National Hot Dog Day: The Hot Dogs of Pittsburgh

It was quiet morning in the super secret iheartPGH headquarters until one intern abruptly cried out “It’s National Hot Dog Day!” The Yinzterns rejoiced and it was decided that they would take a crawl through the various hot dog vendors of Pittsburgh. Here, we share our ups, downs, and general stomach aches after consuming multiple dogs.


Name Hours Cost Fun Fact

Steve's New York Hotdog Shop on Urbanspoon

Breakfast & Lunch


$ The proprietors of Steve’s were on vacation at the time of the crawl. We will be back for you Steve…
Yovi's on Urbanspoon

 Lunch & Dinner


 $ An interesting hybrid of Chicago and Pittsburgh, they serve up a mean hot dog. They are also located in a basement, so keep your eyes peeled or you will miss a delicious spot. It’s also cash only.
Franktuary - Lawrenceville on Urbanspoon Lunch & DinnerMonday-ThursdayLunch, Dinner & Late NightFriday-SaturdayBrunch


 $$ Franktuary is now offering a Sunday brunch at its Lawrenceville location. They also have trivia Tuesday nights!
Station Street on Urbanspoon

 Lunch & Dinner


$$$ Station Street has been open since 1915.
Packs & Dogs on Urbanspoon

Lunch, Dinner & Late Night


$ Decent beer collection, pop in for a hot dog.
D's Six Pax & Dogz on Urbanspoon Lunch & DinnerSunday- WednesdayLunch, Dinner, & Late NightThursday-Saturday $$  Over 1,000 types of beer with a wide offering of food beyond just hot dogs.
Dormont Dogs on Urbanspoon

Lunch & Dinner


$  This dog joint packs in a lot of character. Cash only.
Wiener World on Urbanspoon

Lunch & Dinner

Monday- Friday



$  Beyond selling dog hots, Wiener World is known for its fish sandwich.


Steve’s New York Hot Dog 

This place has great reviews on Urban Spoon. Unfortunately, Steve decided it was a good idea to go out of town during one of the most important hot dog related holidays on the year. We yelled out in agony as we drove by, vowing to return at a later date.


Unassumingly tucked into a basement right outside of Market Square, Yovi’s brings Chicago dogs to Pittsburgh. It’s simply decorated with both cities’ memorabilia and they also offer sandwiches and deep-fried pizza puffs. The token all-beef Chicago dog was topped with mustard, green relish, diced onions, tomato wedges, a pickle spear, sport peppers, and celery salt, on a poppy-seed bun. It’s a great, cheap, and friendly place to pop in for a quick lunch while downtown.


The new Franktuary location in Lawrenceville is charmingly rustic and beautiful, not to mention very spacious compared to the original downtown location. They have a variety of unique hot dog styles (including vegan tofu dogs), plus salads, poutine, pierogies, desserts, and more. We loved the Memphis dog (slaw, barbecue sauce, and crunchy potato sticks) and the Pittsburgh dog (smooshed pierogi and slaw). Their bar is fully stocked with tasty cocktails and craft beers, and you can sit at the open garage door windows when it’s nice out.

Station Street 1069151_10152063507612892_425551302_n

This hot dog joint has opened and closed a few times since it’s creation in 1915. The latest version is run by restauranteur Kevin Sousa. Bringing food science down to hot dog level, Sousa includes a couple crazy combinations on the menu. I went out on a limb and ordered the Kimchi Dog, topped with seaweed, kimchi, and tangy mayo. I was pleasantly surprised how delightful the tastes were together. The beef hot dog is delicious stand alone, but I’m anxious to try a few more combinations. Station Street also offers Vegan doggies for those less inclined to meat  The only downside? It’s a bit pricey for your everyday hot dog–save this spot for special lunch occasions (like National Hot Dog day).

Packs & Dogs

The first thing you notice when you enter this shop in Mount Washington is its expansive beer collection. The bar is lined with bottles and two plasma screen tvs.  You have to go to the far back to order your hot dogs.  The varieties have canine-themed names, such as the German Shepard (sauerkraut and spicy mustard) or the Chihuahua (chili, cheddar cheese, and onions). Beer is definitely Packs and Dogs’ forte.  There was not much outside seating, as there were only two tables outside, but there are a nice number of booths and bar seating.

D’s Six Pax & Dogs992822_10152063996622892_1121186585_n

Located in Regent Square, D’s is the perfect place to pop in for a dog. While you are there, make sure to check out the legendary Beer Cave, where you will find over 1,000 different brews. The Chicago Veggie dog was a classic that didn’t disappoint with relish, onions, pickles, tomatoes, sport peppers, and yellow mustard. D’s offered some interesting varieties, such as the Big Ben with fries, creamy cheddar and coleslaw and the Angry Tiki loaded with fries, creamy cheddar and coleslaw.  We can’t forget to mention how great the poppy-seed buns were, which can also be substituted for whole wheat.

