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Yinzer's Guide to Visiting Pittsburgh



Here's an incomplete compilation of places to eat and things to do/drink in Pittsburgh.

Don't look at this as the definitive list of things to do in Pittsburgh, it's just a starting point for planning your weekend. For example, I've left off a lot of high-end dining places and a lot of tourist attractions (though, there are a few). There are other members of the community from Pittsburgh that will fill out these recommendations.

That said, don't let anyone try and talk you out of Primanti's. Some locals hate it, but it would be like going to Philly and skipping out on cheese steak.

Food near KeyCon:
Primanti’s (Garfield) - Just do it. Naysayers be damned. There's even patio seating at this one.
Whitfield at Ace Hotel - It’s downstairs. Ez Pz
Bird on the Run - Great fried chicken north of the Mason-Dixon line
Kahuna - Build your own Hawaiian Poke bowls
Choolaah - it’s like a BYOB Indian chipotle
Noodlehead - Good thai food. Usually pretty crowded. Cash only
Tana - Ethiopian food
Kelly’s Bar and Lounge - it’s a bar.
BRGR - Burgers and boozey milkshakes.
Slice on Broadway - Pizza and sandwiches
Spoon - Real fancy joint ... we’re talking aftermarket artisan prices

Food around town:
Hofbrauhaus - Gut essen und bier. Definitely a solid option for a larger group.
Burgatory - Multiple locations. Build your own burgers and boozy shakes.
Pub Chip Shop - British, Scottish and Irish food. Pickup type of joint
Caliente - award-winning pizza and an IPA-heavy draft list
Burgh’ers - Build your own burgers, my favorite burger spot, tbh
Nakama - Trendy, pricy sushi joint
For classier (read: more expensive) eats, see this list

This is a VERY LIMITED list. I’d strongly recommend doing more research on your own, but here are places that I have either been to, or have had recommended to me. This list prioritizes places where you can bar hop and not necessarily just check out one place. You can go drinking in just about every Pittsburgh neighborhood, but these are the big two imho.

East Carson Street
The Library - Good food and they have a late happy hour
Wingharts - Whiskey and burger bar
Piper’s Pub - Scottish Pub
Jekyll and Hyde- Halloween Themed bar, no costume required
Dancing/“Club”: Diesel, SkyBar, Devils and Dolls
Dives: Jacks, Dee’s

Arsenal Cider House - it’s like hanging out in someone’s backyard, but with a food truck. Only open until 9.
Brillobox - Food, booze and dancing
Amsterdam - Bar with roof seating
Dancing: Remedy, Spirit, Cattivo (Gay bar)
Dive: Hambone’s, Nico’s Recovery Room

Gay Bars
The intersection of Ellsworth and Maryland Avenue in Shadyside is referred to as Pittsburgh’s Gayest Intersection. 5801 is definitely the main attraction. It’s a huge bar.

Events and Things to Do:[/size]

Unfortunately the Buccos are out of town. So, no opportunities to go check out PNC Park. Easily one of the best ballparks in America.
Grandview Overlook and the incline - it’s the default tourist activity
Point State Park - it’s a pretty neat urban planning feature
Shop the Strip
Surf Pittsburgh - wake surf on Pittsburgh’s three rivers
Phipps Conservatory - another default tourist activity, highly recommended
Victory Pointe Arcade and Gaming - down in the southside. lots of cabinets, tabletop gaming upstairs
Kickback Cafe Pinball Arcade - pretty fleshed out pinball spot, decent food
Arsenal Lanes - somewhat of an iconic spot. Kevin Smith allegedly wanted to make a movie here.
Carnegie Science Center (21+ Night Block Party on 6/29)
Andy Warhol Museum (event on 6/29)
Luke Bryan at Heinz Field - Concert on 6/30 … don’t skip Keycon though, especially for this
Salsa Fridays and Late Night Happy Hour -Dancing, Friday at 10

Zeke’s - near Keycon.
Artisan Cafe - my favorite spot. Not too far from Keycon. Run by arguably the best barista in Pittsburgh. Though, he may actually be coming to keycon
Black Forge - Black metal coffee shop
Espresso a Mano
La Prima

Gentlemen Clubs:
Blush - This is where the known pornstars go when they’re on tour. June 30 is “Country Night”
Cheerleaders - It’s where the other pornstars sometimes go


I'll add a bit to this. Some other places near Ace Hotel to eat would be Plum which is higher end Asian food including sushi, Patron which is a "traditional" Mexican place or as traditional as you are going to get in the North East, and then there is Mad Mex which is more commercialized Mexican but they are Vegan friendly for some of their dishes.

For bars I find that Carson St./South Side attracts a lot more of the College crowd and a bunch of people that you generally don't want to meet in a back alley, it's a really really mixed bag and kind of a **** show, sometimes in a good way, sometimes not. I'd say if you are hardcore into the bar scene it's the essential place to go to understand the Pittsburgh bar scene. However, I'd recommend Mario's in Shady Side over most of the places in South Side it seems to attract an older/more mature audience some grad students and is in a generally affluent area of Pittsburgh. It also has an open roof and is next to 3 other bars, and it's not too far from Ace Hotel.

Another place of interest that I think is worth going to is Church Brew Works, basically they bought an old Church and turned it into a brewery where they also serve good food. I'd prioritize going here over going to Primanti's if you aren't going to be in town for that long, but I might be biased because I've lived here for so long.

If you are going to be in town on Friday you can take a trip on a river boat and enjoy a lunch buffet then hit up the casino: I think they also offer regular trips too.

Other food things:
The best seafood buffet in Pittsburgh, kind of out of the way though: They have a location in Pittsburgh and 4 locations in California, it's kind of an odd business.

Other random ****:
Tons of historical sites in and around Pittsburgh, there are also a ton of places outside the city and in the tri-state area if you are planning an extended stay around here. There are quite a few remnants of the old steel industry including a national landmark:
More historic parks:
If you are coming from the north you can drive through Allegheny National Forest:
PA has a ton of national forests, state game lands, and other recreational areas.
If you are coming from the south east I recommend trying to pass through Gettysburg and take a look at some of the historic sites there as well:

Recommended reading:

If you're into art enough to go to the Warhol Museum, definitely check out the Mattress Factory as well! Much more modern/surreal but it's one of the coolest art museums I've ever been to.

The National Aviary is in Pittsburgh too! They have huge open rooms that the birds are flying around you in. There's a Penguin habitat that's really neat to see. You're able to touch them, even though you're not supposed to. They have sloths and owls and eagles and condors and bats. Overall, a cool experience that really only takes a couple hours to walk through if you're trying to kill a little time during the day.

Another touristy thing to do is take a duck boat tour. It will drive through the city and into the rivers so you get to see the whole area from both sides. To add to that going up one of the inclines to see everything from Mount Washington is really cool.

If you're getting Primanti's, go to the one in the strip district. It's the best and it's open 24hrs. My wife and I hang out in Lawrenceville quite a bit. It's the young professional/hipster area but the food and drinks are good. We like The Abbey on Butler Street, which is food/coffee/drinks and usually go have a couple at Amsterdam or Round Corner Cantina (try some tacos if you end up here).


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