Tag: Pittsburgh

20 Best Things to Do in Pittsburgh – DOPES ON THE ROAD

20 Best Things to Do in Pittsburgh - DOPES ON

 

We spent five full days checking out Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The weather was perfect and we explored what felt like every inch of the city on foot. We were invited by Visit Pittsburgh to check out the city’s amazing arts and culture scene. We were both blown away by how much the city had to offer. From the robust collection of Carnegie Museums to the stunning Andy Warhol museum and of course all the quirks of Randyland there is no shortage of things to do in Pittsburgh. 

This western Pennsylvania City known is known as the City of Bridges because of the 446 bridges there. Yes, it’s the most of any city in the world. The city is situated on three rivers the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio all intersect to create ample unique opportunities for exploring the Steel City even by water. Whether you’re looking for art, history, sports or food, you’ll find it here. If you plan anything like me you’ll start by deciding what to eat in Pittsburgh, then decide what to see and do in Steelers country. This list includes 20 of the best things to do in Pittsburgh. 

Before digging in check out our 1-minute highlight video of all our favorite moments from the week.

Randyland

Randyland might be the best place in Pittsburgh for Instagram photos. This free outdoor art museum is exploding with colors. They’ve managed to turn everything from plants, tires and broken benches into an interactive art display. We got there early afternoon on a Tuesday and had the whole place to ourselves for the better part of an hour. Be prepared to get creative. 

The Best Sunset Dinner Cruise in Pittsburgh

Set sail aboard the Gateway Clipper on a weekend night for a sunset dinner cruise while a DJ plays of your favorite songs from the 90s. Guests on the Gateway Clipper fleet of boats enjoy a dinner buffet during this 2-hour cruise. The Gateway Clipper tours run from May through November and include several seasonal sailings and special events throughout the year. Visitors can also take advantage of holiday specials, parties, and events for kids like the Princess Cruises

Visit the Andy Warhol Museum

The Andy Warhol Museum is a must-visit if you’re looking for some of the best things to do in Pittsburgh. Rotating exhibits are featured here alongside the largest collection of Warhol art. Get hands-on here and try to create your own Andy Warhol-esque work of art.

Meg Ten Eyck had some beautiful things to say about the queer community’s impact on the arts. It opened my eyes in many ways. Check out her thoughts here and if you aren’t following her duh now is a good time to do so.  

The Strip District in Pittsburgh the Best Spot for Pierogi

If you’re coming to Pittsburgh, not grabbing some Pierogi while you’re here is almost illegal. The Strip District is located just north of the downtown area and serves up international grocery stores and restaurants where you can find the best Pierogi in the states. Settle in for some of the best affordable, filling and delicious comfort food in Pittsburgh. If you’re not familiar I’d start with the classic potato filling topped with sour cream and chives. 

The Best Views in Pittsburg Can be Found At Mount Washington

Mount Washington extends across Grandview Avenue overlooking the Pittsburgh skyline. Here you can visit Restaurant Row and enjoy a delicious meal with the skyline as your backdrop. Mount Washington is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike and is a must-do when visiting the city. The vantage point is one of the best views in Pittsburgh. 

While you can drive or catch an Uber to see this view the best way to get here is on the incline. These wooden cable cars are charming and uniquely western Pennsylvania. The Duquesne Incline gives the best views out of the two in my opinion. 

The Pittsburgh Tour Company – Just the Tour

For those not wanting to get off and on The Pittsburgh Tour Company bus, consider just staying on. This will allow you to map out a future itinerary or just learn more about the city before you dive in. The Just the Tour Pass includes a narrated historic tour of the area and lasts for 2 hours and 15 minutes. 

It’s one of the best ways to spend a fun afternoon in Pittsburgh. Learn about the city on this fun tour and get an insider take on what makes it great. This tour is great for families with young children.

History and Beauty Come Together at Point State Park

Point State Park is located at the center-point where all three rivers merge; it is a National Historic Landmark that chronicles the history of the area during the French and Indian War.  The park commemorates the people, places, and events of the time and is also a great spot for an afternoon stroll. 

Carnegie Science Center

Of the four Carnegie Museums, the Carnegie Science Center is my absolute favorite. What makes this stand apart from the rest is that it a totally interactive experience. From the Nasa exhibit to the beat the robot sports games its a place that just makes you want to play. We also had the privilege of touring the Mummies of the World exhibit before it opened. What we loved most about it was they include so much more than just the mummies from Egypt. 