Dormont Dogs

Dormont Dogs was one of our favorite stops of the day. Located a bit out of the city, it was worth the voyage. When you first walk in, you are taken back in time with the lovely decor. The hand written menu and little colorful tables added to the character at Dormont Dogs. The dogs were very good, as well as the buns. The menu featured hot dogs styled after different states (and streets in Dormont), from Louisiana in the south to Wisconsin in the west to Connecticut in the north. We also learned that in addition to being a hot dog shop, the area used to be a barber shop and a waffle/pottery shop.

Wiener World1075327_10152065147047892_1440397719_o

Wiener World is located in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh on Smithfield St. and you can’t miss the giant neon sign. This place is a hot dog shop. This is a take out spot or stand-at-the-counter-and-eat-your-hot-dog place, no tables, chairs or restrooms, just hot dogs (or a hoagie). We ordered the all beef hot dogs with all of the fixings, well ok most of the fixings, which was more than filling enough. We’ll have to try the fries on a return visit. The beef hot dog was great and next time I’ll limit the fixings to one or two and let the hot dog take center stage.


We know there are a ton more hot dog spots in Pittsburgh, but we couldn’t stomach another after a full day of chowing down. Where do you think the best dogs are in Pittsburgh? Check out our Facebook album for more pictures of our day-long crawl.

Cultural District’s Gallery Crawl Tonight


Looking for something to do tonight? Want to do something free? Want to culture yourself? Impress your friends with newfound knowledge of artistry? (Maybe that last part’s just me.) Come join other partons of the arts at the Cultural District’s free quarterly Gallery Crawl. The crawl runs tonight, Friday, July 12th, from 5:30-9 p.m., and participants can start from any of the many locations.

There is so much going on at the crawl tonight, but I’ll include some unique highlights here. There’s comedy, a cell phone disco, documentaries, live music, photography, yoga, a night arts market, dance lessons, and, of course art.

Check out the Cultural Trust’s page or the brochure below for more details.





Guide to Pittsburgh’s Independent Movie Theaters

When the weather starts heating up, sometimes the only thing to do is go inside. This season many of us will take to the air-conditioned refuge of our local megaplexes. To switch things up, I offer you a list of local independently owned theaters. Many of the theaters screen the same new releases, but also provide character and unique programming.

Hollywood Theater475193_275212485896001_1501098987_o

1449 Potomac Ave., Dormont


The Hollywood plays a wide variety of movies as well as special film events. Known for its Rocky Horror Picture Show performances, as well as its “Breakfast and a Movie” series (just what it says, breakfast, and a movie) there’s something for everyone. The single-screened theater is a nonprofit dedicated to revitalizing Potomac Avenue and Dormont by providing a theater and community center.

The Strand

119 North Main St., Zelienople


The Strand offers a variety of films as well as live performances. The Rocky Horror Picture Show screens regularly (17 & over only) and yes, you can throw things at this performance. The theater screens classics like Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz, but you can also find live shows at The Strand. The nonprofit theater was restored in 2002, and wants to expand the project.

The Manor

1729 Murray Avenue, Pittsburgh


The Manor theater screens both wide-release and independent movies, at often lower prices than the megaplexes. The Manor also boasts “The M Bar” in the lobby where patrons can bring alcoholic drinks into the theater. Check out the “Manor at Midnight” series, when the theater screens classic movies Saturdays at midnight.

Harris Theater

a little history?

a little history? (Photo credit: macwagen)

809 Liberty Ave., Pittsburgh


Owned by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and programmed by Pittsburgh Filmmakers ,the Harris Theater is a classic movie house in the heart of the Cultural District. The theater screens foreign and contemporary independent films, and is also part of the Three Rivers Film Festival.

Oaks Theater

310 Allegheny River Blvd., Oakmont


The single screen Oaks Theater screens both new releases and cult classics. Check out the summer series “Moonlit Matinees”, where Oaks screens a cult classic every Friday and Saturday night. Once a month, the theater hosts the “Cine Bruch”, where movie fans can watch and munch on a delicious Oakmont Bakery brunch.

Regent Square

Regent Sq Theater

1035 South Braddock Ave., Pittsburgh


Owned and operated by Pittsburgh Filmmakers, this single screen theater plays limited release independent movies seven days a week. In addition, every Sunday night the Regent Square theater hosts “The Sunday Series”, a monthly series of film screenings based around a theme, era, or director.

Melwood Screening Room

477 Melwood Ave., Pittsburgh


Located within the Pittsburgh Filmmakers building, the Melwood Screening Room is the youngest of the independent theaters on this list. The screening room plays independent features, and hosts “Film Kitchen” on the second Tuesday of every month.“Film Kitchen” is a series featuring local short films. The filmmakers are present at the screening and available for discussion after the show.


