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Arts + CultureVisit the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Main Branch (carnegielibrary.org) not only for the colossal book collection and beautiful architecture, but also for the games, crafts, and language classes.
Enjoy the permanent collections and exhibits of contemporary works and natural-history wonders at the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History (carnegiemuseums.org) or catch a concert or lecture at Carnegie Music Hall, a grand 1895 theater connected to the museums. Say hi to Dippy the Dinosaur while you’re there — the life-size statue sits on the lawn outside and is a popular attraction for selfies.
Glitter Box Theater (theglitterboxtheater.com) is a one-stop shop for plays, comedy, show-tunes karaoke, concerts, aerial arts, and more. It’s often geared towards the off-beat and includes many LGBTQ performances. Plus, it’s kid- and pup-friendly!
Stop and smell the flowers at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens (phipps.conservatory.org) where you can walk through a tropical African landscape, experience a butterfly forest, and learn about native plants.
Food+DrinkOld-school ice-cream shop Dave & Andy’s Homemade Ice Cream (facebook.com/davenandys) is a must-see during any visit to this neighborhood. Breathe in that waffle-cone smell and enjoy one of the many ice cream flavors.
Gene’s Place (genesplacepgh.com) is a neighborhood bar with cheap beer, a dartboard, and a jukebox. What else do you need?
The menu changes daily at Legume (legumebistro.com), offering decadent and unique pates, like jerked goat shoulder with yellow-corn grits, that will keep you coming back to try what’s new each day. Butterjoint (butterjoint.com) is Legume’s full-service bar with a great cocktail selection.
Get your bubble-tea fix at Lulu’s Noodles (lulusnoodlespittsburgh.com) with a variety of Asian-inspired noodle dishes.
Mad Mex (madmex.com) is an all-around fun place to drink beer or specialty margaritas, and enjoy Mexican-American food, from wings to giant burritos. Around Thanksgiving, give its Gobblerito a try; it’s a full turkey-day meal with all the fix-ins wrapped in a tortilla and served with cranberry sauce.
Expect farm-to-table dishes at The Porch (dineatheporch.com) with fresh herbs and homemade condiments. Dine in the rustic interior or enjoy its namesake porch.
ShoppingThe fun of perusing a used bookstore is discovering an item you didn't even know you wanted. There are lots to choose from at Caliban Book Shop (calibanbooks.com), including rare finds.
With a trove of comics in one store, and all the multiplayer-game goodies you need at another location across the street, Phantom of the Attic (pota-oakland.com) offers two storefronts with options for both gamers and comic collectors.
The University Store on Fifth (pittuniversitystore.com) isn’t just a college-textbook shop. Pitt’s store carries titles by faculty authors, books of local interest, and works published by the University of Pittsburgh Press.