Each month we ask one of our favorite Pittsburghers the question:

If you only had 24 hours to show a friend the best that urban Pittsburgh has to offer, where would you take them?


Julia Reynolds

Shopkeeper,  The Shop in East Liberty,  http://theshopinel.com
Live: East Liberty
Work: East Liberty
How Long: 4 years

BREAKFAST:

Does brunch count? I hope so because brunch at Verde (#49) is fantastic. Starting off a morning meal with Verde’s delicious chips and freshly made tomatillo salsa or guacamole makes me one very happy lady. For a main dish, I usually go for the Huevos Benedictos (translation: traditional-eggs-benedict-meets-Mexican-deliciousness) paired with a glass or two of Brunch Punch — a perfect way begin a leisurely day.

If a casual, quick breakfast is on the agenda, then I enjoy stopping by 21st Street Coffee (#65) in the Strip District for a carefully crafted, amazingly flavorful latte. And because it’s just down the block, I can’t say no to ducking into Peace Love & Little Donuts for their miniature versions of a classic breakfast treat.

LUNCH:

Union Pig & Chicken (#21) (and I’m not just saying this because I work nearby). Union serves up some seriously tasty BBQ for both lunch and dinner, though the lunch combos are a sure bet. 7-some bucks for a generous serving of fried chicken, a side of mac or vegetable, and a beverage? I don’t think you can beat that.

Nicky’s Thai Kitchen (#30) in the Northside is great for lunch especially when I can pair a visit with an afternoon spent strolling through the Warhol Museum or National Aviary. I’m not big on curry, so for me some Nicky’s fresh spring rolls and a spicy Pad See Eaw hits the spot. With a new Downtown location, I’m hopeful to be able to enjoy this restaurant a little more often.

DINNER: 
I love sushi, sashimi, maki…all of it. My new favorite spot for dinner (it’s so hard to choose!) is Fukuda (#37). Hats off to the guys that started Fukuda because they certainly know what they’re doing when it comes to preparing fresh, simple dishes that are capable of calming my Japanese food cravings. What started off with pop-ups and food truck stops, Fukuda’s venture into the formal restaurant world definitely exudes passion and authenticity.

Meat & Potatoes (#11) is the kind of restaurant where I could drink, eat, take a nap, and then eat some more. I love the dim lighting, comfy chairs, Prohibition-era cocktails, and of course, the wonderfully meaty aromas that waft from the kitchen. A totally indulgent meal here for me would start with the bone marrow and tartare appetizers, then some mushroom flat bread, and finally, the Wagyu beef with all of its wasabi and miso flavored bites.

BAR:
For beer and that somewhat gritty experience: Kelly’s (#101) in East Liberty. For craft cocktails, knowledgeable bartenders, and a relaxed hang-out-and-talk vibe: Harvard & Highland. I’m apt to stop by both places in one night.