View Independent Theaters in Pittsburgh in a larger map

What’s your favorite theater in Pittsburgh? Seen any good movies lately?

Shopping Downtown At the Arts Festival

Visitors interested in shopping at this year’s Arts Festival won’t be disappointed. The Artist Market, which runs every day during the festival from 12-8pm, offers many unique items such as wearable fiber, precious jewelry, and other mediums like ceramics, drawings, mixed media, photography, and paintings. Creators of these pieces come from all parts of the country after applying and being selected to participate. Their art is available for purchase right at the event for you to take home.

Once you’ve finished walking around the market, you don’t have to stop shopping. Many other downtown shops will be open, some late at night and during the weekend, while the Arts Festival is running. The downtown area conveniently offers department stores, boutiques, and retail centers in close proximity. You can also stop to eat at Fifth Avenue Place at 120 Fifth Avenue and check out the many retail shops located inside the center. One of their stores, Crystal River Gems, will be offering special deals on handmade jewelry during the festival. Laurie’s Hallmark is also offering free bracelets every Friday in June with any purchase of at least $10. For a full listing of stores in Downtown Pittsburgh, check out this Shop & Dine Guide from There is something for everyone in the downtown shopping area during the Arts Festival, from apparel, books, electronics, bakery items, jewelry, shoes, and even wine and spirits.

Here is A List of  Downtown Merchants and their Weekend Hours

Saturday Sunday
Artist Market 12:00pm-8:00pm 12:00pm-8:00pm
Added Touch
120 Fifth Avenue
Amazing Books
929 Liberty Avenue
120 Fifth Avenue
Boutique 208
208 6th Street
11:00am-8:00pm 11:00am-5:00pm
Boutique la Passerelle
417 Wood Street
Broadway Army Navy
909 Liberty Avenue
Brooks Brothers
600 Smithfield Street
Burlington Coat Factory
339 Sixth Avenue
9:00am-8:00pm 12:00pm-5:00pm
Canadian Fur Company
625 Smithfield Street
Carl W. Herrmann Furs
634 Smithfield Street
Crystal River Gems
120 Fifth Avenue
125 W. Station Square Drive
10:00am-10:00pm 12:00pm-5:00pm
Denim Express
439 Wood Street
Designer Outlet
311 Forbes Avenue
Eide’s Entertainment
1121 Penn Avenue
9:30am-6:30pm 10:00am-5:30pm
301 Grant Street
125 W. Station Square Drive
10:00am-9:00pm 12:00pm-5:00pm
Heinz Healey’s
160 Fifth Avenue
Hometowne Sports
125 W. Station Square Drive
10:00am-10:30pm 10:00am-6:00pm
Jos. A. Bank
230 Fifth Avenue
9:00am-8:00pm 12:00pm-6:00pm
Joseph Orlando
606 Liberty Avenue
Kountz & Rider
301 Grant Street
249 Fifth Avenue
Laurie’s Hallmark
120 Fifth Avenue
120 Fifth Avenue
400 Fifth Avenue
9:00am-6:00pm 12:00pm-5:00pm
N.J. Richetti Fine Men’s Clothing
301 Grant Street
New York New York
125 W. Station Square Drive
10:00am-12:00am 11:00am-8:00pm
Oxford Centre Wine & Spirits
320 Smithfield Street
Pennsylvania Wine Cellars
125 W. Station Square Drive
10:00am-9:00pm 12:00pm-9:00pm
Pittsburgh Popcorn Company
822 Liberty Avenue
Serendipity Accessories
2 PPG Place
Social Status
717 Liberty Avenue
945 Liberty Avenue
Oxford Oxford Center
WEAR on Market Square
433 Market Street

Weekend Music Events: Where You Should Be and When

So there are a ton of exciting things happening music and concert-wise this weekend through the Three Rivers Arts Festival starting Friday, June 7th as well as the start of the “Weather Permitting” concert series this Sunday, June 9th. Here’s a chronological list of all the bands coming by day and time of performance as well as what stage they will be performing on.

Three Rivers Arts Festival: 

Because there are multiple stages, you may find this map to be helpful.

Friday June 7th: 

12:00pm-1:00pm Indie pop rock band Jd Eicher and the Goodnights will be playing on the Dollar Bank Stage

Acousticafe, “Pittsburgh’s Best new singer/songwriters”, will be performing on the Second Stage at Gateway Center from 5:00pm-7:00pm

Jazz band Poogie Bell will be playing from 5:30pm-9:00pm in Katz Plaza

And the River City Brass Band will play at Point Stage Park  from 5:00pm-6:00 pm

6:15pm- 6:55pm Happy, dance music from Donora also on the Dollar Bank Stage

7:30pm-9:00pm The Headliner for Friday night is California-native, indie folk rock band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.

