There’s always so much to do in Pittsburgh – and so much to eat, too. That’s why we’ve rounded up what absolutely has to be on your agenda this month. So, lace up those boots, brave the cold, and get outside and enjoy the city you love so much.
1. Give your Valentine the perfect Pittsburgh present.
Guess what? No matter who you’re giving a gift to this Valentine’s Day, be it your sweetheart, your best friend, your Mom, or your favorite Pittsburgh food writer (ahem) you can’t go wrong with handmade chocolates. And we’re thrilled to announce that Good Food Pittsburgh has teamed up with Millvale’s a519 Chocolate for a very special, very limited Valentine’s Day chocolate collection. We used some of Pittsburgh’s favorite brands, like Wigle Whiskey, Pittsburgh Winery and Paul Family Farms to create five insanely good flavors of chocolate truffles, all hand-painted and shipped directly to your door. 15-piece boxes are $35, and can be purchased here.
2. Eat some very good pizza on National Pizza Day.
Are you looking for Pittsburgh’s best pizza? We are not doing this again, don’t worry. But on National Pizza Day, which is Saturday, February 9, make it a point to go out and get yourself a slice or two. A few of our favorites are Millvale’s Iron Born Pizza, Driftwood Oven in Lawrenceville, Dinette in East Liberty, Union Pie Co. in Carrick, Michigan & Trumbull at Federal Galley, Proper Brick Oven downtown, and Fiore’s in Beechview.
3. Keep Dry January going with Alcohol-Free February.
If you want to extend your alcohol abstinence for another month (or just choose not to drink), there are lots of options for seriously stellar non-alcoholic mocktails at bars all over town. The genius bartenders at The Butterjoint can always whip you up something tasty and hangover-free, and Mixtape has an entire section devoted to alcohol-free options, like the Ginger Spice (with pear nectar, honey, and alcohol-free ginger beer), and a ‘Faux-jito’ with lots of muddled lime, mint and soda water. And Fl. 2 not only has a variety of mocktail options available, they also have a menu of fresh-squeezed juices (like the Sunbeam, with golden beet, carrot, and Granny Smith apple) available anytime.
4. Make your Valentine’s Day plans now.
It’s not too late, we promise. Even though Valentine’s Day is on a Thursday this year, there are lots of special menus, tastings and events going on. Casbah is serving a four-course menu throughout the weekend, and Whitfield will be featuring a Jamison Farms lamb dinner, starting on February 14. Cinderlands will be hosting their second annual Valentine’s Day beer pairing dinner, and Hop Farm Brewing will be hosting their own February 14 Beer Dinner, too. Take a Chocolate and Cider Tour at Threadbare Cider, or enjoy “A Match Made in Hollywood” at Spork, a special matchmaking event in collaboration with dating group the Green Band.
5. Pretend like it’s summer time at the Bloomfield Saturday Market.
We know, we know… it’s freezing out. That means that the weekend mornings spent wandering around a farmers market are still months away. Or are they? The Bloomfield Saturday Market runs on a limited schedule during winter months, but there are two opportunities in February to enjoy it. On February 2 and February 16, the market will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at 5050 Liberty Avenue. Look for vendors like Freedom Farms, Mediterra Bakehouse, Frontier Cultures, Red Star Kombucha, Zeke’s Coffee, Wise County Biscuits and more.
7. Enjoy Pigeon Bagels in the wild before they open their own storefront.
It’s hard to find a great bagel in Pittsburgh… but Pigeon Bagels is hoping to make it a little easier. They recently announced that they’re opening their own brick-and-mortar in Squirrel Hill, but before they do, they have a full month of pop-up locations planned. Find them every Tuesday at Astroid Cafe, at Workshop PGH in Garfield on February 9 and 10, and February 17 and 24 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and at Adda Coffee & Tea House‘s Northside location on February 16 and February 23 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.
8. Indulge in a cheese board… then try to make your own.
Trust us: You will never regret ordering the cheese plate. There’s a lot of really great ones in town right now, including at the Allegheny Wine Mixer, Poulet Bleu, La Riveria Bistro, and or, The Whale. Or, try your hand at making your own by visiting Chantal’s Cheese Shop in Bloomfield, which has only been open for about a year, but has already earned a reputation as a cheese destination in Pittsburgh. They have everything you need to create your own plate (and helpful staff to aid in your selection), plus they regularly offer cheese-pairing classes, cheese-tasting lessons, and fondue events.
9. Finally learn how to bake a loaf of bread.
The Bakery Society Pittsburgh is hosting an all-encompassing artisan bread baking class on Saturday, February 16, with breadmaker Rick Adams showing the class how to bake everything from apple cinnamon brown sugar bread, to deli rye and plain Italian. Attendees will leave with recipes, step-by-step bread prepping instructions, and handmade dough to continue bread-baking at home. Classes are $75 per person.
10. Celebrate Lunar New Year with food, games and art.
Everyday Cafe is hosting a Lunar New Year event on Tuesday, February 5 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. featuring Asian cuisine from Umami, the Hungry Cao, Bae Bae’s Kitchen, Banh Mi at Ti, and Ineffable Cà Phê, and Yummyholic desserts. The celebration will include Tai-Chi, a Lion Dance performance, sushi Jenga, cultural games and crafts, and an art exhibit. Tickets are $10 for adults and free for children, and can be purchased by card at the door. 70% of all proceeds will go to Fondo Solidario, an immigrant bail fund that supports immigrants facing deportation. See more on the event page.