Welcome to Robinson! If you’re in town this time of year, there’s a good chance you’re hoping to finish up some last-minute holiday shopping at some of Robinson’s many shopping centers or the mall, and even if you’re not, there’s an even better chance you’ll get stuck in some traffic while you’re here.
Getting hungry? Maybe a little hangry? No worries – there are plenty of excellent locally-owned restaurants, diners, sandwich shops, and even all-you-can-eat sushi joints in Robinson that are serving up some of the best food in the city. We’ve rounded up some of our favorites for the next time you’re looking for a snack break, pronto.
Downey’s House is a well-loved classic in Robinson – so much so that it recently competed against the likes of Eleven and Altius for the best contemporary American restaurant in the city in a recent Pittsburgh City Paper poll. It really has the “cozy neighborhood bar” feel that so many other places try and fail to replicate, and its menu of rolls (pepperoni, spinach, Italian, and chicken bacon cheddar) offers the best “shareables” in the city.
For more than 40 years, Juliano’s has been serving up some of the best pizza in the neighborhood, as well as other beloved old-world Italian classics that stick to your ribs in the best way. I was really impressed by their pies, and I’d recommend it any day, but in my opinion, the real star is the appetizer menu. Go ahead – try and find a vegetable they don’t serve fried with a dip. (I assure you, this is the highest of compliments.)
All-day breakfast, Greek diner classics, and all the American diner favorites your heart desires: what could be better? At Central Diner & Grille, the menu has something for everyone, from 6AM to 11PM daily, with just one dish that’s priced above $30 (it’s a strip steak with stuffed shrimp, by the way). There’s a reason that Central Diner & Grille is basically always packed – it’s because their food is comforting, classic, and quick.
Uncle Sam’s Sandwich Bar has a few locations in the ‘Burgh, but their Robinson location is especially convenient for a quick bite or a pit stop on the way home after a long afternoon of shopping. They have a sub-stantial (get it?) menu of grilled subs that can be customized to your liking and are also very family- and vegetarian-friendly. It’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it location, but Uncle Sam’s is absolutely worth a visit.
I almost don’t want to tell you about Lowkey Taco, because it’s one of my personal secrets for when friends come to Robinson, but here goes. At Lowkey Taco, you can choose from a robust menu of tacos with a range of toppings and proteins, or you can build your own (which I highly recommend). Pretty much everything is customizable – especially their margarita menu, which is just awesome. Oh, and there’s also six kinds of salsa and four quesos.
You’ve got a craving for something savory, a little spicy, and packed with umami flavor, but you just can’t decide what sounds better: Japanese or Thai. At ThaiFoon, you don’t have to choose – it boasts a menu of East Asian cuisine with dishes from Thailand, Vietnam, China, Korea, and Japan. Here, you won’t have to make yourself choose between crab rangoons, Thai spring rolls, and massaman curry (but you may need to take a nap afterward).
Like its Lawrenceville counterpart, Industry Public House West offers a menu of gastropub favorites with steampunk-y names, like the “Model ‘T’-urkey” sandwich and the “Steam Engine Pierogies.” Both its lists of whiskeys and craft beers on draft are quite impressive, and a favorite of mine is their “Smokestack” signature cocktail, which is built to your taste with whatever whiskey you choose.
Sushi Bomb offers all-you-can-eat sushi for both lunch and dinner, as well as a takeout menu of sushi and other Japanese favorites. You can’t beat the price for the quality you get, and according to many, the wait you’ll likely encounter is absolutely worth it! Be sure to come hungry, because you’ll want to try as many rolls as you can before you have to tap out.This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.