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Lili Café and Onion Maiden join forces for Liliput Coffee and Cafe

There’s a downright thrilling selection of vegan baked goods

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In April, Liliput Coffee and Café — a new collaboration between vegan pop-up restaurant Onion Maiden and Polish Hill’s Lili Café — opened inside Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ Oakland building. The name suggests something miniature, but Liliput is actually a larger project, both in scope and physical size.

Many menu items, like the kimchi rice bowl, punk toast and tofu banh mi, will be familiar to Lili regulars, and Onion Maiden’s Asian-fusion focus is the perfect complement: Its offerings include “Fresh Prince Rolls” (fresh rolls filled with rice noodles, carrots, beets, herbs and tofu) and the “Bill Nye Pasta Salad” (made with bowtie pasta: get it?).

There’s also a downright thrilling selection of vegan baked goods (think cinnamon rolls and Samoa-style cookies) as well as a full coffee bar.

A lack of foot traffic has hurt past businesses in the Filmmakers space (which formerly housed Orbis Caffé), but Lili owner Heidi Tucker explains that just the café’s spacious kitchen makes the additional location worth her while. The Onion Maiden folks have a place to cook for their pop-up events, and Tucker has a place other than Lili’s cramped kitchen to prep food. “Even if it’s slow, it’s helping Lili,” she says.

But judging from the steady crowd on a sunny Thursday afternoon, lack of business seems to be an unlikely problem. “We both have a fan base,” Tucker says. “We’re stronger together.”


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