Pittsburgh was once a city peppered with public markets. The first to open was The Allegheny Market House on the North Side in 1863, and the last to close was a popular meat and food market in Market Square in 1994. In 2003, Neighbors in the Strip resurrected the public market experience with The Pittsburgh Public Market. Originally housed in the produce terminal, the market has now taken up residence at 2401 Penn Avenue. Today The Pittsburgh Public Market serves as a one-stop shop that supports community growth and local business under one roof, exactly what a public market is meant to do.

Whether you are in search of outstanding craft beer or a wheel of cheese you can’t get elsewhere, we’ve got 5 solid reasons to visit The Pittsburgh Public Market.

You are thirsty…

From coffee to kombucha, The Pittsburgh Public Market offers a smorgasbord of beverages. On warm weekend days, East End Brewery is a magnet as people crowd the makeshift bar to fill a growler full of seasonal beer or sample what’s on tap that day. It’s always good.

Just to the right of the beer crowd, you’ll find Glade Pikes Winery.

From open to close, Caffe d’Amore Catering, which sells whole and ground beans from companies that support sustainable coffee, serves fresh cups of joe. If you want your coffee to go but will be returning soon, the staff will loan you a mason jar for the road.

The market’s two latest additions are into batch varieties. At Root Juice System Juice Company you can choose from green, citrus, root or fruit organic, cold-pressed juice—and sign up for a juice subscription. Or you can pony up to the Buch Bar to try out Red Star Kombucha’s line of macrobiotic beverages. The tiny microbes are good-for-you healthy and the drink is delicious.

At Wheel and Wedge in Pittsburgh Public Market.  Photo by Brian Cohen.

At Wheel and Wedge in Pittsburgh Public Market. Photo by Brian Cohen.

You support communities and agriculture…

At Clarion River Organics, the farm known for selling the Schmucker Brothers’ 100% grass-fed beef on site, you can sign up for a CSA (community-supported agriculture) that will deliver a rainbow of fresh-from-the-farm vegetables, fruits and leafy things in either a small share or a full share.

Another CSA offering comes from Big Horn Ranch, where you choose your protein—beef, pork, chicken or a combination of all three. There are varying share sizes of half sausage and burger, and half prime cuts. Wheel and Wedge Cheese shop brings the best (and most humanely produced) hard to find cheeses and charcuterie to Pittsburgh, specializing in a wide selection of Pennsylvania-made cheeses that can only be found there. There is a bevy of other farms, orchards and creameries to support, along with Yeany’s, a family owned and operated producer of pure Pennsylvania maple syrup, straight from the Allegheny National Forest.

Jonathan Moran's wood creations. Photo by Brian Cohen.

Jonathan Moran’s wood creations. Photo by Brian Cohen.

You need to buy a gift…

This market doesn’t stop at food. A handful of vendors bring a welcome mix of local art and craftsmanship to the market space. At Jonathan Moran Woodworks, Jonathan and his wife Mindy sell their gorgeous handcrafted pieces. You’ll find work-of-art coffee tables, oven pulls (if you have no clue what an oven pull is, then do yourself a favor and go buy one) and more beautiful wood creations.

The weather might no longer call for hats and mittens and big fuzzy sweaters, but fluffy, plush lions, yarn supplies and throw blankets are good to have year-round. Among the local artists featured is Backstage Alpaca for beautiful capes, shawls and more, including super cuddly llama puppets, and Hey Beast Studio where artist Jeff Brunner sells his colorful animal prints and his fun children’s book Armadillo to Zebu: an Alphabet Book for You and Me Too.

 Papdi chat (spicy chickpeas and potatoes over chips) at Billu Indian Grill. Photo by Brian Cohen.

Papdi chat (spicy chickpeas and potatoes over chips) at Billu Indian Grill. Photo by Brian Cohen.

You want a good meal…

La Palapa sells home-style Mexican food where you can sit down and enjoy a few authentic and mouth-watering tacos with your East End Brewery samples. Ohio City Pasta makes for a great takeout lunch or snack with creative creations like breakfast sandwiches made with ravioli and pasta noodles made from beets.

In the mood for soup? Nancy’s Soups—all homemade—are tops, some of the best we’ve ever had and her selection is good, too, including vegan and vegetarian.

Satisfy your craving for curry with Billu’s Indian Grill, and make sure to check out the onion fritters. Sweet tooth? Eliza’s Oven and has delectable pies and cupcakes galore, some infused with Wigle Whiskey or other spirits. The alcohol bakes out so they can be enjoyed by any age. The newest dining feature of The Pittsburgh Public Market is The Market Kitchen, a test kitchen that is fully licensed with multiple stations and available for hourly rental by bakers, caterers, specialty food producers, personal chefs, cart vendors and food trucks.

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About The Author

Contributing Writer

Janna is happily rediscovering Pittsburgh after spending nearly a decade living New York City. She’s a writer by trade—magazines, blogs and a book called He Never Liked Cake. And she’s also a yoga teacher. Her classes can be found pretty much all around this city.

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