photo Credit: KDKA

Organic fare is usually synonymous with such towns as LA, New York and DC, but you were probably unaware that Pittsburgh has an excellent organic food scene all its own. From farm-to-table enterprises, to tiny establishments that shot their section of the city to the forefront of Pittsburgh’s collective psyche, the restaurants listed below were selected for their outstanding menus, service and unbelievably fresh fare. Check out the top five below and be sure to visit to support these local eateries, and celebrate keeping your nutrition out of the big-box grocery.

Point Brugge Cafe
401 Hastings St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
(412) 441-3334

A quaint little neighborhood bistro, tucked right into the heart of Point Breeze, is just what the chef ordered. Inspired by Belgian cuisine (its cousin restaurant, Park Bruges, is more of a French establishment), Point Brugge is a wonderful little addition to the East End. With organic, locally-sourced options, you’ll be glad you tried it. PBC’s claim to fame is its delicious mussels flown in weekly from Prince Edward Island, which are served three different ways, with unlimited crusty bread to top off the meal.

214 N. Craig St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
(412) 621-2700

A restaurant with an ever-rotating menu to accommodate seasonal fare is a-okay with Pittsburghers – so well received, in fact, that Legume was named one of Pittsburgh’s best new restaurants in 2008. Legume’s menu is inspired by its customers and growers, and the owners always try to please the community. Charmingly enough, Legume offers demonstrations throughout the year, such as beekeeping demonstrations, pickling classes, and fun, themed events. The establishment’s menu is a little pricey, but if you’re looking for a light bite that won’t crush your wallet. Head down during lunchtime when Legume’s exquisite dishes start out smaller, and some are priced at $9.

1150 Smallman St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 201-5656

Chilled pea and asparagus soup, local tomato salad, semolina gnocchi and seared salmon are just a sample of the fine dining experience that you’ll enjoy at Pittsburgh’s own Eleven. Part of the uber-visible Big Burrito Group (which also includes Umi, Soba and Kaya), Eleven is an elegant, well-appointed break from the typical sandwich-and-chain shoppes that line downtown Pittsburgh. Featuring organic, local fare and an exquisite chef’s tasting menu, your evening (or even mid-afternoon lunch) will be the ultimate in fine dining, from your bar-recommended beverage to sumptuous dessert.

Related: Diva Chef Recipe: Organic Red Quinoa Salad

735 Copeland St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
(412) 802-7070

With a specialized focus on raw fare, Eden is a surprising interloper on Shadyside’s ethnic radar. Eden is a farm-to-table eatery that puts great emphasis both on the raw/live food movement and also the RAISE campaign (a food-service industry idea that raises the standard of the treatment of food-service employees). Raw and/or live food might sound somewhat unappetizing, but trust that chef Hilary Zozula only has her customers’ palates at the forefront of her mind. Cheesecakes, gorgeous gnocchi dishes and even pierogi await your taste buds, and the best part of Eden is that it’s a BYOB establishment – with no corkage fee.

Isabela on Grandview
1318 Grandview Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15211
(412) 431-5882

Prepare for an out-of-this-world dining experience at Isabela’s. Spectacular views pale in comparison to the establishment’s outstanding service, which is top-of-the-industry. The restaurant’s menu is best enjoyed with the prix fixe (which tips in at $75 per person), but through six courses, you’ll savor every locally sourced and fresh flavor combination known to man, and leave both impressed and satiated. The owner-cum-host George is also a fixture in the establishment, and will personally stop by each table to see if his guests are happy with their experience. A dining fete unlike any other in Pittsburgh, Isabela’s is truly in a uniquely organic class.

Related: Doug Oster’s Organic Gardening Tips

Nikki Tiani-Moroney is a full time mum of two boys, wife of a professional poker player/photographer/amateur pencil-sharpening competitor and writer from Pittsburgh, PA. When she isn’t studiously neglecting her housework in favor of a good book, she’s out simultaneously fighting crime and picking up sidewalk litter while savoring an occasional cigarette. Her work can be found at