19 Apr 2019 Best Restaurants on the Great Allegheny Passage
Best Restaurants on the Great Allegheny Passage
One of the best things about bike touring is eating food. Lots and lots of it, without consequence! The Great Allegheny Passage (a 150-mile continuous rail-trail from Pittsburgh to Cumberland) is one of the best touring routes because it goes through many different towns. Your journey along the GAP trail can be a food tour through the Allegheny Mountains!
But with so many options, which should you choose? Here are just a few of our favorites to get you started.
Pittsburgh (mile 150)
Our guided bike tours on the GAP start in the city of Pittsburgh. This old steel town at the junction of three rivers has been rejuvenated into a hub of culture and technology. Pittsburgh’s Gilded Age sites, including the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, speak to its history as an early-20th-century industrial capital. In the North Shore neighborhood are the modern Andy Warhol Museum, Heinz Field football stadium and PNC Park baseball stadium. In every corner of the city, you’ll find cool bars, hip coffee shops and restaurants from classic greasy spoons to upscale dining experiences.
- Primanti Brothers: You can’t go wrong with this Pittsburgh classic. Primanti Brothers is a chain of sandwich shops in southwestern Pennsylvania. Founded in 1933, Primanti’s is known for its signature sandwiches stacked high with grilled meat, melted cheese, oil & vinegar-based coleslaw, tomato slices, and French fries between two thick slices of Italian bread. You won’t leave hungry.
- The Capital Grille: If you’re in the mood for something a little more upscale, reserve a table here! The Capital Grille is a fine dining restaurant known for its dry aged steaks, award-winning wine list and professional service in an atmosphere of relaxed elegance. This restaurant also has an on-site butcher who dry ages the steaks between 18 and 24 days to maximize quality.
- OTB (Over the Bar) Bicycle Cafe: OTB is a chill spot in Pittsburgh’s South Side neighborhood — a great place to go for lunch or dinner, especially if you’re craving a burger and a craft beer. OTB has a fun bicycle theme, with murals by local artist Stephen Haynes, a bike-themed menu, and lots of gluten-free and vegetarian options.
- Commonplace Coffee: If you’re a caffeine fiend, don’t miss this gem. This coffee shop has a few locations in and around Pittsburgh. They’re a small-batch roaster, using beans from small independent farms. Pop in for a coffee or tea, and grab a bite from the bakery while you’re there! It’s the perfect pre-ride snack.
Connellsville (mile 88)
After a long ride from Pittsburgh, Connellsville is a good place to stop. This unassuming little town’s coke factories once fueled the regional economy. (Coke is a modified form of coal used as fuel for smelting iron ore in a blast furnace.) Many of the Connellsville’s grand old buildings, houses and churches hint to its prosperous past. Today the town is a bit grittier, but there are still some great places to grab a quick bite to eat.
- Ruvo’s Italian Restaurant: This is a laid-back place for dinner with hearty, authentic Italian food. Their specialty is their fantastic homemade meatballs. Get dinner here, and you’ll definitely have leftovers for lunch (or breakfast!) tomorrow.
- Bud Murphy’s Sports Bar: This local’s favorite has been around for over 70 years, serving pizza, wings, hoagies and more in a friendly and warm atmosphere. Bud’s over the years has become known throughout the local community as a generous supporter of local sports teams. Dinner here is cheap and basic, perfect for a hungry bike tourist!
- Youghiogheny Coffee Co. : This new coffee shop is exactly what downtown Connellsville needed! It has a great selection of hot and iced espresso drinks, plus a bakery case packed full of carb-tastic goodness to get you going in the morning.
Ohiopyle (mile 72)
Our home base! Ohiopyle is a great place to take a break from the bike and spend some time on the river — it’s an eastern US whitewater mecca! In addition to rafting and kayaking, you can also hike a section of the 70-mile Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail, visit one of two Frank Lloyd Wright houses nearby, wade in the river, take a fly fishing lesson or just hang out and enjoy the scenery. All those fun activities will get your appetite going, so refuel at one of these Ohiopyle restaurants.
- Falls City Pub: The Pub, located at the end of Garrett Street in Ohiopyle, has a rotating selection of over 20 craft beers on tap. There’s outdoor seating (and an outdoor bar!), cornhole boards, and a fire ring to keep you warm on chilly nights. The menu changes seasonally, and includes vegetarian options. But the real specialty is hand-smoked whole chickens, ribs and pulled pork in the on-site smoker. Every summer weekend, bands play on Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons.
