If you think Oakland is just for students…think again. There is so much to do – from touring the Nationality Rooms at The Cathedral of Learning to exploring the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History to wandering through Phipps. And, of course, there’s plenty of good food to eat while you’re doing it! Here are some of our favorite places to grab a bite when we’re visiting Oakland.


Image via: CHiKN

Do you want to eat the hottest, the crispiest, the tastiest hot chicken you can get outside of Nashville? Then you’ll want to eat at CHiKN ASAP. They have something for every chicken lover: staples like chicken tenders and chicken nuggets; classic chicken sandwiches topped with tangy slaw, pickles, and their signature sauce; even our favorite sweet-and-salty combo chicken and waffles. If you’re like us and want to try everything then get some friends together, order a ton, and split it all up to share!

Stack’d Oakland

Image via: Stack’d Oakland

Once you’ve gotten your chicken fix, let’s get some burgers! Stack’d has basically the biggest selection of buns, meats, cheeses, sauces, and toppings – letting your imagination run wild to build your own custom burger. There are legit thousands of possible combinations, that’s how big their selection is. Naturally, you’ll want to wash your burger down with a craft beer from their extensive draft list. Or you could also opt for one of their uh-mazing hand-spun milkshakes…dessert anyone? We love that creating your own burger means you get exactly what you’re craving every time you order!

Lucca Ristorante

Image via: Lucca Ristorante

If you’re looking for an upscale meal, head to Lucca Ristorante. They’re an Italian restaurant serving fresh homemade pasta and sauces, yes please! Everything on their menu is made fresh, in-house, including their amazing desserts. We love their many specials, including 50% off bottles on wine on Tuesday (yes, all day), 20% off their vegan/vegetarian menu on Thursdays, and an early bird discount of 15% off all takeout orders placed before 5:30 every day. And we also love that their outdoor dining area is covered. Bonus: Lucca Ristorante also hosts private events, so keep them in mind the next time your family is planning a get-together, rehearsal dinner, memorial, and more.

Sorrento’s Pizza

Image via: Sorrento’s Pizza

There’s no higher praise for a pizza shop than to be recognized as “the best” by college students…right? Well, Sorrento’s Pizza is Pitt readers’ choice for best pizza restaurant, although they serve the entire Oakland area. They’re not sacrificing on quality, despite being in a college neighborhood: Sorrento’s uses only high quality, fresh ingredients for every pizza they make. Be sure to check out their combo meal deals, and don’t forget about their $10 large cheese pizza cash and carry deal, offered daily!

Argyle Studio

Image via: Argyle Studio

OK, so we know we said this article was all about where to eat…but sometimes you need to take a quick shopping break, right?? And you definitely don’t want to miss Argyle Studio. It’s the pop up experience in Pittsburgh – featuring 35+ local artists, vendors, makers, and entrepreneurs. It’s in the heart of the Oakland Business District, so it’s convenient to visit whether you’re near Pitt, CMU, Carlow, or one of the hospitals. They have something for everyone, with items for your home and office, original art and prints, fashion and jewelry, fun and leisure, body and soul. Everything is handmade and/or locally sourced. So stop in to pick up a few gifts, including one for yourself, or even just visit to admire the sidewalk art. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.

Frenchi’s Deli

Image via: Frenchi’s Deli

Frenchi’s Deli is everything you want in a city deli – they have delicious salads, cold sandwiches, hot sandwiches, and wraps. But they’re also more than just a deli…stop in to pick up a few groceries, snacks, and even freshly cut deli meats to take home along with your order. And don’t forget a nice cold pop to wash everything down! Plus, if you need to restock your favorite tobacco products, they have you covered there, too. It’s seriously a one-stop-shop!

Hello Bistro

Image via: Hello Bistro

Get ready to say hello to some of the best salads you’ve ever eaten! Hello Bistro’s build-your-own salad bar has over 50 ingredients and 16 house-made dressings to pick from. Just travel down the line with a team member and ask them for everything your heart desires – they’ll add it to your salad, chop it, and add your favorite dressing and toppings. Some of their ingredients rotate seasonally, so strawberries are now available. If you’re not in the mood to create your own salad, choose from one off Hello Bistro’s menu (hint: strawberries are included in the Strawberry Chicken Salad, which comes with mixed greens, roasted chicken, strawberries, crumbled bleu cheese, almonds, and poppy seed vinaigrette…yum). We love their Give Some Green program where they donate produce to the local food bank any time a Signature Salad is ordered! And, in case you’re not in the mood for a salad, they do have other options on the menu. Like their burgers fresh off the grill, drool. And no matter what you order, make sure you get a side of fries because their fries are some of our favorites in all of Pittsburgh. Seriously.

The Porch at Schenley

Image via: The Porch at Schenley

Outdoor dining looking out onto Schenley Plaza is one of our favorite things about The Porch at Schenley. Our other favorite thing? Definitely the food. The menu is full of thoughtfully-crafted seasonal dishes with ingredients from their local partners, nearby farms, and even from their own roof-top garden and beehives. How cool is that?! Starting June 21st, they’re hosting new Summer Celebration Nights:

  • Tequila Tuesdays: sip on a margarita while you munch on $5 chips and dip! The dips will rotate weekly, but think salsa, guacamole, queso, and more.
  • Wine Wednesday: order any pizza and a bottle of wine for $30…instant date night! Or order anything off the menu and save 20% off a bottle of wine with a $50 food purchase.
  • Acoustic Night Thursday: enjoy $2 off all cocktail pitchers from 6-9pm during the weekly Acoustic Night.

And don’t forget to post a pic to your Instagram from your visit – tag it with @ThePorchPGH and #SummerAtThePorch before Labor Day for a chance to win a $200 gift card to The Porch!

This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.
Lauren Roberts

Lauren loves all things Pittsburgh and all things food! When she's not checking out a new restaurant, you can find her in the kitchen trying a new recipe, working on her photography, or out on a bike ride exploring the city.

1 Comment
  1. Eat Unique is a wonderful cafe located on South Craig St right beside Lucca Ristorante. It has been a mainstay for nearly 25 years and offers freshly made soups, sandwiches, salads and enormous cookies and brownies. All of these delicious foods are made right in the cafe. A CB very personable couple, Dave and Lisa Brown own and operate the cafe. They also offer a beautiful catering menu upon request. Check it out, you won’t be sorry that you did!

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