Food

This Popular Local Diner was Almost Something Else

This local diner owner didn't let anything get in the way of opening his own restaurant.


Jim Totin is a tree of a man, focused (almost with tunnel vision) on his family and on quality food. After decades in the industry, he decided to open up his own fine dining restaurant in Wexford. But when the recession hit in 2008, he had to change gears. "You have to be adaptable," Jim says.

And so Totin's Diner blessed Pittsburgh, serving up fine diner options in a casual, affordable atmosphere.

Staying true to his culinary instincts, Totin pushes the limits of diner food, offering foodies of all kinds options like Chilean sea bass, crab cakes, prime rib, or even Maine lobster tails. "Just a few years back," he laughs, "we couldn't afford to bring in a lobster tail."

Today, Totin's Diner goes beyond bringing locals high-end options in a laid-back, family atmosphere, and supports their local school, church, and stays open most holidays for those who don't have a family to eat with. "There are a lot of people that turn to us to be their comfort food," Joanne Totin says, "because we cook like their wives used to or their moms used to, we really look forward to those moments."

Whether you're in the mood for eggs and bacon, or something a little fancier, Totin's Diner definitely impresses, and we can all take a page out of Jim's book: be adaptable, and eat great food.

photos courtesy of @mattsfoods, Yelp, and Totin's Diner.

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