Pittsburgh food in January: What’s opening and what’s closing

Allegheny County welcomed 127 (!!!) new restaurants in 2017. Here’s what’s ahead for 2018.

Courtesy of Oxford Market
Rossilynne Culgan

New bar and restaurant openings slowed down a bit in December, as to be expected. But overall, 2017 was a booming year for new food and drink in Pittsburgh with 127 new restaurants opening in Allegheny County (that includes cafes and fast food establishments). Yep, that’s an average of more than 10 openings per month.

In December, Pittsburgh welcomed a new Italian restaurant, a coffee shop and a burger chain that drew some sports-related controversy. Here’s what else opened at the end of 2017 — and what to expect in early 2018.


Piazza Talarico, Lawrenceville

Inspired by small Southern Italian family-owned, off-the-beaten-path restaurants, this Penn Avenue restaurant and wine cellar features pastas, pizzas and meats, and of course, wine. “We want our customers to feel like they are walking into our grandparents’ house for Sunday dinner,” Katie Talarico said. “Our specialties are our Grandma’s sauce and our baked maccheroni. The latter has been in our family for five generations.” The restaurant has a no-tipping policy.

Wahlburgers, North Hills

The Boston-area chain opened a North Hills location, which people were pretty jazzed about until Mark Wahlberg posted a congratulatory video on social media about James Harrison joining the Patriots. Drama ensued.

A second Wahlburgers is planned for Pittsburgh, KDKA reported, but a location hasn’t been announced.

De Fer Coffee and Tea, Strip District

In the place where 21st Street Coffee used to be, a new coffee shop has emerged. The shop’s roasting operations are in Point Breeze, supplying the Strip District cafe. Look for pastries from La Gourmandine to pair with coffee and tea (and eventually a liquor license).

Badamo’s Pizza, North Side

The beloved Mt. Lebanon shop opened a North Side location along Federal Street. Expect the shop’s acclaimed handcrafted pies baked at a high heat.

Madeline Bakery & Bistro, Wilkinsburg

At this new beautifully designed Wilkinsburg bakery, look for fresh-baked pastries, soups and coffee.

See you soon

Courtesy of Oxford Market

Oxford Market, Downtown

Set to open in January, this food hall will operate on the plaza-level of One Oxford Centre for weekday breakfast and lunch, along with a bar for post-work drinks. The food hall will feature Asian cuisine, Italian fare and a grill for burgers and sandwiches, plus rotating “Guestaurants” with appearances from local chefs.

Choolaah, Shadyside

Mark you calendar if you’re pumped for this Indian BBQ: It’s set to open Friday, Jan. 26.

It’s a fast-casual chain eatery that will serve traditional Indian dishes.

Poulet Bleu, Lawrenceville

Details have been scare about the new American bistro concept in Lawrenceville from the Richard DeShantz group (they’re the ones behind Meat & Potatoes, Butcher & The Rye, Tako, and Pork & Beans), but the restaurant’s website says it’ll open in January, so stay tuned.

See you soon-ish


Jasmine Goldband / The Incline

Casellula at Alphabet City, North Side

After less than a year, Casellula at Alphabet City closed its doors. It was the Pittsburgh offshoot of a New York City cheese and wine cafe. The restaurant had a no-tipping policy until this fall, when the owner said: “The bottom line is that we will not survive if we don’t get our labor costs down substantially.”

In announcing the closure on Facebook, the post read: “From the bottom of our hearts, we would like to thank you, all of our friends and loyal guests, for your support.”

Miracle_BadSanta_mh3140_preview 2
Courtesy of Miracle

Miracle on Market, Downtown

It was fun while it lasted. As it does each year, Miracle on Market closed for the season after about a six-week run. Holiday revelers packed the pop-up bar weekend after weekend sipping cocktails like the Bad Santa, served hot. Hope to see you again next year, Miracle.

Still craving hot drinks to warm up? Here you go.