Farmer x Baker is a unique restaurant housed in a shipping container along the riverfront in Aspinwall that offers fresh, local, and seasonal brunch fare (with the occasional dinner menu). We have long wished for better waterfront usage in Pittsburgh, and Farmer x Baker is a beautiful and delicious concept that we hope is the start of more great waterfront dining options for our city.
When we think of Moraine State Park, our first thought often goes to the gorgeous Lake Arthur that can be found right in the heart of the park. If we're not getting out on the lake to go kayak, stand up paddleboard, or simply be on a boat, our next thought is often to hit up one of the many hiking trails along the shoreline.
But did you know that the park is also home to a 7-mile one-way bike trail on the north shore of the lake? We naturally took our bikes up to explore this one and wanted to share a bit about what the ride is like in this one!
Note: Moraine State Park also has a 6-mile mountain biking trail that is a loop. We hope to visit this one shortly; however, this article is only for the paved out-and-back bike trail at this time.
Over the years, we've had a growing interest in biking, and have developed a love of finding more and more bike trails in Pittsburgh. As much as getting out on the trails for ten, twenty, or forty-plus mile rides is something we quite enjoy, we have to admit it is even better when we can finish the ride at a Pittsburgh brewery for a draft (or two).
Thankfully, our beer scene is quite well developed and there are a number of breweries where you can access them straight from a trail (or within a block or two max on city roads). In this one, we wanted to share all of the ones we've hit to date!
Note: Beyond breweries that are located right off of the bike trails, this article will also give shoutouts to other breweries that are close to the trails but may require a short drive or a longer ride on city roads to reach. The accessibility for bikes varies with these. Some have private parking lots and windows where you can keep an eye on your bikes mounted on your car. Others do not. Some are larger and may allow you to bring your bikes inside. Others may not. As such, you may want to look into the supplemental breweries mentioned a bit more to see if you'd feel comfortable taking your bike as all of their setups are different.
Over the past several years exploring Pittsburgh, we have started to get a good understanding of some of the best things the city and metro area has to offer. But on the flip side, we have also seen many of the area's issues, and are more than happy to admit there are several aspects in which the city is lacking (cough, metro system, cough cough).
As such, we thought it'd be fun to put together a list of some of the ideas we wish the city would have.
But for this list, we wanted to keep things a bit light-hearted and fun as opposed to tackling some of the very real and serious problems our city faces. So many of the ideas below are pie-in-the-sky, likely never going to happen ideas, and none of them include a zipline from Mount Washington to the North Shore!
To put it bluntly, we did not let things like practicality, cost, or feasibility stop us in many of the below, and this list should mostly be considered what we would do if we had (a few) billion dollars, no concern for ROI, and free reign to make it all happen.
The Westmoreland Heritage Trail is a popular hiking and biking trail that spans roughly 18 miles between Trafford and Saltsburg, PA.
We had heard great things about this trail and made the ~45-minute drive out of the city to check it out and were not disappointed. While the trail is broken up into two segments, we made a day of it and hit both during our visit.
Note: As of our visit in 2020 the Westmoreland Heritage Trail is split into two sections, each roughly 9-miles in length. One runs between Delmont and Saltsburg and the second runs between Export and Trafford. Eventually, these trails are supposed to be connected via a 3-4 mile addition. This article will discuss the two sections independently.
2 Sisters 2 Sons opened in Sharpsburg, PA (just outside of Pittsburgh) in summer 2020 and was a much-welcomed addition to the city's Caribbean dining scene.
We had seen the buzz for this one building up after opening and knew we had to make it in right away. We were not let down.
While there are many bike trails in Pittsburgh worth exploring, one weekend we decided to go on a bit of a day trip east to Indiana, PA (roughly 60 miles from Pittsburgh) to check out a trail that is new to us.
This was the 10-mile Hoodlebug Trail which runs from Indiana to Black Lick, PA. With a relatively well-maintained path and an abundance of things to see (plus a few breweries nearby we enjoyed after), we certainly had a fun day out!
Prior to 2020, if you had heard of Smoke in Lawrenceville, odds are good it was in context of being a barbecue taqueria with some pretty flavorful offerings including what was arguably the region's best chips and queso.
Over time, Smoke would do a weekly sandwich night where they sold their products on a bun instead of in a tortilla. In early 2020, Smoke changed concepts altogether to be a burger and barbecue sandwich shop and left its taqueria menu behind.
Naturally, we had to check this one out as soon as we heard about it, and sadly, we kind of miss the tacos.
In recent years it seems like a number of our favorite Pittsburgh food trucks are adding brick and mortar locations into their portfolio so hungry patrons can get their favorites without having to track their location on any given day.
The Coop Chicken & Waffles was one such food truck, and they opened their dedicated storefront on East Ohio Street in the North Side in the summer of 2020. Naturally, as fans of this one we rushed out to get an order on opening weekend and were not disappointed. If you liked the food truck, this one offers everything you remember and then some.
Thai Tamarind is a cute and cozy little Thai restaurant in Bellevue offering classic Thai noodle dishes and curries, plus a few signature dishes that are unique and equally delicious.
Although we haven't dined in at Thai Tamarind, the space is quite adorable and feels like you're in someone's home – it would be a great date night spot. We recently ordered takeout, though, and judging from the number of people picking up orders, the restaurant seems equally popular for takeout.