Our “Day in the Burgh” series will highlight some of our favorite spots around the city to help you plan your day in the Pittsburgh area.
I was planning a little reunion with two friends from college, and one was visiting Pittsburgh for the first time. She is a fashion design major and one of the coolest people I know, so I obviously had to show off some of Pittsbugh’s most unique spots! If you’re an artsy out-of-towner visiting the city, or a resident of Pittsburgh looking for unusual new places to explore, we recommend checking out the Andy Warhol museum and the Smallman Galley.
Odd Art: The Andy Warhol Museum
Pittsburgh is the hometown of the “king of pop art,” Andy Warhol, so the city commemorates his work at the Andy Warhol Museum on the North Shore. I can guarantee your trip to this museum will not be easily forgotten.
Before you plan your visit, make sure everyone in your group either appreciates Warhol’s style of art or has a good sense of humor; the exhibits range from interesting to absurd. My grandparents once visited this museum with a friend from out of town, and all of them left feeling weirded out and slightly offended.
My friend was looking for artistic inspiration for her fashion line, so I thought she might find it here! She arrived in town a little late, so we rushed through the museum’s seven floors before closing time. I recommend giving yourself at least three hours to explore, because the museum has a few interactive components you will want to check out. Our favorite was the room full of floating balloons, which made us feel like children playing a game of keep-the-balloon-up-in-the-air, and the screen test activity, which gave us our movie star moment.
Details for your visit:
Address: 117 Sandusky Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Hours: closed Monday; open 10 am-5 pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday; open 10 am-10 pm Friday
Cost: $20 for adults, $10 for students & children
Parking: Museum parking lot on Sandusky Street for $8
Unique Eats: The Smallman Galley
It was tough to choose a spot for dinner, because Pittsburgh is filled with tasty options. When trying to pick a local eatery to share with an out-of-towner, Primanti Bros. seems like the obvious choice. But we weren’t in the mood for sandwiches, and I was looking for some sort of unique dining experience, so we decided to look elsewhere. I had never been to the Smallman Galley, nor had my other friend who is also a Pittsburgh local. Because it is located in the Strip District, just five minutes away from the museum, we felt like this was the perfect opportunity to check it out. We were not disappointed!
The Smallman Galley is unlike any restaurant we’d ever been to before. It is set up in a style reminiscent of a food court, inspired by the grand food halls the owners dined in as U.S. Navy Lieutenants. Every 18 months, the Smallman Galley brings in four of the most talented local culinary artists and allows each of them to open their own restaurant within the galley. The current restaurants include Aubergine Bistro, Carota Cafe, Josephine’s Toast and Provision Pgh. Each restaurant has a separate menu and its own counter for you to order from. After ordering, you can grab a drink from the bar, featuring some of the best local craft beers, and then grab a seat to wait for your food. If you’re looking for a caffeine boost instead, the Smallman Galley also serves organic, fair-trade coffee, espresso and tea from local companies.
I ordered the Shrimp and Summer Corn from Josephine’s Toast and enjoyed every bite of it! The three of us had a fabulous meal, and my out-of-town friend, Sarah, enjoyed her little taste of Pittsburgh.
Details for your visit:
Address: 54 21st Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Hours: closed Monday; open 11 am-9 pm Tuesday-Thursday; 11 am-10 pm Friday; 10 am-10 pm Saturday; 10 am-3 pm Sunday (bar open til 10 pm on weeknights and 12 am on weekends).
Reservations: Not taken but not necessary; the Smallman Galley has seating for 200 people
Parking: Many lots throughout the Strip District, including pay parking lining Smallman Street
*Pittstop Tip: The museum offers half-priced entry on Friday evenings. Start out at the Smallman Galley for half-priced drinks during happy hour (5-7), then head over to the museum and enjoy Friday night’s extended hours. Exploring a museum with a little buzz could make it even more interesting.
Have you visited the Andy Warhol Museum or the Smallman Galley? What tips do you have for other pittstopblog readers?