The Cafe Carnegie

4.3
171 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
Under the direction of James Beard semi-finalist Chef Sonja Finn and Chef Jacob Kuhn, The Café Carnegie brings their approachable cooking using responsibly-sourced ingredients to Pittsburgh’s favorite museums. The newly transformed space features a comfortable full-service dining area, and a walk-up espresso and wine bar for a relaxing break on a museum visit.
What 171 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.4
service
4.6
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
84% of people would recommend it to a friend
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RD
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

Our waitress was excellent, but someone split the bill wrong and if one of my party hadn’t caught it we would have overpaid by over $40. It was corrected, but only because we caught it.

The food is good, but overpriced and the salmon salad was small—those of us eating that left hungry.

We’ve been meeting at the cafe for years, but since the new restaurant opened there’s been no parking available in the museum lot. So between that and the high prices, we usually choose to go elsewhere.

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PD
Pittsburgh
2 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

Very disappointing experience. I would be hard pressed to recommend. Food was generally unimaginative and failed to deliver. Given current food scene, much better alternatives.

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P
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

I ordered the poached salmon omelette, which the salmon and eggs were over cooked and dry. Would have needed some kind of sauce to rescue it.

On the flip side, we were running late and they were nice to accommodate us for a later time on a busy, booked Mother’s Day. The view of the water fountains is serene and loved the midcentury modern interior.

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OT
Pittsburgh
2 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Outstanding customer service. Accommodated our large party with ease. Made our party feel welcome.

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 4

We made a special trip based on reviews on line, and from family in Pittsburgh. The chef must have been on vacation. 3 of the 4 meals at our table were awful. The seafood crepes were very small and bland- with a few tiny scallops, if that. Two poached salmon omelets were also ordered, both were overdone with very dry salmon. Thumbs down from both patrons. My daughter had the croque madame which she loved, and the cinnamon buns were great. Ambiance and service was also great.

Must have been an off day, I guess.

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C
Indiana
21 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Excellent flavor, small portions.

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R
Pittsburgh
9 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Lovely setting. Food was great, but portions very small. Our server was prompt but a little less than friendly.

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PD
Pittsburgh
6 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The café services was quick, attentive and well coordinated between the host, server and kitchen staff making sure we received our drinks and food quickly.

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JA
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, great service!

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g
Pittsburgh
45 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 1ambience 1

I made reservations for two, and we were led to the banquette seating against the right wall. I requested to sit at one of many open tables. I did notice that they were tables for four. but there were many that were open. I was told those tables were reserved. During lunch, I noticed that no-one was being seated at any of those tables. So, I spoke to the next manager who was on duty and explained what I had observed that in spite of being told that the tables were reserved, no one was sitting there. This manager explained that they were being saved for walk-in.
Later, I realized that if that was truly the case, I should not have made reservations. Instead I had to endure feeling crowded, imposed upon and disappointed because I was unable to converse with my friend because of a lack of privacy.

In addition, with everyone lined up on either side of the banquette seating, it was like eating at a trough. I was really disappointed in the whole experience.
I will not go there again.

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C
Cleveland
9 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 4food 2service 4ambience 4

We had come here last September and had wonderful homemade soup. The crepes and salad we had at the time were just so-so, but we remembered the soup and the ambience, so went there with 2 friends Sunday, April 7. I ordered seafood crepes this time, but again, not great. Fishy and cloyingly rich. My husband's shredded chicken salad didn't have much taste. The very pretty layered wine drink I got and my friend's prosecco/aperol drink also not very tasty. I don't know how our two friends liked their dishes, but they certainly didn't rave about them.
Maybe we ordered the wrong things--would have done better with typical brunch dishes.
The ambience is lovely and quiet enough to talk in a civilized manner. Our servers were very pleasant and available.

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P
Pittsburgh
10 reviews
Dined on March 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent lunch menu and specials. As always, great service - and a perfect part of a visit to the museums.

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BR
Pittsburgh
139 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

A nice change from basically a cafeteria, to a full-service, topnotch restaurant.

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ER
1 review
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Superb ambiance for a museum Cafe. Elegant decor and menu to match. Beautiful presentation of entrees on crowded last week day of the museum’s International art exhibit. This likely accounted for unavailablity of bottled beer and a need to request bread of our waitress. Otherwise flawless cauliflower soup, beef and hangar salads, and curated sangria.

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OT
Pittsburgh
1 review
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Croque madame was amazing.

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P
Pittsburgh
11 reviews
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A pleasant Sunday brunch experience. Good quality food and service. Worth the repeat visit!

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g
Pittsburgh
11 reviews
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

We had brunch on 3/17/19 right a the café opened. Service was excellent. The cinnamon buns were dry and rather tasteless--disappointing. The frittata sandwich was rather bland and the frittata itself was lukewarm--disappointing. However, my partners sandwich, stakes of ham with béchamel sauce was very good. Good fries. The burnt almond cake was sublime. Good coffee. So a bit hit and miss for us unfortunately. Very nice atmosphere for a meal.

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SC
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 4

Interesting view through large glass windows onto museum fountains and pool. Service fine but way too much money for food that is served. The pulled chicken salad was mostly that in name only with very little chicken and not much of anything else. Taste was far from memorable. Had to ask for some accompanying bread which turned out to be three miniature rounds of tasteless bread with some butter on side.

Companion was too polite to say anything except his small sandwich and tiny salad was okay.

Was very surprised to hear that no soup is served on weekends. ?????

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PG
Pittsburgh
1 review
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

The food was nothing special yet it was hyped as gourmet. Location is lovely, obviously, it’s in the Carnegie museum. There was a big party at lunch so it was very loud but probably isn’t so bad typically. It was fine. Hoped for much more.

