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Four Pittsburgh Restaurants You Didn’t Know Have Great Vegan Options

Here are some restaurants in the city that you wouldn’t expect to have phenomenal plant-based plates.

by Abbie Synan
November 10, 2021

Vegan options have evolved in Pittsburgh, and now, some great plant-based dining restaurants are emerging.  With an all-vegan and vegetarian-focused menus like those at Apteka, B52 and Onion Maiden, demand for more diverse farm-to-fork options has been heard. But, what about certain cuisines or spots where you wouldn’t necessarily find decent and abundant vegan options? There are some restaurants in the city that you wouldn’t expect to have phenomenal plant-based plates, so let’s round up four eateries that also focus on their vegan diners.

A Hankering for Hot Dogs 

Franktuary has elevated the hot dog experience. While you wouldn’t initially expect to find easy plant-based additions, there is a prominent place on the menu for vegan and vegetarian ballpark frank lovers. 

This spot in Lawrenceville began in 2004, getting its namesake from church basement beginnings and now is the spot to satisfy that All-American food craving for both meat-eaters and plant lovers alike. Want to feel even better about eating earth-friendly franks? Franktuary is certified as “gold standard” from Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurants.

Franktuary

A Vegan Pizza Party 

Pizza cravings could be quickly snuffed, but, thanks to Spak Brothers, they have easily replaced some traditional ingredients to create a delicious vegan alternative. Outside of carving out a space for vegan pizzas, Spak Brothers is committed to local and sustainable ingredients for all their menu items, so you know you’re getting quality dishes every time.  

Pizza shops are also typically a great go-to spot for that classic hoagie or football Sunday food. Spak Brothers serves up menu items like vegan wings or a vegan cheesesteak even Philly friends would envy. 

This is a takeaway spot with online ordering, so a pizza party at home to impress your plant-based foodie friends is the perfect scenario to start a lifelong love for Spaks.

Spak Brothers

On the Go Eats 

Unless you snag an often subpar salad or drive-thru restaurant greasy fries, finding satisfying swaps for on-the-go or takeaway meals can be tricky. Farmer X Baker makes it a thing of the past, allowing for some fantastic plant-based replacements to make their way to the Aspinwall Riverfront Park Cafe. While traditionally hours are Wednesdays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., they occasionally open Thursday or Friday evenings for “vegan dinner nights.” 

With bright, fresh vegetables and attention to detail with each dish, all of Farmer X Baker’s menu items are like edible works of art. It’s easy to tell that owner Jen Urich is passionate about providing nourishing foods through ethical and organic farming practices. You can eat well and feel good, too. A percentage of their proceeds go back into the riverfront park where the cafe resides. 

Farmer X Baker

It’s BBQ, but Better

Barbecue is synonymous with big cuts of meat smoking on the grill, so when you find a barbecue joint that has a dedicated section of the menu for vegan and vegetarian guests, it can be a feast for all family and friends. Double Wide Grill in the South Side has something for everyone, with traditional barbeque menu items and plant-based eaters. Don’t sleep on breakfast here, either. There are vegan breakfast burritos and other drool-worthy brunch items. 

Double Wide doesn’t skimp on quality either. Their seitan is made in-house, and so are their lentil burgers and drool-worthy homemade vegan barbecue sauce. Everything is wood-grilled, so whether you’re chowing down on ribs or tofu, no one misses out on that wonderful smoky flavor. 

Double Wide Grill

Bonus: Just Desserts

We can’t have a restaurant round-up without telling you a great place for vegan and non-vegan dessert lovers. Gluuteny is the Squirrel Hill bakery those with or without dietary restrictions will love. If you can’t make it to their location, they have delicious treats sprinkled through various coffee shops and cafes throughout the city. Don’t live in the ‘Burgh any longer but crave some of their vegan sweets? Gluuteny ships several selections nationwide! 

While you might be able to go to many restaurants around the city and substitute items to create your vegan meal, it is plant-based progress to find restaurants like these that have priority for their veggie and vegan guests. If you want a comprehensive list of vegan restaurant options in and around the ‘Burgh, head to Vegan Pittsburgh for your neighborhood spots that serve plant-based plates. 

Abbie Synan is a freelance writer who focuses on sustainability initiatives within the tourism industry. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Synan has been traveling full time since 2013, hopping the globe and visiting over 90 countries while exploring ways to be a more mindful global citizen. She is the sustainable travel expert for Wanderful, an international travel community as well as the content co-lead for Impact Travel Alliance, a global organization educating and inspiring travelers. You can find her sharing stories on her blog, Speck on the Globe or her capturing wanderlust images on Instagram.

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