Whether you’re brand new to Pittsburgh, or just searching for some new-to-you spots, this year’s City Guide is here to help inspire you to seek out the unexpected. Fan of graffiti? Head to the park dedicated to the art form, one that encourages you to bring a can of spray paint so you can leave your own mark. Love vegan food? We’ve found your new favorite restaurant with Trinidadian cuisine sure to satisfy your cravings. From a brand new addition at a popular art museum to fresh sandwiches with a view of the Allegheny River, we compiled some of our favorite hidden gems, old favorites, and unique places for you to discover even more things to love about the Steel City.
Pop goes the Warhol
The Andy Warhol Museum (warhol.org) has embarked on a major expansion of its North Side location with The Pop District. The ambitious development program started with the unveiling of Over the Rainbow, a public mural that quickly became a local selfie hotspot. The long-term, multi-phase project will also feature a new performance and event facility, a six-square-block public art initiative, and a workforce development program for area youth.
Grab a pack of Pittsburgh Playing Cards from Commonwealth Press (compressmerch.com) where the diamonds are swapped out for hypocycloids and there are Jagoffs instead of Jokers.
Find your joystick
Adult arcades, or “barcades,” have grown in popularity, and Pittsburgh features an array of fun places to play, drink, and eat. Smash some buttons or take in a couple of rounds of duckpin bowling at Coop de Ville in the Strip District (coopdevillepgh.com) or Shorty’s in the North Side (shortysx.com). Enjoy retro video games Downtown at Barcadia (instagram.com/barcadia.pgh) or at Victory Pointe in the South Side (victorypointe.com). You can also hit the machines at Kickback Pinball Cafe in Lawrenceville (kickbackpgh.com).
You don’t have to love tattoos to appreciate the Pittsburgh Tattoo Art Museum (pittsburghtattooartmuseum.com). Located in Shadyside, this museum is dedicated solely to the art of tattooing and the artists who have made history in the realm of body ink. You can view sketches by Lew Alberts, a pioneer in the American traditional tattoo style, and so much more. If you're struck with inspiration during your visit, schedule an appointment to get inked by the owner.
Farmer x Baker (farmerxbaker.com) offers great food with a view of the Allegheny River in Aspinwall. Located in a shoreside shipping container, the restaurant serves up a rotating menu of meat and plant-based options ranging from fresh sandwiches to homemade soft serve. They also opened a second market location in Fox Chapel for customers looking for more than a quick, relaxing meal.
Looking to use your voice to enact change? Follow Pittsburgh Protests (@PghProtests), a Twitter account run by local Black organizers, to be the first to find out about regional demonstrations, fundraisers, and more.
Music history fans will want to check out Johnny Angel’s Ginchy Stuff (jaginchystuff.com) in Pittsburgh's North Side. The museum spans the nearly 50-year career of Johnny Angel, a local musician known for covering classic hits with his bandmates, the Halos. See the impressive collection of instruments, records, personal photos with celebrities, and more. Make sure to also stop into Bicycle Heaven (bicycleheaven.org), another hyper-niche museum located right next door.
Pittsburghers are proud of the fact that playwright August Wilson is from the city. The August Wilson African American Cultural Center (awaacc.org) is a testament to that, and now visitors can view The Writer’s Landscape, the first-ever exhibition dedicated to his life and works. This 3,600-square-foot permanent exhibition examines how the city influenced Wilson, and looks at the fascinating history of the Hill District, where he grew up.
Come to a playground so cool that a whole music album was dedicated to it. Made famous by Pittsburgh native Mac Miller, Blue Slide Park (pittsburghparks.org) in Squirrel Hill looks like most playgrounds, but has become a memorial for the late rap star. Bring the kids to take a ride down the famous slide, or just pay tribute to an artist gone too soon at this space located along Beechwood Boulevard in the city’s lush Frick Park.
Ditch the car and save the environment, and your wallet, by taking public transit. Pittsburgh Regional Transit (twitter.com/PGHtransit), the newly rebranded Port Authority of Allegheny County, posts frequent Twitter updates on delayed services, holiday schedules, and more.
Easy being green
Pittsburgh has many green spaces, but Hazelwood Green (hazelwoodgreen.com) stands out. The 178-acre development project is turning a formerly polluted industrial site into a community-focused center for innovation and sustainability. Throughout the year, everyone can enjoy free events on the grassy Hazelwood Green Plaza lawn, including outdoor movie screenings, brunches, concerts, and more.