Pittsburgh: Pamela’s Diner

Pamela’s Diner just won the Pittsburgh’s City Paper’s no. 1 breakfast venue and even the President is a fan. There are several locations, and rumour has it that the Strip District location is the best. I went to the Shadyside location, but will definitely try and make it to the Strip soon.


It’s always busy outside the restaurant, with people waiting out on the street. The menu is a mix of pancakes, waffles, various egg dishes, sandwiches and salads and inside, it’s buzzingly busy, with harrassed wait stuff flying around. One of their specialities is hotcakes, which are almost as thin as crepes, folded, filled with different fruit or chocolate.

I had to try the hotcakes, and went for banana and walnut. They really are delicious, but the frying in butter made them too heavy after a while, I couldn’t get through the generous portion.  I also had the waffles(!), which were fantastic, light, fluffy and crisp on the outside, no fanfare, just topped with powdered sugar and strawberries, yum.

I didn’t get a chance to try the omelets, but did have a bite of a friend’s fried egg dish, which was good.

Overall, a fun and relaxed dining experience with friendly, if busy, staff. Probably best to go during the week. The food is generous, tasty and pretty heavy, but after all, that’s what you’re going for.