Yinzer Gifts!
January 14, 2014 1:13 PM   Subscribe

I need some gifts for my best friend that scream "Pittsburgh!".

I moved to Pittsburgh about 2 years ago from Louisiana, and my best friend and her fiancé are in New Orleans. They have never been here. I am traveling home next month and want to bring some awesome gifts that reflect my new city and/or geographical region. I'm open to just about anything, and cost isn't a huge factor (say, collectively I'd like to spend under $300). Multiple suggestions are ok, since I would like to have a Christmas gift for the couple and a separate birthday gift just for my friend.

They love food (but are pescatarian), wine, cooking, the Saints, dogs, biking, watching movies, and slightly nerdy things like Joss Whedon and Star Trek.

What are some cool things that I could get them that are special to this region? Bonus points if I can easily pack it into a suitcase (though shipping is ok too).
posted by tryniti to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (19 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Iron City Lite
Terrible Towel
posted by unreasonable at 1:19 PM on January 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh and an Andy Warhol print
posted by unreasonable at 1:23 PM on January 14, 2014

Iron City Beer.

Heinz ketchup and pickles. You can get the little pickle pins at the airport.

It used to be that you could get great pastries on Murray Ave in Squirrel Hill. Here's a bakery that still does the old fashioned breads. Get a Challah and Russian Corn Rye. I'd say get some corned beef, but they won't eat it, more's the pity.

Go to Kennywood and get some T-shirts. Well, they're closed now, but Cafepress has some.

The Warhol Museum Gift Shop has fun things, including prints. I have too many Warhols in my house!

How about merchandise from a sports team that's not football (why piss people off?) So Bucs caps or Penguins stuff.

I liked Adventureland, it's a quirky nerdlicsious movie that your friends may enjoy.

You could go to Butya's for Fish Sandwiches, always crowded at lent. Wait, I just went to get a webpage, after all these years, it CLOSED!!!! That's a freaking shame.

If I think of other things, I'll come back.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:27 PM on January 14, 2014

Cherokee Red pop.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:32 PM on January 14, 2014

Pittsburgh DVD collection? Perks of Being a Wallflower, Wonder Boys, Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Love & Other Drugs, Adventureland...
posted by jabes at 1:40 PM on January 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Shot of the incline, on a plate, metal, etc.

Does PPG produce any artwork any more ?
posted by k5.user at 1:42 PM on January 14, 2014

Heinz History Center has a great gift shop, too. GLASS PICKLE CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT OMG
posted by jabes at 1:44 PM on January 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Jesus Christ, don't bring anyone Iron City unless they grew up there and miss it. That stuff is undrinkable unless you get your first taste of it while you're still in high school. Yuengling is pretty good, though.
posted by this is a thing at 1:48 PM on January 14, 2014 [4 favorites]

(Okay, I'm exaggerating a bit. IC isn't awful, but it's definitely nothing special unless it's got nostalgia value for you: basically just regular tailgate/lawnmower beer.)
posted by this is a thing at 1:50 PM on January 14, 2014

Yeaaaaaaah Pittsburgh.

I have this copper map of Pittsburgh and I love it.

Are you flying/do they like beer? If you aren't and they do, I'd get a growler from a bunch of the local breweries. That'd be an awesome gift. Actually, since they like wine, would they like cider? Arsenal Cider makes really great stuff, and you could get a variety of flavors.

I love these t-shirts that highlight the Pittsburgh neighborhoods.

The Dark Knight Rises was also filmed in Pittsburgh (there's one chase scene where they're flying up and down Smithfield Street repeatedly; it always gives me the giggles.) The Road was filmed near here, too.
posted by punchtothehead at 1:54 PM on January 14, 2014

Oooh, I love that growler idea. And the Arsenal stuff is really good. (No no no on the Iron City.) If you are driving and thus do not have to worry about luggage getting thrown around, the platonic ideal of a yinzer pastry is the burnt almond torte at Prantl's.

On the cooking front, I think it might be awesome to spend a Saturday roaming the Strip district and finding packable local goodies to put into a big Pittsburgh gift basket.

I like some of the shirts at this site; many sports-oriented, but for a nerdy friend you might go with this one, which I keep meaning to get for myself one of these days.
posted by Stacey at 2:51 PM on January 14, 2014

Any way of bringing them some gourmet pierogies as featured here. Pierogies shouldn't be a problem for people who are vegetarians except they eat fish. I'm sure some of them will sell you a dozen frozen pierogies, as mentioned in this Peddlin Pierogies twitter.
posted by onlyconnect at 2:55 PM on January 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

A Heinz ketchup tshirt.
Something to do with Mr. Rogers
Something to do with Fallingwater.
posted by brujita at 3:00 PM on January 14, 2014

Go to Commonwealth Press on the Southside. They have wonderful t-shirts, pierogie pillows, and 'official' parking chairs. Really, they have everything you're looking for :)
posted by Raichle at 3:08 PM on January 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

A DVD of a Rick Sebak documentary. He is a Pittsburgh institution. You can order them directly from WQED or purchase them from the Heinz History Center. I've also found them at area Barnes & Nobles.

Wendell August Forge still has items forged from metal salvaged from Mellon Arena's roof.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 4:41 PM on January 14, 2014

Keenan Lewis played for the Steelers until this year when he was traded to the Saints - I bet you can pick up a Lewis Steelers jersey for cheap.
posted by vapidave at 5:18 PM on January 14, 2014

I know the answer to this! Go to the Mattress Factory art gallery, and find these Jagoff earrings. They are so Pittsburgh and fucking brilliant.
You can also find awesome Pittsburghese flavored greeting cards. I bought a passel of them last time I was there.
posted by msali at 5:48 PM on January 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Does PPG produce any artwork any more ? - nope, but you can probably find the building on one of the Wendell August Forge coasters.

Food wise, I'd also suggest Sarris chocolate. Specifically the chocolate covered pretzels. You can probably pick up a bag at Giant Eagle. And if you're in the strip, pick up a bucket of Pittsburgh Popcorn.

For shirts, you could also head over to Wildcard in Lawrenceville. They have a ton of really great Yinzer stuff, from cards and stationary to the shirts. Also things like crocheted pierogies, in case you can't take the real thing. Seconding also the History Center - they've got really great Mr. Rogers things (who doesn't love a Daniel Striped Tiger plushie?).

Pitt Girl put together a 2013 Yinzer Gift Guide that might be helpful. I'd forgotten about the alternative history prints (also available at Wildcard) - we have two of them and they're awesome.
posted by librarianamy at 5:02 AM on January 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Pittsburgh Pottery on Etsy (they also show up at just about any craft fair around town) has a lot of cute mugs and the like. My wife and I included their jagoff bowls in our attendant gift packages for our wedding and they were quite popular (we also kept one for ourselves, to keep our wedding rings in).
posted by DingoMutt at 6:04 AM on January 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

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