Off-Campus Dining

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Off-Campus Dining


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5 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: Forbes ave and Fifth ave have everything! Subway, Chipotle, Qdoba, a ton of Asian food places, Noodles, Panera, Quaker Steak, Hello Bistro, Primanti's...and much more. You'll never go hungry in Oakland, but you might end up broke. Also check out Schenley Plaza. They have a waffle place, a gyro place, a very nice restaurant called the Porch, and Conflict Kitchen: a food stand that serves food from countries the US is in conflict with.

4 Recent Alumnus

Off-Campus Dining: Pittsburgh is obsessed with food so it's not surprising that off campus dining is great. I'm only giving 4 b/c the best places are outside of Oakland. But literally there are no shortage of options off campus. Also, for the best pizza I recommend Caliente's in Bloomfield.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: There are many options to choose from that are close by. You're mostly just happy you're not eating at Market Central!

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: Off campus dining is super awesome! Pittsburgh offers a variety of both local and ethnic cuisine, and there are also great student discounts.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: One of my favorite off-campus dining options is the Union Grill. Family-owned establishment. The food is the best. Service is fast and friendly. No student discounts. Nice place for home cooking.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Whatever you’re craving, you're bound to find a restaurant for it in Pittsburgh, often right near Pitt's campus. There is an impressive selection of restaurants located in Oakland that cater to college students with late-night, half-price menus and drink specials. Beyond the usual fast food fare, there are quite a few independent and unique places nestled around Forbes Avenue, in South Oakland, and on Craig Street—just a few blocks away from the Cathedral of Learning. Shadyside has a number of ethnic restaurants and coffee shops but is generally pricier than Oakland. Add to these the number of restaurants in Squirrel Hill, Downtown, the South Side, and other neighborhoods (all of which can be reached in a short bus ride), the number of choices for eating skyrockets. Many of the places close to Pitt realize their clientele is mostly college students and have menus and hours to suit. Long after the University dining halls close, a number of Oakland restaurants are open until about 2 a.m. And when in doubt, The Original Hot Dog Shop is almost always open, ready to dish out some late-night fries and pizza after the bars close.

It's a good idea to take weekends with friends to explore the neighborhoods around the area. Make sure to ask upperclassmen for the best places to check out. There are many hidden treasures with very good prices and excellent food. The Spice Island Tea House is a great example, hidden among townhouses and apartments just a few blocks off campus. It has some of the best Southeast Asian cuisine in the city. If there's one thing Pitt students can't complain about, it's the tremendous dining scene right at their doorstep.

Facts & Statistics

Student Favorites
  • Fuel & Fuddle
  • Hemingway's Café
  • India Garden
  • Joe Mama's Italian Deluxe
  • Union Grill
24-Hour Dining
  • Eat 'n Park
  • Ritter's Diner
Best Asian
Lulu's Noodle Shop
Best Breakfast
Best Healthy
Panera Bread
Best Pizza
  • Sorrento's Pizza Roma
  • Vocelli Pizza
Best Place to Take Your Parents
  • Joe Mama's Italian Deluxe
  • Union Grill
Other Places to Check Out
  • Aladdin's Eatery
  • Chipotle
  • Five Guys Famous Burgers & Fries
  • Gullifty's
  • Jimmy John's
  • McDonald's
  • Mi Ranchito
  • Nakama
  • Peter's Pub
  • Qdoba Mexican Grill
  • Spice Island Tea House
  • Subway
  • Sushi Boat
  • Veracruz
  • Wendy's
Did You Know?
  • Local favorite Primanti Brothers' restaurant puts a twist on the average sandwich by placing both the french fries and coleslaw between the bun, a touch that has become known as unique to Pittsburgh-style sandwiches.
  • Hemingway's and Fuel & Fuddle, which are both heavily Pitt-centered, tend to host music, poetry readings, or group gatherings.

Grocery StoresWhat's This?

Giant Eagle Market District
5550 Centre Ave.
(412) 681-1500
Trader Joe's
6343 Penn Ave.
(412) 363-5748
Whole Foods Market
5880 Centre Ave.
(412) 441-7960

Restaurant ListingsWhat's This?

