Pennsylvania, where the official state drink is not just milk but strawberry milk 🍓🥛because they’re 👏 not 👏 messing👏 around. Pittsburgh is home of the first complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton (and fittingly Jeff Goldblum), the first emoticon ;) Mister Rogers, the polio vaccine, zombies, 'Rosie the Riveter’, putting coleslaw and fries on sandwiches, & my ❤️
"We've been named the most livable city, most resilient city, one of the best cities for twenty-somethings, one of the top comeback cities, the nation's next food town... you get the picture!" We’re with Courtney Powell @courtevpowell this week! Creative director, photographer and founder of a men’s lifestyle brand @kinsmanshop. "I moved to Pittsburgh when I graduated college, a little uncertain about what I’d find. I couldn’t have been more surprised. The fabric of the city is gritty, humble and authentic. But Pittsburgh is going through a renaissance of sorts, and with it comes this stream of progressive tech, incredible food and all sorts of new, inspired spaces. It’s an amazing time to be a part of this wildly supportive and invigorated community of movers and shakers.”
Hey hi hello! It’s @courtevpowell here in the sunny (today), gritty, friendly city of Pittsburgh. I’m so pumped to hang out with you this week and show you some of my favorite spots around the city! There are so many good things happening around town, the creative energy is palpable. It’s an amazing time to be here. So let’s get to it.
Mondays are Mondays, so we'll start it strong with a stop at @reed_and_co These guys rolled into Lawrenceville this winter, and I could NOT be happier to have a spot to pop into for a quick juice and a snack. The space is bright and fresh, the juice is simple and downright delicious, and the people are wonderful and full of personality. I’d include a recommendation, but I’d end up sharing the whole menu. It’s THAT good!
Alright pals, there’s something you need to know if you’re going to spend some time in the Steel City. And it’s this: almost EVERYTHING in town is closed on Mondays!
Okay, maybe not everything. But a lot of things. So it’s the perfect day to stop by some of the parks in the city. The Point (aka Point State Park) is one of my favorites. It’s called the Point because it’s where the three rivers that surround the city meet - forming a very real point! The park is located downtown and has views of all three rivers on one side (which includes things like the Incline, the Science Center, Heinz Field and PNC Park) and views of the downtown skyline on the other. Bike through the trails, walk along the rivers, picnic in the park or read a book at the fountain! - @courtevpowell
Morning, sunshines! @courtevpowell stopping back to share another awesome Pittsburgh spot with you. Nestled in the heart of Lawrenceville is @thevandalpgh - a super chill cafe and one of my all time favorite places to hang out. The vibe is minimal and casual, and the food is next level. Some stuff you’ll recognize (like the best chicken sandwich ever), some stuff you’ll have never heard of, and no matter what it will all be delicious.
The Vandal’s the perfect place to grab a coffee and bowl of granola in the morning, or to scoop up a couple friends and enjoy a cozy dinner (this spot is also BYOB!). The care and consideration the folks at the Vandal put into every meal and every interaction makes this spot one you’ll want to come back to over and over again - guaranteed.
Hello again friends and strangers, I’m extra excited to share this next place with you because it’s quite near and dear to my heart. It’s my shop, @kinsmanshop! Kinsman is a men’s shop where we put together the wares and wardrobe that help guys work hard, do good and live well. It’s a happy, sunny shop where you’ll always be greeted with a friendly hello, and will undoubtedly leave with a ton of recommendations for cool things to check out in the area.
Like The Vandal, Kinsman’s located in the super happening Lawrenceville neighborhood. We’re next door to the awesome Graham’s Barber Shop, across the street from a lovely breakfast spot called Coca Cafe, and down the block from a stellar Italian joint, Japanese gastropub, Mexican restaurant and a fancy hot dog spot. If you are ever in the Pittsburgh area, stop by Kinsman and say hello! I’d love to chat awhile about your adventures and this wonderful town! - @courtevpowell
It’s Wednesday, the sun is shining, the air is sweet and warm. What could make the day better? I’ll tell you what - a stroll in the charming Mexican War Streets! This neighborhood is just a hop across a bridge from downtown, featuring streets dotted with trees and lined with Victorian-era row houses. One of my favorite parts of the neighborhood is that it’s home to one of my all-time favorite coffee shops: @commonplacecoffee at Mexican War Streets!
