When the clouds over Pittsburgh part and the sun shines on the Steel City, we drink outdoors.
And since the weather’s warming up, we didn’t want to get caught standing around on a sunny day with nowhere to (responsibly) enjoy an adult beverage (or five). So here are 50-some spots to consider. Now a lack of options isn’t the issue, deciding where you’ll go is your new problem. But hey, it could be worse.
Is there anything more perfect than a taco and cold brew on a hot day? We didn’t think so either. You can get both at Tako with their outdoor seating area. Plus, they keep the outdoor seating open to walk-ins, because we know how hard it is to get a reservation inside.
Butcher and the Rye
Like Tako, if you’re looking for dinner and a drink (okay, or just a drink) without a wait or fighting for a seat at the bar, Butcher and the Rye offers an outdoor seating area just for that reason. In the cooler months, they keep outdoor heaters near the seats, so even if it’s a little chilly, you can still get your Old Fashioned.
Il Tetto @ Sienna Mercato
The third-floor beer garden at Downtown’s Sienna Mercato is one of Pittsburgh’s premier rooftop bars. How’s that, you ask? Well, for one, the retractable roof is pretty sweet. So is the upscale bar food, as well as the 30 some draft beers, wine list and craft cocktails.
Meat and Potatoes
Located in the heart of the Cultural District, Meat and Potatoes always delivers on creative and classic cocktails. The only thing that can make these exceptional libations better is if you’re able to land a spot on their outdoor patio on a perfect summer day.
Pork and Beans
Like its neighbors (and sister restaurants) Meat & Potatoes and Tako, Pork and Beans has a few tables outside. They open their garage doors on warm days too, making it a mini-patio where you can enjoy one of their trashed-up 20s-themed cocktails. You might want to make a note of their Happy Hour too — $2 off drafts and the bar menu.
Biergarten @ Hotel Monaco
As if we weren’t already stoked on the opening of the Commoner at Hotel Monaco, the news of a rooftop beer garden really puts our excitement over the edge. This 88-seat open-air Biergarten on the 9th-floor rooftop offers 16 drafts and eats from The Commoner, as well as pub games like corn-hole and garden chess.
At Pizzaiolo Primo in Market Square, you can never go wrong with a fresh pie. But you can further elevate your experience by requesting a seat on the outdoor patio. This way you can enjoy your wine or cocktail while looking out onto the
Six Penn Kitchen
This is the original rooftop drinking spot in Pittsburgh. It’s situated among the skyline and surrounded by epic sights making it a great group hangout. So call your friends and reserve a cabana for a stellar rooftop lounge experience.
We’ve already told you about the rooftop of Sienna Mercato but don’t forget about the sidewalk tables at the Mercato’s sister restaurant, Sienna Sulla, in Market Square.
Sitting alongside Market Square, sipping a hurricane, listening to jazz music outside. Does it get any better than this? Why, yes it does. NOLA offers valet. Bonus.
No this ain’t South Beach, you’re still in da’ Burgh you silly yinzer you. It’s okay, you can pretend it’s South Beach. We won’t judge. All you need to do is snag a sidewalk table outside and ordering up a refreshing Key Lime Mojito. This downtown spot hosts a happy hour from 5-7pm on weekdays and a late night happy hour from 10pm to 12am on Saturdays.
Cocktails in the Strip District? If that sounds like something you could get into, then head to Bar Marco. In addition to award-winning eats and a no gratuity policy, you can enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine on their outside chillin’ area (our technical term for it).
More cocktails in the Strip District? Absolutely! Count us in too. After your visit to Bar Marco head down to Kaya for a Caribbean-themed concoction at one of their sidewalk tables.
Harp and Fiddle
After you spend Saturday morning shopping in the Strip, scoot around back at Mullany’s Harp and Fiddle Irish Pub. That’s where you’ll find a deck for sitting. Grab a seat on their deck and order a Black and Tan, a Guinness, or heck, a shot of whiskey.
If cocktails aren’t your style and you’re not feeling the Irish Pub vibe, head to Roland’s for a brew on the balcony or patio. Roland’s has a solid draft and bottle selection combined with a prime view of the always-bustling Penn Ave.
The Abbey on Butler
Maybe the best part of The Abbey is the sheer size of their outdoor patio. There’s also couches for lounging around, which is good for big groups. The other nice part about The Abbey is they have an extensive coffee bar, which is great if you’re with people who aren’t imbibing (or your DD!).
We might be giving up one of the best-kept secrets in Pittsburgh — Spirit’s cool, artsy, outdoor garden and patio area. There’s a bonfire and a cool old school bus to chill in. Would you expect less from Spirit?
On a nice night, you’re bound to run into someone you know on New Amsterdam’s rooftop bar — and for good reason. It’s super chill, there’s always great music, and the people-watching on Butler Street is always a good time.
Round Corner Cantina
The Cantina’s cocktails are uniquely flavored with freshly squeezed juices and ingredients. If you’re in search of a laid back vibe, look to land a sidewalk table out front. If it’s a party you’re after, head out to the patio out back.
This place is truly a hidden gem. It’s one of those places in Pittsburgh you have to get to if you’ve never been. Because in addition to a civil war inspired cider house, there’s a backyard-style space complete with picnic tables and the occasional food truck round-up.
Double Wide Grill
If you’re craving a backyard BBQ vibe with the eats to match, then make your way over to Double Wide Grill. The dog-friendly patio is packed with picnic tables and their draft list features over 40 craft choices.
When was the last time you went to happy hour at a library? Yeah, that’s what we thought. This is your chance to feel like you’re breaking all the rules from your school-age years, while having a drink in a spot with the decor, and menu items, to match the library namesake. Plus the patio provides the perfect warm weather escape.
Local Bar and Kitchen
If you’re feeling a little rambunctious, the rooftop bar at Local is right in your wheelhouse. Be on the lookout for the infamous yinzeritas, a fish bowl size margarita with an upside-down bottle of I.C. Light Mango stuck in the top.
When you’re finished dancing the polka and standing on the tables, or if you want to avoid that scene altogether, head around back at Hofbrauhaus. That’s where a much more chill crowd is kicking it riverside. Views of the Hot Metal Bridge and the Mon River make for a pretty stellar night.
Church Brew Works
As if the atmosphere at Church Brew Works weren’t enough to convince you to come by. And the pierogies didn’t put it over the edge. The two-story outdoor patio covered in hop vines is the last hope for you. Get your hands on their original ales and lagers in an outdoor setting as epic as their interior aesthetics.
Head to Silky’s Pub on Liberty Avenue in Bloomfield for neighborhood-corner-bar-kind-of-outdoor-drinking. No fuss no muss at Silky’s – good bar food, solid beer selection, chill crowd and outside sidewalk seating available.
Whether it’s the Strip District Distillery or the North Side Barrelhouse you can’t go wrong at Wigle. The Whiskey Garden on the North Side is a killer spot for cocktail lovers. Especially if you also happen to love supporting purveyors of products made in Pittsburgh.
BeerHead Bar and Eatery
The former Beer Market has a new life as BeerHead Bar and Eatery. The best part? Everything is mostly the same, including their patio. The menu is 25-pages long, so you can come back again and again and all summer and not have the same beer twice.
Looking for somewhere to enjoy a drink outdoors before or after a Pirates game? Well, Mullen’s is that place. Just across the street from PNC Park is where you’ll find this bar, complete with sidewalk seating, huge food portions, 16 drafts and even more bottles.
Bettis Grille 36
Listen, around these parts there are few things we love more than outdoor drinking. One of those things happens to be sports. The other is local sports celebrities. Roll them all together, and there you have Bettis Grille 36.
A big beer selection, big televisions and an even bigger patio make Rivertowne in the North Shore an ideal spot for sipping a drink while soaking up the sun and while relaxing, riverside. Stop by for happy hour, featuring $1 off drafts and mixed drinks 5-7pm Monday thru Thursday and 4-7pm on Friday.
Souther Tier Brewing
A newcomer to Pittsburghers brewing scene, Souther Tier set up its first satellite brewpub on the North Shore. Stop in to sample one (or all) of the 30 beers they have on tap or some eats from a single-page menu featuring Snacks & Apps, Sandwiches, and Burgers. Coming this summer, garage doors will open up into a 10,000 square foot beer garden!
East End Brewing Company
Not only does East End Brewing Company have a patio at their East Liberty location — it’s dog-friendly, too! There’s always a rotation of food trucks parked outside too so you can grab your brew, grab a bite, and hang with your best bud (your dog, of course).
If you don’t feel like fighting the masses for one of the few outdoor tables at a spot downtown, head to Shadyside — Tipsy Cow has plenty of room for all. You can often find us there on a sunny afternoon, drinking a pitcher of sangria with our friends.
You’re not a Pittsburgher unless you’ve booze outside on the sidewalk at Mad Mex on a summer day. You obviously should go for their Happy Hora which has draft beer and margarita specials. Pro tip: order their margarita of the month.
Score a sidewalk table off Walnut Street in Shadyside where outdoor sipping of the day drinking variety is encouraged. Champaign is just $4 a glass all day Thursday, and all wine bottles are half-price on Friday.
Social at Bakery Square
Here’s one really easy way to get over a case of the Mondays. Indulging in “Martini Monday” on the patio outside at Social. Why, you ask? Well, it’s Monday, there are tables outside and there are martinis. Anything else we can do for you?
Rooftop at BRGR
There’s one surefire way to ruin a perfectly good outdoor drinking day. We’ll give you a hint: rain, rain, go away. Listen up, don’t let gray skies get you do. When the clouds roll in, head to the covered rooftop deck at BRGR. Why yes, spiked milkshakes in the rain do sound delightful.
Kelly’s Bar & Lounge
Happy hour drink specials are always a good idea. And Kelly’s totally has that covered. But their happy hour snack specials are absolutely out of this world. As is the mac and cheese. But whatever you choose – eats, drinks or both – they’re best enjoyed on the outdoor patio.
Around these parts, Harris Grill is synonymous with a couple things: outdoor seating and baskets of bacon. Yes, baskets of bacon. It’s really hard to argue with a place that makes you feel like, not matter where you look, there’s outdoor seating, alcohol, and bacon.
The Porch at Schenley
After you’re through museum hopping in Oakland, and right before you get pop into Phipps Conservatory, make a stop at The Porch. It’s a primetime spot to sip and snack while looking out onto Schenley Plaza.
In the event that you find yourself on Mt. Washington, as opposed to the East Side, you’ll want to make Shiloh Grill, sister spot to Harris Grill, your outdoor drinking deck of choice. Sights of the city combine with copious amounts of booze, and yes, bacon too makes for one heck of a way to spend your evening.
The best place in Pittsburgh to sit outside and see the entire city? Um, that would be the Grandview Saloon. The outdoor terrace provided a panoramic view of Pittsburgh that you can’t get anywhere other than high atop Mt. Washington.
It’s worth the Uber ride out to Millvale to spend an evening drinking at Draai Laag. The outdoor patio is an Instagrammer’s dream with delicate string lights and they also serve food if you start to get peckish.
A couple of massive outdoor seating areas make Redfin Blues the perfect place to experience river living at its finest. Kick back and enjoy a beer on the dockside deck or river view patio while you watch the boaters go by on the Allegheny.
Grist House Brewing
You’ve never been, but you’re wondering what’s going on at Grist? Oh, nothing much. Just a couple of buddies, and brothers-in-law, who decided to open a brewery. Then, they put a deck on the brew pub and invite their food truck friends over. So, yeah, we’ll see you there.
OTB Bicycle Café North Park
On the patio at Over the Bar Bicycle Café in North Park, you can look out onto the lake, as you sip your drink, while you relax in a lounge chairs, around a fire pit. You could say it’s kind of like camping, but with running water, electricity, bathrooms and servers, too. Okay, it’s nothing like camping, but you get the point.
A winery in the city? No, not quite. But it’s not far off. It’s not far away either. This little gem is situated just North of the city, making for a perfect afternoon getaway. Once you arrive you can sip on some vino and enjoy some live music. You can even pack a picnic if you’d like.
Double Wide Grill – Mars
Just like its counterpoint in the South Side, the North Hills version of the Double Wide offers a great beer selection and an abundance of outdoor seating. One stop is all it takes to make this your favorite summer spot if you’re living or hanging out, north of the city.
Hal’s Bar and Grill
Friendly service and a welcome-to-the-neighborhood kind of feel make Hal’s a great spot for happy hour specials. Stop in Monday thru Friday from 5-7pm include $1 Off Drafts, $2 Domestics, $5 Martinis, and $5 House Wines.
Jergel’s Rhythm Grille
Any place with two patios has got to make the list of outdoor drinking spots. Of course, that’s not the only thing Jergel’s has going for itself. It’s also a happening music spot, featuring live music to go along with the drink list and outdoor seating.
You might not have thought about the South Hills being a weekend destination but then you haven’t thought about checking out Spoonwood Brewing. Sundays may be *the* day to make the trip out to Bethel Park — they serve an awesome boozy brunch on their patio.
The back patio of Il Pizzaiolo in Mount Lebanon promises to become your favorite spots to share a bottle of wine with a group of friends. The rustic atmosphere comes complete with lemon trees and a water fountain to go along with your piping hot pizza pie.
Here’s another suburban brewery supplying their own blend of beer and plenty of outdoor seating. The deck accommodates up to 50 folks who will find a menu full of small plates, local wines, hard ciders, house-made ginger ale, root beer and craft beer, of course.
You know you’re in the right place for outdoor drinks when there’s “over 15,000 square feet of open-air seating, bars, and tropical vibes.” The tropical vibe thing is a bit of a stretch since this place is in a strip mall. But Rumfish is as close to the tropics as Bridgeville will ever get.
Sharp Edge Creekhouse
With multiple locations all around town, the Sharp Edge is always a smart choice for beer connoisseurs. At the Creekhouse in Crafton, you can choose from 46 taps and over 250 bottles, all of which can be enjoyed on their outdoor deck.
Do you ever feel like your weekends are just the “same place, different day”?
Well, it’s time to change it up. And we have just what you need. There are so many places in Pittsburgh you never go — but should.
Whether you want to try some new food, check out an art installation, or just trade casual drinks for bowling and beers with your friends, get to these places in Pittsburgh.
Venture to the Mexican War Streets and see the wonder that is Randyland. Randy Gilson has been working on his 40ft mural and gardens— and rejuvenating the North Side — for over 20 years. Admission is free (but donations are welcomed!) and you can stop by any day to see his work for yourself between 1:00-5:30pm.
Maggie’s Farm Rum
Who would have thought Pittsburgh would be a producer of some of the best rum you’ve ever tasted? You only need to go as far as the Strip District — not the Caribbean — to taste some of their delicious rum-based cocktails.
Change up your evening plans by heading to Arsenal Bowling on Butler Street. They have specials every night of the week, including 80s and 90s-themed night on Thursday. Oh, and college students — they have $0.50 drafts on Tuesdays. Just don’t forget your socks!
Did you know that one of the major astronomical research institutions of the world was located right here in Pittsburgh? While the observatory is actually owned by the University of Pittsburgh, they offer free tours (but call for a reservation!) every Thursday from April through the end of October.
Bantha Tea Bar
Adding to the development of Penn Avenue is the addition of Bantha Tea Bar. Tea lovers can warm up during the frothy months at Bantha with a cuppa and free wifi. Have non-tea drinking friends? They offer coffee and an assortment of pastries as well.
Women of Pittsburgh, you have a new maker space to call home. While the studio works on a membership model, prototype offers drop-in nights where for a $5 suggested donation ladies can meet other members, work on their own projects, drink coffee, or just use their wifi. They offer just about every craft tool you could dream of, from 3D printers, to screen printers, to power tools and smoldering irons.
Center for PostNatural History
You’ve been to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History but we’re almost certain you haven’t been to the Center for PostNatural History. What’s PostNatural History you ask? It’s for organisms that have been modified by humans, whether for science, taste selection (honeycrisp apples, anyone?), or careful breeding. This Penn Avenue science hotspot is open on Sundays from 12-4pm and on the first Friday of every month from 6-9pm.
Murals of Maxo Vanka
Croatian artist Maxo Vanka painted a series of 25 murals in the St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church in Millvale. Painted between 1937 and 1941, Vanka’s murals are larger-than-life depictions of the immigrant experience in America, social justice, and war. Pair this visit with a trip to Grist House brewing while you’re in the neighborhood.
Banjo Night at the Elks
You’ll never look at Wednesday nights the same again after going to Banjo Night at the Elks in the North Side. Every week they have *free* rehearsals and sing-a-longs that are open to the public, along with hot food and beverages for sale. Banjo Night is popular so be sure to call and make a reservation so you don’t miss out.
Whether you want to learn how to pickle, sew, or build a succulent garden, Workshop PGH has a class to teach you how. Their classes focus on low-fi crafts and skills you can replicate at home. Plus, it’s BYOB if you weren’t convinced you needed to go.
William Penn Speakeasy
Hidden in the William Omni Penn Hotel is William Penn Speakeasy, a step back into the 1920s. You can sip on Prohibition — and Pennsylvania — inspired cocktails while lounging on the plush scarlet seating. This might just become your new date-night spot.
While it seems like there’s a new brewery popping up every day in Pittsburgh, if you haven’t checked out Grist House in Millvale, you need to change that ASAP. The brewery is filled with character — the taproom overlooks the brew system and there is an all-season deck and beer garden that doesn’t limit outdoor drinking to just the summer months.
Dancing Gnome Brewery
Cool name, cooler neighborhood, better beer. No, Dancing Gnome isn’t in Lawrenceville. But if you’re paying attention, the hype around this hop-forward brewery and its Sharpsburg location is growing. Join the crowds hanging out in the taproom, enjoying the industrial space, sampling what’s on tap, and snacking on food truck eats.
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.
Arsenal Cider House
The weather is about to get nice again and you’ll be seeking out outdoor drinking spots. Arsenal Cider has one of the coolest outdoor drinking spaces in the city. You can even grab some of your favorite Lawrenceville grub to go and bring it to Arsenal to snack while you drink on their house-made ciders, meads, and fruit wines.
Row House Cinema
This small, 83-seat, single screen, 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 Bierport.
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.
Brew Gentlemen Beer Company
Brew Gentleman is worth the Uber ride out to Braddock. Their craft beers are some of the best in Pittsburgh and they have a rotating roster of food trucks on the weekends for all of your snacking needs.
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.
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.
Winter is on the way, but things are heating up in Pittsburgh thanks to November’s event line up.
You’ll have your choice of beer-themed festivals, art shows and, of course, Light Up Night. Stop by the PGH Vintage Mixer or the Freaky Flea & Offbeat Craft Fair at Spirit to pick up some one-of-a-kind gifts.
But don’t forget to treat yourself! Head to the Carrie Furnace Winter Warmer, the Brewtal Beer Fest, or another one of these events that’ll have you eating, drinking, and dancing all month long.
CRAFTED 2016 @ Contemporary Craft
How often do you think about the bowl you slurp cereal from, or the mug you use for your precious coffee? CRAFTED 2016 aims to take your everyday dining utilities and elevate them to pure art. You’ll get the chance to check out work from over 30 artists around the world, and, of course, there will be food and drink available. Plus, it’s time to get started on holiday shopping, and you’re not planning on putting that off until the last minute again… right? It’s a perfect opportunity to pick up some cool gear for a friend and even yourself. Nov. 4
Up and Comin’: Musicians’ Showcase @ Ace Hotel
There’s only one thing we love more than hanging out at the Ace Hotel, and that’s hanging out at the Ace Hotel while jamming to the coolest up-and-comers in the Pittsburgh music scene. The winners of a local music competition, including Half Spring, Tek Bennet, and Lights La Soul, will be playing a can’t-miss show in the ballroom and lobby bar. Afterward, stick around to catch a DJ and get your dance on. If you’re worried about the health of your wallet with the holidays approaching, you’re in luck — the event is free. Nov. 4
Winter Warmer @ Carrie Furnace
Sometimes the only way to beat the cold-weather blues is with a glass of delicious, perfectly brewed beer. Carrie Furnace is about to kick off your winter in the best way possible: a festival featuring 35 of the top breweries in the surrounding area. From hearty stouts to IPAs, every kind of beer will be represented, and we’re pretty sure you’ll want to try them all (responsibly, of course). If you get hungry, grab some food from Pittsburgh Smokehouse, Voodoo Foodoo, and more. And yes, there will be pumpkin beer. Nov. 5
Pancakes & Booze Art Show @ Spirit
Art! Pancakes! Dancing! There’s no way you’ll want to miss out on Pittsburgh’s biggest underground art show at one of our favorite venues in the city. Dozens of artists will be showcasing their fascinating work in a variety of mediums, and who knows — you might even end up taking something home for that bare space on the wall above your couch. You can even BECOME art, as there will be body painting, as well as a DJ and a free (read it again, free) pancake bar. Nov. 5
PGH Brewtal Beer Fest @ Spirit
You might be wondering if Pittsburgh can even fit any more awesome festivals into the lineup. Brewtal is your answer: the metal-and-punk-centric beer festival curated by the owners of Spoonwood and Rock Bottom is about to up the fest game just in time for the tail end of fall. Come rock out to some live local bands and taste a variety of limited-edition beers. In fact, four of the band have collaborated with four different breweries to offer you some truly unique — and brutal — brews, and after tasting, don’t forget to vote on your favorite. Nov. 6
On November 6th, 1916, Harry Houdini performed a very dangerous stunt at the corner of Liberty Avenue & Wood Street in downtown Pittsburgh. Now 100 years later, Lee Terbosic, Pittsburgh’s magician extraordinaire, is preparing to recreate the performance. Lee will hang upside down while escaping from a straightjacket before a captivated crowd of onlookers. Make your calendar and spread the word about this free event. Nov. 6
Freaky Flea & Offbeat Craft Fair @ Spirit
Halloween might be over, but that doesn’t mean that the spooky fun has to dissipate just yet. The Freaky Flea & Craft Fair offers you the perfect chance to get your friends and family some of the most unique crafts, jewelry and clothing that the ‘Burgh has to offer. Combining music, rare books, collectibles, and other trinkets, there’s no way you won’t be the star of every holiday party you attend. And there will be brunch. Need we say more? Nov. 13
Homebrewers Competition @ Wigle Whiskey
Haven’t had enough beer yet? Stop down to Wigle Whiskey mid-month to catch some more beer tasting — this time, it’s all homemade. Pittsburgh beer crafters and enthusiasts are encouraged to enter their creations into the competition and tasting, and attendees get to reap the rewards. You’ll get to try some unique, ultra-small-batch brews that you can’t grab on draft at your favorite bar. Plus, Evil Swine BBQ will be catering, and there’s no better companion for a beer than some hot barbecue. Nov. 13
3 Rivers Film Festival
Attention all movie lovers: Pittsburgh’s four-day, ultra-fun film festival is gearing up, and if you want to be the first to set eyes on indie and international films, this is your chance. You won’t catch these flicks at the local Cineplex. Afterward, local filmmaker Evan Wolfson will be holding a Q&A about his same-sex marriage documentary The Freedom to Marry. There’s even live music — the Alloy Orchestra will be performing alongside a silent film on the 19th. Nov. 16-20
Light Up Night 2016 @ Downtown
It’s not really the holiday season until Light Up Night hits Downtown Pittsburgh. Bundle up and gather your friends and family together to celebrate the beginning of all things festive, including music, food, pop-up markets, and a variety of fun games and activities. This year, the night will feature a light installation on the Rachel Carson Bridge as well as the traditional tree-lighting. Later, all you have to do is look up to catch the dazzling array of fireworks — Zambelli’s, of course. Nov. 18
PGH Vintage Mixer @ Spirit
The Steel City has so much to offer when it comes to vintage clothing and wares. With new vintage shops opening up and current shops curating their collections to perfection, it’s certain that this winter’s Vintage Mixer will be absolutely spectacular. Spend the day sifting through the decades and you’ll be able to find some truly unique pieces to wear and treasure. Vendors will include Highway Robbery, ARTica, and Retro on 8th. Later, there will be food available and a DJ so you can dance the day away. Nov. 19
50 Years of Hockey in PGH @ Heinz History Center
Here in Pittsburgh, hockey is serious business. If you want to learn more about the Penguins, you won’t want to miss this retrospective and panel. It features a Post-Gazette photography exhibit of Pens pics throughout the years, followed by a panel including PG writers and photographers. Hockey legends David Morehouse, Mike Lange and more will be speaking as well. Afterward, you’ll have free access to the Western PA Sports Museum. The event is free — all you have to do is register online. Nov. 28
Stage AE is heating up the ‘Burgh this month. On the 4th, Troye Sivan will take the stage and keep you dancing all night. Tegan and Sara will also be visiting the venue on the 5th. Comedy fans will be thrilled to know that Lewis Black will be at the Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead on the 12th, and rap darlings Atmosphere will be at Stage AE on the 18th.
You could say that fall in Pittsburgh is the best time of the year. And the October event outlook pretty much backs you up here.
Whether you want to eat your weight in tacos or barbeque, bust out your best costume, or hunt for ghosts at a historic steel mill, Pittsburgh has exactly what you’re looking for. If none of those pique your interest, you’ll have your choice of concerts, music festivals, and Halloween-themed bashes to choose from.
Trust us when we tell you, it doesn’t get much better than this.
Pittsburgh Taco Festival
There are few things we love more than tacos, and we can’t wait for Pittsburgh’s first annual Taco Festival. Head on down to Hop Farm Brewing early this month to get your fix of one of the best foods ever, with help from over 25 vendors. There will be live music and taco-themed activities, too. Tacos over everything! Oct. 2.
Maker Night @ Spool
If you pick up your knitting needles or embroidery thread when the cool autumn air rolls in, you can settle in for a night of cozy fun at Allentown’s new sewing shop. You’ll have a chance to meet some other crafters and even have some drinks — it’s BYOB. Best of all, it’s free and anyone of any skill level is encouraged to check it out. Oct. 6.
Nightmare on Ellsworth
Ellsworth Avenue will transform into Hellsworth with the help of 96.1 Kiss FM and special guest, pop singer Zara Larsson. If you’re looking to get some Halloween scares on a limited budget, great news: the event is free. There will be lots of live music and, of course, dancing. If you decide to go VIP, you’ll gain access to the Super Scary VIP Tent, including complimentary cocktails. Oct. 7.
The coolest festival in the ‘Burgh is coming to Ace Hotel and other satellite spots around the city. Catch great acts like Empress Of and Juliana Huxtable, but music is only one part of this festival. You can participate in a virtual reality salon, join a synthesizer workshop, or check out a series of exhibitions at venues like the Bunker Projects and Roboto. Oct 6-9.
Ghost Hunt @ Carrie Furnace
There’s no better time than the spookiest month of the year to head out on a ghost hunt. Ghosts N’at Paranormal Adventures offers you the chance to head down to the massive abandoned furnace in search of a true ghostly experience. Participants are encouraged to bring flashlights, cameras, voice recorders and an adventurous spirit. Oct. 8.
PGH Abides @ Spirit
The spirit of The Dude is coming to Pittsburgh for the fourth year in a row. Abide with him through a citywide scavenger hunt, an indoor zipline, live music, and, of course, a movie screening. Spirit will be transformed into a haven of everything Big Lebowski, and you won’t want to miss out on the fun. There’s even a station to practice your golf swing. Oct. 8.
Smoketoberfest @ Roundabout Brewery
There’s no shortage of food-centric festivals in Pittsburgh, but Smoketoberfest promises to take it up a notch with all the best smoked foods around. If you come down to 49th Street, you’ll find cuisine from Gaucho, Blowfish BBQ, Butcher on Butler and more, including a number of specialty brews. You can dance off the calories afterward, as tunes from Chrome Moses and others will be provided live. Oct. 9.
Are you a creator? Then Pittsburgh Maker Faire will be an awesome two-day dive into the world of art, science, technology, and community. Maker Faires, which are held all over the world, offer a chance to celebrate craftsmanship and creativity, and this year, the ‘Burgh’s chapter will focus on innovation. Stop down to Buhl Community Park for a weekend of art, performances, and inspiration. Oct. 15-16.
A Few Bad Apples Ciderfest
Nothing screams “fall” like hot apple cider. Get warmed up with hard cider from local brewery A Few Bad Apples and gather around the fire with your friends and some blankets. The event will feature food trucks, a build-your-own-’smores bar and live local music. The air may be crisp, but the cider is crisper and you’ll realize that it’s just as much fun to spend time outside in late fall. Oct. 21.
Haunted Museum: Year of the Vampire
After-dark parties at the Carnegie Museum are always a good time — there’s nothing like sharing cocktails with your friends and a few errant dinosaurs. This month, though, it’s about to get a whole lot scarier. The vampire-themed event will mix fascinating displays about real-life vampiric creatures and creepy Scarehouse bloodsuckers hiding in unexpected corners. Get your ticket now… if you dare. Oct. 22.
