Feed the soul and the body at the Three Rivers Arts Festival | Dining | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

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Feed the soul and the body at the Three Rivers Arts Festival

Try a food truck, plan a picnic, and appreciate the Pennsylvania Dutch

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Dining on the grass at Point State Park during Three Rivers Arts Festival - CP PHOTO BY LUKE THOR TRAVIS
  • CP photo by Luke Thor Travis
  • Dining on the grass at Point State Park during Three Rivers Arts Festival

The Three Rivers Arts Festival’s schedule is packed with performances, gallery exhibits and activities to keep you Downtown for its 10 days and nights. That’s long enough to drive up anyone’s appetite. So, when preparing to spend days absorbing as much culture as possible, make sure your blood sugar doesn’t suffer, and plan your meals, too. Here are a few ways to ensure the hanger is kept at bay.

Downtown’s culinary scene

While you’re planning which events to attend, Google dining spots near Downtown. The Golden Triangle’s restaurant scene is booming and likely offers worthy options. Whether you’re looking for something quick (a slice of pizza) or ready to drop serious cash (on a fancy steak), Downtown’s culinary landscape provides several options. Make a list of dishes you’d like to try and go on a restaurant crawl or stop into a bar to cool off with a midday sip. Pro tip: plan ahead and make reservations if possible. A lot of other people will be dining out and slogging from restaurant to restaurant on an empty stomach — a sure way to bring down your mood. 

Food trucks and carnival foods

City Paper hit the presses before the release of this Arts Festival’s food-trucks list, but considering the 2017 lineup, the organizers know what's what when it comes to Pittsburgh's food-truck scene. Check out a mobile restaurant that’s new to you for a quick bite. A gathered corral of food trucks usually offers a lot of culinary diversity, from chili to vegan specialties. Nothing catching your eye? Head to the food court filled with carnival snacks and grab a funnel cake, which is beloved and made by Pennsylvania Dutch communities from our commonwealth. As is obvious from some of their other culinary contributions (shoofly pie, whoopie pies, apple dumpling … and the list goes on), the Pennsylvania Dutch love desserts. They call funnel cakes “drechter kucha.”

Pack for a picnic

If the forecast isn’t promising rain, picnic-style meals are a great way to save some money. A lightweight cooler that you don’t mind carrying should allow you to get creative. Everything from a simple PB&J and carrot sticks to an on-the-fly cheese and charcuterie snack plate will add to the enjoyment of time spent at Arts Festival. Also, a meal al fresco is a fun treat. Top it off with a drink at a nearby bar when you need a break. You can BYOF to the Arts Festival, but BYOB is off limits.

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