Commonplace at MWS is a sun-filled coffee shop with warm wooden tables, plenty of greens, and locally roasted coffee. It’s nestled right amongst the row homes in the Mexican War Street, giving it an extra cozy neighborhood feel. - @courtevpowell
What is this, you ask? I’m asking the same thing. What I do know is this: it’s just one tiny part of the wild, sensory, thought-provoking house of mayhem that is the @mattressfactory! This “contemporary art museum and experimental lab” is split up into three buildings in the Mexican War Streets neighborhood (all just a block or two away from Commonplace!) - including one unsuspecting converted row house.
It’s easy to spend a whole day foraging through the exhibits in the building, surprised at what you’ll find at every turn. I mean, even the elevators are exhibits! - @courtevpowell
HEY YOU GUYS! It’s @courtevpowell, your dear friend and Pittsburgh tour guide. I often say that Pittsburgh is a city of pockets - pockets of cool things scattered all about town. You can always spend a morning, afternoon or evening foraging for great spots and hidden gems, even as a local - it’s part of what I love about this city! Today I’ll show you two such gems. Let’s start in Troy Hill.
Troy Hill is a neighborhood just over the bridge from Lawrenceville. It’s super close to everything happening between the rivers, but unless you bike or walk on legs of steel, I recommend driving (those hills are killer)! When you get there, head straight to @pearandpickle. This cafe is a beacon of delightful sunshine hidden in an up-and-coming neighborhood. It’s a great spot to grab a MOUTHWATERING breakfast sandwich with an iced Stumptown coffee, and hangout with a good book. There’s also a smattering of interesting grocer-style goods, including a good supply of Leona’s ice cream sandwiches (incredible local ice cream sandwiched between delicious cookies). Pear and the Pickle is part neighborhood general store, part sunny cafe, part pure magic.
I mentioned hidden gems earlier today, and can’t wait to share another. Nestled right in between Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville and Bloomfield neighborhoods lives an enchanted little shop called @4121main. Stepping through the door feels like stepping into a dream.
4121 Main is a concept shop from a team that offers floral design, event design, and wedding magic. The shop is a living love letter to whimsy, weaving together wild tangles of gorgeous flowers, inspired prints, shelves lined with glittering treasures and, of course, anything-but-ordinary coffee. It’s the perfect way to start your morning or elevate your afternoon. And if you visit, take me with you, please. -@courtevpowell
It’s Friday! What better way to celebrate than with a stop at Toll Gate Revival, a glass of whiskey, and all the vintage goods you could ask for.
@tollgaterevival is more than an antique shop. It’s a unique, highly-curated mecca of American vintage wares. Every piece is hand picked by the owner and every stop in the shop in is a brand new experience. Whether you’re looking for a vintage gas station sign, a lantern from days of old or a worn in leather Chesterfield - or even if you just like to marvel at cool things - Toll Gate’s your spot. -@courtevpowell
Ayo! @courtevpowell at it again with all kinds of Pittsburgh goodness. Let’s talk about one of the best ways to spend a springy Saturday afternoon in the Steel City: sitting outside with a cider in hand. Enter @arsenalcider.
This cider house can be found on the first floor of what appears to be a regular old row house. Step inside and you’ll see a different story: a warm wood interior with a piano in the corner and all kinds of cider on tap! Grab a growler and head out to their cider yard to drink, listen to live music and soak in the Pittsburgh sun. You can also bring your own food - let the cider picnics commence!
It’s our final day together, friends! On the bright side, it’s Sunday - which means Sunday brunch is in order. We’re never in shortage of a good brunch spot in Pittsburgh, but let me share one of my very favorites with you: @smallmangalleypgh.
Smallman Galley is a mess hall style spot with four different restaurants to pick and choose from. The super cool part is that they’re also a restaurant incubator. Every 18 months, they bring in four new chefs that grow and flourish and serve amazing food to all - then spin off into the community at the end of their stay. The Galley is great for any meal, but it’s the perfect spot on a Sunday morning for a few reasons. One: it’s in the Strip District, a neighborhood that completely comes alive on weekend mornings. Two: the food is INCREDIBLE and the drinks are spectacular too. Three: the vibe is totally on point. - @courtevpowell
Ending this week the way all good things should end : with ice cream. @milliespgh is my favorite sweet spot in town. Find classic standbys like The Best Chocolate or more thought provoking flavors like Fig and Lavendar. Their cones are even plugged with marshmallows for a mess-free treat!
Thanks so much for hanging out with me this week! You can always find me at @courtevpowell. If you ever roll through Pittsburgh, please say hey!