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What to do in Pittsburgh: a guide for any wanderlust soul

What to do in Pittsburgh: a guide for any wanderlust soul

When thinking about the bustling culture and vibrant nightlife in the United States, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, and Miami are the cities that immediately come to mind. For years, it has been expected to hear about new restaurants, cocktail spots, exciting brands, and venues from these highly populated American cities. However, with the rise of a new American renaissance in the 21st century, Primer is highlighting world-class destinations in less populated but equally thrilling cities. This effort begins in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Pittsburgh's inclusion as one of the 20 candidates to move on to the next stage of consideration for Amazon's HQ2 reflects the city's remarkable progress over the past fifty years. During the peak of its steel industry, the skies over southwestern Pennsylvania were tainted with smoke and fumes, earning the city the nickname "Hell with the lid off." However, Pittsburgh responded to its World War II-generated record-breaking air pollution levels by implementing various renewal initiatives, resulting in the revitalization of both the air and the city's iconic three rivers. The city's economic focus shifted towards banking, technology, and education.

Although Pittsburgh has long been known as an industrial hub, the city is currently gaining recognition for its advancements in the technology, healthcare, and dining sectors, which has resulted in its frequent placement at the top of lists ranking the most livable cities in America. And if you’re not sure about what to visit, we have some suggestions so keep reading this article to find out all the hot spots in Pittsburgh.

  1. Wigle Distillery

This distillery honors Pittsburgh's revolutionary history while also forging a path for its future with a thriving distillery that has expanded its original selection of rye and wheat-based whiskey to include Pennsylvania Bourbon, gin, bitters, and even "Landlocked" rum. These offerings are all available for purchase and sampling at Wigle's delightful garden parties.

      2. Hidden Harbor

This is a preferred destination for dates, entertaining out-of-towners, or simply trying out something new. This tiki bar boldly embraces its tacky connotation by presenting an ever-evolving menu and a friendly, knowledgeable staff, thereby dispelling any negative stereotypes. Nevertheless, Pittsburgh retains its identity with local establishments such as Gene's Place, Kelly's Bar & Lounge, The Modern Café, and the Squirrel Hill Café providing affordable beer and delectable greasy fare that is ideal for watching a Penguins game or capping off your evening on a high note. Butcher and the Rye, a Primer reader-nominated establishment, is especially noteworthy for its outstanding Old Fashioneds.

    3. Primanti Brothers

In the past, Pittsburgh's culinary traditions would direct newcomers to classic eateries such as Primanti Brothers or Oakland's Original Hot Dog Shop, which were renowned for their down-to-earth atmosphere and generous use of salt. However, the city has since evolved beyond its fries-on-sandwiches origins to include an array of exciting dining options such as Bar Marco, The Commoner at Hotel Monaco, DiAnoia's, The Independent, Meat and Potatoes, Noodlehead and so many more!

   4. Penn Brewery

Pittsburgh played a significant role in the growth of the craft beer industry when Penn Brewery opened in 1986 in the city's historic North Side, becoming one of the first of over 30 craft breweries currently operating in the area. After more than 30 years in operation, Penn Brewery remains committed to its award-winning portfolio, which includes genuine German hops and two-row barley, as well as new additions like IPAs and chocolate stouts.

  5. Samuel Baron

In the past, dressing up in Pittsburgh typically meant donning khakis instead of jeans to pair with a Steelers jersey. However, thanks to the skills of independent tailor shops like Samuel Baron Clothiers in Shadyside, men in the city are now dressing more fashionably. In fact, wide receiver Hines Ward of the Steelers has been a loyal client of Samuel Baron since 2014, sporting his bespoke clothing with pride.

So, do you have a preferred destination you've visited in Pittsburgh? Please continue to share your recommendations in the comments to keep this guide going!

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March 10, 2023
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