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l
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The food was delicious (pot pie and crepes). We ate a late lunch (2 PM) and were disappointed that some items were sold out. Had a delicious wine, and because it was my guest's birthday we shared a complimentary piece of cake.

We asked for some bread to accompany our starter (winter squash and burrata), and were assured it would be no trouble, but when it finally came, it was 4 small crusts. According to the server, the kitchen bakes its own bread, so I don't see why it was such trouble. (This is the second time I have requested bread, and the previous time we never received it.) I think that adding a service of bread as a starter would be a good addition to the meal.

With 2 glasses of wine each, a starter and 2 large entrees the bill was large, but it was perfect for a birthday trip to the museum. Not somewhere I would eat on a regular basis, but perfect for a special meal.

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L
Pittsburgh
2 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Lunch for two with tip was $70, which is a bit pricey for lunch for two salads, one soup, two sorbets, two teas and two coffees. The soup is overpriced for the size. It was an experience but a not a place to visit frequently for lunch because of the price.

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B
Pittsburgh
12 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Particularly good for a museum cafe !

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J
Pittsburgh
4 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

This was a delightful lunch spot.
The only problem was that there was nothing on the menu that I didn't want to order! Luckily, my daughter and I split our meals so we were able to share two things.

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ML
Cleveland
3 reviews
Dined on February 25, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Always a pleasant place to have lunch with friends, colleagues, or out-of-town visitors . . . and there's plenty of vegetarian options. The food is always fresh and the daily specials are usually excellent, well-conceived, well-prepared, well-presented, and absolutely delicious. The space can be a bit hectic when it's busy which it often is at lunchtime . . . but it is a museum cafe after all. Wonderful view of the fountain and well-lit throughout.

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C
Pittsburgh
15 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server was great. The food was fresh and delicious. Nice place for a Sunday brunch.

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L
Oklahoma City
8 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Cafe Carnegie is a perfect brunch spot! The service was great... the view was lovely... the setting is killer and our waitress Heather was fantastic. My only qualm is the portions. They’re small for the price tag and the salad was underdressed. (PS the coffee is great)

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TP
Pittsburgh
18 reviews
Dined on February 18, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 3

My experience was not pleasant. And ice cream sundae was included on the menu with 3 flavors of ice cream. A single scoop of ice cream was also available. I asked our waitress if if could have a single scoop of a flavor from the sundae selection . I was told that this was not possible, but if it were there would be an upcharge, but she could ask. She was reluctant to do that and did not initiate a question to anyone. She then said that vanilla was the only option. I should have pressed her further to inquire with the manager. I did not. She was not willing to be helpful, and I was disappointed with that attitude. I chose not to have a dessert as a result.

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P
Pittsburgh
11 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

For return visitors, it's always nice to see and sample new menu items. Never disappointed. Always great service, and a pleasant experience. A great asset to the Carnegie Museum!

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m
Pittsburgh
11 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

The cafe tables and booths are comfortable and are positioned to give diners a view of the bustling intersection of Forbes and Craig and the museum fountain. It provides great people-watching! The floor to ceiling windows make it a bright space, but it still felt cozy on a winter morning. The menu is unique but not too far out there with reasonable portions. We went primarily due to a tour at the museum after, but we would return for brunch without a trip to the museum based on our experience.

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j
Minneapolis
9 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesom, as usual!!

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OT
Pittsburgh
10 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love this cafe and recommend it to all of my friends.

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MK
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

Loved the new look or redesign of the café. However, my dish of lamb chops and wheat berry salad was very bland. Absolutely no herbs to season either and the salad dressing was so lackluster- I would have used fresh rosemary and a hint of garlic with the lamb and made a highly seasoned salad dressing using fruity olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice or red wine vinegar and perhaps some chopped preserved lemon and a lot of parsley and a soupcon of harissa!!!!

The burnt almond cake seemed dry- not sure what all the fuss in pgh is about this cake. How about a lemon curd roulade?

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b
Pittsburgh
38 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 5

Beautiful space and decently-prepared food, but my friends and I were negatively surprised at the quality of the service. We had a reservation but waited 10 minutes for our table to be cleared and prepped, and another 15 minutes to order. Our server was curt and seemed annoyed by us. Would not likely return.

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BL
Pittsburgh
3 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 4ambience 5

When the Carnegie Cafe first made the conversion from cafeteria-style to sit-down dining style, the quality of the food was quite good. But it seems to have gone downhill considerably since then. For example, if you like the taste of frozen TV dinners from the 1960s, go for the chicken crepes. Otherwise, make another choice. Any other choice. Any other flavors that might have been the dish were completely masked by the overly-salted gravy. Very disappointing.

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P
Pittsburgh
11 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent place for Sunday brunch. Great menu and service. A perfect addition to a visit to the museums.

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RJ
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was festive and delicious for our family holiday lunch! The wait staff was beyond exceptional in all ways. Thank you for a wonderful day!

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

Disappointed with the lack of flexibility on an ingredient substitution. Wanted to swap out the salmon for bacon. They said no. Could omit the salmon and buy a side of bacon instead. The manner the policy was explained was curt and disinterested.
No one offered us dessert.
Service is always spotty at this restaurant. Food is usually good at least.

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JS
Pittsburgh
58 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a long overdue brunch at the Carnegie Cafe and were absolutely delighted. The menu selctions were original and interesting. Everything was well prepared and delicious. Service was friendly and prompt. Coffee was outstanding. I'll be going back soon. Prices were very reasonable. The only down side is the cost of parking. Don't use the museum lot. Park on Forbes or Craig street instead.

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D
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Wonderful way to start our visit to the museum. Great food and wonderful friendly service.

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SL
Pittsburgh
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was delicious and delightful!!

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