Road Trip: The best things to do in Pittsburgh

Where to go before and after Steelers, Penguins and Pirates games in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh is one of the country’s great professional sports cities — with the NHL’s Stanley Cup-champion Penguins, the NFL’s Steelers and MLB’s Pirates. But there is so much to do in Pittsburgh when you’re not rooting for one of the black-and-yellow championship contenders.

 

Old School

Open 24 hours, seven days a week, the original Primanti Bros. (primantibros.com) opened in the city’s Strip District in 1933. The signature sandwich is a full meal between two slices of fresh Italian bread — with your choice of meat topped with provolone cheese, fresh cut fries, house-made coleslaw and tomatoes.

 

Fantastic Four

Founded by a pair of former U.S. Navy Lieutenants, Smallman Galley (smallmangalley.org) is a restaurant “incubator” comprised of four chefs with four different restaurant concepts all housed under one roof. Inspired by Asian food halls as well as the “galley” area of a ship, Smallman has a full bar, a coffee & espresso bar and a particularly good Sunday brunch.

15 Minutes of Fame

The United States’ largest museum dedicated to a single artist, The Andy Warhol Museum (warhol.org) is a seven-story masterpiece that explores the life and pop art career of the Pittsburgh native — complete with iconic images of Campbell’s soup cans, Coca-Cola bottles, Elvis Presley, Jackie Kennedy, Mick Jagger and more.

 

Downtown Dining

In the heart of the Cultural District of Pittsburgh, Täko (takopgh.com) is a stylish cocktail and taco bar that combines a West Coast bohemian vibe with a Far East flair (“täko” means “octopus” in Japanese). If the trendy, quasi-club atmosphere isn’t your scene, go next door to Butcher and The Rye (butcherandtherye.com), which specializes in steak and seafood, while offering an extensive whiskey menu.

 

Bus Stop

Located between the Pirates’ PNC Park and Steelers’ Heinz Field, Jerome Bettis Grille 36 (jeromebettisgrille36.g3restaurants.com) is owned by “The Bus” himself, 250-plus-pound Hall of Fame running back and Super Bowl XL champion Jerome Bettis. Grille 36 has wall-to-wall flatscreen TVs, a great patio and is one of many bars on the North Shore strip perfect for pre- and post-game parties.

Date Night

Hop in a railcar to scale Mt. Washington on the Duquesne Incline (duquesneincline.org), which is 800 feet long and 400 feet tall. After you’ve made the climb to the top of the mountain, enjoy a romantic dinner at Monterey Bay Fish Grotto (montereybayfishgrotto.com), a chic fine dining experience with a gorgeous view of the city, as well as the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers.

 

Whiskey Rebels

Wigle Whiskey (www.wiglewhiskey.com) parties like they did at the turn of the 18th century, when Allegheny County produced half a barrel of whiskey for every man, woman and child in the USA. Pick up a bottle of Monongahela Rye, which is nearly as popular as it was when Philip Wigle fought President George Washington over taxes in the “Whiskey Rebellion.”

 

Qué Copado

Don’t be intimidated by the line sprawling out the door of Gaucho Parrilla Argentina (eatgaucho.com). It’s worth the wait and lives up to its No. 7 ranking on Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in the U.S. for 2015. Wood-fire grilled Argentine cuisine is served family style upstairs or private-party style at the Bodega downstairs.

 

Immaculate Collection

The Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum (heinzhistorycenter.org/sports) is a museum within a museum on the second and third floors of the Heinz History Center. The 20,000-square-foot venue celebrates “the great works of Maz and Mario. Art and Arnie. Roberto and Franco. Suzie and Swin” and many more local legends.

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