Disclaimer: Thank you to my good friends at VisitPITTSBURGH who invited me to be their sponsored guest on a long weekend in their hometown of Pittsburgh, I had a blast. All opinions are 100% mine; this is part 2 of 2 in my adventures in Pittsburgh. You can read part 1 here.
I was looking forward to a new day. First up was Nicholas Coffee, who is a fine roaster in Pennsylvania. I learned that locals often come here to get peanuts before the game, thanks to its central location in the heart of Market Square. It has this really cool vibe, and I loved being part of the crowd. Coffee is roasted fresh here, and they’ve been a mainstay since 1919. So this is not one to miss.
Another hot spot I loved was visiting Prantis and Mancini’s; both bakeries offer some of the best desserts you can imagine. Prantl’s, in fact, is home to the best-voted cake in America by Huffington Post, a burnt almond torte, and can personally vouch that it is indeed well worth the visit for anything off the menu. Mancini’s was not to be outdone and offered some seriously awesome pepperoni rolls.
I didn’t think I could handle one more bite, but when we headed to Primanti’s, I knew I could make one more exception. These guys are famous for sandwiches and put everything on them you can think of, including fries and coleslaw. These are definitely the mac daddies of sandwiches. I learned that they were inspired by truckers, who couldn’t stop for a hot meal, so they wanted everything on it.
The sandwiches were also a metaphor for Pittsburgh life; it’s fast-paced, hard-working people love to eat great food, and aren’t scared to break the mold. All the locals eat at Primanti’s, and the fact that they are open 24 hours means you can always find a friendly face. I would go back just to get another bomb sandwich from these guys.
The Best of Pittsburgh
Now that I was fed and watered, we decided to take a movie tour with a twist. This one of one of the highlights of my trip, and I couldn’t thank VisitPITTSBURGH enough for recommending this one. Being able to see all the top movie filming spots was both interesting and exciting. I had no idea how many movies are now filmed in Pittsburgh; it’s stirred up the name The Hollywood of the East.
So if you think Pittsburgh is all about steel mills and general labor, think again. This multifaceted city has so much to offer. We also made a pit stop at the Market St. Grocers for a few glasses of wine, which was a fun and novel experience. You can sip a few glasses of wine or even eat a small meal before you go grocery shopping, which I thought was a fantastic idea.
They’re open until 11 pm, and we joined in for a wine tasting and cheese platter session that was out of this world. It was also the perfect backdrop to learn about the unusual liquor laws in Pittsburgh, which, much like the city, are unlike anything else. For example, beer may only be purchased from a restaurant, bar, licensed beer store, or distributor. You have to go elsewhere for liquor.
After the wine and cheese, we were excited to head over to the Andy Warhol Museum, which is easily one of my favorite places on this trip. I could have spent days wandering around this incredible place, soaking up the atmosphere. I was thankful to see a host of incredible art, including prints, film, time capsules, and so much more. It almost felt limitless.
Live Every Moment
After, we went for dinner at Gaucho Parrilla Argentina, which was also another incredible place to visit and happens to be the 7th best-rated restaurant in the country on Yelp, which is one accomplishment to be proud of as a city. They specialize in delicious and traditional Argentinian food, and I tucked into a Chimichurri steak. The seafood Paella and seafood soup were incredible too.
In true Pittsburgh fashion, we took a moment to hang out and enjoyed a few drinks, but this time, we went to the top of Mt. Washington to overlook the city. The views from up here are well worth the trip up and will make anyone on your Instagram jealous. You could see the vast skyline, from the glistening lights to the Heinz field. It was pretty spectacular and a great way to round out the trip.
I enjoyed a crème Brule with a whiskey, which was beyond decadent. It also gave me time to think about all the incredible people I met on this trip, the places we dined, the beers we tried. For foodies, I don’t think I could recommend anywhere more interesting and diverse, with so much to offer. Pittsburgh is a mecca for meals, but there’s also a vibrant, exciting city with many famous names to learn.
Yet I can’t help but take away the incredible hospitality and friendships; those meals wouldn’t have been anything more than food on a plate, or a cocktail in a glass, without the amazing hospitality that shines through at every opportunity. From the conversations in line waiting for sandwiches to meeting new faces, the people of Pittsburgh are incredibly proud of their city and enthused to share it with you.
To book your trip to Pittsburgh, be sure to check out www.pghtoursandmore.net and everything they have to offer. You’ll find the best recommendations, exclusive places to visit, and suggestions from an authentic lineup of locals. It’s great stuff, and I know you’ll love your trip as much as I did.