No trip to Pittsburgh is complete without taking in the amazing restaurants in the city – and – having a gorgeous, comfortable, affordable place to stay on your trip. If you’re looking for an addition to your family travel bucket list, we can assure you, you have to put Pittsburgh near the top. And if you’re wondering about things to do in Pittsburgh with kids – including the best places to eat and stay, we’ve got you covered.
When you’re traveling with kids, the more spacious the hotel room, the better. And that’s why we love Cambria Suites. Located in the heart of Pittsburgh, you’re close to all of the activities and restaurants that your family will want to visit, and you have plenty of space in the various types of suites at the hotel.
Cambria Suites has a pool and a fitness center, so the entire family can stay active during your trip. The rooms are incredibly spacious, with a lot of space to unpack, spread out, and enjoy some down time as a family. Each room has a coffee maker, microwave, and mini-fridge, so you can have some quick snacks on the go, as you head out for a day of exploring the glorious city of Pittsburgh and do all the things to do in Pittsburgh with kids.
This hotel is also located right next to the PPG Paints Arena, where the Penguins play – and happens to be the official hotel of the team. You’ll be close to all of the must-see spots in the city, all while having a spacious place to stay with your family.
We visited the original Primanti Brothers in the strip district of Pittsburgh, and all we can say, is “WOW.” This quintessential Pittsburgh diner is full of the biggest, most awe-inducing sandwiches that you could ever imagine. Stacked high on freshly baked bread, they top each sandwich with their special recipe cole slaw and French fries. You can watch the cooks make all the sandwiches in the counter-seating area of the restaurant.
And guess why they put the cole slaw and fries on the sandwich? That, friends, is a bit of history. Back when the steel mills were booming in Pittsburgh, the steel workers needed their lunch on the go. They couldn’t sit around with a sandwich and plate of fries, trying to manage a bowl of cole slaw and a fork. So Primanti Brothers put the whole meal on the sandwich, so the workers could grab it and go.
Kelly O’s Diner is pure Pittsburgh, through and through. There’s nothing quite like discovering a local gem like this. Beloved by locals, Kelly O’s is classic Pittsburgh, a must-see, and has been featured on the Food Network. We were greeted by Kelly O herself, petite in size, but bursting with a vibrant, exuberant, welcoming personality. She told us a bit about the history of her restaurant, and it was so clear how much passion and pride she has in what she does, and how much she loves the people who come through the diner doors every day.
Freshly squeezed OJ is on tap, and the menu is full of classic diner breakfast choices, and new twists like their famous grilled cinnamon roll. We stopped in on a Friday morning and the place was completely packed, every table full, and we’re zero percent surprised. This place was pure breakfast perfection.
The Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh is truly a treat. This massive restaurant in the heart of the city features traditional German fare, live German music, and a stunning array of beer choices. The blood orange beer was to die for, and the salmon salad we had – well – let’s just say it was love. The menu is packed with other traditional German foods, and some fun twists like fried sauerkraut, soft pretzels, fried pickles, and potato pancakes. A full children’s menu is available for your little “kinder” (that’s child in German!), and the whole family will love the atmosphere.
There’s live German music in the main area of the restaurant, and the entire place has a lively, fun vibe. All the waitstaff are dressed in traditional lederhosen. Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh is in the most gorgeous location, right along the river. You can eat outdoors on their patio or enjoy the “Biergarten,” and walk off your meal along the river afterwards.
If you go to Pittsburgh and don’t go to the the Milkshake Factory, you’re doing Pittsburgh wrong. We’ve never seen a place like this. Bursting with incredible hand-spun milkshakes in decadent flavors (S’mores! Birthday Cake! Bananas Foster!), including dairy-free vegan options, as well as countless homemade chocolates, truffles, and – brace yourself – chocolate covered bacon – this will be a favorite stop on your trip.
You actually will be like a kid in a candy shop, and the aroma of fresh chocolates and milkshakes is simply intoxicating. The menu of milkshakes is incredibly unique and incredibly decadent. There’s something for everyone, and you might end up planning a trip back to Pittsburgh just to go back here.
There are no words to describe how absolutely freaking mind-blowingly delicious Waffles Incaffeinated is. A trip to Pittsburgh is worth it for this place alone. They even have gluten- & dairy-free waffles, which really makes our heart go pitter-pat. The gluten-free Funky Monkey waffle is one of the top 10 best foods we’ve ever had.
And coffee? Grab a seat and get ready for the best latte of your life. Their signature latte was five times better than anything at Starbucks and absolutely incredible. Even the French toast is served like a waffle. Waffles Incaffeinated is kid-heaven, with a lengthy list of whimsical, decadent waffle choices, traditional breakfast choices, and a calm atmosphere perfect for mornings in Pittsburgh.
Right across from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History is a delightful restaurant, The Porch. We loved the eclectic menu, full of unique twists on classic favorites. The kid’s pizza was an instant favorite – made with homemade dough that was absolute chewy perfection. The menu is made with fresh, local ingredients, and is anything but ordinary. The roof of the building has its own garden, so the chef can pick fresh herbs and and produce, for use in the day’s meals. There’s even a few bee hives on the roof, providing The Porch with fresh honey.
Located in the midst of gorgeous Schenley Park, you can eat indoors or outside, taking in the gorgeous views of greenery and Pittsburgh’s famous Cathedral of Learning. Whether you eat indoors or out, the atmosphere is amazing, and the food is even better.
We had no idea that Pittsburgh is pretty much foodie heaven. The dining options are absolutely incredible, and these are reason enough to plan a special trip to this city!
For more of our favorite places to visit, check out our Travel section.