Pennsylvania Macaroni Company: Did you say Cheese ?
Located in the Strip District (a Must See Activity), the Pennsyvlvania Macaroni Company is my favorite place to shop when I go home. It is like walking into a time capsule, taking you back to an old grocery store in the days before megamalls and superstores.
The Sunseri brithers have been serving Pittsburgh quality Italian foodstuffs since 1902 and the place is always jammed - especially during the holidays.
In addition to hundreds of different types of cheeses (this one store sells 200,000 pounds of cheese per week) you can find all kinds of Italian meats, breads, pastas, olive oils, cookies, etc. for a picnic or for a dinner.
Even if you don't walk out of their store without buying a thing, check it out if you are in the Strip District and love good food as much as I do.
For those of you who can't make it into the store, you now can order online at their website (see below);
What to buy: Cheese, cheese, and more cheese. Also, if you like prosciutto, this place have several different varieties.
What to pay: Anywhere from $1.00 to ???????.
The Shops at Station Square.: A Little Ritz, Affordably.
Station Square is a converted train station set on the banks where Pittsburgh's three rivers meet. With some of Pittsburgh's greatest attributes nearby such as the Gateway Clipper Fleet and The Duquesne and Monongahela Inclines, Station Square is a lively place to browse and dine as dusk begins to fall. (Added bonus is the amazing scenery as the lights reflect on the waterfronts and the city really lights up.)
There are over 30 unique gift shops inside and over 25 restaurants that will appeal to any taste. The always glamourous Sheraton Hotel neighbours the square, which may also be helpful in giving you an idea of the eliteness of the area. None the less, Station Square is a pleasurable shopping experience that offers you a great alternative to a boring mall!
What to buy: There is something for everyone, young and old. The Crystal Gem store certainly catches your eye with healing crystals, mystical gifts and sparkling wares. Women will especially appreciate Loova, a family owned and operated bath and beauty boutique that sells things such as Chocolate-scented soap (men take note!). And of course, you can never really go wrong with a place called "Three Rivers Candy".
Shop hours: Monday through Saturday 10am - 9pm, and Sunday 12pm - 5pm. Closed major holidays - Check for winter hours.
What to pay: Moderately to slightly higher prices. However it's worth it to support smaller, family run operations.
Any self-respecting Pittsburgh bar: Pump an Iron
What to buy: Iron City. It's the local brew and has sustained steel mill workers (when there were any) and locals for decades.
Sure it tastes watery... of course it's not the delicate micro-brew you can get on the west coast. It's blue-collar beer for a blue collar town. I've yet to run into anywhere outside of a couple hundred miles from the city.
For an extra zip, order a boilermaker and watch the bartender drop a shot of whiskey into your glass. Liquid, shot-glass and all.
What to pay: Iron City is the cheapest beer on tap as it's the local made brew.