Pittsburgh food in November 2018: What’s opening and what’s closing

Megan McLachian

Published November 1, 2018


Like little kids waiting for Santa, 21+ adults in Pittsburgh await the return of the Miracle on Liberty holiday pop-up bar. Good news: It comes back this month — and Santa shows up next month.

But that’s not the only thing to look forward to in November. There are also some plucky upstarts craving to be savored, like Casa Brasil in Highland Park, and some clues leading to the new Bureau coffee joint in East Liberty.

Here’s the full report on what’s new in the city’s food and beverage scene (and what you might have missed in October).

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The Bureau, East Liberty

If you’re on the hunt for new coffee in the city, The Vandal’s sister cafe, The Bureau, located in the 1970s-era Detective Building in East Liberty, is “softly” open. The Bureau is a project of Joey Hilty, a Who’s Next: Food and Drink honoree.

Casa Brasil, Highland Park

Keyla Nogueira Cook hopes to expand Brazilian cuisine in Pittsburgh with her year-long pop-up restaurant Casa Brasil, located at 5904 Bryant St. “What I make is what I missed when I moved to the U.S. When I came, I just wanted a plate of rice and beans — little things that remind me of home meals. That’s my goal with Casa Brasil,” Cook told Pittsburgh Magazine.

Cilantro & Ajo, South Side

In 2015, the husband-and-wife team behind this new restaurant moved to Pittsburgh from Venezuela, where they previously operated their own restaurant, NEXTpittsburgh reported. Described as Venezeulan street food, Cilantro & Ajo’s menu includes a create your own arepa option, along with tostadas and patacones. Come for the empanadas, stay for the flan.

Choppin’ Block, Strip District

If you’re craving something quick, but don’t want to go to McDonald’s, Choppin’ Block is the cure to your lunchtime stomach grumbles. This BBQ & Smokehouse along Penn Avenue serves items like beef brisket, fried chicken sandwiches, and BBQ tacos.

Condado Tacos, Lawrenceville

Condado Tacos’ second Pittsburgh location (and ninth location total, including Ohio) in the former Tender space in Lawrenceville is now open. The menu offers a giant list of customizable taco options. Neon graffiti-esque designs cover the walls, and there’s plenty of seating upstairs and downstairs.

The Pennsylvania Market, Strip District

The next one-stop shop for all of your eating desires is The Pennsylvania Market, with vendors including Romulus Pizza, Dante Pizza, Cherish Creamery, Warrior King Pastries, Edgar’s Tacos, and Women of the Cloud Forest.

A renovated tomato warehouse, the Pennsylvania Market is located at 108 19th St. and features two stories, along with a balcony and an enclosed courtyard. The Market is celebrating its grand opening on Saturday, Nov. 10 and Sunday, Nov. 11 with live music, cooking, mixology demonstrations, face painting, and more.

Inside The Pennsylvania Market.

Inside The Pennsylvania Market.


Iron Born Pizza, Millvale

Pittsburgh’s first Detroit-style pizza shop, Iron Born Pizza, is officially open at its Millvale location at 413 Grant Ave. In addition to this new location, Iron Born Pizza also operates inside Smallman Galley, where the deep-dish restaurant got its start.

Iron Born’s Pete Tolman honed his recipe for a year, tweaking it to perfection. On the menu, look for the classic Detroit Red Top Pie, along with other specialties like the Spicy Pie, the Hawaiian Pie, and the Cubano Pie.

All the layers.

All the layers.


See you soon

Blue Sparrow, mobile

Blue Sparrow is pimping its ride and adding Greyhound bus known as “the Highway Traveler,” to its fleet, per the Pitt News The bigger bus equals more kitchen space, which means an expanded menu. There’s not an exact opening date, but as Blue Sparrow posted on Facebook, “this girl is so stinkin close to being done.”

Bonfire Food & Drink, South Side

Chris Bonfili’s new two-story South Side restaurant is slated to open by mid-November, with everything from wood-fired pizza to nitro brew coffee to craft beer, NEXTpittsburgh reported. The first floor will offer casual dining, while the second level will provide a more sophisticated atmosphere.

Miracle on Liberty, Downtown

Christmas comes early at this pop-up bar where “It looks like Christmas threw up everywhere.”

The fan favorite holiday pop-up bar returns to Pittsburgh Nov. 23 through Dec. 31 with a new location in the former storefront of Katie’s Kandy at 717 Liberty Avenue.

Toss back new cocktails like the “Snowball Old Fashioned” (butterscotch rye, spiced demerara, wormwood bitters, orange zest) and “Christmas Carol Barrel” (aged rum, aquavit, amaro, pumpkin pie, demerara syrup, lime, vanilla, angostura bitters).

Miracle_BadSanta_mh3140_preview 2

Wigle Whiskey, Ross Township

Wigle is opening a tasting room and bottle shop on Nov. 19 at Ross Park Mall, where customers can fill their own bottle of organic rye whiskey or organic bourbon straight from the cask and customize a label. The tasting room includes an outdoor seating area which will host live music during the summer months. Wigle: Making the mall suck less since 2018.

See you soon-ish

🌮 SYN Taqueria & Pizzeria (in the former Sharp Edge Friendship location) is coming soon.

🥕 Spirits and Tales has named Jessica Lewis, of Carota Cafe and or, The Whale, as executive chef. The restaurant will be located on the 10th floor of the forthcoming The Oaklander Hotel in Oakland, slated to open early 2019.

🍴 Brick Shop and Over Eden restaurants at TRYP Hotel featuring two prominent Pittsburgh chefs.

🏈 North Shore Seven, a restaurant near Heinz Field from Ben Roethlisberger, which will open in April, boasting made-from-scratch entrees and “Hollywood-style booth seating,” which is maybe just a little excessive.

🥛 A third Milk Shake Factory location is opening, this one in East Liberty.

🇫🇷 A macaron bar — aptly called Macaron Bar — in East Liberty.

🍻 Rogan Brewing Co., a taproom with pints and growlers, coming to West Homestead.

🎶 A Rascal Flatts restaurant in Station Square. … Maybe. The operator has been served with an eviction notice, and there’s plenty of legal drama, the Business Times explains.

🔥 Fig & Ash, a “farm-to-flame restaurant,” coming to Deutschtown in the fall.

🍷 Leo. a public house, for beer, wine and sandwiches, opening in the North Side in the next few months, from the team behind Lola Bistro.

🍚 Two Sisters Vietnamese Kitchen in East Liberty, a low-key BYOB spot with pho, rice bowls and Vietnamese-style vermicelli dishes. Look for it in late summer.

🍺 A Penn Brewery taproom is coming to Downtown — at some point.

🥓 East End Brewing pub conversion in Larimer, with charcuterie and other delicacies from Morcilla’s Justin Severino.

🍻 A Cinderlands brewpub in the former Spaghetti Warehouse building in the Strip District, where construction is underway.

❓ A new TBA concept from the Big Burrito group off of Route 28.

🌯 A Mexican-Italian fusion in the Strip District in partnership with Edgar Alvarez of Edgar’s Best Tacos.

🥃 Bridges and Bourbon, a concept with small plates from chef David Racicot, in the former Seviche space Downtown.


Rivertowne, North Shore

Both the taps and the money have run dry at Rivertowne Brewery, as there was no interest in leasing the bar at its bankruptcy auction.

Photo courtesy of Pennsylvania Market

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