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A Love Letter to Pittsburgh {& The Top 5 Places You'll Love, Too}

Oh, Pittsburgh.

Where do I begin?

Is it the simple fact you're home to the Klondike Bar and the first Ferris Wheel?

Or the happy memories I've made in the City of Bridges?

Either way, whenever I travel to some place new, I always want to scope out the hotspots from a local's perspective. I try to stay away from the familiar. After all, our world doesn't grow and thrive in the familiar. Plus, there's nothing better then walking into a coffee shop or restaurant that provides me with a new experience. If the place checks out on atmosphere, taste, service, etc. then it goes down in my happy place of "must returns." It is my hope that next time you are in the South Side of Pittsburgh, instead of looking to Yelp or Google for that great coffee shop or place to grab a bite, you instead, remember what you read here. Enjoy!

Address: 1220 E Carson St, Pittsburgh, PA 15203

You know that moment you look at a friend or SO and talk about what you're craving and as soon as you both vocalize it, you know it's happening? Yeah, that will be you once you visit Doce Taqueria. Everyone in South Side knows of this place and suggested their tacos to us. It has a small, intimate feel, with both bar seating and some window seating. Simply put, it's fast, outstanding, portable, inexpensive and superior quality. And if you need a late night fix, you can skip the often intense line and stop after hours to satisfy your midnight munchies.

Address: 2717 Sarah St, Pittsburgh, PA 15203

"Gourmet brews, light fare & desserts." -- Big Dog Coffee website

What they forgot ^^^ is the insanely adorable fireplace, the par-none cozy atmosphere and the beautiful coffee mugs that make you feel like you pulled them right out of your own kitchen cabinet. This family-owned hotspot houses an adorable back patio that yearns for a good book and laughter with friends over the most delicious cup o' joe in the 'Burgh.

{t h r e e} Benny Fierro's

Address: 1906 E Carson St, Pittsburgh, PA 15203

This family-operated NY-style pizza palace greets you with the intoxicating smell of freshly-made pies and an image of Mr. Carnegie holding a pizza. Started at Virginia Tech, this new South Side staple is ideal for early and late night eats alike. You would never guess that Benny's has only operated in the South Side for a year; it feels warm, looks like it's been there for decades, and the owner and staff will likely remember you forever (and even your order, too!) Pictures line the walls of people and their bigger-than-your body pizza pies. (The box is so large we had to turn it on its side to get it inside the door!)

P.S. If you go, give Ryan (the owner) a high-five from us. He super kind, passionate about his family business and strives to provide a quality, family experience.

Address: 1209 E Carson St, Pittsburgh, PA 15203

Every city you visit should be accompanied with a proper brunch. And trust me, this one is your go-to in Pittsburgh. Grab a few besties and head to The Urban Tap featuring homemade food with a gourmet twist. Think pancake balls, poached eggs over potatoes with aioli sauce and a Bloody Mary bar. (I loaded mine up with a whole bunch of different ingredients: olives, friend chicken, hot sauce, mushrooms, celery, sausage... I'll stop there.) Add a second round of drinks with their white sangria (embellished with cinnamon and apple.)

P.S. the exposed brick and incredible wait staff will make it worth the wait.

{f i v e} Delanie's Coffee

Address:1737 E Carson St, Pittsburgh, PA 15203

Led by staff passionate about espresso, Delanie's Coffee serves up delicious coffee, refreshing smoothies (my fave), house-made pastries and desserts, along amazing sandwiches. Stop by for breakfast, lunch or a quick pick-me-up and enjoy the FREE WI-FI ACCESS! (EEKS.)

The industrial feel is the perfect backdrop for the art gallery it serves as, too. If you need a study spot, this is your jam.

That's all for now! Tag me in your pictures from Pittsburgh if you're headed that way soon.

While you're here, check out this write-up on 10 Little Moments Every Wedding Photographer Adores.

All photos are taken by Emma Parker Photography.

For more information please contact Emma at

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