Summer Road Trips: 48 hours in Pittsburgh

My very first trip to Pittsburgh resulted in accidentally accessing a bus-only route. After 20 minutes of traffic desolation on par with the apocalypse, a confounded but helpful police officer finally set us on the right path toward our destination.

My very first trip to Pittsburgh resulted in accidentally accessing a bus-only route. After 20 minutes of traffic desolation on par with the apocalypse, a confounded but helpful police officer finally set us on the right path toward our destination.

The good news is that the rest of the evening went off without a hitch, as we spent time luxuriating in pierogies and homegrown drafts at The Church Brew Works. Yep, you guessed it, this house-of-worship-turned-brewery offers a dozen or so brews on tap, including Pious Monk Dunkel, a personal favorite and Great American Beer Festival medalist.

If you’re looking for unique points of interest, the Steel City has plenty, starting with Bicycle Heaven. What started with a single discarded bike is today the largest bicycle museum and bike shop in the world, with close to 4,000 bikes, plus memorabilia and theme bikes.

Another favorite stop is the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, chock full of dinosaur bones and priceless gemstones in every shade of the rainbow.

Fifteen minutes outside of downtown proper the perfect afternoon awaits you in the Shadyside neighborhood, replete with local dining joints and nightlife, a mix of upscale brands and locally curated boutiques and galleries and studios. Grab a gourmet grilled cheese at The Yard Gastropub (our pick? Buffy the Mac Attack Slayer with cheddar, mac ’n’ cheese and buffalo chicken) or devour some Thai street food-inspired dishes at Noodlehead. As dusk comes on, check local calendars. The summertime Jam on Walnut concert series and block party draws thousands each month. •••

WHAT TO DO:
GETTING THERE:

Two hours on the nose via 1-76 E

BREAKFAST:

Don’t be fooled by the classic diner ambiance at DeLuca’s. The breakfast-all-day spot also has unique offerings such as garlic sautéed lobster crepes and Reese’s Cup hotcakes.

LUNCH:

Dine al fresco along Penn Avenue at Gaucho Parrilla Argentina, serving wood-fired Argentinian specialties. Going with a group? Check out the Build Your Own Paella, served family style, and remember that the restaurant is BYOB.

DINNER:

Tucked away in the basement of Hotel Monaco, The Commoner is an artisanal smörgåsbord for the senses, both intimate and welcoming for large groups. The executive chef hails from Amish Country, which is evident in the comfort food meets avant garde dishes such as Buffalo Cottage Pie and Crab & Corn Fritters.

ART:

It’s not all Marilyns and Campbell’s cans. The most comprehensive collection of all things Warhol awaits at The Andy Warhol Museum, including 900 paintings, more than 100 sculptures, almost 2,000 works on paper, 4,000 photographs and more, all celebrating the American pop artist’s legacy.

SEE:

The Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden’s gorgeous Victorian-era glasshouse has been welcoming visitors since 1893. During your visit, you can see Romero the corpse flower, one of the rarest and largest flowers in the world—named for the famed Night of the Living Dead filmmaker.

Where to buy

The Repository
Select Rite Aid Stores
Spee-D Foods
Buehler's Fresh Foods
Fishers Foods, including 44th Street NW, Tuscarawas St. W, Fulton Drive, Lincoln Way E. and Cleveland Ave. NW locations
Aultman Hospital Gift Shop
Mercy Medical Center Gift Shop
Gervasi Vineyard Marketplace
Carpe Diem Coffee Shop, downtown Canton and Belden Village Mall locations
News Depot
Avenue Arts Marketplace
Yum Yum Tree Alliance
Grapes in a Glass