Along Washington Road in Mt. Lebanon, you will find Orbis Caffe. While it is a Pittsburgh coffee bar first and foremost, once you visit, you’ll see it is so much more.
Orbis Caffe got its start back in 2011, after taking over what used to be Aldo Coffee Company. With coffee taking the forefront, Orbis has also brought some European cafe vibes and worldly flair to their establishment. Instead of closing early, they are open through the evening (Thursday – Saturday right now), when you can still get yourself a stellar cup of coffee, but you can also get a classic dirty vodka martini, local brew, or whatever tickles your fancy. You can have the best of both worlds at Orbis. The evening menu has a variety of snacks, meat and cheese boards, toasted sandwiches, and an array of desserts.
What really adds to the Orbis charm is that it’s a family affair. If the owners themselves aren’t there, you will find a daughter, or two, as well as some staff that has been with them since the beginning – that’s over 10 years which, says a lot about a business. Kevin, their coffee maven, has been with them for eight years. They rotate between a few different roasters, always highlighting the best beans from different regions. One of their flagships since the beginning is Pittsburgh’s 19 Coffee, who curated Orbis House Blend. You will also find coffee roasters like Onyx, Black and White, and Intelligentsia in the mix.
Around the world in a day
Another attribute that sets this cafe apart is its international-inspired monthly dinners that they have been putting on for many years. Their daughter, Holly, is the main mastermind behind curating these thoughtful dinners. With help from owner/father Grant, this team takes inspiration from many different regions when planning these dinners. Themes have included Portugal, France, Greece, Argentina, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Italy. They take influences from the history of these countries and come up with creative menus, as well as highlighting and celebrating local ingredients. Holly is also the mastermind – along with sister Cara – behind much of their food menu, including their well-rounded brunch menu to please everyone’s morning hankerings. They also have classic brunch cocktails like bloody marys and mimosas. Everything on the menu is chosen with intention.
They have an excellent selection of baked goods every day, along with quiche and wraps, as well as vegan, gluten, and dairy-free options. The caffe also carries a variety of freshly baked Italian confections, made by a local family of Italian ladies who are also owners of a local dressmaking shop. They have been carrying these cookies since they first opened in 2011. I was lucky enough to try some and I was utterly gobsmacked! The nut roll cookie was possibly my favorite. The nutty flavor and delicateness of the cookie were magic together. I am also a big fan of Orbis’ very own big “OMG” chocolate chip cookies. Chocolate chip cookies are one of my weaknesses and this one was extra special.
Pay attention to their social media for their events including live music showcasing local talented jazz, folk, classical, tango, and Argentinian artists. Trivia is on the first and third Wednesdays. Sunday Brunch, monthly themed dinners, the list goes on.
📺 A delicious look at Pittsburgh
Check out three great shows that highlight the best places for food, drink and treats in Pittsburgh. All three shows are available to stream for free on Very Local.
- Ed and Day in the ‘Burgh – explore Pittsburgh neighborhoods and sample the best beer from local breweries with the hosts of the Drinking Partners podcast.
- Plate It, Pittsburgh! – Pittsburgh chefs race through a local farmer’s market and compete to see who can create the most Pittsburgh-inspired meal.
- What’s On The Menu Pittsburgh – A look at local restaurants, farmers and food trucks. From sweets to vegan eats, meet some of the people who are contributing to Pittsburgh’s vibrant food scene.