Buffalo Blues
Food: American
216 S. Highland Ave., Shadyside
(412) 362-5837
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: TVs everywhere, great for watching sports.
Food: Mediterranean and North African
229 S. Highland Ave., Shadyside
(412) 661-5656
Price: $20-$25
Cool Features: Unique, ever-evolving menu.
China Palace
Food: Chinese
5440 Walnut St., Shadyside
(412) 687-RICE
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Discounted lunch specials.
Dave & Andy's Homemade Ice Cream
Food: Ice cream
207 Atwood St., Oakland
(412) 681-9906
Price: $4-$6
Cool Features: Incredible variety of ice cream, including birthday cake with real cake, and bubble gum. Waffle cones are also home-made and made by waffle iron.
Eat'n Park
Food: Diner fare
1816 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill
(412) 422-7203
Price: $5-$15
Cool Features: Smiley face cookies, open late, and serves a good breakfast buffet.
Fuel & Fuddle
Food: American
212 Oakland Ave., Oakland
(412) 682-3473
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Features a half-price menu after 11 p.m., as well as one of the largest import beer selections in Oakland.
Hard Rock Café
Food: American
230 W. Station Square Dr., Station Square
(412) 481-7625
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Bands come often, some tickets sold in advance through Ticketmaster.
Hemingway's Café
Food: American
3911 Forbes Ave., Oakland
(412) 621-4100
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Features a half-price menu every day after 9 p.m., as well as daily all-day $1 beer specials for the over-21 crowd.
India Garden
Food: Indian
328 Atwood St., Oakland
(412) 682-3000
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Half-price menu from 4 p.m.-6 p.m., and 10 p.m.-1 a.m.
Joe Mama's Italian Deluxe
Food: Italian
3716 Forbes Ave., Oakland
(412) 621-7282
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Half-price pasta menu after 11 p.m.
Food: Northern Italian, fine dining
317 S. Craig St., Oakland
(412) 682-3310
Price: $10-$25
Cool Features: Outdoor dining.
LuLu's Noodle Shop
Food: Asian
400 S. Craig St., Oakland
(412) 681-3333
Price: $10-$15
Cool Features: Bubble drinks, as well as large and small menu items.
Mad Mex
Food: Mexican
370 Atwood St., Oakland
(412) 681-5656
Price: $10-$15
Cool Features: Happy Hour special 20 oz. margaritas for $6 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Half-priced menu after 11 p.m., and student half-priced menu Monday through Thursday 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Max & Erma's
Food: American
5533 Walnut St., Shadyside
(412) 681-5775
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Sundae bar.
The Melting Pot
Food: Fondue, wine
350 W. Station Square Dr.
(412) 261-3477
Price: $5-$15
Cool Features: Fondue restaurant with food cooked table side
The Original Hot Dog Shop (The O)
Food: American, fast food
3901 Forbes Ave., Oakland
(412) 621-7388
Price: $2-$8
Cool Features: Pitt staple offering nationally recognized hot dogs, known for its massive cheese fries, greasy pizza, and dirt-cheap prices.
Food: American, breakfast
5527 Walnut St., Shadyside
(412) 683-1003
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Award-winning greasy breakfasts.
Food: American, breakfast
5813 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill
(412) 422-9457
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Award-winning greasy breakfasts.
Food: American, breakfast
3703 Forbes Ave., Oakland
(412) 683-4066
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Award-winning greasy breakfasts.
Panera Bread
Food: Sandwiches, salads, soups
3800 Forbes Ave., Oakland
(412) 683-3727
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Constant supply of bread and pastry samples perfect for starving college kids low on cash.
Pittsburgh Deli Company
Food: Sandwiches, soups, salads
728 Copeland St., Shadyside
(412) 682-3354
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Hosts live music from local bands.
Primanti Brothers
Food: American, fast food
3803 Forbes Ave., Oakland
(412) 621-4444
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Half-price cheesesteak sandwiches Sunday through Wednesday with a drink purchase
Food: Mexican
3712 Forbes Ave.
(412) 802-7866
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Full bar upstairs with happy hour drink specials
Quaker Steak & Lube
Food: Wings
3600 Forbes Ave., Oakland
(412) 246-4465
Price: $8-$15
Red Oak Cafe
Food: Breakfast, hot plates, sandwiches, salads
3610 Forbes Ave., Oakland
(412) 621-2221
Price: $5-$8
Ritter's Diner
Food: Diner fare
5221 Baum Blvd., Shadyside
(412) 682-4852
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Very clean for a local diner.
Sorrento's Pizza Roma
Food: Hoagies, pizza, salads
233 Atwood St., Oakland
(412) 621-9129
Price: $4-$8
Sushi Too
Food: Japanese
5432 Walnut St., Shadyside
(412) 687-8744
Price: $8-$15
Thai Place Café
Food: Thai
5528 Walnut St., Shadyside
(412) 687-8586
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Lunch specials. Award-winning Thai restaurant in Pittsburgh.
Uncle Sam's Gourmet Subs
Food: Sandwiches
210 Oakland Ave.
(412) 621-1885
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Award-winning subs.
Union Grill
Food: American
413 S. Craig St., Oakland
(412) 681-8620
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Outdoor dining, good happy hour specials.
Village Pizza
Food: Pizza, Italian
810 Ivy St., Shadyside
(412) 682-6878
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Six packs sold until 2 a.m.
Vocelli Pizza
Food: Pizza
3608 Fifth Ave., Oakland
(412) 687-4666
Price: $8-$15

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus restaurants on the following topics    Based on 299 responses

Very poor
  • Cost
  • Convenience
  • Healthy/organic options
  • Late-night options
  • Quality
  • Student discounts
  • Variety/number of options
  • Vegetarian/vegan options

How would you rate the diversity of off-campus dining options?    Based on 304 responses

  • 60% A nice variety of local spots and ethnic cuisine.
  • 32% Enough variety to keep things interesting.
  • 7% Mostly just chain restaurants and fast food.
  • 1% An endless repetition of the same few places.
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