Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is my hometown. What would one's blog be without tips for what to do, see, and eat in their own stomping grounds?
Pittsburgh is in the Southwest corner of PA. It's not far from the West Virginia and Ohio borders. Known as the Steel City and the City of Bridges, Pittsburgh's life blood lies is the three rivers which meet at the city's center. Regardless of which direction you're flying in from you're sure to spot a river.
It's important to mention that Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania's two large cities, are nearly 300 miles apart from one another. While within the same state, the cities are seemingly worlds apart. Each has it's own sports teams, vernacular, and favorite sandwiches: Philly's Cheesesteaks vs Pittsburgh's Primanti's Brothers Sandwiches which include French fries and Cole slaw inside the slices of bread.
The Pittsburgh Airport is filled with quirky treasures. Upon your arrival in the terminal you'll be greeted by statues of George Washington, former US President, Franco Harris, NFL Hall of Famer, and a giant T Rex skeleton. I'm not sure how or why those three were selected as the representation of our city, but alas they will welcome you to Pittsburgh!
On our most recent trip to Pgh we hit many of the city's best stops and famed foods. My Fav 5 from this visit include:
1. First up is PNC Park, a picturesque baseball stadium perched on the Allegheny River. It's the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates and boasts an incredible view of the city skyline. While watching baseball isn't my favorite hobby, eating my way through baseball parks is! I opted for the "crab fries" from Chickie's and Pete's.
While the fries were good, they are not crab fries. They're loaded with Old Bay Seasoning aka: crab seasoning. They're crab seasoning fries, friends. While they're almost overly seasoned with salty, tangy Old Bay, that tiny and clever side car of cheese sauce is the perfect way to mellow the flavor.
2. After a night at the ballpark, you'll be ready for breakfast bright and early the next morning. Head to any breakfast joint and ask for dippy eggs. While they're not any different from eggs cooked sunny side up, in Pittsburgh they're called dippy eggs. If you're in a good spot you'll get some locally made Italian bread for dipping into those sunny yolks and potato pancakes with both sour cream and applesauce.
This scrumptious breakfast was from the Dor-Stop restaurant in Pittsburgh's Dormont neighborhood.
3. When you're ready for your next meal in Pittsburgh, find your way to some pierogies. These little bites of heaven are made of doughy pasta filled with mashed potatoes and cheese. They're often served with onions and sour cream and are a staple of eating in Pittsburgh. Like dippy eggs you'll be quick to find these all over "the Burgh," they even sell them inside PNC Park.
These pierogies are from Bingham Tavern on Pittsburgh's Mount Washington.
You might think you're too full from all of the Pittsburgh grub you've eaten already, but you have room for more. Trust me, you do.
4. When you're ready for breakfast again head to any of the dozens of Pittsburgh's Eat 'N Park restaurants.
They say that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery!
My recommendation for what to order at Eat 'N Park doesn't smile at you but is insanely delicious: grilled stickies. These sticky buns are thick slices of swirled breakfast heaven and only exist in PA, from what I can tell. They're warmed and crisped on a hot grill before reaching your breakfast table. With sides of eggs and breakfast potatoes alongside a cup of coffee your morning is now complete.
Before you leave Eat 'N Park be sure to get a smiley cookie! Kids get them free and they're often decorated for the season or happenings in Pittsburgh. Did I mention our baseball team is the Pittsburgh Pirates? These smiley cookies are what Pittsburgh-ers childhood memories are made of.
5. While I lived in Pittsburgh full-time for 18 years and part-time for another 4 (while in college a few hours away) I'd never made the journey outside of town to famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater home. Located about 90 minutes from downtown, Fallingwater was built as mountain getaway home for a wealthy Pittsburgh family. It is now run by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and open for visitors. The home is an architectural marvel built above a waterfall. It's majestic, unique, and so peaceful.
The tour takes you through the home although you're not permitted to take pictures inside. The interior is just as unique and quirky as the exterior with many levels, rooms, and windows built to swing open inside the furniture. The family prioritized relaxing here and you'll find many books, places to rest, and spaces for gathering together inside. Of course each room has a fantastic view of the lush greenery and cool water outside. After the tour you walk through the woods to the viewing point where you can look back on the house and waterfall. BAM - look at that beauty!
That sums up just a few of Pittsburgh's best foods and sights. If you're heading to Pgh and have questions, please ask!
Can't get enough of the Burgh? Check out another Fav 5 in Pittsburgh.
Hello, I'm Angela.
Figs and Flights is all about traveling near and far & eating great food both at home and away.