- Paddler’s Pizza: Every little town should have a pizza place like this. Paddler’s Pizza is a family owned pizzeria with hand-made pizzas, salads, subs, chicken fingers, fries, and more. This is a great option for groups and families with kids. Service is quick, and the pizza is good. Oh, and they have beer! What else could you possibly ask for?
- Rapid Java: Located on the porch of Wilderness Voyageurs, Rapid Java serves local, organic coffee from the Old Linn Run Coffee Bean Roastery. There are a variety of hot espresso drinks available, as well as drip coffee, frappes, smoothies and ice cream!
Confluence (mile 60)
Confluence is just down the trail from Ohiopyle, but it’s worth a stop! It’s a pretty town along the river, and quieter than Ohiopyle. There’s a gazebo in the middle of the town square and lots of places by the Yough to camp or stay.
- Lucky Dog Cafe: One of our favorite little cafes in the whole area! The Lucky Dog specializes in unique pizzas, margaritas, tasty tacos, loaded nachos and big healthy salads. For dessert, definitely get the friend ice cream.
- River’s Edge Cafe: Just on the banks of the Youghiogheny River, this casual restaurant is in an old-world 1890’s farmhouse. You can eat inside or sit out on the breezy porch. The River’s Edge was established in 1989 and serves fantastic seafood, steaks, pasta, soups and salads. They have a full bar as well.
Meyersdale (mile 32)
The famous 1908-foot-long Salisbury Viaduct heralds your arrival to Meyersdale, the highest-elevation town along the GAP trail. Meyersdale hosts the Pennsylvania Maple Festival in the early spring. If you happen to ride through during the festival, check out the car shows, watch the parade and eat fresh pancakes at the Lions pancake house with pure, local maple syrup! From the trail around Meyersdale, you can enjoy gorgeous views of the rolling countryside and spectacular fall foliage in the autumn season.
- The White House Restaurant: This homey eatery has been around for over 30 years. The White House serves comfort food that’ll stick with you for the long ride into Cumberland! For dessert, try their famous whipped Jell-O.
- Morguen Toole Company: The MTC is one of those most unique restaurants you’ll visit on the GAP. Erected in late 1800s, the building was home for many years to Baer & Company Hardware and R. Reich Furniture and Mortuary. (Get it — Morgue and Tool?) Both businesses thrived until the mid 1900s, but closed when the coal industry took a downturn. Some local entrepreneurs purchased the huge building and revamped it into a hotel, event space and restaurant — not the MTC is a community hub!
- Donges Drive-In: If you’ve ever felt the need for a milkshake at 6:00 a.m., this is the place for you. Donges serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and coffee from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day but Sunday. If you’re up to the challenge, try eating two whole pancakes!
Cumberland (mile 0)
Officially established in 1787, Cumberland is a pretty western Maryland city at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains. As it sits at the junction of the Great Allegheny Passage and the C & O Canal Towpath, Cumberland has everything to satisfy a hungry cyclist.
- Ristorante Ottaviani: This little New York-style Italian restaurant is nestled in the heart of Cumberland, MD. Ottaviani serves pasta dishes that cater to meat-eaters, vegetarians and gluten-free eaters alike. The atmosphere is cozy and classy, but nobody will notice if you look a bit trail-weary! The wine list is excellent, and the outdoor seating is lovely on a warm summer night.
- Cafe Mark: This art-lined cafe has gorgeous brick walls and high ceilings — a great atmosphere to enjoy a coffee and a nice lunch after a long day on the trail. If you’re celebrating the end of your Great Allegheny Passage ride, have a slice of homemade cake. You can even take a whole cake home for later!
- City Lights American Grill & Bar: City Lights is centrally located in downtown Cumberland, on the brick pedestrian town center just one block away from Canal Place. They serve seafood, steaks, pasta and homemade cheesecake and pie. On a warm Friday night, sit outside and enjoy the free downtown concert series!
Hopefully this handy guides gets you and your tastebuds ready for a trip down the Great Allegheny Passage! If planning your own food isn’t quite your style, Wilderness Voyageurs’ guided tours will take care of all the details for you!
All Wilderness Voyageurs tours are fully supported with a SAG vehicle and include beautiful routes through stunning landscapes, excellent food and accommodations, top rate equipment, dedicated and enthusiastic guides.
Give our wonderful reservation staff a call to book your next bike tour vacation. (800) 272 – 4141