Pumpkin Fest 5
If you’re in the mood for some pumpkin beer (yes, please!) and a sampling of Pittsburgh’s best food trucks (obviously!), head to Homestead for Pumpkin Fest 5. Underneath the Homestead Grays bridge, you’ll find more than 20 pumpkin beers, food trucks, and live music. Not a fan of pumpkin beer (apparently that’s a thing)? No worries, there will be fall-themed cocktails, festive punch, and cider for your boozing pleasure. Cheers to that! Oct. 8.
Night of 1000 Elvises
The Warhol’s second annual fundraiser is ready to get you all shook up. We don’t know if there will actually be 1,000 Elvises, but with all the attendees in costume, the number will certainly be close. Everyone’s encouraged to dress up as the King of Rock, and famous impersonator El Vez will be leading the show. Every floor of the museum will be open to explore and there will be a dance floor, food, cash bars and, of course, Elvis-inspired temporary tattoos. Oct. 22.
October Concerts & Comedy
Violinist and indie musician Andrew Bird will be playing the Byham on Oct. 8. Rap duo Rae Sremmund will be at Stage AE on Oct. 24. Comedian Louis CK will be cracking showgoers up at the Petersen Events Center on Oct. 21.
As the leaves start to change and the air (hopefully) starts to cool, Pittsburgh is back at it again with another batch of fun, creative, and intriguing events. This month it’s all about the art, music, and beer. You’ll have the chance to rock out with the Chainsmokers, grab a beer at the zoo, and hunt for clues (and cash prizes) in the Strip District.
Thrival isn’t any ordinary music festival. It features lively, smart presentations on subjects like technology, sustainable food, culture, and entrepreneurship, as well as a litany of awesome bands. This year, you’ll be able to get your groove on with featured bands the Chainsmokers, CHVRCHES, and Thievery Corporation. Sept. 20-24.
Festival of Combustion @ Carrie Furnace
Have you ever thought about blacksmithing? How about glassblowing? If so (and even if not), this is your big chance. Despite the explosive name, this festival is extremely family-friendly, and promises to be fascinating and fun. Try firing some ceramics or casting a design in iron while rocking out to local band The Bessemers. Sept. 3.
Re:NEW Festival @ Downtown
With a focus on sustainability, reuse and ecology, the Re:NEW Festival provides a chance to take a look at art from a new perspective. During the month-long fest, you’ll get to visit the North American premiere of Drap-Art, an international festival that showcases pieces of art made from found and recycled materials. But that’s not all — there will be music, workshops, film, performances and, of course, many exhibits. Sept. 9-Oct. 9.
ZooBrew: Oktoberfest @ Pittsburgh Zoo
This is your chance to become a true party animal. Head on down to the Pittsburgh Zoo for great music, great food and all your favorite craft beers while you socialize with your friends, two-legged and four-legged alike. Make sure you get your ticket now, as tickets are limited. Sept. 9.
Mexican War Streets House & Garden Tour
Take a stroll through one of Pittsburgh’s most breathtaking neighborhoods to check out one of its most compelling charms — the colorful homes of the Mexican War Streets. If you find yourself getting a little thirsty or in need of a snack, there will be plenty of vendors and food trucks waiting for you. It’s the perfect opportunity to get some fresh air and feast your eyes on some exceptional architecture and greenery. Sept. 11.
Silk Screen Film Festival
If you enjoy movies and learning about different cultures, this is the festival for you. It places a spotlight on Asian and Asian-American contributions to arts, history and, of course, film. Movies shown will be from Japan, China, Turkey, Lebanon and many other countries. Food will be plentiful as well. Sept. 16-25.
Search & Sip in the Strip @ Bayardstown
It’s time to break out your deerstalker and your magnifying glass, because the Strip District has a mystery set up for you this fall. Work alone or partner with a friend in order to search for clues and solve puzzles throughout the area, and if you win, you’re in luck, because the first prize is $500. Afterward, don’t forget to stop at the Bayardstown afterparty featuring drinks by the East End Brewery and treats from Millie’s Ice Cream. Sept. 17.
Clemente Fundraiser @ Clemente Museum
Give back to America’s favorite pastime this fall by attending the Clemente Museum’s 6th annual fundraiser. The museum, most notably featuring artifacts centered around legendary Pirate Roberto Clemente, will be showcasing brand new exhibits, and there will be food and Engine House wines available. Sept. 17.
Cultural District Gallery Crawl
We always encourage you to stop down at the quarterly gallery crawls held by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, and this is no exception. Come spend an evening basking in creativity as you wind your way through the coolest art galleries in the downtown sector. As always, the crawl is followed by the Night Market, a pop-up showcase of crafts, food, and drinks. Sept. 23.
After Hours: Books First @ Carnegie Library of Oakland
Many of your favorite Netflix shows sprang from equally awesome novels, and the Carnegie Library aims to show you that reading is just as much fun as binge-watching. Meet up with other literary fans and sample themed drinks from Full Pint Brewing, Wigle Whiskey, and Rock Bottom Brewery. There will also be live music from some great local bands, and plenty of cool activities. Sept. 30.
Bruce Springsteen and his band will be visiting Consol Energy Center on Sept. 11. Longtime indie favorites Yo La Tengo will be at the Carnegie Music Hall of Oakland on Sept. 14, and our very own Mac Miller will be at Stage AE on Sept. 18.
Summer might be winding down, but the list of things to do in PGH keeps growing. August has a lot in store, including festivals, free movies, great food, and cutting-edge art. This month is all about the music – Feastival, R.A.N.T., and the Regatta will have you dancing the days (and nights) away.
Make sure you clear your calendar because you will definitely want to make it to every event on this list.
Downtown Rooftop Shinding @ Theater Square Garage
Kick off the month the right way by catching an old favorite flick while enjoying cocktails. An outdoor screening of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off will be held downtown at the top of the Theater Square Garage, and it’s free, too. Of course, you’ll have to pay up for the great food and drinks offered. You’ll even have the chance to hear some live music. August 3.
3 Rivers Regatta @ Point State Park
As the event website says, “You gotta regatta.” Everyone in the ‘Burgh should be excited for a weekend full of dragon-boats, live local bands, DJs, sports, and a variety of food, drinks, and dancing. There’s no better way to spend some time outside with your family and friends. Plus, can you really turn down a chance to check out an event called “Frisbee Dogs?” August 5-7.
Feastival @ McKees Rocks
Get down for a good cause this August in McKees Rocks for the annual Feastival, where you can grab some grub from all your favorite food trucks and dance the day away. Feastival, which aims to revitalize McKees Rocks and showcase its business district, will feature live music from Dumpstaphunk, Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds, and more. And, of course, there will be plenty of beer. August 6.
Creatives Drink 6 @ Ace Hotel
Are you an artist, writer, musician or otherwise creation-driven person? Come down to the Ace Hotel this August to meet some like-minded individuals for drinks and exciting discussion. The event is co-hosted by Chancelor Humphrey, the man behind the popular Instagram account @KeepPittsburghDope. August 11.
Rock All Night Tour @ Lawrenceville
If you like your live music with a side of neighborhood exploration, the R.A.N.T. tour is just the event for you. Dozens of bands offering a multitude of genres will be playing Belvedere’s, Nied’s Hotel, Arsenal Park and all the rest of your favorite Lawrenceville haunts. Local vendors will be offering all sorts of can’t-miss items, and there will be lots of delicious food for you to enjoy while you take in the music. August 12-14.
Reception for Dennis Maher @ Mattress Factory
Head down to one of the coolest museums in Pittsburgh to celebrate some brand-new work from artist Dennis Maher. Maher uses a blend of art and architecture to make pieces that will astonish you, and this is your chance to see it first. Even better, the event is totally free, and all are welcome. August 12.
Corn Roast @ Bayardstown
Bayardstown Social Club is a great place to kick back with a brew and some friends while listening to live music every Friday. Now, they’re hosting their second annual Corn Roast, so get ready for some of the most delicious – and unlikely – cob creations you’ll ever set eyes on. Toppings include parmesan, cojita, bacon and sauces. August 17.
Little Italy Days @ Bloomfield
Join the Steel City’s Italian community for a weekend of mouth-watering food, family-friendly events, culture and, of course, bocce. In fact, there will be a local celebrity bocce challenge with Donnie Iris, who will be playing a show at the festival. A Miss Little Italy pageant, an Italian Idol event and music provided by classic tribute bands will all be part of the celebration. August 18-21.
Do you love biking? Then you better not miss BikeFest 2016, a fundraiser for the immensely popular BikePGH that’s full of themed rides, food, music and lots of fun. The two-wheeled extravaganza kicks off with a dance party, and you can expect to see cool new takes on bike rides like the Coffee Cruise, a tour of the Allegheny Cemetery and even a Pokemon Go-themed ride. August 19-28.
Corks & Kegs Festival @ Meadows Casino
We can’t deny it – craft beer is in right now. It’s delicious, refreshing and comes in so many different varieties. At the Corks & Kegs festival, you’ll be able to sip your way through drinks provided by your favorite breweries, including Spoonwood, the Church Brew Works, and Voodoo Brewery. When you get hungry, you can take a stroll down the festival’s Food Truck Row. The event is free to enter, but if you want some drinks, you’ll have to buy a drink ticket. August 21.
2016 Burger Bash @ South Side Works
Burgers are simple, right? Wrong! Burgers can be culinary works of art, and a collaboration of chefs, celebrity guest judges, and local vendors are coming together for a massive burger-related celebration to show you just how awesome they can be. Live music and beer will both be plentiful, and all proceeds go to Biggies Bullies and Girls’ Hope of Pittsburgh. August 20.
Nick Offerman & Megan Mullally @ Benedum Center
The uproariously funny duo will be bringing their act to the ‘Burgh for their “Summer of 69: No Apostrophe” tour, and if you want to catch it, you better grab your ticket now. The Emmy Award-winning pair will be hitting the Benedum later this month, and nobody can say for sure just what’s in store for the show. August 21.
Sunshine and rooftop bars aren’t the only reason to get excited about summer. Here in Pittsburgh, we’re celebrating the change in seasons with a bunch of exciting activities, from music festivals to fascinating forums and plenty of reasons to get outside. Your social calendar will be slammed after taking a look at our masterlist of the best events in the city this June.
Penn Brewery’s Microbrewers’ Fest
We love Penn Brewery, and we’re definitely looking forward to celebrating its 30th birthday at this beer-and-cheer soaked festival. The retro-themed party will kick off at 5 p.m., featuring WDVE personalities Jimmy & Steve, a multitude of great eats and, of course, lots of beer. In fact, samplings from over 25 different breweries will be available, so make sure to plan for an Uber or bring a DD along for the fun. June 4.
3 Rivers Arts Festival
There’s no better way to begin your summer than by catching rays, checking out the annual artists’ market and listening to great bands curated by WYEP. This year, your Arts Festival week will include a mobile sculpture project, a salon featuring the latest in art and technology combined and tunes provided by IBEYI, Margaret Glaspy and Beth Orton. Trust us, you won’t want to miss it. June 3-12.
Community Day & Public Opening: Andy Warhol & Ai Weiwei
Anyone who has an eye on the art scene knows that the Ai Weiwei exhibition at the Andy Warhol Museum is an event to get excited about. If you’re feeling cautious about your budget this month, worry no more, because the Warhol is offering free admission to the opening this Friday. Throughout the day, visitors will be invited to participate in all kinds of activities, including a gallery talk and even a chance to make their very own art. For those of us who like to stay up late, DJ Pandemic will be spinning live tunes at the end of the evening. June 3.
Gamma Pickleball Classic
Okay, you got us – we didn’t know what pickleball was, either. But now that we know, we would like to share it with you, and exhort you to visit the David L Lawrence Convention Center next month to enjoy a couple rounds of a ping-pong-like sport featuring a ball the color of a (you guessed it) pickle. It’s for a good cause, too – the Classic will benefit the Parkinson Foundation. June 3-5.
LGBTQ+ Youth Prom
The thought of prom usually conjures up images of school cafeterias draped in streamers, awkward handshakes with your date’s parents and questionable catering, right? Not anymore. This year, members of the LGBTQ+ ages 13-20 are cordially invited to a formal dance at the Andy Warhol Museum for only $10 apiece. The theme, There’s No Place Like Candyland, leaves a lot of options open for attire choice. June 4.
Grind Mode Music Fest
Join the launch of a hip new music distribution service at Market Square early this June and be prepared to dance until you drop. Live music, live DJs, presentations and spoken word performances will all be a part of the mix. Every genre will be represented, so there’s no excuse to miss out. Plus, there will be lots of vendors selling art, trinkets and, of course, food. June 4.
Yoga in the Square
Our very own FittPGH has partnered with the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership to create free hourlong yoga classes in Market Square on summer Sundays at 10 a.m. Classes are designed for every level, so you won’t feel left out if you can’t quite get to your toes yet. There’s no better place to practice a sun salutation than in the sun, so bring your mat, your cutest fit gear and your friends and take advantage of these complimentary events. Starting June 5.
If you’re always hungry for the latest updates on technological advances, but reading articles by yourself isn’t quite enough anymore, Cafe Scientifique has you covered. Spend an evening at the Science Center this June taking part in a fascinating forum on the subject of the universe and its future, led by cosmology professor Andrew Zentner. Food and drinks will be available, and yes, some of those drinks will be of the alcoholic variety. June 6.
Lights, Camera, Pittsburgh! Movie Tour
As we all know, Pittsburgh has become a major Eastern hub for movie settings and production – just ask the horde of people snapping pictures of Aaron Paul wandering downtown several years ago. If you’re a movie buff, this detailed tour of every spot in the ‘Burgh haunted by big-screen names will be a treat. See how filmmakers turned our very own Steel City into the backdrop for The Dark Knight Rises, Flashdance, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and many, many more. June 11.
Kennywood: Behind the Screams
Kennywood is one of the most beloved symbols of summer fun in our city. Author Brian Butko loves it, too, and will be launching his book about the history of the the theme park at the Senator John Heinz History Center this month. If you purchase a ticket for this historical ride, expect a fascinating talk by the author and Rick Sebak, Kennywood-themed games and a scavenger hunt throughout the building. June 12.
Crafts & Drafts: Bow Ties
If you want to look dapper for a night out, consider stopping by the Society for Contemporary Craft for an evening this month, where Nisha Blackwell of Knotzland will help you create your very own bow tie. She’ll also go over the basics of fiber and fashion, so if you’re looking for a style upgrade with a DIY twist, make sure you don’t skip this event. June 17.
Mattress Factory Garden Parties
Even if you don’t have a particularly green thumb, you can still come on down to the Mattress Factory to enjoy its two annual garden parties. The Urban Garden Party will be chaired by Bill Peduto this year, and the theme is Light Up the Night. Shortly after, the museum will host its Community Garden Party, where guests can expect a free day of performances, exhibits and activities. June 17 and 19.
Heroes & Inspirations: Symphony Concert
What’s better than a symphony performance celebrating superheroes, teachers, astronauts and other inspirational figures? A symphony performance that is designed especially for those with autism spectrum disorders, sensory disorders and other disabilities. At the end of this month, the exciting and inclusive Heroes & Inspirations symphony will be performed at Heinz Hall and is open to all. Special guests include artist Marcel Walker and astronaut Jay Apt, so get your tickets now. June 25.
Open Streets Pittsburgh
At the end of the month, a 3.5 mile stretch of Pittsburgh city streets will be closed off to traffic, so you can enjoy running, walking, biking, skating and shopping in the sunshine without any hindrance. Even better, it’s totally free! Explore all the way from downtown to the Strip District with fresh eyes with your whole crew. It’s the perfect opportunity to brush the dust off that bike and finally get around to filling that picnic basket. June 26.
Music in June
Live music and sunshine, two of our favorite things. And this month’s lineup of shows will have every would be concert-goer wondering how many acts they can catch. We’re already mentioned a few, but you’ll probably want to add some of these to your can’t-miss concert list:
Weather Permitting at Shadyside multiple weekend in June. Ray LaMontagne at Stage AE on June 12. Jam on Walnut in Shadyside on June 25. WYEP Music Fest at Schenley Plaza on June 25.
Catching a concert is great, but getting to see a bunch of your favorite bands all at once is even better. This summer, Pittsburgh is playing host to a number of music-based events, and since many of them are outdoors (and free!), there’s no excuse to stay home. Call up your friends, pack a lunch, and get ready for these eight great festivals.
Three Rivers Arts Festival
The annual Arts Festival is one of our favorite events, and as usual, the musical lineup is excellent. In between browsing art, jewelry, and other handmade items, make sure to check out the sunshine-laced band Michael Franti & Spearhead, ethereal sister-duo Ibeyi, and folk-rock favorites Guster as they fill the lawn of Point State Park with music. Beth Orton will also be making an appearance. Just don’t eat too many corn dogs. June 3-12.
For a unique musical experience, check out The Space Upstairs in the East End for a monthly concert series featuring experimental jazz and improvisational performances. Local artists come together and collaborate at the fascinating warehouse gallery, and for those who want to explore and support Pittsburgh’s burgeoning art scene, it’s a great opportunity to open your mind to nontraditional expressions of music. Second Saturday of every month.
WYEP Summer Music Festival
If you love tuning into WYEP’s Block Party to catch up and coming acts and indie favorites, this is the festival for you. This year, bring your lawn chairs, an ice-cold pitcher of lemonade and a group of friends to catch Margaret Glaspy, Boy & Bear, and Lucius, all of whom recently released critically acclaimed albums. It’s the perfect opportunity to soak up some sunshine in Schenley Park and make some summer memories. Even better – it’s free! June 25.
Jam on Walnut
Shadyside’s Walnut Street is one of the most popular destinations in the city, and every summer, the street occasionally shuts down for a music-based block party. This year, you can look forward to a variety of delicious foods for sale, a multitude of beer, and, of course, a number of lively bands. We’re definitely looking forward to this one-of-a-kind party, and you should be too. June 25, July 23, and August 20.
Deutschtown Music Festival
Have a favorite local band? You’ll probably be able to catch them at the Deutschtown Music Festival. The annual Northside event has an absolutely massive lineup, featuring local favorites like Slim Forsythe, Meeting of Important People, and The Garment District. Even if you aren’t totally up on the local scene, Deutschtown is the perfect venue to open your ears to the many talents rocking Pittsburgh today. July 8-9.
Feed More Festival
Formerly the Pittsburgh Blues Festival at Hartwood Acres, the Feed More Festival has decided to keep the format, the music, and the fun, but switch the focus to a good cause. The festival, hosted by the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, will take place at Stage AE, hopes to raise awareness and money for families in need. Though the lineup has not yet been announced, rest assured that the music will be blues-centric, and plenty of food trucks will be around to cater the event. July 17.
Every year, the McKees Rocks Municipal Lot fills with blues, soul, funk and, of course, food. A flock of everyone’s favorite food trucks and pop-up eateries will be parked at the party, including Rolling Cones, Mac & Gold, and PGH Halal Food. If you’re not too full to dance, the music, featuring Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds, Dumpstaphunk, and several more, will get you on your feet.
There’s no better way to spend a summer evening than to make your way through one of the city’s hippest neighborhoods bar by bar – and band by band. The indoor/outdoor festival has become a staple of Pittsburgh culture, and music, food, art and entertainment all find a home here. The lineup has not yet been announced, but the fest has yet to disappoint, and with the sheer volume of bands, there’s bound to be something for everyone. August 12-14.
Festivals are all the rage across the country, and Pittsburgh isn’t skipping on this exciting musical trend. Thrival, a festival held at Carrie Furnace in Rankin, will feature acts like Chainsmokers, CHVRCHES, Thievery Corporation, and Rubblebucket. Local acts Daya, Donora, Beauty Slap, and Brooke Annibale will also be making appearances, so this festival is a perfect opportunity to support local music. Sept 23 & 24.
Sometimes it seems like warm weather is a rarity in Pittsburgh. So when summertime finally arrives, the last thing anyone wants to do is go indoors.
Of course, nobody is saying you have to. From sunup to sundown there’s plenty happening outside. Start your day off strong with an outdoor yoga class. Follow that up by “rehydrating” at one of the best rooftop bars or outdoor drinking spots around the city. And when the sun goes down, keep the out of doors party going by catching a movie under the stars.
June 7 – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
June 14 – Ghostbusters (2016)
June 21 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Out of the Shadows (2016)
June 28 – Airlift
July 5 – Captain America – Civil War
July 12 – Rogue One
July 19 – Dr. Strange
July 26 – The Good Lie
August 2 – Arrival
August 9 – Almost Christmas
August 16 – The Great Wall
August 23 – On a Wing and a Prayer
August 30 – Jason Bourne
June 9 – The Secret Life of Pets
June 16 – Sing
June 23 – Lego Batman
June 30 – Jungle Book
July 7 – Pete’s Dragon
July 14 – Alice Through the Looking Glass
July 21 – Finding Dory
July 28 – Nine Lives
August 4 – A Dog’s Purpose
August 11 – Queen of Katwe
August 18 – Moana
August 25 – Beauty and the Beast
June 5 – The Secret Life of Pets
July 17 – Finding Dory
August 21 – Beauty and the Beast (2017)
June 10 – The Secret Life of Pets
June 17 – Sing
June 24 – Lego Batman
July 1 – Jungle Book (2016)
July 8 – Pete’s Dragon (2016)
July 15 – Alice Through the Looking Glass
July 22 – Finding Dory
July 29 – Nine Lives
August 5 – A Dog’s Purpose
August 12 – Queen of Katwe
August 19 – Moana
August 26 – Beauty and the Beast (2017)
June 8 – The Secret Life of Pets
June 15 – Sing
June 22 – Lego Batman
June 29 – Jungle Book (2016)
July 6 – Pete’s Dragon (2016)
July 13 – Alice Through the Looking Glass
July 20 – Finding Dory
July 27 – Nine Lives
August 3 – A Dog’s Purpose
August 10 – Queen of Katwe
August 17 – Moana
August 24 – Beauty and the Beast 2017)
August 31 – BFG (Big Friendly Giant)
June 10 – Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them
June 17 – Ghostbusters (2016)
June 24 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Out of the Shadows (2016)
July 1 – Airlift
July 8 – Captain America – Civil War
July 15 – Rogue One
July 22 – Dr. Strange
July 29 – The Good Lie
August 5 – Arrival
August 12 – Almost Christmas
August 19 – The Great Wall
August 26 – On a Wing and a Prayer
June 6 – The Secret Life of Pets
June 13 – Sing
June 20 – Lego Batman
June 27 – Jungle Book (2016)
July 11 – Alice Through the Looking Glass
July 18 – Finding Dory
July 25 – Nine Lives
August 1 – A Dog’s Purpose
August 8 – Queen of Katwe
August 15 – Moana
August 22 – Beauty and the Beast (2017)
August 29 – BFG (Big Friendly Giant)
June 4 – The Secret Life of Pets
June 11 – Sing
June 18 – Lego Batman
June 25 – Jungle Book (2016)
July 2 – Pete’s Dragon (2016)
July 9 – Alice Through the Looking Glass
July 16 – Finding Dory
July 23 – Nine Lives
July 30 – A Dog’s Purpose
August 6 – Queen of Katwe
August 13 – Moana
August 20 – Beauty and the Beast (2017)
August 27 – BFG (Big Friendly Giant)
Throughout history, Pittsburgh has been the epicenter of innovations that have changed the world. And this June TEDxPittsburgh takes over the Byham Theater to showcase and spread ideas that promise to transform our city, region, and the world.
As an offshoot of the incredibly popular TED Conference, TEDx is the hyper-local, independently organized version of the larger TED-experience. In preparation for this year’s local TEDx event the Pittsburgh team, an all-volunteer squad, has been working around the clock to create the region’s premier platform for transformative and thought-provoking ideas.
In an effort to achieve those ideals, the PGH team has selected 11 speakers who will present talks related to this year’s theme – Awakening: Ideas on the rise, celebrating the incredible ideas that continue to rise up from every corner of the Pittsburgh region. Attendees will also be treated to presentations by three performers/filmmakers. These inspiring talks will take place at the equally as incredible Byham Theater in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District.
We all know that Pittsburgh is a great city for shows. With the sheer number of venues spread out across a plethora of neighborhoods, there’s bound to be something for everyone. But until you read our definitive guide to must-see shows this winter and early spring, you probably won’t know just how much great music is coming your way.
If you’ve got a taste for jangly indie-pop, Givers will deliver. With an under-$20 price tag, this show will give you a much-needed taste of summer in the middle of a frigid Pittsburgh winter. And, because Cattivo has a great dance floor, it’s the perfect place to have a few drinks, let your hair down and enjoy a bevy of catchy love songs. February 2 @ Cattivo, w/Doe Paoro.
Despite the fact that Pitchfork described Kid Cudi’s latest release as “interesting in the same way as a friend getting a dramatic bad haircut is interesting,” this show is likely to be packed and primed for a night of drinking, dancing and singing along. Get your tickets soon, though — the show is in just over a week, and will likely be very close to being sold out. February 5 @ Stage AE.
Reel Big Fish
Remember when you were in the eighth grade and you had a huge crush on that kid in sixth-period Social Studies with shaggy hair, Vans and an affinity for the local skate park? You can bet your life that he’ll be at the Altar Bar this February seeing Reel Big Fish. If you haven’t found him on Tinder yet, it’s time to get your ska on and rekindle your middle school romance. February 8 @ Altar Bar.
Do you like Beethoven? How about Iron Maiden? Or are you more of a Beyonce fan? It doesn’t matter, because Croatian cello duo 2CELLOS covers just about everything. They’re extremely talented and extremely entertaining and though the tickets are a bit pricey, it’s well worth it for a night out at the Benedum. February 16 @ Benedum Center.
With warm, soaring dreampop melodies and smooth vocals, this relatively young Nashville band is already gaining traction after being featured in Paste Magazine last month. At just $10, you can have a cup of coffee, check out Black Forge Coffee House and enjoy Keeps‘ tunes before they inevitably appear in small print on the Lollapalooza lineup next year. February 16 @ Black Forge Coffee.
The Soft Moon
Come down to Cattivo and immerse yourself in the melancholy rhythms of The Soft Moon for only $10. Additionally, the three openers are all proud Pittsburgh bands, so it’s a great opportunity to support local music. And if you’re not sure what you’re in the mood for, it’s a mixture of genres — introspective songwriting, electronic music and post-punk. February 19 @ Cattivo, w/The Garment District, The Gotobeds, Silence.
Rhiannon Giddens is no stranger to the Pittsburgh music scene. She was one of the headliners of last year’s Three Rivers Arts Festival, and this winter, she’ll be lighting up the stage at Club Cafe. A talented multi-instrumentalist and singer, Giddens is not one to miss, especially when she’s performing in the intimate atmosphere of Club Cafe. February 21 @ Club Cafe w/Bhi Bhiman, Leyla McCalla.
Kurt Vile will be a headliner during the festival season this summer, so catch him while he’s here in town for a fairly low price. Get your ticket now, as they’re selling quickly, and prepare yourself for a night of PBRs, awkward dancing and dozens of lovely, catchy folk tunes. February 22 @ Mr. Smalls, w/Xylouris White.
This winter, one of the most widely-known Finnish bands will be performing at the beautiful Carnegie Music Hall in Homestead. The symphonic metal band, Nightwish, has accrued many accolades both in their native country and worldwide, and the Homestead music hall will provide the perfect acoustics for the show. February 24 @ Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead, w/Sonata Acrtica, Delain.
Experimental musician Julia Holter released her latest album, Have You In My Wilderness, to great critical acclaim just last year. It’s difficult to classify her music — the sheer range of style utilized in her compositions is truly impressive. And, at only $15, you have the opportunity to see her perform live right here in Pittsburgh. February 27 @ Club Cafe, w/Circuit Des Yeux.
The Benedum Center is a great place for live music, and Isbell’s classic sound will be sure to draw a crowd. Tickets may be pricey, but they’ll provide a comfortable viewing experience. Additionally, openers Shovels & Rope are raucous, fun and bluesy, and well worth showing up a little bit early. March 2 @ Benedum Center, w/Shovels & Rope.
Jukebox the Ghost
Though Jukebox the Ghost hasn’t released a full album since 2012, concertgoers will still have a chance to bop around the floor of Mr. Smalls, beers in hand, and hear some of their favorite songs from their college years. The Family Crest offers an orchestral take on indie pop, and is definitely worth a listen as well. March 5 @ Mr. Smalls, w/The Family Crest.
