A 5-Mile Walking Tour of Pittsburgh to See 17 Unique Highlights

When we visit cities around the world as travelers, one of the first things we do is figure out a grand walking tour in order to get a feel for the city. We generally take anywhere from a half-day or full-day to do these self-guided city tours and really love checking things out on foot.

Until now, we had never put together one of these guides for Pittsburgh as our 90 neighborhoods often make it difficult to get around and see them all. Still, the neighborhoods in and around the central business district in downtown Pittsburgh have quite a lot to see and many of these spots are on the radar of those visiting Pittsburgh for the first time as well as long-time residents.

So in this one, we wanted to share what we consider to be the ultimate walking tour of downtown Pittsburgh! This walking tour covers five miles in the North Side, downtown Pittsburgh, Mount Washington, and Station Square and has 17 unique highlights worth checking out. 

So put your walking shoes on and get to exploring this beautiful city!

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Leon’s Caribbean Review – Fantastic Caribbean Food to Go

There aren't too many places you can get Caribbean food in Pittsburgh, let alone Jamaican food, but Leon's in Allentown is one of them – and it's a spot we'd heard many good things about for quite some time. We recently made the trip there and fell in love with the kicked-up flavors of their traditional curries, stews, and wings.

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Empanada Fusion Review – Empanada Pickups Around Pittsburgh

Empanada Fusion is a bit of a different food concept for Pittsburgh – instead of having a brick and mortar restaurant or a food truck, Empanada Fusion offers its empanadas at weekly drop off spots in and near the city. All you have to do is pre-order your empanadas online and pick them up at the spot you specify (with locations changing weekly).

The empanada fillings are a mix of traditional and fusion flavors, with an emphasis on non-traditional flavors. The menu changes weekly but typically you can find about four meat options, four vegetarian options, and two sweet dessert options.

We were contacted by Empanada Fusion and received a complimentary order and wanted to share more about it in this review!

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BrewDog Review – Large Beer and Food Menu Options in East Liberty

BrewDog is an international brewery and gastropub chain that has expanded into many cities thanks to its crowdfunding system called Equity for Punks.

This crowdfunding system is a lot like a Kickstarter in that there are numerous perks for investors, such as free beers and discounts, while also retaining ownership (while shares can be sold, there is currently no open market for these nor does BrewDog appear to be going public anytime soon- so we look at it mostly as a perks system). The system has allowed the brewery chain to expand at a rapid pace and through it, they opened a Pittsburgh taproom in East Liberty in early 2020.

I visited this one shortly after opening and share a bit more about what it is like in this review!

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Phipps Conservatory’s Summer Flower Show – Back in Bloom

We've been enjoying the great outdoors a lot during 2020's social distancing, and this is something that has not changed as businesses open back up. One indoor spot we were pleased to hear was reopening in the Green Phase is Phipps Conservatory as it is one of the places we love to visit multiple times per year to check out their seasonal flower shows.

The 2020 Summer Flower Show coincided with the botanical garden's reopening and has the theme Back in Bloom. This theme is a celebration of all things nature coinciding with the botanical gardens being welcome back guests who are in need of a little nature therapy.

While the artwork in this show is a bit more subdued compared to other shows, this really allows for the colorful flowers to shine as the focal point. While visiting, be sure to look out for uplifting quotes about nature found throughout the conservatory as well!

As with every review of the flower shows, we wanted to share a few of our favorite rooms from this one. However, as the focus point in this show is purely on the flowers, we have a bit reduced commentary when compared to other articles.

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Insurrection Ale Works Review – Go for the Beer, Stay for the Food

Our local breweries really run the spectrum in their offerings. If you are looking for a specific kind of experience, odds are good there is a brewery out there that matches your desire.

If a brewery with amazing beer and a robust food menu is something you need in your future, a trip to Insurrection Ale Works in Heidelberg is a must.

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Exploring the Butler-Freeport Community Trail on Foot or by Bike

The Butler-Freeport Community Trail is a converted rail trail that opened in 1992. The trail spans approximately twenty miles between the outskirts of Butler and Freeport and offers a great opportunity to surround yourself with nature on an easy-to-navigate path.

We took our bikes out on this one and did an out-and-back ride on the entire trail, and in this one we wanted to share a bit more about what it is like!

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Kiin Lao & Thai Eatery Review – Visiting for Laotian Cuisine

Kiin Lao and Thai Eatery in Squirrel Hill is Pittsburgh's first Laotian restaurant, having recently been transformed by the owners from a purely Thai restaurant into one serving both Lao and Thai dishes. Whether you're looking for some classic Thai dishes or are wanting to expand your palate and try Laotian food, odds are you'll find something that strikes your fancy on the diverse menu at Kiin which includes starters, salads, and entrees.

Kiin Lao and Thai Eatery used to be Bangkok Balcony, a beloved Squirrel Hill restaurant that we enjoyed over the years and used to be our go-to Thai place when we lived in the neighborhood. So when we heard the Bangkok Balcony owners were transforming the restaurant into a Lao and Thai eatery we knew we had to check it out.

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Our Favorite Pittsburgh Photographers You Should Follow

One of the first things we did after starting this website was to follow photographers in Pittsburgh. As photography addicts ourselves (having taken well over 100,000 shots of the metro region over the years), we absolutely love seeing how others view the city through their lens.

In this one, we wanted to profile some of our favorite Pittsburgh photographers that you should check out. We reached out to each of the photographers below and got their insight on how they got into photography, their favorite photography styles, the equipment they use, and more!

At the end of each profile, we feature links to each photographer's online portfolio and social media channels. Please give them a follow to support these awesome local creatives!

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Mola Review – Sushi, Bao, and Rice Bowls in East Liberty

Mola in East Liberty is a sushi-focused restaurant, although the Asian menu has much more than just sushi if that's not your thing. The menu also includes small plates, bao, and rice bowls. We recently tried takeout from Mola and were very impressed with the food and that they executed a wide variety of dishes so well.

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