Visit the Quirky Mattress Factory Museum in Pittsburgh

A contemporary art museum in Pittsburg, The Mattress Factory is one of the best, unusual stops in Pittsburgh. Visitors will delight in the changing art exhibits throughout this sprawling museum. Artists in residence create art directly within the space itself. The Mattress Factory Museum is comprised of three buildings in the Mexican War district and well worth a visit. It’s also a super fun place to grab some photos for your social media. 

Explore American History at Fort Pitt Museum

The Fort Pitt Museum offers several exhibits and displays that preserve this history of Pittsburgh and parts of Western Pennsylvania. This indoor-outdoor museum is run by the John Heinz History Center. 

Westmoreland Museum of American Art

Located in Greensburg a bit outside the traditional downtown tourist area you’ll find the Westmoreland Museum of American Art. This beautifully renovated American art museum has a heavy focus on art from Southwestern Pennsylvania. They also have some great interactive exhibits. There is a wonderful little cafe on-site so plan to make an afternoon of it. 

The Frick Pittsburgh

You can find The Frick Pittsburgh in the Point Breeze neighborhood about 30 mins from where we stayed in at the TRYP hotel in Lawrenceville. The Frick is a series of museums and stunning gardens based around the Frick family residence. The car and carriage museum was our absolute favorite part. Meg grew up with a grandfather who rebuilt cars so it was fun wandering and hearing their stories.

The Pittsburgh Tour Company Hop-on Hop-off Tour 

One of the best ways to get your bearings when visiting Pittsburgh is to take advantage of The Pittsburgh Tour Company’s bus tours. The Hop-on, Hop-off tour brings visitors to 21 stops within the city. From the Duquesne Incline to Heinz Field or the Andy Warhol Museum, you can choose your own adventure of sorts.

Visitors can board at any stop along the way and ride the entire course along the river to The Strip and through the Oakland neighborhood. It’s a great way to get acclimated and familiarize yourself with the sights, sounds, and tastes of Pittsburgh. 

Stroll Through Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Located in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens include 15-acres of orchids, bonsai trees and a variety of flowers and plants. With 23 gardens to explore and a stunning greenhouse, the sights, sounds, and smells of this historic landmark delight visitors at every turn.

We got there with only about an hour before close and had practically the whole place to ourselves. It was the perfect place for a date or just some quiet time with a friend. 

 The Ultimate Bicycle Museum is in Pittsburgh 

If you like bikes, you’ll love Bicycle Heaven. It’s the biggest transportation museum in the world strictly related to bikes. This personal collection of Craig Morrow’s also includes the bicycle from the 80s Pee Wee’s Big Adventure Movie. I learned while I was there that the city of Pittsburgh is currently investing a ton of money into bike lanes. It’s absolutely becoming a very bikeable city. 

Discover the History of Pennsylvania at Heinz History Center

The Heinz History Center incorporates the history of Western Pennsylvania, encompassing everything Mister Rogers Neighborhood items to a Heinz Tomato Ketchup tour. The guided tour chronicles the company’s 150 years of innovative products.

Check out the Pirates at PNC Park 

Baseball fans can enjoy a Pittsburgh Pirates game at PNC Park Field.  From PNC Park fans can see glorious views of the Pittsburgh skyline. Whether you’re interested in watching the game or not, be sure not to miss the PNC Park food courts. Smorgasburgh features an eclectic mix of food found throughout the city and Pop’s Plaza serves more traditional baseball park food like nachos and hot dogs. 

This was actually our first professional baseball time together and we had the best time. We made a whole evening out of it complete with buying to jerseys to dress the part. We’re not big baseball fans but sports is such a huge part of what makes Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh. I’m glad we got to experience all the black and gold. 

 Visit the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh 

This contemporary art museum in Pittsburgh features works by Monet, Van Gogh and Picasso among others. This vast collection is inspiring to both artists and art fans. Founded in 1895 by Andrew Carnegie, it features a wide range of art and is well worth a visit on your next trip to Pittsburgh. 

See What Steeler’s Country is All About at Heinz Field

Until 2001, The Pittsburgh Steelers home field was Three Rivers Stadium. Once Heinz Field was built, it became one of the top stadiums in the NFL. Like PNC Park Field, Heinz is also horseshoe shape which allows for sweeping views of the Pittsburgh skyline. Situated on the Allegheny River, it is a must-visit for football fans, whether Steelers fans or not.

