It’s officially summer in Pittsburgh, and that means a full season of food festivals, farm-fresh dishes, and refreshing cocktails. In order to get the most out of this time of year, we’ve put together our list of everything you absolutely have to eat, drink and experience from now through September. Consider this your summer bucket list!
1. Get your pickle on at Picklesburgh
You can’t get anymore Pittsburgh than this! Picklesburgh 2018 has expanded this year, and will now run for three days, from Friday, July 20 through Sunday, July 22. Expect to find even more pickle-inspired dishes, cocktails, and pickle products for sale, plus pickling demonstrations, live music, and kid’s activities, too.
2. Have a Coney Dog from Michigan & Trumbull
Michigan & Trumbull in the Federal Galley is known for their (seriously good) Detroit-style pizza. But on Mondays this summer, you can get something new from them – a Coney Dog! On Coney Dog Mondays, they’re serving $3 hot dogs, topped with house-made chili, mustard and chopped onions all day long. Grab a few dogs, a beer, and head out to their patio to make your Monday that much nicer.
3. Join Piebird’s Summer Pie Club
We’ve never wanted to be part of a club more than this. Piebird’s Summer Pie Club will get you one fresh-baked pie each month during July, August and September, all for only $75. Pie flavors include Berries & Cream, Cherry and Peach Blueberry, and registration is available online.
4. Try the new summer menu at Ki Ramen
Roger Li is doing all kinds of experimenting at Ki Ramen this summer, rolling out some new menu options that you definitely can’t miss. Be on the lookout for fresh dishes like green papaya salad, chilled ramen, egg rolls, and (YES!) soup dumplings. Also, check their Facebook page for updates on their once-a-month late night happy hour, with food and drink specials.
5. Take a foodie road trip
No matter what your favorite food is, we’ve probably got a road trip for you! From ice cream to pierogies, pancakes to pizza (let’s not get into that debate again, all right?), there are lots of great ways to gas up the car, and spend a day enjoying all of Pittsburgh’s best restaurants. A few others to try? The Ultimate Pittsburgh Sandwich Road Trip, the Ultimate Pittsburgh Bloody Mary Road Trip, and the Ultimate Pittsburgh Doughnut Road Trip. And if you want to get out of town, we have a few five-hours-or-less foodie trips that you can make, too.
6. Do your shopping at the new Heirloom Superfood Market
It’s been a long time coming, but Heirloom Superfood Market in Lawrenceville (from the team behind Pittsburgh Juice Company) is set to officially open on June 24. The market will feature dairy-free and gluten-free products, along with organic produce and locally-made food products for all of your health-food needs.
7. Don’t miss Lobster Ravioli Week at Legume
It’s one of the best weeks of the year – Lobster Ravioli Week at Legume! From Monday, June 25 through Friday, June 29, head to the Oakland restaurant for their amazing (and hard-to-get) lobster ravioli, made with fresh Maine lobster and hand-rolled pasta. Then, on Saturday, June 30, they’re hosting their annual Maine Shore Dinner, featuring lobster, clams, corn on the cob, fresh-made rolls and pie. Tickets to the event are $58 per person, and can be purchased by calling 412-621-2700.
8. Have a taste of Pittsburgh at Primanti Bros.
Primanti Bros. and Mrs. T’s Pierogies teamed up for one heck of a Pittsburgh sandwich – and you can only get it for a limited time this summer. The Polish Hill is a Primanti’s sandwich stuffed with kielbasa, provolone cheese, hot grilled slaw, beer mustard, tomato… and Mrs. T’s pierogies. Get it while you can (until mid-August).
9. Have a ‘super secret’ burger at Cinderlands
Every Wednesday, Cinderlands in Lawrenceville serves up a new burger as part of their ‘Super Secret Burger Club.’ There’s only one way to find out what it is: Follow them on their Facebook or Instagram pages to see what that week’s selection will be. Past burgers have included the ‘Benny Rich Bacon Burger,’ a double burger with bacon mustarda, aged Gouda, bacon, BBQ, pickled shallots and Bread & Butter pickles, and the ‘Pastrami,’ with duck pastrami, raddichio sauerkraut, Bread & Butter pickles, Juniper mayo and Gruyere cheese.
