So I have a lot of members of The 412 Franimal squad that are not on Instagram or may have missed my takeover of the popular Pittsburgh Instagram account @peopleoftheburgh this past Sunday! I wanted to round up all of the things I mentioned on the gram so everyone can enjoy my recommendations. So without further ado, here are some of my favorite things to do in Pittsburgh any time of year (feat. special holiday activities)!!
First up for my day of fun in the city was breakfast at Cafe Raymond in the Strip District! I always have such a hard time choosing between sweet and savory, but I couldn’t pass up a croissant. I went with the bacon, egg and cheddar croissant while my friend went with the French Toast topped with berries. We each had a little of each other’s meals to satisfy our savory taste buds and our sweet tooth. Cafe Raymond has breakfast all day but also serves lunch! They have beers, cocktails and mini champagne bottles if you’re looking for a pick me up 😊
After breakfast, we popped over to Coop Deville for coffee. I had a decaf mocha with oatmilk. It was soooo good. Coop Deville serves La Colombe coffee inside their coffee shop area and from their outside pick-up window. You can enjoy pastries, draft nitro coffees, canned lattes and even juice from the local shop Pittsburgh Juice Company! For more info on Coop Deville, visit my recent blog post dedicated to them.
After we fueled up on food and coffee, we headed over to Molly’s Jolly Trolley Tour! You can reserve a time slot to ride ($12 for adults; $10 for children) and you will be asked to meet 15 minutes prior to your departure time at Primantis in the Strip on 18th street. The trolley ride lasts about 30 minutes and takes you through North Shore, Downtown and back to the Strip. You’ll pass by several Christmas trees throughout the city such as the one at the ice rink at PPG and the official Christmas Tree at the City Council Building. You’ll hear lots of facts and traditions about the holiday season in Pittsburgh as well as Christmas tunes over the speakers and even an adorable children’s story about a little red sleigh.
After hopping off the Jolly Trolley, we were a little chilly as we shopped around the Strip and we happened to stumble upon this little truck, The Tipsy Gypsy. She sold bloody Mary’s, hot spiked drinks and more! The Hot Apple Cider was the perfect treat to warm me right up 🥰 When I spoke to the owner, she said her and her husband had their little trailer for a while but when quarantine hit, they decided to bring their dream to life! Located in Lawrenceville (outside No. 14) on Saturdays and in the Strip (outside Grandpa Joe’s) on Sundays, this cute little bar truck is your next must visit!
For lunch, we headed to the PA Market because we received 15% off coupons from Molly’s Trolley’s to use the day of our ride. I ordered the holiday mule and pork tacos. They were soooo good with the avocado cream and pineapple salsa 🤤
We sat in the Wine Library upstairs and enjoyed our food on the couches in the cozy, relaxed environment. The way the Wine Library works is you look through their wine catalogue and then find the section the bottle you want is in, just like a normal library!
As the sun set and all the Christmas lights in the city turned on, we headed to the Holiday Pop-Up Chalets in Market Square. Shops themed with international gifts and shops selling Pittsburgh themed gifts filled the courtyard. If you have a kiddo, take them down to the shops to Zoom with Santa!
Now for my favorite part of Pittsburgh during the holidays, the Santas around the world exhibit!!! This year they were set up as window displays and you could walk around the perimeter of the building to see them all. Below are some of my favorites!
A Pittsburgh classic is the ice skating rink at PPG. The rink here is actually bigger than the rink in Rockefeller Center in NYC. Bring your own skates or rent some at the rink to enjoy time with your family or friends just make sure you purchase tickets ahead of time online by clicking the link above. They also sell small snacks like soft pretzels and hot cocoa to enjoy after your skate! I am not exactly a star ice skater so I just enjoyed the views from the ground 😂
A short walk away from Market Square is Miracle on 6th, the Christmas Pop-up Bar! Located in the building where Pork & Beans was previously, there is plenty of room to enjoy the festive cocktails in a socially distant manner. Make a reservation to ensure you will get seated. I got the Bad Santa drink which was mulled wine and the hummus, yum! If you’re looking to get wild they also have themed shots!
Lastly, we finished the night at Bridges & Bourbon in one of their outdoor igloos. You call to reserve a dome and you get 2.5 hours for your reservation for either 6 or 8 people. You just have to spend $200 between the table. You won’t have any trouble meeting that limit when you see the modern cocktail menu featuring the Butterfly Effect, By Candlelight and the Appalachian Trail. The production style drinks are shown below! The food was a bit fancy for my taste, but the charcuterie and baked Brie shareable appetizers were to die for!
If you journey to the city during this holiday season, think about checking out some of these fun activities! I hope you have a very merry holiday season!