Sure, $30 may be a bit of a hit to the wallet, but it’s the Dropkick Murphys! This year, we’re shipping out to Pittsburgh instead of Boston. Make sure to get your tickets now to ensure a night of good old Irish moshing. Stage AE has more than enough room to accommodate a large — and rowdy — crowd. March 8 @ Stage AE, w/Tiger Army, Darkbuster.
The blonde-haired pop songstress has been making her rounds for the Wildfire Tour to promote her latest album, and if you don’t mind shelling out an extra $40, you can even get a ticket to her pre-show soundcheck experience. Rachel Platten’s voice is undeniably soaring, and her upbeat tunes will have you dancing all night. March 15 @ Mr. Smalls, w/Eric Hutchinson, Christina Grimmie.
Purchase your ticket and prepare to settle in for a night of psychedelic indie rock. Shearwater’s latest album, released earlier this month, includes contributions from members of Okkervil River and Wye Oak. The show also features Laura Gibson, whose soft songs will lead smoothly into Shearwater’s set. March 16 @ Club Cafe, w/Laura Gibson.
Carly Rae Jepsen
Jepsen hasn’t stopped at the chart-topping “Call Me Maybe.” She’s gone on to release an eighties-inspired album that ended up on almost all of the end-of-year “Best of 2015” album lists. Tickets are only $25, and the show will probably sell out quickly, so get yours now. March 18 @ Mr. Smalls.
Get ready for a night of night of loud, insistent indie rock at Cattivo, because Titus Andronicus is coming to town. The Cattivo dance floor is the perfect place for you to shed some anxiety, knock back a few drinks and enjoy live versions of the band’s latest album, released last year. March 20 @ Cattivo, w/Craig Finn.
Legendary blues singer and guitarist Bonnie Raitt will be making a stop at Heinz Hall this winter. Raitt will be releasing an album later this year, her first in three years, and despite the price of the tickets, the show will be well worth it. Her one-of-a-kind voice will fill Heinz Hall, and if you don’t get your ticket now, you’ll wish you had. March 23 @ Heinz Hall.
What does a man in a full-size chicken costume, a series of obscure, fuzzy ‘80s video clips and a MOOG keyboard have in common? They’re all sensations you might take in at a typical Tobacco show. At only $15, this show is a steal — Spirit Hall’s setup includes a large video screen to enhance the experience. Purchase your tickets and buckle up, because Pittsburgh’s about to get weird. March 25 @ Spirit, w/The Hood Internet, Showyousuck.
Cage the Elephant
If you like your indie rock loud, this is the show for you. Cage the Elephant offers a number of bluesy, vigorous tunes that will have you tapping your feet. Openers Foals will also be a big draw. The Petersen Events Center will likely be packed, so cross your fingers for good weather. March 25 @ the Petersen Events Center, w/Foals.
At just 16, Elle King, daughter of comedian Rob Schneider, began busking around New York City to begin her songwriting career. Now, she has two Grammy nominations under her belt, and she’s bringing her bluesy act to Mr. Smalls. Tickets might be a little higher than the average Smalls price, but for a voice like King’s, it’s well worth it. April 4 @ Mr. Smalls.
The remaining Allman brother will be performing at one of the best venues for live music in the whole city. He’s a living legend, so it’s no surprise that tickets are selling extremely quickly. Make sure to get yours now before the show is sold out entirely. April 5 @ Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead.
Rollicking alt-rock band Wolf Alice will be sure to keep you on your feet all night. Their last album, My Love Is Cool, earned them a NME Magazine nomination for Best British Band and Best Live Band, as well as a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Performance. At $15 a ticket, this show is definitely a steal. April 7 @ Stage AE.
Thao & the Get Down Stay Down
Thao Nguyen and her band will be releasing their sixth studio album later this year, and their brand of sharp, self-aware songwriting will be an act worth following to Mr. Smalls Theater later this spring. Additionally, opener Saintseneca is starting to gain some real traction in the indie world, and are definitely worth a listen. April 8 @ Mr. Smalls, w/Saintseneca.
This relatively young act hailing from New York City plays its own haunting brand of psych rock. Sunflower Bean’s latest album will be debuting in February, and it’s likely to be one of the best albums of the year. If you’re a fan of Tame Impala or the Velvet Underground, this is a show you’re not going to want to miss. April 9 @ The Smiling Moose.
Small Black are synth-pop at its finest. With tickets likely to be relatively inexpensive, you’ll want to grab a drink and fall into the hazy sounds of the MOOG keyboard along with vocalist Josh Kolenik’s whispery lyrics. Keep your eye out for ticket announcements on the Club Cafe website. April 28 @ Club Cafe.
Pop punk is coming to the ‘Burgh this May, and it’s the perfect opportunity to relive your high school days and sharpen your potentially rusty moshing skills with Say Anything. Tickets are selling very quickly, though, so grab yours fast; it looks like it’ll be a sold-out show. May 11 @ Stage AE.
The Avett Brothers
The Avett Brothers are the definition of modern-day Americana. If you’re a fan of folk, this is undoubtedly the show for you. And, since Stage AE has a large capacity for crowds, you’ll have a good time dancing and singing along all night. May 12 @ Stage AE.
One of today’s most hyped pop singers will be visiting Pittsburgh in mid-May, and you can bet that tickets will sell like hotcakes. Most recently, a song she wrote for the movie Fifty Shades of Grey earned a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Solo Performance. To catch one of Ellie Goulding’s highly-rated performances, make sure to visit the Stage AE website. May 13 @ Stage AE.
Savages are one of the most exciting post-punk bands out there today. The all-woman band recently released its latest album, Adore Life, to a number of accolades by music reviewers. If there’s one show on this list that you absolutely must see, it’s this one. Keep checking back for ticket announcements and pricing. May 17 @ Mr. Smalls.
The Milk Carton Kids
Experienced lo-fi duo The Milk Carton Kids will be a treat to watch, especially at the Music Hall. With an album released just last year, recorded during tour stops, the band will be sure to hold your attention with its soft acoustic harmonies. Make sure to get your tickets now, because the event will likely sell out. May 21 @ Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead.
Want a quick preview? Check out our Spotify playlist featuring the bands and openers on this list.
There are lots of great places to shop in Pittsburgh, but sometimes stylish second-hand is the way to go. From clothing to furniture to trinkets, there’s something for everyone on our list. Whether you’re looking to recreate looks from decades past or save a little bit of money, these vintage shops will definitely meet – and exceed – your expectations.
Highway Robbery Vintage
With a sharp eye for style and a great deal of fashion knowledge, Kate Colussy, the owner of Highway Robbery, has managed to put together a beautifully curated vintage collection. Some awesome pieces up for sale right now include: a mint condition ‘60s soft pink silk dress featuring a V-neck back with lace up ribbons, a boxy-shouldered ‘80s button-up jacket with a brash cream, red, and black pattern and a flowered ‘90s maxi dress that could be straight out of Winona Ryder’s wardrobe. No matter what decade you’d like to try on for size, Highway Robbery has you covered.
EONS Fashion Antique
This isn’t your grandmother’s closet (unless, of course, your grandmother was Sophia Loren). And it’s not only clothing that’s for sale, either – there’s a variety of jewelry, trinkets, and elaborate costumes. Fancy a ‘60s ocelot clutch for your night out at Spirit? EONS has you covered, and you can bet you’ll even be able to find a leopard-print pillbox hat to match. While the store isn’t usually eyebrow-raisingly expensive, you can expect to spend a fair amount of money on each piece. If you’re serious about your vintage collection, though, it’s worth every penny.
Who New? Retro Mod Decor
When you think vintage, don’t limit yourself to clothing. Who New? offers a wide variety of beautiful, fascinating furniture and decorative items from a number of decades. Spice up your kitchen with a set of minimalist floral-print plates, or set your living-room thermostat to ‘Cool’ with a set of ‘70s globe lamps. There’s bound to be something for everyone, whether you’re a fan of understated furniture or gaudy statement pieces. You can even pick up things you didn’t even know you needed, like an art deco chrome ashtray or a modernist wall-mounted spice rack.
Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse
The creators of the Center for Creative Reuse aimed to make conservation easy, inexpensive and, above all, fun. There are drawers filled with buttons, spools, film projectors, homemade artwork, VHS tapes, long-forgotten fading family photographs and just about everything craft-worthy you can imagine. You might be overwhelmed by all the options presented to you, but don’t worry – the Center’s website provides a wealth of ideas. Next time you want to shop pre-made items, think twice, because you can pick up a wealth of materials at the Center to create your own unique knick-knacks.
Hey Betty is the epitome of high-class vintage. If you’re the kind of person who’d be interested in a ‘70s quilted Diane Von Furstenberg clutch (and who wouldn’t be?), it’s definitely the shop for you. The selection is carefully curated to allow only the finest classic clothing and accessories onto the floor. But the clothing isn’t the shop’s only claim to fame. Celebrities including Jamie Lee Curtis, Robert Downey Jr., Helen Mirren, and Chloe Sevigny have all browsed – and bought – at Betty. So if you’re going to take the trip down to Shadyside to check it out, you’re in good company.
If you like name-brand looks but prefer not to pay name-brand prices, Clothes Minded is an excellent place to visit. It’s one of the few locations that allows you to stay high-end stylish on a budget. If you’d like to own Timberlands, Nikes, Banana Republic, or Benetton clothing, this is the place for you. Right now, the store is even offering Gucci perfume. Additionally, the store’s Instagram and Facebook are both very active, allowing you to stay up-to-date on the inventory.
Pittsburgh Vintage Mixer
Twice a year, dozens of the coolest vintage vendors come together at the Teamsters Temple in Lawrenceville to bring you the best selection of unique clothing, trinkets, and furniture. The event is held once in the spring and once in the winter, and if you’re a fan of the products of yesteryear, you can’t afford to miss it. Last year’s vendors included several of those listed here, and the selection is always hand-picked to perfection. Keep your eye out for date announcements, because there’s usually a pre-sale the night before the event takes place.
Red White & Blue
This gem of a store is located on Route 51 in the South Hills, but it’s definitely worth the trip outside city limits. It’s a veritable emporium of secondhand treasures, offering both men’s and women’s clothing as well as furniture and various trinkets at steeply discounted prices. If you’re looking to stock up on wardrobe staples but your wallet is feeling a little thin, a stop at Red White & Blue will meet all your needs. Plus, the inventory is in constant rotation, so if you become a regular customer, you won’t often see the same items twice.
Toll Gate Revival
When you think “vintage,” you don’t always have to think clothing. The owner of Toll Gate Revival describes himself as a “Rust Belt vagabond,” and there’s no better way to capture the essence of their collection. They offer all-American antiques of all shapes and sizes. If you’re looking to furnish your home or office with unique pieces like a comfortably broken-in Chesterfield sofa or a circular foundry-mold-turned-coffee table, stop by the shop, because you won’t be disappointed.
Trader Jack’s Flea Market
If you have a weekend off and a little bit of money to burn, head on down to Bridgeville and catch Trader Jack’s Flea Market from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. It’s one of the biggest flea markets in town, and you’ll find everything from soy candles to collector-grade trading cards. It’s an indoor/outdoor event, so it’s still available during the winter. Even if you don’t have something specific in mind when you go, you’re bound to find something worth taking home.
Do you have some gently used items of clothing that are taking up space in your closet? Take them on down to the Avalon Exchange, one of the most popular buy-and-sell thrifting locations in the whole city. They’re fairly picky about what they will take, though, so make sure that your items are in good condition. They cater to both men and women, and there are lots of secondhand items from stores like American Apparel, Forever 21, and H&M, if you’re trying to stay stylish on a budget.
Roxanne’s Dried Flowers
Roxanne’s Dried Flowers, located in the heart of the Strip District, does, in fact, sell dried flowers. But that’s not all – you can pick up one-of-a-kind items like framed vintage seed catalog prints and delicate ceramics. Additionally, they provide beautiful arrangements for weddings, which would pair perfectly with a vintage gown. If you’re looking for the perfect gift for someone who loves handmade items, Roxanne’s is the best place to look.
Sometimes you don’t need to break the bank to add some unique flair to your clothing collection. Buffalo Exchange, which has locations all across the United States, recently opened up a storefront right here in the South Side. Bring the elements of your closet that you’ve tossed aside and get a fair exchange in store credit. They take a lot of items that other vintage exchange stores don’t, so if you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck with trade-ins, Buffalo is the way to go. Additionally, they have a great selection of jewelry, hats, shoes, and embroidered patches.
As always, the new year ushers in a new set of events to look forward to, and Pittsburgh’s got a lot to offer in 2016. From music to biking to sightseeing, the Steel City has it all. While some of these events will require tickets, many are free and family-friendly. So, without further ado, check out our master list of the events we’re most excited about.
Pittsburgh Bicentennial Celebration
Just under a century ago, Joseph Armstrong, then the mayor of Pittsburgh, ordered the construction of the imposing City-County building to commemorate the city’s hundredth birthday — and buried a time capsule somewhere under the floors of its vast halls. The search for the capsule, as well as a parade, a host of events taking place in a number of city neighborhoods and a festival at Point State Park. Make sure to bring friends and family downtown to celebrate the 200th anniversary of our fair city.
On the first Friday of each month, businesses all along the Bloomfield-Garfield stretch of Penn Avenue open their doors to artists and patrons alike. Sponsored by the Penn Avenue Arts Initiative, the Unblurred gallery crawl has gained quite a bit of traction among the youth of Pittsburgh. Every sort of art is represented at Unblurred, from traditional to dance to music. Additionally, the monthly event is family-friendly. And, of course, it’s free. An eclectic mix of storefronts and local artists makes for a can’t-miss monthly event.
Lawrenceville Art All Night
Have you ever made your way through a gallery crawl and longed to display one of your own pieces? If yes, then Lawrenceville’s Art All Night is the perfect event for you. Anyone and everyone is invited to submit a single piece of artwork to be displayed somewhere in the neighborhood for one night only. Art All Night has amassed a following of thousands, so it’s guaranteed that your work won’t go unseen. The event is free, so break out your paintbox, invite your friends and keep checking the Art All Night website for the official dates.
At 7:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 1, hundreds of runners will take off with the pop of the starting gun, beginning the annual Pittsburgh Marathon. The next 26.2 miles will be a test of strength, determination and endurance for runners, and an opportunity to pass out water and cheer on loved ones for spectators. But that’s not all that’s offered with this event, sponsored by Dick’s Sporting Goods. If you’re looking to give back to your community, consider signing up as a volunteer and help out with set-up, maintenance and cleanup.
Pittsburgh Vintage Mixer
Twice a year, a plethora of businesses offering a wide selection of beautifully curated vintage items come together at the Teamsters Temple in Lawrenceville to cater to Pittsburghers with a flair for style. Vendors including Highway Robbery Vintage, Kicky Feet Vintage and LeMix Antiques have offered clothing in retro styles as well as unique furniture. Though each Pittsburgh Vintage Mixer event lasts only one day, the organizers hold a $15 Night Owl party the evening before the sale, featuring live music, drinks and a presale on many unique items.
Have you ever wanted to enjoy a crisp beer while gazing at a pride of lions? Located at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, Zoo Brew offers an opportunity for adults to go on a field trip, too. A ticket to this event is a promise of beers, food, live music and, of course, full access to the zoo. In the past, the craft beers have included favorites such as 21st Amendment, Duck Rabbit, Flying Dog and the Church Brew Works. You’ll have to leave the kids at home for this one, though, because the $63 event is 21+ only.
Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival
The Three Rivers Arts Festival has long been a pinnacle of Pittsburgh summers. And there’s no secret as to why — who wouldn’t be interested in ten whole days of free music and art? Though the festival’s headliners haven’t been announced yet, past acts like Neko Case, Jenny Lewis and Jeff Tweedy prove that Pittsburgh’s arts scene is a draw for big names. Music isn’t the only draw to the festival, though. Dozens and dozens of artists displaying a huge variety of work will grace the lawn of the Point as well. It’s undeniable that there’s something for everyone at the Arts Festival.
Vintage Grand Prix
If vintage automobiles pique your interest, then head down to Schenley Park this July to watch over 2,000 cars traverse the winding Serpentine Drive — so many, in fact, that it’s the largest vintage race of its kind in the entire country. Best of all, the race is free to spectators; it’s the perfect opportunity to get the whole family together, fill a picnic basket, grab a blanket and set up at the park for the day. If you’re interested in learning more about vintage cars, the Grand Prix hosts a series of events leading up to the race, including a black tie gala and a showing of the cars on Walnut Street in Shadyside.
Three Rivers Regatta
Pittsburgh has no shortage of outdoor family-friendly events, and the Three Rivers Regatta, sponsored by EQT, is one of the most exciting. A celebration of the rivers and the boats that travel it, the Regatta draws a huge crowd each year to celebrate the Fourth of July with music, food, events and an impressive fireworks display. If you’re inclined to head down to the Point to check it out this summer (and we recommend it), you’ll find a wide variety of entertainment, including jet ski stunts, frisbee-fetching dogs and a line of Pittsburgh’s favorite food trucks.
Pittsburgh may be one of the hilliest cities in the United States, but that shouldn’t stop you from getting out and about on your bicycle. The annual celebration of BikeFest Pittsburgh is entering its 12th year, and all are invited to propose events, attend cycling-related events and take part in a massive group bike ride. The event usually lasts about a week and a half, so don’t worry if you can’t make it every single day. But you should check out as many events as possible — what better way to stay fit than taking in the Pittsburgh skyline on two wheels?
Open Streets PGH
Open Streets PGH gives everyone a chance to catch a glimpse of the city at a slower pace. This past summer, sections of Penn Avenue, Butler Street and a number of offshoots were closed to traffic, allowing pedestrians and cyclists full run of the road. But Open Streets is much more than its name implies, and offers fitness events including bikram yoga, roller disco and salsa dancing. As an offshoot of the international program Ciclovia (“bike path” in Spanish), which promotes bicycling as a healthier, more environmentally sound alternative to auto travel, Open Streets aims to get us all up and moving on select summer Sundays.
Thrival Innovation & Music Festival
With past headliners like Panic! at the Disco and Portugal. The Man and Manchester Orchestra, there’s no doubt that Thrival’s fourth annual music festival will be one to watch for this year. The festival takes place at Almono, a previously industrial strip of land repurposed for eco-friendly development. Last year, the festival was attended by over 7,000 people, and this year, attendance is expected to be even higher. Ticket prices increase as the event draws nearer, with limited presale tickets at $25, early-bird tickets at $30 and $45 admission during the day of the show, so make sure to stay updated.
Mattress Factory Urban Garden Party
It’s no surprise that the Mattress Factory’s yearly fundraiser is fairly off-the-wall in terms of entertainment. Last year’s theme was M for Mattress Factory, which left partygoers a lot of room for creative improvisation. This year, the theme has not yet been announced, but it’s fair to assume that it will be something equally intriguing. People of all ages (well, as long as they’re over 21), occupations and lifestyles will be attending this can’t-miss event. Tickets are between $110 and $300, and the event includes food, drinks and live entertainment.
Steel City Big Pour
2016 will mark the tenth anniversary of Construction Junction’s rollicking Big Pour event, featuring music, art, food and, of course, lots and lots of craft beers. Located in the warehouse of one of Pittsburgh’s coolest reuse-and-vintage emporiums, Big Pour is one of the most popular events in the city. Ticket prices range between $80 and $125, with tickets for designated drivers offered at much lower rates. Keep an eye on the Construction Junction website for updates if you’re interested, because the event is usually sold out within minutes.
The six-year-old VIA collective is well-known for a number of events, but the most undoubtedly anticipated is the VIA music festival, which features a number of musicians and artists playing at venues scattered across the city. With a focus on shining a light on local creatives and helping them to hone and broadcast their various crafts, the VIA collective aims to bring Pittsburghers of all ages and backgrounds together for a full week of performances and workshops. Last year, headliners included MC Lyte, Lower Dens and Jessy Lanza. Admission prices vary; many events and workshops are free, but others can range from $7 to $30.
Do you need a new set of organic knitwear? A handcrafted moss terrarium? How about some one-of-a-kind jewelry made from circuit breakers? Look no further than Pittsburgh’s famous Handmade Arcade, which features dozens of artists offering their wares for sale at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center downtown. The Arcade will be entering its twelfth year, and has gained national acclaim from publications like Conde Nast Traveller and Buzzfeed. No matter your taste in art, Handmade Arcade will be sure to offer up something to delight you.
Pop-up markets are gaining traction in Pittsburgh, and Night Market aims to bring handcrafted items, food and fun to those who make the trip down to the downtown area. Three times a year, the market will be held in the evenings in Downtown Pittsburgh, with a wide variety of vendors selling everything from food to jewelry. Night Market is just another reason that Pittsburgh’s downtown area is quickly becoming a prime destination for residents and tourists alike.
It’s been a busy year for Pittsburgh’s food scene.
Along the way, we’ve done our best to keep you in the loop. And you’ve done your best to keep up. But, with the new year fast approaching, it seems like as good a time as any to recap some of the recent bar and restaurant happenings around town. Because 2016 is sure to bring more of the same in the way of new spots you’ll want to try out.
So just in case you fell behind, here’s a rundown of bar and restaurant openings you may have missed.
The much anticipated Ace Hotel is up and running in East Liberty. With the opening of the Ace comes the arrival of Whitfield, a 100-seat restaurant within the hotel offering all-American fare and a meat-centric menu. Whitefield’s culinary team includes a host of Pittsburghers lead by the hotel’s culinary partner Brent Young. Young, the restaurateur behind The Meat Hook in Brooklyn, will be working with executive chef Bethany Zozula, the former executive sous chef at Eleven, and head pastry chef Casey Shively.
At long last, Justin Severino’s second Lawrenceville restaurant is now open! After a series of pop-up dinners that proved Severino is, in fact, a bona fide meat magician, Morcilla’s family style menu with a strong Spanish influence is ready and waiting for you. And yes, of course, there’s charcuterie. All of which can be accompanied by a variety of Spanish wines, cocktails, and ciders.
Scratch Food and Beverage
In the fall, Troy Hill witnessed a changing of the guard. Billy’s Troy Hill Bistro, which had held down a spot on Lowrie Street for 31 years, was replaced by Scratch Food and Beverage. With a focus on the local community, from the ingredients to the camaraderie, Scratch is poised to fill the void left by Billy’s. Expect unconventional takes on classic items and inventive craft cocktails without the price tag or pomp of other establishments.
Franktuary @ Market Square
This highly acclaimed hot dog shop has set up another location in Market Square. While their formula for reclaiming the frank remains the same (high-quality, locally sourced ingredients), the downtown location is looking to give the people what they want. That means keeping the rush hour wait to a minimum while stocking the bar with after-work essentials, like local beers, cider, and spirits.
The former home of the 581 Moose Lodge has been transformed into a two-level pizzeria, bar, and event space. Say hello to Spirit, your friendly neighborhood “pizza booze party.” The first floor houses the Spirit Lodge bar, with local brews abound. Upstairs you’ll find the Spirit Hall event space. Last, but not least, Slice Island – the in-house pizzeria – slings Sicilian-cut pizza by the slice or pie.
You can hang out or snag take out from the Vandal. That said, the well-designed space and chill vibe makes kicking it for a bit worthwhile. Oh, the eats help too. Serving everything from breakfast to dinner (depending on the day) the small, but thoughtful menu is always spot on. You can’t go wrong here, but you can go more right (?) with the toast. Selections vary, just know that the base is from Bread and Salt and the toppings are equally as mind (and taste bud) blowing.
Thanks to Curtis Gamble, Bloomfield is getting in on the new eatery action. At Station you’ll find a menu made up of modern American cuisine with a Mediterranean touch, that attempts to “blur the lines between modern cooking and what’s considered rustic or old school.” Using a combination of local and hyper-seasonal ingredients, to create flavor profiles that are as clever as they are satisfying, Gamble is succeeding in doing exactly that.
Fire Side Public House
In East Liberty, there’s a new restaurant has moved into the space that once housed the much beloved Station Street Hot Dogs. As the name suggests, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy fireside dining. But don’t expect open flames. Instead, the Fire Side Public House serves dishes straight out of their wood-fired oven. Pair your piping hot sandwich, burger or entree with a beer or cocktail from the expansive menu, featuring many local options, to round out your meal.
There are two things you should expect from this new eatery in Market Square: seafood and lamb. Sourcing their inspiration from Greek and Mediterranean flavors, and their lamb from local farms (Latrobe’s Jamison Farm and Elysian Fields Farm in Waynesburg), Poros is putting protein at the center of their menu. But rest assured that there are plenty of vegetarian options, small plates, and plenty to drink, including creative cocktails and an extensive wine list.
From the team that brought you Meat & Potatoes and Butcher and the Rye, comes Täkō, featuring, you guessed it, tacos. Which might leave you wondering, how good could a dressed up taco really be? Answer: Prepare for the most inventive tacos (like a duck confit taco!) you’ve tasted. Also, tequila.
In Carnegie, this new restaurant is winning the neighborhood over. It’s been so good that what was initially a breakfast and lunch concept has grown to include dinner six nights a week and a full bar. The best part about this place might be the fact that they stay true to their name. From the Bakn BLT to the bacon-infused bloody Mary, you’ll get exactly what you came for, and more, when you stop by this spot.
As if the battle for Pittsburgh’s favorite sandwich wasn’t already competitive enough, there’s a new sandwich shop opening in Bloomfield that’s sure to shake things up. Here, the name says it all: it’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time! As you may have guessed, this place is serving up the classic version of “Mom’s PB&J” and upgrading the traditional sandwich by offering gourmet PB&Js too. Like what, you ask? How about two waffles smeared with peanut butter and jelly before being smooshed together for your enjoyment!
Smoke BBQ Taqueria
After making the move from Homestead to Lawrenceville, Smoke has quickly become a standout spot on Butler Street. Anyone familiar with their work shouldn’t be surprised. Smoked meats served inside homemade tortillas, never tasted so good. On the other hand, the addition of “Hamburger Tuesday” might come as a surprise. That’s right, Smoke is now open at 5 pm on Tuesdays until they run out of (80ish) burgers.
Chaz and Odette
Expect to encounter and internationally inspired menu at this restaurant in the space that used to be Toast! Kitchen & Wine Bar. Odette Smith-Ransome and Chaz Smith, a former assistant professor at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and her former student Charles (Chaz) Smith, are serving up flatbreads, sandwiches, and burgers for lunch and homey options for dinner.
There’s no shortage of bars or boutiques along Walnut Street in Shadyside, but sit down dining is a different story. Pallantia is aiming to change that. Specializing in authentic Spanish cuisine, their Queso y Embutido, or cheese and meats, uses ingredients specially imported from Spain. And that also means you’ll have your pick of tapas, including the Tapas Calientes offering a variety of seafood, as well as the Tapas Frias containing a number of vegetarian options.
Class up your casual dining experience at this classic Italian eatery in lower Lawrenceville. The atmosphere is just upscale enough, but not stuffy. Which makes Senti a solid date night spot. Especially if your date is into traditional Italian fare and a stellar wine list. Take your pick of pasta, consider the Salumi Plate, sip your way through the lengthy list of wines, and save room dessert. Of course, there’s Tiramisu. But the Budino al Café – coffee pudding with glazed donut holes – makes ordering both and sharing the right choice.
Combining three concepts under one roof, Umbrella Café brings together Soup Nancys, Savasana Juice Company, and Om Nom Bake Studio. The result is a breakfast and lunch spot in the Cultural District serving handmade soups, mouthwatering baked goods, or snag a Juice FEAST from Savasana. Ask about the Yumbrella Special, seasonal and daily specials featuring comfort food and crowd-pleasers.
Pints on Penn
This relative newcomer is a friendly neighborhood watering hole with roots that can be traced back to Prohibition-era Pittsburgh. But don’t be fooled by this spots storied past, Pints on Penn isn’t a trip back in time, it’s a fresh take on a restored space. From the first floor bar to second-floor dining room and deck, right down to the food, draft, and cocktail menus, this place is a welcomed alternative to overcrowded, overpriced, or underwhelming bars in the Burgh.
This bar and lounge located in Lawrenceville focuses on nightlife and local DJs. At Gold Mark, the state of the art DJ booth puts the music front and center. Of course, owners Adam Kulik (a.k.a. DJ Nugget) and his fiancé Nicole Billitto wouldn’t have it any other way. And their shot-and-a-beer bar menu will get you an Iron City and a shot of Old Grand-Dad for five bucks. Add a food menu and direct from the kitchen service window that’s planned for spring and Gold Mark is sure to become your late night go-to.
Just around the corner from his restaurant Piccolo Forno, owner Domenic Branduzzi brings you Grapperia. Here the star of the show is grappa, a grape-based Italian brandy, and amari, a bitter-sweet syrupy Italian alcohol popular as a post-meal digestivo. You’ll also find other Italian mainstays like limoncello, sambuca, and plenty of wine.