10. Enjoy a cocktail (after seeing some beautiful art) at The Cafe Carnegie
Have you been to The Cafe Carnegie in the Carnegie Museum of Art yet? Not only is it a gorgeous space, but they also have a killer cocktail list, with all-new offerings for the summer. We’re dreaming of taking a day off to wander around the museum, followed by a cocktail on their patio. One to try: the ‘Sippin’ Tea,’ made with Earl Grey-infused whiskey, fresh mint, honey, Noir Fume and fresh-brewed iced tea.
11. Take your favorite four-legged friend out for a drink
We’re obsessed with our dog, and are always looking for places where we can spend time with her… while enjoying a beer, or two. That’s why we rounded up dozens of bars, breweries and restaurants where your dog isn’t only tolerated – they’re welcome with open arms. Know of any we missed? Share in our comments!
12. Celebrate National Ice Cream Day with a sundae, a cone, a milkshake, a banana split…
National Ice Cream Day 2018 is Sunday, July 15, and do we have some suggestions for you. Head to the South Hills for an ice cream and doughnut sandwich, stop by Macaron Bar for an ice cream macaron (made with Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream), try one of the craziest milkshakes in Pittsburgh, have a Sub-Zero nitrogen ice cream experience, or take the Ultimate Pittsburgh Ice Cream Road Trip.
13. Listen to live music at Evangeline
Evangeline, the oyster and cocktail bar in the mezzanine of the Distrikt Hotel downtown is always a quiet place to go for after-work drinks and small bites. But on Fridays this summer, they’ll also offer something a little extra – live music to enjoy while you sip. The current lineup includes Johnny Walylko on June 22, Nick Barilla on June 29, Byron Nash on July 6 and DJ Selecta on July 13.
14. Cool down with a summer spritz at Station’s summer happy hour
Cheers! Every Tuesday through Friday from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m., head to Station in Bloomfield for $5 wines, $6 spritzes, $7 Old Fashioneds, and $8 classic cocktails, all summer long.
15. Grab a beer at the Pittsburgh Summer Beerfest at Stage AE
Thousands of craft beers will be on hand for sampling at the summer edition of Pittsburgh’s favorite beer festival, taking place on Friday, July 13 and Sunday, July 14. There will be live music, more than 120 breweries from Pittsburgh and across the country, and lots of food trucks. Tickets start at $45 (and there are $20 designated driver tickets available, too).
16. Shop local at a Pittsburgh farmers market
From the Bloomfield Saturday Market to the Market Square Downtown Market, there are dozens of farmers markets around town, where you can get local produce, fresh-baked goods, small batch food products and more. If you want to see the full list of Pittsburgh farmers markets (including an interactive map), check out the Ultimate Pittsburgh Farmers Market Guide 2018.
17. Try the new chefs at Smallman Galley
Two new restaurant concepts recently debuted at the Smallman Galley in the Strip District, and they’re both worth checking out. Home, from Phill Milton, serves a modern take on comfort-food dishes, like Chicken & Biscuits, served with buttermilk biscuits, pickle-brined chicken, and pimento cheese grits. And Joey’s Snack Bar, an European-style cafe concept from The Vandal’s Joey Hilty, offers up playful dishes like Disco Fries with brisket gravy and cheese sauce, and a Bananas Foster Sundae, served with dulce de leche ice cream.
18. Take a Tiki Boat Cruise
Is there any better way to explore Pittsburgh’s three rivers than on a captain-run tiki boat cruise… where the drinks are flowing? We think not. Cruisin’ Tikis Pittsburgh has a 16-foot tiki cruise boat that carries up to six people, and comes equipped with a cooler, ice and a blender – all you need to provide is a fun group of people and your own beverages.
