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 ???????.
Giant Eagle Market: Stock up on Groceries
Giant Eagle Market is a local chain of grocery stores in the Pittsburgh area, and was recommended to us by the Marriott Residence Inn hotel staff. As previously mentioned, our hotel was an all suite hotel and had a wonderful full, but compact kitchen and dining area. Great for fixing meals to stretch your travel budget! The hotel's terrace also had a BBQ grill which our group decided to make use of for a cookout.
We visited the Giant Eagle Market to buy groceries and supplies for the cookout and our assigned contribution was dessert. They had a wonderful bakery where beautiful pastries, fruit tarts, specialty cakes and pies, beautifully decorated cookies, and all sorts of sweets were artfully made & displayed. The bakery also carried a full range of all sorts of breads, rolls, baguettes, etc. We chose a full-size sheetcake for the girls' volleyball team and had it personalized at no extra charge. Of course, it had to have pink & lavender frosting!!
The next task was picking up the main course for the grill and the Giant Eagle Market's steaks and chicken were fresh and well-cut. The store had a good selection of fresh fruits and vegetables to choose from for salads or side dishes.
The Giant Eagle carried a full range of other groceries and products and without a doubt you could certainly find whatever you needed at this market.
The Giant Eagle was not your regular neighborhood grocery store but what I would call upscale. Prices were slightly higher than most grocery stores than what we pay at home, but might have been considered normal for Pittsburgh. It had plenty of free above & underground parking, and helpful staff. It was not very far from the hotel and a very nice store to shop in. I would recommend it for anyone picking up groceries you might need when staying at the Marriott Residence Inn.
What to buy: The Giant Eagle Market had one of the nicest, in-store bakeries I've seen and the cookies, cakes, fruit tarts and other pastries were really wonderful little works of art!!
Tanger Outlet Center: Over 75 brand name outlets just south of Pittsburg
We were impressed by the prices at Tanger Outlet Mall of at Washington, PA just south of Pittsburgh. Needless to mention, some of the best deals were to be had here in many branded stores. Us two families shopped for about 3 hours on the day of arrival and 3 hours on the day of departure at this outlet center to be taken back to Canada. Picture # 1 shows some happy faces after the final haul on first day late in the evening. We were the last people to exit the Center.
Other pictures from our last year trip (going towards Boone, NC) and from this visit show different views and the food court of the Center.
Nearby attractions include:
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
4400 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Pennsylvania Trolley Museum
1 Museum Road, Washington, PA 15301
The Meadows Racetrack & Casino
(877)-824-5050 or (724) 503-1200
210 Race Track Road, Washington, PA 15301
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, help is available, call (800) 848-1880.
What to buy: Clothes, shoes, ladies handbags, gift items.
What to pay: It is an outlet mall. Therefore, the prices are less as compared to Canada and elsewhere.
- Road Trip
- Family Travel
The Enrico Biscotti Co.: Almond Macaroons
One of the many shops we stopped at on Saturday morning on our walk through the Strip District was The Enrico Biscotti Co. Sue and I had a few things here and absolutely fell in love with the taste of the Almond Macaroons. So much in fact that we made it a point to order about 12 dozen for our daughter's wedding in September following our visit. And when everybody tasted them at the wedding they wondered where they were from.
So anytime you are in Pittsburgh, you have got to stop here.
What to buy: Anything that looks delicious!!
What to pay: Your Call
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
Mon Aimee Chocolat: Chocolate Is Your Friend
We were strolling along Penn Ave when we came across this shop. It has an extensive selection of imported and artisan chocolates and candies. It seemed that few of the stores wares were made in the shop, but that was compensated for by the immense variety of interesting goodies on offer. Items that especially caught my interest were handmade artisan flower chocolates, guittard syrups, and organic chocolate bars that came with original artwork in the package. The one thing that they do make in the shop is an astonishing array of different flavours of malt balls.
- Food and Dining
Irish Design Center: Beautiful Irish Designs!
The Irish Design Center is a great place to find traditional Irish gifts. Everything is handmade and imported from Ireland. Though sometimes tricky to find, this store is worth it.
