I’m a firm believer that summer is the best season for trying new things. I personally feel my best in the summer, and because of that, I find myself branching out and experiencing things in the warmer months that I normally wouldn’t consider. And these habits face no exception when it comes to food.
I get most of my traveling done in the summer, and that’s when I make a point to makes reservations at or stop into new restaurants. While you might not have the time or money to hit multiple cities on a road trip, you can hit many spots in a single city. Some cities actually have cultural or event boards. These organizations plan and conduct festivals throughout the summer that are usually open to the public, but sometimes require entry fees.
One of my favorite places to experience new food and drink is Pittsburgh, a city that offers so much to do and see without the chaos of places like Manhattan. There are so many festivals and food-related events in Pittsburgh throughout the summer, if you missed half of them, you’d still probably find time in a busy schedule to go to a few.
So, for those who consider themselves foodies or restaurant connoisseurs, brace yourselves. I’m going to recommend four of the most popular food-related Pittsburgh festivals that you can conquer in the span of a summer.
- HEINZ PicklesBURGH: July 26-28, 2019
At once coined “The Destination for all Things Pickled” and advertising a weekend of pickle-related tastings and events, you won’t want to miss Picklesburgh. This yearly event takes place each summer and is put together by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. It’s earned the rating of America’s #1 Specialty Food Festival. And if that’s not enough to get you interested, maybe it’s location will. This festival has a really unique venue. In fact, they close off the Roberto Clemente Bridge and host all of the events on it! You can expect specialty pickled products, pickle-related contests, and how-to demonstrations for pickling practices. Admission is free to the public.
- Pittsburgh Pierogi Festival: September 22, 2019
If one place is crazy about its pierogis, it’s Pittsburgh, PA. Not only does Pittsburgh host many culturally diverse populations, such as a Polish American population; a lot of Pittsburgh events are pierogi-themed. You could say this potato and onion stuffed delicacy is beloved there. They Pittsburgh Pirates even have pierogi mascots run around the field for viewer entertainment during baseball games! This year, the Pittsburgh Pierogi Festival will occur at Kennywood Park and will last from 1-6pm. You can expect freshly cooked, homemade pierogis and a lot of fun! Tickets range from about $10-$24, so you will want to think about that in advance.
- Pittsburgh Little Italy Days: August 15-August 18, 2019
Pittsburgh’s Little Italy Days occurs each year and represents the region’s largest Italian heritage festival. There’s a large Italian American population and history in Pittsburgh, so this festival is a great opportunity to celebrate. The festival takes place in Bloomfield and will host Italian musical acts, bocce ball games, and of course, delicious Italian foods. Admission is free, so put this on your list!
- Pittsburgh Irish Festival: September 6-September 8, 2019
The last festival on this list is everything Irish. There’s also a rich Irish American heritage in the city of Pittsburgh. This year’s festival is going to have a new location and will take place at The Lots at Sandcastle. You can expect authentic Irish food and drink, axe throwing, music, golfing, and child-friendly activities. Some of this year’s headliners include Screaming Orphans, The Wild Geese, and more. Tickets range from around $10-$35, with some discounts and happy hours. More information on pricing is available on the official website.