Build Your Own Food Tour by "T"

Photo of Red Line Light Rail Car in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh’s light rail, “the T”, isn’t just a nice way to commute to work. To prove it, Street Lark created a Build-Your-Own-Food-Tour, where each food and drink stop is within walking distance of "the T”! Visit as many or as few of these food destinations as you wish, depending on your schedule and how hungry you feel!

Know Before You Go

How to Build A Tour:

The following list of recommendations assumes you start the food tour in the morning, on a Saturday, in Downtown Pittsburgh. The order of the food destinations moves south along the Red Line. So if you live in the South Hills, ride the “T” Downtown without stopping, then get started. If you live anywhere other than Downtown or the South Hills, take your favorite mode of transportation Downtown to start. The last option is to go rogue and build the tour to be whatever order you please, at whatever times, on whatever days — just make sure to pay attention to the hours of operation for each destination, which are listed below, but subject to change.

Other things to know before you go:

  • Scheduling & Directions: Street Lark highly recommends the “Transit” App, which offers a "live" Light Rail Schedule. It even maps routes, using combinations of public transportation and walking! For ease of planning, walking directions and estimated round-trip walk times are also provided below (from the “T” stop, to the destination, and back to the “T” stop).

  • Riding "the T”: The “T” has a free zone between the Allegheny Sation and First Avenue Station. In other words, all rides within downtown are free, but once you cross the Monongahela River you have to pay. If you plan on making more than two stops outside of the free zone, you should buy a Day Pass for $7 at a Connect Card Machine. If you don’t use the Connect Card Machine, and instead pay cash in the car or with the booth attendant, you must pay the full fare, $2.75 for each trip. Pro Tip: When you’re heading away from Downtown, you use your Connect Card or pay when exiting. When you’re heading towards Downtown, you use your Connect Card or pay when boarding. Another Pro Tip: If you plan to make two or fewer stops outside the free zone, you can buy a Single Trip, then a Single Trip with Transfer. In total, this will only save you $1.00 vs. the Day Pass, and it’s important to note that the transfer expires three hours from the initial purchase. Try this or don't, but at least now you know more about “T” transfers. Final Pro Tip: The Port Authority's site gives some great info on "How to Ride the T".

REMINDER: You don’t have to go to all of these food and drink destinations to have a great time. You should build a tour that works best for you! Hint: If you share dishes amongst a group of friends or family, you’ll have room to try food at more places.

Food Stops to Consider (Heading South on the Red Line)

“T” Stop: Gateway Center Station

Destination: Prantl’s Bakery

Open Hours: Sat 9am to 4pm; Mon-Fri 7am to 6pm

Estimated Round-Trip Walk Time: 6 Minutes

Difficulty: Low, No Hills

Directions: Head South on Stanwix Street, then turn left on Liberty. Turn right on Fifth Ave then right on Market Street. Prantl’s will be on the left.

Menu: Breakfast pastries! Keep in mind, a coffee shop is the next stop on our route.

Fun Facts: Prantl’s has a 50 year legacy in Pittsburgh, with baked goods like fruit Danish and nut-filled coffee cake rooted in German tradition. It’s regarded as one of the best bakeries both locally and nationally, and especially famous for its Burnt Almond Torte. The Burnt Almond Torte recipe was created by Henry Prantl after a trip to California during a year where there was an almond surplus. The Almond Board was encouraging bakers to use almonds in creative and innovative ways. Henry was inspired by his learnings during the trip, then he came home to Pittsburgh to perfect the recipe.

“T” Stop: First Avenue Station

Destination: Gasoline Street Coffee

Open Hours: Sat 9am to 3pm; Mon-Fri 7am to 5pm

Estimated Round-Trip Walk Time: 2 Minutes

Difficulty: Low, No Hills

Directions: Exit the station to the right, onto First Avenue, and the coffee shop is across the street, within eyesight.

Menu: They feature different coffee roasters each month, plus smoothies and such!

Fun Facts: This former first-floor loading dock was previously used to move freight back and forth from barges on the river. When you visit, remember to bring your Coffee Passport, and check out the old map hanging on the wall above the bright yellow chair. It was provided by local historian @pghthenandnow. Also take a look at their Artist Wall, a gallery that rotates from time to time.

“T” Stop: Shiras Station

Destination: Slice on Broadway

Open Hours: Sat 11am to 10pm, Sun 12pm to 8pm, Mon-Fri 11am to 10pm

Estimated Round-Trip Walk Time: 2 Minutes

Difficulty: Low, No Hills

Directions: Slice sits almost directly across the street from the “T” stop.

Menu: They specialize in NY style pizza. Choose from ‘House Pies’ or create your own.

Fun Facts: Owner, Rico Lunardi, was working full-time in Management Information Systems when he opened Slice on Broadway. Slice’s pizza recipe was developed through trial and error at home before opening the commercial kitchen and sit-down joint in Beechview. When the first year of business resulted in resounding success, Rico quit his office job and soon expanded to three more locations in Carnegie, PNC Park, and East Liberty. Here's how Slice describes their passion for what they do: "We have an abnormal obsession with pizza. We're perfectionists. We're stubborn. We're uncompromising." Pittsburgh-pizza-lovers have certainly taken notice, and they seem equally passionate about Slice.

“T” Stop: Mount Lebanon Station

Destination: Hitchhiker Brewing Co.

Estimated Round-Trip Walk Time: 14 Minutes

Open Hours: Sat 12pm to 11pm, Sun 12pm to 8pm, Tues-Fri 4pm to 11pm

Difficulty: Moderate, Slightly Sloped, Not Too Steep (by Pittsburgh standards)

Directions: Head South on Parse Street, then turn left on Alfred Street. Make a slight right on Shady Drive East. Hitchhiker sits straight ahead at the end of the street.

Menu: They’ve got you covered with Hoppy, Saison, Dark, Sour, Ales, and Lager.

Fun Facts: Head brewer, Andy Kwiatkowski, got his start in the industry as a kid by drawing labels for his dad’s home brewed beer. Now he loathes naming beers, but loves brewing them. Andy enjoys creating drinks that don’t fit specific formulas or guidelines. Hitchhiker’s Mount Lebanon location is the original brewery and taproom, but after outgrowing it for production purposes, they moved brewing to their second location in Sharpsburg, which was formerly home to Fort Pitt Brewing Co.

“T” Stop: Overbrook Junction Station

Destination: Mindful Brewing Company

Open Hours: Fri-Sat 11am to 12am, Sun, Tues-Thur 11am to 11pm

Estimated Round-Trip Walk Time: 8 Minutes

Difficulty: Low, No Hills

Directions: Walk SE on Castle Shannon Blvd. for 0.2 miles. Mindful will be straight ahead.

Menu: It’s a brewery, bottle shop, and restaurant all in one, with a menu built for a “locavore”.

Fun Facts: One of Mindful’s brewers, Marcus Cox, got his start in Melbourne, Australia. According to the Tribune Review, he brewed there for about 15 years before relocating to Pittsburgh. When he and his wife committed to relocating and were presented with multiple options, they chose Pittsburgh.

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