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September 1, 2012 6:53 AM   Subscribe

Taking a long-distance train trip with a 3.5 hour layover in Pittsburgh. Where can I eat near the train station during my layover?

I'm taking the train from Philly to Chicago in a couple weeks, on a Thursday if it makes any difference. If all goes on time (and I realize this is a big if with Amtrak), I'll arrive in Pittsburgh at a little after 8 PM, and the train from there to Chicago will leave around midnight.

I assume that the train station food options will suck, and by then I'll want to walk around anyway. Any suggestions for good, cheap (<15 dollars at least, <10 dollars even better) meals within a mile or two of the train station? I'm primarily vegetarian, so not Primanti's, and I'm very picky about pizza. Other than that, pretty much anything goes. I'm open to either eating a quick sit-down meal or getting take-out to bring back to the station.

Walking directions to any potential places would also be appreciated, since I don't have a smart phone to check maps.

Thanks in advance, everyone!
posted by ActionPopulated to Food & Drink (5 answers total)
The train station has only vending machines, so you'll definitely want to get out of it for food. Downtown Pittsburgh largely shuts down on weeknights, so definitely research in advance where you'll want to go and what their hours are. I have a couple of thoughts but I'm on my phone right now - I'll try to remember to come back to this when I'm at my computer and can investigate prices/hours/walkability.
posted by Stacey at 7:21 AM on September 1, 2012

Would Indian work? Indian Spices is pretty close* and has a wide selection of vegetarian options. And it's good!

To get there, you would leave the station; you are now on Liberty Avenue. Turn left and walk about one block, until you hit 11th Avenue (you are walking toward downtown.) If you go under an overpass, turn around; you're going the wrong way. Turn right onto 11th and go one block, then turn left onto Penn. Walk to Sixth Street and turn right, then go one block. It will be on your right.

While walking down Penn, you'll see a lot of other restaurants. Of those, Sharp Edge Bistro and Meat & Potatoes are my favorites, although (unsurprisingly) the latter has fewer vegetarian options. M&P's mushroom pizza is pretty great, though, as are the mussels, if you eat fish. Both restaurants are more expensive than Indian Spices.

If you do eat fish, though, I recommend the Penn Avenue Fish Company. To get there, get out of the train station and turn right to go up Liberty one block, and then turn left onto 12th Avenue. Go one block and turn right onto Penn, then walk a little less than three-quarters of a mile. It's on the right on the 2200 block.

*Downtown Pittsburgh is small. Everything is close.
posted by punchtothehead at 7:29 AM on September 1, 2012

Scratch the Penn Avenue Fish Company; that location is only open for lunch. They have another location downtown that is open for dinner, though.
posted by punchtothehead at 7:31 AM on September 1, 2012

The Sharp Edge came immediately to my mind: microbrews, good food, waffles, easy walk from the station.
posted by daisystomper at 10:19 AM on September 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Big thanks to both punchtothehead and daisystomper! As it turns out, I had plenty of time to stop for both a delicious dinner at Indian Spices and a beer at Sharp Edge. Thanks for the directions, punchtothehead--there is no way I would have known what direction to start walking from the train station without them/
posted by ActionPopulated at 9:56 PM on September 17, 2012

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