Photo: Courtesy of Oyster Creative Co.
Mediterra chef Aniceto Sousa and Best Buddies partner Cate Morgus, part of the Best Buddies’ 2023 TasteBuds event
Best Buddies TasteBuds
1000 Fort Duquesne Blvd., Downtown. bestbuddies.org/tastebudspgh
On Mon., Dec. 4, Best Buddies, a nonprofit that creates opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, will host its annual TasteBuds banquet at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Taking place from 6-10 p.m., TasteBuds is described as a “unique tasting event” that pairs chefs from the Greater Pittsburgh area with individuals with IDD “who serve as sous-chefs for the evening,” helping to create signature dishes and “demonstrating the power of friendship." Participants can enjoy an open bar, live entertainment, and an auction supporting Best Buddies programs. Tickets are available online starting at $150, a portion of which is tax-deductible.
Penn Brewery x Hounds Run Brewing
800 Vinial St., North Side. pennbrew.com
Spooky season continues into the winter holidays with a new beer from Penn Brewery. The company partnered with Hounds Run Brewing to create the Sleigher Krampus Band Black IPA, a Black IPA fit for a Pittsburgh band that mashes up rock, metal, and punk songs with Christmas carols and performs in costume as the horned, goat-like legend. The new seasonal addition launches at Penn Brewery on Fri., Dec. 1 with a free event
followed by an all-ages concert by Sleigher (wicked children beware). Afterward, the beer will be sold in four-packs for a limited time at Penn Brewery’s North Side and airport locations. You can also snag the IPA on Tue., Dec. 5 at the eighth annual Krampusnacht Festival in Market Square, and at Sleigher – Krampus Band’s Twisted Christmas Holiday Party on Sat., Dec. 16 at Thunderbird Music Hall.
Photo: Courtesy of Penn Brewery
Sleigher Krampus Band Black IPA
City of Pittsburgh Gingerbread House Display and Competition
414 Grant St., Downtown. pittsburghpa.gov
Dozens of gingerbread creations festooned with gumdrops, candy canes, licorice, and other sweets have taken over the lobby of the City-County Building. Winners of the City of Pittsburgh’s 21st annual Gingerbread Competition are now officially on display through Jan. 7, 2024, and the public can stop by to view them weekdays from 10 a.m-6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (closed Dec. 24-25th and Jan. 1). According to a press release, winners were chosen out of more than 300 entries submitted by schools, nonprofits, and professional organizations. An online gallery
shows this year’s gingerbread creations encompassing everything from a classic log cabin (one of the winners) to Pittsburgh landmarks like Acrisure Stadium, to less conventional gingerbread structures such as a submarine and a Barbie Dreamhouse, and more than one haunted mansion. Visitors can also choose their favorites at the People’s Choice Award Voting
Adda Coffee & Tea House
4905 Penn Ave., Garfield. addacoffeehouse.com
The Garfield location of Adda Coffee & Tea House announced a surprise addition to its lineup: pizza. On offer Fridays from 5-9 p.m., the new Adda Girl Secret Pizza
menu features 12-inch pies with options ranging from a classic five-cheese to pepperoni, as well as “The Last Jimmy,” topped with pumpkin sauce, capers, garlic, and parmesan. Round out the Friday food fun with fries, Caesar salad, or a chocolate cream beet cake — all available until the secret menu sells out.
Leona’s Ice Cream x Lawrence Hall
Pittsburgh can never have too much ice cream, and one local purveyor of cold treats announced its first-ever storefront through a new Lawrenceville venture. Known for its ice cream sandwiches, found in restaurants, grocery stores, and other locations around the region, Leona’s announced on Instagram
plans to open a scoop shop in the new Lawrence Hall
, a repurposed warehouse
at 4609 Butler St. Launching spring 2024, the new Leona’s location will be one of several “kitchen concepts,” offering ice cream as part of the new food hall and at a walk-up window. To help with the expansion, Leona’s also started a crowdfunding campaign
for freezer and equipment costs; contributors can earn an exclusive T-shirt and other perks.
Photo: Courtesy of Jak's Bakery
Jak's Bakery kilfa (yeast bread roll)
4310 Main St., Bloomfield. jaksbakery.com
Turkey and tryptophan did not deter Pittsburghers from heading to Jak’s Bakery. The independent, family-owned bakery celebrated its grand opening in Bloomfield last weekend to what an Instagram post
called an "absolutely bonkers" debut. Jak’s specializes in traditional Bulgarian breads and pastries using hand-pulled phyllo dough. The menu includes savory and sweet-filled pastries (ranging from ricotta-feta to apple-walnut), as well as kielbasa and cheese rolls. Co-owner Zhelyazko "Jak" Latinov opened the shop with his wife and co-owner Molly Freedman Latinova after doing Pittsburgh pop-ups since 2019 and managing a bakery in Bulgaria for over 20 years.