By Elizabeth Krenzelok, SCSU '12

My #1 tip: DO NOT rely on public transportation.  Due to budget cuts, it’s unreliable and slow.  Drive your car or walk.  While traffic might be bad, nothing is worse than being stuck on a bus or the trolley (referred to as the “T”).  It’s a miracle Russell Crowe escaped on the T in The Next Three Days.  But, transportation on the T is free in the downtown “free” zone.

#2 tip: CONSOL Energy Center is in the Hill District, which is not a great area.  Don’t wander uphill from the arena after dark.

#3 tip: While it may be different for this event, downtown Pittsburgh generally shuts down when the business day ends. Options are limited unless you walk a bit, have a car, or take a cab.


Primanti Brothers

Photo via Facebook

THE Pittsburgh food item to get.  You’ve seen it on the Food Network.  Coleslaw, tomato, and fries all ON the sandwich.  I’d recommend the capicola (ham with a spicy kick) and cheese.  If you don’t want to sound like a noob, call it “cap.”  There is a Primanti’s in CONSOL Energy Center on the 100 level, but it isn’t nearly as good (they’re made in bulk) and they’re smaller.

The closest Primanti’s to CONSOL is in the Strip District (a wholesale food district).  I’d recommend that since it’s the original and has the most character.  The address is 46 18th Street, 15222.  It’s a 1.3 mile walk from the arena.  There are multiple locations throughout the city, so Google to find the one closest.

The Milk Shake Factory: 1705 E. Carson Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203

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Pro: Literally any flavor of milkshake that you can think of.  They make them individually and it’s a cool little shop.  It’s an under-appreciated gem.  I’d recommend the Chocolate Oreo shake.

Con: It’s not close to the arena.  It’s across the Monongahela River, in an area called the South Side, which is home to countless bars and restaurants.  My favorite bar is Mario’s Saloon (it’s not grungy and it’s a lot calmer than the other bars.  It’s a favorite of the non-rowdy young people).

The South Side

Photo via Wikipedia

Popular for the younger crowd, but the South Side Works has shopping and such restaurants as a Cheesecake Factory, Hofbrauhaus, and BD’s Mongolian Grill (like Mongo’s in St. Cloud).

Nakama: 1611 E. Carson Street, 15203

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Japanese steakhouse and sushi.  Not cheap and on the South Side.  I’ve never been, but I’ve always heard great things about it.

Taste of Dahntahn: 535 Liberty Ave, 15222

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Another restaurant I haven’t been to, but I’ve heard it’s great.  It’s reasonably priced and it’s downtown.

Atria’s Restaurant and Tavern: 103 Federal Street, 15212

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American and Italian food that’s reasonably priced and always great.  My favorite restaurant (I’d recommend the ribs).  It’s at PNC Park, which is on the other side of the Allegheny River from downtown.

Before the game:

Steelhead Brasserie and Wine Bar (112 Washington Place, 15219): Right across the street from the arena on the first floor of the Marriott.  Somewhat expensive.

TGI Friday’s: In the lower part of CONSOL Energy Center, on the 5th Avenue side.

Souper Bowl (910 5th Avenue, 15219): One of the most popular places to go before a Penguins game.  Inexpensive and good.

Places to See

Top of Mt. Washington

Photo: via Wikipedia

The ultimate view of downtown Pittsburgh.  You can see the whole city from the multiple lookout points.  You can even take the inclines from the bottom to the top (or vice versa).  The inclines were used in the steel mill days to transport the workers, but are now a tourist attraction.

University of Pittsburgh campus

Photo: via Wikipedia

Roughly a ten minute drive from CONSOL, in an area of the city called Oakland.  Oakland is also home to Carnegie Mellon University.  Pitt has a lot of cool old buildings.  The Cathedral of Learning (1617 Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh, 15260) is a great building to walk around and has different nationality rooms.  They are themed for different countries and are really interesting.  Heinz Chapel is also beautiful and right next to the cathedral.  It’s THE place to get married in Pittsburgh.  Across from there is the Mellon Institute (on the CMU campus), home to the epic fight scene in The Dark Knight Rises.  There is also a Primanti’s on campus (3803 Forbes Avenue, 15213).

For baseball fans, there is a bit of history on the Pitt campus.  The old Forbes Field was the home of the Pirates until 1971, when they moved to Three Rivers Stadium.  The Forbes Field wall still stands next to Posvar Hall and home plate is in the floor of the entrance to that building.

The Strip District

The wholesale district in Pittsburgh.  It’s an old area but it a sight to see, especially on a Saturday morning.  There are always lots of people and there are a lot of food and bar options.  For the true Pittsburgh experience, go to Wholey’s (1711 Penn Avenue, 15222), which is a fish market with live seafood, or the Pennsylvania Macaroni Company, aka “Penn Mac” (2010 Penn Avenue), full of Italian goodies.

PNC Park

Photo: via Wikipedia

It’s home to the perennial losers of the MLB, the Pittsburgh Pirates, but it is a fantastic baseball stadium and has the 2nd best view of the city.  You can get tickets for around $10.  The Pirates are in town from the 12th-14th and playing the Cincinnati Reds.

The Andy Warhol Museum: 117 Sandusky Street, 15212

Photo via Wikipedia


Andy Warhol is from Pittsburgh and a museum containing his works is just down the street from PNC Park.  It’s certainly an interesting place.

The Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History: 440 Forbes Avenue, 15213

Photo: via Facebook

Just across the street from the Cathedral of Learning and Heinz Chapel.  You get admission to both and the Natural History Museum has a fantastic dinosaur exhibit.  There are two tyrannosaurus Rex.  Both museums are great.  For movie buffs out there, it was the setting for the ballet school in Flashdance.

Just Ducky Tours: 125 West Station Square Drive, 15219

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A great and fun way to see the city.  The boats drive on land and go into the rivers, so only do it if the weather is nice.  Tours are currently running, but they ask for reservations.  Here’s the website: