Eating Paleo means your diet is focused on real foods like our ancestors ate. The paleo diet excludes grains, dairy, soy, legumes, gluten and most added sugar. It can often to be difficult to eat out on this diet, but there are many good options in Pittsburgh, and they’re certainly not boring.
Yinzburgh BBQ is close to Pitt, on Baum Blvd in North Oakland. The restaurant is a great BBQ joint for eating paleo because the meat is dry rubbed, so you don’t have to eat the potentially sugary sauces.
Let me tell you, this stuff is juicy and super flavorful. Personal favorites include the brisket and pulled pork, and all meats come with a free sauce. The Carolina vinegar sauce was deemed authentic by my Carolinian boyfriend, so you should definitely try it with some pulled pork.
If you go to Yinzburgh with a friend, try splitting a larger portion between the two of you — you’ll save a ton of money.
Paleo is all about eating organic, grass fed, quality protein. Burgatory is great for this because you can get bison, beef or even grass fed elk as your patty.
The custom options let you opt for no bun to avoid that nasty gluten. You can even pick your own rub and toppings so the burger can be just how you like it.
When you’re eating paleo, you want variety in protein source, and wild, fresh fish is a great option. That’s exactly what you’ll find at Penn Ave Fish Company.
My favorite thing to get here is the sashimi lunch platter. For about $14 you get 15 pieces of sashimi including salmon, tuna, fluke, crab and octopus. Bring some coconut aminos with you to dip your sashimi in and you’re good to go. I promise, the amount of sashimi and the quality for the price cannot be beat anywhere else in Pittsburgh.
Another great option is the energy lunch, which is a filet of grilled salmon with a ginger carrot salad and a green bean salad.
The Paleo diet isn’t all about eating meat—it’s also about eating a lot of good, fresh vegetables.
Earth Inspired Salads in the Cultural District has a great build-your-own salad option that allows you to make a personalized, hearty meal (they even toss the salad for you so it’s all combined). You can choose the amount of dressing so that the greens are dressed to your liking.
The great things that make this place paleo-friendly are the simple roasted chicken, the option to dress your salad in just olive oil and lemon juice and the abundance of fresh vegetables and fruit to top your salad.
Steak is always a great choice when eating paleo. The problem is it can be very expensive, especially for a college student. Enter Gaucho Parrilla, where you can get an affordable Argentinian grilled steak with a side of salad and some chimichurri sauce.
The lines at Gaucho can get super long, so be prepared for a wait, but don’t worry—the steak is worth it.
OTB Cafe is a staple in the Southside for the CrossFit and paleo community in Pittsburgh. Because of this, the restaurant now has a healthy eating/paleo-friendly menu. It offers items like stuffed tomatoes, a Cobb salad with extra chicken and no cheese and a burger between two portobello mushroom buns instead of bread.
Beware of the Mediterranean dressing though, as it contains soybean oil. Ask for olive oil and vinegar instead.
#SpoonTip: They have a special all day on Saturdays where you can get any healthy eating menu item $2 off, so try to visit on the weekend.
If you just want a quick meal, head to Butterjoint right next door. You can get a quality burger without the bun, of course, with fries on the side. The fries are cooked in tallow (an excellent fat source) so its okay to splurge.