One of my first memories from college is meeting a ton of kids from Pittsburgh. On Sundays, it’s like everything would come to a screeching halt so everyone could watch the Steelers. I’ve never been to a place with more passionate sports fans. 

 Southern Pennsylvania World War II Memorial

Take some time to visit the Southern Pennsylvania World War II Memorial and learn about the sacrifices that citizens made during this tumultuous period in history. This outdoor museum chronicles the lives and activities of residents during wartime. Panels and enclosed art displays create a timeline of events leading up to the war and its outcome.  

 

 

 

 

 

This conversation is sponsored by Visit Pittsburgh. As always all opinions are our own.

 

 

 

Best Restaurants in Pittsburgh: The Ultimate Guide to Pittsburgh Food – DOPES ON THE ROAD

Best Restaurants in Pittsburgh: The Ultimate Guide to Pittsburgh Food

For a long time, Pittsburgh was considered an upping and coming food city and maybe even city in general. Those days are over, Pittsburgh has arrived in all the ways. The Pittsburgh food scene is thriving right along with the rest of this beautiful city. Narrowing down the truly top restaurants in Pittsburgh is tricky. Luckily I went to college in a nearby town and have multiple friends who call the city home. Each one was seemingly more excited than last to offer up recommendations on where to get that good Pittsburgh food.

Possibly the most famous Pittsburgh food, a Primanti Bros Sandwich overflowing with coleslaw and fresh-cut french fries. All the meat and toppings are slapped between two pieces of white bread. It’s one of the Pittsburgh restaurants you can’t miss. I also highly recommend ordering a deli-style pickle to go with it. 

The other Pittsburgh classic is the Pierogi. This Eastern European classic has become a favorite in Pittsburgh. So much so they have a Pierogi race between innings on the Pirates games. If you haven’t had one you have to go with the classic potato topped with sour cream and chives. 

Amazing Diners in Pittsburgh

Pennsylvania, in general, has strong diner culture and that certainly can be felt here in Pittsburgh. If you’re looking for a hearty breakfast or lunch look no further than these top-notch diners in Pittsburgh. 

DeLucas Diner

There’s always a hot cup of coffee on and the floors are checkerboard. The vibe hasn’t changed in years but neither has the food and that’s a good thing. This Pittsburgh institution has been serving one of the best breakfasts in the city for over 60 years. In the mood for banana pancakes or an omelet with homefries, head here. 

P&G Pamela’s Diner

Pamela’s Diner is adorable. It’s so good it practically feels like it was designed for a photoshoot but then you realize it’s just that authentic. Everything is a shade of teal pink with family photos covering the walls. The claim to fame here, super-thin crepe style hotcakes. I’m more of a savory person so I went for the Trash Hash which is basically hash browns topped with sloppy-joe, cheese, and jalapeno. It was to die for. 

Micro Diner

Fluffy stuffed pancakes help make breakfast the real star of the show here. One of the best parts of Micro Diner is the fact that is open late. Making it the perfect place to grab a great meal after a night out with friends. 

Kelly O’s

The young gun standing strong among the other Strip District restaurant legends, DeLucas and Pamalas. Once you say, Diner, Drive-in and Dives made a stop here there isn’t much more that needs to be said. The featured dish on the episode was the haluski, I always follow the experts lead. 

 

Best Breakfast Spots in Pittsburgh

If you’re looking for breakfast in Pittsburgh but feeling a bit more than the dinner vibe, I got you. I happen to travel with a big-time breakfast lover so we’re always on the lookout. 

Pie for Breakfast 

The name alone makes you wanna go, right? Stay with me, it gets better. They also serve all-day breakfast and boozy coffee cocktails. As you’d expect they do serve a lot of pie and quiche but there is more to the menu if you want something lighter. 

Waffles, INCaffinated

Made to order, fully customizable waffles. Of course, they have some house favorite sweet and savory combinations to lead you in the right direction. The available toppings list is pretty extensive leaving you to get super creative if you want. I’m a massive chicken and waffles fun but the sausage gravy over a waffle, heart eyes. 

Cafe Moulin

Meg and I are massive crepe lovers. In fact, we actively search them out all over the world. The french style crepes at Cafe Moulin were absolutely delicious. The menu has a good selection of both sweet and savory offerings. The atmosphere is cozy and clearly French-inspired. 

