While you should perhaps dedicate a full weekend to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania instead of a mere day trip, it’s a fun and easy-to-get-to weekend escape full of food, drink and of course, art you can’t miss. I grew up going to the Pennsylvania city (just 3.5 hours from the District) and have kept it in travel rotation as an adult, exploring the cultural bests and hidden gems it has to offer each time. Read on for the scoop on where to eat, drink and explore throughout Pittsburgh.
Pennsylvania Macaroni Co.: Stop in for amazing Italian groceries, olives, cheeses and more. I always buy pizzelles and Italian wedding cookies here to enjoy on the ride home and (maybe) share with friends and family at home, if I’m feeling generous. 2010-2012 Penn Ave. Pittsburgh, PA; www.pennmac.com // @pennmacco
S&D Polish Deli: No trip to the Strip District is complete without grabbing pierogi and kielbasa from S&D. They also has a lot of fun Polish trinkets and candy that are fun to try. 2204 Penn Ave. Pittsburgh, PA; www.sdpolishdeli.com
Grandview Bakery: You can buy a box of treats large enough to feed a small family here for a very reasonable amount. Feast your eyes on their amazing display of pastries and then prepare for an actual feast. My favorite are their mini cheesecakes in classic and fun seasonal flavors. 225 Shiloh St. Pittsburgh, PA; www.grandviewbakery.com // www.fb.com/grandview-bakery
Proper Brick Oven + Taproom: This is a great outdoor, Covid-friendly space for pizza, Brussels and wings. They have heat lamps and an extensive beer list to keep you warm and hydrated, too. 139 7th St. Pittsburgh, PA; www.properpittsburgh.com // @properpgh
Steel City Salt: This local salt and spice company has all you need to amp up your cooking game. From seasonal blends to unique staples, you’re sure to return home with one hell of a spice rack. Various locations; steelcitysalt.com // @steelcitysaltco
Market Square: This downtown area has bars and restaurants with outdoor seating as well as occasional seasonal happenings; click here for more of what’s going on in the area or to scope out a crowd-pleasing place to grab a bite.
Pennsylvania Libations: This local spirits shop has plenty of libations from all around Pennsylvania that make great, unique additions to your bar cart and even better gifts. A personal favorite is the Penn Square vodkas in rose and lavender for all your floral, refreshing drink needs. 2103 Penn Ave. Pittsburgh, PA; palibations.com // @palibationsspirits
De Fer: This Strip District coffee shop is usually bustling for good reason. Their chai is some of the best I’ve had and their elevated avocado toasts are also worth trying. It’s the perfect place to fuel up before you walk around the area. 2002 Smallman St. Pittsburgh, PA; www.defer.coffee // @defercoffeeandtea
East End Brewing: For local beer and a great outdoor space, look no further than East End. They’re open six days a week for all your beer needs, and also offer pizza and pretzels to nosh on while you enjoy your brews.147 Julius St. Pittsburgh, PA; www.eastendbrewing.com // @eastendbrewing
For the Art Lovers: Pittsburgh is a must-visit town if you love art. From The Andy Warhol Museum to the Mattress Factory and of course, the Carnegie family of museums, your curiosity will be piqued all weekend. While we’re used to free museums in the D.C. area, admission fees are worth all the amazing art to behold in the city. Plan your trip and visits ahead of time by buying your tickets online. Weekend slots fill up fast, especially in the era of social distancing and capacity limits! The Andy Warhol Museum: 117 Sandusky St. Pittsburgh, PA; www.warhol.org // @thewarholmuseum. Carnegie Museums: Various locations; carnegiemuseums.org // @carnegiemuseums. Mattress Factory: 500 Sampsonia Way, Pittsburgh, PA; www.mattress.org // @mattressfactory.
Mr. Rogers Statue: The beloved broadcast icon Mr. Rogers hails from Pittsburgh and made his children’s programming famous in the city. This avant-garde statue paying homage is a must-see for anyone who grew up with Mr. Rogers. Plus, the scenic area it’s in is a beautiful place for an early morning walk if you’re hoping to get some steps in on your trip. North Shore Drive between Heinz Field and PNC Park in Pittsburgh, PA
Star Wars Vending Machine: This “Phantom Menace” era vending machine tucked up on Mt. Washington is a go-to for any lover of “Star Wars,” pop culture or slices of town that seem frozen in time. Click here for location information.
Love, Pittsburgh: This is your one-stop shop for all things made in the greater Pittsburgh area. Grab some souvenirs for friends back home and treats for yourself while you’re there. 301 Shiloh St. Pittsburgh, PA; lovepittsburghshop.com // @lovepittsburghshop
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