Full Pint Wild Side Pub
Like the beers concocted by this North Versailles-based brewery, their Lawrenceville brew pub is a little wild, in a good way. It’s funky and welcoming at once. Once you settle in you’ll be greeted by some Full Pint flagship brews, and abundance of knowledge from behind the bar, and the chance to taste some weird beers you won’t find anywhere else. They’re a part of the Wild Side Series that pair perfectly with some eats from Wild Purveyors next door.
In case you haven’t noticed, the holiday season is already underway here in Pittsburgh.
We can hardly believe it, either. You’d better get to decorating, and shopping too. But before you do, we wanted to make sure you didn’t miss the best seasonal celebrations this city has to offer.
So here you go. Happy Holidays, Pittsburgh!
Macy’s Holiday Windows
The store may be shuttered, but the holiday cheer lives on in the windows of the Macy’s/Kaufmann’s building downtown. Swing by Macy’s to experience the mini-miracle on Fifth Avenue.
S.W. Randall Toyes
Since you’re already downtown, make a stop at Pittsburgh’s best and biggest toy store. S.W. Randall Toyes offers three floors of more toys than you could ever imagine. For 45 years they’ve been supply the city with “unique, wonderful, whimsical, rare, glamorous, awesome and exciting items.” So there’s no doubt you’ll find something for everyone on your shopping list.
The Miniature Railroad and Village
Don’t miss the world-renowned display that represents how people in our region lived, worked and played in our region from 1880-1930. The annual holiday display is a Pittsburgh tradition that got it start on Christmas Eve in 1920. In 1992 the Science Center took over and enlarged the display that includes replicas of Fallingwater, Forbes Field, a historic Pittsburgh incline and so much more.
Phipps Winter Flower Show and Light Garden
No matter the time of year, Phipps Conservatory is a pretty incredible place. But somehow it becomes even more magical during the holidays. The entire place, from the indoor exhibit rooms to the outdoor gardens, embodies the holiday spirit. Don’t miss the artful display of LEDs, decorated trees, colorful poinsettias, and the seasonally-themed Garden Railroad.
The Holiday Market
Tis the season for holiday shopping and festive activities in Market Square. The Square will be transformed into a one-of-a-kind shopping village featuring unique and culturally diverse vendors, food and performances. Horse-drawn carriage rides will take you on a tour around the city. And you can snag a photo with Santa who carved some time out of his schedule to hang out in Market Square.
The holidays take center stage at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre with their performance of the Nutcracker. It’s been called the best holiday show in the city, so you won’t want to miss your chance to experience this classic story, complete with more than 100 dancers, and Pittsburgh-inspired charm.
Kennywood Holiday Lights
It’s a special time of year at Pittsburgh’s favorite theme park. Kennywood’s Holiday Lights transform the park you know and love into a winter wonderland complete with one million lights, performances by local choirs, and a ride on the Gingerbread Express, plus a meet and greet with none other than Mr. Claus (Geez, this guy really gets around Pittsburgh).
Have a holly jolly time with the Pittsburgh Symphony as they perform your favorite carols and much-loved holiday music. Be prepared for an extra dose of holiday cheer because Santa is stopping by for a carol sing-along!
Ice Skate at PPG Place
This year the rink at PPG Place is bigger and better than ever before. Believe it or not, It’s actually bigger than the rink at Rockefeller Square! The revamped rink can now accommodate some 350 skaters at once. Add 700 new skates to the mix, and Pittsburgh is all set to glide through the holidays.
Lawrenceville Joy of Cookies Tour
Explore Lawrenceville while indulging on as many holiday cookies as you can stomach. Pop into 40 local businesses to do a little shopping and snag the shopkeepers favorite cookie, while crossing some items off of your holiday to-do list. Plus, there’s 14 additional “Take a Break Spots” suggested where you can enjoy a meal, coffee, or a cocktail!
A Musical Christmas Carol
Join Scrooge, Tiny Tim, and the Pittsburgh CLO to celebrate the magical melodies of the holiday season. Let’s be honest, Christmas just wouldn’t feel right without this musical tradition. Grab your tickets today.
Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland
A three-mile long holiday light show of epic proportions is coming to the Big Butler Fair Grounds. No, Butler isn’t Pittsburgh. But it’s only 25 miles away. Which is nothing when you consider that you’ll be making the trip to see the world’s largest drive-through, fully synchronized light show that uses millions of LED lights all set to the rhythm of the music.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra at Consol Energy
Experience the Ghost of Christmas Eve as performed by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra as their Winter Tour rolls into Pittsburgh. This Christmas-themed rock opera comes complete with extravagant lighting and pyrotechnic displays that promise to take the holiday excitement to new heights.
Bring in 2016 at Pittsburgh’s art-focused New Year’s Eve party. First Night offers 150 events at nearly 50 indoor and outdoor locations within the 14-block Cultural District, culminating with the Countdown to Midnight and fireworks display. Dec 31.
In Pittsburgh, some things are simply understood.
We love our city, root for the Steelers, and speak a language all our own. We’re hardworking. And friendly too. Unless you’re on the wrong side of the Pittsburgh pizza debate. Because around here, picking your favorite pie is serious business and your slice of choice speaks volumes.
Aiello’s and Mineo’s are as opposed as Gryffindors and Slytherins. These houses simply don’t mix. Things are further complicated by the number of people who will go to bat for Beto’s, fight for Fiori’s, or swear by Spak. Every fanbase wants their favorite slice to take the House Cup. And there can only be one winner.
To which we’d reply, says who? Listen, we respect your loyalty and all, but why choose one pizza place when you can have them all? That sounds like a much better idea if you ask us. So you’d better make room for these 15 PGH pizza places that will change your life.
It’s cash only at this Murray Avenue mainstay. So you could call it old school. If you did, you’d be right. Giuseppe Aiello built this place with hard work and elbow grease (and the secret recipe from Mineo’s!?). So who wins in the battle of these neighborhood pizza shops? Squirrel Hill, of course.
But first, there was Mineo’s. They beat Aiello’s to the pizza punch when Old Man Mineo set up shop on Murray Avenue in 1958. The phones haven’t stopped ringing since then. Pittsburghers have been clamoring for the spicy sauce, chewy crust, and copious amounts of cheese.
Slice on Broadway
At Slice, one thing is abundantly clear. These guys LOVE pizza. As proof, we submit exhibit A. the Ginormous 16 cut pie. And exhibit B. the 20 specialty pies on the menu, including the Slaughterhouse Five (think Meat Lovers but with real meat). Two locations – Beechview and Carnegie – make getting to Slice easier than ever before.
Brookline’s best pizza shop also happens to be among the top shops in the Burgh. Watch your tossed-by-hand dough become a thin crust pie, oozing with cheese, that’s so good you could eat it plain. But that shouldn’t stop you from heaping on high-quality toppings.
Love it or hate it, the by-the-slice squares, served with cold toppings have made this pizza joint on Banksville road a Pittsburgh favorite. After cooking the dough and sauce, the toppings, including the cheese, are just piled on top. Odd, we know. Just don’t knock it, until you try it.
Few things are better than a piping hot pizza paired with a smooth glass of wine. Gelato happens to be one of those things. And Mercurio’s combines all three under one roof. Prepare to be pleasantly surprised by these wood-fired pies, made with a sweet and chewy crust.
From the slices to the space, and even their efforts to be sustainable, Dinette is a modern take on a classic meal. A thin-crusted pie is lightly sauced before being adorned with various accoutrements ranging from simple (pepperoni) to more complex options (roasted cauliflower, butternut squash, and leeks) and ingredients from their rooftop garden.
Make your way to Market Square for one of the most magnificent Margherita pizzas to ever grace your palate. They spare no expense, importing authentic ingredients from Italy. Before firing that bad boy at a 1,000 degrees and topping it with mozzarella and fresh basil.
Pick up your favorite bottle of wine before heading to this spot on Butler Street in Lawrenceville. The entire menu is on point, but be sure to sample the wood-fired pizza. Fresh ingredients and creative combinations make these pies a must.
Proper Brick Oven and Tap Room
Add another wood-fired pie to your Pittsburgh pizza bucket list. While you could probably eat an entire pizza yourself, the right way to order Proper involves multiple pies shared amongst friends. That way you can try the Black and Gold, the Forest, and the Soppressata. Bonus points for an epic draft list.
Do up a DIY pie at this spot in Penn Avenue in the Strip. It’s by-the-slice here. And those slices of hefty. All the better to support any and all toppings with. Considering the fact that there’s more than a dozen to choose from, you’ll certainly have your work cut out for you.
The Church Brew Works
Oh, man. We can hear the yinzers now. Hey, this isn’t a pizza joint. No kidding, buddy. Well then, the only possible explanation for including this place would be if the did something crazy, like put pierogies on a pizza. Exactly! A mashed potato “sauce” and cheddar cheese combine to create a Polish pizza pie, unlike all the rest.
Spak Brothers Pizza & More
As funky and eclectic as the section of Penn they call home, Spak is a crowd pleaser. From the coin-operated pinball machines that you can play while waiting for your big-enough-to-fold pieces of pie this place is serving up something everyone will love. They’re even vegan-friendly, from the pies to the seitan “wings” and a “steak” hoagie.
Pasquarelli’s Pizza House
Although this place is a little out of the way, it’s definitely worth the trip to McKee’s Rocks. Afterall, it’s home to the birthplace of stuffed crust pizza. Except it’s not filled with cheese. Instead, you’ll find sauce that’s been applied before the edges are rolled to create a little pocket of goodness.
Bread and Salt
This Bloomfield bakery can make bread disappear. Seriously, the loaves fly off the shelves so fast it will make you wonder if they were actually there in the first place. The same can be said of the pizza. So arrive early for your shot at a rectangular slice of pizza that is sized to your likely. You point and coach the server as the hack off your share of the pie before paying by the pound.
Sometimes getting around Pittsburgh can be a real pain.
Knowing which bridge or tunnel to take, and when, is a science that takes many years to master. You’ll have to grapple with the gridless layout around downtown. All the while perfecting the three-lane merge in 300 feet or less. Good times!
Sure you could pedal your way around Pittsburgh in one of those snazzy new bike lanes. Of course if you’re heading to work, a meeting or a dinner date arriving drenched in sweat might not ideal.
Oh well! Looks like you’ll be leaving an hour early and paying too much for a parking spot. A spot that will take too long to find, meaning you’ll still end up arriving late. Bummer.
Free Uber rides for everyone
Here’s a better idea. Skip the planning, parking, and pain in the rear end that is navigating around Pittsburgh. Take an Uber instead.
Not any Uber, either. Hop in the #PurpleCar for a free ride up to $25.
Yes, you read that correctly. Use that smartphone of yours to score an Uber ride at no cost, courtesy of UPMC Health Plan. It’s all part of the #PurpleCar promotion, aimed at drawing attention to the fact that many people are focused on other things while behind the wheel. Taking this free ride is a safe alternative to distracted driving.
Enjoy some craft beer, while getting schooled on all things brewing.
Ah, yes. We had you at craft beer!
If you like the sound of sampling some seasonal brews while learning about what goes into making them taste so good, you’d better grab a ticket for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Craft Beer Course.
All-American, Seasonal Brews
Whether you drink them, brew them or both, this course is the perfect opportunity to learn a little more about the craft beers we all love. Expect this evening to be a jam session of sorts. Attendees will have a chance to mix it up with a panel of experts who will share their insights on every facet of the craft beer industry – from a day in the life inside the brewery, to what goes into the various styles of beer, and how to pair them with food.
Speaking of food, you’ll be treated to light appetizers perfectly paired with an All-American lineup of seasonal brews from Bells, Stone, Victory and North Country Breweries! And that’s not all you’ll receive.
Because this event is a fundraiser for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, anyone who purchases a ticket will receive a one-year Partners membership with the Trust. This membership packs some major perks, including special invitations to complimentary events, restaurant discounts, newsletters offering the latest Trust happenings and a whole lot more.
So what are you waiting for? Support the Cultural Trust while celebrating your love of craft beer by snagging your ticket now!
Starting a company is incredibly difficult.
It’s like that saying. Come on, you know the one. If it were easy, everyone would do it. But they don’t. Survey says, despite what you’ve seen on Shark Tank or read in Entrepreneur Magazine, founding a startup isn’t as easy as idea, investment, IPO.
Sure you have the idea part down, but you’re pretty clueless on how to go from concept to company. You just don’t know how to start, where to turn, or what to do next. Well, well, well. This must be your lucky day. Because if you have an idea that you just can’t shake, one you’re sure would make for a stellar startup, you absolutely have to apply to the Thrill Mill startup accelerator and bootcamp.
Calling All Startups
Thrill Mill, Inc., a startup accelerator located in East Liberty, has officially opened its 2016 application cycle. That means they’re searching for startups across a broad range of industries, including software technology, family businesses, and even nonprofits, who need help getting launched.
Know anyone? Hey, we’re talking to you! This your chance to work hand-in-hand with a dedicated and knowledgeable team committed to developing you and your idea.
Here’s how it works. First, you submit an application. Every company who applies will receive valuable feedback on their concept. Then companies will be selected from the initial group of applicants to participate in Thrill Mill’s Startup Bootcamp. That’s where you’ll learn what it really takes to create and grow a company from instructors, mentors, guest speakers who’ve been in the trenches, putting in the work.
As if that wasn’t incredible enough, there’s even more to look forward to. Of the twenty teams who participate in the Startup Bootcamp, a select group will be invited to join the 2016 cohort. These companies will be able to set up shop in Thrill Mill’s collaborative workspace. Plus they’ll have access to mentorship, programming, and funding. Strategic partnerships, including support from UPMC Enterprises, allows startups – especially those in the healthcare space – to accelerate quickly thanks to assistance from industry experts.
Are you a fan of bacon? What about pork cheek?
Well, that escalated quickly! But hey, we’re not here to judge. Besides, eating nose-to-tail is the ultimate win-win situation. Less waste AND more to eat. So if that sounds like something you can get into, you’re in luck. Pittsburgh is filled with places to try each and every part of the pig, from more familiar items to overlooked cuts. And with this article in hand, you’ll know exactly where to find them all.
Looks like there’s only one thing left to do. It’s time to pig out.
Bacon Candy at Proper Brick Oven & Tap Room
BACON: After curing their meat in-house, Proper takes a thick slice of their bacon and glazes the meat with a glossy coat of brown sugar sauce. Legitimately finger linkin’ good. A black pepper crust provides balance and keeps the dish from going over the sweet edge.
Salumi Platter at Cure
LARD: Cure is charcuterie-heaven, and their salumi platter is like experiencing Costco for the first time: with wide-eyed and open mouthed delight, you realize all the things that you want to have and didn’t realize you needed. We’d specifically like to direct your attention to the generous slice of their housemade ciccoli. Lard is key in making this luscious country-pate/pork rillette/terrine hybrid.
Pork Ribs from Showcase BBQ
RIB: This Homewood BBQ joint will make you a loyal follower of their smoky, tender, and juicy pork ribs. Make no apologies for how savage you look when you’re chowing down.
Pork Belly Carbonara at Root 174
PORK BELLY: Carbonara pasta is stunning in its simplicity: cheese, eggs, and a piggie product (like guanciale or bacon) to round out the flavors. Chef Keith Fuller somehow harnessed everything that’s wonderful about that Italian classic for the benefit of your taste buds. You’ve never had a dish like this, starting with the melt-in-your-mouth pieces of pork belly to the house-made gnocchi.
Pork Soup Dumplings at Everyday Noodles
PORK SHOULDER: Eating at Everyday Noodle is like the tastiest kind of twofer: a meal and a musical performance. Between the thwacking and thudding of the noodles being made right before your eyes and your chorus of “oohs” and “ahs” from total satisfaction, Everyday’s delicate pork soup dumplings are a memorable experience.
Chorizo Taco at Tako
PORK SHOULDER: We’ve got one more pork shoulder option for you. Because house-made chorizo and a fried egg in a taco is nearly impossible to say no to.
Tagliatelle at Station
SHANK: Curtis Gamble’s new Bloomfield gastropub serves up a rustic and dreamy plate of tagliatelle. Topped with parm and a 1-hour egg, the al-dente pasta is perfectly accentuated by insanely tasty morsels of smoked pork shank.
Pig Wing at Butcher & the Rye
WING: Okay, so a “pig wing” is technically a cut of the shank. But this bone-in, lean & tender piece of pork is designed to be eaten like a wing. And to that effect, prepare to get some Thai chili sauce all over your face and your fingers. You won’t regret it.
Fried Pork Rinds at Il Tetto, Sienna Mercato
RIND/CRACKLINGS: There’s still time left to enjoy all the al-fresco drinking options in Pittsburgh! At Sienna Mercato’s rooftop beer garden, Il Tetto, grab a drink and snack on their fried pork rinds. Just like chips & dip, but at the next level.
Pork Blood Tofu with Intestine at Sichuan Gourmet
OFFAL: Needless to say, this item is not for the faint-hearted. You’re on for an exhilarating adventure if you opt for this Sichuan peppercorn spiced dish.
Pork Chop from Meat and Potatoes
CHOP: Maybe you saw this one coming, us mentioning a place with meat in the name. So no surprise there. The real surprise comes later when your server arrives with a massive cut of meat. This gigantic chop will be cooked to perfection and topped with pork belly. Two parts in one!
Cheeks Bowl at PAN
CHEEK: If you’re looking for an accessible way of branching out beyond your run-of-the-mill cuts of pork, make your way over to Lawrenceville. PAN, which replaced Tamari earlier in the summer, offers a not so authentic, but still pretty tasty riff on pad thai. For their special twist, the noodles are topped with flavorful, thin-cut slices of pork cheek.
Soppressata, capicola & more at Penn Mac
CURED/VARIOUS When you get a hankering for a good sandwich, take matters in your own hands. A great place to pick up ingredients would be Penn Mac in the Strip with its bustling marketplace vibes. Some of our favorite pork-based deli cuts include salami soppressata, hot capicola, and mortadella, which is like bologna but for real people (like, is it just us or is bologna a weird mythical meat only referenced in cartoons?) Trust the guys that are working the counter- their recommendations are always on the money.
January 17, 2015 marked the date of the first ever Strip District Music Festival.
To say that the inaugural event went off without a hitch would be a huge understatement. Put simply, the festival was a smashing success. Some 80 local bands performed at 11 area venues, showcasing the Strip District and the city’s talented music community. Building on the momentum of last year’s event, details for the 2016 Strip District Music Festival are rolling in.
Back and Bigger Than Ever
So far, more than 100 local artists have committed to be a part of the SDMF, to be held on January 16, 2016. The line-up will include a wide range of musical genres, including singer-songwriters, electronic artists, punk, metal and indie rock bands, hip-hop acts and more. Local favorites like Meeting of Important People, Bastard Bearded Irishmen, Donora, Paul Luc, Gene the Werewolf, Grand Piano, Dethlehem and Mia Z are sure to attract fans to multiple venues throughout the Strip District. At this point, the number of venues is hovering around 20, with more being added by the minute.
Of course, the music is only one component of this festival. The Rum Room at Maggie’s Farm will play host to comedians including Day Bracey, Shannon Norman, Gio Attisano, Alex Stypula, Tom Henry, John Dick Winters and Tim Ross, as well as a LIVE podcast from the Drinking Partners on the Epicast Network.
Rest assured that food will easy to come by as you hop between venues. Many of Pittsburgh’s favorite food trucks will be in the Strip serving up the best street eats in town. Be on the lookout for the Southside BBQ, Cool Beans, BRGR Truck, Franktuary, The Waffler, Saucy Mama’s and many others.
Pay What You Want
Okay! Are you still with us? Good. Because here’s the craziest and coolest part of the entire festival. The cost of admission is a little something called “Pay What You Want.”
Here’s how it works. Attendees are encouraged to make a contribution to the Festival or to individuals bands. Donations can be made on the SDMF website or by downloading the Square Cash App, then sending donations to $StripMusicFest. When you would like to donate to an individual artist they will receive 75% of their donation and 25% will be reinvested back into the festival. Do so by specifying which artist you’d like to support in the Optional Notes section of the donation app.
What: Strip District Music Festival
When: January 16, 2016
Where: The Strip District
Exploring every eatery in the city is a worthwhile endeavor. One that’s getting more rewarding all the time, too. What with all the new (and delicious) restaurants opening. The only downside is that, as your list of must-try restaurants continues to grow, your bank account just might run dry. The bill adds up fast when you factor in a couple craft cocktails or a bottle (or two) of wine. Looks like your try’em all adventure is over before it began.
Or is it? Not if you eat and drink your way around the city, hitting these standout BYOB spots it’s not. So grab your favorite bottle(s) and these places will take care of the rest.
If simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, this is the most sophisticated spot in Pittsburgh. The menu offers a limited number of items, but each is abound with flavor. And the curated space manages to achieve a minimalist style without feeling sterile. When it come time to order, we have two words for you: fried chicken. Whether it’s by the bucket or on a sandwich you can’t go wrong, especially when you pair it with a bottle of your own choosing.
This neighborhood noodle joint keeps it super simple. No nonsense. Just noodles, folks. No telephone. No reservations. Cash only. BYOB. $6 soups. $9 noodles. Place your order, choose your spiciness level 1 – 5 (FYI, 5 = crazy). Do yourself a favor, order the steamed buns. Then, kickback and enjoy the trendy, wood + metal industrial design that contributes to a stellar atmosphere, while you slurp down your street-eats inspired noodles.
Known as the go-to brunch spot on Butler Street, Coca Cafe also does breakfast, lunch and dinner. Best of all, you can bring your own bottle to any meal. Yes, even breakfast. No judgement here. While we never pass judgement for day (or morning) drinking, skipping this spot is frowned upon. Although skipping the full-on brunch frenzy is acceptable. But no matter when you stop by you’ll find a menu complete with options that upgrade the same old eats you’re used to.
Penn Avenue Fish Co.
If you’re craving seafood, in any form, Penn Ave Fish Co. is the obvious choice. Fish tacos? Yep, hard and soft shell. Sushi? Depends. Do you want rolls or sashimi? Honestly, it doesn’t matter. Spare yourself the agony of deciding. Just order both already. Heck, you could even stock up on some fresh fish in preparation for a home cooked meal. But why bring the fish home when you can just bring your bottle of wine here? Dinner out it is. Good choice.
Over in Lawrenceville, Butler Street is bustling with energy and all sorts of amazing eateries. But if you venture off the beaten path, onto 43rd Street, you’ll find this eclectic hidden gem. The Kaleidoscope Cafe is hard to miss, even if you’re not looking for it. The exterior of the building is a wonderful, artistic mosaic. Like the decor, the menu is unique and creative. Expect a meal that wows your taste buds in the same way the aesthetic delights every diner.
Nicky’s Thai Kitchen
With two locations, Downtown and North Side, Nicky’s brings a double dose of traditional Thai cuisine to Pittsburgh. They’re spicing up the restaurant options in the Cultural District, making this the perfect place for pad Thai prior to a play or performance. And on Western Avenue, the house turned restaurant couldn’t be more cozy. But you can’t go wrong dining at either location. Especially if you come ready with your favorite bottle (or two) of wine to pair with your meal.
Dining out usually means you have to stray from your healthy ways. And chances are, at some point later that night or the next morning, you’ll feel bloated, fall into a food coma or both. Of course you could avoid those outcomes altogether, choosing instead to eat at Eden. It’s Pittsburgh’s go-to spot for raw, vegan and gluten-free meals that taste amazing. Better still, since they allow you to bring your own bottle, you can enjoy your healthy meal with a side of balance, in the form of your favorite wine.
Cafe du Jour
Somehow this spot manages to surprise, delight and fly under the radar all at once. Those in the know seek out this small South Side eatery with a bottle or beverage in tow. The food and atmosphere will have you convinced you’ve been transported to Paris via Pittsburgh. And the outdoor seating area will make that you’ll never want to leave. If you bring an extra bottle of wine and ask your server to bring on the dessert menu you won’t have to. At least not any time soon.
There’s a lot to love about this place. Especially if you enjoy Italian food. Feast on any one of their pasta dishes. Or have a panini. But know that the best decision of all would be to order a woodfire pizza. Pair your pizza with a bottle of wine and great company to make this night one to remember. Make this evening unforgettable by indulging in the homemade tiramisu for dessert.
Walk through the door at this Shadyside eatery into a small and welcoming space. Limited seating makes calling ahead a must. A bottle of wine should also be a requirement. Examine the chalkboard menus on the wall. Listen closely to the specials. And take note of the seasonal nature and locally sourced elements of each dish. These elements combine to make Avenue B an easy choice for one of Pittsburgh’s best restaurants, BYOB or otherwise.
Tucked away on Spahr Street, just off Ellsworth Street in Shadyside, is where you’ll find this eclectic eatery with a menu made up of Mediterranean and Portuguese flavors. While the space is understated and on the smaller side, the menu and offerings are anything but. From starters to dessert you’re sure to find a few things that make venturing off the beaten restaurant path worthwhile.
Smiling Banana Leaf
The restaurant is small, but the traditional Thai food is satisfying. In fact, it’s so good you’ll be left with an empty plate, full stomach and a smile on your face. It won’t put a dent in your wallet, either. Every entree on the menu is under $13 and there’s no corkage fee if you BYOB. Nestled in Highland Park, this spot is unlike anything in the neighborhood. Which makes it worth checking out. When you do, reservations are encouraged. As is trying one of everything on the menu.
It’s hard to imagine anything being better than Gaucho’s Steak Burger. Who are we kidding, it’s hard to think up a meal that tops anything on the menu at this place. So then, how do you upgrade a meal that has it all? You add booze, of course. Luckily, Gaucho allows for the addition of alcohol with their BYOB policy. And thanks to their new, expanded dining area you can hang out while you eat and drink your way through everything on the menu.
The only thing better than a restaurant that lets you bring your own bottle, is a BYOB spot that serves a brunch buffet. And it’s a vegetarian-friendly buffet at that. While you eat and drink, take in the art and antiques that fill the space. Because Zenith is an art gallery, eatery and antique shop in one. If that sounds like something you might be into, know that you should get there early, or be prepared to wait in line, if you want to get in at all.
Now maybe you’re thinking you’ve already has your fix of Thai flavors at Noodlehead, the Smiling Banana Leaf and Nicky’s Thai Kitchen. To which we’d respond, not so fast. Just because you’ve tried those spots doesn’t mean you should pass on Pusadee’s. As a matter of fact, this spot should be atop of your list of Thai-inspired, noodle joints. Outdoor dining in the garden is highly recommended. So is the pumpkin curry, and Street Noodle #1.
Have you picked out your Halloween costume yet?
Yeah, we thought you might be procrastinating. Which is why we went ahead and put in some leg work for you. But instead of leaning on the same old overdone costumes, we thought we’d offer up a few Pittsburgh inspired options. So here goes, check out these 10 Burgh-themed costume ideas that we hope you steal this Halloween.
This one might take the cake. Because, after all, who doesn’t love Mr. Rogers? We certainly do. And we’ll tell you who else, that guy^^. He totally nailed the wardrobe and X the owl. Come on, you know, X. He lives in an old oak tree in the Neighborhood. Anyway, you could take this one step further by finding a friend to play Mr. McFeely, the Speedy Delivery Man. Please, someone do that!
Yes, yes, yes! A thousand times yes. Spike your hair and bust out your best lip sweater. Those are the first two steps required of anyone who hopes to morph into the one and only Mr. Pittsburgh, Rick Sebak. Then, if you’re taking your costume seriously (of course you are!), you’ll have to commence a rigorous film study that spans the history of Pittsburgh, PBS and Sebak’s career from Kennywood Memories to A Few Great Pie Places. Good luck!
Also known as, the Yinzer this costume is easy to thrown together. All you’ll need is a pair of dad jeans, orthopedic New Balances, and a t-shirt with any Pittsburgh sports team on it. Nail this costume by practicing your Pittsburghese and carrying around a can case of I.C. Light.
Heinz Ketchup Bottle
You can order your costume online or make your own (don’t forget the iconic “57”). Either way the Heinz ketchup bottle is burgh-verified halloween costume. No doubt about it.
Let’s be honest, the photo speaks for itself. Few things are as synonyms with Pittsburgh as the Terrible Towel. So much so that people take photos with this thing on vacation, their honeymoon, all over the world and even in space. Steelers Nation knows no limits.
It’s like the construction worker costume, only cooler and with some historical significance in the Burgh. Work boots and a hardhat are a must. You could opt for some Carharts and a canvas workshirt, but overalls would undoubtedly put this costume over the top.
Pretending to be this pop-art icon will be a hit anywhere, not just in Pittsburgh. The look could take a couple different forms. The all black outfit, white wig and sunglasses, clutching a can of tomato soup and a camera. Or for the perfect couples costume, one person rocks the Andy Warhol look while the other dawns a Campbell’s soup can. Perfection!
