Specials & Guides » City Guide

Lawrenceville

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One Day in Town

Frankly, you’d need more than a day to experience all that this expansive riverfront neighborhood has to offer. It’s an historically rich area, founded in 1814 by William B. Foster. (His son, composer Stephen Foster was born there in 1826.) More recently, Lawrenceville’s density of trendy bars, restaurants, boutiques and other diversions make it a must-visit area. 

Start your day with an espresso drink, tea or coffee (drip or pour-over) crafted by the knowledgeable and friendly staff at Constellation Coffee (4059 Penn Ave., www.constellationcoffeepgh.com). Enjoy your drink in the serene café, or take it to go for a stroll through Allegheny Cemetery (4734 Butler St., www.alleghenycemetery.com). The 300-acre burial ground (one of the country’s oldest) features ornate mausoleums and monuments, and miles of tranquil roadways, and is the resting place of many notable Pittsburghers. 

From there, head to Lawrenceville’s main drag, Butler Street. If you’re ready for a bite, step into B52 (5202 Butler St., 412-408-3988), which offers delectable vegan food with a Middle Eastern bent (the baba ghanouj might be some of the best you’ve ever had). If meat is a must, try Cure (5336 Butler St., 412-252-2595), where the small but creative menu focuses on locally sourced, house-made charcuterie. How about a post-dinner drink? The options on Butler are endless, but the flavors in Umami’s (202 38th St., 412-224-2354) unique cocktails (think wasabi and pickled ginger) pair perfectly with the menu of Japanese street food. 

Ready for some entertainment? One-screen movie theater Row House Cinema (4115 Butler St., www.rowhousecinema.com) shows themed series of classics and cult favorites (Over the Top Action week included Rambo and Bullitt). While you watch, enjoy a beer from the adjoining Bierport bottleshop. Finally, finish off the night amidst the Victorian charm of Butterwood Bake Consortium (5222 Butler St., 412-781-0218). Decadent cakes, pies and other fancy desserts (including vegan options) take center stage. And with late-night hours, this is a sweet alternative to the bar scene. 

Food

Coca Café. Breakfast and lunch rule this charming spot. With menu items like fried eggplant Benedict and pumpkin pancakes, your only worry will be deciding between sweet and savory. 3811 Butler St., 412-621-3171

Espresso A Mano. This popular spot is a great place to read, meet friends, or just relax and people-watch, all while enjoying some of the best coffee in town. 3623 Butler St., 412-918-1864

Franktuary. Fancy hot dogs (and fancy cocktails) headline, but you’ll also find poutine, sandwiches and more for meat-eaters and vegans alike. 3810 Butler St., 412-586-7224

Geppetto Café. Specializing in sweet and savory crepes, this charming nook walks the line between European-style café and cozy American diner. 4121 Butler St., 412-709-6399

Kickback Pinball Café. As if the second-floor pinball arcade weren’t enough of a draw, Kickback offers sandwiches, soups, salads and a full menu of coffee drinks for pre-game nourishment. 4326 Butler St., 412-682-3200

La Gourmandine. Swing by this classic French bakery for a baguette or a pastry — but good luck choosing just one from the array of tarts, cakes and croissants. 4605 Butler St., 412-682-2210

Morcilla. Here, chef Justin Severino takes on Spanish cuisine. Pintxos (small plates traditional to northern Spain) and Severino’s signature charcuterie are the focus. 3519 Butler St., 412-652-9924

Piccolo Forno. Wood-fired pizzas, handmade pasta and other comfort foods make this intimate Tuscan Italian restaurant a well-loved destination. 3801 Butler St., 412-622-0111

Pittsburgh Juice Company. Offering cold-pressed juices, smoothies and raw, vegan snacks. Up the healthiness by staying for a class at the adjoining Yoga Factory. 3418 Penn Ave., 412-586-5060

Round Corner Cantina. Engaging food offerings (think chipotle-brie quesadillas and mahi-mahi tacos) are complemented by a great cocktail list and one of the best outdoor patios in town. 3720 Butler St., 412-904-2279

The Vandal. Potted plants and exposed brick make an inviting backdrop for The Vandal’s seasonal take on simple comfort food like burgers and biscuits. 4306 Butler St., 412-251-0465

Bars & Clubs

The Abbey on Butler. Formerly a funeral home (and before that a foundry), this historic, inviting and vast space now houses a coffee house, restaurant and bar. 4635 Butler St., 412-682-0200

