One major complaint people levy against Pittsburgh is that there’s simply nothing to do.
Really? Maybe that’s because it’s easier to blame the ‘Burgh for its supposed shortcomings, than it is to seek out something to do. Either way, let’s just say that we disagree with the “nothing to do” argument. And to prove it we put together this list of unique Pittsburgh places that you’ve never been, but have to check out.
The team of creatives from deeplocal, an innovation firm based in the Strip District, had an idea (surprise!). They set out to create an after hours shared space of sorts – kind of like coworking, but for socializing. The result? A vacant lot turned members-only social club that offers an outdoor space for city dwellers to eat, drink and gather. BYOB to sip and BYOM (meat) to grill while kicking back in the backyard you’ve always wanted.
Bread and Salt
In a town known for Mancini’s bread, a new spot in Bloomfield is stealing the bread baking show. The spot is Bread and Salt. And Rick Easton is the baker behind the counter. If you’re lucky, you’ll actually get to taste his naturally leavened breads. Loaves of the Pane Casereccio (white flour loaf) or the Pane Antico (half whole-wheat loaf) have been flying off the shelves and selling out fast. But if you miss out on the bread, pray for pizza because Easton’s Roman and Neapolitan pies are pure perfection.<
Bar hopping in South Side or Shadyside? Been there, done that. Now it’s time to experience the quintessential Pittsburgh dive bar. That would be Gooski’s in Polish Hill. Bar food done right, a jukebox on blast and a crowd that cannot be explained, only experienced. If you’re craving an eclectic atmosphere, equally as interesting conversation or cross-section of the community, don’t pass on an evening in Polish Hill.
Back in the day, Pittsburgh was the epicenter of American whiskey production. Wigle is out to restore that tradition with its copper pot distillery, barrel house, whiskey garden, and award winning spirits including whiskey, gin and rum! Stop by for a tasting, tour, or during an event to experience (and sample) Wigle for yourself.
Daily Bread and Refresh
In a conjoined space on Penn Avenue in Garfield, Daily Bread hawks high-quality, limited quantity apparel and caps made from vintage fabrics, while Refresh supplies the one-of-a-kind and custom sneakers that complete the streetwear look. The space also serves as a party and performance venue for up-and-coming artists, fostering collaboration and conversation among a community of creatives redefining Pittsburgh’s fashion and music scenes.
Arsenal Cider House
If you’ve had your fill of subpar beer and are fed up with less than stellar bars, it’s time to head to Arsenal Cider House. Upon arrival you feel as though you’ve entered the home of a friend. A friend who is a Civil War buff. A Civil War buff who likes to brew cider in the basement. And as it turns out, that’s almost precisely what’s going on here. Back in 2011 Bill Larkin transformed the first floor of the space into a cider house. And recently they added an outdoor seating area, live music and food trucks.
If you’re looking to tinker with new technology, learn new skills or transform an idea into a new invention, Tech Shop is all of those things and more. It’s a community-based maker space featuring 16,000 square feet of cutting-edge tools, how-to classes and like-minded makers. And, if you’re thinking about stopping by, stay on the lookout for 21+ night – which, as you might imagine, brings people together around drinks and the desire to make something.
Row House Cinema
This small, 83-seat, single screen, community-based movie theater has a throwback vibe to go with the throwback movies they show. This isn’t the spot to see new releases. Row House is the place to go for cult classics and back-to-back marathon screening of multi-part movies from legendary directors like Alfred Hitchcock and David Lynch. Complete your movie-going experience with some fresh-made popcorn, the smell of which permeates the building, and a six-pack you can snag from the adjoining Atlas Bottle Works.
City of Asylum
Take a tour of this writer’s residence and sanctuary for scribes who were persecuted in their home countries. Or stop by the House Poem, another home purchased and converted into an artists asylum on Sampsonia Way, on Pittsburgh’s North side. It’s all part of City of Asylum, a non-profit that provides a broad range of free literary and arts programs to the community, including residency for exiled writers and Sampsonia Way online magazine, all of which encourage cross-cultural exchange.
Artist Randy Gilson has spurred a cultural renaissance in the central North Side. The centerpiece of this neighborhood overhaul is Gilson’s home – a three lot parcel he bought for ten grand on a credit card in 1996. Since then he’s transformed his home into Randyland – a vibrant, thriving and ever changing public art display.
Brew Gentlemen Beer Company
Make your way out to Braddock so you can pop into one of Pittsburgh’s newest breweries, The Brew Gentlemen Beer Company. This craft brewery and taproom is the creation of two college buddies who executed a successful Kickstarter, renovated an old electrical supply store and set out to push the limits of craft brewing. They’ve got plenty of beer and routinely invite members of Pittsburgh’s mobile food scene over to supply the eats.
This museum and bike store is the largest of its kind in the world. No kidding! You’ll completely understand how that’s possible when you walk through the doors. There are over 90,000 bike and parts on display, and on sale. Be on the lookout for one of a kind rides, vintage finds, and the coolest cycling-themed collection, well, anywhere.
This wood-fired, meat grilling, sandwich slinging shop is one of the top 100 places to eat in the entire United States. Yet somehow you’ve never been. Let us guess, when it comes to sandwiches, you’ve been sticking to the same old Primanti Bros sammie since…forever. Well it’s time for a change. So stop in to this tiny storefront that serves up massive meat sandwiches, like braised beef, chicken, chorizo or pork tenderloin, topped with avocado, corn and salsa.
Engine House 25
Quick! What do wine, baseball memorabilia and fire engines have in common? In this case, Engine House 25 has been home to them all. What was once a full-on fire house has been transformed, and magnificently restored, into a museum and winery. Baseball fans, and Pittsburghers alike, will gush over the collection of Clemente memorabilia displayed in a museum that bears Roberto’s name. In the same building, wine connoisseurs will be shocked and surprised to tour and taste the fruits of Winery 25 in the basement.
Pittsburgh Glass Center
On Penn Avenue in Pittsburgh’s East End this non-profit is creating, teaching and promoting glass art. The PGC is home to a state-of-the-art glass studio, public access school and art gallery where anyone can take a class, explore the contemporary glass gallery and watch live hot glass demonstrations.
Some people have called this place the go-to for the best home cooked, comfort food in all of Pittsburgh. Just who are these “people?” Oh, just Pittsburgh food authority Rick Sebak and the Food Network’s Andrew Zimmern. Yeah, they know a little something about good eats. Which is why you should listen when they say you should get to Rankin for the Ruben, fish sandwich and open face steak sandwich.
La Hutte Royal
Inside an unassuming home in Troy Hill is where you’ll find an all-consuming art installation that transformed what was a residence of squatters into permanent piece of artwork. German artist Thorsten Brinkman used walls, rooms, photographs, sculptures and videos to create a space where life and art melt into one. Schedule your tour by emailing email@example.com.