Here’s your chance to suit up and ball out like a titan of industry. Three piece suit, awesome top hat and a wicked beard combine to complete the Carnegie look. Feel free to bring some fake money and make it rain (that’s philanthropy, folks) in true Andrew Carnegie fashion.
If you’re flying solo, go ahead and do the solo doughy dumpling costume. Don’t worry, it will be great. But beware, there’s a chance you’ll be one-upped by a team of pierogies from the Great Pierogi Race N’at fame. Grab your friend and pick a few favorite pierogie or secure six participants to round out the entire pierogie racing squad, including Oliver Onion, Cheese Chester, Potato Pete, Sauerkraut Saul, Jalapeño Hannah, and Bacon Burt.
Any Pittsburgh Sports Figure (ever)
It’s true, Pittsburgh really does love Pittsburgh. And we especially love our sports teams. As a result, you could pick any Pittsburgh sports themed costume ever and be massive Halloween hit. But if we had to pick just one sports-related icon it would be the Chief, Art Rooney. He brought us the Steelers for goodness sake! Pay homage this Halloween by piecing together your costume with a white wig, thick rimmed glasses and a stogie hanging out the side of your mouth.
Like any hometown, growing up in Pittsburgh has its pros and cons. Of course some people (read, us) would argue that there is much more good than bad on that list. And in case you need a little reminder of just how good you had it, take a look see at these 14 items and try to tell us it wasn’t a blast growing up in the Burgh.
Selling Sarris Candy
This chocolate is so good it practically sold itself.
Watching Zambelli Fireworks
The Fourth of July is awesome, but it’s always better in Pittsburgh. Especially high atop Mt. Washington.
Field trips to the Carnegie Science Center
All you can eat astronaut ice cream and the Omnimax.
Listening to B94
This station went byebyebye, just the like the Backstreet Boys and every other boy band from back then.
The Civic Arena
Disney Icecapades, anyone?
Watching Mr. Rogers Neighborhood
And thinking Mr. Rogers actually lived in your neighborhood.
Waiting all year for Kennywood Day
Three words: ride all day.
More field trips
The Pittsburgh Zoo, the Aviary and the Carnegie Museums made the school year more bearable.
Craving Smiley Cookies
And when you learned that no one outside of Pittsburgh knew what Eat’n Park, or a Smiley Cookie, is.
Singing along to this car commercial
“Lebanon Church Road, Pittsburgh. Minutes from the mall.”
Riding the Incline
How can something be so terrifying and amazing at the same time?
Freezing at Light Up Night
Watching the Steel City light up; skyline, tree and all!
Taking the Gateway Clipper
The Good Ship Lollipop Cruise and Pirate Adventure.
Thinking jagoff was a curse word
Then realizing, much later, that it was just Pittsburghese.
We have some good news and some bad news.
Let’s start with the bad news: summer is over. Bummer. On the bright side, it’s not winter yet. Which means you’d better bust out your Steelers gear. Get your sweaters and boots ready, too. Because fall is moving in. And along with football season and cooler temperature, it’s bringing a bunch of speciality beers with it. The best part is, you can get them all right in your backyard.
Nunkin Ale, East End Brewing
The pumpkin flavor you want, without any actual squash. That’s right, no pumpkins were harmed in the making of Nunkin Ale. But you’d never know that from the taste alone. The secret? Pumpkin pie spices are used to make this sweet seasonal ale.
Jacked Up O’Lantern Stout, Roundabout Brewery
What do you get when you combine roasted coffee with vanilla and pumpkin pie spices? That’s easy! You get Jacked Up O’Lantern Stout. It’s a pumpkin beer with less focus on the pumpkin. The result is a coffee stout made with beans from La Prima Espresso, setting it apart from other seasonals.
Pumpkin Ale, Block House
If you’ve ever thought, “Geez, eating pumpkin pie is so hard. I wish I could just drink it instead.” Well, you’re not alone. Apparently Block House Brewing thought the same thing. Then they set out make this dream a reality. And we’re happy to report they succeeded. Skip the pie, drink this beer instead.
Caution! Contains Real Pumpkin!!!, Voodoo Brewing
After a not-so-scientific study, Voodoo brewing found that most pumpkin beers don’t actually contain pumpkin. Disappointed by this revelation, they created this barleywine (a strong, intense beer) packed with 200lbs. of real pumpkin. Then they aged it in bourbon barrels with cinnamon, vanilla beans and, yes, more pumpkin.
Pumpkin Dunkel (Punkle), Hop Farm Brewing Company
What do you call a Dunkelweizen (a darker, stronger Bavarian wheat beer), infused with pumpkin. If you’re Hop Farm Brewing, you call it a Punkle. Which, when you think about it, makes perfect sense. If you’re not a fan of pumpkin beer, be on the lookout for their Harvest Provision: a belgian-style saison, brewed with locally sourced lemon and lime basil.
Pumpkin Stout, Church Brew Works
Here’s another pumpkin beer with actual pumpkins in it. And the Pumpkin Stout has another defining characteristic: it’s darker than other pumpkin brews. The roasted, dark malt combined with notes of caramelized pumpkin, and a secret spice blend, truly sets this beer apart.
Belgian Spiced Ale (name TBD), Grist House Brewing
Over in Millvale, the team at Grist House has something special fermenting. The end result will be a spiced, Belgian-style strong ale. The exact name is TBD, but if you want the inside scoop ask about this brew by it’s working name, #BSL. And while you’re poking around, you’d better try their Harvest IPA and Black rye IPA. Both of which are coming soon!
St. Juttemis Pumpkin Porter, All Saints Brewing Company
Pumpkin in a porter? Not something you see everyday. Hence the name. It’s Dutch: “met sint-juttemis.” Which, loosely translated, means “when hell freezes over” or “when pigs fly”. Or, in this case, when All Saints Brewing puts pumpkins into porter. Roughly 20lbs of ‘em in every keg. Bonus: If you’re not a fan of the porter, try the Hollowed Pumpkin from All Saints.
Pumpkin Ale, CoStar Brewing
When it comes to breweries, CoStar is Pittsburgh’s best-kept secret. And their Pumpkin Ale is the best-kept secret of local seasonals. As you read this, the little nanobrewery that could is busy fermenting their Pumpkin Ale, for release later this fall. Think of it as a beer with pumpkin in it, not the punch-you-in-the-face pumpkin of other fall brews.
Night of the Living Stout, Full Pint Brewing
Instead of falling in line by whipping up a pumpkin beer, Full Pint bucks that trend. Their West Coast-style stout, known as Night of the Living Stout, is pumpkin-free. But what this beer lacks in the way of squash is made up for in alcohol – it’s 7.0% ABV.
Pumpkin Roll Ale, Penn Brewery
Okay, a couple things here. One, the name could not be more perfect. This beer tastes like someone shoved a pumpkin roll into the bottle. And two, it tastes as good as good as that description sounds. Actually, the words don’t suffice. You’ll just have to try it for yourself.
Pie Bandit, Spoonwood Brewing
With a name like Pie Bandit, you have to love this beer. The flavors don’t hurt either. Expect a pinch, dash, sprinkle and smidge of cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and ginger. And if you want to steal some for yourself, plan to make your way out to Bethel Park to sample the first fall-themed beer from the folks at Spoonwood.
The Hitcher Pumpkin Ale, Hitchhiker
Over in Mt. Lebanon, the team at Hitchhiker Brewing has been hard at work concocting craft beer that combines autumn, ale and alcohol. The Hitcher Pumpkin Ale delivers in all three categories. The mild, maltiness and a seasonal blend of spices give this ale a smooth, candy finish at 6.1% ABV. The kegs are already tapped, so get to Hitchhiker before they’re kicked.
Pumpkin Spice, Rivertowne Brewing
After cleaning, roasting, spicing and baking two tons of pumpkin, Rivertowne tossed them into a batch of beer. The result is a smooth, cream ale that balances harvest spices and pumpkin pie. And get this: it’s served on nitrogen, into a glass with a cinnamon sugar rim. Yeah, we’re sold!
For the past year, Seth Hunter of Toll Gate Revival has been showing and selling his vintage finds from his North Side studio. But soon this salvage and supply company will be setting up shop on Butler Street.
Picking (and preserving) the Rust Belt
You see, Seth is a picker and self-proclaimed vagabond. He’s preserving Pittsburgh’s past with every Rust Belt relic he procures. Having grown up on a farm in Washington County, in an area with abundance of barns ripe with collectables, Seth started an antiquing business.
With an eye for the eclectic and inroads into the region’s community of collectors, Seth has grown Toll Gate into a popular supplier of carefully curated, vintage decor and reclaimed materials. Now everyone from designers to contractors and retailers to the everyday collector have made Toll Gate their go-to for hand-picked pieces.
Coming soon: A new storefront & stock list
Before announcing the move to Butler Street, you could only visit Toll Gate’s studio by appointment or during a monthly open. Seth would share studio hours on social media and people would pour in. Going forward, the storefront at 3711 Butler Street will serve as a more consistent retail space and showroom, perfect for displaying an ever-evolving inventory of items picked from abandoned factories, warehouses and barns across the Pennsylvania countryside and along the East Coast.
But the move to a new storefront isn’t Toll Gate’s only noteworthy announcement. When the new space opens (look for a soft launch come October 8), you can expect an expanded stock list that will include several American made brands of home goods, apparel and accessories. One of the brands on display will be Seneca Creek, a Penn Hills based retailer of outdoor inspired merchandise; including shirts, backpacks and leather goods.
The grand opening is set for October 15, complete with eats, drinks and swag from the likes of PGH Taco truck and Atlas Bottleworks & Rowhouse Cinema. In the meantime, keep up with all of the happenings and progress at Toll Gate Revival on Instagram and Facebook.
As the rave reviews of Pittsburgh’s restaurant scene continue to roll in, we’re happy to report that the cost of snacking hard is holding steady.
That’s because Pittsburgh is a city custom made to please your palate and sate your cravings with just a couple of dollars (or cents!). It’s true, balling on a budget is a real possibility around here. You won’t have to sacrifice on flavor or quality either. Especially if you know where to look. And now you do!
From the mom-and-pop shops in Squirrel Hill to globally inspired restaurants all over town, and even a wine bar in Lawrenceville, we’ve uncovered delicious bites and deals on dishes all for $5 or less.
Momo from Subba
Nepali style dumplings with a fiery dipping sauce. These morsels have a pleasantly thick and chewy wrapper and an exciting spiced filling. Cost: $4.55 for 8
Daily Pierogi Special from S&D Polish Deli
Feast on any and all of the economical offerings found on the menu at this authentic Polish shop. Just know that S & D’s daily special, featuring a different pierogi flavor each day, is probably the best bet. Cost: $4
Specialty Pretzel from The Pretzel Shop
Carb cravings meet their end at this old-school shop. Choose from sweet options, like sugar & cinnamon, as well as more savory ones, like parmesan bacon. Cost: varies, $1-$1.50
Milkshake from The Milk Shake Factory
On Wednesdays from 4:30-6:30, this Southside ice cream parlor and chocolates shop serves up their decadent milkshakes at half price. Cost: $2.41 during Milkshake Happy Hour
Crispy Yuca from Chicken Latino
If you like the starchiness of sweet potato fries and the creamy yield of a French fry, then you will love the crispy yuca from Chicken Latino. Cost: $4.50
Veggie Samosa from Bangal Kabab House & Restaurant
Crispy, golden brown deep-fried dumplings filled with a herbaceous mix of spiced potatoes and peas. Cost: $2.99 for 2pc
Garlic Naan from The Taj Mahal
Topped with fresh garlic and a glossy coat of ghee, The Taj Mahal’s freshly baked flatbread has crisp bits and fluffy sections all at the same time. It’s chewy, crispy, and garlicky. All good things. Cost: $3.99
Kitchen Sink Wings from William Penn Tavern
Kitchen Sink Sauce is exactly what you’d expect out of its name— a feisty mix of various wing sauces. That means the taste will be a little different each time, but you can always count on these bad boys to pack on the heat. Cost: $0.50 wings on Wednesdays
Ice Cream from Dave and Andy’s
When you walk into Dave and Andy’s prepare for a contact [sugar] high as you’re engulfed by the intoxicating scent of waffle cones being made. This scoop shop is one of the few in Pittsburgh that makes its own ice cream. Standout flavors include apple pie, birthday cake, and burnt butter. Cost: $2.64 for a single scoop (& free smells)
Meat or Cheese from Allegheny Wine Mixer
Stop by this uber casual wine bar in Lawrenceville for a prime assortment of local meats and cheese to go with your glass of vino. You deserve it! Cost: Meat ($4 each) & Cheese ($5 each)
Tacos from Las Palmas
Tacos are filled generously with your choice of meat. Slather on the salsas as you please since you’ve got free reign of the toppings bar. Cost: $2.50 each
Slice of Pizza from Mineo’s or Aiello’s
These two family-owned pizza joints have been dueling for years over which Squirrel Hill eatery has the better pizza. Single cuts won’t put you back more than a couple dollars, depending on the type of pizza you want…so, you could theoretically try both for under $5. Cost: varies (depends on your toppings)
Spanakopita from the Greek Gourmet Marketplace
The homemade spanakopita at this small Squirrel Hill shop is a thick-cut wedge of phyllo dough, spinach, and feta goodness. Cost: $4
OMG Donuts from E2
Kate Romane’s brunch menu includes her very appropriately named “OMG” selection of donuts, like chocolate espresso, berry white doughnuts, and beignets. And omg, how will you ever pick? Cost: $5
Bomboloni from Bread & Salt
Missed out on summer vacay this year? A single bite of Rick Easton’s delectable Italian donuts will transport you right to Italy. Cost: $3.75
Spring Rolls from Tram’s Kitchen
This Bloomfield eatery is every bit of the hole-in-the-wall joint that you need in your life – from the jaunty plastic tablecloths to its light, but tasty offerings. Like the plump and refreshing spring rolls. Cost: $1.50 each
Look, we get it. Primanti’s is as Pittsburgh as it gets.
Eating there is a time-honored tradition that ranks highly on the “You might be a Yinzer if…” list. Primanti’s also lands on every single Pittsburgh to-do list.
But if you’ve lived here for a while, you’ve probably had your fair share of Primanti’s. And now it’s time to start seeing other sandwiches, starting with this list of Pittsburgh sammich spots.
The fact that this Strip District sandwich spot was named one of the top 100 places to eat in the U.S. is reason enough to stop by. And when you do, no matter what you order, you’ll be blown away. From rosemary-braised beef to chicken and chorizo to pork tenderloin, eat and every meaty sandwiche is worth trying at least once.
Thin Man Sandwich Shop
Casual, gourmet sandwiches. That’s one way to characterize this specialty sandwich shop. The menu is ever-changing, except for their three signature sandwiches that feature ingredients like liver mousse, runny fried egg, and goat milk marinated chicken. The remainder of the menu is a mix seasonal and creative concoctions that you can keep up with via the “new sandwich alert” broadcasted via Twitter and Facebook.
This place has gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches galore. In this case, galore equates to approximately 26 grilled cheese options. Which can be overwhelming. So we’ll make it easy for you. When you’re at The Yard, order the Pierogies N’at – a combination of pierogies, kielbasa, and sauerkraut, within oozy cheddar and Gouda, between two pieces of Texas Toast.
Carson Street Deli
We’d like to introduce you to your standout sandwich spot on the South Side, offering epic eats and a long list of local beers. There’s a good chance the sandwich of your dreams is included among the Deli Specials. And if not, you can build your own sammich starting with the bread, cheese, meat, veggies, and condiments at will.
A sandwich from a pizza shop? Yes, indeed! What can we say? When a sandwich is good, we don’t really care where it comes from. If it makes you feel better, you can order a pizza and a hoagie (hint, hint!). The hot sausage and meatball hoagies are spot on. The same can be said of the Buffalo chicken. And the BBQ chicken. What we’re trying to say is that sampling the sandwiches at Spak will require a second round.
This breakfast and lunch spot elevates on-the-go eats for city-goers. But, for the sake of this article, we’re eyeing up the sandwich section of their menu. How about the roast beef on ciabatta? Perhaps the croque monsieur – ham, slathered with béchamel, on brioche – is more your speed. Still not satisfied? Three words: shallot-bacon jam. Which you’ll find on the roast turkey sandwich. You’re welcome.
If you think “bigger is better,” then the Headwiches at Fat Heads are right up your alley. They’re like a regular sandwich, only bigger. Like, the size of your head big. So, bring your appetite with your and order the South Side Slopes – a massive (and delicious) sandwich that marries chargrilled kielbasa with sautéed pierogi, onions, American cheese and horseradish sauce.
Triangle Bar and Grill
The aforementioned Headwich is big. But it can’t sink the Battleship; a 26 inch hoagie and the main attraction at Triangle Bar and Grill. It’s been drawing a crowd to Swissvale since the mid-1940’s. Here, size and simplicity win the day. Start with the bun. Heap on the meat: capicola, turkey or ham. Pile on American and provolone cheese. Load it up with lettuce. And top it off with strands of white onions, oil, vinegar, and herbs.
Here’s what you need to know about Peppi’s: It’s the home of “The 7.” Aka, the Roethlisburger. It’s a massive burger and sausage combo topped with cheese and two eggs. Of course, it’s not the only sandwich named after a Steeler. There’s the Heath and Joey Potter “bella,” as well as steak, deli, chicken-filled and veggie-friendly sandwiches to choose from.
Pub Chip Shop
This Scottish inspired spot serves up fish and chips, as well as savory baked goods, to hungry patrons on Pittsburgh’s South Side. The sandwich menu features favorites from the U.K., like Scott eggs, boxty tots, and baps. But the main attraction is definitely the classic Fish and Chips – two pieces hand battered Haddock served alongside crispy chips.
Smallman Street Deli
When you’re in the mood for a sandwich, it’s hard to go wrong with a place that has deli in the name. Smallman Street Deli proves that theory true, serving some of the best butcher cut meats in the ‘Burgh. Signature sandwiches, like corned beef, Reuben, pastrami and roast beef are a solid choice. The same can be said for the Rachel. It’s like a Reuben, only different – served with cole slaw instead of sauerkraut.
Uncle Sam’s Sandwich Bar
If the reviews and awards have it right, this isn’t just one of the best sandwich spots in Pittsburgh. Uncle Sam’s is one of the best anywhere, ever. We’re not just saying that either. Their eats, including the french fries, have been winning awards since the 80’s. The best thing to do would be to see for yourself, starting with the Ultra Uncle Sam’s Special. It’s a bigger, meatier steak special.
North Shore Deli
Head to this hidden gem on the (you guessed it) North Shore for fresh and delicious sammies that are made to order. This place is Pittsburgh through and through. To prove it, every menu item is named after a local street. And get this, every sandwich is under ten bucks. No, they’re not skimping on the portions. The folks at the North Shore Deli pile on the goods to feed a steelworkers appetite (even if you’re not a steelworker). All in all, you’ll get a killer deal on an amazing sandwich.
Leona’s Ice Cream Sandwiches
Last, but certainly not least, the sandwiches from Leona’s are unlike anything else on this list. To be clear, they’re like any other ice cream sandwiches anywhere. They’re locally sourced; using the freshest ingredients around. They’re also innovative, dreaming up flavor combos like plum/ginger molasses, roasted fig/vanilla and strawberry rhubarb/shortbread to name a few. Oh, and one more thing, every ounce of ice cream sandwiched between those delicious cookies is 100% lactose-free.
A former firehouse in lower Lawrenceville is where you’ll find one of Pittsburgh’s hidden treasures.
The Clemente Museum located inside Engine House 25 is home to the world’s largest collection of Clemente-themed memorabilia. The collection, established in collaboration with the Clemente family, has grown to include sports and family snapshots, old uniforms, balls, gloves and cleats; as well as more personal items like telegrams and letters.
This place is truly a must-visit for Pirates fans and baseball lovers alike. Anyone who grew up idolizing this superstar will be in awe of every inch of the space curated by Duane Rieder.
Rieder, an acclaimed photographer, met the Clemente family in Puerto Rico while working on a project for the 1994 MLB All Star Game. When Vera, Clemente’s widow, asked Rieder to restore a few photos of Roberto, Rieder did her one better by tracking down the negatives from the original photographer. Since that meeting the collection and Clemente’s legacy has continued to live on thanks to Mr. Rieder and the museum.
See a Legend
Here’s your chance to See a Legend and support the legacy of Roberto Clemente by attending the 6th Annual Fundraiser at the Clemente Museum. This year, the Clemente family will be in attendance, including Vera Clemente, along with various current and past Pittsburgh athletes. You can also expect to see brand new Clemente memorabilia exhibits while enjoying delicious food and Engine House 25 Wines.
When: Thursday, September 17th from 6:00pm-9:00pm
Where: The Clemente Museum, Engine House, 3339 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh
Tickets: Individual tickets to the event are available for $150.00. To purchase tickets, please contact us at email@example.com or call 412-621-1268.
You’re all set for Thrival, right?
Of course, you are! You’ve heard all about the headliners. Even snagged your tickets already. Now you’re just counting down the days until the fun starts on September 25.
Woah. Pump the brakes. Did you say you’re waiting until September 25 because you think that’s when the festival starts? Hm. Okay. We sure have some news for you. Here’s the thing, there’s more to Thrival than the concerts on Friday and Saturday. There’s actually a ton of incredible innovation-themed events happening the week leading up to the concerts. It’s a full week of happenings!
It’s Innovation + Music
Yes, you heard that right. The Thrival Innovation + Music Festival actually gets underway on September 21. Each day that week will feature a variety of innovation-focused events presented by top-level thought leaders and organizations. These events fall into five tracks: connectors, leaders, makers, pioneers and thinkers, that coincide with a theme for each day of the week. Those themes range from new media, to education and entrepreneurship, to health and wellness.
If that sounds like something you can get into, take a look at the initial innovation lineup below and stay tuned to Thrival for more information, including registration and start times.
Here’s your first look at the innovation lineup!
Monday, September 21: With a focus on 21st Century Cities and Global Leadership, Monday features multiple panel discussions tackling gentrification, public policy and leadership opportunities for metro areas. Partners and participants, including Saul Ewing, Pittsburgh Global Shapers, Councilman Corey O’Connor, and the Mayor’s Office, combine to create a candid discussion centered on gentrification in Pittsburgh, and Hazelwood in particular — the site of Thrival’s weekend outdoor concert.
Tuesday, September 22: The media landscape is constantly shifting in an increasingly interconnected world. With that in mind, Thrival has assembled a panel of national media leaders and game developers to address the future of news, interactive gaming trends, “big data,” and how we connect with one another. Join the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association, Pittsburgh International Game Developers Association, Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center, and Pittsburgh DataWorks at Work Hard PGH to get schooled on new media, gaming and information sharing.
Wednesday, September 23: Make your way to the Energy Innovation Center in the Hill District for inspiring programming on cutting-edge and thought-provoking initiatives changing the education landscape; with multiple partners, including the Sprout Fund and the U.S. Department of Education. Insider tip: Pittsburgh-based Schell Games leads a panel examining the frontiers of education gaming.
Thursday, September 24: If you’re interested in health and wellness, or have a startup in that industry, Thursday was created for you. How’s that? Well, UPMC Enterprises is hosting an exclusive session that includes interactive workshops and thought-talks designed for both established and early-stage startups as well as anyone interested in finding out what types of opportunities are available within the health system. If you think you have what it takes, you may just be picked to pitch directly to UPMC executives. You can apply to participate in the session here. Later on in the day, you can attend the live recording and launch of WESA 90.5 FM’s Josh Raulerson’s new tech and entrepreneurship podcast. Insider tip: The fact that these events are held at Google and Tech Shop — two of the coolest work spaces in the city — is reason enough to attend.
Friday, September 25: Happy Friday, gang! Time for the concert to begin. But, before you make your way over to Hazelwood for a weekend of awesome music, stop by the Broad Street Building for a full-slate of programs at the home of Thrill Mill, AlphaLab, and AlphaLab Gear. They’ll be exploring women in leadership, the art of negotiation and a featured talk with Venture for America Founder and CEO, Andrew Yang. Insider tip: Don’t miss a lunch-time conversation with Pittsburgh-based “Shark Tank” success stories Simple Sugars, PittMoss and CellHelmet.
What: Thrival Innovation + Music Festival
When: September 21st-27th
Where: a city-wide innovation campus + Almono in Hazelwood
In case you haven’t noticed, the Pittsburgh restaurant scene is kind of a big deal.
While you’ve been sticking to Steel City staples like pierogies and Primanti Brothers, a new generation of Pittsburgh chefs and restaurateurs have been wowing diners and snagging headlines. In recent months, Eater, the Washington Post and the New York Times all had wonderful things to say.
And all signs point to more of the same. From new spots to anticipated openings (plus some noteworthy food news) Pittsburgh has a lot to look forward to.
Station, Curtis Gamble’s new gastropub in Bloomfield, serves up modern American cuisine with a Mediterranean touch. The current dinner menu, which features local and hyper-seasonal ingredients, is full of singular flavor profiles that are as clever as they are satisfying. Gamble’s goal was to “blur the lines between modern cooking and what’s considered rustic or old school.” Their lick-the-bowl-good chicken liver mousse and piping hot crispy wings, topped with parmesan fondue, are prime examples of that mentality. For dessert, the popcorn panna cotta is not to be missed.
Located centrally on Lawrenceville’s main drag, the Vandal is your new go-to neighborhood spot. Since opening earlier in August, owner Joey Hilty says the team’s been working to expand its “simple & seasonal” menu. We love the casual feel of the European-counter style service and the open kitchen—and it’s BYOB with no corkage fee, so be still our beating hearts.
Pallantina Tapas y Paella
Formerly located in Greensburg, Pallantia Tapas y Paella has found a new home in Shadyside off Ivy Street. For their Queso y Embutido, or cheese and meats, they’ve specially imported their selections from Spain for an authentic touch. Pallantia’s Tapas Frias contain a number of vegetarian options, while their Tapas Calientes offer a variety of seafood. Their rotating paella dish, which serves 2-3 people, will feature “seasonal ingredients.”
After quietly popping up at the beginning of this summer, Chef Adolfo Vaccarello’s namesake Bloomfield eatery is serving up a mix of Italian and Venezuelan dishes. Fitting, because the Vaccarello family has roots in both Italy and Venezuela. You’ll find authentic Venezuelan dishes, such as arepas and pabellon criollo, next to Italian dishes like chicken piccata and pesto tortellini. Adolfo’s also serves brunch from 10 to 3 on Sundays (RE those “bottomless mimosa” rumors: You bring the champagne and they’ll provide the OJ.)
When Täkō opened up in April, we wondered if food was all hype- really, how good could a dressed up taco really be? Answer: Täkō’s bougie tacos slay the game. Richard Deshantz’ newest downtown hotspot somehow manages to simultaneously reinvent and elevate tacos while still keeping them playful and downright fun. We love the duck confit, Täkō taco, Korean, Baja…okay, basically we love all of them. Drinks are wildly inventive as well.
Slice Island and Spirit Lodge
Their Twitter description simply says “pizza booze party” and that pretty much sums it right up. This former event space in Lawrenceville has been transformed into a two-level pizzeria (Slice Island) and bar (Spirit Lodge.) The Sicilian-cut pizzas at Slice Island have a tasty focaccia-esque crust and high quality toppings.
Owners Kate and Tomasz (the pair that brought you Pierogi Night) are happy to report that “they’ve been moving pretty quickly” and are aiming for an early November open date. Apteka’s veggie-centric menu will “explores some of the things that are shared in the similar environment of Pittsburgh and Central + Eastern Europe. Look forward to house made cordials & punches, as well as simple cocktails made with juices that are popular to the Central European region. We’ll keep you in the loop as they continue developing their dinner offerings and late night menu, which will feature dishes atypical to Eastern European cuisine and some favorites from pierogi night.
Emporio: A Meatball Joint
Do meatballs taste better when you don’t have to brave downtown traffic to eat them? Seems like the Sienna Restaurant Group is testing that theory out. Slated to open in the fall, Emporio: A Meatball Joint at the Village of Pine on Route 19 will be modeled after the first-floor meatball eatery at Sienna Mercato. Expect to see a meatball-driven menu and plenty of tap draft beer options.
Set to open above Round Corner Cantina, Chef Roger Li’s Japanese-styled pub will serve traditional Japanese dishes made with modern techniques and local ingredients. If you’ve been following the Umami Instagram, you’ll know that this resto is toying around with items not easily found in Pittsburgh, like handmade ramen and shumai. We have never been more ready.
