There are Endless Options in Pittsburgh's Cultural District
The Cultural District is appropriately named. From state-of-the-art theaters to French bakeries to historical tours, Pittsburgh’s Downtown is full of culture — and a great place to spend some time.
More akin to a chic coffee shop than a French bakery, the Downtown location of La Gourmandine (308 Forbes Ave., lagourmandinebakery.com) has all the French favorites you can get at the original Lawrenceville location. Get a chocolate croissant and espresso (and a baguette to go).
Stop in to Boutique La Passerelle (417 Wood St., shopblp.com), a women’s clothing store with European flair. You’ll find dresses, scarves, handbags and more at this chic yet welcoming spot.
The Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation (phlf.org) offers free guided walking tours twice a month in Oakland and Downtown. On the Upper Penn-Liberty tour, starting at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center, you’ll get the scoop on nearby public art as well as the history of the 19th and 20th century commercial architecture that surrounds you.
While the original South Side location isn’t far, it’s always nice to be close to delicious milkshakes. Head over to The Milkshake Factory (314 Fifth Ave., themilkshakefactory.com), where you can indulge in varieties such as Bananas Foster or Caramel Macchiato as well as treats from The Chocolate Bar.
Head to happy hour at Yuzu Kitchen (409 Wood St., yuzukitchenpgh.com), where apps are half-priced and cocktails are $5 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. The Asian eatery is worth a stop.
Splurge on dinner at fl.2 (510 Market St., 2nd Floor, fl2pgh.com). The fine-dining establishment at the Fairmont Hotel (a great place to stay overnight, too) offers delectable dishes in a stunning setting. Breakfast there is another great bet.
Check out the Pittsburgh Playhouse at Point Park (350 Forbes Ave., pittsburghplayhouse.com). The theater, which opened in 2018, is one of the most beautiful stages in the city, and its mission as an artistic laboratory to teach students every aspect of the theater is worth supporting. Here, you’ll find shows from The REP (the playhouse’s professional theater company), the Conservatory Theatre Company and the renowned Conservatory Dance Company (student troupes) and Playhouse Jr. (the second-oldest continually running children’s theater in the nation).
If the current production at the Pittsburgh Playhouse doesn’t intrigue you, head to the Pittsburgh Public Theater (621 Penn Ave., ppt.org), housed at the medium-sized yet intimate O’Reilly Theater, which has been in operation since 1975. New artistic director Marya Sea Kaminski wowed audiences with her first season and will likely do so again this year.
End the night at the Greer Cabaret Theater (655 Penn Ave., trustarts.org), taking in a show or partaking in a salsa lesson. The Backstage Bar is open for drinks you can enjoy inside or in the courtyard.