Published by Jeremy. Last Updated on October 26, 2023.
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We will be the first to admit that when we have to go shopping to the big box stores on McKnight Road, we immediately get filled with a sense of dread.
Not so much because we have to shop at the big chains, but rather that driving on McKnight Road to our destination is, shall we say, a form of torture– and that is putting it kindly. From the abundance of red lights, never-ending traffic, and overall frustration of reaching our stops, we find that we need to give ourselves a little reward to get through it all.
So in this one, we thought we'd share five of our favorite spots on (or just off of) McKnight Road that you should consider stopping at to help save your sanity when shopping!
Note: Businesses featured below are organized from north to south along McKnight Road between McCandless and Ross Township, specifically.
If we find ourselves heading up McKnight Road for a shopping trip before about 3 pm, coffee is always on our radar. But not just any coffee, stellar coffee, and one of Pittsburgh's best coffee shops, Convive Coffee, calls McCandless, PA, home.
This coffee shop does it all. They roast their own beans and make a killer cortado, and their light roast on drip is perhaps our favorite in the region.
Although Convive Coffee has since expanded with several more locations, including a Lawrenceville location much closer to us, we still visit the McCandless spot whenever we need a pick-me-up during a shopping trip up McKnight Road.
Returning home with a bag of beans and a buzz? Well, that's just a bonus.
Convive Coffee has several locations around the region, and their McKnight Road location is at 751 Providence Blvd in McCandless, PA.
Handel's Homemade Ice Cream
Ice cream is always a great reward after a stressful shopping trip, and one of the closest to McKnight Road is Handel's Homemade Ice Cream in McCandless.
This ice cream chain started in Youngstown, Ohio, and moved into Pittsburgh decades before artisan ice cream became a thing. Add on the fact that this one generally has about 50 flavors (get the chocolate raspberry truffle if its available- trust us!) and you have a reason to visit this one after a shopping trip again, and again, and again.
But since this one also shares the same parking lot as Lowe's, you really don't have to detour that far for a scoop during a home improvement shopping run.
Hancel's Homemade Ice Cream is located at 9020 St. Simon Way in McCandless, PA.
Chengdu Gourmet 2
Need a meal while you are making a trip through McKnight Road? There are a number of rather amazing local gems tucked in between the chain restaurants.
Chengdu Gourmet 2 is the second location for the popular Sichuan restaurant from Squirrel Hill serving up spicy and flavorful food from the Chinese province. Chef Wei Zhu's food is so acclaimed that they have even received nominations for the coveted James Beard award, too!
So if you are craving some delicious (and truly authentic) Chinese food, a stop at Chengdu Gourmet 2 should be on your radar when on McKnight Road.
Chengdu Gourmet 2 is located at 4768 McKnight Road in Ross Township, PA. The restaurant is best accessed from the northbound direction.
Is Indian food more your speed? Taj Mahal on McKnight Road has a die hard following for its large menu, delicious cuisine, and, for those who are really hungry, a reasonably priced buffet, too!
So whether you want to stock up on food to have leftovers for days or to stuff yourselves silly with dozens upon dozens of delightful Indian dishes, Taj Mahal is a McKnight Road staple that should not be overlooked.
Taj Mahal is located at 7795 McKnight Road in Ross Township, PA. The restaurant is best accessed from the southbound direction.
Our final restaurant of note is Ross Cafe. While this one has a bit of an unassuming name and an even more blink-and-you'll-miss-it location, this one serves up a wonderful spread of approachable Turkish fare!
Whether you're visiting at lunch or dinner for a shish kabob or pide or perhaps visiting in the morning for a Turkish breakfast, this one makes for a lovely (and delicious) break from the bustle of McKnight!
Ross Cafe is located at 4846 McKnight Road.
Finally, we come to beer- because sometimes only a cold draft will do to save our sanity after a run up and down McKnight Road. Thankfully, one of Pittsburgh's best breweries, Necromancer Brewing, can be found on Babcock Blvd, just off the southern end of McKnight Road.
Necromancer Brewing has a unique theme as their goal is to resurrect forgotten and other lesser-known styles of beer. Yes, they also make some killer IPAs and sours, but you can always find some more unique beer styles at this one. In the past, we have been fortunate enough to sample some delightful resurrections including a Kulmbach, Rotbier, Purl, and so many more.
Although we do make the trip out to Necromancer just to have a beer, odds are good if you find us having a cold one there, it is as a recovery for a stressful shopping trip. Some say hello, let's make fun of the horrors of McKnight Road and cheers with some absolutely terrific beer.
Necromancer Brewing is located at 2257 Babcock Blvd in Ross Township, PA.
Do you have a favorite spot to take a break from the chaos that is McKnight Road? Comment below to share!
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