Kaya Restaurant – Review (Pittsburgh, PA, USA)

After spending 47 hours in Pittsburgh this past weekend, I can’t say I understand the city any better than before my visit.  I found it difficult to get a sense of the city, maybe because there are so many neighbourhoods (there are 90) and I didn’t find opportunities to speak to locals like I have in other cities.  But having eaten at Kaya (in the Strip District of downtown Pittsburgh), I think I get its sustained popularity.  It has a comfortable yet upbeat atmosphere, the service is friendly and helpful (whether you ask about the menu or about other restaurants or for bandaids), there are good vegetarian options, a range of drink options, and on a clear May day I was happy to sit indoors or outside.  The food is served in generous portions and manages to be interesting without being pretentious (i.e. the food is meant to be eaten and shared, not just pretty for Instagram — although it’s also okay to Instagram it!).  All-in-all, I say: eat there, order an extra drink, and enjoy the Strip District.

Shrimp & Scallop Ceviche – at first I found the popcorn a little awkward to eat but once it soaks up some of the dressing the popcorn adds a nice crunch to an otherwise tender dish.

Tofu Cracklins

Tofu Cracklins – a vegetarian dish definitely not just for vegetarians.  It looked especially nice in the sunshine.

Tropical Paella

Tropical Paella – a portion large enough for two.

Tempura Avocado Bahn Mi

Tempura Avocado Bahn Mi Tacos – not the best presentation but I guess tacos should be a little messy (or maybe it’s just the photo).

Kaya Burger with Chips

Kaya Burger with Chips (ordered well done) – delicious, I love the combination!

Kaya front entrance and outdoor seating

Kaya front entrance and outdoor seating.  Nice decor inside too, except maybe the bathroom signage that takes a few seconds to distinguish between the men’s and women’s restroom!

Kaya restaurant PGH

Kaya 2000 Smallman Street, Pittsburgh, PA Website: www.bigburrito.com/kaya TripAdvisor | Yelp |The Bob Marley Reference

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