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How to Navigate Pittsburgh's New Epicenters of Cool

Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville & East Liberty

The Steel City is getting some shine.

Courtesy of locations.

Let's face it: Pittsburgh's reputation is pretty rusty. Once a beacon of American industrialization, Carnegie's capital flatlined in the early '80s. But the Steel City is getting some shine as districts of vestigial warehouses are being repurposed into shops, restaurants, and artist ateliers. Lawrenceville has been sharpening its edge for about a decade, with offbeat hangouts and startup offices inhabiting abandoned mills. Now, all eyes are on East Liberty. The old Nabisco factory is the locus of the burgeoning tech world there, giving the city a new raison d'etre and making the Pitts, well, no longer the pits.

Ace Hotel Pittsburgh
The fab refurb of a lapsed YMCA is the Ace's newest home -- and the de facto heart of East Liberty. Inside, the Whitfield slings New American versions of bygone favorites: pastrami sandwiches for lunch and tender T-bones for dinner. You'll also find Stumptown coffee and a bar serving top-notch cocktails, and, if you're lucky, they'll let you play beer pong in the retro gymnasium. (

MorcillaCure and Morcilla
Find charcuterie heaven at the "urban Mediterranean" outpost Cure, then stick around town for the pinxtos at nearby Morcilla, a new dining concept from Cure's chef-owner. (;

Chef Sonja Finn flexed her culinary muscles nationwide before returning home to enjoy Pittsburgh's renaissance. That's good news for locals addicted to her thin-crust pizzas and affordable wine list. (

Twisted-frenchmanThe Twisted Frenchman
Book a month in advance for Andrew Garbarino's modernist, French-inspired chef's table at the city's best bet for upmarket food porn. (

Perfect cocktails without a twist of mixology pretension are served up in pub-style surrounds here. Sweat out your hangover the next day when the space doubles as a, um, yoga studio. (

Cider-houseArsenal Cider House
Western Pa.'s first cidery promises an impressive assortment of apple treats and mead on tap that pair nicely with the bar's Civil War theme. (

EspressoEspresso a Mano
Park your bicycle in front of this Lawrenceville staple for excellent espresso (with beans from Coava and Counter Culture) and plenty of exposed brick. (

This innovative live-work space in East Liberty is home to 37 creatives and their ground-floor galleries. Stop by to support emerging talent, and get a deal on some home decor.

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