Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pittsburgh's Best Kept Coffee Secrets

Pittsburgh is a city with a lot of options for the coffee lover. This is my list of the five best kept coffee secrets in the Burgh.

(1) Your Inner Vagabond
>Located in Lawrenceville
Your Inner Vagabond boasts itself as a world cafe. This shop features a wide range of coffee drinks, lite menu options and desserts imspired by cultures around the world. There is a heavy Turkish theme in items on the menu and in the shop's decor. Your Inner Vagabond also hosts a variety of events, such as movie showings, art exhibitions and belly dancing classes. The cafe can also be rented for weddings or private parties. This is definitly one of the most unique coffee shops in the city.

(2) Uptown Coffee
>Located in Mt. Lebanon
This shop is very quiant and peaceful. It's the kind of place you go to catch up with friends, quietly read a book or grab a cup of coffee before heading to work. The menu has a lot of drink choices, including coffee and tea. One of the best food features is "build-your-own" cafe sandwhich, which allows you to pick your choice of bread, deli meat, cheese and veggies. The result is one fresh and tasteful meal. This coffee shop definelty has a great home away from home feel.

(3) Bank Tower Coffee Shop
>Located Downtown
This coffee shop is located on the first floor of The Bank Tower in Downtown Pittsburgh on the corer of Wood Street and 4th Avenue. This shop has great coffee and great treats. It's hidden away in the shadows of the city skyscrapers and definitely one of the most unnoticed hot spots for coffee in the Burgh. This shop only takes cash, so remember to carry a couple bucks with you when you're Downtown working, shopping or attending an event. When one of the shops regular customers forgets the dough they offer to keep a tab for you, which is a kind gesture many places don't offer this day. This shop reminds me of an old time business with modern delights.

(4) Crepes Parisennes
>Located in Shady Side and Oakland
If you are a lover of anything French, anything unique, or anything cultural this is without a doubt one of the best places for you and one of the best places, period, in Pittsburgh. The Shady Side location is the original one and if its possiable I suggest going there, but you better go early because the places feels up quick and on Saturdays its difficult to find an empty seat. The Shady Side Crepes' atmospehere has the feel of an authentic Paris cafe with stone walls and traditional symbols of Paris' culture, such as the country's flag and the Effiel Tower. The menu is large with, you guessed it! Crepes galore! Some of sweet and filled with fruit preserves or chocolate and others are savory, with veggies and a small side salad. The coffee is strong, bitter and delicieux.

(5) Rivers Casino
>Located on the North Shore.
This last best kept secret may seem like a surprise, but this is definitely one of the best secrets Burgh coffee lovers will want to snoop out. At the Rivers Casino there are several complementary soda and coffee bars scattered throughout the casino. So, while you are enjoying the slots on a night out on the town you don't have to worry about dragging late in the evening when you can enjoy a complimentary coffee and keep on going! When I visited the casino the first week it opened, I didn't leave with any extra money in my pocket, however I did leave with my free warm cup of Joe!

Share your experiences at these shops with The Pittsburgh Coffee Pot or tell us your best kept coffee secret in the Burgh!


  1. Simpatico Espresso - Located 425 sixth ave Downtown in the Regional Enterprise Tower lobby. Featuring traditional espresso (done right) from La Prima, Italian baked goods from Coloangelo's & Enricos Bakery fresh everyday, Dr. Smoothie protein shakes and a huge variety of Harney & Sons teas. The building has Free wifi and an open to the public media center. This place is Downtown's best kept secret.

  2. This is definitely another one of The Burgh's best coffee secrets! Thank you Monica!

    Also a correction to this original blog post!
    *The Bank Tower Coffee Shop is now MOCHA MARIANNE'S and it is located on Wood Street, Downtown (where the old Mexico City location was and across the street from Point Park University's University Center). Mocha Marianne's has been rated the best coffee shop by PPU. It is larger, has a delicious lite lunch menu, scrumptious desserts (especially the soft black and white cookie) and all the great coffee and other assorted drinks we loved at The Bank Tower.
    P.S. a new coffee shop, Steamers, will be opening in the Bank Tower soon. Keep a look out for a review!