Allegheny Wine Mixer. Here’s proof that wine bars don’t have to be stuffy. Enjoy expertly curated wines, beers, cocktails and artisanal meats and cheeses in a low-key loungy setting. 5326 Butler St., 412-252-2337

Arsenal  Bowling Lanes. Like a cocktail with your game? This hip second-floor bowling alley has a full bar. Don’t miss Rock ’n’ Bowl nights, featuring live bands. 4310 Butler St., 412-683-5992

Arsenal Cider House. This Civil War-themed cidery specializes in small-batch ciders, fruit wines and mead. Buy it by the growler, or enjoy a glass in-house. 300 39th St., 412-260-6968

Blue Moon. Folks of all orientations can enjoy the welcoming atmosphere of this kitschy gay bar. Drop in for karaoke, a drag show or just a cheap drink. 5115 Butler St., 412-781-1119

Grapperia. Located behind Piccolo Forno, this little bar features grappa, wine, amari and espresso (with or without a kick of booze). Your Italian grandfather would approve. 3801 Butler St., 412-904-3907

Tender Bar + Kitchen. Housed in a former bank building, Tender harkens to another era. Impeccably crafted upscale cocktails match the beautifully vintage décor. 4300 Butler St., 412-402-9522 

Arts & Culture

be Galleries. This established venue features three large gallery spaces, and specializes both in Japanese prints and work by local artists. 3583 Butler St., 412-687-2606

Gallery on 43rd. This charming row-house gallery was opened in 1994 by weaver Mary Coleman. See her work as well as rotating exhibits of work by local artists. 187 43rd St., 412-683-6488

Music

Belvederes Ultra-Dive. This newly reopened neighborhood institution hosts everything from ’80s Night and Down and Derby rollerskating parties, to punk shows and record fairs. 4016 Butler St., 412-687-2555

Cattivo. It looks small from the outside, but this two-level venue is big enough to host multiple events at once, from touring indie rock bands to Beyoncé dance nights. 146 44th St., 412-687-2157

Hambones. This homey restaurant/venue hosts touring bands and off-beat weekly events ranging from acoustic open stages to stand-up comedy and improv nights. 4207 Butler St., 412-681-4318

Nied’s Hotel. Come for the fish sandwich, stay for the music. Pittsburgh country legend Slim Forsythe and the aptly titled Nied’s Hotel band are regular performers at the bar, which opened in 1941. 5438 Butler St., 412-781-9853 

Remedy. This quirky, multi-level bar hosts dance nights every weekend. The drinks are cheap and the lights are dim, which makes it a great place to perfect your moves. 5121 Butler St., 412-781-6771

Spirit. The former Moose Lodge is now one of the neighborhood’s hippest spots. Two spacious floors accommodate buzz bands and up-and-coming acts alike, plus dance parties and more. 242 51st St., 412-586-4441

Thunderbird Cafe. A cornerstone of the Pittsburgh music scene, this casual, intimate spot hosts live performances by local and national artists of all genres. 4023 Butler St., 412-682-0177

Brambler Boutique - PHOTO BY JOHN COLOMBO
  • Photo by John Colombo
  • Brambler Boutique

Shopping

Brambler Boutique. The place for sweet baby gifts you won’t find elsewhere, like adorable outfits, eco-friendly rattles, fashionable (really!) teething jewelry, and much more. 3609 Butler St., 412-682-1327

City Grows. A must-stop for green thumbs, this divine-smelling garden shop carries organic plants, soil, seeds and bulbs, as well as gardening tools and gift items. 5208 Butler St., 412-781-2082

52nd Street Market. This small grocer offers kitchen staples and prepared food, as well as a place to grab a cup of coffee and catch up with your neighbors. 601 52nd St., 412-408-3798

Gryphon’s Tea. Specializing in organic and free-trade teas, Gryphon’s also carries culinary herbs, fresh spices and brewing accessories. 4127 Butler St., 412-877-4223

Love Bikes. A one-stop shop, whether you’re in the market for a new bike, or your current ride needs a little TLC. Bike restoration is a specialty. 4102 Butler St., 412-235-7026

Phoenix Boutique. High-end designer fashions are the focus at this well-curated consignment shop. You never know what treasures you’ll find. 3627 Butler St., 412-683-1290

Una Botanicals. Offering earth-friendly skin and beauty products made with organic ingredients, Una will leave you feeling (and smelling) lovely. 4322 Butler St., www.unabiologicals.com

Wildcard. Hunting for a unique gift? Browse the wide selection of greeting cards, jewelry, Pittsburgh-themed novelties and other handmade goods. 4209 Butler St., 412-224-2651


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