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The Steel City, City of Champions, the ‘Burgh. Whatever you call it, Pittsburgh is a haven for foodies, sports fans, tech entrepreneurs, outdoor enthusiasts, history buffs - well, everyone. From the moment you emerge from the Fort Pitt Tunnel and catch that first glimpse of the city skyline, you know you’ve reached a special place.
Adrienne Wojtaszek of our Pittsburgh PR team shares her love for her home city every chance she gets, so we asked her to give us the run-down of the top places to eat, stay and play on your next visit to the Steel City.
When it comes to creative concepts from chef and Pittsburgh native Richard DeShantz, Adrienne refuses to choose a favorite. From the hearty staples of American cuisine at Meat & Potatoes to the Japanese/Mexican fusion approach to street food and unmatched selection of tequila and mezcal at täkō, Chef DeShantz has launched 10 creative concepts spanning comfort food, American classics, fine dining and fun fast casual. You won’t want to miss the southern kitchen and entertainment mashup of Coop De Ville. Try the Classic fried chicken sandwich with pimento cheese, test your skills at duckpin bowling, reminisce while you challenge friends to classic arcade games and celebrate with mini bottles from the Champagne vending machine.
Depending on what side of town you’re on, you have two opportunities to experience our client Galley Group, upscale food halls and accelerators for aspiring chefs. Bringing people together for good food and good times, the Galley offers a truly shared dining experience, with communal indoor and outdoor seating and four different chef-driven restaurant concepts under one roof. For the full Galley experience, order from multiple restaurant concepts and explore everything from modern twists on enduring favorites like pizza and chicken sandwiches to dishes inspired by global ingredients and chef heritage. On the North Shore before a Pirates or Steelers game? Head to Federal Galley for a bite and a signature cocktail or local craft brew. When you’re in the East Liberty neighborhood, stop by Galley Bakery Square and soak up the day on the outdoor patio.
Two words for you: French bakery. With four locations around Pittsburgh, La Gourmandine offers a little taste of France throughout the ‘Burgh from French natives and husband-and-wife duo Fabien and Lisanne Moreau. If you’re craving something savory, La Gourmandine offers a selection of quiche and baguette sandwiches. To satisfy your sweet tooth, try the Brioche Bostock, a slide of sweet brioche topped with almond cream and toasted almonds, or the Gourmandise, a flaky buttery pastry filled with vanilla cream and chocolate drops. Need a crowd pleaser? Grab the classic Tarte Citron, a lemon tart topped with meringue. If you think you can handle it, feast your eyes on these selections from Ana Eats Pgh.
For a change of pace, make a reservation at Altius, located high atop Mt. Washington with sweeping views of the fountain on the Point, the city skyline and the series of bridges across the three rivers. A perfect spot for a date night or a celebratory dinner, Altius offers seasonal, local, farm-to-table cuisine and a craft cocktail menu featuring the natural flavors of fresh fruits, herbs, and spices as well as house-made grenadine and syrups. Go for the memorable food and drinks and stay for the views and photo ops along the magnificent Grandview Avenue (more on this in a minute).
Since opening its doors in 1916, Omni William Penn Hotel has been a fixture in downtown Pittsburgh, hosting movie stars, politicians, heads of state, business leaders and leisure travelers alike. From sparkling chandeliers throughout the grand lobby and event venues, to the Old-World charm and exquisite accommodations of the guest rooms, the Omni William Penn promises historic elegance in the heart of downtown. Go back in time and experience the charm of Afternoon Tea in The Terrace Room, and then tuck beneath the lobby to find The Speakeasy, a Prohibition-era social lounge that gives you a glimpse - and taste - of 1920s Pittsburgh.
Home to two restaurants, a coffee bar, a spectacular rooftop featuring city views, 108 guest rooms, event spaces and more, TRYP Pittsburgh | Lawrenceville was a welcome addition to the Lawrenceville neighborhood when it opened in 2019. The hotel is set in the historic Washington Education Center building, the site of a former vocational school dating back to the early 1900s and used as a school until 2006. In a nod to its roots, each floor of the hotel features local art installations and works that reflect the trade taught in that space. Be sure to take in the sunset views of the city and surrounding neighborhood while enjoying drinks and dinner at the Over Eden rooftop bar.
Known as “Millionaire’s Row,” Fifth Avenue in Pittsburgh’s Shadyside neighborhood was home to the financial and industrial powerhouses of the early 1900s, including the Carnegie, Mellon, Frick, Westinghouse and Heinz families. Construction of what is known today as the Mansions on Fifth was commissioned over a century ago by attorney Willis F. McCook, who is best known as legal counsel to steel and coke magnate Henry Clay Frick. Originally home to Willis, his wife and their 10 children, over time the mansion served as a home for students at nearby Carnegie Mellon University, and was finally restored and re-opened in 2012 as a boutique hotel. Today the property features 22 guest rooms and suites, a grand hall event space, a library, private dining rooms and the Oak Room Pub, with oak paneling and ceiling beams that take you back to dining clubs of the early 1900s.
Pittsburgh is home to more than 60 craft breweries, and if you’re feeling energetic you can walk to quite a few in the Lawrenceville neighborhood alone.
Start your tour on Liberty Avenue at The Church Brew Works, located in the historic St. John the Baptist Church. Dating back to the early 1900s, the church was closed in 1993 and reopened three years later as The Church Brew Works. Grab a seat at the bar, built from oak planks of salvaged pews, and enjoy an authentic Pious Monk Dunkel.
