November 11, 2021

Our Top Restaurants Near CMU’s Campus

Image courtesy of Post Gazette

CMU’s campus is right inside one of Pittsburgh’s most vibrant neighborhoods. Oakland is home to several other colleges, so it’s  known as a college town with a lively atmosphere. There are lots of students and young professionals living throughout the neighborhood, and thankfully lots of food options nearby. In Oakland, you’ll find foods from many different ethnic cultures. You get to enjoy American, Asian, Middle Eastern, and Italian foods, and there is still much more! Most restaurants around Oakland are pretty easy to get to from CMU’s campus. A few of them are only a few blocks away. Here are the restaurants you should try near CMU’s campus!

Ali Baba Restaurant

This restaurant serves Middle Eastern food in a comfortable setting. 

A large spread of middle eastern food.
This large spread looks like it will be more than satisfying. Image courtesy of Uber Eats

404 S Craig St | Oakland | alibabapgh.com

Ali Baba is one of the oldest restaurants in Pittsburgh. It was founded back in 1972 by a graduate student from Syria. The restaurant has been thriving ever since due to their excellent service and authentic Syrian cuisine. They bring a fresh new take on traditional Syrian foods which showcase the passion they feel for their output. 

They have a great menu that features items like falafel, shish kabobs, hummus, and tabbouleh. You can get soups and salads as well as coffee and tea. They even offer homemade yogurt and desserts like baklava. 

“Amazing service! Great portions--especially the rice and pita! The salad is a must and really is a huge portion as well. I always get the small with feta and it is delicious. I dream about this salad. All the workers there are great! So friendly!” -- Yelp Review

Union Grill

This restaurant serves locals with amazing American food. 

A plate of ribs, French fries, and baked beans.
This is a meal that you might want to take a nap after. Image courtesy of Union Grill

413 S Craig St | Oakland | uniongrilloakland.getbento.com

Union Grill is known for its great American food. Their most well-known items are their burgers that are typically piled high with toppings. This restaurant does not skimp at all on the servings they give out. Their servings are huge and filling. You might feel the need to share or get to take home some extra food. Their appetizers include pierogis, avocado toast, and chicken tenders. These items, as well as everything else on the menu, is made fresh from scratch. You can get soup, salad, and entrees like salmon and steak. 

The Union Grill’s specialty happens to be fish sandwiches. You can order a number of different sandwiches made with cod or salmon. There is seating available both indoors and outdoors. 

“I was really looking forward to trying this place, and it definitely lived up to the hype. I had the church pierogis and the turkey Devonshire and both were excellent. Highly recommended!” -- Yelp Review

Eat Unique

This restaurant’s grab-and-go options are quick and tasty. 

Two burgers topped with lettuce, tomatoes, and onions.
These burgers would make a great meal in the middle of a long day. Image courtesy of Eat Unique Café.

305 S Craig St | Oakland | eatuniquecafe.com

Eat Unique was founded back in 1997. They offer a prime spot in the neighborhood for people to either grab a quick meal to go or to sit down and have a long relaxing meal. This place has evolved a lot over the years. It started out as a coffee shop with a limited menu, but is now an eatery where anyone can sit down to a meal. All types of people regularly gather there to enjoy their homemade soups, sandwiches, and salads. Their fresh ingredients go into their homemade meals. They also have options to suit different diets. They have vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options. 

This restaurant sells amazing baked goods that are made by their in-house baker. You can try their fresh baked artisan bread, their double chocolate brownies, or their sea salt chocolate chip cookies. 

“Amazing!! Their summer sandwich is to die for and the staff has always been warm and welcoming. I haven't tried much on the menu because the few things I got on my first few visits were so great that I always returned for them.” -- Yelp Review

Luca Ristorante 

This restaurant serves amazing Italian food.

three lamb chops over rice surrounded in sauce.
This lamb is perfectly crisp on the outside. Image courtesy of Open Table

317 S Craig St | Oakland | luccaristorante.com

This restaurant offers great Italian food in a cozy setting. All their pasta is made fresh in house on a daily basis. Everything is made with fresh, high quality ingredients. Their ingredients come from local farmers markets. They create weekly lunch and dinner specials with their seasonal ingredients. Aside from the amazing food menu, Lucca offers a great wine menu that includes Italian wines from all over the region. They also include wines from great domestic wineries. Lucca has a motto that says you enter as friends and leave as family!

Lucca is eager to hold and cater your important events. They specialize in large and small private dinner gatherings. They cater wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners, and business dinners. 

“Stayed in Pittsburgh for one night. Found Lucca on Yelp and had dinner there. The food was terrific, excellent Italian! The ambience was very cozy. Would definitely go back if we are back in the area again.” -- Yelp Review

Orient Express

This restaurant serves many traditional Asian dishes. 

A red bowl filled to the top with noodles and beef.
This beef noodle soup would make for a very satisfying dinner. Image courtesy of USA Restaurants

4609 Forbes Ave | Oakland | oeonforbes.org

Orient Express serves up a variety of Asian foods. You can get many of your favorite Asian dishes there. They have spring rolls, dumplings, and crab Rangoon along with other popular appetizers. You can choose from a variety of stir fries, hot pots, and chef’s specials. Fried rice and stir-fry noodles are some other popular choices offered. 

They also have a variety of amazing drinks to choose from. You can get bubble tea in flavors that include coconut, coffee, papaya, and mango, and there is strawberry, honey, and lychee flavored tea. You can also grab an iced smoothie that comes in similar flavors. 

“Family owned, super friendly people! Food is consistently delicious, my family is from Southern China/Hong Kong, and the food here is strikingly similar to what you would get there. Both American Chinese style and Cantonese style food are served here. Great stuff, I come here a lot.” -- Yelp Review

CMU’s campus is surrounded by everything that Oakland has to offer. There are so many great restaurants around that it would be a shame to miss out on them. Make sure to enjoy all the food that is offered just steps away from campus!