Justin Severino’s second Lawrenceville restaurant isn’t slated to open until later this year, but looking at recent photos of the Morcilla pop-up dinner dishes have us utterly convinced that Justin Severino is a bonafide meat magician. Morcilla will feature “a family style menu” with a strong Spanish influence and, of course, charcuterie.
Chaz & Odette
An internationally inspired restaurant will open in the space that used to be Toast! Kitchen & Wine Bar space by early fall. Odette Smith-Ransome and Chaz Smith, a former assistant professor at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and her former student Charles (Chaz) Smith, are looking to serve up flatbreads, sandwiches, and burgers for lunch and homey options for dinner.
Kevin Sousa’s recently revealed at a “Speak Freely” talk that his newest venture in Braddock could open by early November. Superior Motors will locally source the majority of its ingredients, in addition to using produce from their rooftop greenhouse and raised bed garden.
Gaucho Parilla Argentina finished its expansion in early June and we are absolutely loving the new space—there is so much of it! The kitchen and staff are as energetic as ever.
The Livermore has been working on a menu overhaul. Check it out during Happy Hour (Wed-Sat from 5-6pm) when the food menu is at half price like its sister restaurant Bar Marco.
Speaking of Bar Marco: Jamilka Borges is parting ways with the Strip District restaurant, so make sure you catch her Swing Trunk before she takes it on a road trip out of PGH! The Swing Trunk’s menu features Puerto Rican inspired bites and drinks like watermelon sangria to keep the summertime vibes flowing.
And Jamilka isn’t the only chef seeking a change of scenery. After working with Kimpton hotels to open multiple restaurants, including The Commoner at Hotel Monaco, chef Dennis Marron is on the move. Word on the street is that Marron plans to open a restaurant of his own in Pittsburgh.
Blue Canary Coffee, which serves a killer pint of nitro-brew coffee, recently announced that it will open up a second location in Mt. Lebanon.
The best cure to the Sunday Scaries is to go for a boozy brunch. You can get together with your friends before the start of the week, swap stories about your Saturday nights, and get a plate of pancakes with a side of hair of the dog all at the same time.
Don’t worry about fighting the crowds at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s to make the brunch of your dreams this weekend — instead, hit up one of the best places for a boozy brunch in Pittsburgh.
Meat and Potatoes
This is the OG boozy brunch in Pittsburgh. We don’t have to tell you about their IG-worthy bloody bar, savory pub burger, or indulgent French toast (but we will anyway). If it’s been a while since you’ve had brunch at Meat and Potatoes, we suggest you change that this weekend.
Some of the best cocktails in Pittsburgh meet the most drool-worthy brunch menu in Pittsburgh Sundays at Bar Marco. From a healthy-ish root hash to a totally worth-it tiramisu french toast, you won’t regret your decision to brunch at Bar Marco next time you’re in the Strip District. Even better? Gratuity is included, so no need to do math on Sunday morning.
Pork and Beans
On Sundays, Pork and Beans adds a special item to their menu for your brunching pleasure — fried chicken, in addition to their full menu. On sunny days they open their garage doors, which makes it even more perfect if you want to grab brunch and a beer before an early Pirates Sunday game.
Don’t reserve your trips to Spirit for Friday and Saturday nights. They have a killer brunch buffet on Sunday mornings from 11am to 3pm, along with a bloody bar and of course — mimosas. Oh, and did we mention there’s endless pizza involved too? Get yourself to Lawrenceville, stat.
This Point Breeze staple may not have been on your radar in a while, but that should change this weekend. They do a prix fixe brunch where you can score an entree, side dish, and a drink for just $25. They have a la carte options too, like duck confit and waffles, liege waffles, or a braised beef hash.
Round Corner Cantina
The best part of Round Corner Cantina’s brunch might be their $4 bloody mary or bloody marias, $6 mimosas, or $25 bottle of bubbly and OJ. In addition to all of your favorite brunch beverages, you can also get breakfast tacos, a brunch burrito or french toast with an ancho maple syrup.
You know how well Smoke does barbecue and tacos — so just imagine their brunch when it involves things like brisket cornbread, chicken and waffle taco, and breakfast migas. Wash it all down with a beer, cocktail, bloody, or a mimosa. Don’t forget to bring cash — no credit cards are accepted at this Butler Street joint.
Gang can’t decide what they’re in the mood for brunch? Head to Smallman Galley. Three of their incubators have Sunday brunch — Carota Cafe, Josephine’s Toast, and Aubergine Bistro. Choose what you want, order a wine, beer, or cocktail at the bar and they’ll text you when you’re food’s ready.
The Abbey on Butler
For $18, you can experience The Abbey’s brunch buffets on Sunday mornings. There’s a make your own waffle and omelet station. Drinks aren’t included, but you can order specialty coffee drinks from the coffee bar or cocktails from the regular bar.
Two words: breakfast poutine. Each month, Franktuary on Butler Street switches up their Sunday (and coming April 2017, Saturday too!) brunch menu, so you have until the last Sunday of every month to try something — or come back for your new favorite dish. You can spike their nitro cold brew, make a beermosa, or go for a classic bloody or mimosa.
The Cafe Carnegie
Make it a Sunday Funday when you brunch at Cafe Carnegie before strolling through the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and the Carnegie Art Museum. You can expect dishes like Banana Pancakes, Brunch Club Sandwich, and Whole Wheat Spaghetti Carbonara. Wash everything down with a wine or beer from their curated list.
Start with an order of beignets then move on to a classic eggs benedict, smoked lamb huevos rancheros, or buttermilk waffle at the always-popular Eleven. Make a reservation in advance and slide into the work week slowly with a maple smash, Eleven mule, or rosalita.
If you need an escape from the Pittsburgh weather, head to Kaya for brunch on Sunday morning. Expect a Caribbean-inspired menu with crispy fried fish tacos, shrimp and black bean omelet, or a breakfast burrito. Sit back with a bellini, bloody mary, or mimosa and thank us for the recommendation later.
We would be remiss to leave Harris Grill off any boozy brunch list. Each brunch entree comes with a drink — we say bring a group of friends so you can order a bunch of entrees and try a little bit of everything. Pro tip: Harris Grill is on NoWait, so save your place in line before you even leave the house.
Have you heard the news? Pittsburgh is the place to be.
Admittedly, we’re bias about our love for Pittsburgh. So we understand your skepticism. But we’re not the only ones telling you to get to here. There are plenty of outsiders, media outlets and annual rankings making a fuss about us. According to them, we’re a must-visit city and the coolest place you’ve never been.
Well, it looks like you better get packing. But leave the planning to us. Because there’s more to this place than sports, steel and a certain sandwich. And we’re going to make sure you see it all.
Stay over in style
When you’re booking your hotel, don’t settle for the same, tired hotel chain. Reserve a room at a trendy boutique hotel or stay over in style at one of the well established Pittsburgh spot. Check out and check into some of the best digs Downtown, like the Fairmont, Omni William Penn or the Hotel Monaco. Hipster havens, including Hotel Indigo and the ACE Hotel are approaching completion. And the Mansions on Fifth offer a glimpse into life just beyond the city in lovely Shadyside.
Make reservations at these restaurants
Believe it or not, Pittsburgh’s food scene is fantastic. We know, outsiders don’t usually expect such a stellar dining experience. But it’s true. In fact, Zagat recently selected Pittsburgh as America’s best food town. And any reservations you have about that sentiment or statement can be put to rest by making reservations at any of these restaurants: Cure, The Vandal, Meat and Potatoes or Root 174.
Eat this sandwich
Maybe you’ve heard about the preeminent Pittsburgh sandwich. Primanti’s packs grilled meat, coleslaw, tomato and French fries between two pieces of Italian bread. Sounds intriguing, right? Well that’s because it is. But we’ll tell you what it’s not. It’s not nearly as good as the mouthwatering, wood-fired steak or five-hour braised rosemary beef on toasted ciabatta bread from Gaucho. So if you have to choose one Pittsburgh sandwich, pass on Primanti’s. Go to Gaucho instead.
The local food scene is impressive, to say the least. But the drink scene is on point. From breweries and distilleries to tap rooms, barrelhouses and cocktail menus, we really know how to get lubed up with a little class. If that sounds like something you can get into, be sure to tour and taste what’s happening at Wigle Whiskey or Maggie’s Farm Rum. Fans of craft beer will be well served by stopping at The Brew Gentlemen, Grist House and Hop Farm Brewing. Craft cocktails await you at the Livermore and Butcher and the Rye.
Take to the water
There are no shortage of neighborhoods to tour, in fact, there are more than 90 in Pittsburgh. But one of the absolute best ways to experience the city is alongside or on the water. At Point State Park a massive fountain sprays water high into the air at the place where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, forming the Ohio River. From there, head to the Roberto Clemente Bridge and rent a kayak from Kayak Pittsburgh. Or continue your trek along all along the Three Rivers Heritage Trail to the Strip.
Experience the Strip District
Speaking of the Strip, you’ll need to make a stop there. You can’t come to Pittsburgh and not walk through this former manufacturing center, turned hip hangout complete with street vendors, bars, restaurants, some stellar coffee spots and a melting pot of ethnic shops, grocers, and roadside food carts. The streets in the Strip are alive on Sunday mornings. And the line for breakfast or brunch at two area eateries is around the block.
Be one with brunch
Around here, brunch isn’t simply a meal it’s a religion. Especially at Pamela’s and Deluca’s in the Strip District. Be prepared to wait in line most of the morning before you even get a whiff of what they’re cooking up. Oh, it’s worth the wait alright. Besides, the situation is the same at almost every other post across town. See also: Coca Cafe, e2 and Square Cafe (wipes drool from face).
Visit these green spaces
It’s interesting that, in a city known for steel and smog-filled skies, green spaces and outdoor places is the standard. From Schenley Park to Schenley Plaza, Frick Park to Highland Park and Market Square, Downtown, Pittsburgh is packed with parks that are perfect for running, biking and just relaxing. If you’re not an outdoorsy person, head indoors to see the botanical gardens and one of the greenest buildings in the world at Phipps Conservatory.
Hit these streets
We suggest a street-by-street approach to taking in some of the best parts of Pittsburgh’s best neighborhoods. Start with Market Street Downtown, your inroad to Market Square. Butler Street in Lawrenceville features eats, art and boutique shops. Grab a coffee at Tazz’a on Bryant Street and walk to Highland Park. Penn and Smallman make up the Strip (already on your itinerary). Stroll down Walnut in Shadyside. Or take a home tour of the Mexican War Streets on the North Side. But whatever you do, don’t skip over Grandview Ave on Mt. Washington – best view of the city, bar none.
Trust us when we tell you that Pittsburgh knows how to do treats and sweets. That includes baked goods, pastries, popcorn and donuts. We’ll take the last one first, donuts. Peace, Love and Little Donuts takes the cake. And, when it comes to cake, Prantl’s Burnt Almond Torte will blow your mind. If traditional French pastries better suits your palate, stop by La Gourmandine in Lawrenceville. Then stock up on the most inventive popcorn you’ve ever had, like S’mores, Watermelon or Buffalo Wing, at Pittsburgh Popcorn.
Break a sweat
If you’re trying to maintain some semblance of your healthy habits when you pop into Pittsburgh, be sure to bring your sneakers because there are plenty of running trails to try out during your stay. If you’re not into running, maybe yoga is more your speed. Or you could just hop on a bike from Pittsburgh Bike Share and cruise around town. Heck, you can even grab a green juice on the way back to the hotel.
Get some work done
We hope that your visit is all play and no business. But, if you have to get do some work while you’re here, plan on posting up at a local coffee shop to sip some stellar small batch coffee while you plow through your inbox. If you need a more dedicated workspace, consider checkout out one of Pittsburgh’s coworking spaces. For the most part, desks are available by the day so you can go head down and get some work done.
Explore these museums (and the arts)
When it comes to arts and culture, Pittsburgh is practically busting at the seams. The Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History are in Oakland. The Northside is home to a trifecta of arts experiences. The Mattress Factory is a cutting edge contemporary art venue featuring interactive installations. Nearby you’ll find Randyland, a vibrant, thriving and ever changing public art display. Next up is the Warhol Museum, the largest museum in America dedicated to one artist – Andy Warhol, a native Pittsburgher. See also, the Bayernhof Museum and be sure to check out the calendar of events in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District.
Shop these local spots
The creative community and maker movement is alive and well around here. Which isn’t all that surprise for a city known for manufacturing. But nowadays we’re not forging steel, we’re making custom art, prints, ceramics and home goods from reclaimed wood. Find local wares at Wildcard, Toll Gate Revival and the Handmade Arcade. If it’s a fashion-forward shopping experience you’re after, stop into Mid-Atlantic Mercantile or Pavement, both in Lawrenceville.
Get out of town
After you’ve seen the city and surrounding neighborhoods, escape the downtown corridor by doing something most locals don’t even do, cross a river or bridge to get out of town. When you do, you’d be well served by spending some time in Carnegie. It’s an up-and-coming neighborhood home to the Carnegie Coffee Company, One Thirty One East and Apis and Mead Winery. If you want to do a little more adventuring, head to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water or do some whitewater rafting at Ohiopyle State Park.
Channel Pittsburgh’s past
While it’s true that Pittsburgh is experiencing a transformation or sorts, reinventing itself in many ways. There are still so many things about the city’s past to see. In fact, you should see them. It’s the melding of two worlds, the old and the new, and how they coexist that make Pittsburgh so intriguing. Ride the incline, an old coal cart down the side of Mt. Washington. Baseball fans will flip over the collection of memorabilia at the Roberto Clemente Museum. Head to the Carrie Furnace to experience the history of Big Steel firsthand. For the complete history of Pittsburgh, and the region, spend a day at Heinz History Center – a museum showcasing compelling stories from American history with a Western Pennsylvania.
This Sunday, August 9th, marks the grand opening of Black Forge Coffee in Allentown.
Okay, two things there. First being the fact that you love coffee. No doubt about it. But second, and here’s the catch. Where exactly is Allentown?
Come on! It’s minutes from the South Side, just up the hill in fact. It’s tucked between Mt. Washington and Mt. Oliver. And, at the moment, this community is working it’s butt off to do some redevelopment. The grand opening of Black Forge Coffee is one heck of a good sign.
With a focus on high quality coffee, fresh food and entertaining events, Black Forge plans to create a comfortable place for the community and their customers. Serving coffee from Zeke’s, baked goods from ThreeFifty and tea from Gryphon’s, it’s clear that they’re all about being local.
Stop in this Sunday, August 9, for all of the grand opening festivities, including free beer, music, art and the live podcast taping.
Are you in a meal rut? Maybe you’re in search of some inspiration on where to go for your next night out. Because you absolutely have to be up to date on all of the 412-exclusive delicacies and treats. Well, inspiration and updates are easy to come by when you add these Pittsburgh foodie handles to your Instagram feed.
Now for the hard part: trying not to lick your screen. Good lick. We mean luck!
All the things you would have never thought to put in a taco, but now that they mention it…
“New Sandwich Alert” is a thing here, and trust us: you want to be alerted.
Eating clean & healthy is hard. Especially when you have SO MANY DELICIOUS CHOICES.
French pastries or exquisite pieces of art? How about both.
Featuring many ways to eat ice cream- by itself, as a sandwich, in a cake. P.S. Summer CSA begins on the 19th!
If you like balls…meatballs…
Plated pasta and pizza close-ups never looked so good.
When you get intimate with your bread.
Beautiful pastries, flowers, and coffee. Color scheme: Pastels. Martha Stewart is seething in jealousy somewhere.
Let the latte swirls mesmerize you.
Carnivores rejoice & cc @Justinseverino.
Local produce and seasonal dishes.
Find this Japanese pub above your Mexican cantina in Lawrenceville.
Behind-the-scenes pics of the new space. Also, meat.
Pittsburgh food photographer. Could we trade jobs please?
Is it us, or is all of Pittsburgh under construction?
It’s not your run-of-the-mill road work either. We’re talking about massive and, in some instances, monumental developments. Entire neighborhoods are being overhauled. Boutique hotels are popping up all over the place. Tech companies like Apple and Uber are filling new offices. Streets and sidewalks are becoming safer for pedestrians and cyclists. And brownfields are going green.
There’s so many projects underway that they’re hard to keep up with. But we did our best rounding up the most exciting projects underway in around town. They’re further proof that it’s a great time to be a Pittsburgher.
Breaking ground @ 25th and Smallman
Have you been to the Strip District lately? It’s a neighborhood-wide construction zone, in the best possible way. Well, aside from the terminal debacle and the senseless closure of some riverfront trails. Hopefully the grownups figure that out. But while they’re treading water, office spaces and luxury condos are breaking ground. If you’re looking for proof, look no further than 25th and Smallman. Apple is moving into the Yards at Three Crossing, a mixed development, and the million dollar “city homes” are going in across the street at 2500 Smallman.
Creating the CMU Innovation Corridor
In the years to come Carnegie Mellon University is planning to revamp the Forbes Avenue corridor to create an innovation hub that rivals others the world over. First up, the Tepper Quadangle: 750,000 square feet of collaborative research, education and recreational space that will expand upon Cohon University Center, renovate Hamburg Hall and create Scott Hall. Soon thereafter, another 425,000 square foot development, including office, hotel and retail development is slated for another two acre parcel along Forbes Avenue.
Moving towards “Complete Streets”
No matter where you look in Pittsburgh, you’ll see a transition in transportation. From bike lanes and bike shares and a shirt to more walkable streets, the city is ushering in a new era a walking and cycling around town. This era is best represented by Mayor Peduto’s executive order announcing the city’s commitment to creating complete streets. Upwards of $34 million will be devoted to developing streets and sidewalks for everyone, including motorists, walkers, cyclists and individuals with disabilities.
Up and running @ the Energy Innovation Center
The Hill District’s Connelley Trade Center is undergoing quite a makeover. This expansive space, totaling more than 200,000 square feet, is part of a private/public partnership aimed at creating a hub for skills training and education related to innovative and sustainable energy. An epic building in its own right, the former public school will soon house science labs, research centers, local nonprofits, corporations, university programs, apprenticeships and the
Community Kitchen facility.
Looking forward to the ACE Hotel in East Liberty
What do Portland, Panama, Palm Springs and Pittsburgh have in common? Well, aside from sharing a starting syllable, each of these cities has an ACE Hotel. It’s an amenity reserved for the likes of New York, London and L.A. The fact that ACE selected Pittsburgh as the home for it’s first rust belt city says a lot. Something that hotels Indigo and Monaco must have caught wind of as well, because they’ve put down roots in Pittsburgh too. So, it seems as though Pittsburgh isn’t just attracting people, it’s attracting the right people. So we’re rolling out the red carpet for them.
New construction in the Hill District
The massive redevelopment of the 28 acres where the Civic Arena once stood is moving forward. So too is a plan for redesigning Centre Avenue in its entirety. All told, construction of 1,188 residential units, 250,000 square feet of commercial and entertainment space, 632,000 square feet of office space and a 150 room hotel could garner upwards of $400 million in private investment.
After years of disinvestment and population decline pushed this community to the brink of collapse, recent redevelopment projects have put UpTown on the come up. Following in the footsteps of the Fifth Avenue School Lofts and the Mackey Lofts, the Flats on Fifth will add even more residential units to this neighborhood. Next up for UpTown, the newly established Eco Innovation District plans to rebuild this neighborhood from the ground up, considering economic, environmental and equality issues alongside input from the community.
Luxury living in the South Side
The area around SouthSide Works is experiencing a new round of development. These new projects, including SouthSide Works City Apartments, the Hot Metal Flats and 3030 South Water, offer luxury living at its finest. When all’s said and done, nearly 500 new units will be ready and waiting for residents. In addition to the list of residential units, the South Side will also witness some recreational upgrades. The full-service South Side Marina is under construction in phases. When completed the marina will feature 320 boat slips at South Water and 26th streets.
Big changes on the North Side
Allegheny Center will soon be reinvented, and renamed. Nova Place, as it will be called, is slated to undergo a $100 million renovation that will transform outdated offices and parking spaces into upgraded offices, complete with collaborative workspaces and common areas. There will also be a fitness center, restaurants and conference center. At $24 a square foot, the space is less expensive than the average price in Pittsburgh, $27.50. The price and location is already attraction tenants, including startup investor Innovation Works; who has already claimed 9,000 square feet of their very own.
Getting closer to completion @ Eastside III
If you’ve been to the Target in East Liberty lately then surely you’ve noticed something is up. That something is Eastside III a multi-phase project consisting of a transit center, retail, residential and public spaces. When all’s said and done, this six acre multi-use development will reconnect East Liberty with the surrounding neighborhoods, while adding some 360 apartments, 550 parking spaces and 40,000 square feet of retail to the area between Highland and Penn avenues.
Making room for new residents in Lawrenceville
This place continues to ride the wave of momentum, as it further solidifies its spot as one of Pittsburgh’s hottest neighborhoods. And now, with the addition of a few new residential buildings, there will be more room for new residents. First up, Brooklyn based Crow Hill Development will transform the former Career Connections Charter School, at the corner of 44th and Butler streets, 12ish apartment units. Next, not far away, Fort Willow Developers and Walnut Capital, are planning some 191 apartment units on a five acre site along Willow Street between 41st and 42nd streets, slated to open in 2017.
A brownfield turned business opportunity @ Almono
Once upon a time this 178 acre site was home to LTV Coke Works. At the same time, and largely as a result of the plant, the neighboring Hazelwood community was abound with businesses and vitality. When the mill closed in 1998 the local businesses were shuttered and the community struggled. But at present there’s a plan underway that would reinvent this brownfield; transforming the space into a mixed use, eco-friendly, riverfront development. Soon the Almono site will be booming once again.
Merging music and innovation, Thrival Festival is set to showcase local thought leaders, national entertainers, and the city of Pittsburgh.
Looking ahead to September, Thrival Festival is expanding in every way. From the size of the venue and the number of musical acts to an expanded focus on innovation and entrepreneurship programming, this year’s event is unlike anything Pittsburgh has seen before.
Thrival 2017 Music Lineup
Featuring 19 acts over two days at the Carrie Furnace, the music portion of the festival features both local performers and national acts.
This year’s headliners are led by Pittsburgh’s own Wiz Khalifa and Logic, the 27-year-old rapper out of Maryland.
Other acts making an appearance include the Irish alt-indie darlings, Two Door Cinema Club, Detroit’s electronic funk outfit, GRiZ, and Los Angeles-based Guatemalan American DJ, Carnage, will both headline their own stages.
Riding the momentum of his Billboard Top 10 hit, “iSpy” SuperDuperKyle will come through for his first performance in Pittsburgh.
Chart-topper and multi-platinum artist, Kiiara, veteran DJ, TokiMonsta, Sirius Alt Nation mainstays, Missio, and Grammy-nominated DJ, Steve James, are all first-time Thrival artists, joined by Harts, Echos, Circa Waves, Welshly Arms, Michigander, The Garment District, Byron Nash & Plan B, Rachel B., and JRod.
Two-day general admission and VIP festival passes go on sale Friday, May 19 at 10:00 AM EST.
What: Thrival Music + Innovation Festival
When: September 29-30
Where: a city-wide innovation campus + Carrie Furnace
If you’re not from Pittsburgh, or haven’t been here recently, that title could really throw you. Not steel? What does that even mean? After all, Pittsburgh is the Steel City.
Not so fast, friend. There was a time when Pittsburgh was the Steel (only) City. But nowadays there’s a whole lot more to this place. It might come as a surprise to out-of-towners to discover that in recent years Pittsburgh has become hub for healthcare, education, technology, arts, good eats and much, much more.
If you’re wondering what much more might entail, keep reading. Here are 11 examples of what we’re really making in Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh has a rich history in the arts. From museums and galleries to performing arts venues, there’s a thriving community of maker spaces and supporters of the arts, including the Cultural Trust, Mattress Factory, Warhol, Radiant Hall, Glass Center and Randyland to name a few.
Maybe you’ve heard of Mac Miller? How about Wiz Khalifa? If the big names don’t impress you check out the up and comers like Tairey, André Costello, Steve Moakler, and the Cool Minors, Red Western, and 1,2,3. And if you’re lucky maybe you can catch one of these artists at an outdoor concert of music festival near you.
There’s been a brewery boom in the Burgh over the past few years. There’s the local leaders including Penn Brewing, East End Brewing, and Church Brew Works as well as newcomers like the Brew Gentlemen, Hitchhiker, Roundabout, Independent, Aurochs and Hop Farm.
Cider + Spirits
Not to be outdone by their alcoholic counterparts, Pittsburgh-made cider and spirits are on the rise. In case you didn’t know, Wigle Whiskey, Boyd and Blair, Stay Tuned Distillery and Maggie’s Farm Rum are crushing it. So too is Arsenal Cider House, a one-of-a-kind place to sip cider or fill up your growler.
While we’re busy watching movies at sweet independent spots like Row House Cinema and the Manor Theatre, Hollywood directors and actors are busy invading Pittsburgh to film their next blockbuster. The Dark Knight, Perks of Being a Wallflower, Jack the Ripper and Fault in our Stars were #madeinPGH.
In 1999, the Wall Street Journal dubbed Pittsburgh, “Roboburgh.” But for some reason, that name didn’t stick. Which is surprising because the Pittsburgh-based space robotics company Astrobotic Technology is the Fedex of lunar delivery. If that doesn’t impress you, take a look at what CMU Professor Raj Rajkumar is up to. Just building a driverless car. No biggie.
From the outside looking in, many people still think of Pittsburgh as a “dirty” city. While we still have some cleaning up to do, the smog and soot are not what they used to be. In fact, soon Pittsburgh will be home to two of the greenest buildings in the world: the Center for Sustainable Landscapes at Phipps Conservatory and the Tower at PNC Plaza.
Combine top-tier universities, like Pitt and CMU, with top-tier accelerator programs, like Alpha Lab, and you’ll have a recipe for a thriving startup community. Some standouts include Deeplocal, NoWait, Thread, the Resumator, Duolingo and Solepower.
Don’t let the pierogies and Primanti Brothers fool you, the Pittsburgh food and restaurant scene is on the rise. If you don’t believe us, consult Bon Appetit Magazine who called Pittsburgh, “America’s next big food town.” Maybe that’s because places like Cure, Butcher and the Rye, Smoke and Bar Marco continue to crush it.
In 2002 Jesse Schell launched his company, Schell Games. Thirteen years later Schell Games, a full-service game design and development company, has become one of the largest independent game studios in the country.
Pittsburgh is going from Steel City to Composite Central thanks in part to the work of Rapid TPC, a local startup enabling the mass production of carbon fiber composites that are green and in high demand. Talk about an 180 degree turn around.
You take photos with your phone, right? Use Instagram? Love Pittsburgh? Of course you do.
Well then, we have a challenge that’s right in your wheelhouse. It’s the #NotSoSmallChange Photo Challenge. Here’s how it works: Hidden in the neighborhoods we all know and love are buildings and abandoned property that could use a little (or a lot of) TLC. Using your phone, a photo and Instagram post, you can change all of that.
To enter, all you need to do is snap a photo and upload it to Instagram using the hashtag, #NotSoSmallChange – don’t forget to mention the location. Finally, be sure to include a description of how you’d reimagine the space, get creative!
You’re looking for hidden gems that when shined up serve the Pgh community, instead of simply taking up space. For instance, that empty lot and dilapidated structure you pass everyday on your way to work would make for a great #NotSoSmallChange submission.
So, do yourself a favor and check out the details here, then stop by Sunday July 19 to learn more about the judging criteria, prizes and impact associated with this challenge.
Any time is the right time to indulge in a little retail therapy.
Are we right, or are we right? Come on. We all know it’s true. And as any fashion forward Pittsburgher knows, when it comes to updating your wardrobe, the only mistake you can make would be to shop somewhere other than a local boutique or clothing stores.
Sure, you could argue that Pittsburgh’s style game isn’t on par with Paris or Milan. But why waste your time picking fights when you could be picking out a few new pieces for your wardrobe; while supporting local businesses along the way? We know. That sounds like a much better idea. So when you’re ready to shop until you drop, start by cruising this local clothing stores and boutiques.
Kinsman Men’s Shop
This men’s clothing and lifestyle shop, located at 3818 Butler Street in Lower Lawrenceville, promises to source, stock, and supply you with the wares and wardrobe essential you need. Featuring a curated selection of high-quality clothes and goods, emphasizing American-made brands like Taylor Stitch, United by Blue, Bradley Mountain, and Tellason, Kinsman is a must for local guys. No matter the brand, every item aligns with a unifying theme: classically rugged, functional, and enduring.
Lex & Lynne
Offering stylish options for ladies and gentlemen alike, Lex & Lynne, has proven itself to be a place where men and women can find thoughtfully selected wardrobe pieces. Originally a jewelry line, Lex & Lynne has widened their product line and to provide new and improved goods to shop, including unique, handmade goods brought in from around the world, as well as signature women and menswear.
