This is by no means a definitive list of dining in Pittsburgh, but should give you some pointers. We focused on neighborhoods near the venue; famous Pittsburgh establishments; and speciality eating concerns (vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free).
Refer to the Travel within Pittsburgh guide for hints on how to get to the mentioned neighborhoods.
The hotel is located in the Station Square neighborhood/complex on the South Side of Pittsburgh. The complex includes a large number of restaurants (http://www.stationsquare.com/info/restaurants). Many fall into the mid-priced chain variety, such as Hard Rock Cafe and Bucco di Beppo, though others are local. Grand Concourse is slightly higher end and noteworthy for its spectacular setting in a historic restored train station. It focuses primarily on seafood, but provides other options as well.
Primanti Bros (sandwich shop) $: famous for putting french fries on sandwiches. Not especially good for you, but definitely filling; certainly Pittsburgh’s most iconic food item. Multiple locations: Downtown, at Market Square; South Side, on East Carson St; Strip District
Pamela’s Diner (cash only) $: diner, famous for crepe-style pancakes. Multiple Locations: Squirrel Hill, Shadyside, Strip District, Millvale, Oakland, and Mt. Lebanon. Opens early (7 - 7:30); get there before 9:30 or so on the weekend to avoid the line.
Conflict Kitchen (Oakland) $: Window-serve counter in the plaza below the Cathedral of Learning; a collaborative art-food project that serves food and provides cultural education about a country with which the US is currently in conflict. Changes countries/themes bi-annually.
Fathead’s Saloon (South Side/E. Carson St) $-$$: Saloon to match the brewery in OH; excellent beer selection, great pub food, including a pierogie-kielbasa sandwich.
La Palapa (South Side/E. Carson St) $-$$: (BYOB) best Mexican in Pittsburgh.
Meat and Potatoes (Downtown) $$-$$$: “Gastropub” downtown, “elevated comfort food”, great cocktails. Reservations recommended but can be made online.
Tako (Downtown) $$-$$$: recently covered in the Washington Post and thus difficult to sit without a reservation; “inventive tacos”
6 Penn (Downtown) $$-$$$: Farm-to-table/American Bistro, especially nice when the weather is good because they have a rooftop seating area/bar.
Olive or Twist (Downtown) $$-$$$: Martini bar and restaurant in the heart of the cultural district.
Specialty Dining (Vegetarian and Gluten-free)
There exist many generally good restaurants that have large vegetarian selections, including Kaya, Avenue B, Smoke; Plum, China Palace, and Thai Cuisine have good vegetarian/vegan selections as well.
Note that Kaya, Casbah, Mad Mex, Eleven, Plum, Habitat, Eden, and Spoon are relatively nice and have good records in supporting gluten-free dining. Silk Elephant (Thai food, Squirrel Hill), Chaya (sushi), and Aladdin’s (Middle Eastern, Squirrel Hill) do as well.
Double-wide grille (E Carson St/South Side): good, meat-based BBQ alongside excellent vegan and vegetarian options; also provides gluten-free options.
Eden (Shadyside): Vegan, gluten-free, raw, allergy conscious. 100% gluten-free kitchen.
Spak Brothers Pizza (Bloomfield):
Square Cafe (Edgewood) does breakfast/brunch/lunch, and is vegetarian, vegan, and gluten friendly.