Don’t Come to Lawrenceville if You Just Want to Sit Around
Lawrenceville is one of the city’s trendiest neighborhoods, so you’ll be hard-pressed to fit all there is to do in Larryville into just one day. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it — and that someone is you. Buckle up and get ready for one busy day.
Start the morning with breakfast at Coca Cafe (3811 Butler St., cocacafe.net). The small and unassuming cafe offers such distinct morning options as shakshuka and bibimbap breakfast bowls. There are also some staples — various eggs-benedict options and omelets — plus the very Millennial avocado toast. You can’t go wrong with the crispy eggplant and roasted tomato benedict and a cold-pressed juice or coffee. Put your name on their list via the NoWait/Yelp app before you arrive to avoid waiting for a table.
For the severely caffeine-addicted, a cup of coffee at breakfast probably isn’t going to cut it. Head a few doors down to Espresso a Mano (3623 Butler St., espressoamano.com) to grab a specialty drink — the Chai latte is amazing — to bring with you.
Women’s consignment shop Phoenix Boutique (3627 Butler St., phoenixboutiquepgh.com) sits next to Espresso a Mano, and it’s your go-to spot for vintage designer items such as Chanel Mary Jane pumps or a red, patent-leather Burberry trench coat. Follow the shop’s social media pages ahead of time for updates on inventory and prices. Everything is beautiful, but be warned: It’s mostly high-end designer items, so expect to spend some coin.
Move one more door down to find Pavement (3629 Butler St., pavementpittsburgh.com), a women’s clothing and accessories boutique with local and sustainable designers. You’ll find everything from classic summer sundresses to bell-bottom overalls.
A two-minute walk up the street gets you to a shop that we consider the crown jewel of Butler Street: Wildcard (4209 Butler St., wildcardpgh.com). Wildcard is a unique gift shop full of knick-knacks, T-shirts, art prints and other fun items. A large portion of the inventory is Pittsburgh-themed; they’ve got everything from Mister Rogers mugs to pierogi onesies.
If you’re not quite hungry for lunch yet, the Candle Lab (4409 Butler St., thecandlelab.com) is a great place to spend some time. Choose from any combination of more than 120 scents and craft your own creation. After selecting the scented oils and pouring them into the wax (with the assistance of the staff), you’ll have to wait about 90 minutes before you can pick up the finished product.
By now you’ve worked up an appetite. Head to The Vandal (4306 Butler St., thevandalpgh.com) for lunch. The poached pear with maple cream, yogurt and granola is delicious if you want to keep things light. If you’re famished, the burger is one of the best around.
You have a choice to make when it comes to what to do between lunch and dinner. You could see a movie at Row House Cinema (4115 Butler St., rowhousecinema.com), which programs along weekly themes ranging from popcorn classics to new-to-Pittsburgh obscurities. You could also channel your inner “Dude” at Arsenal Lanes (212 44th St., arsenalbowl.com) across the street — described by the New York Times as a place “where old-school bowling vibe meets night club atmosphere.” If you’re feeling ambitious, you could even do both.
Afterward, stop for a drink al fresco at Round Corner Cantina’s(3720 Butler St., roundcornercantina.com) back patio. It’s spacious and not too loud, plus there are daily drink specials and a weekday happy hour.
Finally, wrap up the day at Driftwood Oven (3615 Butler St., driftwoodoven.com). The “grandma style” sourdough pizza is worth every calorie. Order a 16-inch round pie for a group or choose from a variety of seasonal, by-the-slice square-cut options.