19. Sip an Italian Soda drink from Prohibition Pastries
You know that you can get everything from boozy cupcakes to sticky cinnamon rolls (they’re the best!) at Prohibition Pastries in Point Breeze, but did you also know that they now offer iced drinks? They have iced coffee, tea and lattes, but we’re partial to their refreshing Italian soda drinks, like their root beer float, made using the East End Brewing Company’s own Barmy Soda. Also on the menu? Dreamsicles with orange soda, and cream drinks with raspberry, cherry, vanilla and peach.
20. Order the pancakes at Pie for Breakfast
The long-awaited Pie for Breakfast is officially open, and while they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, you can’t go wrong with an order of their fluffy, delicious pancakes. If they’re good enough for the Post-Gazette’s Gretchen McKay, they’re good enough for us.
21. Have a bite before you take flight at the Pittsburgh Airport
Summer travel coming up? The Pittsburgh Airport is serving up some tasty local new food and drink options, including a Voodoo Brewery pop-up bar, Local Craft Kitchen + Bar, Steel Cactus, Penn Brewery, and Sarris Candies, too.
22. Go back in time at the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival
In the words of Good Food Pittsburgh writer Madeline Quigley, “Well, the best thing anyone can do this summer is the Renaissance Festival.” And it’s true. There are a bunch of weekend dates through August and September to catch the festival, which takes place in West Newton. You’ll find plenty of entertainment, and lots of food – including the must-get turkey legs.
23. Enjoy a taste of Peru at fl. 2
Chef Julio Peraza at fl. 2 has recently debuted a new Peruvian dish on the menu, called Lomo Saltado. This traditional Peruvian dish features marinated strips of beef that are stir-fried with onions, tomatoes, and crisp shoestring French fries. It’s available for lunch and brunch, where Peraza recommends that diners top the dish with a fried egg.
24. Try a new restaurant during Pittsburgh’s Summer Restaurant Week
From August 13 through August 19, Pittsburgh’s Summer Restaurant Week will feature specially-priced three-course meals from dozens of restaurants, including Superior Motors, Eighty Acres Kitchen & Bar, Burgher’s Lawrenceville and Muddy Waters Oyster Bar.
25. Learn how to make your own summer shrubs at Chatham University
Any bartender will tell you that the secret to an awesome cocktail is a really good shrub. And if you want to learn how to make your own, Chatham University is giving you the chance. At their Summer Shrub class on Sunday, July 22, you’ll learn everything you need to know to make the concentrated syrup, created with fruit, vinegar and sugar. The workshop is $65 per person, and includes finished shrubs, along with some that you’ll start in class and finish at home.
26. Spend an evening at the Pittsburgh Food Truck Park in Millvale
There are very few places where you can go with a large group of people, and everyone in your party can order exactly what type of food they’re in the mood for – but the Food Truck Park is one of those places. From Friday through Monday every week, the food truck houses between five and eight Pittsburgh food trucks, including favorites like Cousin’s Maine Lobster Truck, PGH Po’Boy, Franktuary and more.
27. Have a little wine in your pasta at DiAnoia’s Eatery
While most people like to drink wine with their pasta, DiAnoia’s Eatery likes to cook their pasta in wine. Try their Spaghetti All’Ubriaco (“drunken spaghetti”), their house-made spaghettic cooked in Chianti wine, fennel, burro and pecorino cheese.
28. Get your tickets to BrunchBurgh
It’s official: Good Food Pittsburgh is hosting another event, and this time, we’re tackling brunch. On Saturday, July 28, join us at Hitchhiker Brewing Company in Sharpsburg for an all-out brunch extravaganza, featuring coffee, juice, and tons of brunch options from some of Pittsburgh’s best restaurants and food trucks. We’re talking breakfast burritos, breakfast sandwiches, doughnuts, biscuits… pretty much everything you need to get your morning off on the right foot. Want a first shot at tickets? Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get access before anyone else!