One Day in Town
Tucked just inside city limits, Regent Square is a quaint little neighborhood with old-growth trees lining the streets and a charmingly abbreviated main drag. A haven for young families, aging hippies and post-college grads, it's tranquil, but far from boring.
A good first stop on your tour is Frick Park (www.pittsburghparks.org/frick), a beautiful 664-acre tract of woods, wetlands, trails and fields that borders the neighborhood's west side. The entrance on Braddock Avenue features a beautiful tableau of clay tennis courts, playgrounds and baseball diamonds, perfect for catching a game or two. Bring a pooch or a friend for year-round hikes that make you feel like you've escaped the city. This green oasis is the apple of the neighborhood's eye.
If you're thirsty after your hike, head to D's Six Pax and Dogz (1118 Braddock Ave., 412-241-4666), one of the area's beloved watering holes. With one of the most incredibly curated tap lists in the city, a fully loaded bottle shop and discounts on bottles to go, this place is a gold mine for beer enthusiasts.
When you've finished your drink, stroll a block to the Regent Square Theater (1035 S. Braddock Ave., 412-682-4111). Built in 1938, it's one of the last single-screen neighborhood theaters in the region. Run by Pittsburgh Filmmakers, the cinema offers programs of indie films, popular and cult classics, documentaries and foreign films.
If live entertainment is preferable, Biddle's Escape (401 Biddle Ave., 412-999-9009), an off-beat coffee shop, regularly hosts live music, performers and poets. The space is a cozy riot of color, with a porch that is open during the summertime for your lazy afternoon enjoyment.
Other neighborhood nods go to Vanilla Pastry Studio (1130 S Braddock Ave., 412-242-9820) for a sweet treat, and Thai Cottage (1109 S Braddock Ave., 412-241-8424) for well-prepared Thai cuisine.
For extra credit, head to neighboring Swissvale, where you'll find Trundle Manor (7724 Juniata St., www.trundlemanor.com), a house-turned-museum of odd artifacts and strange talismans. Mr. Arm and Velda, the proprietors and married couple who own the manor, give charming tours. Small art shows, burlesques and other offbeat performances are often on the schedule.
Café at The Frick. Indulge in lunch (or afternoon tea) in this garden setting on Henry Clay Frick's former estate; don't skip the fresh pastries. 7227 Reynolds St., 412-371-0600
Istanbul Sofra. A bright and lively spot for a wide selection of Mediterranean, Turkish and Middle Eastern cuisine, including salads, kebabs and grilled meats. 7600 Forbes Ave., 412-727-6693
Point Brugge Cafe/Park Bruges. Sister bistros that offer classic Belgian fare with an occasional twist, from mussels in several preparations, to steak and frites. 401 Hastings St., Point Breeze (412-441-3334), and 5801 Bryant St., Highland Park (412-661-3334)
Root 174. Chef-driven fare that is fresh, local and seasonal, with an adventurous selection of meat products. 1113 S. Braddock Ave., 412-243-4348
Square Café. This colorful, modish breakfast and lunch spot is a community touchstone. 1137 S. Braddock Ave., 412-244-8002
Bars and Clubs
Howard's Park Place Pub. A tiny, day-drinker's bar that you have to buzz to be let into. Friendly bartenders with Yuengling and Miller Lite on tap and few craft beers in bottles. Surprisingly, non-smoking. 534 Peebles St., 412-247-9250
Murphy's Tap Room. Booze, sports, pool and darts fill this cavernous bar space. It's charmingly dank and the bar staff is friendly and heavy-handed with the pours. 1106 Braddock Ave., 412-241-9462
Ryan's Pub. A bar with a vaguely Irish theme and good pub grub. Go for a cold beer, some fries and trivia night. 607 S. Braddock Ave., 412-241-0464
Arts and Culture
Concept Art Gallery. Long-running gallery focuses on contemporary graphics, contemporary realist painting and photography, with a line on historic and industrial images of Pittsburgh. 1031 S. Braddock Ave., 412-242-9200
The Pillow Project. Jazz-influenced troupe stages inventive, frequently improvised multimedia dance shows in a loft-style space. 242 N. Lexington Ave., www.pillowproject.org
Regent Square Theater. Arthouse and foreign-language films are the specialty at this single-screen neighborhood movie house run by Pittsburgh Filmmakers. 1035 S. Braddock Ave., 412-682-4111
Le Mix Antiques. Everyone can find a treasure in this little storefront that has an even mix of vintage, kitsch and art. 1115 S. Braddock Ave., 412-241-5800