Dining with the Coach: Ditka’s of Pittsburgh
Mike Ditka, “The Coach,” former coach of the Chicago Bears and analyst of ESPN’s Sunday Night Countdown, owns 4 restaurants. Two of the locations are in Illinois (downtown Chicago and Oakbrook Terrace). Another location is at the Vee Quiva Hotel and Casino in Laveen, Arizona. Mike and I noticed the Pittsburgh Ditka’s location while driving to our hotel.
We had originally planned on trying the original Ditka’s location in downtown Chicago. However, we just didn’t have the time on our trip to squeeze it in. I never even knew there was a location in Pittsburgh; I thought Chicago was the sole location. We just happened to pass by it and figured why not give it a shot since we missed our opportunity in Chicago. We were pleased with the ease of access compared to Chicago – no need to find a parking garage as it is located next to a mall.
A great Pittsburgh date destination
Inside the dining room is refined and elegant. Waiters are friendly, yet professional. The atmosphere is perfect for a romantic evening out or prior to attending an event in the city. This popular restaurant has won many awards, including the Wine Spectator’s 2013 Award of Excellence and 2012’s Open Table Diner’s Choice Award.
I was pretty nervous at first glance at the lunch menu. I couldn’t find any vegetarian entrees! Then, I was going to get the soup and salad special, only the soup of the day wasn’t vegetarian either! I finally decided to order the Half Sandwich & Salad combo. Pictured is a Caesar salad & Blackened Chicken and Avocado Wrap (minus the chicken).
To my surprise, the sandwich was absolutely delicious. They actually used romaine lettuce unlike most restaurants which use the cheaper iceberg alternative. The combination of lettuce, tomato, avocado, onions, cheddar jack cheese, and chipotle mayonnaise was actually quite appetizing.
Mike ordered the Natural Turkey Burger, a favorite which he can always count on. This healthier version, served on a whole wheat bun, included lettuce, tomato, red onion, Monterey jack cheese, and mustard mayonnaise to add the perfect seasoning.
The absolute best part of the meal was dessert! With so many tempting options like carrot cake, cheesecake, and flourless chocolate cake, it was hard to choose just one! We ended up going with the Flourless Chocolate Cake which I have always wanted to test out. The serving size was really small, however, the decadent, rich chocolate really satisfied my sweet craving more than enough.
Check out the full Ditka’s menu. The menu includes an assortment of salads, sandwiches, burgers, pasta plates, and house specialities including Chicken Piccata and Half Rack Baby Back Ribs. Limited vegetarian options include a Spinach Artichoke Dip appetizers, a few sides, and a veggie salad. Gluten-free items are marked as so on the menu.
I would definitely dine at Ditka’s again! The service, food, and atmosphere were all perfect.
Address: 1 Robinson Drive Pittsburgh, PA 15205
Hours: Monday-Thursday (11am-9pm), Friday (11am-9:30pm), Saturday (3pm-9pm), Sunday (10am-8pm)
UPDATE: As of 2023, only the Oakbrook and Pittsburgh locations are open.
Ditka coached the Chicago Bears to their 1985 Superbowl win.
He is one of 2 people to win a Superbowl as coach, assistant coach, and player.
11 years – the number of years Ditka coached the Chicago Bears.
Teams Ditka played for included the Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles, and the Dallas Cowboys.
Most recently, Ditka appeared as himself in the 2005 film “Kicking and Screaming” with Will Ferrell. There are some funny scenes with him interacting with Will Ferrell.
More to do in Pittsburgh
Also be sure to check out my guide to the best attractions in Pittsburgh.