Most students find the local dining in the city of Pittsburgh to be a welcome relief from the monotony of Carnegie Mellon dining options. The variety of cultures present in each neighborhood makes for dozens of restaurants that are bound to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. For example, Polish Hill, the Strip District, and Bloomfield (the "Little Italy" of Pittsburgh) are all abound with restaurants, specialty shops, and close-knit eateries that students rave about. While these areas outside of the main neighborhoods surrounding CMU are definitely home to the culinary arts of Pittsburgh, most students tend to stick to the immediate surroundings.
Even in the nearby areas of Oakland, Shadyside, and Squirrel Hill, students can find affordable and satisfying Thai, Chinese, Indian, American, and Italian restaurants. In Oakland, students frequent "The O" for their cheap and famous hot dogs and fries, and Primanti Bros., where it becomes a contest to see who can finish one of the enormous sandwiches! A quick bus ride up to Squirrel Hill and the Thai restaurants Bangkok Balcony and Silk Elephant are unrivaled in popularity—although it might be best to reserve these slightly pricier places for special occasions. If students don't want to walk too far, they will usually visit Sushi Too and Walnut Grill in Shadyside. These two places make it easy to celebrate with a large group of friends or to wander in to eat during a spur-of-the-moment shopping trip. CMU students might disagree on their favorites, as there are so many from which to choose. What they won't disagree on? The welcome relief from the same old meals on campus.