You have 24 hours in Pittsburgh. Where do you go? What do you see? Most importantly, where do you eat?! Don’t worry. We have your back. Our vegan guide to 24 hours in Pittsburgh has the best places to eat (vegan), sleep, see, and drink (caffeine or tequila).
Safety Warning: This was put together by a Sagittarius. You will need a lot of energy or caffeine, and time management skills (or a Virgo travel companion).
Quick Note: This City Guide is totally travel-ready. Click here to download and save the PDF version.
Where to Stay
The Ace is set in a former YMCA building that is over a century old. The hotel provides a unique experience for its guests. The Ace has ping pong, hip interior design, a trendy restaurant, and a stellar coffee bar.
The boutique hotel is set in a 1903 building. It is stylish, bold, and pet friendly. It also has perks for the active guest, including complimentary bikes and yoga mats in the room.
William Penn Hotel
The William Penn is a historical Pittsburgh landmark. Established in 1916, the hotel oozes old school elegance. It reminds us of a classic, old school New York City hotel. The holidays at the William Penn are magical. Whether you stay here or not, it is worth it to pop into the hotel. You will feel as though you have been transported back in time.
What to Pack
- City shoes. Shoes that are good for sightseeing. Running shoes work. Pittsburgh isn’t picky like that.
- Sunglasses and sunscreen. All year round. You’re going to spend a lot of time outside, and sun damage is real.
- Workout clothes. Run along the rivers or jump into a yoga class in the park (weather permitting). Pittsburgh offers unique workout classes as well- pole dancing, boxing, yoga, spin, you name it.
- Wardrobe that is appropriate for the seasons. Winter can be frigid (so, so cold). Bring layers and snow or waterproof boots. Summers are warm so pack light. Pittsburgh style is conservative casual.
But First: Coffee
Start your 24-hour sprint in Pittsburgh with some caffeine at Nicholas.
Nicholas is a gourmet coffee roaster and tea shop located in Market Square. It has a wide range of coffee flavors, ranging from Coconut Crème to Cinnamon Hazelnut.
Nicholas was established in 1919 and has been serving Pittsburgh ever since. Grab a hot cup to go and some freshly ground coffee to take with you on your travels. We love the tea selection as well! [Map it]
After you’re pumped with caffeine, check out one of the Carnegie Museums. The Carnegie Museums consist of four museums owned by the Carnegie Institute. They were founded in 1895 and gifted to the city of Pittsburgh. The museums include Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Center, and the Andy Warhol Museum. Check out the Nights at the Museums events. Laser shows and stargazing- say no more.[Map it]
The Andy Warhol Museum is one of our favorites. The Warhol Museum a must see while in Pittsburgh. It is the largest museum in the States dedicated to a single artist. The museum has multiple floors and interactive classes. Try your hand at screen printing and take home your creation. [Map it]
Time to Eat
Getting hungry for lunch? Try something unique!
B52 Café is a Lawrenceville gem. B52 is a vegan restaurant with a menu of Mediterranean-American fusion. It has a full-service espresso bar and house-made vegan treats.
The vibe is effortlessly cool with a modern flair. B52 falafel is some of the best we have ever had. [Map it]
Feeling even more adventurous? Check out Apteka.
Apteka is a chic, casual vegan eatery. Apteka serves Central and Eastern European vegan dishes, as well as cocktails and beer.
Eastern European food sounds heavy, but Apteka is light and healthy. Locals dub this restaurant as the best vegan food in the city. [Map it]
Once you’re fueled up, head to the Strip District. The Strip is a one-half square mile that used to house factories and mills. It was a railroad hub and an integral part of Pittsburgh’s transportation of goods. The Strip has since evolved into a historic marketplace for produce, restaurants, art, boutiques, coffee, and activities. [Map it]
Prestogeorge is located in the Strip District, around the corner from Smallman Galley. Every city needs a Prestogeorge. It is a specialty market offering house roasted coffee, loose-leaf teas, food, and accessories. You will find every flavor coffee under the sun, ground to your liking. Looking for a specific type of tea? You’ll find it there.
Grab a hot cup of tea or coffee and some grinds to bring home as gifts. Try the Highlander Kreme or Rainforest Crunch. [Map it]
After Presto, pop over to Smallman Galley.
Smallman is a communal food hall with four eateries and two bars. It houses new restaurant concepts in Pittsburgh, ranging from Vietnamese to Pizza. The food is affordable, delicious, and distinctive. It’s is a fun place for a group or those with different dining preferences. Vegan options galore. [Map it]
Next stop is the Heinz History Center, a Smithsonian Affiliate.
The museum highlights the history of Western Pennsylvania, including the 145 years of Heinz innovations. There is a Mister Rogers’ exhibit as well. Yes, we were very excited when we heard this. [Map it]
From Heinz, head to the Incline.
The Incline is a century old cable car that transports passengers between downtown and Mount Washington. During the ride, you will get a panorama view of the city. Take the Incline during the evening up to Mount Washington. Catch the sun setting over the city. It’s magical. [Map it]
Dinner is a choose your own adventure.
Try Tako for an adventurous night out as a Pittsburgh foodie.
This funky taqueria mixes Mexican street food with a dark, edgy decor and lively atmosphere. The restaurant is nice-casual to upscale, with the option of sidewalk seating.
Tako offers exotic taco creations, as well as unique margaritas. Try Tako for a night out as a Pittsburgh foodie. They were voted best tacos in Pennsylvania by Thrillist. The guacamole is a must. [Map it]
For a low-key night, try Onion Maiden.
Onion Maiden is a punk rock vegan restaurant that offers Asian and American comfort food. The dishes range from Pho variations to cashew cheese, spring rolls, and rice bowls. They also serve vegan donuts and desserts! It has themed dining days and specialty drinks. This uber cool interior (read: punk meets goth) makes the dining experience even better. [Map it]
If you have time and energy, check out a show at the Benedum Center.
Benedum was opened in 1927 and after a 43-million-dollar renovation (say what?), it feels just like opening night. See a musical or concert and head over to Tako after. [Map it]
Finally (and before you depart Pittsburgh), try Gasoline Street Coffee.
This locally owned, retro coffee shop is as unique as it sounds. The walls are covered with vintage gas station installations. It has an open, airy feel, with indoor and outdoor seating. Gasoline Street offers are variety of drinks for coffee lovers, tea aficionados, and vegans. [Map it]
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