Pittsburgh Potables (and Activities)
June 4, 2022 4:02 PM   Subscribe

I'll be in Pittsburgh this upcoming Tuesday night through Friday afternoon for a work conference. My days are mostly booked (although I might have an afternoon or morning off), but my evenings are free. What should I do, and more importantly, where should I eat? I'll be staying downtown near 10th and Penn.

* I'd prefer places with outdoor dining options or takeout, just for Covid reasons, but don't otherwise have any dietary restrictions.

* Similar preference for outdoor activities or things where social distancing is possible (e.g. museums with high ceilings, etc).

* I like old bookstores, art, and weird quirky museums, in additional to the typical tourist stuff.
posted by matildatakesovertheworld to Travel & Transportation around Pittsburgh, PA (9 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Easy answer this week. Three Rivers Arts Festival!
posted by dforemsky at 4:21 PM on June 4, 2022 [2 favorites]

Warhol Museum

Also, there is a Roberto Clemente museum, but you need to make an appointment.

Nationality Rooms at Pitt.

There is always a ballgame, too. PNC is gorgeous.
posted by oflinkey at 4:23 PM on June 4, 2022 [1 favorite]

I'd definitely go to Guacho's, a short walk down Penn, for wood-fired meats and sides. They take reservations, do takeout, not sure if the open rooftop is open for dining. At times they've kept room for walkins even if no reservations.

Weird and quirky you say? Bicycle Heaven is open until 7 everyday. It is a 2.5 mile walk from Gaucho's. No admission fee amazingly.

If you walk by, this is a small short free visit, Danny Devine Retrospective only open until 6 pm.
posted by RoadScholar at 4:45 PM on June 4, 2022 [1 favorite]

Museums don't get much quirkier than the Bayernhof. It may be hard to visit on your schedule.

For something closer, the Mattress Factory is one of the best installation art museums anywhere. Social distancing will be possible in some spaces but not all. I don't think the Warhol will be dissimilar.
posted by tss at 4:48 PM on June 4, 2022 [4 favorites]

I haven’t been there in several years, but I loved the Church Brew Works, which has mega high ceilings indoors as well as a patio for outdoor dining.
posted by theotherdurassister at 5:10 PM on June 4, 2022

My favorite tourist visitor day near-ish downtown is the Penn Brewery, the Aviary, plus either the Warhol or the Mattress Factory depending on your preferences. I’m still in pretty tight lockdown for covid and can’t speak to how safely these things can be done right now, but certainly recommend at least looking into them.

But yeah, this week I think you could have a lot of fun just exploring the Arts Festival and walking around by the rivers, and if I were downtown I’d focus on that.
posted by Stacey at 5:15 PM on June 4, 2022

Did anybody say the Duquesne incline, yet? We always used to do that. The Frick garden. Wander around Southside and Squirrel Hill. The strip district is insanely fun if you like to eat all the foods and drink all the drinks. That's where I first tried durian fruit. I guess you could real quick read The Mysteries of Pittsburgh and try to find the secret neighborhood. Really what you should do is just move there. Or I should. Some of these recommendations may be unreliable because I haven't been there in like 20 years and am wildly nostalgic.
posted by Don Pepino at 6:02 PM on June 4, 2022

Food: I can’t recommend täkō enough. Cool vibe and great food.

Bar with high ceilings: The top floor of Sienna Mercato if the weather is good.

Great Mex with awesome backyard: Round Corner Cantina

Brewery with outside: Cinderlands

Another rooftop bar: biergarten

Hidden Gems / others:
-Lobby of the Omni William Penn hotel
-Cathedral of Learning, if you can get a tour or get in
-Point State Park
-Mattress Factory (debatable if hidden, but awesome and thirding or fourthing as far as museums go)
-Mexican War Streets - not sure if there’s a tour, but the homes are cool
-Incline (as recommended above)
-Highland Park
-Quirky bookstore? Try Kards Unlimited. I love that place
posted by glaucon at 7:48 PM on June 4, 2022

* I like old bookstores, art, and weird quirky museums, in additional to the typical tourist stuff.

Check out The Copacetic Comics Company in Polish Hill as well as the very punk record store in the same building (the name of which changes often). I’m also fond of Kaibur coffee, which is also a neighbor of the two, which is the best coffee in town (IMO)

As for weird museums, the city has a TON:

Trundle Manor is definitely of the odd roadside attraction ilk.

The Robot Hall of Fame

The Bayernhof Music Museum if you’re into rare and odd instruments

The Museum of Material Failures

And a personal favorite: The Westinghouse Atom Smasher, which is a sight straight of a Fallout game

There are several more listed on Atlas Obscura.

Squirrel Hill is also lovely to walk around in with many Asian cafes and restaurants. There is also a Korean Karaoke bar in the area called Hi Sound Karaoke that seemed very mysterious (maybe even seedy) to me, but I never got the chance to check it out to confirm.

Food wise, I wasn’t able to find anything of note the year I lived there except perhaps Umami but you’ll pay quite a bit there. Geppetto cafe isn’t necessarily good but it was…very strange and worth a stop in, unless puppets freak you out. Black Lotus Pizza offers a space for table top/board gaming but I never tried their food.
posted by Cyber666 at 8:43 PM on June 4, 2022 [2 favorites]

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