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Run, Eat, Burgh: Where to Train, Fuel Up and Celebrate in Pittsburgh

by Deanna Tomaselli
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Marathon Weekend is almost here! From the Expo to the 5K, family-friendly and pet-friendly events to the big enchilada on Sunday, May 5, there will be a ton of action in the ‘Burgh all weekend long. 

Speaking of enchiladas, whether you live in the area or will be coming in from out of town, below is a rundown of some of my favorite places around the city where you can eat and play accordingly.
 
Where to: Carbo-load
My definition of the perfect pre-race meal is always Italian. I make sure to get some good carbs in on race weekend: 
 
  • DiAnoia’s: I could eat their bread all day long! Go with a group and order family style for dinner or stop by in the afternoon for one of their amazing sandwiches. 
  • Vallozzi’s: Order all the cheese. And rice balls.
  • Il Pizzaialo: Best Neapolitan-style pizza here in my opinion. Their bolognese is also dee-licious.
  • Piccolo Forno: My husband and I got engaged here, aw! Great pizza and pasta.
  • Smallman Galley + Federal Galley: These are great kid-friendly options for groups. Snag an Iron Born Pizza before it leaves Smallman Galley OR Michigan + Trumbull at Federal. This Detroit-style pizza has taken Pittsburgh by storm over the last couple of years, and I am HERE FOR IT.
  • Pigeon Bagels: My other preferred method of carbo-loading is a BAGEL. While Pittsburgh hasn’t quite stepped up its bagel game yet, Pigeon Bagels is carving its own small path. Their store opens later this spring, but in the meantime, check out their Instagram and pop up calendar on the website to see where they’ll be next.
  • Pamela’s: Did you even Pittsburgh if you don’t stop at Pamela’s for hotcakes and lyonnaise potatoes?
 
Where to: Take a Break for Health 
If all those carbs have you a little full, cleanse it out (or aut, with your yinzer accent) with some fresh juice, salads or smoothies:
   
Where to: Drink Up
A little caffeine goes a long way. So does a post-race celebratory drink! Grab your drink of choice at one of several local places.  
 
  • La Prima Espresso Co: Caffeinate yourself at my favorite spot to get coffee. And if you’re watching the marathon, grab a coffee and stand here. Perfect location!
  • Espresso a Mano: Get a croissant heated up in addition to your coffee. You’ll thank me later.
  • De Fer: This cute spot not only has coffee and tea, but cocktails and quick, healthy eats.
  • Ineffable CàPhê: Last summer on a day off, I grabbed a Vietnamese iced coffee here and read a book for two hours on their patio. It was glorious.
  • Grist House: Once you’re ready to celebrate post-run, Grist House has amazing beers and there is always a food truck around. Bonus: Dog and kid-friendly.
  • Roland’s: Another way I like to celebrate? A Bloody Mary. Roland’s never disappoints in that department.
  • Wigle Whiskey: Speaking of Bloody Mary, did you know you can get a free one with a bib after the marathon? This will be the perfect way to finish the weekend at the Pittsburgh Marathon After Party!
 
Where to: Train, Warmup or Walk
A perfect way to spend Marathon Saturday is to participate in the UPMC Health Plan / UPMC Sports Medicine Pittsburgh 5K Run or one of the other family day events, then walk over to the GNC Live Well Health and Fitness Expo to do a little  pre-race warm up. Here are my favorite places to take in the city on foot: 
 
  • The Strip District: A lot of the favorite places I mentioned above are in or close to the Strip. While it’s too hectic to run down Penn Avenue on a normal day, this place is perfect for a stroll. I can’t wait to run it on May 5 when they close the street!
  • North Park: I tried to keep this list within the city limits, but I have to give a nod to my favorite place to run in Pittsburgh - North Park! This is the most perfect five-mile loop.
  • Eliza Furnace: In the beautiful and historic Schenley Park.
  • Three Rivers Heritage Trail: The most beautiful views of Pittsburgh, in all directions. Also a hub to the Great Allegheny Passage.
 
Where to: Celebrate - Cinco De Mayo Style!
Since Marathon Sunday is on May 5 this year, celebrate (or fuel up) with some delicious Mexican food:
 
  • Condado: Build your own tacos. Their queso is also 💯.
  • Bakersfield: Those tortas though.
  • Round Corner Cantina: So fun with a group, especially on their back patio on a nice day.
  • Mad Mex: The OG of the Pittsburgh Mexican food scene.

There are so many more great places in Pittsburgh -- and too many to list! However will you be celebrating pre-race or post-race, have fun!
Deanna Tomaselli
2019 Official Blogger

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