Opinion | The best dining deals for students around campus

By Kelly Xiong, Staff Columnist

Eating out can be a tricky situation for many students. While the restaurants on Pitt’s campus aren’t super expensive, the price of going out to eat or for drinks regularly adds up quickly and puts your budget in a deficit. 

Some restaurants on and near Pitt’s campus — ranging from Asian cuisine to Tex-Mex to American — offer deals that students can utilize. Here’s some of the best places to go out for food or drinks without breaking the bank. 

Viva Los Tacos

The deals at Viva are probably the most well known among Pitt students and definitely my favorite on this list. Located on Forbes Avenue, Viva offers discounted food deals Monday through Thursday, and happy hour from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

Every night after 9 p.m. the restaurant serves half-off frozen margaritas, which is probably its most popular deal and the reason why it’s always so busy during those hours — so get there early if you plan to take advantage of the offers. 

Viva also has a limited time seasonal margarita flavor that changes every few months and it’s also included in the discount, so it’s a worthwhile trip! It recently added seasonal shot pitchers to its list of drink options — a Hem’s dupe, if you will. 

Viva’s late-night food specials include half-off appetizers on Monday, $4 walking tacos on Tuesday, $12 bottles of wine and half-off wings on Wednesday and half-off all tacos on Thursday. 


Located on Forbes Avenue, Stack’d is a place most known for its burgers. It has happy hour Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., which also includes half-off appetizers along with drinks. I personally recommend its fried pickles.

Stack’d’s late-night specials run Monday to Thursday starting at 9 p.m. until close. It serves $7 chicken fingers on Mondays, half-off burgers on Tuesdays, $6 quesadillas on Wednesdays and half-off wings on Thursdays. 

Stack’d also sometimes has limited edition deals that it advertises with signs on its doors. It’s a great and fairly cheap place to go after a Pitt game.


Piada, also located on Forbes Avenue, offers a variety of fresh made pastas and wraps. It offers a 10% student discount when you order in store and show them your student ID. 

The Piada app also offers some really good deals that won’t really get advertised anywhere else. For example, on Valentine’s Day, it had a buy one get one free entree deal from 5 p.m. to close, which requires a promo code to redeem. 

It also has the $8 student meal deal on weekdays that goes until 5 p.m. It includes an entree and a drink. 

Whether you order in person or online, Piada will have some sort of deal or discount. 

Jolina’s 2

Located on Fifth Avenue, Jolina’s offers an extensive menu of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food such as Baba Ghanoush and a Mazza Platter. It offers 10% student discounts to those who present their student ID when ordering. 

The Milkshake Factory 

The Milkshake Factory, located on Forbes Avenue, features the Jake Shake — in partnership with Jake Guentzel from the Pittsburgh Penguins. Everytime Jake scores during a Penguins game, the Jake Shake becomes half-off the next day. The Jake Shake is a chocolate milkshake with hot fudge, crushed cookies and cream and brownie topped with a chocolate #59 — Jake’s number. From personal experience, this is definitely one of the best shakes the Milkshake Factory has. Sugar is addicting as it is, but this is on a whole different level. It’s a 10/10 for sure. 

Primanti Bros

Located on Forbes Avenue, Primanti’s is known for its “Pittsburgh-style” sandwiches that feature fries in the sandwich. If there’s one thing Pittsburghers enjoy, it’s fries on things that don’t usually go with them. 

Besides its famous sandwiches, Primanti’s also has great deals on its drinks. It has happy hour everyday where drinks are half-off. Monday to Thursday, happy hour goes from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. On Friday, it’s 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. On Saturday, it’s 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., so it’s a great pre-night outing spot to hit before your night on the town. The best part about the drinks is the little ducks they put in your drink — which you get to keep!

K-Town Snack Bar 

K-Town is a newer addition to Pitt’s plethora of food places around campus. It’s on Oakland Avenue, located between Fuel and Fuddle and Stack’d. K-Town is a Korean place that offers food such as Korean corn dogs and bulgogi — my go-to order. 

Quality Korean food can get pretty pricey, so K-Town is really doing everyone a favor by making its dishes affordable. Everything on the menu is under $10, and if you choose to pay via Venmo, you can get an additional 5% off. It may not be a lot, but over time, the savings add up. 

It currently doesn’t have a website up and running, so all updates and special deals and discounts are posted on its Facebook page. 

Kelly Xiong writes primarily about personal health and wellness. Write to her at [email protected].