ShadoBeni Review – Vegan Trinidadian Fare in the North Side

Whenever we think about restaurants we wish Pittsburgh had more of, our thoughts often go to international food in styles that are horribly underrepresented. Trinidadian food is one such country. Vegan food is one such style.

Enter ShadoBeni- a vegan Trinidadian restaurant that has now found its permanent home in the North Side in the Mexican War Streets.

Throw in the fact that this one is delicious, cheap, and rather approachable (for both takeout and limited dine-in seating), and, well, you can see why this one checks the boxes for us!

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Things to Know Before Attending a Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball Game

Pittsburgh is a sports town, and for the past several decades it seems like the Pirates have not gotten the memo.

Despite the fact that the Pittsburgh Pirates have been, well, awful, PNC Park is often ranked among the best ballparks in the country- and we agree. It really is hard to beat taking in a game at this stunning ballpark.

So whether you are an armchair Pirates fan, a baseball fan at large, or are a die-hard Buccos loyalist, there are many things to keep in mind when visiting PNC Park for a game. 

In this guide, we want to share everything you should keep in mind before visiting!

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Heinz Field Concerts – Is The Venue Worth It for a Show?

There are conventional tours at amphitheaters like Star Lake. Then there are larger stadium tours, like concerts at PNC Park. And then there are the biggest, most outrageous stadium tours for the world's most famous performers.

In Pittsburgh, only one venue is large enough for an event of this size, and Heinz Field concerts have historically attracted acts like Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney, Beyonce, U2, and perhaps the most legendary of them all, The Rolling Stones- who we finally got to see at Heinz Field in 2021.

So in this one, we thought we'd share a bit about what the show was like, thoughts on the seating and sound at the stadium, and other venue-specific points you may want to keep in mind!

Note: Photos in this one were taken at various focal lengths with our phone. True-to-view shots as seen from our seats will be noted in the captions. 

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40 North Review – Eastern European Vibes in the North Side

40 North is the newest restaurant concept in the Alphabet City space located in the North Side. With James Beard Award-nominee Bethany Zozula at the helm, the restaurant features local and seasonal cuisine that both comforts and inspires.

When we heard Zozula was going to lead 40 North we had high hopes for this space that has seen its share of restaurants come and go over the past few years. Zozula was most recently the chef at the now-closed Whitfield, a standout spot for steaks and weekend brunch.

While the menu at 40 North is decidedly new, fans of the Whitfield will likely find much to love here. Entrees include simple but well-executed preparations of steaks, fish, and chicken, while the sides and appetizers make use of seasonal produce with middle eastern and Eastern European flavors sprinkled in.

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Bluegrass and Banjo Night in the North Side on Wednesdays

When you think of Pittsburgh's music scene, your first thought is likely not about the North Side. If you do consider this side of the city, it is likely about the concert venue Stage AE or even one of the stadiums when big named musicians come to town.

But the North Side has far more than just these if you're looking to take in a live performance. In Deutschtown, for example, the music scene thrives on Wednesdays thanks to the Pittsburgh Banjo Club's free practice at the Elks Lodge and the Shelf Life String Band playing at Allegheny City Brewing in the summer months.

If you time your visit appropriately to hit both, it ends up being a lovely night out with great beer, an array of musical styles, and an overall experience you just can't get anywhere else in the city.

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Fig & Ash Review – Wood-Fired Dining Exceeding All Expectations

If you pay attention to restaurant opening news like we do, odds are good you've been anticipating Fig & Ash in the North Side for quite some time. This restaurant was on the books for over 3 1/2 years before finally opening for business in late 2020. 

In that time they won Pittsburgh's Sandwich Sampler event not once, but twice (one of which we were fortunate enough to try), received a fair bit of press coverage, and even gutted the entirety of the restaurant space to make way for their indoor fire pit.

Naturally, we went to this one the day it opened for lunch, we liked that so much we went back for lunch again the next week, and when they finally opened for dinner reservations a short time later we returned for a third time to check out that portion of the menu as well.

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The Coop Chicken & Waffles Review – From Food Truck to Restaurant

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.

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Mezza Luna Cafe Review – Short Order Sandwiches and Salads

We think that every Pittsburgh neighborhood should have a cafe that specializes in short-order fair like sandwiches, salads, and drinks, and in Allegheny West in the North Side, that shop is none other than Mezza Luna Cafe.

Although we only had a limited sampling of this one's menu when visiting shortly after they opened, we're really excited to see what comes next!

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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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