English: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros ...

English: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros performing at Lollapalooza Chile Español: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros tocando en Lollapalooza Chile (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Known for the popular singles “Home”,  “Janglin”, and “40 Day Dream” from their debut album Up from Below, as well as songs from last year’s follow-up album Here,  Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros will cap off the evening on the Dollar Bank Stage. The band will also be releasing a self-titled third album set to release on July 23rd. As a side note lead singer Alex Ebert is also the lead singer of Ima Robot, the group responsible for the awesome theme song of the popular USA network series Suits. 

All fan-hood aside, I digress from the rest of the weekend music happenings.

Saturday June 8th: 

Arts Greenhouse Collective, a local hip hop education program, will school you with original beats and rhymes while performing from 12:00pm-12:30pm as well as 2:00pm-2:30pm on the Family Stage at Giant Eagle Creativity Zone.

Soundwaves Steel Band will be performing from 12:30pm-1:00pm as well as 1:30pm-2:00pm also on the Family Stage at Giant Eagle Creativity Zone

The Unknown String Band, “folk-grass pickin’ partners” from Pittsburgh will be on the Second Stage at Gateway Center from 1:00pm-2:00pm

The Shelf Life String Band, a bluegrass string quintet, will be performing from 3:00pm-4:00pm and from 5:00pm-5:45pm on the Second Stage at Gateway Center

YMCA Lighthouse Music Crew & Step Team, which features youth hip-hop and step routine, will perform on the  Family Stage at Giant Eagle Creativity Zone from 3:00pm-4:00pm

The Arts Festival will feature a ton of other great bluegrass bands on Saturday. Starting with the Allegheny Drifters from 2:00pm-3:00pm on the Dollar Bank Stage.

Great American Taxi will be bringing bluegrass infused rock Americana to the Dollar Bank Stage from 6:00 pm-7:15pm

Saturday night will cap off with bluegrass and American music legend Ralph Stanley, who will also be performing on the Dollar Bank Stage from 7:30pm-9:00pm

Sunday June 9th:

Acousticafe will play a second show from 1:00pm-5:00pm on the Second Stage at Gateway Center

AcoustiKids (a branch off of Acousticafe) will perform a show for children on the Family Stage at Giant Eagle Creativity Zone from 2:00pm-4:00pm

WYEP Re(imagiNATION) Showcase will be, well, showcasing some of Pittsburgh’s emerging teen musicians from 4:00pm-6:00pm on the Family Stage at Giant Eagle Creativity Zone

Big With Seed, an 8-piece “groove-laden rock” band, will perform from 1:00pm-2:30pm on the Dollar Bank Stage

Sleep Experiments will be bringing “ambient dream pop” to the Dollar Bank Stage from 3:00pm-4:00pm

The Deceptions will perform a rock, folk, Americana fusion from 4:30pm-5:30pm  on the Dollar Bank Stage

Grand Piano, a 6-piece local rock band, will perform on the Dollar Bank Stage from 6:00pm-7:00pm

And the first weekend of Arts Fest Music will cap off with Cello Fury featuring Joy Ike and Scott Blasey of the Clarks, this one-night only collaboration will perform from 7:30pm-9:00pm on the Dollar Bank Stage

WEATHER PERMITTING CONCERT SERIES BEGINNING JUNE 9TH:Weather Permitting Concert Series June 9th Poster

Starting June 9th Shadyside Nursery will be hosting a concert series in collaboration with Fukuda and Pandemic titled “Weather Permitting PGH.” Together they’re bringing a great mix of music, relaxation, food, drink, and summer fun every Sunday evening from 5:00 pm-9:00 pm. The concert series is called Weather Permitting and it boasts a “chilled out, relaxed, bring a blanket and some wine, nurse the hangover, bring the kids” environment.

The weekly outdoor concert will take place every Sunday through the rest of summer and is looking to bring in a diverse audience through, for lack of a better word, a diverse collection of musical groups, food vendors/trucks and children’s activities.

Admission is $10, which includes a complimentary beverage with proof of ID. Kids get in free, again this weekly event is family friendly. Shadyside Nursery is located on 510 Maryland Avenue (at the corner of Ellsworth Ave.) This looks like a great event if you’re looking to experience something a little different each week.

This Sunday’s Performers Include:

Lungs Face Feet, a local 8 piece brass, accordion, percussion band. They’re great fun as evidenced here:

Check out them out on Facebook.

Sunday will also feature Taluna, a Mediterranean folk/”Spacefolk” band from Italy.

Listen to more Taluna on their website.

Phew, that’s a lot to digest (and that’s not another strange band name, don’t worry). See you out there this weekend, I’ll be cutting it up at a few of these shows. Check back each week for more weekend music updates.