Open Monday - Saturday, 10am - 5:30pm
What to buy: I love the Callan Knitwear they have. Though more expensive ($60-$200), the handknitted sweaters are beautiful and soft. If you want to spend less money, handthrown bowls and candles are lovely. ($6 - $20). My favorite item of them all is the Jerpoint Glass. The glass paperweights and candlesticks are handcrafted.
What to pay: Since there is a wide variety at this store, it's hard to say how much you'll pay. The price range is about $6 - $200.
- Road Trip
- Arts and Culture
Collage Gifts: A diverse combination of elements
Collage is one of the memorable shops we stopped in while strolling through the Strip district. Collage has a superb selection of wares. They collect many different kinds of home decor items and an extensive assortment of jewellery. They also had some furniture and several cases that feature figurines and dolls.
The items for sale were impressive in their own right, but what really impressed me was the service. All of the clerks in the store were very attentive (without being irritating) and knowledgeable.
We visited in early December, so I ended up buying several very unique Christmas tree ornaments.
What to pay: This store has something for every budget.
- Luxury Travel
- Arts and Culture
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.
Alex's International: If you are looking for European food
I walked into this shop and chatted with the shopkeeper for a bit about Pittsburgh and how wonderful the city is. I told her I like the international feel of The Strip district. She told me at least three times that the shop only carries European food. I asked about Slovak food and she regretfully told me that they didn't have Slovak, but they did have two variety's of Czech cookies, as well as Czech butter. I'll be back when I have a decent job to try those out.
Save-Mor Beer & Pop Warehouse
By my rough count they have some 325 varieties of craft beer from at least 20 different breweries, over 60 brands from 20 countries, and over 25 brands of domestic beers. They also stock a varieties of soft drinks ("pop") and snack foods.
I was amazed at some of the beers they had in stock that I had only seen overseas or in a few trendy bars in big cities. We came for the IC Light, but left with some premium Golden Pheasant from Slovakia and Kostritzer black lager from Germany. IC light cases seem a little expensive at $21 for bottles, but the international beers were reasonable at $31 to $35 a case. They even had some exquisit Belgian beers that sold for over $100 a case!
The Shadyside Shopping District
Shadyside is a more upscale shopping neighborhood in Pittsburgh. There are two branches of it, one on Ellsworth Ave. and one on Walnut St. There are some clothing store branches like the GAP, J. Crew, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, and American Apparel, and then some local boutiques, some with designer clothing. Sprinkled throughout are some good little restaurants, and stores with different assortments of gift items, like the card stores and the variety shop. You can easily spend as little or as much as you want, but it is sort of the ritzier shopping place. In the summer there is also an arts festival here.
- Arts and Culture
- Women's Travel
Enrico Biscotti Company: Can you smell cookies?
While strolling through the Strip, the delicious smells emanating from this shop meant we could not resist going in. The sign outside announcing freshly-baked Chocolate Rascals, and the fact we hadn't had breakfast sealed our fate. We grabbed an assortment of sumptuous cookies to munch on while we strolled. Everything was extremely fresh and tasty and all of the prices seemed like quite the bargain to me.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Budget Travel
- Food and Dining
The Squirrel Hill Shopping District
Squirrel Hill's shopping district occurs on Murray and Forbes. There are a lot of different stores here, but many are more specialty and probably less of a tourist destination than a good spot for locals. However, there are many good restaurants here, like Gullifty's, known for their desserts. The stores range from Color me mine to Ten Thousand Villages (objects from around the world).
What to pay: Prices vary by the stores, but there aren't too many expensive shops here.
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.
Outlets: Grove City Outlets
The variety of shops there and the low prices for goods which are about 2 or 3 times more expensive in Europe!
What to buy: Everything
Prime Outlets - Grove City is rated as one of the top 20 Outlet Centers in the United States by Value Retail News (August, 2004). With over 140 brand named outlets, Prime Outlets - Grove City customers realize savings from 25% - 65% off retail everday making it a bargain shoppers paradise!
What to pay: Not much!
- Family Travel
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