At the corner of 39th Street and Penn Ave, stop by Arsenal Cider House, named for the Civil War-era Allegheny Arsenal located just down the hill. Ok, it’s not exactly a brewery, but you can’t just walk by without tasting these award-winning, small batch ciders and meads, from the refreshing and crisp Fighting Elleck to the bone dry and tart Picket. Not in Pittsburgh? Not to worry, you can get your ration delivered to you.
Continue down the hill to Butler Street and stop by Cinderlands Foederhouse, home of craft brews and classic Belgian pub cuisine. Ranging from Dad Beers (aka light lagers) to hop-forward selections (try the Full Squish), grab a flight and share some small plates in this relaxing, cozy space.
The next stop is Eleventh Hour Brewing Co. located just a block away. Grab a pint from the tap room, order snacks from the rotating food trucks, and relax at the outdoor picnic tables. Bring the pup and you’ll make new friends immediately. And do yourself a favor and try the selection of sours, even if you’ve never considered yourself a connoisseur of sours.
Head past the old Allegheny Arsenal site and continue on Butler Street to COVEN Brewing, founded by a couple of industry veterans who know their way around saisons and hop-forward New England IPAs. Featuring food trucks, a super cozy and relaxing space, and a selection of non-beer libations, COVEN has something for everyone.
Next up is the newest brewery to hit the Lawrenceville scene, Lolev Beer, located in a Butler Street building dating back to 1912, which at one point housed a beer distributor. Opened by the Slesinski brothers in December 2022, Lolev offers a wide range of brews from IPAs and pilsners to cream ales and imperial stouts.
End your tour at Hop Farm Brewing Company, Pittsburgh’s original urban farmhouse brewery and brew pub. Established in 2014, Hop Farm focuses on sustainability and local ingredients, from their inhouse brews to their onsite kitchen. Grab a pint from their 14 rotating taps featuring hoppy ales, sours, lagers and more.
Consistently named one of the top MLB ballparks, PNC Park on Pittsburgh’s North Shore is worth a visit. Whether the Pirates are winning or losing, you can’t beat an afternoon at the park, listening to the crack of the bat and enjoying America’s favorite pastime. Sit on the third baseline for an evening game and marvel at the view of the setting sun reflecting off the buildings across the river. For the full experience, pair a hot dog with a cold I.C. Light and wait with eager anticipation for the end of the fifth inning and the Great Pittsburgh Pierogy Race.
Opened on May 20, 1877 to transport cargo up and down the steep slopes of Mt. Washington on Pittsburgh’s South Side, and eventually passengers who grew tired of walking the steep footpaths to their homes, the Duquesne Incline is now best known for its spectacular views of the city. Climbing 400 feet in elevation, these iconic (and original) red cable cars travel between West Carson Street along the river to the aptly named Grandview Avenue atop Mt. Washington. When you reach the top, head over to the Observation Deck for the best and most photographed views of the city and three rivers below. Together with its sister the Monongahela Incline further down Grandview Avenue, the two inclines were designated as Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmarks in 1977 and serve more than one million commuters and tourists annually.
Regardless of the time of year, there is always a festival in Pittsburgh. In the spring, enjoy 10 days of art and music at the Three Rivers Arts Festival, a production of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, featuring hundreds of artists from around the region and nation, music on multiple stages, gallery exhibitions and more. Now in its 64th year, the festival attracts nearly 500,000 people annually and is absolutely free to attend.
In the summer, attend the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix (PVGP), the nation’s largest vintage street race and the largest vintage race event. The 10-day event features two race weekends, car shows, road rallies, parades and more. PVGP is a volunteer-run event with 1,200 volunteers and a charity mission to support Autism-Pittsburgh and Merakey Allegheny Valley School for individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism.
When you see the giant Heinz pickle balloon suspended from one of the Allegheny River sister bridges, you know it’s time for Picklesburgh, a celebration of all things pickled. Produced by the Downtown Pittsburgh Partnership and recognized in the 2023 USA Today reader’s choice awards as the “Best Specialty Food Festival” contest in America, this is a unique festival you won’t want to miss. Enjoy live music performances, sample Pickle Cocktails and Pickle Beer, and find all the pickle-themed apparel, merch and more.
Enjoy the holiday season in Pittsburgh fashion, from outdoor ice skating around the Christmas tree in PPG Plaza to the Holiday Market in Market Square. As you weave through the wooden chalets of this European-style market, enjoy holiday treats while shopping for unique gifts. Try the strudel, listen to live music, discover traditional German holiday decorations at the popular Käthe Wohlfahrt shop, and find the perfect gifts made by local artisans.
We told Adrienne she had a word limit on this blog, so she offered some parting thoughts to help you live like a local. Sign up for the daily newsletter from The Incline, offering event listings and a monthly roundup of what’s new on the restaurant scene. Visit NEXTpittsburgh for weekly event roundups, ranging from the family-friendly to the only-found-in-Pittsburgh celebrations. Meet Jeremy and Angie of Discover the Burgh, who have personally experienced over 1,200 unique spots in and around Pittsburgh and share weekly reviews of their latest finds. And finally, explore Visit Pittsburgh to find all of the events and activities happening during your visit.
As you might have noticed, our Bolt PR team is passionate about our local communities and sharing what we love with our national audience. With deep expertise in hospitality PR and a wealth of local knowledge, we partner with ambitious brands to expand their reach, drive demand and loyalty, and accelerate business growth. If you’re ready to energize your brand in the Steel City and beyond, contact our Pittsburgh PR team.