With two area locations, in Sewickley and Baker Square, Ragged Row is a fashion addict’s idea of paradise. Shop owners Christina and Brigitte have a true knack for cultivating a collection of desirable wardrobe staples for men and women. If you’re looking to update your basics or score some quality denim, look to Ragged Row. It’s definitely a place to find a great pair of jeans. These wonderful ladies will make you feel right at home and make it hard to leave empty handed.
Stroll down Walnut Street in Shadyside and step into Moda, one of Pittsburgh’s premier men’s fashion hubs. With new collections (and sales!) each season, you’ll certainly find a piece for yourself or someone near and dear. Moda features men’s clothing, shoes and accessories and is home to designers such as Rag & Bone, Ted Baker, Alexander Wang, and more amazing designers. Think, high fashion and high quality.
Tucked away in the heart of Sewickley is a spot for an affordable shopping spree. Rosewood is an adorable brick and mortar shop featuring women’s (and kids!) clothing that appeals to your closet and wallet. Shop owner Kathryn and her shop team make browsing Rosewood an intimate experience. No matter your style, you are sure to find something to add to your collection.
Mid-Atlantic is a must. It’s really that simple. Featuring impeccable design and a thoughtfully curated collection of clothing, this boutique is like no other shop in our area. It’s worth noting that Mid-Atlantic Mercantile no longer features menswear. That said, shoppers will encounter a larger collection of women’s articles and home goods to add some flair to any space.
Just open the door to Pavement in Lawrenceville and you will be hooked. The decor is eclectic yet effortlessly cool. Better still, this boutique supports American manufactured and independent designers. You’ll find brands you recognize such as Splendid and Ella Moss as well as new brands you’ll want to get to know. When you stop in, expect to encounter Alissa Martin who is committed to bringing Lawrenceville a boutique that feels just like shopping with friends.
Since opening in 2014, this Lawrenceville newcomer has been adding to the expanding Pittsburgh boutique scene. This shop, No. 14, comes as a result of a mother/daughter pair pursuing their dreams. With fashion options and conversational pieces for your home, there is lots to look at. Prepare for an incredible collection of designers and pieces, all well positioned next to La Gourmandine! Meaning you can treat yourself to a new outfit and a delicious french pastry.
Is it just us, or is Lawrenceville the only place in Pittsburgh?
Surely that’s not the case, Pittsburgh has a seemingly endless list of neighborhoods. But, right about now, there’s one place in particular getting all of the love. Here’s looking at you Lawrenceville.
Now, don’t mistake that statement as a slight. It’s more of an observation. And we can’t pretend we’re not excited and impressed with the turnaround taking place all along Butler Street. It’s just that, while Lawrenceville soaks up the limelight, other noteworthy spots continue to fly under the radar.
From the Northside to the East End, and the South Hills to the riverfront, Pittsburgh is ripe with underrated neighborhoods doing their best to steal of the spotlight. So we’re giving it to them. Here are 9 locales in and around that deserve more love.
Located a few seconds from Squirrell Hill and Schenley Park, Greenfield has become a go-to for families and first time home buyers. Here, the price is right for homes boasting loads of character and lots of yard space. New residents won’t have a problem making friends. Just stop by Hough’s, your friendly neighborhood bar. Or head next door to the former hardware store turned brew-your-own beer spot, Copper Kettle Brewing. If coffee is more your speed, stop into Staghorn the local coffee shop meets boutique for some shopping and snacking. Last, but not least, beware of the looming bridge project that promises to wreak havok for Greenfield and surrounding communities.
Let’s see, where do we begin? It’s tough to pick a starting point because there are so many reasons to be bragging on Brookline. For one, the energy is undeniable. A walk along Brookline Boulevard proves that statement true. Sure, the $5 million renovation didn’t hurt. But the residents have held up their end of the bargain, locating and supporting businesses along the Boulevard. Pitaland has long been a staple. And others, like Las Palmas, Mateo’s and Cannon Coffee are helping to put Brookline on the map.
In the real estate world everything comes down to location, location, location. That saying also holds true when referencing Bloomfield. Pittsburgh’s little Italy offers plenty of options for dinner or a drink. A trio of coffee shops line Liberty, and Constellation Coffee is right around the corner on Penn Avenue. Not to mention the recent arrival of Bread and Salt Bakery – the bread and pizza are enough to make you want to move to Bloomfield. If not that, then the proximity to, well, everything. Cozy up to Lawrenceville and the Strip, Shadyside and CMU while saving some cash on your rent or mortgage.
Which neighborhood in the North Side, you ask? How about all of them? From the Mexican War Streets to Troy Hill and Deutschtown to Allegheny West, the North Side is packed with history and character. With affordable rents available, for businesses and residents alike, a younger population is moving in along with businesses like the Farmer’s Daughter and Commonplace Coffee. Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget art spaces that include the Warhol Museum, Mattress Factory and Randyland to name a few.
East Liberty is exploding with energy. There’s Google and Bakery Square, Hotel Indigo and a trio of accelerators (Alpha Lab, Gear and Thrill Mill) all in one building. No wonder East Lib landed on a list of 10 neighborhoods to be on the lookout for. The thing of it is, as the excitement builds, so does the cost of living. Highland Park is benefiting from the hype down the street, sending housing prices on an upswing. But, if you venture east, ever so slightly, you’ll find the up and coming neighborhood flying under the radar. Welcome to Morningside. Here, a new, younger demographic is taking notice of the close-knit community vibe meets affordably priced houses within a stone’s throw to all of the excitement in East Liberty.
It’s hard to go wrong with a neighborhood named Friendship. Especially when you consider the tree-lined streets, massive, yet reasonably priced apartments and houses, complete with front and backyards. Not to mention the fact that you could be at one of three nearby grocery stores in seconds. But if you don’t feel like chefing it up, you’ll find plenty to eat (and drink) in nearby East Liberty. And Garfield too. Same goes for Shadyside, Bloomfield or Lawrenceville. All and all, Friendship features family friendly living without the pricetag that accompanies places like Shadyside or Squirrell Hill.
The charm and appeal of Carnegie is hard to deny, especially if you were to take a walk along Main Street. It’s a place where locally owned businesses line the street and, as you wander past, you find yourself wondering how everyone could be so happy. And chatty too. Maybe there’s something in the water? Then you realize it’s probably the wine, from Apis Mead & Winery. If not that, then the pizza from Slice (one of the absolute best spots in town, who opened a second location in Carnegie). Better still, maybe they’re on a caffeine kick following an espresso at Carnegie Coffee. This former Post Office turned coffee house is so cozy that, if you go, there’s a good chance you won’t want to leave. Come to think of it, should you stop by Carnegie, there’s a good chance you’ll feel exactly the same way about the entire neighborhood.
After a massive flood almost wiped out Millvale’s entire business district residents started to rebuild and still haven’t stopped. Here, old (see the Maxo Vanka’s murals at St. Nicholas Parish) meets new (grab a drink at Grist House Brewing) to create an atmosphere that embodies Pittsburgh’s rust belt past and reinvented future. Millvale mainstays like Pamela’s, Mr. Smalls, Jean-Marc Chatellier’s and Attic Record Store are benefiting from a new public library and larger plan for this community’s redevelopment. Fringe benefits like riverfront access and bike trails make it hard to argue with Millvale’s appeal.
Not long ago Pittsburghers didn’t even want to go Downtown, let alone live there. But times sure are changing. And, as the 2015 State of Downtown Pittsburgh report showed us, the future promises more positive chances. In the past five years more than $2.1 billion have been invested Downtown resulting in growth among restaurants and retail, as well as occupancy of offices and housing. Going forward plans are underway for even more improvements including plans for Complete Streets and more than $526 million in new investments announced. Now, if Pittsburgh could just get this public transportation thing figured out.
Being a mid-sized city can be a gift and a curse.
No matter what happens in Pittsburgh, it will never gain the acclaim of New York or L.A. That’s not to say that Pittsburgh hasn’t played a pivotal role in America’s development. It certainly has. And it still is.
But if you find yourself questioning the contributions of the Steel City, beyond the obvious, allow us to present you with a list of things Pittsburgh has given to America. You can thank us later.
Victory over the French
If you paid attention in American History you know that Pittsburgh, specifically the forks of the Ohio River, was a hot commodity back then. Does the French and Indian War ring a bell? William Pitt was Secretary of State during this time, helping strategize and manage war supplies, ensuring a victory over the French.
The REAL Gateway to the West
The Gateway Arch in St. Louis was built to commemorate westward expansion and explorers like Lewis and Clark. Which kind of funny because, according to Meriwether Lewis, their expedition was launch from Pittsburgh – a frontier fort that built the boats, supplied the provisions and served as an access point to westward river travel. Sorry, St. Louis.
Whiskey in America
There was a time when Allegheny County cranked out enough whiskey to give a half barrel to every man, woman, and child living in America. Then, when the government tried to tax whiskey, farmers in Pittsburgh region protested in what would become known as the Whiskey Rebellion.
Titans of Industry (and Philanthropy)
Andrew Carnegie gave us Carnegie Steel and then gave away almost 90% of his fortune. The Mellon family, founders of Mellon Bank are patrons of Carnegie Mellon (with their buddy Andrew). The H.J. Heinz Company is known for processing food but also preserved the arts when the Heinz Endowments joined the Richard King Mellon Foundation (yep, those Mellons) to form the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.
Ben Franklin may be discovered it, but engineers at Westinghouse Electric in Pittsburgh developed the alternating current, making the long-distance transmission of electricity a reality for the first time. Take that Ben.
Combining artistic expression with celebrity culture and advertising, Andy Warhol, a Pittsburgh native, became a renowned artist who pioneered techniques like silk-screening and computer-generated art.
The Environmental Protection Agency
The book Silent Spring, authored by Pittsburgh’s very own Rachel Carson, resulted in a nationwide ban on DDT and other harmful pesticides, spawned the grassroots environmental movement and eventually led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
In three decades on television, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood symbolized everything that was right in children’s entertainment and education. And his work doesn’t go unnoticed Mr. Rogers received Presidential Medal of Freedom, a Peabody Award, is in the Television Hall of Fame and the Smithsonian Institution has one of his sweaters on display.
All of those emojis on your fancy smartphone wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for Scott Fahlman of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, who created the internet emoticon in 1982.
In 1979 the first Robotics Institute in the states opened at Carnegie Mellon University. Nowadays Pittsburgh is a hot spot for robotics boasting programs that will use robots to deliver packages to space and technology used in self-driving vehicles.
The Arnold Palmer
Fans of golf know Arnie as one of the greatest players in the history of the game. But the rest of us know this Latrobe, PA native for his favorite beverage: The Arnold Palmer – ice tea and lemonade in one. Just add some liquor and golf is instantly more fun.
By the 1950’s polio had struck nearly 58,000 people, rising to pandemic proportions. The breakthrough that led to the eventual eradication of polio was developed in 1952 by Jonas Salk at the University of Pittsburgh.
In 1893 a civil engineer and bridge-builder from Pittsburgh, named George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. designed and constructed the first Ferris Wheel for the World’s Fair in Chicago. The wheel, which was was over 264 feet high and capable of carrying more than 2,000 passengers at a time, was manufactured in Pittsburgh by the Bethlehem Iron Company.
Fries on a sandwich (and salad)
Leave it to Pittsburgh to make an already massive sandwich even more epic with the addition of French Fries. Primanti’s has been a Pittsburgh staple since the 1930’s. These days you can enjoy a Primanti’s sandwich shipped to you anywhere in the country. You can also thank Pittsburgh for the French Fries on your “Pittsburgh salad.”
Startups and Smart People
Better make that lots of startups and really smart people. Those distinctions have a lot to do with the fact that Pittsburgh is home to Carnegie Mellon University. They’ve basically created the computer sciences and robotics as we know them today. Plus, CMU alumni are listed as playing a role in more than 1,000 companies on AngelList and raise more money in the first VC round than grads of any other school.
That’s right fast food lovers, the Big Mac originated in Pittsburgh. It was created by Jim Delligatti at his Uniontown McDonald’s. After some test-marketing in other McDonald’s locations, the Big Mac became a menu mainstay in 1968.
The original prototype that became what we know as a Jeep, was developed and built at the Butler-based American Bantam Car Company. Bantam was awarded the first government contract, but couldn’t keep up with the production of Willy’s and Ford, who eventually won over the U.S. Department of War.
T.V. and Radio
Yep, Pittsburgh gave the world television and radio. Well, kind of. Pittsburgh-based WQED was first community-sponsored, educational television station, and the fifth television station overall, in America. WQED also became the flagship station for Mr. Rogers and Carmen Sandiego. Then there’s KDKA AM, the first commercial radio station. On Nov 20th, 1920 the first KDKA broadcast was the election returns from the US presidential race. The broadcast took place in a make-shift on the roof of a Westinghouse Electric Company building in East Pittsburgh.
The first drive-in, fill-up gas and service station was built in 1913 at Baum Boulevard and St. Clair Street in East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh. The service station was built by the Gulf Refining Company that was once headquartered in Pittsburgh and was a major investment and source of the Mellon family’s fortune.
Ever enjoyed an evening at the movies? You know, a first date. Hopefully some popcorn. Well, that experience was possible because of Pittsburgh. The “Nickelodeon” on Smithfield Street in Pittsburgh was the world’s first theater devoted to the showing of motion pictures.
In the 1880’s Andrew Carnegie was hard at work transforming Pittsburgh into the epicenter of the steel industry. During that time Carnegie Steel was the largest manufacturer of pig iron, steel rails, and coke in the world, able to produce more than 2,000 tons of pig iron per day. By 1890, U.S. output of steel topped that of Britain. In 1901, Carnegie Steel became U.S. Steel – the world’s first billion dollar company. The holdings included 213 manufacturing mills, 1,000 miles of railroad, 41 mines and accounted for 66% of America’s steel output.
July sure is a busy month. Summer is in full swing. The sun is shining (when it’s not raining). And everyone’s just looking to have a good time.
Well, that shouldn’t be too difficult. You see, when we sat down to consult the calendar, our list of worthwhile events just keep growing. When it was all said and done, we ended up with these 13 events you’ll actually want to check out this July. Now the real challenge is figuring out how you’ll get to all of them. Choose wisely, friends.
PDP Rooftop Shindig
Get the holiday weekend started a little early by attending this rooftop party in Downtown Pittsburgh. This free event features live music, a movie, great eats, specialty cocktails, beer and giant games. Have your lawn chair ready because they’ll be showing Jaws on the outdoor movie screen when the sun goes down. July 1.
Possessed by Paul James @ Bayardstown
Maybe you’ve never heard of Konrad Wert, the man behind the jams put forth by Possessed by Paul James. And perhaps you’ve never been to Bayardstown. If that’s true, we’re not sure what you’ve been listening to, or where you’ve been hanging out, but we do know that you need to check out both. Here’s your chance. Don’t blow it. July 9.
BKLYN Beer Dinner
Two newcomers to Pittsburgh’s restaurant scene are teaming up with purveyors of unique brews to present a killer event pits Lawrenceville versus Bloomfield. The Vandal faces off against Station, with an assist from Brooklyn Brewery and Atlas Bottleworks for a beer dinner that will blow you away. July 23.
Biergarten Grand Opening
Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love drinking outdoors in Pittsburgh? We sure do. And if you do too, then we’ll see you at the grand opening of the Biergarten at Draai Lang in Millvale. In addition to local brews, there will also be local food trucks on hand supplying the eats. July 9.
Deutschtown Music Festival
This music festival is returning to the Northside for a third year of free performances showcasing local musicians, local businesses and the entire East Allegheny community. This year’s lineup includes more than 100 musical acts, of all styles and genres, performing at indoors venues, outdoors stages and spilling out onto the streets. July 11.
Speak Freely with Louis van Ahn
This monthly speaker series features frank conversations with notable leaders in the local tech community. In July, Louis van Ahn stops by to share his story and insights learned while building Duolingo. Ever heard of it? It’s only the one of the most popular apps in the world, who just closed $45M in funding and happens to be based in Pittsburgh. Needless to say, this event is not to be missed. July 22.
Music to our Ears
Yes, July’s musical offerings are off to a great start, what with Deutschtown and Possessed by Paul Jones. But the quality of concerts this month just keeps getting better. It all start with Talib Kweli at Altar Bar on July 17. Tallest Man on Earth will play the Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall on July 26. Then, the next day, Iron and Wine drops by to perform on the same stage July 27.
Lettering for Logos
Hand lettering artist extraordinaire Danny Gurwin will teach you the ins and outs of design, concepting and branding as part of this small group workshop. Attendees can expect to explore basic letterform construction and sketching while developing and refining logo concepts. Grab your notebook, pencil and pens, then sign up now to secure your spot. July 30.
21+ Night @ Tech Shop
On 21 and over night at Tech Shop local businesses, like breweries and restaurants, come together to host a maker party of sorts that benefits a local charity. In this case the charity is the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. So stop by the support a great cause, snack on some stellar eats (and drinks) and demo all the hands-on amenities everything Tech Shop has to offer. July 23.
Night Market (x2)
Head over to Garfield on July 3 for the Unblurred gallery crawl and the Garfield Night Market. The Market is designed to showcase the community and local businesses along Penn Avenue with vendors, food trucks and entertainment. The following Friday, July 10, Downtown plays host to a Night Market of their own featuring a pop-up festival, vendors and plenty to eat and drink.
Inked After Dark
Rediscover the Carnegie Museum of Natural History with a drink in hand while exploring the history of tattoos, inks and dyes. Enjoy live music, plenty of food and drink, demonstrations by local tattoo artists and exclusive access to the museum. July 17.
Cultural District Gallery Crawl
Check out everything the Pittsburgh’s Cultural District has to offer by going gallery-to-gallery as part of this art-inspired tour. With more than 25 galleries to see, live music along the way and plenty of options for mouthwatering eats (and incredible drinks) this is one of the best ways to experience Downtown Pittsburgh. Did we mention it’s free?! July 10.
Fourth of July Fireworks
Enjoy the fireworks on July 4th as part of the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta. This year’s event promises to be even more memorable than in years past. The newest addition includes a massive Ferriss Wheel on the North Shore. And, of course, the Anything that Floats Race. July 3-5.
What do you get when you combine Drake with one of the nation’s best symphony orchestras?
That’s easy. You get FUSE@PSO, a musical mash-up that combines the classical with the contemporary to create a hybrid sound unlike anything you’ve experienced before.
Fortunately for you, the opportunity to take in this unique performance is presenting itself Wednesday, March 22 at Heinz Hall. Under the direction of Steve Hackman, an ultra-talented composer-conductor-producer, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will perform Hackman’s original arrangement that pairs Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 with a dozen Drake songs weaved throughout the work, including “Hold On, We’re Going Home” and “Hotline Bling.”
Hackman, who creates musical mash-ups under his :Stereo Hideout: brand, has found success by rediscovering two iconic works. In this case, Drake’s lyrics and flow are paired with the traditional symphonic orchestration of the PSO in a fresh way sure to attract and appeal to fans of hip hop and classical music alike.
And, as if the arrangement wasn’t impressive enough, this evening starts with a happy hour prior to the event. The casual atmosphere and inventive entertainment is all part of Hackman’s plans to introduce the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to an entirely new audience, by showcasing the talent within the PSO and tapping into the city’s creative community.
What: FUSE@PSO: Tchaikovsky + Drake
When: Wednesday, March 22, 5 p.m. happy hour; 6.30 p.m. concert
Where: Heinz Hall
Tickets: Register here
Heading into its third year, Community Supported Art Pittsburgh is poised to launch a season of shares showcasing several local artists and creatives.
For 2015, only 20 shares of editioned artwork will be available from artists including, Jeremy Boyle, Jakob Marsico, Joshua Reiman and Addy Smith-Reiman, Lizzee Solomon, Reiko Yamamoto. In addition to these pieces, Casey Droege and Corey Escoto of CSA PGH are bringing innovation to the original model with two new upgrades.
First, this season’s shares will include editioned collaborations between the CSA PGH team and literary artist Yona Harvey, actor and mime Mark Thompson, and fashion designer Tammy Jackson from Saani Mac. Editions, such as lamps, precious ceramic objects, puzzles and a mime kit will include eight artworks and are focused on “pseudo-functional” objects.
Then, a Pop-up Shop in Downtown Pittsburgh, called the Small Mall, will feature programming from this year’s artists during the month of June. The CSA PGH Small Mall, to be located at 820 Liberty Avenue, will be open 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. daily from June 5th thru the 14th during the Three Rivers Arts Festival.
Shares go on sale at 10 a.m. May 22 on the CSA PGH website.
You’re in luck! Pittsburgh’s food and restaurant scene is blowing up.
But your options aren’t limited to sit-down dining spots. The hype and high quality eats have spilled over into the streets. That’s right, street eats are becoming a staple in the Steel City.
Despite some pretty archaic and asinine laws, mobile food vendors have amassed a loyal following, whose fandom leads them to seek out these trucks and carts all over the city. Now the only problem is keeping tabs on all of the trucks and carts.
Problem solved! Here’s your guide to the best street eats in Pittsburgh.
BRGR is doing killer burgers and speciality milkshakes, roadside. The only thing lacking from this experience is the liquor for the spiked shakes.
PGH Taco Truck
This mobile vendor offers a Mediterranean-inspired menu featuring the best street-side lamb sammies in town.
Berlin Street Food
This mobile cart is bringing German street food to Downtown. Staples include brats, Das Lamb sandwich and a meatloaf-esque burgher, known as the bulete.
Oh My Grill
You can’t go wrong with grilled cheese. That’s especially true of the upgraded, creative, cheesy goodness served up by Oh My Grill.
Offering inventive hot dogs, all-beef style or grass-fed, and even vegan friendly franks, this truck takes the traditional dog to all new heights.
PGH Pierogi Truck
Pittsburgh just wouldn’t be Pittsburgh without a pierogi truck. Fill up on some delicious dough stuffed with potato and cheese, cabbage or haluski. Don’t forget to add bacon and sour cream.
Picture a food trailer meets mobile catering service. Got it? That’s Street Foods. It’s a collaboration of two long time friends and culinary school grads who cook up killer street eats and custom menus for catered parties.
Mac and Gold
Eat here and you can expect mac and cheese with a twist. Make that a lot of unique twists. Think rotating menu, add ons and speciality toppings – like the bacon and brussel sprout topped mac.
Gus & YiaYia’s
If you find yourself on the North Side make it your mission to track down this orange cart, with a rainbow umbrella serving Pittsburgh’s best hand shaved, icey balls – flavored to your liking.
The Shady Dog
Get your dog done any way you like it from the Shady Dog. Known to frequent Bloomfield, Shadyside and the East End, John offers all beef franks, kielbasa, hot sausage and vegan friendly franks.
This food truck is truly a family affair, started by a mother-daughter team. Of course that’s is to be expected from an Italian-inspired, meatball slinging, panini-pressing, mobile vendor.
South Side BBQ Company
Carnivores rejoice! The crew at South Side BBQ Co. is on a mission to deliver delicious ribs, sammies and sides to Pittsburgh. Their pulled pork and pepper jack mac and cheese are worth scouring social media and the streets to find.
Reid’s Fresh Express
This truck is known for a few things, including signature sandwiches, salad, soup and sides all made with the freshest ingredients around.
Carnegie Mellon University rolled out their own food truck to serve students in a hurry. The Tartan express offers up globally inspired Asian fare right in the heart of Oakland.
The Pop Stop
Here’s your chance to score fresh, flavorful ice pops that are all-natural and made with local fruits and herbs. Plus word on the street is there’s even boozy pops, spiked with Wigle Whiskey.
These light, feather like crepes are made to order right in front of your face. Savory options like the turkey crepe sound great, until you see the strawberry, banana crepe with Nutella. Dessert crepe it is!
Get your “bare” balls here. Miss Meatballs serves ’em up two for $4 or sammich-style for $7. Choose from beef or chicken and top with classic tomato, mushroom ragout and Asiago béchamel sauces.
Blow Fish BBQ
All the meat! That’s what Justin “Hootie” Blakey cooks on his his 84-inch BBQ smoker. That includes pork shoulder, ribs, brisket and chicken. Whatever fits on the grill is smoked for up to 16 hours over cherry wood and hickory.
Leona’s Ice Cream
Take some delicious, small batch, low-lactose ice cream. Now smash it between two original recipe cookies. And what do you get? Perfection, that’s what. In the form of Leona’s perfect ice cream sandwiches.
First things, first. The boat, in this case, is not made out of pizza. There no actual boat. But that’s okay because there is a wood-fired over attached to a trailer, used to crank out ultra-thin, Neapolitan style pizzas.
The Burgh Bites Cart
Chef and owner Ricci Minella transformed a food cart (“the little cart that could”), into a real life food truck (the Burgh Bites Mobile Bistro) serving sandwiches and hot dogs, as well as fully loaded torts and tots.
The Steer and Wheel
From the food to the truck itself, this mobile vendor is upgrading the street eat experience. Their burgers are all-natural, free from hormones and antibiotics The artisanal bread is fresh from Mediterra Bakehouse. The fries are made with zero trans fats. And every single burger on the menu is the best burger on the menu.
Did someone say tacos? Yeah we did!
Traditionally Pittsburgh is known as a sandwich eating kind of town. But now, tacos are taking over. These little hand-held vehicles of goodness are stealing the show – in the best possible way.
Need proof? When it comes to tacos, you name it and we’ve got it. There are taco food trucks, cantinas, taquerias and taco-only joints all over Pittsburgh serving their unique take on this classic Mexican dish. There are so many different takes on the taco that deciding where to eat can be a real chore.
But don’t overthink it. Do what any logical person would do. Try them all! Sure it will take some time, but we already did the hard part. We searched high and low, through tunnels and across bridges, to make sure you know exactly where to find the top taco spots in town.
With Andy Warhol-inspired vibes, tons of tacos and a tequila list you’ll want to write home about, Tres Rios caught our eye on instagram and we had to check it out for ourselves. People love their lamb tacos (look for them under barbacoa) and yucca fries. Tip: Order the Margarita flight.
This small, casual, hole-in-the-wall type taco joint screams authentic. With very limited sitting room, we suggest grabbing something to go (like the vegan chorizo burrito and some house-made hot sauce). El burro has two locations, one in the North Side on Federal Street and another on Braddock Street in Regent Square, and is a great spot to end your night before stumbling back to your apartment (trust).
(Temporarily closed for operating without a valid permit) Baby Loves Tacos is in their soft opening phase in Bloomfield (so don’t be alarmed if the sign out from says “Jims Wraps and Salads”), and is the community-centric, straight up Mexican taco spot we love. What started as a pop-up, you can expect the real deal here: double-corn tortillas, cilantro instead of shredded lettuce, salsa, and sour cream. Rumor has it they may even be planning a second location in Bellevue.
Local foodies have been loyal to Smoke BBQ Taqueria from the very beginning when they were located in Homestead, and have since made their Butler Street debut. From ah-mazing tacos like chicken and apple topped with house-made bacon, to Burger Tuesdays and an insane Sunday brunch, this place has versatility and an awesome drink menu. Tip: Bring cash!
PGH Taco Truck
Somehow PGH Taco Truck has managed to elevate Pittsburgh’s taco scene and food truck scene simultaneously. You can find this taco-slinging truck posted up outside some of the best coffee shops and breweries in town. Make sure you’re following them on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook to stay up to date on their location and menu specials.
Round Corner Cantina
A few doors down from Smoke is where you’ll find Round Corner Cantina, promising fresh tortillas made in house daily. Fan favorites include the Pollo Pibil made with achiote-roasted chicken, avocado salsa and pickled onion. Going for the Papas Con Coliflor, combining avocado-salsa, poblano and cilantro, is always a good idea. Bonus: all tacos are half priced on Mondays!
Penn Avenue Fish Company
By now you should know that Penn Avenue Fish Company is your go-to source for fresh seafood in Pittsburgh. But you might have missed the boat on their best-in-town fish tacos. If you did, it’s time to get on board with their stellar seasoned swordfish, salmon, and tuna tacos, topped with cabbage, cilantro salsa and sriracha.
With two locations, Beechview and East Liberty, Casa Rasta is mashing up Mexican and Caribbean flavors. The menu is lined with a variety of beef, pork, chicken and veggie options. If you’re interested in taking your Casta Rasta experience to the next level, order the avocado fries with isleno dipping sauce. Share with a friend, or don’t. No judgement here.
The Strip District is the go-to spot for a variety of ethnic eats and a couple of the best taco spots in the ‘Burgh. Swing by Edgars Taco Stand for a chicken taco with your choice of salsa (try the salsa verde) and watermelon aqua fresca. These tacos are great for a quick grab and go lunch along with some super friendly service.
