A popular weekend morning destination in Pittsburgh’s Strip District, Pamela’s Diner serves up breakfast favorites like nobody’s business. Frequently crowded and always on the game with a good breakfast dish, this downtown destination serves up great food at record speed, so take a seat in the dining room, jumbled with photos of many memories over the years, and prepare to be amazed at what you’re about to taste. Whether it’s a pancake or sausage or a breakfast sandwich. Breakfast food is serious business in Pittsburgh, so don’t take it lightly when I say that this place is one of the best. Now, there are five locations across Pittsburgh.
The famous menu items are so rustic it’s unbelievable that they’re home runs. The one dish you have to buy? Try the hotcakes. The word “crepe” might be thrown around a little, and indeed they resemble crepes with their thin composition, but make no mistake, they’re very shallow pancakes that have been fried to be extremely crispy. Delicious, and certainly less filling than thick pancakes, but the distinction is very clear. Topped with a little bit of cream and a lot of fruit, they’re a must-have especially if you’re a lover of the strawberry variety.
Other good things on the menu, the “famous lyonnaise potatoes” are a potato and onion confection of French origin. They’re mashed and mixed with something a little vinegary to the tune that they resemble a potato salad a little, but they don’t need seasoning to be good. Add on the little goodies that make a good breakfast dish, like the chorizo sausage or the corned beef hash, and you’ve got a good meal.
Experiencing Pamela’s, like so many other things in Pittsburgh, takes just a little bit of patience. It’s always crowded, and immensely popular, so expect to wait a little while to get in. Service takes a little longer than some of the other breakfast joints in town, and it can sometimes be hard to find a server. The crowded-together interior is a real testament to dining in a busy city, especially its hippest parts, and Pamela’s will require a little bit of patience in that way. But once the food comes, it’s all worth it.
Pamela’s Diner is another example of the droves of little businesses that sprang up from this city’s blue-collar roots, an exercise in simplicity, and a great way to start off your day, especially if it’s at the Strip District. Drop by, but make sure you’re ready to wait.
- Try the hotcakes, which are flash-fried pancakes topped with cream and fruit, for a really good taste of what Pamela’s has to offer.
- Expect crowds, especially at meal times. Wait times seem to go up to 30 minutes during weekend meals.
- The famous lyonnaise potatoes are a strong menu item, as well.