Spring is in the air… and there are lots of delicious offerings in Pittsburgh to celebrate the new season. As we do every month, here are the very best things to eat, drink and experience in Pittsburgh this April.
1. Chow down on some of the best BBQ Pittsburgh has to offer.
Spork Pit, of our absolute favorite places to get BBQ in the ‘Burgh, will be back for the season on Wednesday, April 3. We’re partial to their brisket (it’s fantastic), but the Garfield BBQ joint (the sister restaurant of Spork) is also well-known for their ribs, BBQ chicken, Mac & Cheese, and frosty alcoholic slushies. Spork Pit (5349 Penn Avenue)
2. Eat all the Mac & Cheese at the Smallman Galley.
Your Mac & Cheese dreams are coming true at the Smallman Galley on Monday, April 8. Home is hosting a Mac & Cheese Dinner, featuring four ooey-gooey Mac & Cheese courses, all paired with beer or wine. Dishes include Truffled Mac & Cheese Croquettes, Caprese Mac, Lobster Mac & Cheese, and BBQ Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese. Tickets are $65 each, and are available here. And, if you want even more tasty dishes from Home, chef/owner Phill Milton just shared his recipe for Fried Chicken and Jalapeno Cheese Cornbread with us, so you can make it in your very own kitchen.
3. Get quality brewery swag delivered to your door.
Love discovering new breweries from across the country? Pittsburgh-based First Sip Brew Box is ready to introduce you to brand-new breweries every month. The subscription service delivers monthly boxes of hard-to-find and one-of-a-kind brewery swag from a different featured brewery, which can include shirts, hats, beer candy, beer soap, and more. They offer different types of boxes (including one especially for dogs!), and different subscription levels for every budget. And, while beer is never included (it’s the law, you know), the boxes will expand your brewery horizons to some that you haven’t been exposed to. Order a subscription here.
4. Drink outside on the North Side.
The North Side’s Southern Tier Brewing Company has recently undergone some updates to their expansive beer garden (laying down new artificial turf, tables and chairs), giving us all one more place to sip brews while enjoying the sunshine. Another bonus? Pups are welcome – as long as they’re well-behaved, and house-trained. Southern Tier Brewing Company (316 North Shore Drive)
5. Check out the all-new Freedom Farms Farmer Market.
Butler’s Freedom Farms is celebrating their grand re-opening of their recently-renovated farmers market with an opening party on Saturday, April 6. In addition to all of their own home-grown fruits and vegetables (and other Freedom Farm favorites, like their house-made doughnuts), they’ll also have beer from North Country Brewing Co., wine from Mazzotta Winery, and live music from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Freedom Farms Farmers Market (795 Pittsburgh Road, Butler)
6. Go GF (for dinner) at Gluten Free Goat.
Gluten Free Goat has expanded to offer dinner service. Every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m., head to the Garfield cafe and restaurant for gluten-free and vegan dishes, like their own homemade pierogies and homemade pasta. And on Thursday, April 4, they’re hosting their very own gluten-free pizza party, with vegan and vegetarian pies available. Gluten Free Goat (4905 Penn Avenue)
7. Celebrate the season opening at Wigle Whiskey Barrelhouse.
It doesn’t really feel like the spring season until Wigle Whiskey Barrelhouse + Whiskey Garden opens for the year, right? This year’s opening party will be on Friday, April 19, and will feature the release of their Maderia Bourbon, food from the Gaucho Parilla food truck, and live music by the Tim Vitullo Band, plus samples from Penn Brewery and Threadbare Cider and Mead. See more information on the event here.
8. Explore franks from other states with the team from Franktuary.
Every state has its own unique hot dog style – and Franktuary co-owners Tim Tobitsch and Megan Lindsey want to try them all. The duo recently launched a video series called 50 Franks 50 States, showing their travels across the country as they try each state’s local hot dog cuisine. They’ve been to West Virginia, Colorado and North Dakota so far, and promise to share a new video on the first of every month. Follow along on YouTube here, and read more about the series in this City Paper piece.
9. Try a taste of the Mediterranean at big Burrito’s newest restaurant.
Alta Via is now open in O’Hara Township… and we’re stoked. Bill Fuller and big Burrito’s newest restaurant officially opens on April 1, serving handmade pasta, Italian cocktails, seasonal vegetables, and a full menu of Mediterranean-meets-Northern-California cuisine, like Ricotta Cavatelli with clams, Tortelli wiht ricotta and spinach and La Quercia Speck, and Warm Ricotta Toast served with grilled sweet and spicy peppers. Reservations are available now. Alta Via (46 Fox Chapel Road)
10. Sample all the delicious bites that Lawrenceville has to offer.
On Sunday, April 14, head to Lawrenceville for an outdoor street festival, with food, drinks, live entertainment and more. Taste of Lawrenceville is happening from noon to 5:00 p.m. at Bay 41 (4197 Willow Avenue), and Lawrenceville breweries and restaurants will be offering dishes (tickets are free, and registration is available at the door, and food and drinks are pay-as-you-go), and the event is family and pet-friendly, too. For more information, visit the event page.
11. Eat this walking burrito from Pittsburgh Sandwich Society at least once.
There’s something about the ‘After School Special Burrito,’ an old-school basic burrito from the Pittsburgh Sandwich Society that we just can’t get enough of. A burrito stuffed with seasoned ground beef, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and corn chips and served in a Fritos bag is something that we can always get behind – and it’s pretty damn good, too. Follow the Pittsburgh Sandwich Society on Instagram to see where they’ll be each day.