The Steel City is boomin’ with small businesses as unique as the city itself. From fantastic family-owned restaurants to new and unusual museums, these hidden gems in Pittsburgh are seriously too good to pass up!
Food & Drink
Located in a beautifully renovated decommissioned church, The Church Brew Works is a one-of-a-kind foodie experience. Paying homage to the building’s roots, this hidden gem features restored stained-glass windows and 8 original lanterns lining the dining area. The microbrewery offers over a dozen different brews ranging from IPAs to cask-conditioned ales. And that hopgarden is a major plus when the weather is nice!
Spoonwood Brewing Company takes the craft beer scene to a whole new level! With 12 rotating taps, draft wine, local cider, and spirits, as well as wood-fired pizza and house-smoked meats…what’s not to love?! Each of their beers is crafted using flavor blends that are as unique as the company itself. Our personal favorite is the “Hippo Camp” – a tart brown ale that tastes like a chocolate-covered strawberry with a hint of coffee. A more traditional brew is the “Working Class Hero” (pictured here) made with malted barley and corn! Guests may also order half and full-size growlers, as well as, 4-packs and bottles to-go!
Pittsburgh wouldn’t be Pittsburgh without its Polish roots and this quaint Strip District joint is the perfect example! S&D Polish Deli started as a small market selling imported goods from Poland and has transformed into a fantastic place to grab a bit to eat. The kitchen serves up all of the area’s favorites like pierogis, smoked kielbasa and golabki (stuffed cabbage), and more. S&D is one of the best hidden gems in Pittsburgh and a perfect place to dive into Eastern European culture!
With a dream of sharing Peruvian culture with others, Peru native Shelbin Santos opened Chicken Latino in 2007. To ensure that her customers receive the full authentic experience, Santos imported a wood-fire brick oven from Peru and uses it to cook her favorite family recipes. Chicken Latino’s signature dish is the Pollo a la Brasa, a marinated chicken seasoned with cumin, garlic, cilantro, and dried Peruvian chilies. Pair this fab dish with Inka Cola, a popular Peruvian drink made using a blend of coconut, banana, and pineapple.
Wings, ribs, brisket, pulled pork, hamburgers, and more? Meat us over at Showcase BBQ for high-quality, freshly-smoked barbecue. They serve up all of the BBQ classics, as well as hoagies and custom-made french fries plates. Plus, their sides are just as good as their entrees. Options include mac-n-cheese just like Grandma made it, green beans, potato salad, and more.
Pro tip: Get there early because they ALWAYS sell out before the end of the day!
More Food & Drink Hidden Gems
Things to Do
If you’re from Pittsburgh, and you haven’t been to Randyland, this is your sign to go visit it ASAP. Folk artist Randy Gilson fills his yard with vividly colored, upbeat murals and objects, gathered with the hopes of bringing joy to those who view them. It’s widely regarded as one of the area’s most colorful landmarks and is a great spot for a neat IG pic!
Pittsburgh’s glass industry began in 1797 and by 1920, 80% of the glass made in America was produced in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh Class Center is the latest to carry on the glass-making tradition. Established in 2001, PCG is a combo art glass studio, public-access education center, an art gallery, and a hub for creativity. This non-profit works with renowned glass artists to help create inspiring pieces and teach future glass builders. Whether you’re a seasoned vet or a glass newbie, PGC offers classes, workshops, and take-home craft kits!
Named the world’s largest bicycle museum by The New York Times, Bicycle Heaven is one of our favorite hidden gems in Pittsburgh. What started as a simple bike repair shop in the 1990s has transformed into a premier destination for bicycle lovers of all ages. In total, Bicycle Heaven has amassed a collection of nearly 6,000 bicycles, including some of the rarest and most sought after on the market. And some have even been featured in popular Hollywood films such as Super 8 and Fences!
Trundle Manor isn’t your average Pittsburgh museum… From the outside, it looks like an average Swissvale house but what’s on the inside is anything but normal! Trundle Manor features an insane collection of eccentric items including vintage taxidermy, Steampunk artwork, odd medical equipment, weaponry, and more! This house of oddities was even featured on “MTV’s Extreme Cribs” in 2011. It’s safe to say that out of all the hidden gems in Pittsburgh, this is the only one with that distinction! Visits to the museum are by appointment only so please plan accordingly.
The Manor Theatre opened its doors in 1927. Featuring historic architectural details, the theatre gives current viewers a small taste of what it felt like to attend a movie during the silent film era. With only 4 movie screens total, each viewing room has a small-town type feel and they have a full-service bar! As of 2011, it’s the only neighborhood theatre still operational in Squirrel Hill. The Manor Theatre opened during the Great Depression, has survived recessions, bad weather, and even COVID-19. Its resilience is symbolic to the neighborhood and just one of the reasons why it made our hidden gems in Pittsburgh list.
More Hidden Gem Things to Do
They don’t just like Pittsburgh…they love it! With a mission of connecting makers to shoppers and serving the local community, love, Pittsburgh is the must-stop place to buy all things local! They take Mister Roger’s mantra of being a good neighbor by sourcing all of the items from local, Pittsburgh artists. Shopping at love, Pittsburgh allows you to buy something cute and support local at the same time!
After you’re done seeing a flick at The Manor Theatre, stroll down Murray Avenue and visit the Squirrel Hill Market! This neighborhood specialty store offers unique food products including baked goods, snacks, and beverages, as well as local Pittsburgh honey! They make shopping convenient for their customers by offering curbside pick-up and contactless delivery.
But Wait, There's More!
These hidden gems in Pittsburgh prove that the City of Champions is a true melting pot of history, diversity and culture. Seeing beloved family-run local businesses continue to succeed is just one of the many reasons to fall in love with this area. For more fun things to do in Pittsburgh, be sure to download our app, as well as, follow us on Facebook and Instagram!