Get Outta Town: Pittsburgh, PA

As a proud Baltimorean, this will come as a surprise… I’m just going to say it and hope none of my fellow Baltimoreans kick me out of the city… I love Pittsburgh. WHHEWWWW!

Okay I feel better now. Seriously though, setting Ben Roethlisberger, Heinz Ward’s cheesy smile and the (really) terrible towels aside, “yinz” would be shocked at how much Pittsburgh has to offer, as a city! My lovely best friend, Kate lives in this city, so I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing some fun local spots and I’d love to share some of my favorites with you.

As you may or may not know, I am a bit of a foodie. I love trying new foods, new restaurants and experiencing everything a new city has to offer from appetizers and aperitifs to dessert and digestifs. Pittsburgh has so much to offer in terms of awesome non-chain spots for food and drinks, so we’ll start there and go through a typical Saturday and Sunday in the Burgh!

Take a trip to Truth Lounge for great gourmet, but reasonably priced dinner and drinks. The décor is sleek and inviting, in true lounge style, with velvet couches and a great mix between modern and vintage eye candy. The staff is friendly and the food is awesome!

My recommendations:

– Small Plate: Lambsicles

– Entrée: Braised Beef Short Ribs

– Drink: Erath Pinot Noir

Next on the list is drinks! If you’re of-age, you must check out this little prohibition type bar called Acacia. It’s a hidden gem in plain sight, with some of the best drinks around! This is the type of place that has a great classic prohibition era cocktail menu, with a couple twists. The bartenders are mixology experts and will happily create some magical concoction of a drink for you, if you’re not into their menu or if you’re looking for something new to try.

My recommendations:

– Whipper Snapper

– Bees Knees

– Whatever the bartender comes up with! Give guidelines, and then let them do their thing! For example, you might say… I want something refreshing and not too sweet with vodka, cucumber and strawberry.

So, you’ve woken up in Pittsburgh and the good news is, you’re not in Ben Roethlisberger’s house. Sorry – I couldn’t resist! Bad news, you’ve got a slight hangover and you’re in dire need of some brunch. Prepare your body for the best vegan/vegetarian brunch in a place quirkier than Zooey Deschanel. On Sundays, Zenith Café & Antique Shop transforms into the best place to have home made vegan/vegetarian brunch in the whole city. The price is super cheap and sides are unlimited – and delicious. Did I mention it’s delicious? Plus, what’s better than sitting among a ton of awesome antiques? Sunday brunch is always an adventure when Kate and I go, because they sit you at a table with people you may not know, so you get to make friends! We’ve met some unbelievably cool people whilst scarfing down breakfast deliciousness.

My recommendations:

– Scrambled Eggs

– Strawberry Pancakes

Now after you’ve digested your food, head over to East Carson Street for some shopping. There are tons of amazing shops on this store, and the cool thing is, they’re not chains!! We have so little of this in Baltimore, and Pittsburgh has an awesome selection, so I always make a point to stop in the stores when I have time on weekend trips. My girl Kate owns the best vintage store I’ve ever had the pleasure of shopping in! It’s called Highway Robbery Vintage and it has more to offer than just your standard vintage clothes.

The selection of clothes is great, especially the custom cutoff shorts for summer, plus they offer nail art twice a week so you can browse and get your nails done with those fun trendy nail designs that are so popular with celebrities right now. (Hello “E! Mani-Cam”!) Highway Robbery also offers some great, modernized vintage and one-of-a-kind jewelry! You can either stop into the store or shop online at! The best part about Highway Robbery is, quite honestly, its owner. She’s so knowledgeable about fashion and vintage clothing and can help you put together outfits if you, like myself, sometimes have a hard time finding ways to mix vintage pieces with modern fashion. I swear I’m not partial…. Okay maybe a little.

So, that’s Pittsburgh in a nutshell for me! Next time you stop through, check out some of these fun spots and let me know what you think. If you have any new suggestions for places to go in Pittsburgh, leave a comment below. J