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Top 6 Vegan Restaurants in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Vegan brunch, sandwiches, hot dogs, ice cream, and MORE!

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Growing up on the West Coast, we never learned much about Pittsburgh. We only knew it as the “Steel City” a couple hours away from Philadelphia. It wasn’t a tourist destination in our minds that we needed to add to our bucket list. But after being drawn to this destination to visit Ben’s talented cousin at Carnegie Mellon University, we finally had a reason to come to town and dine at all of the vegan restaurants in Pittsburgh.

While veganism is not as widely accepted like in other East Coast cities like Washington D.C. or Philadelphia, you can still find at least one vegan restaurant in every major business district, and some darn good ones at that!

In Pittsburgh, you can find a half vegetarian restaurant/half antique shop, a punk rock vegan cafe that makes their own vegan eggs, a vegan DIY hot dog eatery, and so much more. Here’s a list of our favorite vegan restaurants in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Apteka

We’ve had the pleasure of experiencing this venue on both a date night and on a night out with friends. With its lively atmosphere and delicious vegan versions of Central and Eastern European cuisine, come here for a meal of light tapas or for a full night exploring the whole menu with your party in this beautiful, dim-lit dining room.

Highlights: Boczniaki Z Kapusta, Kluski Slaskie.

B52 Cafe

This beloved vegan cafe features a menu of American and Middle Eastern favorites, as well as a bakery and bar. All it takes is one short look at their Instagram to book it on over. If you’re interested in vegan pancakes, fried oyster mushroom sandwiches, latkes, or seitan shawarma, move this cafe to the top of your Pittsburgh bucket list.

Highlights: Look out for their amazing specials!

Onion Maiden

This vegan restaurant is inspired by punk rock and heavy metal music, which makes for a badass vegan menu. Its menu features a fusion of vegetable-based Asian and American comfort food dishes that makes for a really fun and flavorful dining experience. Don’t leave without trying their “Killing Yoke” Deviled Eggs made in house and certainly indulge in their poutine with tater tots. On top of the wonderful comfort food, Onion Maiden also composts any food waste and makes it a priority to use eco-friendly products.

Highlights: Bunno))), Aqua Poutine Hunger Force, Munster Mash, Coffins.

Franktuary

If you’re craving a good ol’ American hot dog, this place will not disappoint. While the majority of the menu surrounds their meat-based options, vegans can order their tofu hot dog or Beyond Meat sausage. Top it with dozens of vegan goodies including vegan bacon, chili, cheese sauce, chipotle aioli, house gravy, and more. Fun fact: Franktuary says it doesn’t claim responsibility for unpalatable combinations so be careful how you concoct your loaded hot dog.

Highlights: DIY tofu hot dog, vegan cheese sauce, vegan bacon, vegan chipotle aioli.

Vegan tofu dog with vegan queso, ketchup, and fried onions

The Zenith

This half vegan restaurant, half antique shop is one of the quirkiest stops we’ve found during our travels. A small kitchen separates the two spaces⁠—the right side filled to the brim with objects and clothing, the left side filled with mismatching dining room tables and chairs. If you’re looking for a place that feels like you’re getting a homemade vegan meal cooked for you by your best friend, this is the spot for you. It’s definitely not a four-star or a traditional cafe, but it’s a uncommon experience that allows you to enjoy vegan comfort food in Pittsburgh’s oldest vegetarian restaurant.

Highlights: Tofu Walnut Meatball Sandwich, Seitan Stew.

The Zenith’s dining room

Biddle’s Escape

Biddle’s Escape is the perfect place to take a break after a long hike in Frick Park, for a coffee break mid-day, or to work for a few hours. While Biddle’s Escape is not exclusively a vegan restaurant, or may not even have many vegan food options, their extensive drink list is easily customizable; we felt it deserved a spot on here as it’s a very vegan-friendly coffee shop.

This quirky neighborhood shop has dozens of tea and coffee options, with many of them available to buy in bulk as displayed on the back wall. Have fun choosing your ideal latte or tea beverage from their creative menu and be inspired by this beautiful location among a neighborhood adorned with artwork in their yards.

Highlights: Dirty Chai Latte.

Other Vegan Restaurants in Pittsburgh

Pastoli’s Pizza: vegan-friendly pizza and Italian restaurant in Squirrel Hill.

El Burro: vegan-friendly Mexican restaurant with seven distinct vegan options of burritos and tacos, available at their two locations.

Gluten Free Goat Bakery and Cafe: gluten-free bakery with light options, now available for delivery and wholesale only.

Eatunique: a sandwich shop in North Oakland with a veggie-friendly menu.

Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream: beloved local ice cream shop with a rotating selection of vegan flavors.

If you have any recommendations of your own, we’d love to know your favorite spots so we can visit them next time we’re in town. Feel free to share your favorites, or places you hope to visit in Pittsburgh one day, in the comments below.

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8 Comments
  1. Candace Bender says

    Tiramisu at Onion Maiden looks amazing!!!:)

    1. Brianne Nemiroff says

      Their menu is INSANE. The best comfort food with innovative names and flavor profiles. If we lived around the block from them, it would be game over for our bank account. 😛

  2. Cloe says

    Sugar Spell Scoops is an amazing all-vegan ice cream parlor, East End Food Co-Op has a rotating hot food bar menu with vegan options, Spak Brothers is one of my all time favorites, they have vegan pizza, calzones, and out of this world foot long subs! Fortuitea Cafe, Mad Mex, and Reed&Co are also don’t miss places

    1. Brianne Nemiroff says

      Thank you for sharing some of your favorite vegan spots! The next time we’re there, we’ll make sure to visit and hopefully add them to our list.

  3. Leslie says

    Hi. Sadly Gfg and biddles do not exist and biddles has hardly any veg options except for hummus when I was there and they still were open. To be honest Millie’s only just jumped on the bandwagon and quite pretentious. We actually have an all vegan ice cream shop in the city. It’s the only vegan ice cream shop in olive Pennsylvania actually. Too bad you did not highlight Sugar spell scoops instead of corporate giant Millies.

    1. Brianne Nemiroff says

      Hi Leslie, yes we know GFG is only wholesale and delivery now (hence why it’s in the bottom section of the article). We agree, Biddles does not have enough vegan food options, but they have non-dairy milk options and a large and customizable drink menu otherwise that we felt allowed it a spot on this list as we loved the atmosphere. Corporate or not, Millie’s is loved by locals and students in the area so we also felt they earned a spot.
      We had not heard of Sugar Spell and see that it’s on the far edge of Pittsburgh. While travelers there for a few days may not be able to make the trip to Sugar Spell if they are on a tight schedule, we will definitely make sure to visit the next time we’re in town and will add it to the list if we love it. Thank you for your recommendations!

  4. Beth Blair says

    Fortuitea Cafe (all vegan) in Washington, PA is a short drive from Pgh on the highway and offers the most delicious vegan comfort foods and baked goods, and their selection of teas and coffees is extensive! My favorites..the open faced millet loaf sandwich and the buffalo dip!

    1. Brianne Nemiroff says

      Ooh! Those sound great! I’ll make a note for our next trip.

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