The Vandal

The Vandal is just as cool, well designed and delicious as you’d expect from a Lawrenceville restaurant. The menu is unique and utilizes ingredients in super unique ways. There is a distinct farm to table vibe. We stopped in mid-afternoon and enjoyed some of their delicious cups of coffee in the window seats. 

Best Italian Restaurants in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh’s Little Italy neighborhood can be found in the Bloomfield neighborhood. However, you’ll find Italian restaurants ranking highly on many “where to eat in Pittsburgh” lists all over the city. 

Alla Famiglia 

When you go to Alla Famiglia expect to have the full Italian fine dining experience. You can very clearly taste the intention behind each ingredient. The food is served family-style while offering some great appetizer options like the Burratta. Plan ahead for a visit and make sure you have reservations. 

DiAnoia’s Eatery

We sat at one of the tables outside sipping on a couple of glasses of wine. When the food hit the table the first words out of Meg’s mouth were “theses are little pillows of heaven” after a bite of gnocchi. The restaurant and connecting market are beautiful and the food is insane. You can even go in that afternoon for some sandwiches with incredible meats and cheeses. If you’re going for dinner be sure to make a reservation it fills up quick. 

Lawrenceville Restaurant Favorites

SMOKE Barbeque Taqueria

The best way to describe this spot is pit beef and a taco shop had a baby. It’s as delicious as you’re expecting. The nachos are baked in a cast iron pan and have more cheese than I can describe, add brisket for extra magic. They also make in house sodas which always win me over. 

Cinderlands Brewery

I always appreciate a brewery of offers bomb food and Cinderlands does just that. The beers are award-winning but the brussels sprouts stayed on my mind. Monday is all day taco day if you’re down for that. 

Merchant Oyster Co. 

The lobster rolls are the house specialty at this Lawrenceville gem. You can also pick from an extensive selection of oysters hailing from the east and west coasts. When the cool weather rolls in keep in mind they have four different kinds of chowder daily. 

Morcilla

Consistently ranked as one of the best restaurants in Pittsburgh, Morcilla won’t disappoint. Serving elegant Spanish food in an approachable way. The food is served small plate style so you can try all sorts of things. If you don’t know where to start, I’d recommend the charcuterie and croquetas 

Market Square Pittsburgh Restaurants

Downtown Pittsburgh restaurants weren’t supposed to wow us based on what I’d read. However, I was super pleasantly surprised at the quality options located in this part of the city. I would even consider some to be my favorite restaurants in Pittsburgh. 

Tako

At Tako Mexican street food and Japanese food are mixing it up. There is playful window seating ready for the warm days. The street-style tacos are best when you get a platter and can try multiple types of meat. I highly recommend going with the octopus, it was cooked perfectly. 

Butcher and Rye 

Butcher and Rye ooze cool from the moment you step in. The unique marriage of rustic and vintage decor is some of the best I’ve come across. The food is no slouch either. The contemporary take on modern classic completely knocks it out of the park. All that before I even mention the 8 shelves of whiskey. 

Revel and Roost

Just steps from Market Square you’ll find Revel and Roost. Roost is the upstairs event space and Revel is the downstairs event space. They have a versatile dinner menu with tons of dishes meant to share. Bacon-wrapped scallops or braised beef quesadillas are always a good move. 

Or, the Whale

Or, the Whale by the Travel Channel as one of the Hip Pittsburgh Destinations Where You’ll Want to be in 2019 for good reason. Located in what was previously a gymnasium the dining room is large and bold. The food is exactly what you’d hope for in a farm to table or sea to table restaurant. They are not taking any shortcuts that would sacrifice freshness. 

Vegan Restaurants Pittsburgh

APTEKA

A vegan restaurant that was recommended by both vegan and non-vegan friends. There is a very clear but intentional simplicity in the design. The food is all vegan with a strong eastern European influence. A few years ago the concept started with a Pierogi Pop up Restaurant and you bet those perogies are still on the menu. 

B52 Cafe

A Mediterranean spot offering a full vegan menu. They even have seitan which I appreciate being able to find. On Sunday’s you’ll find a beautiful brunch with the likes of latkes and thick-cut toast with cashew cheese. 

Onion Maiden

This completely vegan restaurant has a punk side. You’ll hear the distinct sounds of heavy metal playing as you devour your cabbage and shiitake dumplings. They specialize in making both Asian and American comfort food but in a seriously creative way.