If eating on the go is not your thing, and you prefer a sit down dining experience, then head to Casa Reyna right around the corner from Edgar’s. The fresh tortillas come “right off the line and onto your plate.” The setup at Casa Reyna makes it a great place for a group of friends to hang out while sampling and sharing a variety of taco dishes.
You gotta love La Palapa’s simple approach to ordering. Just choose your base, filling, topping. and BAM, you’re done! If you’re looking to take the vegetarian route, La Palapa will whip you up a flour tortilla stuffed with spicy poblanos and potatoes, topped with fresh pico de gallo. Best of all, you can load up on La Palapa at two locations, an eat-in restaurant off of Carson Street in the South Side and a stand at the Pittsburgh Public Market in the Strip District.
Five bucks doesn’t get you much these days. But at Las Palmas for a mere $5, you get two tacos made of corn tortilla filled with the meat of your choice (or potatoes, if you’re vegetarian), and access to a toppings bar overflowing with fresh pico de gallo, cilantro, and salsas of all spice levels that you can pour on your taco creation.
L.A. Taco Truck
If you find yourself outside the city in, let’s say, Armstrong County, you have to hunt down the L.A. Taco Truck. They’re succeeding in bringing street eats and to-go tacos to a small towns like Kittanning and Sarver. Grab a corn or flour tortilla stuffed with steak, chorizo or chicken and be on the lookout for specialty tacos regularly added to the mix.
Tako is the work of the folks who brought us Meat and Potatoes and Butcher and the Rye, and it’s definitely lived up to the initial hype. You’ll want to make a reservation for this tucked-away, higher-end spot in the Cultural District, and prepare for a layout of options from traditional chorizo to Chef Specialties like fried octopus and roasted lamb.
Located in South Pointe, Los Chiludos is a small, fast casual-esque Mexican restaurant complete with a full service bar. Not widely known to most Pittsburghers north of Bridgeville, this spot is serving up some seriously authentic tacos and worth the trip on dahn the Parkway.
Last, but never least, we have the self-acclaimed “Godfather of burritos and tacos” (and big azz magaritas) in Pittsburgh. With six locations around the city there is a hangout for everyone. From Carnitas, to Barbacoa to fish and veggie, there is a taco for everyone too. And don’t forget to snag some chips, salsa and guac.
The streets of Pittsburgh are becoming more bikeable by the day. Which is great news for bicycle builder Michael Brown – the owner of, and chief bike builder at, Maestro Frameworks in Pittsburgh.
In a recent episode of Made in Pittsburgh, a video series showcasing people making great things in the Pittsburgh, Dylan Priest profiled Brown and Maestro Frameworks – a custom, built-by-hand, bike shop. Combining masterful craftsmanship with a firsthand knowledge of the streets and trails around Pittsburgh, Brown builds bikes with the clients needs and the elements he knows they will encounter in mind.
It’s his passion for building and bicycles that led Brown to open Maestro Frameworks. Although, in his case, starting his own shop was a long time coming.
Like many of us, Brown heard his called to make things at a young age. “My love of building goes back to my childhood when I always like being around tools and machinery,” Brown said. However, as many of us also tend to do, Brown initially ignored his calling – opting not to pursue bike building as a career. Even still, the idea of making things stuck with him. As he puts it, “It’s something I always wanted to go back to. So at the age of 54 I decided, yeah, I can do this.”
The pursuit of happiness
Now, with his bike building business in full swing, Brown is able to find happiness in dirty hands and satisfied clients. In his words,
Just to go home with dirty hands and the smell of the oil and the running of the machines, just to see tube sets get fabricated into a bike that somebody is going to ride and enjoy, brings happiness.
Meet Brad Frost. He’s a front-end developer from Pittsburgh.
Of course, that’s just the abridged version of a much, much longer bio that includes: web designer, speaker, consultant, musician and artist, who, in his free time, is writing a book (while tweeting A LOT!).
Put simply, Brad is a creative in the fullest sense of the word. And, as anyone who has tried to chase down a creative endeavor knows, you don’t rise through the ranks of the creative class without working insanely hard to hone your craft.
“Things that are genuinely good will be shared”
Honing your craft, getting noticed and creating art worth sharing are exactly the kinds of things Brad discussed in a Creative Mornings talk held here in Pittsburgh.
As Brad points out, and as the name of the presentation suggests, the world is full of noise. Or, bullshit as he puts it.
“90% of everything is crap,” Frost points out, quoting author Theodore Sturgeon. The trick, and our job as creatives, is to cut through the noise. Be the signal. Create genuinely good work, the kind of work people want to see, share and need. To quote Frost:
“It’s really about respecting yourself. Respect your craft. Respect what you do. And respect people’s time…give them more of what they want, and less of what they don’t want.”
“We are the Creators”
Since we are the ones who are out there making things, that makes us the creators. Which means we have a choice to make: Are we the signal, or are we just making noise?
Ultimately that part is up to you. But Brad wants to help. So if you follow Frost’s lead, you’ll find that “The future is about focus.” And, as any good creative knows, focus is exactly what is required of us. That’s how we hone our craft and create something worth sharing.
Apparently May in Pittsburgh means it’s time to ready your outdoor, rooftop and backyard drinking areas. It’s also the unofficial start of what promises to be the long awaited arrival of spring and summer months packed with art-themed festivals and artisan-inspired parties.
The month of May brings with it all of that, and so much more. In this case more is represented by one outlier, in the form of a world renowned astrophysicist, rolling through town to school us all on space and other smart science things.
You can find out exactly who and what we’re talk by checking out this list of May events you definitely won’t want to miss.
The Beer Garden at Hotel Monaco Opens
Have you ever been to Il Tetto at Sienna Mercato and thought, “Man, we really need more rooftop bars Downtown.” Well, as it turns out, Hotel Monaco had the same idea and will open their own 88-seat open air Biergarten on the 9th floor rooftop at the hotel. Stop in for city views, 16 drafts, eats from The Commoner’s executive chef Dennis Marron and pub games like cornhole and garden chess. May 15
Wigle Whiskey Barrel Roll and Opening Party
Celebrate this year’s opening of the Wigle Whiskey Barrelhouse and Whiskey Garden by pitching in on the transport of barrels across the 16th Street Bridge. Join a Barrel Roll team and earn your shot of whiskey, samples from Penn Brewery and some snacks from Bar Marco. Real revelers will want to grab a second ticket to the Barrelhouse Opening Party that promises live music, a pig roast and barrel-aged cocktails. May 1
Neil deGrasse Tyson Lecture
Everyone’s favorite astrophysicist is making a stop in Pittsburgh to talk about science, space exploration and so much more. Tyson, who has received eighteen honorary doctorates and the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, also appears on shows like The Colbert Report and the Joe Rogan Podcast making his lectures the one science-related event you’ll actually want to attend. May 7
Pittonkatonk May Day Music Festival
This day long BBQ potluck meets brass band party in the park, is a community-wide celebration that brings different people together to experience different music in a setting much different from the typical music venue. In this case, it’s all going down at Schenley Park. That’s where a full lineup of musicians will play for a full day of dance until your feet hurt fun. May 2
Come out and celebrate Assemble’s STEAM-based educational programming by scoring your chance to make some stuff! This is your opportunity to connect with and bid on “dates” with super-talented creatives, technologists, designers and makers. The winning bidder walks away with the chance to work with their expert of choice to make something epic. May 16
Bayardstown Season Kickoff Party
Remember that time we told you about the urban backyard that’s home to the city’s one of a kind social club? Come on, you know the one. It’s one of the coolest places in Pittsburgh you’ve never been, but need to go. Well, here’s your chance to check it out. See you at the 2015 Bayardstown season kickoff party. May 8
Celebrate the annual running of the Kentucky Derby with three local ladies, and legit entrepreneurs, who are throwing one heck of a Derby Party. Join local artist Ashley Cecil, Regina Koetters owner of Marty’s Market and Meredith Grelli, proprietor of Wigle Whiskey for a day packed with new equine inspired artwork by Ashley, larger-than-life hats by local milliner Gina Mazzotta, eats from Regina and a mint juleps, done Wigle style, thanks to Meredith. May 2
Crafts and Drafts
Arts and crafts are fun. But Crafts and Drafts are better. You can thank East End Brewing for this ingenious idea. Their first attempt at this event yielded some 600 people who also thought the idea was genius. This time, they’re ready for the crowds with free samples of their Pedal Pale Ale, coffee and espresso from Commonplace and eats from area food trucks. Oh, don’t forget about the 14 local makers who will be on hand showing off their work. May 2
Suns Out, Guns Out
Looking for a way to sweat out all of the booze you’re planning to consume this month? Given the opening of a rooftop bar, whiskey garden and urban backyard social club, among other things, we’re thinking it might be a good idea. Plus bathing suit season is right around the corner, ladies and gentlemen. So, when you’re ready to break a sweat, check out our partner site Fittsburgh, for the rundown on fit and active events list.
Gallery crawls always make for an awesome night. They’re an easy way to support local artists and connect with the community. Best of all, they’re an on ramp for people outside of the art scene or creative community to engage with this world.
And this weekend, Pittsburgh has plenty of reasons to get out and take in the sights and sounds of an arts community in full swing. Friday night the Cultural Trust is hosting their spring Gallery Crawl throughout Downtown. Then, on Saturday, Art All Night Community Art Show takes over Lawrenceville.
Adding to the excitement of spring in the air and art showcases across the city is the opening of a truly unique gallery space, LIGHT: A Luminous Project.
A city beautification project
On Friday April 24, LIGHT pops up at 5122 Penn Avenue in Garfield. This mixed medium, luminous gallery is the work of Creative Director, Martin Potoczny. Stemming from ideas and experiences that have swirled for some time, Potoczny recently had the opportunity to open the doors to a space where, what he refers to as a “city beautification project,” could live.
“It was the right opportunity, at the right time,” Potoczny explained. As the section of Penn Avenue through Garfield was preparing to reopen, Potoczny saw an opportunity to put an overflow of ideas and inspiration to work in a community that was ailing, after having suffered through an expansive road construction project that stifled local businesses. When a friend approached Potoczny with the keys for the space in hand, Potoczny sprang into action transforming the space from a day care into a gallery in a matter of days.
Now, as you can see for yourself Friday, the space is home to Potoczny’s private collection of neon works. As he puts it, the pieces are “Things I’ve collected along the way…things that inspire me…and things I’ve created.”
Just the beginning
But as Potoczny points out, the space goes way beyond the pieces being displayed. And nothing is for sale. As a matter of fact, the neon works will only be on display for a limited time. Although Potoczny will remain in the location for 12 weeks, following this weekend’s gallery experience the space will transform into an “incubator for art conversations, socializing and pop-up events within this great neighborhood of Garfield.”
As for exactly what types of programming will fill the space, Potoczny hesitates to say. “Let’s just say you’ll want to stay tuned,” he remarked. Some possibilities include art lectures, live music, food tastings, socializing, happy hours and community-based programming. More information will be available via Twitter and Instagram. That’s also where programming suggestions will be taken.
But, turning our attention back to this Friday, the venue will play host to a luminous experience that Potoczny hopes will “bring light to a community.” There will be a D.J. on hand, as well as a live musical performance, to go with a food truck and drinks. Doors open at 9.30pm. RSVP by emailing LIGHT@luxecompanies.com
Inside his Wilkinsburg studio, metalsmith Michael Studebaker makes incredible hand-forged metal goods. Each product, including bracelets, razors, keychains and combs, are made from brass, copper or silver.
Studebaker is passionate about his craft and committed to the hand-made process, using traditional tools and techniques, like a hammer and anvil, to create objects with the user in mind. Having been educated as a metalsmith with experience in architectural metalwork and training as a jeweler, Studebaker is focused on creating “objects we interact with daily” that are intended to last a lifetime.
In addition to being hand-forged most objects remain unpolished, left with a work patina- intentionally “finished like a tool.” The finishing touch, a stamp that reads, “Pittsburgh.” puts each piece over the top.
From the outside looking in, it might appear as though Studebaker struck gold – or maybe it was metal – on the first go round. It’s simple, right? Mix one part brilliant idea (hand-made metal goods) with equal parts talent (the kind you’re just born with). Sprinkle on a little luck. And there you have it, Studebaker gets to kick it in his studio all day and make stuff.
Sure, that storyline is convenient. Trouble is, it’s also untrue. As every maker knows, or will soon find out, pursuing our muse, honing our craft and making it our livelihood is the furthest thing from a eureka moment.
It took me a while to figure out how to apply my passion to something useful.
That’s how Studebaker summed up the bulk of his creative journey. He told us that, after studying Metalsmithing (who knew?) at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, he spent five years trying to figure out how to apply his passion and skill set. During that time he worked in a commercial jewelry store and architectural metalwork, before moving on to work as a mount maker at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
At this point, some five years and three gigs later, Studebaker recalls things starting to click: “I fell in love with brass as a medium, and grew my appreciation for the centuries old traditions of hand-forged metal work, and its continued cultural relevance.” When Studebaker combined that realization with the recognition of rising trend, he knew he was onto something.
That trend was, as Studebaker puts its, an “appreciation of hand made, well made objects – particularly ones made in the USA.” Upon this discovery, Studebaker did what he does, he made something. He told us that lots of people were making belts, but not as many people were making buckles. “So, I made a buckle.” He said. “Then, while making a buckle, I realized I was also making a cuff bracelet. Then the ball really got rolling.”
A “Lucky” Break
There’s a saying from the Stoic philosopher Seneca that reads, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Here, in Studebaker’s case, those words ring true. As is the case among other artists, entrepreneurs and creatives who end up making something that we use, appreciate or admire. The lucky break, or, what outsiders perceive to be an overnight success, was a long time coming. Well earned. And well deserved.
As Studebaker began riding the wave of momentum created by his belt buckles, he met his wife Alyssa. That’s when, as Studebaker puts it, “the business became real.” Alyssa, who is a partner and co-founder of Studebaker Metals, builds out the catalog of products, generates new ideas and then executes the web presence.
Now, as a result of all that preparation meeting opportunity, the work of this Pittsburgh-based metalworker, and his wife, is available in seven countries across the globe, at national retailers here in the U.S. and on some great websites as well.
There’s something about Pittsburgh.
It doesn’t have the rat race feel of a big city metropolis like Los Angeles or New York (and we’re glad about that). But there’s not a laidback, Mayberry vibe either. Somehow we manage to get shit done while still taking time to chat up our neighbors. It’s as though Pittsburgh is still a mill town. Which it’s not. Even though everyone thinks it is.
So what’s going on here?
To put it simply, Pittsburgh is a hybrid. It’s a crossover. Pittsburgh is a mashup up of blue collar ideals and emerging technologies. Sure there are top tier school and startups. But the true difference maker is this region’s manufacturing roots. A steeltown sensibility that’s behind us, but within us.
This mashup is exactly the kind of thing Dylan Priest set out to highlight in a video series entitled, “Made in Pittsburgh.” The videos feature area makers who have tapped into that manufacturing mentality. Except now, they’ve re-imagined what it means to be made in Pittsburgh, thereby bringing new life to the Rust Belt.
“I was driven to make things.”
One of the videos in the series features Zak Kruszynski, the man behind Bones and All – a Rust Belt workshop. Zak uses reclaimed and salvaged wood to design and fabricate furniture and other home goods.
His work is top notch to say the least. You definitely have to check it out. But before you do, you should listen to him talk about what inspires him to make things. It’s the essence of what the Rust Belt is all about.
“The intellectual or spiritual culture of the Rust Belt region as a whole really influences my work. The allure of people that make things of a region that’s known for making things. And despite the economic hardship that’s gone in the last generation of or two the tenacity of people, the attitude of f*ck you we’re going to do it anyway...is really inspiring to me. That kind of working, fighting spirit just makes you feel good.”
How many words does it take?
Eight words – f*ck you we’re going to do it anyway – is all it really took for Zac to explain the way Pittsburgh, and the Rust Belt as a whole approaches, well, everything. He totally nailed. it.
Picture this: It’s 2019 and Harriet Tubman is growing up in Harlem. That’s exactly what you get with “Tubman,” a one-woman show about what life would be like for Harriet Tubman in the 21st century. If you’re looking for one of the most unique plays in Pittsburgh you’ve come to the right place.“Tubman” makes a stop at the August Wilson Center for two shows on Feb 20 and 21. It’s different, it’s thought provoking, it’s fresh — the fascinating concept is written and performed by creator Lacresha Berry.
Berry is no stranger to putting on one act plays. This is her third one-woman show, which has traveled across the country the past two years, from San Diego to NYC. She’s does a lot of things–singer/songwriter, poet, actress, educator–just to name a few.
On her website (berryandcompanynyc.com), Berry talks about why she decided on writing a one-woman show about Harriet Tubman. She had learned about the historical figure in high school and college, but once she began researching for the play she found there was so much more to the story.
“I knew she was a famous conductor on the underground railroad but I didn’t know she was a mother, wife, scout, spy, and fighter for the lives of elderly people,” Berry says.
This led to Berry finding the idea that would center around her new play.
“I have been researching her life for the past year or so and discovering her many sides compelled me to take on her invigorating story,” Berry says. “Learning about Harriet’s many roles and complex layers adds to the story of her illustrious life. She’s not a monolith like I once imagined. Hearing only about her strength is merely one-sided.”
Once she learned more about Tubman, she wanted young people to understand how important this story was, relating it to a new generation.“I took matters into my own hands and developed a unique perspective as a teacher in Harlem,” Berry says. “How would the youth hear this story in a new and modern way?”
There’s so many interesting questions to consider: “What would life be like for Tubman today?” “Would the struggles be the same?” “What would happen if a young woman like Harriet became a leader in this new world?” “ Would she know her power?” The show looks at the battle of race, gender, and equality, with a focus on the mistreatment of black girls in schools, as Tubman grows up in Harlem. It’s 90 minutes of poetry, monologue, and revolutionary music–painting the picture of the story. This Pittsburgh play is one you can’t miss.
Berry mentions why the historical aspect will resonate with youth. “The issues that plagued her, still plague us today.”
When: Feb 20- 1pm and Feb 21- 8pm
Where: August Wilson Center
Tickets- $23-$33 Buy them here
So you’ve gotten your sweetie a local Valentine’s Day gift when you suddenly realize you forgot to make a reservation for dinner. At this point, reservations can be pretty tough to come by…but don’t worry. A romantic evening in with a bottle of wine, growler of your favorite beer, and some tasty takeout sounds pretty great to us! And, if you spin it the right way, your honey will never know you didn’t plan it that way 😉
Baby Loves Tacos (Bloomfield)
If you’re looking for great tacos, burritos, nachos, and all the fixings, check out Baby Loves Tacos. They have plenty of meat and veggie fillings, and you get to build your own meal like at the chains. But these guys are definitely not a chain – they source as many ingredients locally as they can.
Smiling Banana Leaf (Highland Park)
Is Thai takeout your love language? Smiling Banana Leaf has you covered! They have all the classics, like Pad Thai, fried rice, and curry. And don’t forget, they’re BYOB if you do manage to snag a reservation.
Ki Pollo (Lawrenceville)
If you’re surprised you can get authentic Argentinian empanadas at the same restaurant that makes some amazing Korean fried chicken, you’re not alone. But Ki Pollo is killing it with both! Call ahead and they’ll have everything hot and waiting for you. Pro tip: get a couple extra empanadas for leftovers the next day.
Nakama (South Side)
Everyone knows Nakama makes delicious sushi and hibachi, but don’t forget that you can get it to go. And also don’t forget to ask for extra sauce with the hibachi! We can’t get enough of their shrimp tempura roll, and don’t even get us started on their mushroom appetizer with the hibachi.
Gaucho (Strip District)
Yes, Gaucho does takeout! It’s a great way to skip the long line, and obviously perfect if you forgot to make reservations somewhere or don’t feel like waiting for a table there. And, bonus, no one will know if you order enough food for four people when there are only two of you…not that we’re speaking from experience.
Piccolo Forno (Lawrenceville)
There’s something romantic about Italian food, isn’t there? Luckily, Piccolo Forno has some of the best Italian around. Remember that while they normally don’t take reservations for fewer than 5 people, they do take them on Valentine’s Day for two or more…so get your wood fired pizza to go.
Ready for one last bonus tip? If you have a favorite restaurant that you’re super bummed about not getting a reservation…call them and ask if they can do your meal as takeout. Most restaurants can accommodate you! Just consider how well your favorite dish there will travel all wrapped up in a container – some are best enjoyed dining in.
The world premiere of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s new production of The Great Gatsby took place this weekend at The Benedum Center.
Being able to watch the time-tested story of The Great Gatsby in ballet form is a unique experience. The choreography incorporates a lot of symbolism, beauty, and even humor into the familiar narrative. It’s a story of love and loss that translates clearly due to the precise choreography from Jorden Morris. Morris was behind the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s productions of Peter Pan and Moulin Rouge – The Ballet.
Taking you back in time to the Roaring Twenties, the dancers’ flapper dresses are stylish, sparkling, and straight out of The Great Gatsby. After watching a few parties at Gatsby’s mansion, you’ll be planning your next 1920’s soiree, or perhaps a trip to the Speakeasy at the Omni William Penn hotel.
The production features an original score, composed by Carl Davis. The PBT Orchestra brings the score to life with sounds of American jazz and some songs reminiscent of Moulin Rouge’s El Tango de Roxanne.
If, like me, you haven’t read The Great Gatsby in several years, it’s worth reading a recap of the story before you attend. Being familiar with the characters and storyline will help you follow along. The playbill includes a synopsis that outlines the plot in both acts — highly recommend this read! Get there early to take a look before the show starts.
This new production marks the year of The Pittsburgh Ballet Threatre’s golden anniversary. The organization is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019.
If you weren’t able to make it opening weekend, don’t worry. Tickets are still available for a romantic date night around Valentine’s Day, or a classy night out with friends. The Pittsburgh Ballet’s production of The Great Gatsby is taking place from February 8-17, 2019.
Pittsburgh is a craft beer lover’s dream city and for two days in February it’s a craft beer lover’s dream come true.
The 6th annual Pittsburgh Winter Beerfest pours into the David L. Lawrence Convention Center February 22-23. It features 125+ breweries. It has 400+ craft beers. It has 3 options for you to live out your craft beer sampling fantasies. Take your taste buds around the world on a whirlwind sampling of craft drafts from near and far.
Here are 6 reasons to get to Pittsburgh’s Winter Beerfest this year:
The obvious reason to go: Beer! And plenty of it. Check out their website for the full list of 2019 brews and start planning your sampling strategy now.
When we spoke with the Beerfest folks they were particularly excited for _______
With 17,000+ attendees this event is officially in the Top 10 Largest Craft Beer events in all of the USA. [While they wouldn’t tell us where we rank we can only assume that if we aren’t #1 then we’re definitely ahead of Cleveland!]
The Ticket Options
The Beerfest consists of 3 separately ticketed events:
Friday night 6:30PM-11PM (2/22)
Saturday day 12:00PM-4PM (2/23)
Saturday night 6:30PM-11PM (2/23)
Some brews are only accessible to those with a Connoisseurs Reception ticket and others are available during Early Admission. No matter what ticket you get you will have great access to a great variety of great craft beers. Get your tickets here.
And for your designated driver? They can get a ticket to the event to along with access to water/soft drinks and the food.
“Know Before You Go”: Everyone, including DDs, must be 21+. And if you want a “lower-key” vibe go Saturday afternoon.
Along with the best beer the craft beer industry has to offer, the event will feature fare from local restaurants and Food Trucks will also be along for the ride (and will come at an additional cost depending on your selected ticket). You can sample your way thru the beer while sample your way thru the food. And you’ll definitely need to add food into the mix so that you can keep going strong the whole time!
No we’re not talking about how it will benefit you, we’re talking about the fact that the event is actually a great way to support two great causes. The proceeds from this year’s event will benefit Animal Rescue Partners, Inc, and Biggies Bullies of Pittsburgh.
The Hostest with the Mostest
The Pittsburgh Winter Beerfest’s official host hotel is the Drury Hotel which is only 1 block away from the Convention Center. But, alas, there is no vacancy. But not to fear – there are other hotels in the area with vacancy and the Beefest folks were kind enough to make a list of local hotels to make it easier for you to find a place to crash.
The Beerfest folks offered us some “insider’s tips” on getting the most out of the Winter Beerfest.
2018 Smallman St
If you’ve been around this little donut shop, you most likely remember the delicious, sweet aroma that surrounds the area. These tiny donuts leave a big impression. Their menu is packed with so many options, it’s almost impossible to pick just one. The Groovy menu which features the classics start at only $0.85 each!
155 21st St
There is nothing better than a truly authentic meal. Chicken Latino is an authentic Peruvian restaurant and we cannot get enough. This casual space is fun, colorful and even has outside seating! (Our fav) We suggest a basket of Sweet Fried Plantains for the table to start which will only cost you $4.99 and worth every penny. For a main, their signature meal of the Peruvian Style Rotisserie Chicken can be served multiple ways including a family meal featuring a whole chicken, with two sides for $19.99. It doesn’t get much more delicious than that.
2801 Penn Ave
The best way to enjoy a classic ice cream sundae is by devouring it inside an old fashioned ice cream parlor. Klavon’s has everything you need to enjoy a night out no matter what age you are. They have food options like paninis or soups to before devouring an ice cream sundae, cone, float or however you prefer you ice cream! OR, you can just dive right into the sweet stuff. We don’t judge.
2117 Penn Ave
If you enjoy imported or craft beer, good food and good deals, you’ll love The Beerhive. happy hour deals run from Monday to Friday 5-7pm. This features $1 off all drinks & 1/2 price appetizers. Aside from happy hour, they have other specials like $5 Taco Tuesday, Wednesday wing night which entails $6 dozen wings and $2.50 Yuengling Drafts!. Be sure to check out their drink deals on game days too! There are deals on deals at the Beerhive!
2533 Smallman St
If you’re catching a really late lunch or a really early dinner, Edgar’s Best Tacos really live up to their name. These authentic tacos are not only delicious but also so affordable going for $3-$3.50 a taco. Tacos come prepared on a soft corn tortilla, topped with lettuce, tomato, onions, sour cream, cheese and cilantro. Pick any protein and you’re set to go. They even offer vegetarian and vegan options. Edgar’s also has a food truck for all your catering needs which gives them major bonus points.
102 19th St
The East End Brewing Tap Room is one of our favorites for many reasons. First the beer to state the obvious. This local brewery brews about 35 different beers a year. Second, location, location, location! The strip is the place to be for a fun night out. The Tap Room is surrounded by so many eateries which is perfect for those who want to eat while they drink. Grab some food to go, then head over to the Tap Room to eat and enjoy a locally brewed beer.
Get ready for the biggest sports banquet of the year! Seriously, the Dapper Dan Dinner and Sports Auction is always a party — with celebs and all-star Pittsburgh athletes coming together for a night of amazing awards, delicious food, and a spectacular sports auction.
When: February 20, 6-10pm
Where: David Lawrence Convention Center
Every year the Dapper Dan Awards honor the best in Pittsburgh sports. And this year is no exception. The honorees for the big event include Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner, University of Pittsburgh Athletic Director Heather Lyke, Pittsburgh Penguins President David Morehouse, and NFL Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis, who will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Dapper Dan Charities have been going strong since it was established in the 1930’s–and is now one of the biggest non-profit and fundraising community sports clubs in the world. Few cities can even compete with the list of pro’s that have won the award throughout the years. It’s extraordinary to glance at the list of names who have taken home the famous Dapper Dan award throughout the years. From football legends like Terry Bradshaw and Franco Harris, hockey icons Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby, golf’s greatest Arnold Palmer and wrestling royalty Kurt Angle; baseball all-time greats Roberto Clemente and Andrew McCutchen; the list showcases how many amazing athletes have represented the Pittsburgh area. The steel city knows how many awesome athletes we’ve cheered for throughout the years, but it’s truly remarkable how many sports stars can call the Burgh their home.
How entertaining will it be when The Bus receives the lifetime achievement award?! He’s been a staple of the Pittsburgh region since he became a Steeler back in 1996. James Conner is also a hometown favorite–a former Pitt Panther, cancer survivor, and recent selection to the Pro Bowl, Conner has taken over as the Steelers future running back. Speaking of Pitt, Heather Lyke is transforming Pitt sports both on and off the field, helping to renovate a lot of Pitt’s on-campus athletic facilities. Switching over to the ice–David Morehouse is gearing up for another Penguins playoff run. Yes, it’s almost that time of year again!
It’s not often that you have an opportunity to be in the same room as these Pittsburgh icons. Aside from the awards, there’s an awesome dinner and sports auction, which is sure to have some unbelievable signed memorabilia. The money raised at the Dapper Dan awards goes to the Boys and Girls Club of Western Pennsylvania.